February 11, 2022 — Grays Harbor’s working waterfront has gained a seat at the federal level.  Former Harborite and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 24 leader, Max Vekich was nominated by President Biden in June 2021, and confirmed by the US Senate on Thursday to serve as a Commissioner on the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC).  The FMC is the independent federal agency responsible for regulating the U.S. international ocean transportation system for the benefit of U.S. exporters, importers, and the U.S. consumer.

Mr. Vekich is a 49-year veteran of the maritime industry, having worked at several ports throughout Washington State along with holding leadership positions for ILWU Local 24 in Grays Harbor.  He also served as a Representative in the Washington State Legislature.

“On behalf of the Port of Grays Harbor, we congratulate Mr. Vekich on this great accomplishment,” stated Port of Grays Harbor Commission President Tom Quigg.  “Having someone at the table that understands the role that small and large ports play in trade will be valuable.   International trade is the cornerstone of our mission at the Port, and we have no doubt that Max’s leadership and decades of experience will be an asset to the port and maritime industry in his new role.”

Current ILWU Local 24 President Billy Swor added, “We are incredibly proud to see Max appointed to this important position at such a critical point for maritime issues. His knowledge of working waterfronts will bring great perspective to the Commission and be a great benefit as they make decisions that will affect the entire maritime industry.”

Mr. Vekich is expected to be sworn in the next few days and will serve on the 5-member Commission until June 30, 2026.