The American Association of Port Authorities, which represents more than 130 public port authorities in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, has elected Port of Grays Harbor Executive Director Gary Nelson to serve as chairman for the 2019-20 activity year that begins in October.

Gary Nelson.

Gary Nelson

Nelson is slated to be installed as chairman for a one-year term on the final day of AAPA’s 2019 Annual Convention, set for Oct. 12 to 15, in Norfolk, Va. He will assume the AAPA chairmanship from William Friedman, president and chief executive officer for Northeast Ohio’s Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, who began his one-year term on Oct. 10, 2018.

“With his valuable experience as a port director involved with diversified cargo, his international trade background, and his longstanding active engagement with AAPA and our member ports throughout the hemisphere, Gary Nelson is an outstanding choice for leading our association during the upcoming activity year,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement. “Gary’s outstanding leadership and business skills, together with his easy-going demeanor, will be of enormous value as our member ports work together to address common challenges and legislative priorities.”

Nelson joined the Port of Grays Harbor in April 2000, bringing with him a background of private sector management, particularly in trading wood products throughout the Pacific Rim. Since joining the port, Nelson has worked with port customers, staff, state and federal agencies, and the local community to position Grays Harbor as a major hub for international trade and economic development.

“The Port of Grays Harbor Commission is extremely proud of Gary’s appointment as AAPA’s next chairman of the board,” said Port Commission president Stan Pinnick in a prepared statement. “Over the last 19 years, we have experienced first-hand the results and benefits of his strong leadership. We are confident he will lead AAPA in 2019-20 just as well as he has served our Port and the community.”

“It is an honor and a privilege to be selected as AAPA’s next chairman,” stated Nelson. “I look forward to working with AAPA’s membership and staff to continue to promote and improve our industry so that we can continue to create economic value for our communities, no matter how big or small.”





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