Anthes-Washburn: Smooth sailing so far in permanent port director role

By Mike Lawrence
November 16. 2015 1:32PM
NEW BEDFORD — Ed Anthes-Washburn was appointed last month as the new executive director of the Harbor Development Commission (HDC), getting the permanent job after twice serving in an interim capacity and putting another young professional in a prominent leadership position on the city’s waterfront.
The HDC appointed Anthes-Washburn to the post Oct. 8. Anthes-Washburn had served in an interim capacity since Port Director Jeffrey Stieb stepped down in June, and previously served as interim port director before Stieb took the position, in September 2012.
Anthes-Washburn was deputy port director during Stieb’s nearly three-year tenure, and was the HDC’s director of operations from 2010 to 2012. He’s a former program coordinator for the Massachusetts Seaport Advisory Council and has a master’s degree in public affairs from UMass Boston.
Anthes-Washburn, 30, joins Cape Cod native David Condon as a young leader on the docks. Condon was 32 when he became the city’s harbormaster in May.
HDC member Richard Canastra, who has been instrumental to the Whaling City Seafood Display Auction since 1984, said Anthes-Washburn has a rare ability to handle the multi-faceted duties of the port director job.
“He’s fit in very comfortably with people working there. He has great skills as far as dealing with the stakeholders on the waterfront,” Canastra said. “It’s a big learning curve, so having Ed taking the position, where he was under Jeff the past couple of years…I really think he’ll be willing to step up.”
Mayor Jon Mitchell said he had “a lot of confidence” in Anthes-Washburn, as well.
“People on the waterfront trust Ed, and for good reason — he’s honest and very competent,” Mitchell said. “He’ll do a great job.”
Anthes-Washburn said Monday that his interim and deputy experiences have made for a smooth transition since receiving the Port of New Bedford leadership role.
“I’m humbled and I’m excited,” he said.
This winter’s cargo season began in late October, and the third ship bearing clementines from Morocco — the Hansa Bremen — was docked at State Pier on Monday.
Anthes-Washburn said work is ongoing on dredging projects, branding efforts for the local commercial fishing industry, waterfront planning and more.
“I really enjoy this community – I love how the cultural, the economic, the political focus of New Bedford is sort of on the waterfront,” he said. “That’s very unique, and it provides us with a strength that I’m going to try to help bloom into something that’s even better.”
While the HDC appointed Anthes-Washburn on Oct. 8, he didn’t really get rolling in the permanent gig until late October. That’s because his wedding was Oct. 11 — with the reception in the new extension of the New Bedford Whaling Museum — and he and his wife left Oct. 13 for their honeymoon in Mexico.
“That was a busy week,” Anthes-Washburn said Monday. “It’s pretty good when getting the head job is the second-most important thing that happens to you that week.”
Follow Mike Lawrence on Twitter @MikeLawrenceSCT

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