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News Release
FOR RELEASE - March 12, 2008
Contact: Aaron Ellis,

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

AAPA’s Spring Conference Set For March 31-April 1 In D.C.

The American Association of Port Authorities' (AAPA) annual Spring Conference event, being held at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C., March 31 and April 1, will bring together hundreds of port industry executives, federal legislators, legislative staff members and trade and transportation leaders to share information on key industry issues and challenges.  In addition to discussions on international trade agreements, North American trade competitiveness and increasing the priority for goods movement in countries throughout the Western Hemisphere, the Association will honor Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) as its "Port Person of the Year" during its annual "Washington People" luncheon on April 1.

While the meetings on March 31 are closed to reporters, media are invited to cover the open forums and "Washington People" luncheon on April 1.  The April 1 agenda is as follows:

8:15 a.m. - Welcoming remarks by AAPA President/CEO Kurt Nagle and Port of Longview (Wash.) Executive Director Kenneth B. O'Hollaren (who also serves as AAPA's 2007-2008 Chairman of the Board), together with a "Graduation Ceremony" for ports that recently completed the second round of AAPA's Environmental Management System/Security Management System assistance project.

8:45 a.m. - Address by Deputy U.S. Trade Rep. John K. Verneau (Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Washington, D.C.) on the topic, "Trade Agreements in the Western Hemisphere."

9:15 a.m. - Address by Canadian Ambassador Michael Wilson (Embassy of Canada, Washington, D.C.) on the topic, "North American Competitiveness in the Global Market."

10:00 a.m. - Panel discussion on the topic, "Making Freight Mobility a Priority for Our National Governments," comprising Jack Schenendorf, vice chairman of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission (Washington, D.C.); Diego Ferrer, commercial counselor for the Embassy of Panama (Washington, D.C.); and César Patricio Reyes Roel, Mexico's secretary of Communications and Transportation and the country's Seaports Administration coordinator (Mexico City).

12:00 p.m. - AAPA's "Washington People" luncheon, featuring Sen. Byrd as the luncheon's keynote speaker and honoring him as AAPA's 2008 "Port Person of the Year."  Sen. Byrd is expected to focus his remarks on seaport security.

More information about AAPA's Spring Conference is available at (click on the "Programs & Events" tab) or by calling AAPA's Aaron Ellis at 703-706-4714.

WHO: American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)
WHAT:Annual Spring Conference event and "Washington People" luncheon
WHEN: March 31 - April 1, 2008 (Day 1, closed meetings 8am - 5:30pm; Day 2, open meetings 8:15am - 2pm)
WHERE: Willard Intercontinental Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC  20004; Tel: (202) 628-9100
MEDIA:  Credentialed journalists interested in covering Day Two of this conference for media purposes are asked to contact Aaron Ellis,, to obtain a media pass.

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