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News Release
FOR RELEASE - October 29, 2009
Contact: Aaron Ellis,

American Association of Port Authorities
Phone: (703) 684-5700

Seaports Association Installs 2009-2010 Officers; Massachusetts Port Director Named Board Chairman

Two Additional Port Executives Receive PPM® Certification

Massachusetts Port Authority Port Director Michael A. Leone was formally installed today as the American Association of Port Authorities' (AAPA) Chairman of the Board for 2009-2010.  Mr. Leone accepted his new chairmanship duties at the association's annual membership meeting in Galveston, during which the entire slate of 2009-2010 officers was inducted as part of AAPA's 98th Annual Convention (  

Also during the five-day ports gathering, two more port executives graduated from AAPA's Port Professional Manager (PPM®) program than were previously announced in AAPA's news release of Oct. 7 (

"Mike Leone is recognized by all as one of our industry leaders," stated AAPA President & CEO Kurt Nagle. "In these challenging times, it will be of great benefit to AAPA and the port industry throughout the Western Hemisphere to be able to draw upon Mike Leone's significant experience and solid leadership qualities as our chairman of the board for this upcoming year."

Mr. Leone-the first person to serve twice as AAPA's board chairman (2003-2004 and 2009-2010)-was appointed port director of Massachusetts Port Authority in 1998 after serving as counsel to the port authority's maritime department.  Prior to that, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 22 years in numerous positions, including regional counsel for all Coast Guard commands in the Northeast, and as a military judge.  He is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from George Washington University Law School.

In addition to his role as AAPA board chairman, Mr. Leone will serve as AAPA's U.S. Delegation chairman for 2009-2010.  Other U.S. Delegation officers include Chairman-Elect Armand J. (Pete) Reixach, who serves as executive port director for Port Freeport (Texas), and Vice Chairman Jerry Bridges, executive director for the Virginia Port Authority.

Representing AAPA's Canadian Delegation, Halifax Port Authority President and Chief Executive Officer Karen Oldfield will take over as the delegation's chairman for the 2009-2010 year, while Sean Hanrahan, president and chief executive officer of the St. John's Port Authority, Newfoundland, was named chairman-elect.

The new Caribbean Delegation chairman for the upcoming year is Errol Douglas, general manager and chief executive officer for St. Christopher Air & Sea Ports Authority, in Basseterre, St. Kitts.  V. Victor O'Neal, managing director of the British Virgin Islands Ports Authority, was named chairman-elect.

For AAPA's Latin American Delegation, Agustin Díaz, managing director of the Curaçao Ports Authority in Willemstad, Curaçao, will assume the role of delegation chairman, while Dr. Jorge Otharán, president of the Bahía Blanca Port Authority in Argentina, was named the delegation's 2009-2010 chairman-elect. The delegation's new vice chairman is Licda. Gicela de Kinkead, sub-director of Ancillary Maritime Industries, Maritime Authority of Panama.

During an Oct. 28 awards luncheon at the AAPA annual convention, Port of Houston Authority Human Resources Manager Melanie Sherman and Port of San Diego Maritime Trade Development Manager Joel Valenzuela became the 64th and 65th port executives, respectively, to graduate from AAPA's 14-year-old North American PPM® program.  Ms. Sherman's PPM® thesis paper is titled, Investing in Our Future: The Port of Houston Authority and the Houston Independent School District Maritime Academy.  Mr. Valenzuela's thesis paper is titled, A Case Study: Port of Sand Diego and Proposition B - Preserving Port Cargo Facilities in the Face of Pressures for Alternative Commercial/Recreational Uses.

Eighty-one candidates are currently enrolled in AAPA's North American PPM® program while a similar number are enrolled in AAPA's Latin American PPM® program.

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