When Larry Ditchkus was 12 years old, his father took him on boat rides past the Long Beach breakwater to go fishing. The port always fascinated Ditchkus, now a commercial appraiser for the port. “I never dreamt I would end up working at the port all those years later,” he said. Prior to working at the port, Ditchkus served as a real estate appraiser for Bank of America for 12 years. He later started his own company that provided valuation and brokerage for old oil well sites and other properties. In 2001, he started with the Port of Long Beach as a leasing and sales officer. Then, about four years ago, he was offered a specialized role at the port in managing appraisals. Most ports do not have an appraisal manager and the position is very unique, according to Ditchkus. “The problem with trying to value large terminals is that they do not sell [often],” he said. Due to the lack of comparable sales of large terminals, Ditchkus tracks costs associated with upgrading terminals to assess their property values. In 2017, Ditchkus was honored as the port’s employee of the year due to his role in selling a parcel of land that the port owned near the World Trade Center. The land is currently in escrow for about $30.2 million. Ditchkus is also currently working to sell the port’s interim administrative offices as they prepare to move to their headquarters at the new Long Beach Civic Center next year.