Hemstad to take on new challenge | World Trade Center

The World Trade Center Tacoma’s President and CEO, Anthony Hemstad, is leaving full-time employment with the organization to start as the first President of the new World Trade Center San Francisco.

Hemstad, who previously served for more than four years as city manager for Maple Valley, will start with the WTC San Francisco on January 1, 2014.

The WTC Tacoma Board of Directors appointed Valerie Coty to be the organization’s Interim Executive Director through March 31. Hemstad started at the WTC Tacoma almost five years ago — in March 2009.

Hugh Carr, Chairman of WTC Tacoma’s Board of Directors said of Hemstad’s tenure, “Anthony really helped return the WTC Tacoma to vibrancy. It is now likely the largest membership-based international trade organization in the Pacific Northwest.”

There are more than 330 World Trade Centers globally in over 100 countries. Eric Dahl, CEO of the World Trade Center Association, said on a recent visit to Tacoma that the “WTC Tacoma is the fastest growing established WTC in North America,” having more than quintupled its membership during Hemstad’s tenure.

“On every metric the WTC Tacoma is much healthier today than it was when Anthony first joined the organization,” Carr said in a statement. “I think the outlook for the organization is bright.”

Valerie Coty works for Pierce County’s Economic Development Department. Formerly she served on the WTC Tacoma Board of Directors, including almost three years as Vice-Chair. She will help oversee the WTC Tacoma while the organization’s Board does a strategic review and decides how to best fill the organization’s role in the future.

There will likely be a continued relationship with Hemstad as well during this transition period to ensure smooth transition and continuity.

Hemstad called leaving full-time employment with the WTC Tacoma “bittersweet.”

“This is a great organization and I’m a true believer in what expanding trade and attracting foreign direct investment can do for the local economy,” Hemstad said in a statement. “It has really been a tailor made job with WTC Tacoma and I’ve loved being back in Tacoma and taking part in its ongoing renaissance. There should be many synergies between WTC Tacoma and WTC San Francisco so I will likely remain engaged with this community in one way or another going forward.”

Hermstad is originally from Olympia and recently moved back there.

In addition to his service with the WTC Tacoma, he spent nearly six years on the Valley Medical Center Board of Commissioners after his election in 2007.

Valley, also known as Public Hospital District No. 1, serves Covington and a small part of Maple Valley within its special taxing district.

The World Trade Center Tacoma is the only full-service World Trade Center in the Pacific Northwest.  It helps regional firms of all sizes connect with the international economy and now also is working on attracting Foreign Direct Investment to the area.


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