William Radinson



When I worked as a Financial Analyst in the former Department of Economic Development, I remember briefing Phil LaRocco. I think we were discussing the feasibility of establishing a regional venture capital fund. Phil’s remark always stayed with me because it made me think that it is always good to have passion when you are working on a project. Phil said, “Bill, don’t confuse me with facts.” With his support and that of Barry Weintrob, the PA did establish a $10 Million Venture Capital Fund, which was closed when Steven Berger became Executive Director.

In 1989, I left the Port Authority to work at the New York City Board of Education. Four years later I was returning from work in Queens when I ran into Cherrie Nanninga on the 23rd street stop on Eighth Avenue on the E line. She asked me, “Where are you now?” I told her I was working at the NYC Board of Education in their Capital Program. She said, “I was talking to Debbie Schneekloth about you.” Then Cherrie said,” we could use your skills at the Port Authority.” That was a Friday and on the following Monday I called her office and that began my return to the Port Authority with interviews with Bill Goldstein, John Collura, Debbie Schneekloth and Michael Massiah. My first task was to revise the infamous Guidebook, formally known as the Capital Project Development and Authorization Process Guidebook.

Any recollection of my life at the Port Authority would not be complete without a reference to September 11. I was on Church Street when the second plane hit. I felt the displaced energy in my feet. I remember being with Ron Pannone and Lillian Valenti. I remember using my Blackberry to contact Ernesto Butcher who was my boss then. I later learned that he was trying to evacuate people at about the same time. The other memory that is still vivid in my mind is reporting to PATC the next day and calling PA staff to confirm whether they were alive.

When the Port Authority’s central office was located at 225 Park Avenue South I used to get teased by Aviation staff, particularly Janet Carlo Montalvo who when I came in after 9:00 AM would say, “What happened Bill, did you get a couple of traffic lights that delayed you?” Since I lived on West 20th street my walk to the office could be delayed a few minutes depending on whether I got green lights or when I crossed the avenues. Eventually, other Aviation staff people caught on to the tease and I would hear it every so often whenever the subject of commuting to 225 Park Avenue South came up.

Now that I am retired I still interact with former Port Authority staff. One of my volunteer activities is to serve on the advisory board of Christ the King School in the Bronx. Just before the COVID 19 pandemic I was working with Alan Hicks and Wil Chabrier to organize a class to teach judo to kids at the school. Wil Chabrier conducted an introduction into Judo for the kids. The school has also enjoyed the support of Peter Zipf, who used his contacts at Manhattan College to recruit students to discuss engineering careers with 6th to 8th grade children. Bill Fife, through his contacts with the Young Members Forum of the American Society of Civil Engineers recruited professional engineers to organize a Career Orientation Forum for the students in February 2020. In May 2020 I sent out a request for donation for scholarship retention, which was needed to help families pay tuition after many of them had been laid off due to COVID 19. The school received a donation from Donna Tucker and from Mario Suarez, who still works at the agency. It is great to know that the bonds of fellowship we cultivated as Port Authority staff extends into our retirement years.



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Last modified: Monday, May 10, 2021 12:47:54 PM