Everett port director to retire at end of year

  • Herald staff
  • Thursday, March 6, 2014 3:02pm

EVERETT — The Port of Everett’s executive director is retiring at the end of the year.

During his 16 years in the post, John Mohr helped the port greatly increase the amount of cargo passing through, especially in support of the aerospace industry.

But it still faces economic challenges, such as under-utilized commercial land and economic cleanup.

The Port of Everett has more than 100 full-time employees and a budget of more than $50 million. Policy is set by three elected commissioners and implemented by the executive director.

“John’s passion for job creation, advocating and planning for the necessary infrastructure investments to support the aerospace industry, and his vision of transforming the marina area into a commercial and recreational district does not go unnoticed,” Port Commission President Tom Stiger said in a statement released by the port. “On behalf of the commission, we wish him well in his upcoming retirement.”

After taking over as executive director, Mohr helped move the port from a declining wood products port to a key aerospace and break-bulk cargo port. Break-bulk cargo must be custom-loaded, unlike container cargo, which is loaded with more-automated systems.

The port now has the fifth-highest export value of all seaports on the West Coast, according to the U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Division.

“I have been so very fortunate to have visionary Commissioners setting the direction of the port, and to have had a great port family to make that vision a reality,” Mohr said in the news release. “With the recent announcements of Saltchuk bringing Foss Maritime to the Everett waterfront, and 777X opportunity right around the corner, we are poised for greatness. I can’t think of a better scenario under which to retire.”

Mohr has also started transforming the port’s Marina District from an industrial site to a recreational hub.

He has been active in state and national port organizations, including serving as chairman of the U.S. Delegation of American Association of Port Authorities.

Before coming to Everett, he worked for the ports of Olympia and Newport, Ore.

The Port of Everett Commission has hired Jensen and Cooper to conduct a search for the port’s next executive director.