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News Release
FOR RELEASE - December 9, 2016
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,
(703) 765-3232

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

AAPA Installs Five New Technical Committee Leaders

Technical committees serve as port association’s “backbone”

At its annual convention in late October, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)— the recognized and coordinated voice of seaports in the Americas—installed five new chairpersons to lead their respective technical committee.

Considered the “backbone” of the association, AAPA has 12 technical committees which represent nearly every aspect of port activity, from environment and finance, to economic development and port operations, to security and public relations. These committees help the association set policy, develop new programs and serve as a valuable resource to AAPA members. 

Because the length of a technical committee’s chairman term may be more than one year, not all of AAPA’s committees experienced a leadership change for 2017. Below are this year’s new leaders:

Cruise Committee
Brandy Christian
, chief operating officer and incoming president and chief executive officer for the Port of New Orleans, is now chair of AAPA’s Cruise Committee, which assists ports to attract, develop and maximize the benefits of their cruise operations. Ms. Christian’s experience includes leadership roles with the Port of San Diego and serving as a quality management consultant with KPMG Consulting. As the Port of New Orleans’ president and chief operating officer, she will be the first female CEO in its 120-year history.

Finance Committee
Andrew Palomares,
chief finance and administrative officer for the Port of Hueneme/Oxnard Harbor District for the past nine years, is now chair of AAPA’s Finance Committee, which addresses port administration, financing and accounting practices and procedures, including sources of funds, investment of funds, tax matters, risk management standardization of billing practices, collection of charges and other accounting procedures. Mr. Palomeres, who graduated with an MBA from Pepperdine University, was originally hired by the port in 2007 to serve as its treasurer and director of finance and administration.

Harbors and Navigation Committee
Ryan McFarland, federal government relations manager for the Port of Seattle, is now chair of AAPA's Harbors and Navigation Committee, which addresses waterside maritime infrastructure issues for the safe, sustainable and efficient movement of freight to and from the global marketplace.  This committee also provides guidance on legislation, policy and process level issues of studies, regulatory actions, construction, operation and maintenance of navigation channels, including dredging, dredged material placement and technology developments. Before joining the Port of Seattle in 2006, Mr. McFarland, who speaks Mandarin Chinese, worked in the export promotion division of the Washington State Department of Commerce and served at The Eisenhower Institute in Washington, D.C., as manager of the Institute’s Future of Space project.

Maritime Economic Development Committee
Edward Anthes-Washburn
, executive director for the Port of New Bedford in New Bedford, Mass., is now chair of AAPA’s Maritime Economic Development Committee, which focuses on the role of ports as catalysts for maritime economic development in their communities. Having served as the Port of New Bedford’s deputy port director and director of operations for five years, Mr. Washburn was promoted to executive director in July 2015, where he also directs the operations and policies of the Harbor Development Commission, the governing body for the Port of New Bedford.

Public Relations Committee
Judith Adams
, vice president of marketing for the Alabama State Port Authority at Mobile, is now chair of AAPA’s PR Committee, which develops programs and activities that enhance public appreciation of what ports do, and increases public understanding of ports' contributions to their local and regional economy and to quality of life. Ms. Adams is responsible for her port’s public and community affairs, real estate and fixed assets, economic development and government relations. In addition, she serves on the boards of directors for the National Waterways Conference, and Partners for Environmental Progress.

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About AAPA
Founded in 1912, AAPA today represents 140 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 250 sustaining and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports. According to IHS World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2014 totaled 3.48 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.75 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.68 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.36 trillion, while North American ports handled 1.79 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.39 trillion. To meet the growing demand for trade, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable.  For more information, visit On Twitter:

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