For the first time in its 60-year history, the Canaveral Port Authority will serve as host of the American Association of Port Authorities’ (AAPA) annual convention, which takes place October 13-17. And, for the first time in AAPA’s 102-year history, the business meetings for its international conference will be split between two locations in Florida: Port Canaveral, one of the world’s busiest cruise ports with growing cargo; and Orlando, one of the busiest American cities for conferences and conventions. The seaport facilities at Port Canaveral are Orlando’s “gateway to the world” for both cruise passenger visits (more than 4 million per year and growing) and for important cargoes ranging from petroleum, salt and other bulk commodities, to refrigerated freight like juice concentrates and other perishables, to building materials, boats and heavy equipment. As part of the convention’s informative business program, a host of presenters from both the private and public sectors will discuss topics ranging from global and economic trade recovery to perspectives on the future of public port authorities.
Keynoting the program will be U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary John Porcari, as well as Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer and Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz. Also lined-up for the program’s Wednesday luncheon is a special guest speaker who will be announced just as the convention is getting under way. “We’re delighted to have the Canaveral Port Authority host our 102nd AAPA Annual Convention and Expo,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s President and CEO. “As Florida’s second-busiest cruise passenger port and the cargo gateway for world-renowned locations such as Orlando and the Space Coast, Port Canaveral has its eye on the future as it expands and diversifies its business model for affordable, efficient transportation for both people and cargo.” Mr. Nagle noted that, in addition to the topics and keynote speakers mentioned above, convention attendees also will hear from international environmental leaders who will discuss two environmental certification programs endorsed by AAPA for its member ports; a crisis communications specialist who will lead an interactive session on effective strategic communications planning; and the winners of AAPA’s awards competitions for communications, environmental improvement, information technology and facilities engineering, who will discuss their 2013 award-winning projects.
Port Canaveral will host AAPA’s convention and exhibition activities at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes Hotel in Orlando. In addition to programs in Orlando and Port Canaveral, the agenda includes a reception at the Kennedy Space Center, hosted by Port of Houston Authority, next year’s AAPA Annual Convention host. “As Orlando’s port, we’re thrilled to host AAPA’s 102nd Annual Convention and Expo in central Florida this year,” said John E. Walsh, Port Canaveral’s CEO. “We boast a maritime history, rich in tradition and innovation, providing our region with thriving cruise and cargo operations as well as more recreational access than all of Florida’s other ports combined. We look forward to showcasing Port Canaveral and our region’s unique blend of business and leisure opportunities.”
The convention will conclude with a members-only annual meeting and election of new officers and Directors for the Association’s upcoming activity year, including the installation of Tay Yoshitani, CEO of Port of Seattle, as AAPA’s 2013-2014 Chairman of the Board. Additional information about the event, including its business program’s agenda, exhibitors and sponsors, is available at aapa.getregistered.net