James (Jim) Warjone
Chairman of the Board, Port Blakely Companies
James (Jim) Warjone is the current Chairman of the Board of Directors of Port Blakely Companies. Previously he had served in the role of Chairman and CEO of Port Blakely Companies for 13 years.
Jim joined Port Blakely Companies in 1976 as a Board Member and has served the Company in executive leadership positions since 1978. His tenure with the Company began with the Port Blakely Mill Company, predecessor to Port Blakely Tree Farms and now one of the Port Blakely Companies. Over the course of the past 30 years, Jim has led the drive to develop new economic opportunities and strengthen strategic relationships locally, nationally and globally for the Port Blakely Companies.
Jim has provided tactical and hands-on guidance in pursuit of new opportunities as Port Blakely Companies has continued to grow and evolve as a company. In 1993, he directed the initiative to diversify the Company's forestry land by forming a new international subsidiary, Blakely Pacific. Based in New Zealand, Blakely Pacific owns and manages forest land on New Zealand's North and South Islands. Blakely Pacific markets its products and the products of others domestically and into the Pacific Rim.
Jim was the driving force behind the original land purchase of what is now the Issaquah Highlands in King County, Washington. He also assembled the creative team of real estate experts that formed Port Blakely Communities. Among his first hires was Judd Kirk, who generated the vision for the "Living Green" development to fruition. To provide access to Issaquah Highlands and the communities to the North, Jim led the initiative to build the Highlands Drive/Sunset Drive Interchange, connecting Issaquah Highlands with Interstate 90. This multi-year public-private partnership encompassed regulatory approvals, permits, funding and right of way acquisition. The interchange was opened in 2003.
Recently, Jim led the expansion of Port Blakely Companies into direct exporting through the acquisition of a long time customer, Pacific Lumber and Shipping. The acquisition of the trading company, which buys, processes and resells logs of many grades and species for others as well as Port Blakely, has enabled the company to further penetrate the Pacific Rim markets, including Japan, Korea, China and India.
A forestry industry leader, Jim partnered with two other firms in 2008 to found a new industry association, the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO). The Alliance represents more than 66 million acres of private forests across the nation and was formed to advocate for the forest owners on Capitol Hill.
Jim continues to serve the community as a board member and key advisor. Currently he serves on the board of the Washington Roundtable (past chair), The Pacific Science Center (past chair and director emeritus) as well as the boards of three private and one public company. In addition, he is Chairman of the Board for Port Blakely Companies.
Jim was born in Virginia and grew up in southern California. He received a degree in economics from Claremont Men's College (now Claremont McKenna College) in 1965. He is married and lives in Sun Valley, Idaho after 41 years in Seattle.