Port moves toward finalizing director requirements

By Tristan Hiegler

Port of Bellingham commissioners met Friday, April 23, to discuss the draft of the job description for the new port executive director. Several refinements were made and the final job description will be approved by Monday, April 23.

The requirements for the position were crafted by Waldron and Company, a Seattle firm the port had hired in March to conduct the search for Jim Darling’s replacement. Darling was the port’s previous executive director who left for the private sector in 2009.

Ed Rogan, executive search practice lead with Waldron and Co., said the specifications the firm landed on for the position were arrived at after discussing the position with numerous stakeholders. He said the firm talked to port commissioners and workers about what they would want to see in a new executive director. External stakeholders, such as local business leaders, university officials and others were surveyed about the position as well.

Rogan said the main characteristics that people stated they wanted in a new director were leadership and accessibility. He said those surveyed said the director should provide strong leadership in developing the port’s facilities and be approachable by port workers and community members. The new director should  be able to go out into the larger Bellingham community and forge connections with the many groups that could further the port’s goals, according to the job description draft.

At the Friday morning meeting, Commissioner Scott Walker said that while leadership is important, a strong business sense and an ability to communicate well with the commissioners are vital attributes for any new executive director to have.

Elizabeth Monahan, the port’s human resources manager, said the next step for the search process will involve Waldron incorporating all the suggestions and changes into the job description draft, as well as photos and graphics, and it will be sent out on Monday for the commissioners to review one final time and approve.

For more information, call Waldron and Company at (206) 441-4144 or visit http://www.waldronhr.com/. The Port of Bellingham can be reached at (360) 676-2500.

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