Port of Olympia Executive Director Ed Galligan, who has led the port for 11 years, is one of three finalists for the Port of Vancouver’s top job of CEO/executive director.
The three finalists were announced Tuesday by the Port of Vancouver USA. The other finalists are Julianna Marler, the Port of Vancouver’s interim chief executive, and Arthur Scheunemann, a former president and chief executive of the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County.
Finalists are set to be interviewed Jan. 19 in Vancouver by a panel of port and community stakeholders. The Port of Vancouver commission will evaluate the applicants’ qualifications in a special executive session Jan. 20, then the commission could pick a finalist Jan. 24.
The Vancouver port hopes to have a permanent chief executive onboard by March to replace former chief executive Todd Coleman, according to a news release.
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Galligan said Tuesday that a consultant hired by the Port of Vancouver reached out to him and encouraged him to apply.
“I just thought I would explore it,” Galligan said. “I’m not sure I’m the right fit, but they reached out to me.”
Galligan said in his 11 years at the Port of Olympia he has turned down three job offers.
“My passion for what I’m doing here has kept me here,” he said.
Galligan has ties to the Vancouver area. He worked for the Port of Portland for 15 years and still owns a home in Clark County, he said. Before working for port districts, he spent nearly 20 years in the telecommunications industry, holding leadership roles as an executive and in financial services.
“I need to explore this,” he said. “I need to see what they’re looking for. Ultimately, I won’t be able to do that until I’ve had a conversation.”
Galligan wanted to make clear Tuesday that he has made no decision about the job and that the Port of Vancouver has made no decision.
“I have a passion for what we’ve done here and the outstanding leadership team that we have here,” he said of Olympia. Galligan said the group of division directors at the port is the best “this port has seen.”