Mobile, Ala., has long been known for its charm, history and a whole lot of Southern hospitality, and more recently for attracting major international businesses like Airbus and ThyssenKrupp.
Evidence of these and the Port City‚Äôs many other attributes can be witnessed firsthand Oct. 21‚Äď25, when hundreds of seaport industry and related transportation professionals descend on Mobile for the American Association of Port Authorities‚Äô (AAPA) 101st Annual Convention, presented by the Alabama State Port Authority (ASPA).
Two governors, a noted Wall Street financial strategist, a top-ranked design firm vice president and a host of port and maritime industry leaders will lead the convention‚Äôs business sessions while a busy exhibition hall and other activities will keep convention registrants busy and engaged.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre delighted to be holding our 101st Annual Convention and Expo in Mobile, whose growing cargo port is the pride of Alabama and the generator for more than 66,000 jobs and $8 billion in total economic impact,‚ÄĚ said Kurt Nagle, AAPA‚Äôs president and CEO. ‚ÄúThe convention will be the grade finale of our year-long recognition and celebration of the 100th anniversary of ports working together through AAPA.‚ÄĚ
Mr. Nagle noted that, throughout the week-long business program, convention attendees will hear from top government, seaport and business industry leaders on issues ranging from infrastructure investment and international trade, to innovative approaches to port challenges. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôll also have a bustling trade show on site, filled with industry service and product providers who will showcase the latest advances in everything from port security devices to environmental enhancement programs,‚ÄĚ he said.
The Alabama State Port Authority, which handled 25 million tons of coal, steel, forest products, frozen poultry and other cargoes in 2011, will host the AAPA‚Äôs convention and exhibition activities at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center located on the Mobile River. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will open the conference, while former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, Wall Street Strategies Founder and CEO Charles Payne, and AECOM North American Intermodal Practice Vice President Rachel Vandenberg will serve as keynote speakers to lend additional expertise and substance to the already packed five-day agenda.
‚ÄúWe couldn‚Äôt be more thrilled to host the AAPA‚Äôs 101st Annual Convention and Expo in our great city,‚ÄĚ said James K. Lyons, ASPA director and CEO. ‚ÄúOur port and the surrounding areas have a maritime history rich in tradition and innovation, and Mobile is looking forward to showing off our beautiful city and the strides and innovations that we‚Äôve made at our port.‚ÄĚ
The convention will conclude with a members-only annual meeting and election of new officers and directors for the association‚Äôs upcoming activity year, including the installation of Armando Duarte-Pel√°ez, with the Port of Santa Marta, Colombia, as AAPA‚Äôs 2013 chairman of the board.
Dredging Today Staff, August 6, 2012; Image: AAPA