Farewell, Dan O’Neal

We were saddened this week to hear of the passing of Dan O’Neal, one of the founding members of the Puget Sound Partnership’s Leadership Council and a long-time advocate of Puget Sound protection and recovery.

Governor Christine Gregoire first appointed Dan to the Leadership Council in 2007. He was reappointed in 2009 and stepped down from the Council in 2013.

Dan was also a member of the Washington State Transportation Commission where he served as chair from 2005 to 2006. In addition, he served on the board of The Greenbrier Companies, a publicly traded railroad car leasing and manufacturing company, and was a founder of and investor in PowerTech Group, Inc., a business security software company.

“Dan’s unique perspective from the business community enabled the Leadership Council and the Partnership to make more balanced and broadly informed choices about Puget Sound recovery,” said Sheida Sahandy, Executive Director of the Partnership. “He spoke eloquently on behalf of business interests, but he also kept protection and recovery of Puget Sound at the top of his priority list.”

Dan chaired the Puget Sound Freight Mobility Roundtable and, until July 2005, served as chair of the Washington Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board. He also served on the board of the Cascade Land Conservancy (now Forterra) and was a board member and vice president of the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group. He previously was owner and CEO of a transportation and logistics company headquartered in Seattle. He served on the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) in Washington, D.C., from 1973 to 1980 and was chair of the agency from 1977 to 1980.

Before joining the ICC, O’Neal was transportation counsel to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee under the leadership of Sen. Warren G. Magnuson.

Dan applied the leadership skills he honed in the business community to protecting and restoring Puget Sound. He was our colleague and our friend. We will sorely miss him.