County hires new administrator, human resources director

The Kitsap County commissioners announced the appointments of a new county administrator and director of Human Resources.

The new county administrator is Karen Goon and Steve McLain is the new director of human resources. They will begin work on Sept. 2

“We are delighted to have these two exceptional leaders join our county team,” said Charlotte Garrido, Board of Commissioners’ chair.

Goon will provide managerial oversight to all internal services including information services and facilities, human resources and administrative services, which includes purchasing, risk management, public disclosure and the public defenders’ office. She’ll also serve as an advisor to the board and liaison between other county departments. She is responsible for coordinating administrative functions such as strategic planning and budgeting, labor relations, developing and implementing policy.

She replaces Glenn Olson who served in a more expanded role as chief administrative officer and retired in February.

Goon has 18 years experience in public administration, human resources and project management, most recently as division manager for Pierce County Public Works and Utilities Support Services, a position she held since 2008.

She served as special assistant to the Pierce County executive on transportation issues from 2003 to 2008 and deputy director of Pierce County Public Works for seven years prior. She has also been a civil deputy prosecuting attorney for Pierce County. Goon earned a master’s degree of public administration, a Juris Doctor law degree and bachelor’s degree in political science from Seattle University.

McLain comes from the state’s Department of Labor and Industries where he was an assistant director of the Office of Human Resources since 2011.

The Department of Human Resources provides human resources, labor relations and benefits services for 20 county offices and departments employing 1,200 employees.

Before reorganization, spurred by the retirement of several senior directors and managers, Personnel and Human Services was a single department managed by Bert Furuta who retired from Kitsap County in June 2013 after a 36-year career.

With Furuta’s departure and as part of a countywide leadership continuity restructuring, the Department of Human Services was separated and Doug Washburn was hired as its director in April 2013. Penny Starkey led the Department of Human Resources after Furuta’s departure until her retirement in June.

McLain has more than 10 years with Labor and Industries where he managed a division of more than 50 employees and was responsible for the agency’s Human Resource department. His work included collaboratively bargaining union contracts for state employees, designing compensation management structures for 200 managers and executives within the agency, and providing leadership development and training to employees while helping to set the agency’s direction and strategic plan.

He also served as director of Labor Relations, operations manager of Specialty Compliance, and as payroll manager and personnel officer. He also spent three years as an accountant with the state Attorney General’s Office.

McLain studied business and ministry at Trinity Bible College in North Dakota and Centralia Community College.


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County hires new administrator, human resources director
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