I had the great fortune of building my
career with the Port Authority. I spent 28 years working for this
wonderful company until I retired.
In October, 1970, I had a chance meeting
with an NYU law student (a complete stranger) who advised me to apply to
the Port Authority and mention his aunt’s name, Mrs. Adams, as a
reference. After my successfully passed written test and interview
process, I was hired that same day and told to report to work the
following Monday as an Accounting Clerk. Later, two executives -- Saul
Goldman, Cost Accounting Supervisor, and Irwin Bressler, Revenue
Accounting Supervisor, to whom I owe a heartfelt gratitude -- were
instrumental in helping me advance my career. I was promoted to
Accountant and then eventually, Accounting Supervisor.
I look back at the many projects and
contributions to the company with gratitude to be part of them. I led
development of a pilot database for the World Trade Center that included
Susan Jones, my assistant, among others and instituted revenue
accounting systems and controls for new facilities such as the Newark
My daughter Marlou was able to do a
summer internship and worked with Lillian Liburdi, CEO Port Department.
The experience she gained was priceless and she now works for The Walt
The World Trade Center was also such a
fun place to work. It was always bustling with tourists. It was a
playground for my family. I took out-of-town visitors to see the
observation deck on the 102nd floor. We saw the 4th of July Centennial
parade from my office in the NYC harbor.
With all good memories, there is one
unfortunate one that I wish I were never a part of… such as the first
bombing on February 26, 1993. My office was located on the 69th floor. I
was on the 43rd floor cafeteria having lunch. We heard a loud boom and
were told to evacuate the area. I recall some employees jokingly making
light of the situation, saying, “Let’s bring our lunch as this may be
our last meal”. As we walked down the flight of stairs to the ground
floor, we experienced fear as we can barely see in front of us due to
the heavy smoke. I made it to my home in Park Slope by crossing the
Brooklyn Bridge with no shoes (heels were not comfortable) and winter
coat in the freezing cold weather. The 9/11 tragedy destroyed a beloved
landmark and took the life of my fellow employee, Ken Grouzalis.
Treasured memories come with sadness to think that the iconic buildings
that I once called home for many years is no longer there.
I am extremely grateful for having been a
part of the Port Authority who took a chance on a female immigrant from
the Philippines with an Accounting degree, recognized talent with
promotions, and provided long term benefits towards a great retirement.
God bless the Port Authority and Happy 100th Anniversary!