Reminder: community visit February 4
The UA Land Office team will be in town next week. We hope you can stop by Mountain Market to chat with us on Monday morning, February 4 at 9-10:30am.
This week we’re happy to feature another short profile on community members and organizations, this time on Haynes Tormey of Haines Industrial Supply. This is part of UA Land Office’s interest in community outreach. If you are interested in being featured, please reach out anytime.
Haynes Tormey: passionate about industry and community development Haynes Tormey, along with his wife Katie, is a hardworking entrepreneur and co-owner of Haines Industrial Supply.
A man so passionate about Haines you’d think he was named after the town…well, almost. His namesake actually goes back many generations on his father’s side, but it’s his mother that has roots in Haines. Of course when his parents met, it was a case of kismet and perhaps some sort of wild premonition about their future son’s adventure.
He likes the pace, variety, and connection to different industries in the community. On any given day Haynes could be installing hydraulics on a boat in their boat yard, selling products to mining companies, or helping a local logger by servicing their machinery.
But Haynes and Katie didn’t set out to own a business. When they met in Juneau, Haynes was working in civil construction, often traveling nine months out of the year for work projects. When they started a family, he decided to change his job and move to a place that was safe, with a sense of community.
“In my mind there was only once place to go, and that was Haines.”
After 20 plus years away, Haynes returned to the town where he lived as a child. He took a job with the Department of Transportation which gave him more time for family but also tightened the family budget. In order to make ends meet, Katie and Haynes used their backgrounds in commercial fishing in the summer, often working seven days a week.
Organically, they started helping other fisherman by selling things like oil filters and filling orders out of their garage at home. Step by step they invested more in the business and Haynes was able to focus full time on what became Haines Industrial Supply. As demand increased, they quickly realized that there were industrial needs beyond what they could house in the shop in their garage. Instead of just hardware supplies for homeowners, they were ordering hydraulic fans and other industrial supplies and equipment.
“Eventually we ran out of room in our garage. You can only house so many hydraulic hoses at one time.”
This April will mark one full year with a commercial storefront. Today they carry all kinds of industrial equipment—from safety apparel to batteries and hand tools—and they are proud to offer services as well. They have hauling equipment and a boat yard to service ongoing needs of commercial fisherman to name a few.
“Every healthy community in Alaska has a store like this but in recent years Haines did not. For me, I absolutely love the store. They say if you do something you enjoy then you’ll never work a day in your life. That sums it up for me.”
And Haynes is absolutely committed to raising his family in a healthy community. Running a business as a family is something Haynes and Katie are proud of in their daily lives. When school is out in the summer you can find the children sweeping floors and helping with the store. “My kids are part of the crew now at the shop. Often children have no idea what their parents do for a living. But my kids can see with their own eyes what it takes to make a living, together as a team working with the community.”
To Haynes, part of living in a thriving community also means being smart about economic growth and speaking his mind about the power of earning a living wage. Between his work in civil construction in different parts of the state and now seeing the needs of different business owners, he sees heavy industry growth as one way to bolster the community.
“I feel strongly that we need to have opportunities for people of all backgrounds to support their families and well-being. Haines is poised for growth but we need to diversify. We used to have a strong timber industry and I’m supportive of the roads and infrastructure that it could bring back to our community.”
Haynes knows he is not the only one passionate about ways to improve the community. “Everyone here has an opinion, but to me that means everyone here cares. Every corner of Haines is cared about by someone. That’s how I see it.”
Like we said last week, at the UA Land Office, we feel the same way. We are also interested in being good neighbors—making Alaska a place where people can live and work. Thank you for making time to talk with us, Haynes!