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News Release
FOR RELEASE - May 2, 2018
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,
(703) 684-5700

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

Ports Meeting in Norfolk, VA, to Focus on Developing, Funding Infrastructure Projects

USDOT officials to discuss tapping into the billions in available grant funds

Officials representing U.S. Department of Transportation grant programs, industrial land development specialists, economists, planning experts and port authority executives from throughout the Western Hemisphere will assemble in Norfolk, Va., May 8-9, to participate in the 2018 Capital Projects Seminar, hosted by the Virginia Port Authority and presented by the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) – the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas.

Among the conference highlights will be a luncheon on May 9, led by AAPA Surface Transportation Policy and Legislation Director John Young, and featuring panelists Robert Mariner, USDOT’s deputy director of the Office of Infrastructure Finance and Innovation, and Scott Davies, USDOT’s Maritime Administration director for the Office of Ports and Waterways Planning. Their presentation will focus on how ports can tap into billions of dollars in new money available for federal Department of Transportation infrastructure grants such as BUILD, INFRA and marine highways.

To assist ports and other government entities in developing innovative agreements with private-sector partners to help leverage existing dollars and federal grant funds, a team from Nossaman, LLP, led by Brian Papernik, will take seminar participants through an exercise to explore various issues and topics that arise when using public-private partnerships to deliver infrastructure projects.

In a session titled Balancing Land-Use Conflicts and Solutions, McLaren Engineering Group engineer Catherine Hale will lead a panel showcasing examples of infrastructure projects which faced significant land-use obstacles before pioneering solutions were used to get them back on track. Panelists include Canaveral Port Authority Real Estate Director Scott Shepard, Port of New Bedford Executive Director Ed Anthes-Washburn and Dewberry’s Southeast Regional director for its Ports and Intermodal division, Heather Wood.

In a discussion on turning environmental projects into business opportunities for their ports, Aegir Port Property Advisers Managing Director Franc Pigna will lead a panel titled Generating Environmental Currency – Turning Eco-Projects Into New Lines of Business. Panelists include Nick LaPointe, planning and capital development director for the Port of Cleveland, and Matt Arms, assistant director of environmental planning for the Port of Long Beach.

“This seminar promises to be extraordinary, with key business, port and government officials, along with top subject matter experts, delving into port project development and funding issues that are both challenging and making headline news in their respective communities.  We’re particularly pleased to have two representatives of the U.S. Department of Transportation join us to help port executives develop robust federal grant applications to take advantage of all the new money Congress provided in the recent omnibus appropriations bill,” said AAPA Executive Vice President and General Counsel Jean Godwin.

For more information about AAPA’s 2018 Capital Projects Seminar agenda and speakers, click here.

WHO: Presented by American Association of Port Authorities, hosted by the Virginia Port Authority, and sponsored by Dewberry and WSP.
WHAT: AAPA’s 2018 Capital Projects Seminar event

Tuesday and Wednesday, May 8-9, 2018


Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel, 777 Waterside Drive, Norfolk, VA

MEDIA: Professional journalists representing bona-fide media outlets may register for complimentary access to the seminar by emailing Aaron Ellis at or phoning (703) 254-7098 and requesting a media badge.

About AAPA
Founded in 1912 and recognized as the unified voice of seaports in the Americas, 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 Markit’s World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2016 totaled 3.49 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.01 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.71 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$941 billion, while North American ports handled 1.79 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.07 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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