Photo by Jeff Hobson

The Puget Sound seeped into Troy Alstead’s blood at an early age. The founder of Gig Harbor’s new entertainment hub, Ocean5, was born and raised near the saltwater. Educated in Puyallup’s public schools, he boated, swam, and played in the Sound. Now, he wants to protect it.

A businessman by day and a philanthropist at heart, Alstead launched Ocean5 as a for-profit business that operates with sustainable practices.

After graduating from the University of Washington in 1985, Alstead launched his career in Northern California with the tech firm NCR and soon relocated to its Ohio office. It was there in the Midwest, far from any ocean, Alstead realized how much the saltwater meant to him. In 1990, he was able to return to the Northwest when he landed a job with Egghead Software.

Then, one morning in 1992, Alstead’s life took a pivotal turn when he saw a newspaper ad seeking a financial analyst for a local coffee company. That began a 24-year career at Starbucks that took him to nearly every country in the world and ended with the title chief financial officer. Those world travels inspired his Ocean5 concept.

“In every culture, in every country, there was some form of social entertainment center,” he said. “I would visit them, and they would provide me inspiration.”

While living abroad, Alstead also became aware of the challenges oceans and seas face. At Ocean5, sustainability is one of its main business models. The LEED-certified building includes several environmentally friendly features. All of Ocean5’s carpets, for example, are made from old fishnets pulled from the sea.

“We want to punch above our weight and have a bigger impact on the saving of the environment,” he said.

Alstead also is heavily involved in helping improve the local business community. In November, for example, Ocean5 is hosting a CEO roundtable event in which more than a dozen local leaders will gather to discuss the present and future of business in the South Sound.

Photos courtesy Troy Alstead

4 a.m. |I wake early each day and spend the first hour or so with a cup, or three, of Sumatra and several news sources. Then, I check emails that have come overnight.

5 a.m. | Every day includes at least 90 minutes in the gym. It’s the best way for me to wake up and feel ready for the day ahead.

7 a.m. | Koa and I have a few favorite walks, with our top choice being the beach. I love the beach because I have been drawn to the sea and the ocean since I was a young kid. Koa loves the beach because, well, she’s a dog.

9 a.m. | Heading to my office at Ocean5 and getting there the best way possible.

10 a.m. | The favorite part of my day at Ocean5 is walking around the building visiting with the incredible team that brings their talent, energy, and smiles with them every day.

11 a.m. | When not traveling for one of the corporate boards I serve on (Levi Strauss, Harley-Davidson, and Topgolf), I spend some time most days on a board call or reviewing materials for one of the companies. I also serve on the advisory council for EarthLab, an initiative of the University of Washington that aligns closely with my passion for sustainability.

1 p.m. | After a lunch meeting at Table 47, I meet with general manager Aaron Shook. I’m fortunate to have great depth of talent and experience at Ocean5.


4 p.m. | After more meetings and some office work, another walk around the building to visit with team members, this time at Table 47.

5 p.m. | Our goal is to ensure our menu offerings are unique, high-quality, and responsibly and locally sourced. The culinary and bar staff conducts tastings to gather feedback on new recipes and offerings.

7 p.m. | When not traveling, I make it a priority to be home for dinner in the evening with Connie and our kids.