June 13, 2022 — On June 3, the Oregon Senate approved Governor Kate Brown’s appointments of Katy Coba and Richelle Luther to the Port of Portland Commission.
“The Port Commission plays a key role in creating new statewide economic opportunities and building shared prosperity for the region,” said Governor Brown. “The perspectives and experience of Commissioners Coba and Luther will help bring this vision to life even further and help ensure our marine ports and air terminals continue to keep Oregonians connected to the competitive, global economy.”
Katy Coba is Chief Operating Officer and Director of the Oregon Department of Administrative Services (DAS). As Chief Operating Officer, she works with Gov. Brown, state agencies, the Oregon State Legislature and stakeholders to manage the enterprise of state government. Previously, Coba served as the Director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture for more than 13 years, where she represented Oregon’s agricultural industry locally, domestically and internationally.
Having served on several boards in multiple roles, Coba has been recognized for her international trade work and by the Food and Drug Administration for her leadership in state government. She was born in Pendleton, Oregon and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. Coba is married and has two grown daughters.
Richelle Luther is Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources and Corporate Affairs for Columbia Sportswear Company. She has been with Columbia for more than 13 years and has 25 years of executive and legal leadership experience. Luther approaches business with a global mindset and seeks opportunities with organizations that strive for global economic growth and prosperity for all.
Early in her career, Luther organized grassroots efforts related to rural development and environmental matters in Southern Oregon. She sponsors scholarships for high school students in her former rural community through a fund established through the Oregon Community Foundation. Luther earned her bachelor’s degree in economics and international studies from Willamette University, and her JD and environmental law certificate from Lewis & Clark College. She is married with two daughters, ages 19 and 17.
Coba replaces Commissioner Bob Levy, while Luther replaces Commissioner Pat McDonald. Other members of the Commission are Alice Cuprill-Comas, Commission president; Michael Alexander, Commission vice president; Sean O’Hollaren, Commission treasurer; Katherine Lam; Meg Niemi; Ketan Sampat; and Stuart Strader.
The nine-member Port Commission meets monthly. At least two commissioners must each live in one of the three counties in the Port district (Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties). The remaining members may live in any part of the state. Commissioners are unpaid volunteers who are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. They serve four-year terms and can be reappointed for an additional term. Commission presidents are selected by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The Commission appoints the Port’s executive director.