Friday, January 15, 2016

Port of Port Townsend Head Retiring

By Mark Edward Nero

Larry Crockett, who’s been the executive director of the Port of Port Townsend in Jefferson County, Wash. for nearly 17 years, has announced his retirement from the port, effective June 1.

“The time is right for me to step away,” he said in a Jan. 13 statement. “We have a stable commission in place, current port projects are well in hand, and we have sufficient time before the next budget cycle begins. This is a window of opportunity that I hope will allow the port to move forward with minimal impact. I’ll be 69 this summer, and I have some other adventures I want to try while I am still in good health.”

Commission President Peter Hanke noted that Crockett’s tenure was highly successful. “When Larry was hired in 1999, the port couldn’t pay its bills, and had to secure a line of credit just to meet cashflow,” Hanke said. “He and his staff have done an outstanding job of placing the Port on sound financial footing, which enables more than 400 marine trades jobs to flourish in an environment where other ports are struggling.”

The port’s executive director is responsible for all operations and lease negotiations with over 175 tenants and businesses, and leads a staff of 26 people that oversees operations of three marinas, boat yards, industrial parks and the Jefferson County International Airport.

Hanke said that the port commission will begin immediate discussions on a process to replace Crockett, who’s been the executive director of the port since April 1999.

Prior to that, Crockett served 30 years in the United States Army, retiring in February 1999 as a Colonel.

“The thing I miss most about the military was the fact that in 30 years of service, I felt that I was part of something larger than myself,” Crockett said. “I never thought I would get that feeling again after retiring. But I found that again at the Port of Port Townsend.”