Continued high interest  in  the port’s IT3 Innovation Center has sparked the need for additional staff. Kerrie Rios Is the newest member of the team; she’s been hired to the position of Director of Operations for IT3. Rios Is responsible for building the operational framework of IT3 and creating businesses processes to support programs and staff at the Center. Rios brings years of experience in strategic  planning to the job; her expertise is in designing and optimizing business workflows and leading cross-functional teams that support the operation, mission, and vision of a company.

Rios, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University in Organizational Communications, is fascinated by the power of communication in moving a company toward success or failure.

“My career has spanned a variety of industries – from telecommunications to energy services to higher education,” Rios said. “Whether working at a tech startup with three other employees or an established company with 20,000 employees, I’ve witnessed how communication and the flow of information through a business directly impacts the bottom line regardless of industry type, size, or years in business.”

Most recently Rios served for more than seven years as the Director of Com­ munity and Continuing Education for Clark College. There, this non-credit de­partment was required to be self-supporting.

“Generating revenue and reducing costs while maintaining quality classes was a balancing act,” Rios said. “Creating efficient processes that allowed us to work with fewer staff and still scale for growth was key to our success.”

In joining the port’s IT3 Innovation Center team, Rios is returning to her start­ up venture roots.

“I’m very excited to start creating new processes to support the team I’m joining.”

Managing Director for the IT3 Innovation Center, Kevin Witte, worked with Rios at Clark College, and is thrilled to have her on board.

“We are excited to have someone of Kerrie’s ability and proven track record to lead our operations, marketing and IT functions,” Witte said. “With her experience in tech and business startups, Kerrie brings a wealth of critical knowledge and capabilities to the team.”

Rios Is a native Washingtonian who grew up on the Olympic Peninsula. She currently lives in Vancouver with Rick, her husband, and their dog and cat. Rios and her husband are avid kayakers who spend free time with family at a cabin on Lake Cushman.