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News Release
FOR RELEASE - September 13, 2007
Contact: Aaron Ellis,

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

Hemispheric Ports Association to Hold its 96th Annual Convention in Norfolk, Sept. 30 – Oct. 4

Panama’s President Torrijos To Accept AAPA’s ‘Port Person of Year’ Award

Hundreds of seaport and maritime transportation leaders, industry experts and service providers from throughout the Western Hemisphere will converge on the Norfolk Marriott Waterfront Hotel, in Norfolk, Va., at the end of September to participate in the American Association of Port Authorities' (AAPA) 96th Annual Convention.  Among the meeting participants will be Panamanian President Martín Torrijos (click for biography), who will accept AAPA's prestigious "Port Person of the Year" award at a special luncheon in his honor on Oct. 2.

Hosted by the Virginia Port Authority, the five-day maritime industry gathering (Sept. 30 - Oct. 4) will feature a multi-faceted agenda of issue-defining presentations, panel discussions, interactive sessions, networking events and a robust exhibition of service and product providers to the port industry.  After accepting his "Port Person" award at the Oct. 2 luncheon, Pres. Torrijos will give the convention's keynote address, focusing on the $5.25 billion Panama Canal expansion project that began this month, which will more than double ship capacity through the 93-year-old canal.

Kurt Nagle, AAPA's president and CEO, remarked that this year's convention theme, "Discovering New Worlds," ( is especially appropriate because this is the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown, a short distance from Norfolk.  "In addition to engaging in business sessions and networking opportunities in the midst of Hampton Roads, one of today's major ports, convention attendees will visit America's historic trading port at Jamestown," said Mr. Nagle.  "We believe that, through these activities, participants will gain an enhanced historic and present-day perspective of the importance and value that seaports provide.  With this perspective, they may be better able to discuss with their community's residents, civic leaders and policymakers the critical role that ports play in the economy and the quality of our lives."

During a luncheon event on Thursday, Oct. 4, AAPA and the Association of Canadian Port Authorities will formally sign a Memorandum of Understanding to pursue cooperative projects of mutual interest.  Cooperative projects could include exchanging information on ways to construct better, more efficient and secure port facilities; cooperating with government agencies and private initiatives on programs, projects and activities for facility and human capital development; improving port security and industrial safety; and securing necessary funding for implementation of environmental programs and infrastructure.

Among the convention's business sessions will be a Tuesday morning program titled, "The World Economy and the Shift of Manufacturing," featuring Ted Fishman of China, Inc., best-selling author of How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World, discussing the phenomenal growth in outsourcing that has driven manufacturing to locate in China and other Pacific Rim nations.  The following morning, Virginia Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer-together with a panel representing major retailers, railroads and trucking firms-will detail growth impacts of the maritime shipping industry and its effects on goods movement in this hemisphere.  After a short break, a group of port authority leaders led by Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., will discuss the environmental challenges associated with cargo volume growth, with panelists presenting case studies on how their ports are addressing environmental issues related to port infrastructure development, both on land and in the navigable waterways.

Sandwiched between the two Wednesday morning business sessions, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., AAPA's Mr. Nagle, together with AAPA's Chairman of the Board, U.S. Delegation Chairman and Chairman of the Board-Elect [Fraser River (B.C.) Port Authority President and CEO Capt. Allen O. Domaas, PPM®, Toledo-Lucas County Seaport Director Warren McCrimmon and Port of Longview (Wash.) Executive Director Ken O'Hollaren, respectively] will hold a media briefing at the Norfolk Marriott Waterfront Hotel.  The briefing will outline the key challenges facing today's port industry (freight mobility, port security and environmental protection) and what is being done to resolve those challenges.

On Thursday morning, participants will be invited to participate in a lively discussion about port sustainability, featuring a report from the AAPA Sustainability Task Force, as well as presentations on how to balance and address the elements of port sustainability, ranging from environmental, economic and social responsibility, to facets of operational efficiency and security.  AAPA board chairman Capt. Domaas will moderate the session, with presentations from Port of Houston Authority Environmental Affairs Manager Aston Hinds (the Sustainability Task Force's chair) and James Hunn, vice president of maritime policy and compliance for Carnival Corporation in Miami, representing the cruise industry.

The final business session on Thursday will feature a session titled, "Innovative Approaches to Port Challenges."  Moderated by AAPA Chairman of the Board-Elect O'Hollaren, panelists in the fields of communications, facilities engineering, environmental management and information technology will highlight "best practices" and lessons learned from each of their port's award-winning programs.

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