Port Director Sam Gibboney officially resigns


The Port of Olympia Commission announced that it has accepted Executive Director Sam Gibboney’s separation of service during a meeting on Tuesday, September 19.

“The commission thanks Gibboney for her years of service and dedication to the port community and staff,” Commissioner Amy Evans Harding said. “During this transitional period, the commission is committed to prioritizing and ensuring a seamless leadership transition while maintaining the port's stability and effectiveness.”

Evans Harding added that the commission would search in the next months to identify who would take over the chief executive position at the Port.  Human Resources Director Ben McDonald said that Prothman Consulting, which previously assisted the Port in recruiting management positions, will search for a new executive director. 

As the firm’s contract with the Port is nearing its not-to-exceed amount, the Port Commission agreed to add $50,000 to the contract, bringing its total value to $100,000. The Port Commission also voted to extend the contract until December 31, 2024.

For now, Rudy Rudolph, who has been working at the Port since 2004, will continue to serve as the Interim Executive Director. The Port has already given Rudolph a 10% salary increase during a meeting on September 5, and another 5% increase last week on September 11 to account for his additional responsibilities.

The Port Commission placed Gibboney on paid administrative leave during an executive session on August 7. She had been on an extended medical since June 5.

Gibboney joined the Port as its executive director in January 2019. Her last years in leadership had been turbulent, which first became publicly known when she received a letter of no confidence from 22 port employees in July 2022.

More recently, this April, Evans Harding claimed that Gibboney had attempted to “deceive the public” by asking the Port Commission to alter her performance review.

The Olympian reported that Gibboney averaged 3 out of 5 in her performance review, scoring 2.8 out of 5 in core competencies and 3.2 out of 5 in meeting performance targets.    


5 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • Snevets


    Tuesday, September 19, 2023 Report this

  • JW

    Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

    Wednesday, September 20, 2023 Report this

  • TonyW33


    Wednesday, September 20, 2023 Report this

  • BobJacobs

    Why did it take so so long? What does this say about the functioning of the Port Commission?

    Bob Jacobs

    Wednesday, September 20, 2023 Report this

  • Boatyarddog

    I for 1 Could Not be happier!

    Initially, I placed a vote of confidence in Gibboney to bring together a very fragmented commission.

    Leveraging out Ed Galligen was a difficult job, but due to the diligence practiced by 1 commissioner E.J.Zita. we were able to oust an out of control Ex.Director.

    Gibboneny was selected because of her supposed ability to bring the commissioners together, The Opposite Occured, she caused a huge riff within the Management at the Port.

    The BEST Commissioner, E.J. Zita decided not to run for commissioner because of this.

    22 employees wrote a letter of NO Confidence, many Quit.

    Did Gibboney bring cooperation to the Port?

    No, instead she brought discord and difficulties.

    I look forward to asking poignant questions of the New Director Canidates.

    Here's to A New Commission with a Bright Agenda of Transparency, Environmental Development and Awareness, with a Spirit of Cooperation with The People of Thurston County and Olympia.

    Thursday, January 11 Report this