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News Release
FOR RELEASE - September 29, 2008
Contact: Aaron Ellis,

American Association of Port Authorities
Phone: (202) 792-4033

Seaports Association Installs 2008-2009 Officers; Port Of Los Angeles Director Named Board Chairman

New Orleans Port President Receives PPM® Certification

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., was formally installed on Sept. 25 as the American Association of Port Authorities' (AAPA) Chairman of the Board for 2008-2009.  Dr. Knatz accepted her new chairmanship duties at a membership meeting in Anchorage, during which the entire slate of 2008-2009 officers was inducted as part of AAPA's 97th Annual Convention (

Also during the five-day convention (Sept. 21-25), AAPA presented Port of New Orleans President and CEO Gary LaGrange with his Port Professional Manager (PPM®) certification.

"Geraldine Knatz, in charge of America's largest volume containerport, was elected Chairman of the Board through a unanimous vote of AAPA's board of directors, representing port officials throughout the Western Hemisphere," said AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle.  "Dr. Knatz has the experience, leadership skills, dedication and industry respect to advance our association's mission of connecting port communities with the global marketplace, and we look forward to her chairmanship for the coming year."

In January 2006, Dr. Knatz became the first female executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, setting as her top priorities reduction of air emissions, elimination of health risks and expansion of capital development programs to accommodate the port's future growth as a premiere Pacific gateway and national economic engine.

Previously, she served as managing director of the neighboring Port of Long Beach, where she led a $2.3 billion capital improvement program and spearheaded a number of environmental initiatives, including development of the port authority's Green Port Policy. While her Port of Long Beach tenure spanned two decades, Dr. Knatz began her maritime career as an environmental scientist at the Port of Los Angeles in 1977. 

In addition to her role as AAPA board chairman, Dr. Knatz will serve as AAPA's U.S. Delegation chairman for 2008-2009.  Other U.S. Delegation officers include Chairman-Elect Michael A. Leone, who serves as port director for the Massachusetts Port Authority; and Vice Chair Armand J. (Pete) Reixach, the executive port director for Port Freeport, Texas.

Representing AAPA's Canadian Delegation, Québec Port Authority President and CEO Ross Gaudreault will continue on as the delegation's chairman for the 2008-2009 year, while Karen Oldfield, president and CEO of the Halifax (Nova Scotia) Port Authority, was named chairman-elect.

The new Caribbean Delegation chairman for the upcoming year is Orlando Forbes, port director for Freeport Harbour Co., in Freeport, Bahamas.  Errol Douglas, general manager and CEO for St. Christopher Air & Sea Ports Authority, in Basseterre, St. Kitts, was named chairman-elect, and Capt. Anthony J. Allens, port controller for Nassau Port Authority, Nassau, Bahamas, will serve as vice chairman.

For AAPA's Latin American Delegation, Armando Duarte, chairman of the Sociedad Portuaria de Santa Marta, in Santa Marta, Colombia, will continue in his role as delegation chairman, while CPNV Patricio Padilla, general director of Autoridad Portuaria de Manta, in Manta, Manabí, Ecuador, was named the delegation's 2008-2009 chairman-elect. The delegation's new vice chairman is Guillermo Morón, president of Consorcio Guaritico, Isla de Margarita, Venezuela.

At an awards luncheon during the AAPA convention, Port of New Orleans President and CEO Gary LaGrange was introduced as the association's newest PPM® graduate, making him the 61st candidate overall to earn this sought-after title since the certification program began in 1995.  Mr. LaGrange's PPM® thesis was titled "Lessons Learned from a Natural Disaster: A Case Study about the Port of New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina."

Eighty-one candidates are currently enrolled in AAPA's PPM® program.

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