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A Coffee with Mike Deveney, Data Contracts & Compliance Administrator

Updated: Jan 12

We grabbed coffee with Mike Deveney to talk about his experiences working at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, how he got involved with Karp Strategies, and anything and everything ports-related!

Mike is the Data, Contracts & Compliance Administrator at Karp Strategies. Prior to joining KS, he spent the past 30 years working for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Mike is an expert on ports, their value, and the obstacles they’re currently facing in the U.S. market, as well as an avid golfer. Meet Mike!

How did you first get connected to Karp Strategies?

It was before Karp Strategies existed! I met Rebecca when she was a Leadership Program Fellow at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. She did a rotation at the Brooklyn Marine Terminals, where I was Deputy General Manager. She worked with me on a multitude of projects, including one dealing with Hurricane Sandy. I saw her talent when she first came in and knew that she was a dynamic worker. She was and is the kind of go-to person who can get things done. From there, she moved on, but we kept in contact. We talked a lot about her next steps and her potentially starting her own firm. I always thought it was a great idea because she’s an incredible motivator and also has the energy of about 10 people. 

What was your favorite part about working at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey?

My favorite part was serving as the manager of the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. I was involved in its construction and became manager overseeing cruise operations, security operations, etc. It was a lot of responsibility but also lots of fun working with the community on a regular basis to develop the land and support community functions. It allowed me to develop a very close relationship with the Brooklyn Borough President at the time, Marty Markowitz. We supported each other, and it got me involved in a lot of community work and community outreach. 

What’s something most people don’t know about the Port Authority but should?

Two things really–the Port Authority has many line departments. The line departments (law, engineering, security etc.) that exist within the organization make it possible for the Port Authority Function. With the Port Authority, a lot of people don’t know that those departments are how you get things done. Additionally, the Port Authority also has its own police department. It’s governed by both New York and New Jersey, and both states’ laws are enforced.

What’s your favorite port to date?

My favorite port I’ve visited is Port Newark because 1) I worked over there for many years, and 2) right now, it’s the #1 port in the US—it produces the break bulk, has warehousing, multiple entities, and even a church. It’s almost like a city within a city. The business it brings into the region is so important—Port Newark and Elizabeth are the most stellar operating ports in the country.

Why is data compliance critical, and what is its importance in the contracting process?

Data compliance is an integral part of the contracting process as it helps organizations navigate legal requirements, protect sensitive information, mitigate risks, meet contractual obligations, build trust, and establish effective internal data governance practices. Especially as our projects span both the public and private sectors, we need to be mindful of all policies, regulations, or restrictions from a legal perspective. Many of our work and contracts include information that is sensitive and confidential, so there are many layers we put into place internally, externally, and in between to ensure information security and confidentiality is our top priority. Outside of the very technical reasons why compliance is important, it is also extremely important that our clients and partners are aware of our process and view us as a trusted partner.

What’s the most interesting part of working in compliance?

I find it to be beneficial because everyone needs to understand that they must comply with the bylaws, rules, and regulations of the agency. Compliance provides a good roadmap to success—if you follow what you’re supposed to be following, you can succeed. I always found this to be an important thing to promote. Within the compliance boundary lines, you’ll be okay and be moving in the right direction if you tend to move inside those lines. 

Tell me about a life-changing moment in your life. 

A life-changing moment was probably when I worked at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. At that point, I still did not have my degree. Herb George was the assistant manager at the time and was also an adjunct at New Rochelle. He kept encouraging me to go back to school. One day, he said to me we’re going down to the College of New Rochelle, and he registered me for classes. If it weren’t for him, I would have never gone back to school. In the end, I graduated with honors from New Rochelle, and that was what helped me progress with the Port Authority

Tell me about a favorite hobby of yours and how you got into it. 

Golf—I love to play golf.  I’m not the greatest golf player, but it frees up my headspace. I got into it about 30 years ago and never put the golf clubs down. It’s a hobby that gives you an opportunity to work on the business end or the social end and meet a lot of fascinating people along the way.

Fast Facts:

Last TV show I binge-watched: Million Little Things

Resturant (delivery) I'd recommend to close friends: One if by land

Book that changed me: Chances by Daniel Steele

Best concert I've ever experienced: Bruce Springsteen

Movie I'd pay to see again and again: Home Alone

My Heroes are: President JFK, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Tiger Woods


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