The Bellingham Business Journal
The Port of Bellingham’s year-plus stint without a permanent executive director will end next week. Port commissioners unanimously appointed Charlie Sheldon as executive director and approved his salary and benefits in a special public meeting Oct. 14.
Sheldon, formerly with the Port of Seattle, will begin work at the Port of Bellingham on Oct. 18.
“We are very pleased that Charlie can begin working with us so quickly,” said Commission President Jim Jorgensen in a press release. “I believe we made an excellent choice in hiring Charlie because of his solid experience in many aspects of port operations and management.”
The commission approved a hiring package that includes a $135,000 annual salary, with an additional 10 percent deferred compensation. The position also is given a car allowance, as well as regular port employee benefits.
“I’m honored to be selected for this role and I look forward to working with the commissioners, port staff, port customers, and the broader community in the days and months ahead,” Sheldon said in a statement. “I’m hopeful my experience and work history will support the mission of the Port of Bellingham. While we face difficult economic circumstances these days, I’m hopeful that the port and the broader community can, together, expand economic opportunities for the waterfront, the airport, and all of Whatcom County.”
The port will host a community reception where members of the public and business leaders can meet Sheldon. The event will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Nov. 4, at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal in Fairhaven.
Sheldon has been with the Port of Seattle since 1990, where he worked in a number of divisions and was most recently in charge of special projects as part of its executive team. He was the managing director of the Port of Seattle’s seaport division for seven years, and was the director of the $2.6 billion capital improvement program at Sea-Tac Airport for four years.
Before joining the Port of Seattle, Sheldon worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and spent years in the commercial fishing industry in New England. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Yale University and a master’s at the University of Massachusetts.
Sheldon replaces Jim Darling, who served as executive director for 15 years until leaving the port in in June 2009 to take a job in the private sector. Port Facilities Director Fred Seeger has served as interim executive director since Darling left, and will return to his facilities director position on Oct. 18.