MATTAWA — Lars Leland, 28, takes over as the interim manager of the Port of Mattawa. He fills the manager position vacated by a retiring Bob Adler. Leland had previously worked as the Water Systems Operator for the Port since 2013.
“I never planned on working for the Port. I was born and raised in Mattawa and graduated from Washington State University in 2013 with an economics degree. I traveled to Europe and Asia afterward trying to figure out what I wanted to do, but came back to help on my family’s farm,” Leland said. “I knew Mr. Adler for years and following his back surgery he needed some help with some of the wine development he had going on at the Port. What started out as a part time job turned into a full-time job. I now feel like I’ve found my niche here at the Port.”
Leland says the Port of Mattawa has lots of irons in the fire and anticipates a busy next few years.
“We just sold 10 acres south of the Gingko Winery to Grant County Fire District No. 8. They plan to build a new firehouse and living quarters there,” he said. “We have the Government Road project in the works — we’re currently seeking capital improvement money to help finance it. We have the Washington Grower League housing project going off of Pat Chee Road and just west of it is the 60 acre Brian Talbot residential and commercial development project breaking ground.”
Leland said he expects to officially be named Port Manager at the next board of commissioners meeting.
Interim manager isn’t the only hat Leland is wearing these days in Mattawa. He’s also the new president of the chamber of commerce.
“We’re busy there too,” Leland said. “We want to develop a Farmers Market and we’re trying to get our ducks in a row for the new community center. We hope to see construction begin by the end of 2018.”