Danielle Vracin. Photo provided

Danielle Vracin. Photo provided

Port of Coupeville selects new wharf manager

There’s a new face at the Coupeville Wharf.

Port of Coupeville officials recently selected Danielle Vracin as the new wharf manager.

“I’m very excited, very proud,” Vracin said.

She has plenty of experience with the sea and a rather “fishy” background.

For 10 years, she worked in Alaska doing fisheries monitoring and research on commercial fishing boats. She has a degree in general biology from Portland State University in Oregon.

Born and raised in Coupeville, she realized she was ready to come home after being away for so long.

Most recently, she’s been working at Penn Cove Shellfish, she said.

The most important role of the wharf manager is to physically take care of the port facility, as well as facilitating the boaters coming and going, she said.

“And making sure everyone has a good experience, enjoying the dock and the town,” she said.

Over 50 candidates applied for the position, which opened up in October.

The field had been narrowed to the top three candidates by Dec. 12, Executive Director Chris Michalopoulos said.

Eleven candidates made it to a round of phone interviews, then five were selected for in-person interviews. Two were eliminated for various reasons prior to interviewing, leaving a top three by mid-December, Michalopoulos said.

“Danielle’s accomplished career in a marine environment, along with her accomplished results, ability to provide an exceptional experience to her customers and professional experience in reporting and communications allowed her to excel during the interview process,” Michalopoulos said in an email.

Also on the interviewing panel was Vickie Chambers and Lynn Hyde from the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association and Pat and David Howell from the Salty Mug.

Vracin replaces retiring longtime manager Long Bechard, who had been with the Port for over 20 years, Michalopoulos said.

The salary for the wharf manager position is $45,000 a year, according to Michalopoulos.

As of now, Vracin doesn’t have any plans to make any changes to the wharf in her new job.

“We’ll see how things go,” she said.

Vracin’s official start date is Jan. 2.

“New year, new career — that’s what I’ve been saying,” Vracin said with a laugh.

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