Commerce names Joshua Berger to lead maritime sector economic development
Joshua Berger will serve as economic development director for the state’s maritime industry sector, Washington State Department of Commerce Director Brian Bonlender announced today.
Berger leaves his position as Coordinator of the Washington Maritime Federation to start work at Commerce mid-November.
In addition to deep experience in business and economic development, Berger has an extensive and successful record of leadership in positions including: Maritime Sector Business Development Manager for the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County; Program Director and Marine Operations Manager at The Evergreen State College; and E3 Regional and Network Coordinator for the Environmental Education Association of Washington. Berger is also a professional Merchant Mariner having worked in the towing industry and spent six years as captain, sail trainer and environmental educator with Sound Experience, aboard the schooner Adventuress.
“I’m excited to be in a position to effect positive change. Expanding our working waterfront is critical for the near and long-term vitality of this industry and the jobs it supports all across Washington state,” Berger said. “I will build on the success and high level of coordination the maritime industry has achieved to remain resilient, drive innovation, and support our global connections.”
“Our industry sector leads provide an important professional advisory link between my office, our state’s economic development network and our industry partners,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “I welcome Joshua Berger to the team, and look forward to working with him on strategies for strengthening and growing jobs in Washington’s vital maritime sector,” said Governor Jay Inslee.
“Washington has one of the most vibrant maritime sectors in the country, producing some of the best family-wage jobs in the region,” Commerce Director Brian Bonlender said. “As part of our sector-based strategy for economic development, we work closely with stakeholder groups in the various industries to recruit leaders with strong private sector experience, but also unique depth working successfully with policy and public sector entities. Joshua’s track record is well-suited to the job. He has lifelong roots and deep passion for this industry.”
Berger will build on work accomplished by Steve Sewell, who was appointed the first maritime sector lead two years ago. Other target industries with designated sector leads include aerospace, agriculture and food processing, clean technology and advanced manufacturing, information and communication technologies, life sciences and global health, military and defense, and forestry and wood products.