WASHINGTON DC — At its 2017 Spring Conference today, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)—the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas—elected Steve Cernak, chief executive and port director for Broward County, Fla.’s Port Everglades, to serve as the association’s chairman of the board for the 2017-18 activity year that begins in October.
Mr. Cernak is slated to be installed as chairman for a one-year term on the final day of AAPA’s 106th Annual Convention, set for Oct. 1-4, in Long Beach, Calif. He will assume the AAPA chairmanship from Mark McAndrews, Port of Pascagoula port director, who began his one-year term on Oct. 26, 2016.
“With his valuable experience as a port director involved with diversified cargo, petroleum and cruise operations, longstanding active engagement with AAPA member ports throughout the hemisphere, and a background in seaport engineering, Steve Cernak is a superb choice for leading our association during the upcoming activity year,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and chief executive officer. “Steve’s leadership skills will be of enormous value as our member ports work together to address common challenges and legislative priorities.”
Although Mr. Cernak has led Port Everglades as port director since March 2012, his career in the seaport industry extends more than 30 years, involving both port authority and private-sector experience. Previously, he led the Port of Galveston as its port director and chief executive, was president of the Galveston Port Facilities Corporation, and served as manager of the Port Development Department for The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“Seaports in the Western Hemisphere are facing global challenges that affect the way we trade and support the communities where we live and work,” said Mr. Cernak. “I’m looking forward to supporting AAPA’s commitment to advancing security, trade, transportation, infrastructure and environmental initiatives that create economic and social value for all of our member public ports and the communities they serve.”
An engineer by training, Mr. Cernak has also held positions with several private engineering consultancies in New Jersey.
Since 1999, Mr. Cernak has served on AAPA’s Cruise Committee, Curriculum Committee, Maritime Economic Development Committee, Harbors and Navigation Committee and as a member of the association's Board of Directors and chair of its U.S. Legislative Policy Council.
Founded in 1912, AAPA today represents 140 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 250 sustaining and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports. According to IHS Inc. - World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2015 totaled 3.45 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.36 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.69 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.15 trillion, while North American ports handled 1.76 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.21 trillion. To meet the growing demand for trade, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable. For more information, visit aapa-ports.org. On Twitter: twitter.com/AAPA_Seaports
DATE: April 4, 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Aaron Ellis, APR, Fellow PRSA
Public Affairs Director