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News Release
FOR RELEASE - January 7, 2014
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,

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

AAPA 2014 Maritime Economic Development Workshop To Address Infrastructure Development Challenges & Results Measurement

Ports conference in San Diego to include “facilitated dialogue” problem-solving session

Among the key topics on the minds of Western Hemisphere port development, marketing and logistics executives is how to implement and fund transportation infrastructure projects for the growing volumes of goods, both imports and exports, as well as cruise ship passengers, that are flowing through their facilities as world economic conditions improve.

To address these and related questions, the American Association of Port Authorities’ (AAPA) 2014 Maritime Economic Development Workshop, Feb. 20-21 in San Diego, will feature a host of business and logistics experts, shipping company executives, infrastructure development case studies and a unique three-hour “facilitated dialogue” session to bring the collective knowledge of the entire audience to bear in solving some of the port industry’s toughest economic challenges.

“Seaports in the Americas are investing billions of dollars to improve their infrastructure, expand their services, enhance their cargo- and passenger-handling capabilities, create jobs and assist businesses looking to tap into the increasing global demand for both raw materials and domestically-manufactured products,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and CEO. “In order to effectively compete, seaports must deal with issues ranging from finding investment partners and passing effective freight policy legislation at the federal level, to convincing their local and regional stakeholders the investments they are proposing are necessary and worthwhile.”

He added, “Similar to Canada, the Caribbean islands and many Latin American countries, the U.S. needs to invest significantly in its port facilities if it wants to compete as a maritime nation. Focusing on port infrastructure as a separate aspect of international trade obscures the dependence of seaports on a robust domestic surface transportation system.”

As the Maritime Economic Development Workshop’s host, the Unified Port of San Diego will be prominently featured with presentations by port executives, city leaders and representatives of businesses that utilize and benefit from its many facilities. “The Port of San Diego is thrilled to host this important conference of economic development professionals,” said Wayne Darbeau, president and CEO of the Port of San Diego. “Like our sister ports in AAPA, the Port of San Diego is a key player in the economic diversity of our region, with our maritime, industrial and tourism businesses supporting a total of 57,000 jobs.”

Confirmed workshop speakers include (in alpha order):

  • Lauren Kotas Brand, Director - Office of Marine Highways & Passenger Services, U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Maritime Administration, Washington, DC

  • Mark Cafferty, President/CEO, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., San Diego, CA

  • Tina Casgar, Goods Movement Policy Manager, SANDAG, San Diego, CA

  • Ernesto Chaves, Transportation Planning Manager, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Los Angeles, CA

  • Brandy D. Christian, Vice President – Strategy & Business Development, Unified Port of San Diego

  • Kristin Decas, Executive Director, Port of Hueneme (CA)

  • Marlee Ehrenfeld, President & Creative Director. MJE Marketing Services Inc., San Diego, CA

  • Stan Gabara, Executive Vice President-Automotive, Pasha Group, National City, CA

  • Gary Gallegos, Executive Director, San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), San Diego, CA

  • Marek Gootman, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Brookings Institution, Washington, DC

  • Emma Griffith, Director, Fitch Ratings, New York, NY

  • Javier Gutierrez, U.S. General Manager, Camposol Fresh USA, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

  • Dr. J. Lee Hutchins, Jr., PE, AICP, Director, Freight Logistics & Planning, AECOM Transportation, Chicago, IL

  • Stuart Jablon, Vice President of Operations, Dole Fresh Fruit Company, Wilmington, DE

  • The Honorable Mark Kersey, District 5 Councilmember, San Diego City Council, San Diego, CA

  • Jim MacLellan, Director of Trade Development, Port of Los Angeles

  • Kurt Nagle, President/CEO, American Association of Port Authorities, Alexandria, VA

  • Bob Nelson, Chairman, Board of Port Commissioners, Unified Port of San Diego

  • The Honorable Scott Peters, Member, U.S. House of Reprsentatives, California District 52, San Diego, CA

  • Ron Popham, Principal - Trade Development, Unified Port of San Diego

  • Mark Richards, Principal, Associated Warehouses Inc., Orange, CA

  • Richard D. Steinke, Ports Practice Leader, Moffatt & Nichol, Long Beach, CA

  • Carlos Torres De Navarra, Vice President, Commercial Port Operations, Carnival Corporation & PLC, Miami, FL

  • Joel Valenzuela, Director of Maritime Operations, Unified Port of San Diego

  • Karen J. Weymann, Director of Real Estate, Unified Port of San Diego

WHO: Sponsored by the American Association of Port Authorities and hosted by the Unified Port of San Diego
WHAT: Workshop examining port-related economic development programs, analyzing solutions to development/funding challenges and quantifying results.
WHEN: Feb. 20-21, 2014 (Day 1, 8:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m.; Day 2, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 noon)
WHERE: Hilton San Diego Bayfront, 1 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101
INFO: More information about AAPA’s 2014 Maritime Economic Development Workshop is available at (click on the “Programs & Events” tab) or by calling AAPA’s Ed O’Connell at (703) 684-5700.
MEDIA: Credentialed media wishing to cover the business sessions of this event are asked to call or email AAPA’s Aaron Ellis (tel: 703-706-4714 / email: in advance to obtain a media badge.

About the Unified Port of San Diego
The Port of San Diego is the fourth largest of the 11 ports in California. It was created by the state legislature in 1962. Since then, it has invested millions of dollars in public improvements in its five member cities – Chula VistaCoronado, Imperial BeachNational City and San Diego. The port oversees two maritime cargo terminals, two cruise ship terminals, 20 public parks, the Harbor Police Department and the leases of more than 600 tenant and sub tenant businesses around San Diego Bay. The Port of San Diego is an economic engine, an environmental steward of San Diego Bay and the surrounding tidelands, and a provider of community services and public safety.


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