Coastal resiliency among key topics at 2019 AAPA convention

The Port of Virginia is proud to host the 108th AAPA Convention, the largest port event in the Americas, which gathers hundreds of major stakeholders and leaders in the industry from around the world.

The AAPA’s 108th Annual Convention three-day business program features a robust agenda, with industry leaders and subject matter experts focusing on topics ranging from ports as economic development engines, to technology and big data, cargo transportation efficiency, trade policy, emergency response and cybersecurity.

The Port of Virginia is comprised of four marine terminals, two intermodal container transfer facilities, and a barge terminal. It has on-dock, double-stack rail served by two Class One rail lines, Norfolk Southern and CSX. The Port of Virginia is located within one day’s drive of two-thirds of the nation’s population. The Port of Virginia regularly serves vessels in excess of 14,000 TEUs and is mid-way through a $695 million expansion project that will increase annual container capacity by 40 percent by 2020. The Port of Virginia has 50’ deep channels and recently received approval to deepen its channels to 55’ and widen to 1,300’.

Virginia’s ports have been a boon to Virginia and the world for nearly four centuries. From the early founding as “America’s First Port” at Jamestown in 1607 through the era of the great clipper ships to the present day sophistication of computerized intermodal technology, Virginia has been at the forefront of every major change in the shipping industry.

About the Convention

The Convention and Expo is AAPA’s largest membership meeting of the year. Held every fall in a different port city, the convention includes technical and policy committee meetings, business sessions and social events allowing port professionals and stakeholders in the marine transportation industry to exchange views and expand business contacts. After several years, this event returns to Norfolk, Virginia to discuss the main port projects, enjoy social networking opportunities and generate business contacts in a commercial display.

WHEN: October 13-16, 2019
WHERE: Hilton Norfolk, VA
About the AAPA

The American Association of Port Authorities is the unified voice of the seaport industry in the Americas, representing more than 130 public port authorities in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America. For more than a century, AAPA membership has empowered port authorities and their maritime industry partners to serve global customers and create economic and social value for their communities. AAPA events, resources and partnerships connect, inform and unify seaport leaders and maritime professionals who deliver prosperity around the western hemisphere.

Leading off the trio of presenters will be Dr. Lynette Cardoch, Ph.D., director of Resilience and Adaptation for Moffatt & Nichol. Dr. Cardoch will discuss how thinking about resiliency as a lens can help us achieve the operational readiness and business continuity that we need in our coastal communities.

“It’s more than just having to harden assets; a truly resilient system takes into account the interconnectivity of the broader society,” she said.

Another presenter is Ann Phillips, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret), who is the Special Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Adaptation and Protection, Office of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. She will discuss coastal adaptation and protection in Virginia, building a master plan and implementing Executive Order 24, “Virginia’s roadmap to make our built-environment more resilient to floods, hurricanes, fires and other extreme weather events.” ~ signed by Governor Ralph Northam, Nov. 2, 2018.

Rounding out the trio will be Stephen Cauffman, Section Chief for Infrastructure Development and Recovery at the National Protection and Programs Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Cauffman will address the Joint Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project to develop uniform guidance and associated tools to assess the resilience of individual ports, regional networks of ports, and inland marine transportation systems.

“Considering ports as part of a system, with dependencies and interdependencies on infrastructure that are external to their operations, will lead to better informed decisions on resilience enhancements and adaptation to changing conditions,” he said.

Representing the convention’s host port, Virginia Port Authority Vice President of Marketing and Communications Jay Stecher expressed his enthusiasm for the event by saying, “We’re honored and thrilled to host this year’s AAPA convention. Together with our AAPA partners, we ran with the theme of ‘Revolutionizing America’s First Port’ – weaving it throughout the convention from start to finish.

In addition to a conference agenda packed with industry experts and timely topics, we’re providing something at every turn throughout the three-day event. We have everything from a harbor tour that takes place on an authentic replica of a 19th century paddle-wheeler, to an interactive museum-like exhibit, trips to glass-blowing classes and a historic hotel and distillery. We’ll close the event with a reception on the decks of the USS Wisconsin. We’re looking forward to providing our guests with a high-quality, high-energy, and highly entertaining event.

More information about AAPA’s 108th Annual Convention and Expo, including its business program agenda, exhibitors and sponsors, is available at

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