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RiverCom restructures top leadership positions

In a move to rebuild the local emergency dispatching agency RiverCom, the agency’s governing board 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.

“It’s a move that gives RiverCom the best of both worlds,” said Kevin Overbay, chairman of the RiverCom Administrative Board and Chelan County commissioner. “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.”

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.

“Our staffing shortage has really hamstrung us from completing our immediate and long-term goals,” Overbay said. “The board is confident that with this restructuring, we have taken an important step in rebuilding an agency that two counties depend upon in an emergency.”

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.

Porter, who currently is a community programs administrator for the Department of Social and Health Services, moved to East Wenatchee this past year. His career has taken him all over the state, but he and his wife had their eyes set on eventually retiring in northcentral Washington, he said.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to utilize my skills and abilities for the betterment of the health and wellbeing of the community – and a vital community agency like RiverCom,” Porter said.

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.

“It has been an honor serving RiverCom as its executive director for the last three years,” Viebrock said. “I chose to take the deputy director position because I believe this is the perfect answer for creating the strongest and most effective leadership for RiverCom, its employees and its partners.”

Last Updated: 09/21/2021 02:00 PM

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    Chelan County Auditor’s Office