Veteran Tacoma Port Commissioner Running for Another Term

By John Gillie, April 15, 2013, The News Tribune

Connie Bacon, a veteran of 17 years on the Port of Tacoma commission, says she’ll be running for another four-year-term this summer.

But don’t expect to see Bacon’s name plastered on campaign signs in yards and highway medians throughout Pierce County this summer. She says she won’t be using signs this year to boost her campaign.

“Frankly, I don’t think yards signs provide the kind of information that voters need to make a smart decision about a candidate,” said Bacon. “They’re just names.”

“I don’t want people distracted by the signs while they’re driving, and they’re an environmental problem,” she said.

Bacon, former executive director of the World Trade Center Tacoma, said her experience on the port commission, in trade and in government and pricate industry makes her an asset on the five-member board. In addition to her World Trade Center job, Bacon served as corporate public relations director at the predecessor to Tacoma’s MultiCare Health System and as a special assistant to Gov. Booth Gardner. Bacon was also a small business woman as a partner in the Connoisseur Shop in the Stadium business district.

” The next couple of years, at least, will be crucial for the port in that the Panama Canal comes on line in 2014, Canadian ports are expanding and, in particular, I want to assure that the goals and targets we have set in our strategic plan will happen,” said Bacon. “Good decisions to keep the Port of Tacoma competitive and growing will require leadership and experience which I know I can provide. Having access to the relationships I have built in the industry and throughout our global customer base are a key advantage in making decisions to meet the challenges we will face.”

The port commission has learned valuable lessons over the last few years, she said, as the recession deflated ambitious plans to expand the port’s business. Now, business is coming back as the port works to win new business and to keep its existing customers happy.

“I think we’ve got a group that’s working together well,” she said of the five-member commission. “There’s no cult of personality there.”

She praised the port’s chief executive officer John Wolfe for putting together an able team and for keeping focused on the commission’s strategic plan goals.

In the last year, the port has won the business of a big shipping consortium, the Grand Alliance, from Seattle, has signed a deal that will create a new bulk liquids terminal on the site of the forme r Kaiser Aluminum smelter and has inked a new contract with a Bremerton-based shipbuilder to use port facilities to build Navy warcraft.

Bacon, 80, won’t be the only commissioner facing an election this year. Commissioners Don Meyer and Don Johnson also will see their terms expire this year. Neither has yet said whether they will seek re-election.

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