Guiding the organization
Meet The Northwest Seaport Alliance leadership team.
John Wolfe, Chief Executive Officer
John Wolfe is chief executive officer of The Northwest Seaport Alliance. He sets the organization’s vision and strategy, and guides the NWSA’s unique customer-focused culture.
Wolfe also serves as the CEO of the Port of Tacoma, a position he was named to in 2010. Before being named CEO, he had served as the Port of Tacoma’s deputy executive director since June 2005.
Prior to joining the Port of Tacoma, Wolfe served for two years as the executive director of the Port of Olympia, and before that as Olympia's director of operations and marine terminal general manager.
Wolfe also spent 10 years with Maersk Sealand/APM Terminals in Tacoma, most recently as the terminal's operations manager.
He is on the boards of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), Executive Council for a Greater Tacoma, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce and the Washington State Fair Board. Wolfe is also an executive board member of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County.
Wolfe earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University.
Don Esterbrook, Deputy CEO
Don Esterbrook is the deputy CEO leading the commercial and operations groups.
He has nearly 30 years of maritime industry experience, with 15 years in senior leadership.
Before joining the NWSA, Esterbrook spent the past three years as the Port of Tacoma’s chief operating officer and deputy CEO, where he oversaw the Port’s operations, maintenance, security, labor relations and asset management. He was hired by the Port of Tacoma in 2010 as the chief commercial officer, a new position created to more closely align the Port’s operations, commercial lines of business, and real estate and asset management.
Esterbrook’s past experience also includes 16 years with Orient Overseas Container Line, most recently as regional sales director for nine western states. His other OOCL roles included president and general manager of operations in the Philippines, director of business development for the company’s Cargo Smart organization and regional sales manager for the Pacific Northwest region.
He is on the board for the Tacoma Waterfront Association.
Esterbrook holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a computer science minor, from Pacific Lutheran University.
Kurt Beckett, Deputy CEO
Kurt Beckett is the deputy CEO leading operations. He oversees the organization’s internal operations, including port operational efficiencies, port infrastructure development, external affairs, finance and administration, human resources and legal.
Prior to joining the NWSA, Beckett served two years as deputy CEO of the Port of Seattle with management duties including capital development, police, public affairs and the office of social responsibility. He joined the Port of Seattle in November 2007 as the external affairs director and in 2010 was promoted to chief of staff.
As chief of staff, he led successful efforts to strengthen organizational performance and managed strategic issues and port-wide initiatives for the CEO and executive team. As external affairs director, he oversaw public affairs, government relations, tourism and regional transportation, as well as worked closely with the port’s five elected commissioners.
Prior to joining the port, Beckett served as chief of staff for Sen. Maria Cantwell from 2004 to 2007, and as her deputy chief of staff from 2001 to 2004. From 1991 to 2000, he worked for Rep. Norm Dicks, including serving as district director for all 6th District operations.
Beckett has served on a number of policy committees and panels in Washington state, King County and the Puget Sound region. His successful track record with issues management crosses a broad range of industries, including international trade, aerospace and maritime, natural resources, economic development and clean energy.
He has a master of business administration and bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Washington.
Tong Zhu, Commercial Team
Tong Zhu leads the real estate, domestic and international container business teams, and manages the domestic and international business development teams.
Zhu most recently served as the chief commercial officer at the Port of Tacoma since 2010. She joined the Port of Tacoma in 2007. As chief commercial officer, she managed the activities of the Port’s diversified business portfolio, including container, non‐container (breakbulk and RoRo), intermodal and real estate. She also oversaw the marketing, research and customer outreach activities of the Port’s business development teams.
Before joining the Port of Tacoma, Zhu managed international relations at the Port of Seattle and directed the State of Washington’s greater China trade development programs. With the state, she played a critical role in former Gov. Gary Locke’s successful China trade development programs and helped advance and finalize business contracts and international agreements.
A cum laude graduate of the University of Washington Tacoma with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Zhu is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Business Society.
She serves on the Executive Committee of the Washington State China Relations Council, and the Boards of Directors of the Japan America Society of the State of Washington and the Evergreen Building Products Association.
Bari Bookout, Commercial Team
Bari Bookout leads the non-container and commercial strategy teams.
Bookout has more than 25 years of experience in the international shipping industry.
Prior to joining the NWSA, Bookout served as the director of commercial strategy for the Port of Seattle’s seaport. In this strategic role, she focused on increasing container business through the Port of Seattle. Her team was responsible for the development of key container customer segments and strategic analysis.
Prior to the Port of Seattle, Bookout spent 18 years on the ocean carrier side of the business, including 15 years with APL, Ltd., in a variety of sales and marketing positions.
She is a member of the Seattle Freight Advisory Board.
Bookout has a bachelor’s degree in commerce and business administration from the University of Alabama.
Dustin Stoker, Operations
Dustin Stoker leads alliance operations.
He oversees all port operations, from waterway management and road and rail functions to breakbulk and terminal operations. Stoker’s team is charged with establishing the NWSA’s Operations Service Center to provide best in class service delivery and customer care.
Stoker brings more than 16 years of experience in both domestic and international terminal management.
He most recently served as director of operations at the Port of Tacoma since 2013.
Before joining the Port of Tacoma, Stoker served as director of Deltaport at Port Metro Vancouver, B.C., with Terminal Systems, Inc. He also has served as the chief operations officer at Abu Dhabi Terminals, and in management positions at Port of Salalah/APM Terminals and APM Terminals in the Netherlands.
Stoker holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in management from the University of Washington.