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New Commissioners for Port of Bellingham

by Evin Moore


Michael Shepard and Ken Bell were sworn in as new commissioners for the Port of Bellingham on January 2, 2018. In a press release, Port Executive Director Robert Fix stated “I am pleased to welcome Michael Shepard and Ken Bell to the Port’s Board of Commissioners. Commissioner Shepard has worked on a broad range of issues important to the Port of Bellingham, including workforce development, marine resource management, and affordable housing.”

Fix also called Commissioner Bell a successful businessman with experience working with major ports throughout the world and on contaminated property projects.

“Commissioners Shepard and Bell bring a wide array of skills and interests that will benefit our business community, the environment, and the citizens of Whatcom County,” Fix continued.


Commissioner Shepard is on the faculty at Goucher College where he teaches eLearning classes on anthropology, environmental studies, and cultural sustainability at the undergraduate and graduate level. He is also a Research Associate at Western Washington University’s Center for Pacific Northwest Studies. Besides his other responsibilities, Shepard is a member of the Portage Bay Shellfish Advisory Commission, and a board member for the Kulshan Community Land Trust. Shepard lives with his wife and two children in Bellingham’s Fountain District.

Commissioner Bell is the President, CEO, and founder of Best Recycling, a Bellingham- based recycling business that operates in three states and British Columbia, as well as very remote locations such as the Yukon Territory, Antarctica, Greenland, and the Aleutian Islands. Bell bring 20-plus years of business and leadership experience to his position on the Board of Commissioners. Bell, his wife, and two daughters live in the Bellingham area.

The Port of Bellingham oversees the Bellingham Cruise Terminal and Shipping Terminal, marinas in Blaine and Squalicum Harbor, as well as the Bellingham International Airport. The Board of Commissioners is a three-person, non-partisan group that oversees all Port activities. The Board is made up of business leaders and local politicians who provide guidance on policy decisions. Hopefully, Shepard and Bell will bring their experience and knowledge to help the Port of Bellingham provide transportation and economic growth for the region in the years to come.

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