Thursday, May 17, 2012

Master Mariner Chamber & Community Volunteer

Gary Coy, President of Sperry Ocean Dock, was recognized as the Propeller Club’s Master Mariner of the Year at the Maritime Day Luncheon.
Coy is a second generation Washingtonian who grew up in the family business – neighborhood movie theaters during the 1940’s and 1950’s – until he moved to Alaska, where he worked as a commercial fisherman for several years.  He returned to Washington as an employee of The Boeing Company and served for two years in the U.S. Army.

After his discharge, Coy returned to work in several fields.  For a number of years, he owned a restaurant and office products business.  His career path included commercial and industrial waterfront real estate and eventually led to co-ownership of the Sperry Ocean Dock.

Sperry Ocean Dock is comprised of state-of-the-art fendering with metered shore power in a fenced, lighted, clean and secure area for large, oceangoing vessels.  As such, Sperry Ocean Dock is a vital national security asset for Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
The two ships stationed at the Sperry Ocean Dock facility are controlled by the federal government’s MARAD department and provide critical sealift for military operations.  Firefighter schools along with local, state and federal government agencies use the vessels for unique training opportunities.  In addition, the ships are potential resources for the community during natural disasters capable of producing electricity, water, shelter and medical facilities.

Presenting the award, Rockney Nigretto, Past International President of the Propeller Club of the U.S. and Past President of the Tacoma Propeller Club, said: “(Gary Coy) has been a steadfast supporter of the military, from concern for the living condition for our troops to assuring that intermodal sealift is well supported.  By this June, he will have made 23 trips to visit Congress, seeking support for the maritime industry and the military in the Pacific Northwest.  He has made a unique and lasting impact on military readiness on the West Coast.  I quote from one source: ‘One could easily argue that, through his consistent interaction with government leaders - Congress, Transcom, Marad and others – he is responsible for the expansion of the Marad fleet berthed on the West Coast and the jobs that they have created.  His creativity and tenacity in support of military readiness and the national interest has distinguished him among his peers and has served our nation well.’”

Coy has greatly improved his site through removal of a multi-story building of approx 180,000 sq ft.  During a Phase 2, he's removed approx. 20,000 sq ft of rail loading dock/decking, that was directly along the upper shore line bank.  And, in the big Phase 3, he's removed approximately 88,000 sq ft. of over-water coverage, approximately 1,000 creosote piles, and restored 650 lineal feet of beach and tidal area.  To date, he has created approximately 100,000 sq ft of intertidal habitat area.  Plus, his company is looking to do two more phases, starting with a small phase this summer, removing additional over-water coverage and more creosote piles.  And the real praise comes from having never been offered, or even asked for any type of public funding.

Coy has been extremely active in the South Sound community as a utility commissioner and member of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber.  As a Chamber member, he is the record holder for attending the most Washington-to-Washington, D.C. Conferences in the nation’s capital where he advocates on behalf of the maritime community.  He is an active member of the HLNC, Association of the United States Army, Navy League, Transportation Club of Tacoma and, of course, the Propeller Club.

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