Seaports Magazine - Spring 2014 - (Page 22)

»PORT PROFILE FACING CHALLENGES HEAD ON Deborah Hadden has set a number of strategic goals for Massport in her new role as port director. By Sarah Sain D eborah Hadden likes a challenge, and she's facing quite a few head on as she takes on her new role as port director at the Massachusetts Port Authority. Named to the job in September 2013 after having served as acting port director for nearly a year, Hadden will be responsible for directing the planning, development, marketing, operation, security, financial management, administration, and maintenance of Massport's properties in the Port of Boston, including the shipping container terminal and Cruiseport Boston. Grew into the Industry Hadden first started out as an environmental consultant to Massport, then joined the port officially in 1994 as an environmental permitting program manager. In the years that followed, she was promoted into various roles. "To be honest, I really liked all the jobs I had, and I learned a lot in each role. But as opportunities came my way, I took advantage of them," she said. One of her big projects initially was managing the Boston Harbor Navigation Improvement project in 1997, which included deepening the harbor to 40 feet to handle Panamax ships. She also worked with state and federal agencies on policy issues and environmental projects, including protecting the North Atlantic right whale by finding a way to minimize ships striking the endangered species. During those early years, Hadden says she got to learn about many different aspects of the maritime industry. While she didn't 22 AAPA SEAPORTS MAGAZINE set out to find a life-long career at the port, she found that and much more. "It's a fascinating industry," she said. "The challenges are huge, and I've always loved a challenge. In general, the people are down to earth and interesting. I fell in love with the industry." She left the port for a year to work in the private sector, but returned in 2000 as deputy port director, where she focused on real estate development, dredging and economic growth. She stayed in that position until she was named acting port director in October 2012. During her 10 months in that position, she implemented productivity gains at Conley Terminal; led successful negotiations with the International Longshoreman's Association and MSC, Conley's busiest steamship line; and secured a new six-year agreement with COSCO (China Ocean Shipping Company). Telling the Story of Ports Now settled into her role as port director, Hadden and Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn are shaping the vision for Massport's maritime future and are facing a new set of challenges. From a big picture standpoint, Hadden said the goals are to continue to grow blue-collar jobs in Boston - more than 34,000 people are employed by the port - and to tell the story of Massport and how it affects the daily lives of everyone is the city. "Jobs are what ports are all about," she said. "I want to get the word out to the public and elected officials about the importance of the port. In Boston, the general public doesn't understand how important the port is for the economy and jobs - higher paying blue-collar jobs. That's what we need to get our economy going again." Hadden is also working to dredge Boston Harbor to 47 feet to handle larger ships that are expected to come with the Panama Canal expansion to be completed in 2015. Hadden says she and CEO Glynn are actively working together to get the political and financial support for the dredging project. Along those lines, she also plans to invest in new cranes and more trade lanes into the Port of Boston. On the cruise side, Massport had a record season in terms of passengers in 2013, but the cruise season at the port is only six months of the year. Hadden said she wants to extend the season year-round in the hopes of growing cruise business year over year. "So for half of the year we have no revenue, no additional jobs. Even New York has a year-round cruise season," she said. "If we have a strong cruise business, it's better for our economy. We're looking at new itineraries - more southern destinations - which could help us toward that goal." 'Just Keep Swimming' Hadden joined AAPA in 1994, shortly after being hired at Massport. She soon joined the Harbors, Navigation & Environmental Committee (as it was known at the time) and chaired the committee for two years. "Joining AAPA was a great opportunity to get to know the industry better and also to meet people in the business who I could continued on page 34

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