Port’s CFO First CPA to Get Certification

Friday, October 04, 2002
A. J. “Bert” Francis II, Deputy Executive Director/Chief Financial Officer of the Canaveral Port Authority, is the first Certified Public Accountant in the United States to earn the designation of “Professional Port Manager (PPM).” Francis was among five professionals of 87 currently enrolled to receive the certification during the recent annual meeting of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA). The industry association established the program of seminars and activities in 1994 to encourage and promote professional standards in public port management. Nationwide, 44 port professionals have earned the AAPA certification. “The most rewarding part of the program is the exposure to other sectors of the port industry,” according to Francis, a 20-year employee of the Canaveral Port Authority. “Successful completion of the program also dispels the myth that accountants are only gifted with numbers. We, too, can handle the diversity needed for good port management.” As part of the program requirements, Francis wrote a research paper entitled “Selling Your Port to the Capital Markets: A Case Study of the Canaveral Port Authority.” Fitch Ratings recently upgraded Canaveral Port Authority’s outstanding bonds from “A-“ to “A” because of the continued financial success of the Port and the exemplary work of Francis and his staff under the direction of the Board of Commissioners. The Merritt Island resident is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and serves as chairman of the Florida Ports Financing Commission, the group tasked with administration of funding for capital projects for the state’s 14 deepwater seaports. In addition, he has served as Chairman of the AAPA Finance Committee, and is currently the Chairman of the Merritt Island Redevelopment Agency.
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