Event to attract port execs from throughout The Americas

The 2006 American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) Annual Convention, slated for Sept. 10-14 in the Crescent City, is expected to attract hundreds of key port executives and their board of director members from throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America.

The four-day event will feature a multi-faceted agenda of keynote speeches, panel discussions, interactive dialogues and a robust exhibition of service and product providers to the port industry. For example, the Sept. 12 morning session will be devoted to better understanding how public-private partnerships can help ports meet their development goals. Another session will focus on effective leadership strategies. Still another will focus on developing strategic communications plans, including the use audience and media research, and ‘new’ media. During the program, participants will also see the results of the working group that has just finishing developing a guide for planning and responding to emergencies ranging from hurricanes, floods and earthquakes, to terrorist incidents.

Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and CEO, said that this year’s theme, ‘Rollin’ on the River,’ is a special time to remember the importance of the conference’s host ’ the Port of New Orleans ’ to the world’s shipping community.

‘The Port of New Orleans has rebounded remarkably after the events of 2005,’ Nagle said. ‘Having our 95th annual convention in New Orleans this year is a small contribution to the recovery process of the Port and the entire region. The staff there have outdone themselves to make this convention an exciting and memorable experience for all attendees and we’re very much looking forward to it.’

The program’s keynote presentation will come from the Chairman of the Board of the US Chamber of Commerce, Gerald L. Shaheen, who will discuss how freight mobility and congestion issues are affecting port users and how all parties in the freight community can help resolve these challenges. Other speakers include AAPA’s 2006 Chairman of the Board Bernard S. Groseclose, Jr.; AAPA Chairman of the Board-Elect Capt. Allen Domaas, PPM’; Rick Murrell, president and CEO of Tropical Shipping Company USA; Robbie Vitrano, founding partner and creative director of New Orleans-based Trumpet Advertising; leadership specialist Kevin Nourse, principal of Leap Advocates, Washington, DC; and Phyllis Saathoff, managing director of Port Freeport, Texas-Brazos.

The entire schedule of events can be found on the Port of New Orleans’ AAPA Web site: www.portno.com/aapa.