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Posted on: December 11, 2018

Meet the Executive Director Finalists December 20

Port of Olympia

Port of Olympia Executive Director Search Down to Three Finalists
Meet the Finalists December 20, at a Public Forum

Three finalists are in the running to be the next executive director of the Port of Olympia. The finalists are:


•    Sam Gibboney, served as the Executive Director of the Port of Port Townsend for two years where she provided strategic and operational management, of an 18-acre ship yard, three marinas, an international general aviation airport and a campus of historical buildings. Previously she was the Director of Community Development, Director of Environmental Resources and Deputy Director of Public Works for San Juan County with responsibility for stormwater, solid waste and natural resources programs. She was the Principal and Owner of ISE Consultants for thirteen years proving project management, strategic planning, funding, and communications strategies to government agencies and non-profits. In addition, she served five years as a Civil Engineer for the City of Port Townsend. Sam holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and received her Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington-Evans School of Public Affairs.

•    Geir-Eilif Kalhagen, served for two years as the Director of Northern California and Pacific Northwest for Metro Ports, headquartered in Long Beach California. Here he had responsibility for Business Development, Mergers and Acquisitions, Commercial Operations, Finance and Safety. For the previous four years he was the Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Longview, responsible for eight marine terminals and waterfront industrial property spanning 835 acres on the Columbia River. For seven years he was the Operations Manager for Southeast Asia & West Coast for Star Shipping where he was responsible for financial oversight and cost containment for all vessels operating both on the West Coast and Southeast Asia, establishing storage and cargo plans and global scheduling for the company’s 70 vessels. In addition, for eight years he was the Operations Manager for Stevedoring Services of America and the General Manager of Tidal Transport and Trading where he represented major international shipping companies’ operations in the US and Canada. Geir has a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of South Alabama and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Oregon. In addition, he is a US Coast Guard licensed Limited Master.

•    Dan Stahl, Chief Operating Officer of the Port of Longview where he has oversight of all four operating divisions to include: Planning & Environmental, Facilities & Engineering, Business Development and Marine Terminals. For the previous eleven years he was with the Port of Bellingham as the Director of Maritime where he had overall management responsibility for the Bellingham Shipping Terminal, the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, and Squalicum and Blaine Harbors. Earlier in his career for a period of twelve years, he was the Executive Director of the Port of Anacortes, where he was responsible for the overall development and leadership of all port functions including, Operations, Planning, Development and Real Estate. Dan has his Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation from the Maine Maritime Academy and a Master of Science in Ocean Systems Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


The next phase includes two days of tours, a public forum and final interviews.  On Thursday, December 20, each finalist will be attending separate tours of Port facilities and properties throughout Thurston County. Finalists will meet with Port staff and then a public forum will take place where all three finalists will have opportunities to share their views and thoughts. 

The public forum is scheduled for:
•    Thursday, December 20, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn, 2101 Henderson Park Lane SE, Olympia WA 98501

Then, on Friday, December, 21, each finalist will be interviewed by the full Port of Olympia Commission in executive session.  The decision by the Commission and announcement of the successful candidate is expected that afternoon in public session.

The executive director position is hired by the Port Commission. Karras Consulting, the Port’s executive search firm, conducted the search for the next Executive Director. Seven semifinalists were identified from a field of 37 applicants and the three finalists were chosen following initial interviews on December 3.


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