Resource conservation, development council picks director

PORT ANGELES — The North Olympic Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development council has tabbed a successor to Regional Director Kate Dean.

The nonprofit council is in contract negotiations with an out-of-state applicant who was chosen among four “incredibly well-qualified candidates,” said Clea Rome, 2016 council secretary and director of Washington State University Clallam County Extension.

“Once those negotiations are complete, we’ll announce the new director,” Rome said Wednesday.

“We’re hoping this person will be starting as soon as possible, given we have a couple of grant projects that can’t lose momentum.

“But we’re really, really excited about this new director.”

The council, commonly referred to as the NOP RC&D, works to advance economic, environmental and quality of life initiatives in Clallam and Jefferson counties. It is a collaboration of local governments, tribes and educational and community organizations.

Dean stepped down as director of the RC&D at the end of last year. She was sworn in as a Jefferson County commissioner Tuesday, having defeated Tim Thomas in a race for retired Commissioner Phil Johnson’s seat in the November election.

The RC&D director oversees the administration and operations of the organization and manages council-approved projects, according to the job description.

Clallam County Commissioner Mark Ozias, who serves on the council, announced Tuesday that the RC&D had made an offer to a “highly-qualified candidate right before the holidays.”

“She accepted,” Ozias reported in the business meeting.

“We expect her to start on or around Feb. 1. That was a real success for that organization.”

Rome, who directs the Clallam County Washington State University Extension office, said the resource council had “an amazing panel of candidates to choose from.”

“I was really blown away by the quality of candidates that we received for the position,” she said.

Since 1992, the council has managed projects in natural resource research, economic feasibility, market development and regional planning, according to its website, www.noprcd.org.

It developed the Climate Change Preparedness Plan for the North Olympic Peninsula, which Rome described as a “nationally-acclaimed project.”

The council’s grant-funded efforts are typically focused on economic development in the agricultural sectors of Clallam and Jefferson counties, Rome said.

The climate change adaption plan, which Dean co-authored, is available on the RC&D website.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@ peninsuladailynews.com.

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