Banker, former business owner to sign on as Clallam County Economic Development Council executive director

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — An investment banker and former manufacturing company owner has been selected to become the new Clallam County Economic Development Council executive director.

Bill Greenwood, 72, will sign a $60,000-a-year contract today to begin working 30 hours a week immediately, he and EDC board president Brian Kuh said Monday.

A Sequim resident, Greenwood said he expects to be full-time in three to six months, after winding down work in Seattle.

When he goes to 40 hours a week his annual salary will climb to $80,000.

His contract includes a $500 monthly stipend for health care, no severance package and 12 days of vacation accruing at one day per month.

Greenwood is president of the Seattle investment banking firm Windswept Capital LLC, which focuses on mergers and acquisitions of Pacific Northwest companies.

“We’ve been cutting back our business,” Greenwood said Monday.

He now commutes to Seattle during the week and returns to Sequim and his wife, Sammy, on weekends.

A Yale graduate with a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in business administration from Cornell, Greenwood also ran Seattle-based Spider Staging Corp., a worldwide maker of powered scaffolding that Greenwood and 15-20 investors sold to Flow International Corp. in 1992 for $8 million-$15 million in stock.

“The nature of his background was just something that the EDC officers and executive committee all felt we were fortunate to have,” Kuh said. “It is unprecedented.”

The group was also impressed by Greenwood’s “clear focus on outputs [and] meaningful outcomes of the efforts, and that resonated with the board,” Kuh said.

The EDC has been without a top administrator ever since the sudden resignation of former city of Port Angeles Economic Development Director Tim Smith earlier this year.

Smith served as interim EDC director for 28 days before resigning Jan. 25, citing the lack of “a clear direction” on how he might best serve the organization.

Smith was hired to the interim position under a $29-per-hour, 120-day contract after longtime EDC director Linda Rotmark retired at the end of 2013 after 10 years in the job.

Greenwood said he initially was interested in the job on a temporary basis.

“It thought it might be a way to help the community,” he said.

“As I learned more, I found out what the needs were and found they were far larger than at least, in my view, I initially thought.”

Though the position was not advertised, the nonprofit organization considered about four candidates, including at least one woman, who had offered their names as applicants or been suggested by EDC board members, Kuh said.

“We just felt it was within the purview of the board to make the decision and they authorized the officiers to carry that out,” he said.

“Bill is very engaged on things. The most fortunate thing to have with him leading the organization is his background.”

As EDC executive director, Greenwood will oversee a $150,000 annual budget and one employee.

“I’m coming to this as a guy who has a lot of investment banking experience through my career, but also as a guy who has run a major manufacturing company,” Greenwood said.

“We want to attract a lot of manufacturing jobs. I think I know a little bit about that business.”

The EDC executive committee recommended hiring Greenwood at its Feb. 13 meeting.

“I’ve already been spending more than 100 percent of my time on this,” he said of the EDC job.

“It needs someone working very hard to get the job done right, but I don’t understand what all the moving parts are, yet.”

Greenwood’s first task will be ensuring that the EDC’s contractual obligations continue to be met, Kuh said.

Second is leading an economic development summit planning effort with Peninsula College and Washington State University.

The EDC executive committee and a team from WSU may meet March 25 “to help define the scope and depth of this effort and its associated timeline,” Kuh said.

It’s still unknown if those efforts will ever lead to formation of an umbrella group to oversee countywide economic development, he said.

“That’s the tail end of the discussion,” Kuh said. “Form needs to follow function.”

Greenwood said he did not know enough about the idea of merging economic development groups to express an opinion.

The Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Port Angeles Downtown Association and the Port Angeles Business Association have been meeting under the umbrella of “PA United” to discuss economic development functions that they duplicate.

The groups meet for the fourth of five planned meetings at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The meeting will be in a room at the North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center, 905 West Ninth St., Port Angeles.

It is open to the public.

________

Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 10. 2014 8:02PM
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