New Poulsbo port manager may look familiar

Brad Miller - Contributed / Port of Poulsbo
Brad Miller
— image credit: Contributed / Port of Poulsbo

POULSBO — Poulsbo port commissioners said it was Brad Miller’s vision that encouraged them to promote him to the port manager position. Miller has been harbormaster at the port since 2007, with two stints as acting port manager.

Miller was chosen out of 14 applicants, according to Port Commissioner Steve Swann. The Board of Commissioners voted for Miller during a special meeting April 24.

“I think [Miller’s] knowledge of port operations was a big factor, but [that Miller was] already working for us didn’t really make a lot of difference,” Swann said.

Miller said of his promotion, “It’s great, I’m quite elated. Having worked here for more than five years afforded me the opportunity for me to get very familiar with the operation.”

Miller’s first priority will be working on updates and upgrades for the port’s facility, he said. He would like to upgrade the floats and utilities for the newer, bigger boats coming in. The biggest project on the horizon, he said, is planning and researching the eventual replacement of the port’s commercial dock, which will hopefully “phase into” replacing the breakwater.

Miller is also on board with the port’s new policy of more aggressively and actively marketing the port. Commissioners are working with local merchants, the Historic Downtown Poulsbo Association, the Chamber of Commerce and the city on new or expanded events, such as Octoberfest planned for this October.

“We are in a unique position to really provide a boost for the town,” Miller said.

Miller grew up in north Florida, and graduated with a bachelor of science in outdoor recreation management from Appalachian State University in 1991. Miller enjoyed his internship with the Morale, Wellness and Recreation division for the military, and found a job at Bangor in 1991, he said. He then became programs director at Olympic Outdoor Center in Poulsbo from 1993 to 2000.

Miller found an opportunity for him to run his own business back in Florida, and moved to St. Augustine to run the Coast Outdoor Center from 2000-07.

Missing the Pacific Northwest, Miller and his wife returned to Poulsbo in 2007, where Miller was hired as a seasonal guest moorage attendant at the Port of Poulsbo. A full-time position opened up, and he became a maintenance technician, working on various projects for the port. Miller also worked as a boat captain for Northwest Boat Rentals in Poulsbo in 2008-09.

The commissioners showed confidence in Miller, when he was appointed acting harbormaster in 2012 while then-Port Manager Kirk Stickels went to New Zealand.

His 20 years experience in outdoor recreation also was a factor for the commissioners.

“He’s a real visionary,” Swann said, adding that Miller shares many of the commission’s views on the port’s direction.

“He has a really good presence and is extremely effective in dealing with port tenants, the public, port staff, the commission and city officials.”


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