Len Faucher oversees the movement of cargo ships, trains, and trucks in and out of the Port of Olympia. That sounds like a dream job for many young boys, but it was not a position the young Faucher had even considered.
“I didn’t make a decision to be in boating,” Faucher explained. “The decision was made for me. But it has worked out very well.”
Faucher, who went to high school in New Hampshire, attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Transportation. As Faucher explained: “My parents said, ‘If you get into that school, you are going. It’s a free education.’ So, I went.”
He went on to earn an MBA from the University of New Hampshire, then pursued a professional career working around — and sailing on — large cargo vessels home-ported and headquartered on the East Coast.
Four years ago, Faucher and his wife, Margaret, decided to move to the West Coast to start a family. The decision was a leap of faith of sorts: Faucher didn’t have a job waiting for him, and the couple lived with Margaret’s parents in Olympia. Eventually, though, Faucher was hired by the Port of Olympia in January 2015.
While Faucher loves the weather — “People who complain about the rain have never shoveled (East Coast) snow” — he’s still getting used to West Coast culture and attire: “Every time we go somewhere, I seem to be a notch overdressed,” he said. “But I’m adapting.”
Faucher looks forward to expanding business at the Port of Olympia and identifying new and emerging markets. Weyerhaeuser’s log exports are the Port of Olympia’s top commerce segment, but cattle exports to South Korea are a promising prospect.
And he aims to enhance connections between the Port of Olympia and its namesake city.
“We want to inform the community about the value of a marine terminal,” Faucher said. “We want to bring attention to its importance.”
See what a workday is like for Faucher at the Port of Olympia.
I try to start my day early in the morning at the Valley Athletic Club in Tumwater.
My day at the office starts with yogurt and jarred fruit. The fruit is grown, prepared, and canned by my father-in-law, Jim Johnson, owner of Johnson Berry Farm in Olympia. And I love Batdorf & Bronson’s Dancing Goats Blend.
Usually, I attend meetings in business-casual attire. However, I do wear several safety items (life jacket, high-visibility vest, and hard hat) when observing vessel and cargo operations.
I love lunch on Thursdays at the Olympia Farmers Market. Today, I stopped in at Pithos Gyros for Greek food.
My desk is cluttered with three computer screens displaying real-time Port of Olympia operations and email; a handy calculator; and, of course, my coffee mug.
I’m behind the wheel of a Port of Olympia truck out to check in on operations. Bonus: driving by our solar-powered warehouse.
All members of my team — including the maintenance team (pictured) — are great.
Security is an important topic due to the requirements put on a marine terminal through Homeland Security. This is the back rail gate entrance, a path I take between meetings with other port staff and my office inside the marine terminal.
I love to end my day with a family meal, walk to the local ice cream shop, or a playground with my wife, Margaret, and daughters Charlotte and Elizabeth, and our dog, Pluto.