Watson drops out of Port of Bellingham director search

The Bellingham Business Journal

Port of Bellingham officials have announced that another executive director finalist, Mark Watson, from Yuma City, Arizona, has informed them that he wished to withdraw from the port’s search process because he accepted a position on July 1 as the new city manager for Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

In a release, officials said Watson was a well-qualified candidate who was a finalist for several different jobs in the United States, including the Port of Bellingham position.

“While we are disappointed that Mark Watson will not be one our candidates, we are confident that our remaining three candidates have excellent qualifications,” said Port Commission President Jim Jorgensen in press release. “We look forward to our interview process next week and we hope the community will meet our finalists at our reception on Thursday evening.”

Another finalist, Larry Williams, notified the port on June 29 that he decided to withdraw from consideration so that he could pursue opportunities that are more in line with his personal and professional goals.

The remaining three candidates: Jeffrey Bishop, John Carter and Dwight Rives will be in Bellingham from July 7-9 to take part in a comprehensive interview process. This will include in-depth interviews with the port’s Board of Commissioners, two staff groups and a community stakeholder group. Candidates also will be taken on a tour of port operations.

The port commissioners invite the community to attend a reception for the executive director finalists. The reception will begin at 5 p.m., Thursday, July 8, at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal in Fairhaven. The finalists will each give a brief presentation and be available for informal conversations. Feedback on each candidate will be gathered at the reception.

For more information on the finalists, see our previous coverage.

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