Inslee Hires Former Port of Seattle Exec to Boost Maritime Industry

By Steve Wilhelm, October 11, 2013, Puget Sound Business Journal

Former Port of Seattle attorney Steve Sewell has been appointed “maritime sector lead,” in a new state position supporting the maritime industry.

The post, within the Washington state Department of Commerce, will parallel the state’s Office of Aerospace, led by Alex Pietsch.

Sewell’s new position will help drive policies important to the continued growth of the maritime sector, said Commerce DirectorBrian Bonlender, in a statement.

A difference is that Pietsch reports directly to the governor, while Sewell will report to Bonlender.

Sewell’s appointment was announced Friday by Gov. Jay Inslee.

Steve Sewell is a dynamic and well-respected leader who has developed strong local, national and international relationships over more than 25 years in the maritime industry,” Inslee said in a statement. “He will be an outstanding asset in our efforts to expand our working waterfront as a job creation engine for Washington’s economy.”

Since leaving the port, where he also was managing director of the seaport division, Sewell has been in the private sector. Prior to his new post he was a founding executive and senior vice president at LoadStar, a subsidiary of the world’s largest port operator, Hutchison Port Holdings.

Sewell’s appointment is part of Inslee’s plan to recruit “leads” for more industry sectors, including advanced manufacturing, agriculture, clean technology, information and communications technology, life sciences and military.

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