Free public lectures include presentations from Columbia River bar pilot, international trade expert and port’s chief commercial officer


VANCOUVER, Wash. – After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Port of Vancouver USA is resuming its popular public lecture series in February. Lectures are free and open to the public, and will be held at the Kiggins Theater, 1011 Main Street, Vancouver.


“Navigating the Graveyard of the Pacific” – The Amazing and Challenging Work of the Columbia River Bar Pilots

Wednesday, February 15, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Capt. Dan Jordan has been piloting large ships across the Columbia River Bar for 18 years. During his lecture, Capt. Jordan will describe how unique conditions at the mouth of the Columbia River make it one of the most challenging navigated stretches of water in the world. He will also share the fascinating world of Columbia River Bar Pilots, whose efforts help ensure international access to Pacific Northwest ports, which move about 51 million tons of cargo valued at $22 billion each year.


“Washington State – International Trade Juggernaut”

Wednesday, March 15, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Lori Otto Punke is president of the Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT). With more than one-third of Washington state jobs tied to international trade, WCIT is the state’s premier organization advocating for smart trade policy for industries ranging from manufacturing, food, and retail to technology and science. Lori will review the northwest’s trade-reliant region,  analyze how current trade and geopolitical tensions impact our economy, and what we can do to increase trade and its associated jobs. Before joining WCIT, Lori held various positions at Starbucks and Microsoft and served as a senior policy advisor to U.S. Senate leadership. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from Lori during her visit to Southwest Washington and Portland.


“Marine and Commercial Outlook at the Port of Vancouver USA”

Wednesday, March 29, 6:30-8 p.m.

Alex Strogen is the port’s chief commercial officer, overseeing both the port’s marine division as well as the commercial team managing port real estate and tenants. In his talk, Alex will look back at port opportunities and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, and he’ll preview new initiatives the port is pursuing. He will talk about the importance of a diverse cargo mix, and how the port develops new business. He’ll describe port’s role in moving wind components to points east and into Canada. Find out what international customers say about the port and how his team maintains these important relationships. On the commercial side, Alex will discuss the port’s 50+ tenants and what opportunities exist for expansion and job creation.


Pizza, popcorn, and other concessions will be available for purchase, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. A percentage of food sales will benefit the Fort Vancouver Seafarers Center.  Note that parking is free downtown after 6:00 p.m.


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The Port of Vancouver USA is one of the major ports on the Pacific Coast, and its competitive strengths include available land, versatile cargo handling capabilities, vast transportation networks, a skilled labor force and an exceptional level of service to its customers and community. For more information, please visit us at