Monday, April 28, 2014

Port of Woodland Picks New Executive Director

By Mark Edward Nero

During a special meeting on April 22, the Port of Woodland Board of Commissioners selected Jennifer Keene, an economic development planner with Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments, as the port’s new executive director.

She will replace former Executive Director Nelson Holmberg, who on March 3 resigned to accept a position with a company that conducts consulting services for the maritime industry. Holmberg worked for the port for four years; his last day before leaving for a position with consulting firm BergerABAM, was March 14.

Keene's salary with the port is expected to be $61,000 per year.

Keene has been with the CWCOG since 2008 and prior to that worked for the city of Vancouver, Washington’s Community Development Block Grant program. She also previously held positions with the Oregon cities of Hillsboro and La Grande. During its month-long search for a replacement for Holmberg, the commission had said it was looking for someone who was able to take care of tenant needs, help the port grow and run a profitable business. In her role with the CWCOG, Keene had helped assist local governments with planning and grant applications, and had worked with the port on several projects over the years.

In some of her first remarks after being hired, Keene said she was “looking forward to the new adventure.”

“It is exciting and also terrifying at the same time,” she said.