The Port is an independent municipal corporation that operates under Title 53 of the Revised Code of Washington and is classified as a special purpose district.

The Port is a member of The Northwest Seaport Alliance, a marine cargo operating partnership with the Port of Seattle. Under a port development authority, the ports manage the container, breakbulk, auto and some bulk terminals in the Seattle and Tacoma harbors.

Five commissioners are elected to four-year terms by the citizens of Pierce County to serve as the Port's board of directors. The commission hires the executive director, sets policy and strategic direction, and approves all major expenditures.  


Commissioners: Don Johnson | Dick Marzano | John McCarthy | Don Meyer | Clare Petrich

Eric Johnson, executive director

Eric Johnson was named the Port’s executive director in June 2019. He sets the organization’s vision in creating a new strategic plan for the Port.

He also serves on the boards of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County (EDB), as well as the EDB Executive Committee.

Prior to joining the Port of Tacoma, Johnson served as the executive director of the Washington Public Ports Association since January 2009. In that role, he represented port district interests to state and federal elected officials, including the Washington legislature and state agencies.

In addition to government relations, he was responsible for numerous specialized seminars and conferences. His duties also included advising Washington’s 75 port districts on issues relating to governance, operations, planning and strategy. 

Johnson joined the Washington Public Ports Association in 1988 as the environmental affairs director, where he developed many of the fundamental environmental laws and policies that are still in place today for ports across the state. He was promoted to deputy director in 2006.

He is a native of Pierce County and holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and political science from Pacific Lutheran University. He also has a master’s in public administration with a concentration in environmental policy and natural resources management from the University of Washington.

Don Johnson, commissioner

Vice President
First elected to commission: 
Current term ends: December 2019

Elected to the commission in 2007, Don Johnson retired as vice president and general manager of Simpson Tacoma Kraft in March 2008. 

Johnson serves on the Goodwill’s Finance Committee. He also serves as chair of the Port of Tacoma Audit Committee. He is a past chair of the Goodwill Foundation Board and the MultiCare Health Care Foundation. He is a previous chair of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Board and former chair of the University of Washington Business School Advisory Board, the United Way of Pierce County Board and the United Way’s Annual Campaign. He chaired the search committee for the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber CEO and is a member of the Tacoma Transportation Club and Tacoma Propeller Club.

Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington.

Richard Marzano, commissioner

First assistant secretary
First elected to commission: 
Current term ends: December 2021

A Tacoma longshore worker for more than 36 years, Dick Marzano served as president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 23 for six years.

Marzano is the co-chair of the State Route 167 Completion Coalition and serves on the Washington Public Ports Association's Board of Trustees, Puget Sound Regional Council's Executive Board, Pierce County Sheriff's Office Executive Advisory Board and the Valley Cities Association Board. He has served on WPPA's six-member executive committee.

He is a former member of the Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board, appointed by former Washington Govs. Gary Locke and Chris Gregoire.

Marzano is also a member of the Tacoma Propeller Club, Transportation Club of Tacoma, and a former board member of the Foss Waterway Development Authority and St. Leo's Hospitality Kitchen.

John McCarthy, commissioner

First elected to commission:
Current term ends: December 2021

A former Pierce County District and Superior Court judge for more than 22 years, John McCarthy recently retired from the bench. He worked as a longshoreman for 10 years and served previously on the Port of Tacoma Commission from 1983 to 1992.

McCarthy has been a member of the Washington State Bar Association since 1975 and volunteers at Mount Rainier National Park. He is an honorary life member of the Washington Public Ports Association. He also serves on the Pierce County Regional Council and as the Port of Tacoma’s Tribal Liaison. He was the first member of the Boys and Girls Club of South Puget Sound’s to be selected to their Alumni Hall of Fame, and he continues to officiate high school football.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in Science with a minor in Mathematics from Seattle University and a law degree from the University of San Francisco.

Don Meyer, commissioner

Second assistant secretary
First elected to commission:
Current term ends: December 2021

Don Meyer is the former executive director of the Foss Waterway Development Authority and a former deputy executive director of the Port of Tacoma.

Meyer currently serves as president of the Washington Public Ports Association and the Executive Committee. He also serves on the Regional Access Mobility Partnership (RAMP), South King County Transportation Board, University of Washington Tacoma’s Urban Studies Advisory Board and Tacoma Waterfront Association. He is also a member of Fife Milton Edgewood Area Chamber of Commerce and the Transportation Club of Tacoma.

He recently served on former Gov. Christine Gregoire’s Connecting Washington Task Force on transportation issues, is a member of Tacoma Rotary #8 and owns a small business in Pierce County.

Born and raised on a South Dakota farm, Meyer holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Pacific Lutheran University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of South Dakota.

Clare Petrich, commissioner

First elected to commission:
Current term ends: December 2019

Clare Petrich is a small business owner with strong ties to Tacoma’s maritime heritage. She is co-founder and former chair of the Commencement Bay Maritime Fest, an advisor to Tacoma Community Boat Builders and deeply involved in maritime heritage research.

Petrich serves on the Joint Municipal Action Committee, Pacific Northwest Waterways Association, the Youth Marine Foundation, the Flood Control Zone District Committee and the Washington Council on International Trade. She was recently elected to the boards of Sister Cities International and the Washington State Trust for Historic Preservation.

She is a past president of the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Economic Development District Board and continues to serve on this board. She is also board secretary for the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle.

Petrich and former Port of Tacoma Commissioner Connie Bacon were co-recipients of the Tacoma Propeller Club's 2015 Master Mariner Person of the Year award, and she received the Seattle Propeller Club's 2015 Public Official of the Year award with Port of Seattle Commissioner Stephanie Bowman. 

Petrich graduated from Manhattanville College in New York and received her master’s degree from the University of Virginia. She is a senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum. 

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Core values

  • Integrity 
    Being ethically unyielding and honest; inspiring trust by saying what we mean and matching our behaviors to our words; acting in the public interest and in a manner to maintain public confidence.
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  • Sustainability 
    Focusing on long-term financial viability; valuing the economic well-being of our neighbors; doing business in a way that improves our environment.