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News Release
FOR RELEASE - March 17, 2006
Contact: Aaron Ellis, aellis@aapa-ports.org
(703) 706-4714

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

AAPA Selects U.S. Senator Susan Collins As Its 2006 ‘Port Person Of The Year’

Sen. Collins to Discuss Port Security at Port Association’s

ALEXANDRIA, VA  (March 17, 2006) — U.S. Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-ME) will be honored as the American Association of Port Authorities’ (AAPA) “Port Person of the Year” at the port association’s annual Washington People’s Luncheon event on Tuesday, March 21.  AAPA—the leading trade organization representing public ports in the Western Hemisphere—selected Sen. Collins to receive its most prestigious annual award based on her strong advocacy in Congress for increasing cargo and facility security at America’s seaports.

In addition to receiving the “Port Person” award, Sen. Collins will serve as the luncheon’s keynote speaker.  As part of her remarks, she is expected to discuss port security and her work as chair of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, which presides over the Department of Homeland Security and works closely with other Senate committees that deal with entities such as the U.S. Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection. 

Introducing Sen. Collins will be South Carolina State Ports Authority President Bernard Groseclose, who is AAPA’s 2006 Chairman of the Board and the one who nominated Sen. Collins for the prestigious “Port Person” award.  Mr. Groseclose stated in his nomination that Sen. Collins’ priorities include “maintaining a strong national defense and strengthening our homeland security.”  His nomination also included accolades for Sen. Collins’ support of the commercial fishing industry in her home state, the many honors bestowed upon her from organizations ranging from the American Diabetes Association to the National School Boards Association, and her being listed in the January 2006 edition of “O” Magazine as one of only six U.S. women who poll respondents said could be a viable candidate for President in 2008. 

Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and chief executive officer, said the port association’s Executive Committee also took into account Sen. Collins’ work with Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) on the bipartisan “GreenLane Maritime Cargo Security Act,” which the two introduced last November in the Senate. “This is a groundbreaking piece of legislation that will improve the security of the millions of passengers and more than 2.5 billion tons of freight that pass through our seaports each year, not to mention enhancing the security of folks who live and work in proximity to the ports,” said Nagle.

Each year, AAPA presents its “Port Person of the Year” award to an individual who has made significant contributions to the port industry.  Recent award recipients include: U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, 2005; Sen. Murray, 2004; Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-MN), 2003; U.S. Trade Rep. Robert B. Zoellick, 2002; U.S. Sen. John Breaux (D-LA), 2001; and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), 2000.

The Washington People’s Luncheon is the capstone event for AAPA’s annual Spring Conference, which this year is being held in the Willard Inter-Continental Hotel, in downtown Washington, D.C.  AAPA anticipates that more than 200 legislators, governmental staff members and port industry leaders will take part in the Spring Conference, which runs March 20-21. 

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