The Port of Hueneme announced that CEO and port director Kristin Decas has been elected by the board of directors of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) as the incoming chair for AAPA’s 2014-2015 activity year. Ms. Decas will take office at the conclusion of the association’s annual convention in Houston in November.

“I feel very privileged to serve as AAPA’s next chairman of the board and am thankful for the opportunity,” said Ms. Decas. “I very much look forward to working with all of my maritime colleagues on important and timely initiatives, including the reauthorization of the nation’s transportation act, advancement of maritime policy, infrastructure and economic development initiatives, and outreach and communication strategies.”

“The upcoming activity year promises to be an exciting one, and I look forward to providing leadership as the AAPA continues to address the relevant issues of its member ports,” continued Ms. Decas. “I’m confident I can draw on my experience as chair of AAPA’s Maritime Economic Development Committee to meet the challenges ahead.”

Ms. Decas added that she is thankful to AAPA’s current chairman, Port of Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani, “for his continued leadership and stellar work on behalf of the association.”

Ms. Decas took over as the Port of Hueneme’s CEO in February 2012. In 2013, the port marked its most active trade year since its inception in 1937, achieving the strongest fiscal numbers in its 75-year history. Today, Port of Hueneme-related activities generate $1 billion in annual economic impact and create more than 10,200 direct, indirect, induced, and influenced jobs.

Prior to taking the helm at the Port of Hueneme, Ms. Decas served for five years as CEO and director for the Port of New Bedford, Mass., the nation’s number one value fishing port. In that position, she orchestrated the port’s complete fiscal turnaround and played a vital role in the development of a new terminal to support the nation’s first offshore wind energy project. Under her leadership, the Port of New Bedford also realized significant growth in its cruise and recreational boating activity.

Recognized for her impressive work in promoting economic development through international trade promotion, and for her service on scores of federal-level shipping and port committees, Ms. Decas recently was awarded high-profile appointments by the U.S. Department of Transportation to both the National Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC) and the U.S. Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council (MTSNAC).

About the AAPA

Founded in 1912, the AAPA today represents 160 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and more than 300 sustaining and associate members, firms, and individuals with an interest in seaports. As a critical link for access to the global marketplace, each year Western Hemisphere seaports generate trillions of dollars of economic activity, support the employment of millions of people, and in 2008 imported and exported more than 7.8 billion tons of cargo valued at $8.6 trillion, including food, clothing, medicine, fuel and building materials, and consumer electronics and toys. The volume of cargo shipped by water is expected to increase dramatically by 2020, and the number of passengers traveling through our seaports will continue to grow. To meet these demands, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure, and sustainable.