Port of Longview commissioners Friday selected two finalists for the port’s open chief executive officer position, one a familiar face and the other an experienced maritime businessman who continued working in the industry despite being dismissed as a top official at a California port 13 years ago.
Dan Stahl and Gus Hein will advance in the hiring process to a virtual meet-and-greet session with the public. Commissioners want constituents and other stakeholders to share their opinions about the finalists, so those comments can be considered in the hiring decision.
“The selection process we went through was arduous. We explored these candidates in depth, and I’m really pleased with the two we bring forward today,” said Commission President Allan Erickson.
Stahl has served as interim CEO since February while the port has searched for a permanent replacement for Norm Krehbiel. He had been the port’s chief operating officer since 2017, and his long career in the maritime industry includes being the director of maritime at the Port of Bellingham in northern Washington and the executive director of the Port of Anacortes in northwest Washington.
Stahl has a Master of Science in oceans systems management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a bachelor’s of marine transportation from the Maine Maritime Academy.
Hein currently serves as the principal of Global Business Advocates, a multi-disciplinary consulting company that works with global corporate and government clients. That role includes international business development, board advisory, government relations and organizational planning.
Hein also worked as the executive officer to the Port of Long Beach (California) Board of Harbor Commissioners. According to a report from the Long Beach Press-Telegram in 2007, the five-member board removed him from that position in a closed-door session. Hein told reporters that it appeared the commissioners wanted to “go in a new direction” but did not elaborate, according to the article.
The change-up occurred around the same time the commission was planning to implement “a number of controversial environmental initiatives” opposed by shipping companies, motor carriers and retailers, according to the article.
Erickson declined to tell TDN whether the commissioners knew about the dismissal ahead of their interview with Hein. Erickson said he “doesn’t know enough about the details to discuss it.”
Hein has a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University and a certificate for transportation and logistics management from California State University Long Beach.
The port will host a digital meet-and-greet for the public at 10 a.m. Aug. 7. Details about joining the meeting are available on the port’s website.
“We are looking for (the longshore union) to give us their take on the candidates. Certainly we hope to get some input from business leaders in the community, and political leaders as well,” Erickson said.
“Rather than interviewing each one of them separately, they will both be in a face-to-face situation,” Erickson added. “While it’s not a debate, you may get a flavor of that kind of discussion.”
Port staff also will meet with the candidates before a hiring decision is made. Amy Robinson, the port’s employment attorney, said she expects a final decision by the end of August.
The CEO is the only employee hired directly by the port commissioners, and it is usually the top paid position with the organization.
Krehbiel served in the position four years, though his tenure with the port spanned almost three decades in other positions. His salary in 2019 was $173,400.
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