The Port of Olympia is closing in on a new executive director — seven months after its former executive, Ed Galligan, resigned.
The three member commission — Joe Downing, Bill McGregor and E.J. Zita — interviewed seven candidates in executive session on Monday and are in the process of selecting finalists. Finalists’s names are expected to be released next week.
After that, the port is set to invite the public to meet the finalists from 3-5 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Olympia.
Thirty-seven people applied for the job, according to port data. Twenty-two of the applicants had port-related experience. Twenty-five were in-state applicants and 12 were out-of-state applicants, the data show.
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Despite what might appear to be a long process to hire a new executive director, the port is right on schedule, said Jeri Sevier, the port’s administrative services director.
Former director Galligan, who served nearly 13 years, was put on paid leave in the spring and ultimately resigned toward the end of May. Since then, the port has hired Olympia-based Karras Consulting to lead the recruitment effort, announced the job opening in the fall, and is set to do final interviews in late December, she said.
The job announcement did not require port experience, said Dennis Karras of Karras Consulting during a meeting with the commission in November.
Many of the applicants have advanced degrees, including one with a doctorate degree and one with a law degree.