Port of Longview commissioners Friday unanimously appointed maritime veteran Dan Stahl as interim Chief Executive Officer to serve while they search for a permanent replacement for CEO Norm Krehbiel.
Stahl also will pursue the permanent position, which opened Friday to online applications.
“I was the executive (director) when I was at the Port of Anacortes, and it’s work I’d like to do here in Longview,” Stahl said.
The application period stays open for 90 days.
Until commissioners select a permanent CEO, Stahl will provide “continuity” following Krehbiel’s retirement on Feb. 29, said Commission President Allan Erickson.
“(Stahl) has been overseeing the (port’s) engineering department, the environmental department and the business development department already,” so he’s familiar with ongoing projects to grow the port, Erickson said.
Stahl, 56, currently serves as the port’s chief operating operator. He joined port staff in 2017 but brings decades of experience in maritime operations.
“I’ve lived my whole life in the maritime world,” Stahl said.
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Stahl received his master’s degree in ocean systems management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after completing his bachelor’s degree in marine transportation operations from the Maine Maritime Academy. He’s held roles with Maritime Terminal Corp. and shipping company Nippon Yusen Kaisha.
He started his job in Longview after 11 years as maritime director at the Port of Bellingham. His resume also includes six years as director of operations and facilities and six years as executive director at the Port of Anacortes, a role similar to Longview’s CEO position.
“I’ve done the job before successfully, and I’m looking forward to serving here,” Stahl said of the interim CEO position.
Starting March 1, Stahl will earn a 10% salary premium, which would bring his pay to about $172,000 on an annual basis. The raise will remain in effect until commissioners appoint a new CEO.
Port Employment Attorney Amy Robinson said offering the premium is “consistent with past practice and policy.”
“We are very fortunate to be able to tap into Dan’s many years in the maritime industry to serve in this role. ... We are also grateful to the entire port staff for their support in this process and have the utmost confidence in this team’s ability to keep us on course as we move ahead,” Erickson said in a prepared statement Friday.
Commissioners are “casting a broad net in hopes of attracting a broad pool of candidates” for CEO, Erickson said. But they could choose to hire a recruiting agency once applications close. It was unclear Friday how long the hiring process will take.
The CEO is the only employee the commission hires and directly manages.
“We are excited about the prospect of moving forward with our search. … In my opinion, this is the most important thing we will do in this calendar year,” Erickson said.