New program manager’s family has long history with Deception Pass Park

The Deception Pass Park Foundation’s board of directors decided to hire its first full-time employee.

Since 2005, the Deception Pass Park Foundation has operated largely on volunteer support. In response to recent rapid growth, the Foundation’s board of directors has decided to hire its first full-time employee.

Jared Bessett, the new program manager, will support the board to increase financial resources through fundraising efforts and management of the Foundation’s extensive retail operations.

Bessett’s grandfather, Bob Little, became park manager in 1973. The family lived in the park for several years before Little was promoted to Northwest Region manager.

“I grew up on stories of my mother’s childhood in the park,” Bessett said. “It feels surreal. I am honored to be given this opportunity to help a place that was so pivotal in my family’s history.”

“With Jared on our team now, we have a lot of exciting things to look forward to, including a huge celebration this summer that the whole community will be a part of,” said Deception Pass Park Foundation Board President, Terica Ginther.

Bessett’s role in managing the Foundation’s day-to-day operations is an important part of ensuring a successful year-long celebration of the Deception Pass State Park’s 100th Birthday in 2022.

Bessett earned a degree in journalism at Central Washington University, where he was a member of the William O. Douglas Honors College.

The Deception Pass Park Foundation was founded in 2005 with the goal of providing financial support to supplement state funding to promote education and preserve resources in the Park.