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Fredonia resident returning to largest port in U.S.

Photos Courtesy of Port of Tacoma, Wash. Thai Howard has been in Fredonia and Chautauqua County the last four years.

Thais Howard, Fredonia resident, has been selected to assume the post of Director of Engineering for the Port of Tacoma in the state of Washington.

Howard will be returning to the Port after four years of working in Western New York. Howard’s first tenure with the Port of Tacoma was from 2007-2016, where she served as a project manager and senior project manager (2007-2013). In 2013, Howard was appointed as the first female and first African American engineering director for the Port of Tacoma.

The Port launched an aggressive 10-year strategic plan for expansion during Howard’s first leadership tenure, and she will be returning to complete implementation of the port’s expansion plans.

In 2015, the Ports of Tacoma and Seattle formally launched the Northwest Seaport Alliance, the first of its kind in North America.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance unifies the two ports’ marine cargo terminal investments, operations, planning and marketing to strengthen the Puget Sound gateway and attract more marine cargo to the region. The merger created the fourth largest cargo gateway in North American.

Upon her return, Howard will be responsible for directing the activities of the port’s engineering department, which include designing and managing projects on roadway, rail and terminal development.

Howard is an accomplished engineer who holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Clemson University. She is a licensed professional engineer in New York, Washington State, Florida, and Tennessee.

Prior to her first tenure at the Port of Tacoma, she worked for GLE Associates, and The Walter Fedy Group in Florida, Williams-Sonoma in Tennessee, Westinghouse Electric Co. in Utah, and Tennessee Valley Authority in Chattanooga, Tenn.

“The last four years in Fredonia and Chautauqua County have been memorable. I have enjoyed my time and am very appreciative of the warmth expressed to me and my family. I am returning to my dream job, but will never forget the compassion displayed especially to my son (by teachers, coaches, and church members) as he completed his high school years at Fredonia High School. My husband loves his work at the university and will be remaining in the area to continue building a college-going infrastructure for the region. Again, thank you and many blessings.”

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