Freeland man selected as next port director

Former Whidbey Telecom employee Chris Michalopoulos was chosen as the next executive director for the Port of Coupeville.

Michalopoulos was one of six candidates interviewed last week to replace interim director Jan Marc Jouas, whose contract ends this month.

Michalopoulas, a Free-land resident, previously worked for Whidbey Telecom as the director of customer experience and director of member relations for Molalla Communications Company.

Commissioner John Mishasek said it was Michalopoulos’ networking capabilities and operational responsibilities including involvement in human resources policy and procedure development during his time at Whidbey Telecom that made him stand out.

“I believe Chris understands how the port could be a key entity in bringing together various partners in local government and business to help the port to be more active in economic development in Central Whidbey or even beyond its tax district which is a benefit to all of our county commissioners,” he said.

An updated executive director contract is being reviewed by the port attorney and has not been signed by either party yet. It includes compensation of $60,000 per year with two weeks paid vacation and a small monthly stipend for a cell phone.

“The plan is to have Chris and Jan Marc work together for several weeks, and Jan Marc has volunteered to be available for calls from Chris afterward,” Mishasek said.

“Jan Marc will be missed greatly,” Mishasek said. “He was the perfect person to be our interim executive director as he was able to correct many if not most of the operational shortcomings and personnel issues that plagued the port in much of 2016.”