Community Leaders Offer Good Wishes to Don Krusel

Some community leaders are offering bitter sweet goodbyes to the head of the Port of Prince Rupert.

Don Krusel started with the 30 years ago as the Chief Financial Officer, and spent 25 years as the President and CEO.

Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain says Krusel brought a lot to the city.

"Without his leadership, Prince Rupert wouldn't be where it is today. The growth of the port is largely due to his vision and expertise. It's going to be sad loss for the community. However, everybody has their time and he feels this was his time now."

One of the take away from Krusel's careers is the fact of how busy the port has become. From have barely any ships come in and out of the city, to now have them anchored from one end of the port, to the other.

The latest stats show, nearly $35-billion worth of trade is exported through the port, with $5-billion being exported to markets around the world.

With the rapid expansion, the Mayor says an agreement with the port back in 2015 has really helped the two get along and work together to improve the city.

"Without Mr. Krusel's leadership there, we wouldn't have had come to that settlement. Since that time, I believe we're in a position now where us and the port are collaborating together to ensure the community is successful."

Relationships with local First Nations have been more positive as well, with the Chief Councillor of Metlakatla, Harold Leighton expressing the importance of working together during the Fairview announcement.

"Relationships take time to build. It's built overtime. We signed our first agreement with the port 12 years ago. Over that time we got to know each other, we got to know each one's interest were. As you move forward, it becomes easier for us."

Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce president Michelle Bryant-Gravelle says it's been an honour working alongside Krusel.

She adds Krusel and the Port of Prince Rupert have worked tirelessly to grow the economy on a local, provincial and national level.

Chief Financial Officer Joe Rektor is taking over the top spot on an interim basis while the search begins for Krusel's Replacement.