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News Release
FOR RELEASE - March 16, 2010
Contact: Aaron Ellis,

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

AAPA Selects U.S. Coast Guard Commandant as 2010 'U.S. Port Person of the Year'

Adm. Thad Allen and Other Top Dignitaries, Including Cong. James Oberstar, to Speak at March 23 Event

Admiral Thad W. Allen, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, will be honored as the American Association of Port Authorities' (AAPA) "U.S. Port Person of the Year" at the association's annual Spring Conference event on March 23 in Washington, D.C.'s historic Willard Inter-Continental Hotel.  AAPA - a trade association comprising the leading port authorities in the Western Hemisphere - selected Adm. Allen to receive its most prestigious annual award based on his work to ensure a safe, efficient maritime transportation system and prevent disruptions to the flow of commerce.

"Admiral Allen recognizes that response, recovery, resumption of trade and resiliency are perhaps more important than prevention," said Mike Leone, AAPA's 2009-10 board chairman and port director of the Massachusetts Port Authority, "and he has spearheaded programs and initiatives that support this concept, including the development of a Marine Transportation System recovery plan and a communications plan for recovery in cooperation with Customs and Border Protection."

Mr. Leone, who nominated the Commandant for the award, added that Adm. Allen " cognizant of the trends in the maritime industry and always thinking ‘beyond the horizon' to ensure that the USCG responds to those trends."

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. Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), 2009; U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), 2008; Panamanian President Martin Torrijos, 2007; U.S. Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-ME), 2006; U.S. Transporta­tion Sec. Norman Mineta, 2005; U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), 2004; U.S. Rep. James 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.

Other top dignitaries speaking at this year's AAPA Spring Conference include:

  • U.S. Rep. James Oberstar, chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, who will serve as the event's Washington People Luncheon speaker to discuss pending surface transportation authorization legislation in Congress;
  • Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer, who will address North American competitiveness in the global market;
  • Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works, who will talk about navigation challenges and administration priorities for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;
  • Larry L. "Butch" Brown, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation and 2010 president of the American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials, who will speak on the role of transportation infrastructure investment in economic recovery; and,
  • Todd Owen, executive director of Cargo & Conveyance Security for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, who will speak about the challenges of implementing the Secure Freight Initiative, which includes a mandate to scan all U.S.-bound ocean shipping containers loaded at overseas ports by 2012.

AAPA anticipates more than 250 legislators, governmental staff mem­bers and port industry leaders will take part in the two-day conference, which runs Monday and Tuesday, March 22-23.

WHO:   U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad W. Allen, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard 
WHAT: Receiving AAPA's 2010 "U.S. Port Person of the Year" award 
WHEN: Tuesday, March 23, 8:30 - 9:00 a.m., preceding presentations by other top transportation officials throughout the day 
WHERE: Willard Inter-Continental Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.
MEDIA: Credentialed journalists interested in covering this event for media purposes are asked to contact Aaron Ellis,, to obtain a media pass. 

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