Port of Port Townsend Executive Director Sam Gibboney announced her resignation on August 15, leaving current in-house counsel and planning director Eric Toews as named acting executive director, pending a search for her replacement. Gibboney has served as executive director since June 7, 2016. Toews has been a full-time senior staff member since 2011 and was previously a contractor with the port. He will begin acting as executive director immediately. “It’s a fulfillment of a legal responsibility.” Toews stated.
“Director Gibboney did an exceptional job for the port and we’re appreciative,” Toews said. Gibboney thanked the port for the opportunity but felt that it was time for a new executive director to make progress on challenges facing the port.
The letter of recommendation from the port thanked Gibboney again and stated; “To be clear, the port commission recognizes the tenure of a change agent for an organization can be limited. You have served as that change agent and we are in a significantly better position.” Other parties, like the Port Townsend Marine Trades Association stated they are looking forward to help the port through the transition; “PTMTA is focused on the practical work of supporting our port commissioners in working on the critical issues and sustainability of the port,” said spokesperson Pam Petranek. Northwest Maritime Center executive director Jake Beattie said: “We regret that this ended up not being a good fit for Sam, but we have a long standing, productive relationship with Mr. Toews and are encouraged by the commission choosing him as acting director.” The port will soon be taking steps to find an interim executive director.