EVERETT — Patrick Pierce, president and CEO of Economic Alliance Snohomish County, is stepping down to take a job on the East Coast.
Pierce, who’s served as head of Economic Alliance for four years, will become the Economic Development Director for the Town of Clayton, North Carolina, in the Raleigh region.
“Our family has been contemplating a move closer to family and friends in the Midwest and East Coast for some time now and this particular opportunity seemed like a great fit for us —rumor has it that the sun is actually visible there between November and March,” Pierce said.
“This decision was not easy or taken lightly. Snohomish County has been my home for the past 38 years — we have grown up together,” Pierce said.
His last day was Friday.
Dom Amor, longtime Economic Alliance Board of Trustee member, will serve as interim CEO while a search for a permanent leader is undertaken.
Pierce’s wife and two daughters, ages 9 and 5, flew to their new North Carolina home last month.
Pierce followed last week, driving across the country with his dog, Layla, an 11-year-old yellow Labrador, in a 2012 mini-van with 90,000 miles on the odometer.
He continued to work remotely for Economic Alliance from hotel rooms along the way, he said. His new job begins Monday.
“It was mostly clear sailing,” said Pierce of the week-long trip.
Pierce, who’s served as Alliance CEO since January 2016, described those years as an “exciting time to be in that role.”
“We saw the opening of Washington State University Everett, we saw Sound Transit move forward, the Boeing 777X came to fruition, all the things happening at the Port of Everett — the hotel, apartments, commercial development and commercial air service at Paine Field,” Pierce said.
“We got to cross a lot of things off our list of objectives, a lot of foundational pieces that we’re able to build on.”
Now the community needs to get its arms around the next step, he said, and decide what it wants Snohomish County to look like in the next 10 years.
“Everett and Snohomish County are my hometown and I care deeply about them,” said Pierce, who was born and raised in Everett.
“I’ll be watching very closely from the other side of the country to see how that goes.”
Economic Alliance is a nonprofit formed in 2011 as a merger between three organizations: the Economic Development Council of Snohomish County, the Greater Everett Chamber of Commerce and the South Snohomish County Chamber of Commerce.
The aim was to provide a more unified voice for the county in Olympia and Washington, D.C., in addition to promoting economic vitality and job growth.
The Alliance supported commercial airline service at Paine Field, development of the Marysville-Arlington Cascade Manufacturing Center, increasing STEM opportunities and education for children and other economic growth.
“I believe strongly, as I know you do, in the importance of its mission and the value that Economic Alliance brings to our investors and the community. The COVID-19 pandemic only reinforces the importance of the partnerships amongst the private, public and nonprofit sectors that we have cultivated in our community,” Pierce said.
The group’s executive committee formed a CEO transition committee and named Amor, formerly with Puget Sound Energy, interim CEO.
“Dom’s deep ties to the community, knowledge of our organization and corporate experience position him well to provide leadership continuity for the staff and investors while a permanent CEO is selected,” Pierce said.
Before taking the reins at Economic Alliance, Pierce was economic development program manager at Puget Sound Regional Council in Seattle.
“It’s been a great honor to have played a role in building so many important economic assets in our community throughout my career,” Pierce said.
Janice Podsada; email@example.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods