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News Release
FOR RELEASE - October 17, 2005
Contact: Aaron Ellis,

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

American Association of Port Authorities to Kick Off 94th Annual Convention Next Week

TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 17, 2005) –  Hosted by the Tampa Port Authority, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) – the organization representing public ports throughout the Western Hemisphere – on Oct. 25 will officially open the business program for its 94th Annual Convention. 

The program features maritime industry experts interacting on “hot button” topics such as utilization of scarce waterfront property and dealing with transportation bottlenecks. Educational sessions will range from international protocol and negotiation skills lessons to a timely panel of port directors discussing their ports’ hurricane preparation and recovery efforts. Also featured will be a convention hall loaded with information, exhibits and entertainment.

Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and CEO, remarked that this year’s theme, “Treasure Tampa,” (see is ideal because the setting is accessible and inviting, which encourages attendance and relationship-building.  “Our hosts, the Tampa Port Authority, have gone out of their way to make this a rewarding experience for the more than 500 participants who will attend this year’s convention,” said Nagle. “Together, we have developed an exciting and interactive business program to allow AAPA members to hear from industry experts and have the opportunity to interact with them face-to-face.” 

Among the programs slated for three days of the convention’s business sessions (Oct. 25-27) will be a Tuesday luncheon featuring Charlotte, NC-based Michael Gallis–widely considered the country's leading expert in metropolitan and regional development strategies—who will address the need for public policymakers to better recognize the critical role ports play in a region’s  and nation’s global competitiveness.

On Wednesday, participants will have an opportunity to hear Dr. Edward Caprielian, an acclaimed management consultant and negotiating specialist from Manhattan Beach, Calif., discuss ways to strengthen an individual’s negotiating techniques, such as those used in many aspects of port management and development. 

The final business session on Thursday will feature outgoing AAPA Chairman Gary LaGrange, who is also president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans, addressing the challenges and achievements that AAPA and the maritime industry have faced during his year as the association’s leader. Later Thursday afternoon, AAPA will formally install its new chairman for 2006, along with its new board of directors. The 94th Annual Convention will conclude Thursday evening with a dinner honoring Chairman LaGrange, to be held at the Tampa Marriott Waterfront Hotel.

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