Douglas County port director resigns

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Lisa Parks, who has been executive director of the Port of Douglas County since 2011, will announce her resignation at Tuesday’s port meeting.

Her resignation does not come as a surprise.

The ports of Douglas and Chelan counties have been in the process of consolidation.

From the beginning of that consolidation, having one port director was identified as a cost-saving measure.

Port of Chelan Executive Director Jim Kuntz will oversee the consolidated port.

Parks will be taking a job with Seattle environmental consulting firm Maul Foster Alongi.

She said she’s excited that she’ll be involved on projects similar to what she’s been involved with in Douglas County.

That includes a browfield redevelopment at a former silicon plant in Rock Island.

The riverfront property is envisioned as a potential tech and retail space.

That project, and development of Wenatchee Landing site on the east side of the Odabashian Bridge, have been important for Douglas County, she said.

Commercial development of that property near the bridge has long been a goal of the port and economic development officials in the region.

What didn’t work out, she said, was a huge cryptocurrency mining facility at Pangborn Airport. That developer, Giga Watt, filed for bankruptcy in 2018, leaving huge debts and empty buildings behind.

“Giga Watt was like any other challenging opportunity in my professional career,” Parks said. “It is disappointing in many ways, because I believe the actual business model that Giga Watt was operating under was a good one. It just didn’t get executed properly.”

In addition to the port, she also worked at Douglas County in the Planning and Development department.

She also was community development director for the City of Leavenworth for two years.