Leadership changes coming to the Port of Cascade Locks this spring

Some new faces will soon be at the helm of the Port of Cascade Locks following a leadership transition that is expected to wrap up at the end of spring.

First, the port is looking for a replacement for Gary Rains, who resigned from his job as the port’s economic development manager on Monday after serving nearly two years in the position. Port Interim General Manager Paul Koch announced Rains’ resignation Tuesday afternoon, but confirmed that Rains still may help with consultations on port projects in the future.

“During Gary’s employment with the Port, much positive progress was made in creating economic development opportunities for the Port and community,” Koch said. “The Commission is sincerely thankful for all the time and effort Gary put in on behalf of the community.”

Koch reported that the port was “moving quickly” to replace Rains, and said whomever was selected for the job would likely be serving in a 6- to 8-month interim capacity while the port considered a long-term candidate for the position.

Koch’s days as interim general manager are also numbered as his contract expires at the end of June this year. This is not the first time Koch has had “interim” attached to his title: Koch served as Cascade Locks interim city manager from August 2011 until February 2013, at which time he started his current job at the port.

Currently, the port commission is considering two candidates for Koch’s position: Dana Peck, of Goldendale, and John Herron, from Hood River. According to his resume, Peck has previously worked as the director of Klickitat Economic Development and most recently as the senior developer at enXco Development in Portland, a wind energy company. Herron most recently has worked as the area manager of Veolia Water North America and helped with the management of industrial water and wastewater projects in Northern California. Herron has also served on the Hood River Planning Commission as well as city council.

Koch said the port hopes to finish the selection process this month and have the new general manager in place by the beginning of May.

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