Clements, who holds the No. 3 management position at the port, has led the agency to 15 consecutive years of clean audits during her tenure. The CFO is responsible for the port's $56 million-plus capital and operating budgets, investment portfolios, risk management, bond issuance and information technology.
She also participated in union negotiations, oversaw staff assistance in state and federal audits and managed the port's industrial development corporation. The port commission has appointed her treasurer and auditor for the financial statements for the past 17 years.
"We were so lucky to have such a fine steward of public resources all these years," Port Commissioner Tom Stiger said in a news release. "Karen did a fantastic job managing the port's assets, and hers will definitely be big shoes to fill. I know for a fact that I will be spending these next nine months picking her brain to get as much of her financial knowledge as I can before she leaves."
After retirement, Clements plans to continue volunteer work on the board of Dawson Place Child Advocacy Center, where she serves as treasurer. She also looks forward to traveling.
"I have really enjoyed working at the port, as well as with many port staff and commissioners," Clements said in the news release. "We truly have a great team. Working 18 years at the Port of Everett has passed much faster than I could have imagined, and I am so proud to have been a part of such a great organization."
Prior to coming to the Port of Everett, Clements worked for 12 years at the City of Puyallup. The port will hire a recruiting firm to fill Clements' position.