PORT TOWNSEND — The Port of Kingston has narrowed its search for an executive director to replace Jim Pivarnik to candidates with Port Townsend connections.
Sam Gibboney, former executive director of the Port of Port Townsend; Greg Englin, current Port of Port Townsend director of operations and business development; and Josh Peters, district manager of the Aquatic Resources Division for the state Department of Natural Resources, are finalists for the position. A dozen applicants were vetted.
Pivarnik resigned in September to take the interim leadership position at the Port of Port Townsend, where he plans to end his career.
According to Kitsap Daily News, Kingston Port Commissioner Laura Gronnvoll said that Pivarnik made around $115,000 annually at the time of his departure from the Kingston position. What the position would pay now has not been settled.
The Port of Kingston commissioners met Friday afternoon to deliberate. A decision and announcement are expected Tuesday.
All three candidates applied for the Port Townsend executive director position in 2016 when Gibboney was hired.
Pivarnik was sought out to replace Gibboney after she resigned this summer, and he accepted the interim position for one year.
The Port of Kingston held a candidate meet and greet Thursday for the community to have the opportunity to visit with each of them.
In addition to her work at the Port of Port Townsend, Gibboney worked for San Juan County in a variety of positions including solid waste administrator and director of community development. She lives in Friday Harbor.
Since 2016, Englin has overseen port operations for three marinas, a 13-acre shipyard, RV park, airport and other properties and assets. He previously was vice-president for Marel Seattle and manager of the maritime operations seaport division for the Port of Seattle for 14 years. He lives on Bainbridge Island.
Peters has held positions as senior planner and principal transportation planner for the Jefferson County Department of Public Works and as a transportation planning supervisor for the road services division for the King County Department of Transportation. He also served in the Peace Corps. He is a resident of Chimacum.
Pivarnik was formerly the deputy director of the Port of Port Townsend for 15 years. He left the job to take the position at the Port of Kingston because, he said, he wanted to be an executive director and felt Kingston was a wonderful opportunity.
On Friday, he reflected on the difference between the two ports and said they are very different, even though all ports operate under the same state laws.
“Port Townsend is a working waterfront; Kingston is more recreational,” he explained.
“The bigger difference is actually in the community. In Kingston, the port is the community. It’s the town square, the meeting place whether you own a boat or not.
“In Port Townsend, people walk around Point Hudson and the boat yard, but it is not the town’s gathering place.
Pivarnik said the relationship between the city and the port in Kingston was something he didn’t grasp at first.
“What I didn’t understand was how the city and the port are interrelated. I spent the first year figuring that out. The second year there was an epiphany: The port needs to make money.”
Pivarnik said he has spoken to the candidates and offered the same advice.
“You really need to want this job,” he said. “You need to want to protect this wonderful thing that’s there.”
He said all three possess strengths and weaknesses and that they will learn a lot from the ground up.
“In Kingston, you’re it. You’ll be writing the grant, there’s no HR department. You will learn how to operate a port.”
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected].