Where’s Waldo? He is in Anacortes, WA.
Waldo, a.k.a. Dan Worra served twenty-four years as a naval pilot in the United States Navy. During the last stretch of his long naval career he served as the Operations Manager at Whidbey NAS, which prepared him for his next career, Executive Director for the Port of Anacortes.
In April of 2015, Dan Worra started his new civilian job and instead of answering to higher-ranking officers he now answers directly to the five elected commissioners who govern the Port of Anacortes and set the policies for the Port.
“I interpret their vision and their guidance and through the Mission Statement. I execute that vision into a day-to-day operating plan,” Worra said.
Being Executive Director for the eighth largest port in the state of Washington is not an easy feat. Luckily he has a great staff of thirty-one full-time people who make his job that much easier. Reporting directly to him are three directors. Together they work like a well-oiled machine.
“What I do on a day-to-day basis is try to stay out of the way of the three directors and whatever I can do to make their jobs easier is kind of what I think my job is,” Worra said.
The Director of Operation, Josh Beaner, has been with the Port for twenty one-years. Beaner has worked in just about every job with the Port. As Director of Operations, he manages the day-to-day operations in the three main operating areas for the Port—the airport, the marine terminals, and the 1,000 slips in Cap Sante Marina.
Director of Finance and Administration is Jill Brownfield. Jill has been with the port for a little over three years. The operating revenue of the Port of Anacortes is around $16 million dollars, almost double what it was ten years ago. This makes the Port of Anacortes the eighth largest port in the state of Washington in revenue. Following closely behind is the Port of Olympia, similar in size, in staff, and operating areas. The Port of Anacortes often uses the Port of Olympia when doing comparisons.
A new Director position was added a little over a year ago: The Director of Planning, Properties and Environmental. Brenda Treadwell fills these big shoes, working closely with Dan Worra to plan long-range goals for the port, best use of port properties, and making sure they are being environmentally compliant.
Just short of sixty companies, creating well over a 1000 jobs on port property, Brenda Treadwell works with them on leases and agreements, as well as future uses. For example, the port has entered into a feasibility agreement with the VIP Hospitality Group to possibly put a hotel where the dog park is located next to Cap Sante Marina.
The Port of Anacortes works hard to be environmentally compliant. They feel it is their role to be the leader and stewards in cleaning up Anacortes. In the last 10 years the Port has done $60 million in clean up projects.
“For a port our size to do $60 million in clean up is tremendous,” Worra said.
Dan Worra works with the five commissioners on where the port is heading, capital improvement plans and capitalizing large infrastructure plans, and working on the annual budget.
Dan Worra moved to Anacortes in ’92, met his lovely wife Carrie in ’93, married in ’97 and considers Anacortes their home and the best place to raise their children. Waldo retired in 2014 and began the next stage in his life as Executive Director for the Port of Anacortes.
In regards to the Anacortes Marine Trades Association we asked the following:
What do you think is the port’s role in regards to the Marine Trades?
“Marine Trades provide a lot of jobs and the Port tries to encourage and provide opportunities for marine trade businesses whether on port property or not,” Worra said. “We think it’s two-fold. We bring a lot of boats into our marina which brings in money, not only at the port, but also off port. The marine trades benefit from this.”
The Port feels it is important to encourage the marine trades and to promote Anacortes. The Port is about jobs and growth and making Anacortes a better place.
“I love the directory that you have, it is like one stop shopping for boaters. You can do anything to your boat here in Anacortes,” Worra said. “We do it all here, all in one location.”
The Port is about maintaining the marine flavor around the marina. “We would love for marine businesses to come down and put a foot print around the marina,” Worra said. But that is not always practical for the businesses. The Port does provide full access to Cap Sante Marina to the marine trades without any cost.
“We want to be a willing partner,” Worra said.
The Port also does a lot of advertising leading the way for the marine trades group to be successful, and help spread the word.
What support can the Port provide?
“We have a really good relationship with NMTA and we can work with them to encourage doing business in Anacortes for the marine trades,” Worra answered.
The Port spent a few thousand dollars with the high school video club to produce videos to advertise Cap Sante Marina, the Port, and Anacortes. The videos are free for the marine trades to use.
Dan Worra also tries to attend the Marine Trades meetings to get feedback on what is happening in the Marine Trades and to provide support when possible.
What can the marine trades do to work more closely with the port?
Volunteer on the Marina Advisory Committee or Marine Terminal Advisory committee. Do a presentation at a commission meeting. Support the Port.
“Be a voice,” Worra said.
Give feedback to the Port. They aren’t always aware of the impact they are having on the marine trades, whether positive or negative, and feedback would make them more aware.
The Port and Marine Trades benefit from each other and working closely as a group will make Anacortes the destination for boaters in the Pacific Northwest.