16 Dec Kris Watkins Named 2014 Friend of the Port
Kennewick, WA – The Port of Kennewick Board of Commissioners announced that Kris Watkins, President and CEO for VisitTri-Cities had been chosen as the 2014 Friend of the Port. The Port Commission presented Ms. Watkins with a plaque in recognition of her efforts as a champion for economic development. Watkins was honored for her early leadership in advocating for closure and redevelopment of the Vista Field airport as a catalyst for economic diversification; and for her work to champion enhancement of the Columbia River shoreline.
“We are pleased to recognize Kris Watkins,” stated Commissioner President Don Barnes. “During her twenty-years with the Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention Bureau, now known as VisitTri-Cities, she has been a catalyst for economic development and a champion for improving our citizen’s quality of life. The Port of Kennewick is grateful for her service and for her support.”
Tim Arntzen, Port Executive Director added, “Today, the Port is recognizing a woman who has her fingerprints all over this community. From the lowering of the shoreline levees, to construction of the Three Rivers Convention Center…from establishing the Tourism Promotion Area as a dedicated and reliable source of marketing funds, to construction of the Tri-Cities Business & Visitor Center in partnership with the Tri-Cities Area Regional Chamber and TRIDEC. From the Playground of Dreams and Family Fishing Pond, to the regional community branding…and most recently the designation of B and T Reactors as a part of the Manhattan Project National Historic Park—Kris has done so much to expand the portfolio of our community. She has worked hard to ensure a strong tourism industry, as well as a healthy business climate.”
Continued Arntzen, “And Kris recognizes when it is important to stand tall—to support an issue when she believes it is in the best interest of her membership and the community. It was her leadership, by providing the first letter publicly endorsing Vista Field’s closure, which generated additional support from the tourism industry, TRIDEC, chambers of commerce, civic leaders, and the business and development community. She recognized a higher and better use of that land for the taxpayers. And just as she has on so many other projects, she took the risk…and it will be the community that receives the reward.”