Season’s Greetings! As the Port of Coos Bay team reflects on the year and makes plans for the next, I feel grateful to be entering my third year as Chief Executive Officer at the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay. It’s been an honor to serve this community and I thank you for the part you have played in the Port’s story thus far. I would like to use this letter to share a brief reflection of the past year but more importantly, a vision for future economic development of the Port and the region we serve for the new year.
In 2017, the Port has continued to build out our team with the addition of four team members, three of which were hired to fill new positions at the Port reflecting growing Port operations. With our built-out team, we have undertaken several big initiatives and projects this year. One such endeavor was to “get Coos Bay on the map”. You may have seen our Annual Report or Port videos highlighting a future vision of the Port of Coos Bay (linked below). These are all part of our campaign to bring awareness to the economic development opportunities at the Port of Coos Bay. We also continue to strive towards conclusion of big capital improvement projects such as the Channel Modification project, Coos Bay rail line tunnel rehabilitation project, and infrastructure upgrades in the Charleston Marina. Infrastructure improvement will continue to remain a top priority as we head into 2018 because we believe that solid infrastructure is the foundation for future economic growth.
Our vision entails great renewal of maritime commerce in our region driven by port managed public investments in our waterways, rail, and marina infrastructure and partnerships with our regional, national and international stakeholders. We are ready to see this vision come to fruition. Thus, in 2018, we will continue to tell and live out our story as a port city ready to be the next global trade hub for Oregon and the nation. We will continue to develop existing assets and new infrastructure, continue to advocate for Southwest Oregon’s economic potential to our government leaders, and continue to seek various development opportunities for our waterfront property.
In the work we do, there are many external factors we cannot control such as the volatility of the timber and fishing industry, new regulations, global trade market trends, and environmental conditions. However, we can control how we position ourselves on a firm foundation and be ready for economic development opportunities. We strive to educate the advantages of a strong seaport and our unique position of both location and rail access. We firmly believe that the best is yet to come for this region and look forward to working together to make our collective vision a reality.
Thank you so much for your continued support into 2018 and I invite you to look forward with us to another year of growth, promise and expectation.
John Burns, Chief Executive Officer