Rita A. Sweeney



July 12, 1961, at age 17, I came to work with the Port Authority. But my PA story starts earlier. Late 1920ís: my father, Eugene Vincent Sweeney, joined the PAPD, and rose to the position of Traffic Sergeant. Late-1940ís: my mother's brother, John Lynch, joined the PAPD. Mid-1950ís: my mother, Anna Sweeney was a Comptometer Operator in Accounting, and then secretarial positions in Marine Terminals and Aviation at the PAB. She later relocated to JFK Operations until retiring in the 1980ís. And we have a younger family member in the PAPD for several years.

My story: After Basic Clerical Training our group filled in for the summer in various departments. I was in Engineering Design. After the summer, I moved to a C-11 position with the Special Services Division. While there I passed a promotion exam for the C-15 secretarial level, and in 1962 accepted a position with the newly formed World Trade Center project. This impacted the rest of my PA career. The units were staffing up and interviews were with multiple unit managers. One interviewer asked if I knew Anne Sweeney. I told him I was her daughter. Not long after that Personnel called with the offer to work with John McAvey in the Financial Analysis Unit. I called my mother, told her the name and she told me to say yes. I never regretted taking that advice. I began a journey with the World Trade Department until 1979 when Mr. McAvey became the Comptroller and I went with him as Departmental Secretary.

When he retired, I was able to return to the World Trade Department which had a few new projects. One was the Newark Legal and Communications Center and they took me on as their Administrative Assistant. It was great to be in this group working on a new project.

A few years later it was necessary for me to take an extended Leave of Absence. At the time I tried to come back they happened to have a temporary clerical opening in the financial unit with financial staff I knew from earlier WTD days. Not long after that, the new Regional Development Department was formed, and I accepted an offer to join their Administration Unit.

In 1995 the PA had an early retirement package. I had no plans to retire at that point, but someone called me and said: take it, it is Godís gift to you. They were right. Family situations were changing and being home was a priority.

I am grateful to so many people who were there over the years to keep me headed in the right direction. It certainly took a village! God bless you all.



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