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News Release
FOR RELEASE - October 30, 2015
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,
)703) 684-5700

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

Awards And Diplomas To Be Featured At AAPA 2015 Annual Convention

Two PPM® graduates, 26 ports to be recognized at PortMiami-hosted event for outstanding work

During the three-day Annual Convention and Expo of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) – the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas – in Miami next week, two graduates in the association’s Professional Port Manager (PPM®) program will receive their advanced professional certifications for having completed the four-year course of port management study. Additionally, five ports will receive plaques for their successful entries into AAPA’s facilities engineering, information technology and environmental improvement award competitions, while 25 ports will be individually recognized for their winning entries in AAPA’s 2015 Communications Awards Program.

Receiving their PPM® “diplomas” during the convention luncheon on Nov. 3 are Michael A. Smith, port engineer for the Port of Pascagoula, in Pascagoula, Miss., and  Dr. Natacha J. Yacinthe, principal seaport planner at Port Everglades, in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Mr. Smith’s PPM®  thesis, titled “Overview of National and Local Navigational Water Resource Concerns,” focuses on national and regional navigation and dredging issues. Dr. Yacinthe’s PPM® thesis, titled “The Seaport Planning Activities of American Association of Port Authorities Seaports,” focuses on the characteristics of specialized seaport planning departments and the type of funding sources utilized to implement master and vision planning projects.

During the convention’s annual awards luncheon on Nov. 4, the Port of Tacoma will receive AAPA’s 2015 Facilities Engineering Awards plaque for the port’s $15.45 million project to upgrade its Pier 3 to initially accommodate four 100-foot-gauge container cranes that service a 24-container-wide vessel, known as an ultra-large container ship.

The winner of this year’s AAPA Information Technology Awards plaque is the Port of Long Beach for its design of a domain-awareness tool to provide a comprehensive, real-time picture of port operations, titled “Virtual Port.”

AAPA’s 2015 Environmental Improvement Awards program has winners in three divisions. In the Stakeholder Awareness, Education and Involvement division, the Port of New Orleans is receiving a plaque for its “Trash Free Waters Project” that is reducing litter and debris in and around the port. In the Comprehensive Environmental Management division, the Port of Tacoma is being awarded for its “General Central Peninsula Stormwater Improvements Project” to avoid recontamination of previously-remediated tideflats ecosystems and wildlife habitats by polluted stormwater runoff from its diverse properties, including rail yards, marine terminals, manufacturing and road networks. In the Environmental Enhancement division, Louisiana’s Port Fourchon is receiving a plaque for its “Beach and Dune Restoration Utilizing Geotubes” submission, which is a project to restore approximately a mile of fragile beach and headland ravaged by several tropical storms and hurricanes. In the same division, the Port of Long Beach is also a plaque winner with its “West Anaheim Street Improvement Project,” which provided major improvements in a gateway link from the I-710 corridor to the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

For AAPA’s 2015 Communications Awards Program, the Port of Los Angeles wins the top honor, which is the Dan Maynard Communications Award for Overall Excellence trophy for the port’s Special Events division entry, “Lunar New Year Festival.” The Belledune Port Authority, in Belledune, New Brunswick, Canada, wins the communications second-place Overall Award of Distinction trophy for its Website division entry, “Belledune…Unlimited!” The winner of the Overall Award of Merit communications third-place trophy is the Hamilton Port Authority, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, for its Promotional & Advocacy Materials division entry, titled “Port of Hamilton Infographic.”

While the above three ports are receiving communications trophies, a total of 25 ports, including these three, are receiving awards of excellence, distinction and/or merit in AAPA’s 2015 communications competition. The entire array of 2015 communications competition winners are displayed on the AAPA website.

AAPA’s three-day convention (Nov. 2-4) is being hosted by PortMiami, a major global logistics hub often cited as the “Cargo Gateway of the Americas.” PortMiami Port Director and CEO Juan M. Kuryla said: “PortMiami is honored to be the host of the 2015 AAPA convention. The convention offers delegates engaging seminars and workshops on challenging matters and opportunities facing our ports.”

More information about AAPA’s 104th Annual Convention and Expo, including its business program agenda, exhibitors and sponsors, is available at

WHO: American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) and PortMiami.

During its 104th Annual Convention and Expo, hosted by PortMiami, AAPA will hand out two PPM® certification “diplomas” during lunch on Nov. 3, and awards for outstanding achievements in communications, environmental improvement, facilities engineering and information technology during lunch on Nov. 4.


Nov. 2-4, 2015 (Nov. 2 to feature member-only meetings and is closed to media.)

WHERE: Intercontinental Miami Hotel, 100 Chopin Plaza, Miami, FL 33131
MEDIA: Professional journalists representing bona-fide media outlets may register for complimentary access to open business sessions (Nov. 3-4) by clicking here and registering as Media under “Registration Type.” A business card will be requested at registration for verification.

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