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Kitsap Economic Development Council director stepping down

David Porter, executive director of the Kitsap Economic Development Council has resigned after nearly three years at the helm of the agency charged with bringing new business to the county.

“I needed to move on and do some other things,” Porter said. “This was not an easy decision.

“I look back at this time with mixed emotions,” he said. “I feel I’m leaving with a stronger board of directors, an improved financial situation and a more solid business retention program.”

“He got us focused and moving in a forward direction,” said KEDC Board Member Lary Coppola. “Before he got here, the committee was just floundering and wondering what they should do. He has left us in a better overall position.”

Coppola said Porter helped to create 2,100 new jobs in the county.

Porter’s arrival in 2003 coincided with the initial announcement by the International Speedway Corp. that Kitsap County was a possible location for a new racetrack.

After ISC’s first choice in Snohomish County fell through and Kitsap moved into the forefront, Porter was credited with keeping the project alive and visible.

“I like the opportunity that the racetrack represented,” Porter said. “It gave us a chance to look at ourselves and where we are going and what kind of community we want. It has stimulated a lot of ideas.”

Porter, who lives in Poulsbo, said he plans to stay at KEDC until the end of June.

He intends to stay in the Seattle area.

The KEDC board is expected to select a new executive director and has already assembled a committee to do so.

Porter said this should be a deliberate process, that “They should take a good look at the kind of organization they want to be and be clear about the role we will play before we rush into another candidate.” 

Added Kitsap County Administrator Cris Gears, who acts as an interface between the county and KEDC, “We need to reach out to the customer base and make sure whatever we do is consistent. This is a hard job because they need to deal with different constituent groups.”

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