Speaker List

Cliff Pyron

Chief Commercial Officer | Georgia Ports Authority

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Cliff Pyron is responsible for providing strategic leadership of the Georgia Ports Authority's business development and trade development activities. His principal accountability is to develop all commercial activities in order to sustain long-term growth and market share leadership. This includes all sales, marketing, economic development, promotional, trade show, and agency relations activities. Additionally, he collaborates with the executive management team to develop and execute the Authority's strategic plan, providing direction and oversight for success in the marketplace.

With a BS degree in Business Administration from East Carolina University, Pyron has more than 30 years of experience in the liner and logistics sector of the maritime industry. Prior to his appointment to the GPA in 2008, he served as Vice President - Sales, for NYK Line - North America in Secaucus, New Jersey.

Pyron had previously worked at Maersk-Sealand as Vice President - Sales, Southeast Region and was with the organization for a combined total of 19 years, more than five years in Hong Kong with Sea-Land Service, Inc. as General Manager, Hong Kong & So. China. He has had various liner, logistics, operational, marketing and back office support management capacities.


Dr. Walter Kemmsies

Managing Director, Economist and Chief Strategist, Ports, Airports and Global Infrastructure | Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

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Dr. Walter Kemmsies is a Managing Director, Economist and Chief Strategist for JLL’s U.S. Ports, Airports and Global Infrastructure Group. In this role, he executes initiatives for public and private sector clients who have interests in or properties proximate to seaports and airports throughout North America. He is also working to expand the U.S. Ports, Airports and Global Infrastructure Group’s expertise to the infrastructure sector and assist both public agencies and investors in underwriting, financing and evaluating new investment vehicles and opportunities.

Kemmsies is widely viewed as one of the foremost experts on ports, rail and infrastructure in the U.S. His areas of expertise include, but are not limited to, demand forecasting, maritime and overall global trade regulatory issues, public/private port and infrastructure financing as well as long term strategic planning/capital investment. Kemmsies’ professional experience working in Europe, Latin America and Asia uniquely qualifies him as a global trade economist.

Kemmsies currently advises several major U.S. Port Authorities and is routinely asked to work on complex issues with various investment banks, private equity firms and public regulatory agencies. He provides substantial support to the freight movement industry via a monthly column in American Shipper, presentations at major international industry conferences, and advising the U.S. Department of Commerce on supply chain competitiveness. Kemmsies recently testified to the U.S. Senate Transportation and Commerce Subcommittee on issues affecting the freight industry. He has also published research in scholarly journals.

Prior to joining JLL, Kemmsies was the Chief Economist for Moffat & Nichol, a leading global infrastructure advisement firm. Preceding his experience working with Moffatt & Nichol, he was the Head of European Strategy at JP Morgan in London and, earlier, Head of Global Industry Strategy at UBS in Zurich and London.   

Kemmsies is an advisor to the U.S. Department of Commerce Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness and the Department of Transportation’s National Task Force on Transportation Infrastructure Valuation.  He is a member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, National Association of Business Economists, and International Association of Energy Economists.

Kemmsies holds a Doctorate degree in Economics from Texas A&M University, a Master of Arts in Economics from Florida Atlantic University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Florida Atlantic University.


Griffith V. Lynch

Executive Director | Georgia Ports Authority

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Griff Lynch is the Executive Director of the Georgia Ports Authority, an 1,100-person strong state port authority that owns and operates strategic gateways serving the U.S. Southeast. 

As Executive Director, Lynch oversees all port activity involving the deepwater ports of Savannah and Brunswick, as well as inland terminal operations in Bainbridge and Columbus.  Directing one of Georgia’s largest economic engines, he administers a $280 million annual budget.

Before becoming executive director, Lynch served as GPA chief operating officer for five years. As COO of the single largest container terminal in North America and second busiest U.S. auto port, he was responsible for sustaining the profitable growth and development of all operations, and maintaining world-class operating standards. His duties included overseeing ambitious capital improvement and development programs for five deep water ports and two inland terminals while maintaining strong relationships with numerous customers, labor officials and supply chain partners.

A proven leader in the maritime industry, Lynch brings more than 27 years of experience in the design and implementation of major port expansions, the effective execution of sustainable profit and productivity models and identifying winning sales and marketing strategies.

Lynch graduated from the State University of New York at Maritime College in 1988 and immediately began his training as a vessel planner. Over the course of his career, Lynch held executive positions in both sales and operations at terminals in New York and Virginia before joining the GPA in 2011.


James L. Allgood, Jr.

Chairman | Georgia Ports Authority Board, 2017 GFTC General Chairman

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James L. Allgood is chairman of the Board of Allgood Pest Solutions, a company he started in 1974. He was chairman of the Structural Pest Control Commission for 20 years and is past president of the Georgia Pest Control Association. He has served as chairman of the Dublin-Laurens County Development Authority, the Dublin Rotary Club, and the First United Methodist Church board. Allgood earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, was a member of the Leadership Georgia Class of 1993, and was president of Leadership Georgia in 1996. He and his wife, Kathy, have three children and three grandchildren. They reside in Dublin.


Peter M. Tirschwell

Senior Director for Editorial Content | IHS Maritime & Trade

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Peter Tirschwell Senior Director for Editorial Content at IHS Maritime & Trade, a leading data, analytics and business intelligence organization serving the maritime industry globally through products and services including JOC, PIERS, AIS Live, World Trade Service and the Sea-web (formerly Lloyd’s Register) vessel characteristics database. In his role Peter leads the editorial teams of JOC and the IHS maritime media which includes brands such as Fairplay, Safety at Sea and Dredging & Port Construction.  

A career transportation journalist, Mr. Tirschwell was a reporter, West Coast Bureau Chief, Editor in Chief and Publisher of The Journal of Commerce daily newspaper in his 20+ year career with the company beginning in 1992. He is the founder and chairman of the annual TPM conference in Long Beach, Calif., one of the world’s largest shipping events, and oversees other leading JOC events such as TPM Asia, Inland Distribution and the JOC Europe conference in Hamburg launched in 2105. He led the development of the JOC Port Productivity data, the first global database of port performance able to compare ports and terminals on an apples-to-apples basis, on the basis of berth productivity. He writes a regular column in The Journal of Commerce, covering a range of international logistics topics, speaks regularly at industry events and has been quoted in mainstream business media including the BBC, CNBC, The Wall Street JournalFinancial Times and The New York Times.

Mr. Tirschwell lives in Brooklyn with his family and is an avid sports fan, fly fisherman and sailor.