As an assistant manager of the port’s business development division, Joel Perler’s job is always evolving to keep up with the dynamic trade industry. “It’s really exciting working for the port be- cause it’s got a ‘wow’ factor,” he said. “I like the customer service aspect to it. I get to help solve issues and answer questions for our customers and stakeholders. And I like being part of some- thing big.” Perler’s day-to-day consists of promoting the Port of Long Beach’s facilities and serv- ices by highlighting its competitive advantages to current and prospective customers. “We are the second busiest port in North America, but I think we’re number one in customer service and efficiency,” Perler said. “We are doing all the right things for our customers to satisfy their needs [by] essentially getting goods to market more quickly and more cost effectively.” Before his po- sition at the port, Perler sold memberships and assisted small businesses with their growth plans for the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. Perler learned more about the port from the chamber’s international business committee, which led him to pursue a career there. Now, as he enters his fifth year with the port this upcoming January, Perler plans to build up its economic development efforts. “We collaborate with the City of Long Beach and other regional partners to attract foreign direct investment, port ancillary businesses and promote export opportunities to local businesses,” he said. “And I’d like to do more of that, and I think it’s starting to happen.”