[9/24/21] Restructuring At RiverCom

Posted in Law Enforcement

In a move to rebuild the local emergency dispatching agency, its  governing board on Tuesday announced it has restructured its top two leadership positions.

Beginning Nov. 1, Lowell Porter, a longtime emergency management expert with experience at the local, state and national levels, will take over the agency’s helm as its executive director. The executive director is in charge of RiverCom’s strategic planning and overall success.

Misty Viebrock, who has served as executive director for the past three years and has more than two decades of agency experience, will step into the newly created deputy director’s position. Viebrock’s position will focus heavily on operations.

The decision to restructure RiverCom’s leadership follows an agency assessment initiated in January. RiverCom is in the midst of a staffing shortage, down about a dozen positions. The assessment not only evaluated the challenges facing the agency but also the strategic steps needed to build a healthier agency.

In the words of Chelan County Commissioner and RiverCom Administrative Board Chairman Kevin Overbay, “It’s a move that gives RiverCom the best of both worlds,” “We gain a proven leader with nearly 40 years of emergency management and communications experience in Lowell, and we retain the local knowledge and ardent dedication to the agency with Misty.”

Overbay said RiverCom’s staffing shortage has hamstrung it from completing its immediate and long-term goals.

Porter started his career as a trooper with the Washington State Patrol, the largest public safety agency in the state, and in 2004 was appointed by the governor as its chief. His career also includes stints as the director of Pierce County Department of Emergency Management; executive director of the Combined Communications Network, one of the largest emergency communications networks of its kind in the country; and director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, a position also appointed by the governor.  Currently he is a community programs administrator for the Department of Social and Health Services in East Wenatchee.

Viebrock, who started her career as a 911 operator for the city of Wenatchee, marks her 25th year with the agency in January. As executive director, she led the 2019 effort to get the Emergency Communication Systems and Facilities Tax passed by voters in Douglas and Chelan counties. Viebrock also oversaw the completion of a facility needs study, the location of a new critical radio communications site near Malaga, and the completion of a variety of communications upgrades.