Port peers at three

Log and cruise ships mesh on Pier 1 at the Port of Astoria.

The Port of Astoria recently announced the three finalists in its nearly 11-month search for an executive director. A fourth, Jeffrey Bishop, dropped out after taking a position as the director of the Port of Moses Lake, Wash.

The three finalists for Astoria include:

• Michael Weston, the interim executive director of the Port and previously its director of business development and operations.

• Joseph Weber, most recently the director of the Pacific Maritime Association.

• Jim Knight, currently the director of the marine terminal at the Port of Olympia, Wash.

“I imagine we should be certain by Aug. 19,” said Port Commission President John Raichl.

The candidates will be interviewed Aug. 12 by an industry professional panel and then the Port commission.

The industry professional panel includes high-ranking members of industries or agencies with which the Port regularly interacts. It includes retired banker Cheri Folk; local labor leader Chris Connaway of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU); retired U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Bruce Jones; Nicole Williams, CEO of Clatsop Care Center and former Clatsop County Clerk; Mark Morgans, an area manager with timberland company The Campbell Group; plant manager David Wright of Pacific Seafood Group; and Don Haskell, a retired international lawyer and former Clatsop County commissioner.

Weston, who’s been with the Port since 2010, has served as the Port’s interim executive director since Hank Bynaker resigned Sept. 10.

On his resume, Weston lists Frog Consulting LLC, as an employer from 2008 to present, providing “consulting services for a variety of clients.” From 2006 to 2010, he was a planner for Clatsop County. From 2004 to 2006, he was an economic development coordinator for Lane County.

The name of his consulting company stems from frog, the colloquial term for a U.S. Navy Seal. Weston served as a U.S. Navy Seal and machinery repairman from 1995 to 2000.

Weston has a master’s in public administration from the University of Oregon.

Weber, according to his resume, has been area manager and director of contract administration for the Pacific Maritime Association from 1988 to 2013. The association primarily negotiates and administers maritime labor agreements with the ILWU.

From 1987 to 1988, he worked as an industrial engineer for Boeing Co. From 1975 to 1986, he was general manager of Trans-Asiatic Inc./Alaska Far East Corp., directing seafood operations, budgets, logistics and marketing.

Weber has a master’s degree in business administration, with a focus on finance, from the University of Washington.

Knight’s been director of the marine terminal in Olympia since 2013. Before that, he served as the port’s marketing and business development manager since 2009. From 1996 to 2005, he served as vice president and general manager for Miles Mechanical Inc., in Gig Harbor, Wash.

For his education, Knight lists John Marshall High School in Rochester, Minn., and “various & significant” in Minnesota, California and Washington for his college education. He served as a petty officer in the Navy from 1971 to 1975.

Port Commission Chairman John Raichl said the Port would have a fairly good idea Aug. 12 of its preferred candidate, who will then be tentatively offered the job before undergoing a background check and contract negotiations.

Bynaker resigned in September, praising the staff but voicing his concern over a Port commission that had stymied his efforts to improve the agency.

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