The Search for a Port Executive

Author: Abbi Russell Published: March 25, 2021

Ephrata is an eastern Washington town of fewer than 9,000 people. Born at the turn of the twentieth century, Ephrata, like many nearby communities, was first a hub for workers who were supporting the federal government’s rural electrification initiatives, including the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam, just 60 miles away. By mid-century it had become a testing site for the U.S. Army Air Corps (later the Air Force) and then the headquarters for the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project, which turned much of this high desert region into a fertile agricultural area.

In the past, the region has relied on the boom-and-bust cycle of government activity. To continue to evolve and create a strong future, Ephrata and Grant County need long-term, stable economic drivers. The Port of Ephrata is one of these drivers, and its long-tenured executive director is retiring in 2021. MFA is assisting the port in finding its next executive director, an important leader in the region.

After 25 years of working with ports, MFA understands them and their importance to communities. This means we can be a thoughtful, strategic partner to help the Port of Ephrata hire an executive director with a clear vision for the future.

But it’s more than that. The bigger picture is that MFA is helping this community continue to become a place that provides opportunities and support to all, from young people just starting out, to growing families who want to raise their children, and retirees who want to age in place. With our assistance, the next executive director the port chooses to lead their operations will have a big hand in making that happen.

*Photo credit: Port of Ephrata

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Abbi Russell

Principal Communications Specialist

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