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Port of Seattle seeks public input in search for new chief

Seattle's cruise business handles more than 1m revenue passengers annually Seattle's cruise business handles more than 1m revenue passengers annually (Photo: Port of Seattle)

The Port of Seattle Commission has launched a public process to find a new executive director to lead the organization in its mission to create jobs, stimulate economic development and protect the environment.

The commissioners are seeking input from the public, customers and employees about the qualities and experience desired in a new leader. An electronic survey is available to provide feedback until June 23.

The Port Commission has retained a local executive search firm, Herd Freed Hartz, to conduct a regional search and anticipates hiring a new leader this fall.

'The Port of Seattle is one of our region’s greatest public assets, and we want our next executive leader to have a strong public service ethic. We encourage the public to be a part of this process from the very beginning,' said Port of Seattle commissioner Courtney Gregoire, who joins commissioner Fred Felleman as co-chair of the hiring selection process.

'The executive director will lead the port staff and execute the commission’s vision that Port assets generate strong financial returns while creating economic opportunities that are socially responsible and broadly shared throughout the region and protecting our environment. Selection of a publicly minded new executive committed to these priorities is essential to the port’s long-term success in serving the diverse communities of King County,' Gregoire said.

The Port of Seattle is a growth-oriented organization of around 1,800 employees with a $1bn budget. Priorities for the executive director include overseeing the expansion of Sea-Tac International Airport in the coming decade, supporting the North Pacific fishing fleet, worth billions in economic activity, and fostering a thriving cruise business that handles more than 1m revenue passengers a year.

The port also is expanding its leadership in training workers for careers in the maritime, industrial and aviation sectors.

Dave Soike, chief operating officer, has served as interim chief executive since the resignation of Ted Fick as ceo in February. The position's title is planned to change from chief executive to executive director.

Posted 05 June 2017

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Anne Kalosh

US editor of Seatrade Cruise Review and Seatrade Cruise News

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