Florida's Premier Port Business organization promoting the growth of Port Everglades Since 1979
PEA serves as a bridge between public and private interests to facilitate the Port's achievement of its rightful place as a leader in the ranks of America's port ocean commerce.
Members of Port Everglades Association join port industry leaders throughout the world in mourning the passing and celebrating the life of Steve Cernak, who, since taking the helm at Port Everglades in 2012, spearheaded the most aggressive expansion program in the port’s history while advancing the long-stalled effort to bring Port Everglades a deeper, wider channel.
Nothing could have been deeper and wider than Steve’s love for the port industry, his family and, of course, the Grateful Dead. While fighting a courageous battle against cancer, Steve continued to be actively engaged at Port Everglades and in the broader port industry, serving in 2017-18 as chairman of both the hemispheric American Association of Port Authorities and the Florida Ports Council.
“It is a privilege to have been counted among Steve’s friends. Steve was always supportive of me, both professionally and personally” said Port Everglades Association President, Richard Vogel, director of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs for South Florida Petroleum Services. “Steve was always very supportive of all of the operations in the Port, and he treated our Association like true partners in the Port’s overall success. He truly made his mark on Port Everglades, and I and the Association will miss him very much.”
In February of this year, Steve was honored with The American Association of Port Authorities’ 2019 Cruise Award, a biennial recognition for positive impact on the relationship between a port and the Western Hemisphere cruise industry, with Cernak cited for his strategic acumen and leadership in growing cruise business at both Port Everglades and the Port of Galveston, Texas, which he served as port director and chief executive officer for 13 years prior to coming aboard at Port Everglades. Before that, he was senior engineer at the Port of New York & New Jersey.
Steve was acknowledged by Glenn Wiltshire, deputy port director at Port Everglades, for his achievements at Broward County’s seaport, including moving forward harbor improvements, overseeing construction of new cruise facilities, embarking upon the ambitious Southport Turning Notch expansion and growing the port’s operating revenues by 17.5 percent.
“Steve often said how much he valued the friendships and personal relationships that he developed throughout his lifetime,” Wiltshire said. “Above all, Steve made it clear how much he loved his wife, Cindy, his children and grandchildren. He will be greatly missed.”
Steve’s family encourages the sending of memories via email to email@example.com and, in lieu of flowers, suggests donations to the Seafarers’ House at Port Everglades – www.seafarershouse.org/donation/