U.S. Reps Janice Hahn & Ted Poe to Accept AAPA’s ‘Port Person of Year’ Award at March 19 Event in D.C.; AAPA’s 2013 ‘Spring Conference’ to focus on key seaport priorities: infrastructure, security, trade.
U.S. Representatives Janice Hahn (D-CA) and Ted Poe (R-TX) will be honored on March 19 as the American Association of Port Authorities’ (AAPA) 2013 “Port Persons of the Year” during the association’s annual Spring Conference event, March 18-19, at The Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel.
Marking its 101st year as the Western Hemisphere’s leading trade association representing port authorities, AAPA selected Reps. Hahn and Poe to receive its most prestigious annual award based on their strong commitment to advancing the issues of the port industry and their co-founding of the PORTS Caucus, bringing together lawmakers from all across the political spectrum to work together on strengthening and securing America’s seaports. The PORTS Caucus now includes more than 50 U.S. House members from across the country.
“Both Congresswoman Hahn and Congressman Poe have displayed extraordinary leadership in bringing together representatives from both sides of the aisle to address the needs of our ports nationwide,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and CEO. “These two ardent and vocal supporters of the port industry have clearly demonstrated by their words and deeds that, given the importance of these trade hubs to the economy and national security, America’s seaports deserve a prominent place in the national dialogue.”
Rep. Hahn represented the Port of Los Angeles for 10 years as a city councilwoman, and in July 2011, was elected to Congress in a special election to represent the 36th Congressional District. She was re-elected in November 2012 to represent the re-drawn 44th Congressional District of California. Rep. Poe was elected to Congress in 2004 to represent the 2nd Congressional District of Texas. He serves on the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees, and is recognized nationally for his efforts to secure America’s borders, which include ports, and to establish a plan for energy independence.
Nominated last fall for the “Port Person of the Year” by both the California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and by Texas’ Port of Beaumont, AAPA’s Executive Committee approved Rep. Hahn’s and Rep. Poe’s nominations at its Jan. 23 meeting in Tampa. In addition to receiving the awards, the two members of Congress will jointly address AAPA’s Spring Conference attendees during lunch on March 19.
“In selecting these seaport advocates as AAPA’s ‘Port Persons of the Year,’ we’re recognizing two national leaders who understand the critical importance of ports and boldly embrace maritime when seeking solutions to this nation’s transportation issues,” said AAPA U.S. Delegation Chairman Adolph Ojard, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “Thanks to their focused efforts, it’s now being recognized publicly that maintaining our waterways and investing in port-related infrastructure today is essential if future generations are to reap the benefits.”
Each year, AAPA presents its “Port Person of the Year” award to an individual or individuals who have made significant contributions to the port industry. Recent award recipients include: Cong. John Mica (R-FL) – 2012; U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) - 2011; Adm. Thad W. Allen, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard (U.S. “Port Person”) and The Honourable David L. Emerson, P.C., former Minister of Industry, International Trade and Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada (Canadian “Port Person”) - 2010; Cong. Jane Harman (D-CA) - 2009; U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) - 2008; Panamanian President Martin Torrijos - 2007; U.S. Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-ME) - 2006; and U.S. Transporta¬tion Secretary Norman Mineta – 2005.
Other speakers already identified for this year’s AAPA Spring Conference include U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (who chairs the Senate Environment & Public Works Subcommittee on Oversight); CSX Transportation Vice President Derrick Smith; Morgan Stanley Executive Director Ira Smelkinson; Fitch Ratings’ Senior Director Seth Lehman; William E. Craft, the U.S. Department of State’s deputy assistant secretary for trade policy and programs; and Marcus H. Sachs, Verizon Communications’ vice president for national security policy.
AAPA anticipates more than 150 port and related industry leaders and guests will take part in the two-day conference.