Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Seattle’s Yoshitani Elected AAPA Chair

Port of Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani was named chairman-elect of the American Association of Port Authorities during the group’s board of directors meeting last week in Washington, DC. He assumes the role of chairman at this fall’s AAPA convention in Orlando.

Yoshitani has been chief executive officer of the Port of Seattle since March 2007. He’s the former chief executive of both the Maryland Port Administration and the Port of Oakland and was also previously the deputy executive director with the Port of Los Angeles.

Born in Japan, Yoshitani is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, a Vietnam veteran and holds a master’s in business administration from Harvard University.

He said his nomination as chair is a reflection of the efforts of the port as a whole.

“This appointment says volumes about the work our staff is doing in Seattle,” Yoshitani said. “Our team has developed a reputation for generating new ideas on environmental sustainability, strategic foresight and financial stability of the port. I look forward to advancing the conversation on trade promotion and other issues critical to the future of ports throughout the Americas.”

Last fall, Yoshitani was the subject of an ethics probe by Port of Seattle commissioners after he joined the board of a for-profit logistics company, but an investigation found no conflict of interest or violations of law because the logistics company doesn’t compete with, or conduct business directly with, the port.

The AAPA, which is headquartered outside Washington, DC, is a trade group representing about 160 ports in the Western Hemisphere. It advances its members’ interests through public advocacy and professional development.

The job of chairman, an uncompensated position, is currently held by Armando Duarte-Peláez, a longtime board member of Colombia’s Sociedad Portuaria de Santa Marta.