Port appoints Attebery its CEO

On Monday the Port of Bremerton Commission announced it will appoint Deputy Executive Director Ken Attebery its new chief executive officer.

Attebery had been serving as interim executive director since former executive director Dick Brandenburg retired in December. He was approached by the port about the job, but said it took many weeks of discussion before the port commission’s choice was finalized. Attebery officially took over his new position after the port commission meeting yesterday.

“I’ve had the privilege on a number of occasions of acting in an interim role,” Attebery said. “It’s a comfortable time to move into the (director) role.”

Attebery, who has been with the port since 1983, prior to that served as planning director for the City of Bremerton. He stepped in for departing executive directors several times in the past, but always returned to his deputy director position.

“I think he wanted to make this was right for everybody — including himself,” said Commission President Cheryl Kincer. “(However), I personally don’t see us finding someone with the experience level and the knowledge base that Ken has.”

Along with Attebery’s appointment, the port will be changing the titles of several positions and, in some cases, altering their job descriptions. Kincer said the move from executive director to CEO is more than just cosmetic.

She said not only would the new title put Attebery on a more even footing with the private businesses the port increasingly deals with, it would better describe his new responsibilities. Instead of being a hands-on manager, the port wants Attebery to take on a more visionary role.

“Dick (Brandenburg) was more involved in the nitty gritty details,” Kincer said. “CEO’s have the vision and they delegate responsibility and make sure the job gets done.”

The deputy executive director position will be eliminated. Kincer said the responsibilities which went along with the job will be absorbed by a staff restructuring which is expected to take place in early April.

Kincer said the commission had the choice of simply appointing Attebery and sending the appropriate notices, but the commissioners felt that would short-change him.

“We all agreed it was a grand idea to put it on the agenda,” Kincer said. “We really need to publicly recognize him and say nice things about him.”

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