U.S. Rep. John Mica to accept AAPA ‘Port Person Of Year’ Award at March 20 event luncheon


U.S. Congressman John Mica (R-Fla.) will be honored on March 20 as the American Association of Port Authorities’ “Port Person of the Year” during the association’s 100th anniversary Spring Conference event, March 19-20, at The Renaissance Washington, D.C. Downtown Hotel.

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, according to the association.

Celebrating its first century, AAPA selected Mica to receive its most prestigious annual award based on his leadership of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, six transportation subcommittees (several of which are crucial to America’s seaports), the association says, and his staunch support of maritime and port infrastructure policy and investment priorities.
 Nominated last fall for “Port Person of the Year” by both the Port of Jacksonville and the Port of New Orleans, AAPA’s Executive Committee approved Mica’s nomination at its Jan. 18 meeting in Tampa.

In addition to receiving AAPA’s “Port Person” award, Mica will give a keynote address during lunch. As part of his remarks, he is expected to discuss what he and his congressional colleagues have been doing to pass comprehensive surface transportation reauthorization legislation, just announced as The American Energy and Infrastructure Act, and expand employment opportunities to build the nation’s infrastructure.

“Chairman Mica understands that increased federal funding in land- and water-side transportation infrastructure is an essential and effective utilization of limited resources that will pay long-term dividends through increased trade, sustainable job creation and tax revenues,” said AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle in an association press release. “We greatly appreciate leaders who understand and support our industry, and I’m very pleased AAPA is honoring Chairman Mica with the ‘Port Person of the Year’ award for our centennial year.”

Mica represents Florida’s 7th Congressional District and is currently serving his 10th term in office. Last July, he rolled out an outline for The American Energy and Infrastructure Act, which for the first time in surface transportation reauthorization history includes a maritime title. Due to the nation’s budgetary challenges, Mica is committed to enacting a long-term reauthorization of federal transportation programs to allow for more efficiencies, better planning and flexibility for state governments to prioritize transportation projects, the association says.

Introducing the congressman will be the association’s 2012 chairman of the board, Jerry Bridges, executive director of the Virginia Ports Authority.

“By selecting Chairman Mica as AAPA’s ‘Port Person of the Year,’ we’re recognizing a highly visible and effective national leader who understands the critical importance of ports and who doesn’t shy away from including maritime and seaport challenges as he seeks solutions to the myriad transportation problems facing this nation,” Bridges said. “With his focus on ports, our often ‘invisible’ industry is beginning to enter the popular consciousness as a worthwhile investment today to reap the economic benefits for generations to come.”

Other speakers for this year’s AAPA Spring Conference include political analyst, author and publisher Charlie Cook; International Finance Corp. senior finance officers Ari Skromne and Han Cao; U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Calif.); port industry economist John C. Martin; Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer; and Adam Snider, transportation reporter for Politico Pro.




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