HARLINGEN, TX (ValleyCentral) — Harlingen Port Authority Chief Executive will now represent the industry outside of the Rio Grande Valley as the new president of the Gulf Ports Association.
Port Director Walker Smith has led a trade organization “dedicated to promoting economic development and encouraging trade for deep-water and shallow-draft state-owned ports in the Gulf Coast region,” the Harlingen Port Authority announced Thursday.
“Ports are important economic drivers throughout our country,” Smith said. “I am honored and honored to be able to lead the Gulf Ports Association and work with many partners that represent ports large and small.”
The Gulf Ports Association was formed in 1945 in New Orleans, Louisiana. According to Port Harlingen, five Gulf States at the time: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas had 13 public port members.
“Today there are 36 member ports,” the port said. “The purpose of the organization has remained the same since its inception, in particular, to promote the development of trade by water through the ports of the Persian Gulf. The organization meets every two years at a conference and as needed throughout the year in various ports.
As president, Smith will lead the Gulf Ports Association in its quest to fund its 38 member ports.
Smith previously served as First Vice President for the past two years and Second Vice President for two years. He is replacing longtime President Amy Miller at the Port of Pensacola, Florida.