As the Port of Ridgefield moves ahead in its efforts to encourage quality development in the rapidly-growing Discovery Corridor just north of Portland, Ore., the economic development municipality recently created and filled a new position to boost those efforts.
Today the Port announced it has tapped life-long Clark County resident Nelson Holmberg as Vice President of Innovation. Holmberg started with the Port on June 15. Port Chief Executive Officer Brent Grening said the timing – and the person – are right.
“The Port is seeking projects and opportunities that will transform the economy of the Discovery Corridor,” Grening said. “We believe Nelson has the unique capacity to develop and grow the Port partnerships that can drive and develop that new economy.”
Holmberg previously held posts as Executive Director at the Port of Woodland and Communications Manager at the Port of Vancouver. Most recently he led BergerABAM’s public involvement practice in the firm’s Vancouver, Wash., office as Senior Public Involvement Project Manager.
Holmberg’s duties at the Port of Ridgefield will be to identify and secure new opportunities and revenue streams for the Port.
“The Port Commission understands we need new, innovative ways of doing things, and the human resource with the time to move those ideas forward,” Grening said.
He also emphasized that Holmberg is passionate about the area, and possesses a shared vision of the opportunity and potential for Ridgefield.
“Nelson is an innovator. He’s a catalyst, and an important addition to our team. He sees opportunity, goes after it, and makes it happen,” said Grening. “He’s exactly what the Port needs.”
Holmberg was drawn to the post for a variety of reasons.
“I’ve always appreciated Ridgefield, and I’m impressed with the town and its people. It is a vibrant, upbeat community that has a ton of positive energy and potential,” Holmberg said.
“People really care for each other, and the City and Port work well together. I also appreciate ports and the work they do. The Port of Ridgefield, in particular, is progressive, positive and quality-focused. That’s exciting to me,” Holmberg said.
Over a career spanning nearly 30 years, in addition to port leadership positions, Holmberg, 48, is a veteran public and media relations professional.
Holmberg is the son of former Clark County Commissioner Judie Stanton and longtime Vancouver School District teacher Fred Holmberg, now retired. His parents and his sister, Nancy Holmberg, all still reside in Clark County.
“Service to the community is in my blood line and I’m very proud of that,” said Holmberg. He also emphasized that this new job is what he has spent his career working toward.
“A commitment to partnership and stewardship led me to the Port of Woodland,” Holmberg said. “I also wanted to serve the community on a broader basis, so I took on community organization leadership roles; consulting provided me with a private-side perspective. It all comes together in my new job at the Port of Ridgefield, where I’m back in the public sector at a very exciting time in Ridgefield’s evolution.”
Holmberg currently resides in Vancouver where he is a member of the Rotary Club of Vancouver. He is a graduate of Washington State University in Pullman, from which he received a Bachelor’s degree from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, with an emphasis on Public Relations. He is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and is currently pursuing his Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from that national organization.
In his spare time, Holmberg is an avid boat racer; he pilots his own outboard-powered hydroplane to speeds upwards of 60 mph. He’s also a pit crew member for Team Porter Racing, a five-time world champion unlimited hydroplane racing team sponsored by Graham Trucking. Hydroplanes like these race during Seattle’s famed Seafair event, at which boats are 30 feet long and travel up to 200 mph.