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News Release
FOR RELEASE - October 29, 2014
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,

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

AAPA’s Nov. 12 PPM® Event in Houston To Mark 20th Year of Program

PPM® program also realizes milestone of 100 graduates

Nine new Professional Port Manager (PPM®) program graduates and one Latin PPM® program graduate will receive their graduation certificates on Nov. 12 in a luncheon ceremony at the American Association of Port Authorities’ (AAPA) 103rd Annual Convention in Houston, hosted by the Port of Houston Authority.

The 10 PPM® graduates in Houston will bring to 100 the number of candidates who have fulfilled the rigorous requirements of this unique, 20-year-old port professional certification endeavor.

PPM® participants must hold professional management positions at port authorities and other maritime-related entities, complete a prescribed curriculum of seminars, and participate in an AAPA Standing Committee. They must also complete a two-week residency at AAPA headquarters or a port other than their own, or submit a research paper that contributes substantially to the body of knowledge concerning public port management, subject in each case to approval by AAPA’s Curriculum Committee.

Inaugurated in 1995 as a way to further the association’s goals to enhance port management professionalism and promote professional standards in public port management, the changes implemented four years ago for the 2014 PPM® graduates include more rigorous criteria for admittance and completion requirements.

For starters, individuals are now accepted as members of a class, and they must complete all requirements within four years, as opposed to eight years previously. Another purpose behind the curriculum enhancements was to give candidates greater opportunities to interact with senior port executives. For that reason, they must be active on one of AAPA’s 14 committees.

“This new graduating class will be more ready than ever to serve and lead the maritime community,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA president and CEO.

“The final papers we’ve received from the 2014 graduating class are very high quality – something you’d expect from graduate students,” said Rex Sherman, AAPA’s director of research and information services and administrator of the PPM® program. “We really have a very talented group.”

AAPA’s Latin PPM® program To Graduate One

In addition to those graduating in AAPA’s original PPM® program on Nov. 12, one candidate will receive his graduation certificate in the association’s Latin PPM® program.  

The Latin PPM® program was created in 2005, due in part to changes that were taking place in the port and maritime sectors and transportation systems, as well as challenges that arose in the logistics chain as a result of the globalization of international trade in the 1980s and 1990s.

Unlike the original PPM® program offered in English, the Latin PPM® program is offered in Spanish and Portuguese and designed to address the challenges affecting ports in Latin America.

“Latin American port professionals desired training focused on developing new skills, tools and overall knowledge on a series of topics, including strategic planning, marketing, and investment and finance, in order to face the new challenges of sector growth and continuous change,” said Mr. Sherman.

In order to create a program capable of addressing the needs of Latin American port managers, AAPA’s Latin American Delegation and TRAINMAR AMÉRICAS conducted a thorough analysis of the sector, ultimately designing courses that address their specific requirements.

Since its inception, more than 85 port leaders have participated from Latin American countries including Colombia, Peru, Argentina, El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala and Ecuador. Candidates from Uruguay and Costa Rica are in the process of enrolling. Eighteen participants have completed the entire program, graduating and earning the Latin PPM® certification, while four are in the last stage of the program and finalizing their theses.

Those receiving their PPM® and Latin PPM® certification on Nov. 12, in alphabetical order, are: 

J. David Anderton II, Assistant Director, Strategic Planning and Development for Port Everglades (Florida), whose paper is titled, Improving Airport Seaport Connectivity: A Case Study of Port Everglades and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Michael Bragale, Director for Latin America and Caribbean Affairs for TASC Inc. (Chantilly, Va.), whose paper is titled, Port Residency Essay: A Case Study of the Tampa Port Authority.

Donald J. Brinkman, Jr., Director of Engineering, Maintenance & Development for the Lake Charles Harbor & Terminal District (Louisiana), whose paper is titled, Port Professional Manager Residency at the Port of Corpus Christi Authority.

Paula Copeland, Manager of Corporate Communications & Governance for Port Saint John (New Brunswick), whose paper is titled, An Inclusive Approach to Port Management: Stakeholder Engagement in Practice at Port Saint John.

Noel Hacegaba, Managing Director of Commercial Operations and Chief Commercial Officer for the Port of Long Beach (California), whose paper is titled, Big Ships, Big Challenges: The Impact of Mega Container Vessels on U.S. Port Authorities.

Larry A. Kelley, Jr., Deputy Port Director for the Port of Port Arthur (Texas), whose paper is titled, Valuation of Public Ports: Communities Context and Public Policy Perspective.

Neil Kutchera, Special Projects Coordinator and Petroleum Specialist for Port Everglades (Florida), whose paper is titled, A Mobile Cruise Guide Application: Report on PPM® Residency at the Port of San Diego.

Catherine McGrail, Cruise Development and Corporate Affairs Director for the Halifax Port Authority (Nova Scotia), whose paper is titled, Cruise Growth Strategy & Shore Power Technology.

Marcos Nicocia, Administrador, Administración Portuaria Puerto Madryn (Argentina), whose paper is titled, Plan de Negocios para el Desarrollo de la Terminal Intermodal y Logística Madryn.

Michael Vanderbeek, Deputy Port Director, Sales and Marketing for the Massachusetts Port Authority (Boston), whose paper is titled, Report on Residency at the Ports of Ningbo and Qingdao, China. 

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