The last 21 years serving ports of the Western Hemisphere has been one of Mary Beth Long’s greatest life adventures. She has always said that ports have an amazing story to tell, and it has been a great honor to be trusted to tell that story over the years. Though it is bittersweet to say goodbye, Mary Beth is also looking forward to charting a new course as the next vice president of communications for the American Sportfishing Association. While not directly connected to ports, ASA and its membership like seaports, depend on our nation’s waterways.
Mary Beth began her port career attending the AAPA Annual Convention hosted by the Port of New York and New Jersey. Her first day with AAPA was a Sunday, the day before the convention started. She remembers that day well and thinking how lucky she was to be spending week one on the job in the fabulous city of New York, attending a five-star event with seaport leaders from around the hemisphere. That was just the beginning. From hands-on experiences such as climbing up a Jacob’s ladder to board a vessel, to meeting with some of the most influential legislators in Washington, D.C., she never stopped learning or appreciating the value of this great industry.
While every day at AAPA may not have been as dazzling as an Annual Convention or the view from the top of a crane, Mary Beth’s decision to spend so many years serving ports stems from her deep belief in the mission of the port industry. “I will always appreciate the value of our seaports, the important role they play in our economy and the smart, hardworking and devoted people this industry attracts.
“It has been an honor to work with some of the greatest maritime transportation professionals over the past two decades. I am excited to see how the Association and industry evolve in the coming years and look forward to watching the rising stars of our professional development and workforce programs expand their horizons. Also, it will be fun to see the next generation of enthusiastic AAPA staff carve their own path.
“I am going to miss all of my AAPA friends and partners and hope that our paths will cross again in the future. I will continue to tell your story to anyone willing to listen, and I wish you every success in the coming years,” said Mary Beth.
The entire AAPA team will miss Mary Beth’s wonderful energy, extensive experience and tireless dedication during her time here. We wish her the best of luck in her new role at ASA. Mary Beth’s last day at AAPA was October 16.