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News Release
FOR RELEASE - December 22, 2017
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,
(703) 684-5700

American Association of Port Authorities
Phone: (703) 684-5700

AAPA Research Director To Retire After Nearly Four Decades of Service

Ports association restructures, promoting three from within

After 38 years of service to the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) – the unified and collective voice of seaports in the Americas - Director of Research and Information Services Rexford Sherman, Ph.D., will retire at the end of this month.

Dr. Sherman joined AAPA in 1979 and has been responsible for research, writing and editing of technical reports, surveys and publications-- most notably AAPA’s weekly newsletter, the Advisory. In addition, he has served as one of AAPA’s facilitators for Latin American ports and has managed the AAPA Professional Port Manager Program (PPM®).

“Rex has been a long-time friend and supporter of ports, and an invaluable source of port-related data, information and statistics to AAPA and its members throughout the hemisphere,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA president and CEO. “He has a passion for the seaport industry and has dedicated his career to serving the membership of this association.”

As Dr. Sherman retires, the association is realigning its internal structure as part of its succession plan and to advance its strategic plan priorities. To that end, AAPA has created two new positions - Chief Engagement Officer and Chief External Affairs Officer – to be effective in January and staffed by promoting existing personnel.

AAPA designed these two new positions to meet its strategic goals, be responsive to the evolving needs of its membership, and to absorb some of Dr. Sherman’s responsibilities.

“We’re pleased to announce that Meredith Martino, AAPA’s Director of Publications, Digital Media and Technology, will be promoted to Chief Engagement Officer,” said Mr. Nagle.  “Ms. Martino’s primary responsibility will be to ensure that member engagement is a strategic way for the association to conduct its business, including providing relevant content for association members, coordinating content delivery across multiple platforms, setting engagement goals and measuring progress.”

In addition, said Mr. Nagle, AAPA Senior Communications and Marketing Specialist Mary Beth Long will be promoted to Chief External Affairs officer. “In her new position, Ms. Long will be charged with increasing AAPA’s outreach and external communications, developing campaigns around critical issues, using communications tools to support engagement efforts and working with AAPA’s Curriculum Committee to enhance professional development certification programs to meet the needs of our members.”

The succession plan also includes AAPA’s Director of Freight and Surface Transportation Policy, John Young, formally assuming AAPA staff liaison responsibilities for AAPA’s Security and Defense committees.

A third promotion is to elevate AAPA Membership and Latin American Specialist Tom Hranac to Assistant Director of Membership Services and Latin American Facilitator. In this expanded role, Mr. Hranac will assume increased responsibilities in AAPA’ Membership Services area, including its large and growing Latin American port membership.

To further support AAPA’s mission, the association recently hired two new staff members. Johonna Nuby, previously an associate with Physician Assistant Education Association in Washington, D.C., joined AAPA at the end of October as Manager of Operations & Administration. In November, AAPA hired Andrew Cameron, formerly an account coordinator with Potomac Management Resources in Alexandria, Va., to staff AAPA’s new Communications and Membership Assistant position.

“Consistent with AAPA’s strategic goals, these changes will enhance our service to the port industry and our many members, now and into the future,” said Mr. Nagle.

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 Inc. - World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2015 totaled 3.45 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.36 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.69 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.15 trillion, while North American ports handled 1.76 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.21 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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