Port of Edmonds Deputy Director retiring after career in the port industry

Marla Kempf

After 16 years as the Port of Edmonds Deputy Director, Marla Kempf will be retiring at the end of June.

A highly regarded and well-known leader in the Port industry, Kempf is a member of the Northwest Marine Trade Association, Washington Public Ports Association, and the first choice go-to voice for many regional Puget Sound marina issues.

“Marla has made the Port a better place through her dedicated commitment to the Port of Edmonds and our Port community,” said Port of Edmonds Executive Director Bob McChesney. “Marla puts the ‘pro’ in professional. We can’t replace 40 years of experience.”

Before coming to the Port of Edmonds, Kempf started her career at Port of Seattle’s Shilshole Bay Marina, where she rose to the marina director role. She went on to be an integral part of the Central Waterfront development at the Port of Seattle and made a significant impact to the growth of regional tourism by leading the marketing and initial startup efforts for major cruise ship operations.

“Marketing is her mantra. Operations her passion. Environment is Marla’s true belief and commitment,” remarked McChesney. “Service, quality, and integrity define her entire career.”

At the Port of Edmonds, Kempf has been responsible for keeping the day-to-day operations running smoothly at the marina. During her time with the port, Kempf has implemented numerous programs focused on tourism, marina promotions, and tenant rewards. One such program is Destination Port of Edmonds, which aims to connect visiting boaters staying in the marina’s guest moorage to various local restaurants and stores in downtown Edmonds.

Kempf also played a pivotal role in advancing the port’s environmental program over the years. She can be credited with helping the Port acquire numerous environmental awards and certifications including Leadership Clean Boatyard Certification as designated by Clean Boating Foundation, and the Clean Marina Certification through Clean Marina Washington.

Kempf’s passion for her job and serving marina tenants has always been evident.

“She leaves a lasting legacy and will be greatly missed by her many port friends and associates,” McChesney said. “We wish her all the best in retirement.”

Brandon Baker will be taking over as marina manager at the Port of Edmonds. A graduate of Western Washington University, Baker has spent the past nine years working at Elliott Bay Marina, most recently as their marina manager and director of marketing.

12 Replies to “Port of Edmonds Deputy Director retiring after career in the port industry”

  1. Marla will be greatly missed! I’ve been fortunate to work with her the last 2.5 years. Congratulations Marla! All the best for a joyful retirement!


  2. Congratulations to Marla on her retirement. Very professional lady who was always willing to listen and help when she could. Edmonds marina is a great place to moor your boat and the restaurants and downtown area offers a large variety of products and services. We love Edmonds.


  3. Congratulations Marla and welcome to the wonderful world of retirement. I hope you find your future years as satisfying and productive as your time with the Port. It was a genuine pleasure to be associated with you for most of your Edmonds career. Godspeed.


  4. Marla is an outstanding deputy director for Port operations and a lot of fun to work with. She will definitely be missed!


  5. Marla, we wish you fair winds and following seas as you embark upon you well-earned retirement. It has been an absolute pleasure working with you over the past few years and you definitely left the Port in outstanding shape, both operationally and environmentally.

    We’ll miss you, but look forward to seeing you around the waterfront.


  6. Marla: it has been an adventure. Your expertise, management ability, and perseverance, have contributed greatly to the Port’s success. We all appreciate your contributions. Lest we forget, you have also been a major player in improving the recovery of Puget Sound. Through your 40 year career you have been an Environmental Leader. Before the days when pollution control and environment cleanup were a major consideration, you were working with environmental organizations and marine businesses, to reduce pollution. The Port of Edmonds is recognized in the marine industry, as an environmental leader because of your leadership. All the best in your retirement adventure. You’ve earned it.


  7. Congratulations, Marla. It’s great seeing that Edmonds knows what your family always has: You are the best. We love you. Love, Ron and Diane


  8. Marla, thanks for leaving the Port “Better” then when you started. You made so many improvements with your innovative ideas and always with a smile. You will be missed by Edmonds and many others in the Port & Marina industry.


  9. Congratulations on your retirement from an old friend! I always admired your professionalism and wisdom when we worked together and am so happy that you enjoyed such a rewarding career at the Port of Edmonds. I am sure that they are very sorry to see you leave. But I am equally sure that you will love your well-deserved retirement! Best wishes to you.


  10. Marla, the Port of Edmonds will miss your service and smile. Congratulations to you and thank you for all you do in my home away from home! I hope you keep involved with PCC too!


  11. Congratulations Marla and welcome to the retirement club!
    I know you will be greatly missed. not only for your expertise and professionalism, but also your positive personality. Although we did not interact daily due to being on opposite sides of the tracks , I enjoyed working with you over 10 years.
    Best wishes, keep in touch. JC


  12. I so enjoyed my time at the Port of Edmonds and the opportunity to work with a wonderful group of people. Thank you for all the acknowledgements and accolades. I leave feeling celebrated and loved. I will treasure the memories and friendships always!


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