March 9, 2018 – Herd Freed Hartz Executive Search Partners has recruited retired U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Stephen P. Metruck as the new executive director of the Port of Seattle Commission.
The search involved outreach to community leaders and stakeholders, five employee forums and an innovative online survey.
Candidates from around the region and across the country were reviewed in the selection process. The port was seeking a committed public servant who was energized by the chance to lead the management of robust economic development initiatives, rapidly expanding operations at Sea-Tac International Airport as well as numerous real estate and maritime operations.
Mr. Metruck fit that bill. He brings 34 years of executive experience in maritime, security and financial leadership to his new role. Most recently, he was commander of the Mid-Atlantic Region, overseeing 3,600 military and civilian personnel. Before that, he was responsible for planning and execution of the $10 billion U.S. Coast Guard budget. He also served as commander of Sector Puget Sound from 2005 to 2008. In that role, Mr. Metruck oversaw the enforcement of complex national and international safety, security and environmental laws. He also directed the creation of the nationally recognized Puget Sound Joint Harbor Operations Center, which brings numerous government jurisdictions and stakeholders under a unified command in the event of a natural disaster or other major incident.
The Right Fit
“First and foremost, we sought a great public servant to lead our outstanding organization with transparency and strong values,” said Courtney Gregoire, vice president. “Admiral Metruck brings an exemplary record of service and achievement to the Port of Seattle. We are thrilled to have his experience and leadership at a time of great growth and change. The port is committed to expanding diversity and ensuring equality as we create new economic opportunities throughout the community.”
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Commissioner Fred Felleman, who co-chaired the executive director search committee along with Ms. Gregoire, said Mr. Metruck was an ideal candidate. “I have firsthand experience with Admiral Metruck’s integrity, leadership and commitment to environmental stewardship in his capacity as commander of Sector Puget Sound,” he said. “I’m excited to welcome him aboard to take the helm at the port and I’m confident he will steer us on a course to an environmentally responsible and inclusive economy.”
In his new role, Mr. Metruck is accountable for leading the organization to meet its strategic, social, environmental, financial and operational goals. Along with the commissioners, he will serve as a face of the organization to the public. He will oversee more than 1,900 employees with a total budget of over $849 million along with an anticipated capital spend of $2.7 billion over the next five years.
Priorities for Mr. Metruck will include leading the organization as it modernizes and expands Sea-Tac International Airport to meet rapidly growing demand, overseeing major developments at Fishermen’s Terminal in support of the North Pacific Fishing Fleet, managing the port’s real estate assets to maximize economic opportunities for local communities and further developing a thriving cruise business that handles over one-million revenue passengers a year. The port is also expanding its leadership in environmental stewardship and workforce development.
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Founded in 1911, the Port of Seattle Commission owns and operates Seattle-Tacoma International Airport; two cruise ship terminals; Fishermen’s Terminal, home of the North Pacific fishing fleet; one grain terminal; a public cargo terminal; four public marinas; and manages a number of real estate assets for financial return and economic advantage. Its operations currently help create nearly 200,000 jobs and $7 billion in wages throughout the region.
Veteran Search Consultants
Herd Freed Hartz, established in 2001, provides executive search services to the technology, financial services, consumer, manufacturing, non-profit and life science sectors from offices in Portland, OR and Seattle. Its client roster consists of leading, cross-industry brands, including Starbucks, Microsoft, Les Schwab, Amazon, Gates Foundation, Disney; T-Mobile, Alaska Airlines and Premera. Herd Freed Hartz also works extensively with Seattle and Portland-based venture capital and private equity-backed concerns. The firm has placed operating executives within the portfolios of Voyager Capital, Madrona, Endeavour Capital, Kleiner Perkins, TPG and Bain Capital, among others.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media