The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) informs it has elected Kristin Decas, CEO and port director for the Port of Hueneme (Calif.) as its incoming chair for AAPA’s 2014-2015 activity year. Ms. Decas will take office at the conclusion of the association’s annual convention in Houston in November.
“The upcoming activity year will be an exciting one and we look forward to Kristen’s leadership as AAPA continues to address the issues of most relevance and importance to all our member ports,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA president and CEO. “Kristin is a proven leader and will be a great asset to AAPA, and to the port industry. She was an extremely energetic and effective chair of AAPA’s Maritime Economic Development Committee, fostering collaborative processes to share experiences and resolve industry challenges.”
Ms. Decas took over as the Port of Hueneme’s CEO in February 2012. In 2013, the port marked its most active trade year since its inception in 1937 and achieved the strongest fiscal numbers in its 75-year history. Today, Port of Hueneme-related activities generate $1 billion in annual economic impact and create more than 10,200 direct, indirect, induced and influenced jobs.
Prior to taking the Port of Hueneme’s helm, Ms. Decas served for five years as CEO and port director for the Port of New Bedford, Mass., the nation’s number one value fishing port. In that position, she orchestrated the port’s complete fiscal turnaround and played a vital role in the development of a new terminal to support the nation’s first offshore wind energy project. Under her leadership, the Port of New Bedford also realized significant growth in its cruise and recreational boating activity.
Recognized for her impressive work in promoting economic development through international trade promotion and for her service on scores of federal level shipping and port committees, Ms. Decas was recently awarded a high-profile appointment by the U.S. Department of Transportation to both the National Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC) and the U.S. Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council (MTSNAC).
“I feel very privileged to serve as AAPA’s next chairman of the board and am thankful for the opportunity,” said Ms. Decas. “I very much look forward to working with all of my maritime colleagues on important and timely initiatives, including the reauthorization of the national’s transportation act, advancement of maritime policy, infrastructure and economic development initiatives, and outreach and communication strategies.”
Ms. Decas also said she is thankful to AAPA’s current chairman, Port of Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani, “for his continued leadership and stellar work on behalf of the association.”
Founded in 1912, AAPA today represents more than 130 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and about 300 sustaining, associate and honorary members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports.