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News Release
FOR RELEASE - December 19, 2012
Contact: Aaron Ellis, aellis@aapa-ports.org
(703) 684-5700

American Association of Port Authorities
1010 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 684-5700
www.aapa-ports.org

AAPA Public & Government Relations Workshop To Focus On Crisis Communications, Management

Two-day program slated for Los Angeles, Feb. 21-22, 2013

While most port communications are either advocacy, news or educational in nature, when crises arise, the folks responsible for disseminating port news and information may become harried and stressed. To address these instances, the American Association of Port Authorities is focusing its 2013 Public & Government Relations Workshop on crisis communications and management, with the theme, “Communicating Under Stress: Managing Disasters, Dilemmas & Misperceptions.”

The two-day workshop is slated for Feb. 21-22, at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel San Pedro, in Los Angeles.  It will explore the various types of crisis communications—ranging from natural and manmade disasters to ethical dilemmas—and showcase innovative ideas and best practices from both within and outside the seaport industry to manage “communicating under stress.” 

An interactive crisis planning session at the end of the first day, and a half-day crisis communications tabletop drill on the second day, are also featured components of this workshop.

“In today’s world where the news cycle is nonstop and transparent communications are expected, especially in the public sector, it’s vital that public affairs and government relations professionals have the skills to communicate effectively under pressure,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA president and CEO. “Because port authorities operate in the public trust and their operations are crucial to their region’s and nation’s economy, port communicators must be able to respond proficiently and quickly to issues that could potentially impact their organization’s employees, customers, physical assets or reputation.  When an organization’s communications falter, so does the public’s faith in that organization.”

Among the featured speakers at this year’s Public and Government Relations Workshop, hosted by the Port of Los Angeles, are (in alphabetical order):

  • Arley Baker, Senior Director, Communications, Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Sheri Benninghoven, APR, Principal, SAE Communications, Santa Barbara, Calif.
  • Jim Cobb, Director of Government Affairs, New York Shipping Association, Edison, NJ
  • Marko Dekovic, Manager, Government Affairs & Strategic Communications, Port Metro Vancouver, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Beverly Fedorko, Director of External Affairs, New York Shipping Association, Edison, NJ
  • Linda Grimes, CEO/Owner, Eighteenth Street Marketing, San Pedro, Calif.
  • Larry Kamer, Principal, Kamer Consulting Group, Oakland, Calif.
  • Barbara Joy-Kinsella, Media Relations, Port Metro Vancouver, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Isaac Kos-Read, Director of External Affairs, Port of Oakland, Oakland, Calif.
  • Dallas Lawrence, Chief Global Digital Strategist, Burson-Marsteller, Santa Monica, Calif.
  • Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., Executive Director, Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Marilyn Sandifur, Port Spokesperson, Port of Oakland, Oakland, Calif.
  • Paula Small, Manager, Public Relations, Saint John Port Authority, Saint John, NB, Canada
  • RADM Timothy Sullivan, U.S. Coast Guard (retired, and Project Manager, Amergent Techs LLC, Long Beach, Calif.
  • Scott Summerfield, Principal, SAE Communications, Santa Barbara, Calif.
  • Joshua Thomas, Media Relations Manager, Marine & Industrial Development, Port of Portland, Portland, Ore.
  • Bret VandenBos, Social Media Director, Office of Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Capt. Frank Whipple, Principal, Amergent Techs LLC, Long Beach, Calif.
WHO: Sponsored by the American Association of Port Authorities and hosted by the Port of Los Angeles
WHAT: Workshop exploring communications for various types of crises — from natural and manmade disasters to ethical dilemmas — and showcasing innovative ideas and “best practices” from both within and outside the seaport industry.
WHEN: Feb. 21-22, 2013 (Day 1, 8:15 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.; Day 2, 8:30 a.m. - noon)
WHERE: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel San Pedro, 2800 Via Cabrillo Marina, San Pedro, CA 90731 
INFO:  More information about AAPA’s 2013 Public & Government Relations Workshop is available at www.aapa-ports.org (click on the “Programs & Events” tab) or by calling AAPA’s Ed O’Connell at (703) 684-5700. 
MEDIA: Credentialed media wishing to cover the business sessions of this event are asked to call or email AAPA’s Aaron Ellis (tel: 703-706-4714 / email: aellis@aapa-ports.org) in advance to obtain a media badge. 

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