U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) have been jointly selected to receive the American Association of Port Authorities’ (AAPA) 2014 “Port Person of the Year” award. The bi-partisan nomination for AAPA’s most prestigious annual award was submitted by the California Association of Port Authorities (CAPA).
Marking its 102nd year as the Western Hemisphere’s leading trade association representing port authorities, AAPA selected Sen. Boxer and Cong. Shuster based on their dedication to improving America’s water resources, infrastructure and freight transportation policy. Their work toward reforming federal water resources development legislation, including boosting federal funding to maintain and improve the ports and harbors, helps in improving America’s economic competitiveness and creating jobs.
“Both Sen. Boxer and Cong. Shuster have displayed extraordinary leadership in bringing together lawmakers 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 through their actions in Congress that, given the importance of these trade gateways to the economy and national security, America’s seaports deserve a prominent place in federal policy.”
Sen. Boxer is the current and first female chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. She is a renowned leader of, and champion for, environmental protection policies and programs, water resources, and increasing investments in infrastructure development. A recipient of numerous awards for her efforts in creating a cleaner and healthier environment, she has been a strong advocate for ports in Congress since 1992, serving 10 years in the U.S. House prior to being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1993. In addition to serving as Chief Deputy Whip since 2005, Sen. Boxer is a senior member of the Senate Commerce Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Having served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee since being elected to Congress in 2001, Rep. Shuster now chairs that committee, co-chairs the Water Resources Development Conference Committee, and serves on the House Armed Services Committee. His prominent role in transportation policy has made him a recognized leader in the maritime and seaport arena, particularly in the area of economic development and transportation infrastructure funding. Rep. Shuster’s leadership on national and local issues of Pennsylvania’s 9th Congressional District, together with his demonstrated skills in championing the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA) through the House of Representatives, make him a strong voice for improving America’s infrastructure and benefitting the movement of goods through America’s ports.
“Selecting both Senator Boxer and Representative Shuster as AAPA’s ‘Port Persons of the Year’ serves as a reminder during a very critical time of the important role ports play in our nation, and it fortifies the commitment to maritime of these two prominent members of Congress,” said Tim Schott, CAPA’s executive director. “We sincerely believe Senator Boxer and Representative Shuster deserve this honor at a time when federal infrastructure development funding and industry leadership have had a significant impact on the competitiveness of California’s commercial seaports and seaports across the country.”
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. Janice Hahn (D-CA) and Cong. Ted Poe (R-TX) – 2013; 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. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta – 2005.
The 2014 “Port Person of the Year” awards will be presented at an upcoming AAPA event, to be announced once the recipients have confirmed their attendance.
Press Release, January 22, 2014