WITA Webinar: COVID, Supply Chains and the Crisis at the Ports




On February 25, 2021, WITA held an event looking into the effects of the pandemic on global supply chains.

The global pandemic, spreading around the world for over a year, has massively disrupted global supply chains. This has undermined the delicate equilibrium at the world’s ports, where the interests of consumers, farmers, and manufacturers meet shipping, air freight, rail, trucking, and logistics.



  • Kenneth I. Levinson, Executive Director, Washington International Trade Association

Remarks and Panelist Discussion

  • Karyn Booth, Partner and Transportation Practice Group Leader, Thompson Hine LLP
  • Dr. Noel Hacegaba, Deputy Executive Director / COO, The Port of Long Beach
  • Nate Herman, Senior Vice President, Policy, American Apparel & Footwear Association
  • Weston LaBar, Chief Executive Officer, Harbor Trucking Association
  • Moderator, Lori Ann LaRocco, Sr. Editor of Guests, CNBC Business News, Breaking News/Booking

Followed by: 

  • Q & A with Audience Moderated by Ken – Webinar attendees are encouraged to use the Q&A function on the Zoom app to submit their questions in real time.
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Karyn Booth is a partner and leader of Thompson Hine’s Transportation group. Karyn represents US importers and exporters, and 3PLs and NVOCCS, on international ocean shipping and related intermodal transportation matters. She has been at the forefront of major policy reforms and proceedings before the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) involving demurrage and detention, passage and implementation of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, and modernization of the rules governing cargo loss and damage occurring during sea transport. Karyn was counsel to the Coalition for Fair Port Practices which led the efforts at the FMC resulting in a rule on reasonable demurrage and detention practices and was an industry advisor to the US delegation that negotiated the Rotterdam Rules before UNCITRAL. She serves as general counsel to The National Industrial Transportation League, one of the nation’s oldest organizations who serves as the “voice of the shipper” in freight transportation policy matters and is a recent past President of the Association for Transportation Law Professionals.  

Karyn has been consistently recognized for her work in transportation law by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, The Best Lawyers in America, and Washington, DC Super Lawyers. America’s Leading Lawyers named her “Lawyer of the Year” in Washington D.C. in 2017. 

Karyn’s practice is multi-modal and she is a strategic advisor for companies on compliance with transportation laws and regulations and has extensive experience with contracts involving ocean carriers, 3PLS, NVOCCs, warehouseman and other service providers. Based in Washington, DC, she routinely practices before federal transportation agencies, such as the FMC, Surface Transportation Board (STB), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

Dr. Noel Hacegaba is responsible for managing the day-to-day administration and operations of the Port of Long Beach, North America’s second-busiest container port. Previously, he served as the Port’s Chief Commercial Officer and successfully managed the Port’s commercial operations during a period of significant industry realignment. He led the recovery of its largest terminal following the biggest bankruptcy in shipping line industry history, setting the path for record cargo volumes in 2017 and 2018.

Dr. Hacegaba has more than 24 years of public and private sector experience spanning a variety of industries. Prior to joining the Port, he managed $200 million in contracts for a Fortune 500 company. Dr. Hacegaba is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where he earned degrees in economics (BA and MA), business administration (BS) and planning (MPL). He also earned his doctorate degree in public administration from the University of La Verne.  

He currently serves on the Boards of various industry and non-profit organizations, including the Marine Exchange of Southern California and the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA), where he serves as Chairman of the Board.

Nate Herman oversees AAFA’s government relations department, managing the association’s lobbying, policy, and regulatory affairs activities. Nate leads AAFA’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, formulating and implementing CSR policy and representing AAFA and the industry on CSR issues before governments, NGOs, and other key stakeholders. In addition, Nate develops all apparel and footwear industry data and statistics as AAFA’s resident economist.

Prior to joining AAFA, Nate worked for six years at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration assisting U.S. firms in entering the global market. Nate spent the last two years as the Department’s industry analyst for the footwear and travel goods industries.

Nate received a Masters of Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh in 1994 and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Economics from the University of Delaware in 1992.

Weston LaBar is the Chief Executive Officer of the Harbor Trucking Association and founding President and CEO of Ventures 52 a bespoke Private Equity Advisory focused on early-stage freight technology start-ups. He has a decade of experience as a strategic advisor and executive while managing trade associations, as well as large advocacy and external affairs projects. He is active in local, state, and federal policy making on goods movement and international trade.

As CEO of the HTA, Weston has lead countless initiatives with other stakeholders in the global supply-chain to increase port productivity. The HTA has been an industry leader in developing and adopting technology solutions that create efficiencies with various partners and have become the industry voice for the national drayage community. 

Lori Ann LaRocco is senior editor of guests for CNBC business news. She coordinates high profile interviews and special multi-million dollar on-location productions for all shows on the network. Her specialty is in politics, working with titans of industry. LaRocco is the author of: “Trade War: Containers Don’t Lie, Navigating the Bluster” (Marine Money Inc., 2019) “Dynasties of the Sea: The Untold Stories of the Postwar Shipping Pioneers” (Marine Money Inc., 2018), “Opportunity Knocking” (Agate Publishing, 2014), “Dynasties of the Sea: The Ships and Entrepreneurs Who Ushered in the Era of Free Trade” (Marine Money, 2012), and “Thriving in the New Economy: Lessons from Today’s Top Business Minds” (Wiley, 2010).

LaRocco has been working at the network since 2000. Her track record has garnered the trust and respect from Wall Street rainmakers to Washington. Establishing relationships with some of the best in business, LaRocco’s contacts have told her first of business deals in the billions of dollars, enabling CNBC to break the news first.

Prior to joining CNBC, LaRocco was an anchor, reporter and assignment editor in various local news markets around the country.

Kenneth Levinson is the Executive Director of the Washington International Trade Association (WITA). WITA is Washington’s largest non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to providing a neutral forum in the U.S. capital for the open and robust discussion of international trade policy and economic issues. WITA has over 4,000 members, and more than 170 corporate sponsors and group memberships.

Previously, Ken served as Senior Director for Global Government Affairs for AstraZeneca. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Ken served as Senior Vice President and COO at the Washington, DC consulting firm of Fontheim International. Ken started his career on the staff of U.S. Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, where he served as the Senator’s chief advisor for international trade, tax, foreign policy, and national security.

Ken received a Master’s degree in European History from New York University after doing his undergraduate work at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst. Ken also spent a year studying at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Ken and his wife, the Reverend Donna Marsh, live in Bethesda, MD, with their two daughters.