Thursday, January 19, 2017

Seattle Port Commission Chooses New Leaders

By Mark Edward Nero

On Jan. 17, the Port of Seattle Commission elected its officers for 2017, and Commissioner Tom Albro was chosen as the five-member body’s president, while Commissioner Courtney Gregoire will serve as vice president.

Commissioner Stephanie Bowman will serve as secretary, Commissioner Fred Felleman will serve as assistant secretary, and Commissioner John Creighton will be commissioner-at-large.

“It’s my privilege to serve as commission president,” Albro, who was first elected to the Port Commission in 2010, said. “I believe in servant leadership – the call of a leader to serve those who elected them. So my approach will be to help us all do our best and work effectively together. I look forward to the year ahead, which I’m sure will be busy.”

Commissioners also thanked outgoing president John Creighton for his service during his one-year term.

In 2016, Creighton and the port launched progressively innovative programs aimed at directly improving opportunities for industries and communities, while improving regional quality of life. Key accomplishments in 2016 included providing more than $1 million in Economic Development Partnership and Tourism Development awards to help 31 King County cities and 13 Washington State tourism groups; and funding assistance for state and local roads that ease congestion and improve freight movement.

The port also tripled the number of internships offered via partnerships with related employers; and completed the environmental review to redevelop Terminal 5 and make it big-ship ready in partnership with the Northwest Seaport Alliance. In 2017, the port says it plans additional environmental and economic development initiatives, particularly those focused on reducing carbon emissions, improving quality of life in communities near the airport, and connecting more people to port-related careers.

In its 2017 budget, the Commission authorized more than $45 million in environmental initiatives and projects; $3.9 million in workforce development programs to provide more internships and job-training programs; $1.7 million to promote, support and expand regional tourism initiatives; and $1 million in grants to cities in King County to support their economic development initiatives.