Educator, Hanford trainer selected for port vacancy

The Port of Benton Commission selected Christy Rasmussen, a former Christ the King School principal and current Hanford employee, to fill the board seat vacated when Robert Larson retired in October with two years left of his term.

Rasmussen was one of four candidates interviewed in a special commission session on Nov. 29. She was the unanimous choice after a 40-minute executive session, held behind closed doors. Commissioners Roy Keck and Jane Hagarty voted unanimously to appoint her to serve until the next election in 2022. 

The board also interviewed former executive director Scott Keller along with Justin Raffa and Obie Amacker. 

Hagarty, who is ending her term on the board after losing her reelection bid in November, announced the decision. She said Rasmussen brought the right mix of community leadership and a commitment to carrying forward the port’s economic and jobs mission. 

Rasmussen will take office immediately and indicated during her interview that she would participate in the Washington Public Ports Association’s training for new board members this week. 

Rasmussen is a training specialist for Central Plateau Cleanup Co. at the Hanford site and is a former educator. 

Her resume includes serving as workplace campaign manager for United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties, principal at Christ the King Catholic School in Richland and in leadership positions in both the Pasco and Richland school districts.  

She is the incoming president of Tri-Cities Sunrise Rotary, where she has served on the executive board and has been community chair for seven years. She has a background serving Perfect Image Leadership, Vista Youth Center, My Friends Place and Rural Families Farm Workers. 

Rasmussen and her husband have a blended family of five adult children and seven grandchildren. All reside in the Tri-Cities, she said in her application. 

She earned a bachelor’s in office administration from Central Washington University, a bachelor’s of education from Eastern Washington University and a master’s in educational administration from Heritage University.  

She will be one of two newcomers to the board. 

Lori Stevens, co-owner of Airfield Estates Winery in Prosser, will take office in January after defeating Hagarty.  

Rasmussen’s seat will be open for election in November 2022 to complete the original six-year term. Candidates file in May for the year’s election cycle. The seat will be up for election again in 2023 for a new six-year term. 

Port commissioners are paid $1,500 a month and stipends to attend meeting. They receive health insurance and other benefits.  

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