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Celebrating “Herstories”

March 1, 2022

To celebrate Women’s History Month, the Port is launching a project to create an archive of “Herstories,” recognizing how many women have made history at the Port of Seattle. We highlight just a few of those women who made essential contributions to the Port and paved the way for a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace. 

black and white photo of Andrea Riniker next to a Delta jet

Andrea Riniker 

First female Airport Director, Port of Seattle Deputy Director, and Port of Tacoma Executive Director 

Andrea Riniker definitely fits the “trailblazing” moniker; she was not only the first woman Director of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), but also the first woman Deputy Director at the Port of Seattle, and the first female Executive Director for the Port of Tacoma. Andrea served as airport director from 1988 -1993, where she faced numerous challenges such as airport noise and capacity issues amidst rising passenger and cargo traffic numbers. Airport capacity and future growth were hot topics, and the planning discussions and the start of the third runway planning at SEA happened during her tenure, as well as major airport renovations. She was promoted to Deputy Director of the Port of Seattle and served in that role from 1993-1997, and then was selected as the first female Executive Director of the Port of Tacoma, where she served from 1997-2005. Her unique blend of experience gave her a robust regional perspective, which she used to build cooperation on topics such as freight mobility and invest in infrastructure that enabled growth at both the airport and local seaports. 

Read more about airport and seaport issues during the time of Andrea’s leadership on HistoryLink: 

Corporate headshot of Linda Styrk

Linda Styrk 

First female Managing Director of Maritime at the Port of Seattle 

Linda Styrk served as the first female managing director of maritime at the Port of Seattle for nearly 10 years, from 2005-2015. And her career has touched every aspect of the maritime industry. After receiving her degree in Nautical Industrial Technology from the California Maritime Academy, Linda held an active U.S. Coast Guard license as a Third Mate. Since then, Linda has held multiple leadership roles in international logistics and container transportation. She currently serves as the first female Executive Director of the Puget Sound Pilots, an 84-year-old organization. The Puget Sound Pilots play a unique role in Washington State, which requires pilots on the bridge of every large ship sailing in Puget Sound, from cruise ships to container vessels. Throughout her career, she has been a strong champion of the maritime industry and the importance of marine cargo for the region’s economy. 

Kevin Catherine Castle in a hard hat

Kevin Catherine Castle  

First female crane operator at the Port of Seattle  

In 1980, a year after graduating from the University of Washington, Kevin Catherine Castle was one of the first women to join International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Seattle Local 19, loading and unloading ships on Seattle's Elliott Bay waterfront. Over the next two decades she advanced and became the first woman to operate a container crane at the Port of Seattle.  

  • Read her HistoryLink account of her career on the docks and in the cabs of the 15-story-tall cranes, maneuvering 60-ton containers on and off huge cargo ships

In the future, we'll be highlighting more women and their contributions to the Port, whether in aviation, maritime, executive leadership, Commission, multiple trades, and the Police and Fire departments. 

Do you have a woman you’d like to make sure is part of this ongoing blog series and collection? Please email with any suggestions. 

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