Odgers Berndtson Recruits CEO for American Association of Port Authorities

June 27, 2019 – Global search firm Odgers Berndtson has placed Christopher Connor as the new CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA). Long-time leader Kurt Nagle recently retired. Vice chairman and partner Tim McNamara is leading the assignment along with partner and practice leader Conrad Woody.

“The association’s executive committee is pleased to have found an outstanding individual to assume leadership of this hemisphere-wide association representing seaports,” said William Friedman, AAPA chairman and CEO of the Port of Cleveland. “Chris Connor has a track record of transformational leadership in the ocean shipping industry. This, combined with his deep industry knowledge and institutional tenure, makes him uniquely qualified to lead AAPA successfully into the future.”

Mr. Connor is the former global CEO of Wallenius Wilhemsen Logistics (WWL). He joined WWL in 1994 and held several key commercial and operational positions prior to being named CEO in 2013. Before joining WWL, he worked for Crowley Maritime Corp. for seven years, and United States Lines for six years. During his more than 35 years in ocean shipping and logistics, Mr. Connor has worked and lived in Asia, Europe, as well as the U.S.

“I’ve spent over 35 years working in the ocean shipping industry and through that lens I’ve developed a deep appreciation and respect for the vitally integral role that ports play in global commerce,” said Mr. Connor. He added that he is eager to leverage the “economic impact and energy” of the port industry.

AAPA is the unified voice of the seaport industry in the Americas, representing more than 130 public port authorities in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America. For more than a century, AAPA membership has empowered port authorities and their maritime industry partners to serve global customers and create economic and social value for their communities.

Odgers Berndtson delivers executive search, leadership assessment and development strategies to organizations globally. The firm’s 250-plus partners cover more than 50 sectors and operate out of 59 offices in 29 countries.

The U.S. wing of the firm, launched in 2011 under the direction of CEO Steve Potter, has become one of the fastest growing search firms in the Americas. Odgers Berndtson has U.S. offices in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Veteran Recruiters

Mr. McNamara heads Odgers Berndtson’s transportation infrastructure practice. His focus areas include aerospace and defense, and cybersecurity. With over 25 years of management consulting and industry experience, he consults to international clients including governments, mergers and acquisitions advisory, private equity and P3 firms.

Prior to Odgers, Mr. McNamara held global leadership roles with three international search firms and formerly was with Booz Allen Hamilton’s Applied Science Center. Earlier in his career, he represented American, Danish, French, German and Mexican companies in the global engineered logistics sector. Mr. McNamara was knighted in 1989 by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark in recognition of his service to the country. He has also been named to BusinessWeek’s Top 100 World’s Most Influential Headhunters.

As head of the U.S. corporate and government affairs practice, Mr. Woody specializes in senior placements for companies, trade associations and non-profits in the government affairs, corporate communications, public affairs and economic development verticals. He came to the firm from Korn Ferry where, as a principal in its corporate affairs practice, he conducted senior-level searches for corporate communications, government affairs, trade association and non-profit professionals.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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