Port announces executive director finalists

The Bellingham Business Journal

The Port of Bellingham’s Board of Commissioners has announced the finalists for the port’s executive director position. More than 100 people applied to serve in the port’s top administrative position. The finalists have a mix of broad port experience and public sector employment.

“We are very pleased with our candidates and look forward to meeting them and interviewing them in July,” said Commission President Jim Jorgensen. “Each one would bring different strengths to the port, and the Commission is committed to working together to determine who is the best fit for our organization.”

Last week the commissioners reviewed the results of semi-finalist interviews conducted by Waldron & Company, the firm selected to conduct the search process for the port. The five finalists for the Port of Bellingham Executive Director position will participate in interviews during the week of July 5.

One portion of the interview process will be a public reception at 5 p.m. July 8 at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal where the finalists will be introduced. The reception will begin with brief remarks from each candidate and will provide the community with the opportunity to engage in informal discussions with the finalists.

The port anticipates making a final hiring decision by the end of July. The finalists, in alphabetical order are:

•    Jeffrey Bishop: Currently the Executive Director for the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay. Previously Bishop held the positions of Manager, Industrial Development for the Port of Tacoma; Director of Properties and Development for the Port of Pasco; and Chief Appointed Officer for multiple cities in Oklahoma, Idaho, Washington, and Kansas. Bishop earned a Bachelor of Arts from Central State University in Oklahoma.

•    John Carter: Currently the Director of Finance for the City of Bellingham. Carter previously worked at the Port of Bellingham for 18 years in various positions, most recently serving as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the time of his resignation in 2008. Previously he served as Vice President and CFO for Dealer Information Systems  and various financial positions with Sears, Roebuck and Co. Carter earned a Bachelor of Science from Central Washington University.

•    Dwight Rives: Currently the Director of Port Construction Services at the Port of Seattle. Rives has been with the Port of Seattle for 11 years in multiple positions. Rives previously was employed as the Capital Projects Manager at the Seattle Public Library, a division of the City of Seattle. He earned a Bachelor of Architecture at Washington University and a Masters in Public Administration at the University of Washington.

•    Mark Watson: Is the former City Administrator of Yuma, Arizona. Prior to joining the City of Yuma in 2005, Watson spent over 24 years in city management in Montana and Texas. He earned both a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Public Administration at the University of Kansas.

•    Larry Williams: Currently the Assistant Director, International Trade & Economic Development for the Washington State Department of Commerce. Williams has more than 17 years of experience in international trade with both the State of Washington and State of North Carolina. He has two Bachelor of Science degrees from North Carolina State University.

The port is filling the job that became vacant when Jim Darling took a private sector position in June 2009, after serving for 15 years as executive director.


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