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2017 Connie Award presented by the Containerization & Intermodal Institute

Every year, Connie recipients are recognized with the prestigious award for outstanding contributions to containerization and world trade and transportation sector and are acknowledged for their pioneering… By Patrick Burnson




John Wolfe, Chief Executive Officer of The Northwest Seaport Alliance and Port of Tacoma, and Amy Grat, Chief Executive Officer of International Trade Education Programs, Inc. (ITEP) will receive the 2017 Connie Award presented by the Containerization & Intermodal Institute in Long Beach, CA, on Tuesday, September 19.

The industry-wide dinner event that will honor both Mr. Wolfe and Ms. Grat will be held at the Long Beach Renaissance Hotel. This year, the award dinner will be held in conjunction with the Intermodal EXPO, organized by the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA), which will be held September 17 – 19 in Long Beach.

Every year, Connie recipients are recognized with the prestigious award for outstanding contributions to containerization and world trade and transportation sector and are acknowledged for their pioneering spirit in their careers, as well as for the positive example they establish for those who will be the future the industry.

John Wolfe is chief executive officer of The Northwest Seaport Alliance. In addition, he serves as the chief executive officer of the Port of Tacoma since being so named in 2010.

Prior to his appointment, he served as the Port of Tacoma’s deputy executive director for five years prior to the ports of Seattle and Tacoma combining resources to establish The Northwest Seaport Alliance. Mr. Wolfe brings to the port a lifelong career in terminal operation and management on the west coast. Mr. Wolfe spent 10 years with Maersk Sealand/APM Terminals in Tacoma, in various roles, including terminal operations manager. Prior to joining the Port of Tacoma, he was a director of operations and marine terminal general manager for the Port of Olympia and subsequently worked for two years as the executive director.

According to CII:

"Today, he continues to set the tone for the port, providing visionary leadership and strategy, and guiding the NWSA’s unique customer-focused culture and as an example of how neighboring ports can combine resources for efficient and economic value."

Mr. Wolfe is on the boards of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), Executive Council for a Greater Tacoma, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber and the Washington State Fair Board. He is also an executive board member of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County.

Amy Grat is chief executive officer of International Trade Education Programs, Inc. (ITEP), which focuses on education the next generation of transportation leaders. Since being named CEO in August 2010, Ms. Grat has worked hard to promote industry education by facilitating partnerships with ports, transportation, logistics and related industries, in order to introduce high school students to diverse career opportunities in high growth job sectors.

Ms. Grat has also held positions in higher education including Associate Director of International Executive Programs at USC’s International Business Education and Research (IBEAR) Program. She also directed USC’s annual Asia/Pacific Business Outlook Conference. She has also served in program management roles at University of Pennsylvania’s Office of International Programs and the International Visitors Council of Philadelphia.

Ms. Grat remains an active member within local industry and civic organizations, serving on the Boards of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, the Los Angeles Air Cargo Association, the Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce, and the Los Angeles Transportation Club. Her dedication to furthering industry education is manifested in the recognition she has received for her accomplishments working in a leadership capacity.

“CII is fortunate that in the 45 years of presenting the Connie Award, we continue to honor those who have positively impacted our industry and its reputation,” said Michael J. DiVirgilio, CII President. “The different routes that John Wolfe and Amy Grat have taken on this journey have earned them the distinct honor of being recipients of this prestigious award.”

CII, founded in 1960, has been presenting the Connie Award since 1972 and it has become the most coveted honor in the field of containerization and its ancillary industries.  Among some 60 recipients to date are Robert Curry, Sr., John McLaurin, Richard Steinke, Matthew Cox, Rick Gabrielson, James McKenna, Paul F. Richardson, Captain S. Y. Kuo, Ronald Widdows, Jon Hemingway, Helen Bentley, Thomas B. Crowley Sr., Malcom McLean and Evergreen Group Chairman Dr. Y. F. Chang.

At the event, CII will also carry out its industry education mission by presenting scholarships to students studying logistics. Any company can sponsor a named scholarship through CII, which has had nearly $700,000 given for higher education under its auspices since 1992.




About the author
Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]
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