Port update | Letter to the Editor

This is an update on happenings at the Orcas Airport. First, I am sad to announce that Kim Kimple is leaving her position as Port Manager on April 1st, 2024. Kim has done an incredible job as Manager and brought a steadiness to this multifaceted job that was impressive. The good news is that she won’t be going far, as she has accepted the position of Finance Manager with Orcas Island Fire Department. Kim will continue to work part-time with the Port to provide continuity and assist with financials.

During the last search for a manager in 2022 several community members suggested we hire an outside recruitment agency to conduct the search, which is exactly what we are doing this time. The Port Commissioners have selected Prothman, an executive recruiting firm, to manage the search, recruitment, and logistics of the hiring process. They specialize in hiring for local public organizations and will bring wider exposure and professional candidate management. Prothman began the search process by engaging with Orcas Island residents about the airport to obtain good community input. Since we hope to attract candidates from both on-island and off, they will be able to conduct an impartial process to find the best finalist pool of candidates. The Port Manager position is a complicated job, involving management of FAA processes and regulations, engineering firm management of Port contractors, county and state regulations, financial oversight, accountability audits, environmental management, and, of course, airport operations! More information about the position can be found on the Prothman recruiting site here:

In the several months it will take to find a new full-time manager, we’ve had a local step in and accept the position on an interim basis. Chip Long is a retired Airline Captain and company executive and is involved on Orcas in a variety of community-focused efforts including Mercy Flight, Orcas Community Participatory Agriculture, and the Orcas Severe Weather Shelter. Chip will be keeping the airport open and operating safely during our search. Please feel free to say hello if you’re at the airport or reach out to manager@portoforcas.com with any questions or concerns. For more information about the Port of Orcas and Orcas Island Airport, visit www.portoforcas.com

Robert Hamilton

Port of Orcas Commissioner