An audience of more than 200 people Wednesday started their morning at Tacoma’s Hotel Murano with breakfast, strong coffee and pointed opinions about the global economy and the changing competitive landscape of world trade.

The Port of Tacoma's Annual Breakfast – titled "Meeting the Challenges of Global Economic Change" – was headlined by Dr. Walter Kemmsies, Chief Economist of Moffatt & Nichol. His presentation focused on the current economic malaise and a path to recovery.

The program video may be viewed on the Port of Tacoma website. Please click here to view.

"The good news is we aren't in another Great Depression," Kemmsies said. "But we've dug a very deep hole, and you don't get out of a deep hole in one jump; you have to take one step at a time."

The keynote address was followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Kemmsies, which featured:

  • Chris Connor, President, Region Americas, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics
  • Timothy J. Farrell, Executive Director, Port of Tacoma
  • John Kaiser, Vice President and General Manager, Intermodal and Marketing Sales, Union Pacific Railroad
  • Fred Malesa, Vice President, International Marketing, BNSF Railway
  • Mike Lingerfelt, President, Washington United Terminals

Panel members discussed their organizations' response to economic challenges, competition and forecasts for economic recovery.

Port Media Relations: Mike Wasem, 253-383-9436