Jake Haynie − Chief Spotter; Reedville, VA
How long have you been with the Company?
Since May, 1970.
What inspired you to do what you do?
Back in the early 70’s I was sent down to Colonna’s Shipyard in Norfolk, Va to oversee the installation of a new refrigeration system on the F/V R.L. Haynie, Jr. I had the occasion to fly home in the company plane and I remember being a little scared the whole way back to Reedville. Not willing to admit that I was afraid of anything, I figured the best way to overcome a fear off lying was to learn how to fly, so I signed up for flight training at Byrd Field in Richmond. Three months later I had my private pilot’s license. I did it mostly as a personal achievement, but afterwards I started thinking maybe I could put my name in the hat [as a spotter.] The more I thought about it the more I wanted it and I began an all-out campaign to get hired. I think Charles Williams, who had recently taken over as chief spotter when George Edwards retired, figured he either had to hire me or he would have to move, so relentless was I in my pursuit to get hired.
What do you like about working for Omega Protein?
I like everything about working for Omega Protein. This company means everything to me, this town, and this whole area. I hope we never have to find out what it would be like without Omega Protein’s presence here.
During a diesel mechanics class, I met Thomas Beatley, the instructor, and Haynie Product’s vessel manager. After completing the class I asked Mr. Beatley for a job in the marine division and was hired a few days later. That fall,I became second engineer on the Sturgeon. The following year I took the test to become chief engineer and worked for ten years on several vessels. In 1977, I started fish spotting and then went on to become chief spotter in 1990 and have been ever since. I hope that my main accomplishment is earning the respect of everyone I have had the pleasure of working with all these years.
Something interesting about me…
I asked my bride to answer this one for me. She says “You can get from Long Island to Beaufort in the plane, but you can’t find anything with both hands on land.” And, “You are expert at just about anything you try.”