Aucoin To Receive C. Alvin Bertel Award

Port of South Louisiana Executive Director Paul Aucoin has been named the 2021 recipient of the C. Alvin Bertel Award. Presented each year by the World Trade Center of New Orleans, the Bertel award is given to an individual who has made a consequential impact on the Louisiana maritime industry.

In July, Aucoin will celebrate eight years as executive director of the Port of South Louisiana, which covers 54 miles on both banks of the Mississippi River between the New Orleans area and Baton Rouge. The Port of South Louisiana is the largest port by tonnage in the Western Hemisphere and handles more than 50 percent of all U.S. grain exports. In 2020 alone, the port handled more than 250 million short tons of cargo.

Aucoin, who has long lobbied for keeping the Mississippi River fully dredged “all day, every day,” was also a vocal and visible advocate for deepening the Mississippi River Ship Channel to 50 feet, a project that got underway in 2020.

“I am very honored to have been selected for the 2021 C. Alvin Bertel,” Aucoin said. “My relationship with the maritime industry and its members has been very special. Both have provided me with a lifetime of friendships, experiences and the chance to make a difference for the home that we call Louisiana. A sincere thanks to the Port of South Louisiana commissioners, my industry colleagues and to our wonderful port team members that make the Port of South Louisiana great.”

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Under Aucoin’s leadership, the Port of South Louisiana and its three-parish jurisdiction, which covers the parishes (counties) of St. James, St. John the Baptist and St. Charles, have seen industrial capital investment announcements totaling more than $23.2 billion and the creation of 3,379 jobs. Besides its rankings as the top port by tonnage in the Western Hemisphere and the nation’s top grain exporter, the Port of South Louisiana also ranks as the top Foreign Trade Zone in terms of merchandise received and the No. 2 energy transfer port.

“The World Trade Center could not be more pleased with Paul’s selection for this coveted award,” said Stephen Hanemann, World Trade Center board chairman. “Paul is a respected icon of the maritime industry. His leadership and professionalism, combined with his passion for promoting the Mississippi River as our country’s greatest natural resource, cannot be overstated. Louisiana, and especially its river parishes, are obliged and indebted to Paul for the positive impact he has had on our communities, industries and international trade economy.”

A graduate of Loyola University of New Orleans’ law school, Aucoin also serves on the St. James Parish Economic Development Board, the board of directors of the River Region Chamber of Commerce, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Fund committee and the board of directors of the World Trade Center of New Orleans. He first began serving the Port of South Louisiana in 2012 as legal counsel before being named executive director the following year.

“On behalf of the World Trade Center and our investors, congratulations to Paul for this most deserved acknowledgement by the maritime community,” said Ed Webb, CEO of the World Trade Center of New Orleans. “Louisiana is home to many recognized professionals serving the maritime industry. We’re extremely proud to call Paul one of our own.”

The C. Alvin Bertel award will be presented to Aucoin in a ceremony and luncheon June 30 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. For registration information, contact Sam Sheffield with the World Trade Center at