Seaports Magazine - Spring 2014 - (Page 20)

»FEATURE ® PPM CERTIFICATION READIES EXECUTIVES FOR THE TOP AAPA's Professional Port Manager program prepares to graduate its first class since implementing new guidelines four years ago. By Sarah Sain T he American Association of Port Authorities PPM® (Professional Port Manager) program is ready to graduate its first class under new guidelines implemented in 2010. This new graduating class will be more ready than ever to serve and lead the maritime community. The PPM® program was conceived in 1995 as a way to further the association's goals to enhance port management professionalism by assisting port authorities, maritime organization and agencies in hiring and promoting qualified professionals. The changes implemented four years ago include more rigorous criteria for admittance and completion requirements. Candidates also must have a recommendation from their port director before beginning the program. "The program is now more selective and more intensive," said Rex Sherman, AAPA's director of research and information services and administrator of the PPM® program. "The old version was good, but this takes the program a step further." For starters, individuals are now accepted as members of a class, and they must complete all requirements within four years, as opposed to eight. Candidates are required to attend seven of AAPA's core seminars and training programs, plus three elective seminars. "Whereas the candidates used to attend the seminars and take notes, now what happens is they go to the seminars as a class and meet to discuss what they've learned. These discussion groups are led by the chairman of the committee sponsoring the seminar or a member of the Curriculum Committee [which oversees the program]. It's more of a collegiate atmosphere." Another purpose behind the updates to the program was so that candidates would have more opportunities to interact with senior port executives. For that reason, they must be active on one of AAPA's 14 committees. Before graduating, the final requirement is for candidates to complete a thesis, group research project or residency at another port or AAPA's headquarters in Washington, D.C. "The drafts of papers coming from so far from the 2014 class are very high quality - something you'd expect from graduate students," Sherman said. "We really have a very talented group." 20 AAPA SEAPORTS MAGAZINE Learn More About the PPM® To find out more about the program requirements to earn AAPA's PPM®, visit Dr. Geraldine Knatz, former executive director at the Port of Los Angeles and past chairman of the AAPA Curriculum Committee, played a critical role in shaping the updated PPM® program. She said she's seen the affects of the changes already. "I know these changes are working because I have seen one of my own staff members who entered the PPM® program just really step out and get involved in committee leadership as a result of the PPM® changes," she said. "That is what the industry needs: Younger people stepping up to lead." Port of Palm Beach Executive Director Manny Almira said he believes earning his PPM® was one of accomplishments that made him stand out to the port's Board of Directors during the hiring process. "The fact that I was a candidate when I was interviewed, I know that it was heavily weighted in the board's decision. It set me apart," he said. "If I think back, I'm quite certain that of all the other finalist, at that time none of them had a PPM®. The commissioners recognized the importance of the distinction and made me commit to graduating." Almira earned his PPM® in 2013. For Thomas Heidt, deputy executive director, finance and administration at the Port of Houston Authority, earning his PPM® in 2002 was an important step in his goal of moving into an executive position at the port. But he said, by far, the main benefit that he took away from the program was the relationships he formed with other candidates and port officials. "There are many executives throughout the issue - now friends - who I can contact at any time for information or advice and vice versa," he said. Dr. Noel Hacegaba, acting deputy executive director and chief operating officer at the Port of Long Beach, is a current candidate

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Spring 2014

AAPA Headquarters
From the President’s Desk
Public Sector Agencies with Private Sector Expectations
Welcoming Veterans to Port Ranks
Working with Stakeholders: The Buck Stops at the CEO’s Office
Words of Wisdom from Long-Standing Port Executives
PPM® Certification Readies Executives for the Top
Facing Challenges Head On
Ports are Critical to U.S. Economy’s Health
The Changing Paradigm of Transportation Executives
Port and Maritime Environmental Compliance Planning Starts at the Top
Comprehensive Records Retention Plan a Must for Ports
Saint John Brings the Port to the Classroom
Barbados on Track for Record Cruise Growth
Santa Marta Focuses on the Environment, Community and Operational Efficiency
Northwest Ports Partner to Further Cut Diesel Emissions

Seaports Magazine - Spring 2014