Images of Kitsap County
Public Communications (MS-11)
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA
Phone: 360.337.4598
Date: July 28, 2014

Contact: Rebecca Pirtle, Communications Coordinator
Commissioners' Office
360.337.4650 or
No: 14-082


County hires new administrator, human resources director   

(Port Orchard, WA) - The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners is pleased to announce the appointments of a new County Administrator and Director of Human Resources, who will both begin work at the county Sept. 2.

“These two positions have been vacant for quite some time, and it is wonderful to welcome our new County Administrator, Karen Goon; and Human Resources Director, Steve McLain. We are delighted to have these two exceptional leaders join our county team,” said Charlotte Garrido, Chair of the Board of County Commissioners.

As County Administrator, Karen 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, as well as developing and implementing policy. She replaces Glenn Olson who served in a more expanded role as Chief Administrative Officer and retired in February 2014.

Ms. Goon is a seasoned public sector manager with 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. Ms. Goon earned a Master of Public Administration degree, a Juris Doctor law degree and bachelor’s degree in political science from Seattle University.

The new Director of Human Resources, Steve McLain, comes to Kitsap County from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries where he has been assistant director of the Office of Human Resources since 2011. The Kitsap County 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 his departure and as part of a countywide leadership continuity restructuring, the Department of Human Services was separated and Doug Washburn hired as its director in April 2013. Penny Starkey led Personnel, now the Department of Human Resources, after Mr. Furuta’s departure until her retirement in June of this year.

Mr. McLain brings broad experience honed over a decades-long career 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.

During his tenure 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. Mr. McLain studied business and ministry at Trinity Bible College in North Dakota and Centralia Community College.



Last Updated: 
July 28, 2014