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Steve Knox, Terminal Operations Manager, Pasha Automotive Services

Basic Information
Name: Steve Knox
Number of Years at Company: Fifteen as of September 30, 2021
Title/Position: Terminal Operations Manager/ Facility Security Officer
Company: Pasha Automotive Services
Company Public Relations or Human Resources Contact: Karline DeShane, Talent Acquisition Manager, The Pasha Group
4040 Civic Center Drive, Suite 350  San Rafael, CA 94903
Office E-mail: [email protected]
Phone Number: 415.927.6481

What aspects of your time as a U.S. Marine had the greatest impact on you?

During my time in service I had the benefit of growing through incredible leadership and friendships. Specifically, I had the opportunity to serve under James Jones Jr., who later became Commandant of the Marine Corps and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. I knew in my first four years of service that I was going to make it a career.

Which operations were you involved in during your time in the military, and in which positions did you serve?

Detachment Commander at the American Embassy’s in Sofia Bulgaria, & San Jose Costa Rica.

I also served two combat tours as a Career Infantryman and Senior Advisor.  First as a Squad Leader with 2nd Battalion 7th Marines Fox Company during Operations Desert Shield & Desert Storm, and second as a member of the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines Kilo Company serving as Company First Sergeant during Operation Iraqi Freedom IIB.

What was your transition like from the military to the private sector? 

I purposely gave myself a year before trying to gradually seeking a career.  During this time, I worked for nine months with Blackwater USA in Louisiana, assisting on security efforts for Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. I used Orion International for career assistance and got an interview with my current employer, Pasha Automotive Services.  I was not specifically seeking a maritime related career, it was very happy coincidence.

Tell us about your first job in maritime and what led you to explore opportunities in the industry.

I started my career in the maritime industry with Pasha Automotive Services (PAS), an independent operating subsidiary of The Pasha Group, which offers cutting-edge automotive port processing services. PAS’s operations are anchored at the National City Marine Terminal in the Port of San Diego where I took on collateral duties as the ISO (International Standards Organization) manager and Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) coordinator.

What is a notable experience you had in that first role that has been especially formative for your professional career?

In 2009, I was asked by The Pasha Group to temporarily relocate to Okinawa, Japan as the Interim General Manager for its Asiatic-Trans Pacific operation while hiring efforts were started back in the United States. This experience was incredibly rewarding, and I enjoyed being part of such a transformative program for the company.

What position are you working in currently, and what did your path to get there look like?

I have continued to move around within the company and grow through various positions.  After my tenure in Japan, I moved back to National City in 2010 and worked as the Manager of Client Services and Finance. Four years later, I took on the role of Special Projects and Strategic Planning Manager focusing on bringing on new and start-up operations to Pasha.  One project was spot business that lasted a year working out of Newport News, Virginia.  I also worked on the start and expansion of PAS’s Otay Mesa Truck Processing Center.

In 2016, I received a promotion to Terminal Operations Manager. I was appointed to my current role as the Facility Security Officer (FSO) in 2020.

What similarities have you noticed between the military and maritime industry?

The positions I have held with Pasha Automotive Services and what I have observed of the company overall are characterized by a backbone of military organization and structure that greatly contributes to the success of both the company and its employees and the efficiency of operations.

How did your time in the military prepare you to transition to your career in maritime, and how does the experience continue to benefit you in your current role?

I remain a student of history, the Marine Corps has an esteemed history, and the Pasha Group does too, going back to 1943.  The punctuality and attention to detail ingrained by military service are valuable to your employer. Similar to my time in the military, my current position of Terminal Operations Manager and Facility Security Officer is very structured. The orders and regulations that you must follow in working with the U.S. Coast Guard, Harbor Police, National City Police Department, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the TSA is parallel with Military service. An appreciation for this type of environment has set me up for success.  Pasha’s Company’s core values match very well with my Marine Corps Values.

What differences between the military and commercial maritime sector stand out to you?

I have never had to go 46 days without a shower in the commercial maritime sector.  Working conditions are much improved. I have never been shot at since retiring from military. The biggest difference in my opinion is that the military is based on mission accomplishment and welfare of the troops, while the maritime industry supports business and function. I would say, however, that the military and maritime industry are similar in managing operational budgets.  Of course, the military is not a profit center for making or growing revenue – so that is also a key difference.