News Flash


Posted on: October 16, 2012

Port Commission Announces Executive Director Candidates: Community Reception Oct. 29

The Port of Bellingham’s Board of Commissioners in their meeting today announced the finalists for the Port’s Executive Director position. Three finalists were chosen from among 95 applicants for the Port’s top administrative position. All of the candidates have extensive leadership and management experience in the public sector.

“All all three of these candidates would bring strong skills and proven experience to the Port of Bellingham,” said Commission President Scott Walker. “The commissioners have individually interviewed each of them and we believe these candidates have the ability to lead Port staff and Port operations in a manner that will result in strong performance for our community.”

The finalists will be in Bellingham on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30 for additional interviews by commissioners, Port staff and community members. One portion of the interview process will be a public reception and introduction to the finalists. The entire community is invited to attend a reception at 5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 29, at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal in Fairhaven. The reception will begin with brief remarks from each candidate and will provide the community with opportunities to have informal discussions with the candidates.

The finalists, in alphabetical order are:

Jonathan Daniels is the Executive Director for Port of Oswego, New York. He has held this position since 2007. Previously he held various leadership positions with the Eastern Maine Development Corporation; the City of Bangor, Maine; the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Eastport Port Authority in Eastport, Maine. Daniels earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Politics and Foreign Affairs from The Citadel in South Carolina and pursued graduate studies in Maritime Management at the Maine Maritime Academy.

William (Bill) Panos is the Public Works and Port Director for the City of West Sacramento in California. He has held that position since 2007. Previously Panos served in leadership positions for the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction; City of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Los Angeles Unified Schools, Calif.; Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; TRW Automotive Group and the California State University Chancellor’s Office. Panos earned a Bachelor’s degree from California State University.

Les Reardanz is the Port of Everett’s Chief Administrative Officer, a position he has held since in January 2011. Previously, Reardanz served in both legal and leadership level positions for more than 10 years at the City of Bellingham. Reardanz, an attorney, also worked for several private law firms. Reardanz is a captain and a General Counsel attorney in the United States Navy Reserve. Reardanz earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis, and his Juris Doctor from Southwestern University School of Law in California.

The Executive Director position has been filled in the interim by Port Deputy Director/CFO Rob Fix. The salary range for the position is $130,000 to $155,000. The Commission anticipates making a hiring decision later this fall.

The Port of Bellingham is a countywide independent special purpose government that operates Whatcom County's major transportation terminals including the Bellingham International Airport, Fairhaven Transportation Station, the Bellingham Shipping Terminal and the Bellingham Cruise Terminal. The Port also serves about 2,000 moorage customers at its Blaine and Squalicum Harbors.

In addition, more than 250 businesses operate on Port properties throughout Whatcom County. The operations of the Port and its tenants generate over 4,000 direct local jobs. The Port has about 90 full-time employees.

For More Information:
Carolyn Casey, Port Director of External Affairs 360-676-2500,

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