From a Welcoming Reception that had the Disney Wonder as a backdrop, to an opening message from the Secretary of Transportation, and on through to the last presentation with Matson’s John Lemieux providing an overview of the integral services they provide (especially to Pacific Island ports), the APP’s 107th Annual Conference in San Diego (October 24 to 27, 2021) gave attendees a full agenda focused on key issues, challenges, and opportunities of importance to ports around the Pacific. And, as the fist conference in almost two years for the APP, networking events provided great opportunities for colleagues and peers to reconnect as well as build new relationships. As host port, the Port of San Diego did a fantastic job showcasing their working waterfront as well as highlighting their climate change resiliency efforts.
The conference saw major support from the U.S. Maritime Administration. In addition to his presentation that provided an update on MARAD activities, Gus Hein, Gateway Director, Mid-Pacific Region, led a high-level panel of senior port representatives who addressed numerous issues for all sizes of ports. Panel members included Frank Colonna, Commissioner, Port of Long Beach; Kristin Decas, CEO, Port of Hueneme; Larry Oetker, Executive Director, Port of Humboldt Bay; and Michael LaFleur, Vice President, Port of San Diego.
While all sessions scored very high on our exit survey, without a doubt, Keynote Speaker Don Krusel’s presentation on “Putting Strategy back into Strategic Planning” was a resounding success, scoring an “Excellent” from all respondents. Krusel’s time as CEO of the Port of Prince Rupert as well as current projects that have included developing a major container terminal for the Port of Quebec gave attendees great insights into how to step outside of the typical planning cycle to create a dynamic future for their own ports.
APP President Kimberlyn King-Hinds did a masterful job as emcee and keeping sessions on track. A contingency of representatives from the Commonwealth Ports Authority were in attendance to gain insights into conference proceedings as the Association begins planning for the next conference in Saipan in July 2022.
And of course, the conference wouldn’t have been possible without the great support of our sponsors!