Port of Grays Harbor

Coastal Innovation Zone tenant, Reed Composite Solutions, Celebrates Grand Opening

Despite tough economic times nationally, in Washington State’s hard-hit Grays Harbor County the spirit of community giving is alive and well.

A new start-up company – Aberdeen-based Reed Composite Solutions – which manufactures advanced composite body armor, will celebrate its grand opening by presenting ten sets of tactical body armor to local law enforcement.  The donation is going to the Aberdeen Police Department and its SWAT Team – a multi-department alliance comprised of police officers from the cities of Aberdeen, Montesano, and Hoquiam.

Company founders Ryan Reed and Joe Kawaky came up with the donation idea when first planning their ribbon cutting event. “Local community and business leaders have extended an incredibly gracious welcome to RCS” comments Reed, “and we wanted to give something back -- especially something that has the potential of making such a huge difference in the safety and well being of our police officers.”

Presenting the donation to Aberdeen Chief Robert Torgerson will be RCS employee Rose Jones. Jones knows all too well how important it is for those sworn to protect and defend to have the best possible equipment. Her first husband, the late Officer Jean K. Jones, was shot and killed in the line of duty. “It’s been over three decades since I got that knock on the door and was told by a fellow officer that my husband had been shot. ” reminisces Jones. “Today, at the one year anniversary of the Lakewood police officer shootings, my heart still weeps every time I hear a news report of an officer down” she adds.

RCS’s ribbon cutting event will be made even more poignant next week given that the company’s donation will be made in honor of and tribute to late Hoquiam Police Officer Donald M. Burke. Burke was shot and killed in the line of duty just three blocks from the site of RCS’s new manufacturing facility at the Port of Grays Harbor. RCS Vice President Joe Kawaky adds  “Like Jean Jones, Don Burke gave his life protecting his community. RCS’s donation is not only intended to benefit the brave officers going in to harm’s way today, but is also meant to express to the Burke family that their husband and father is not –  and never will be – forgotten by our community.”

RCS’s grand opening event will be on Thursday, December 6 and is by invitation. Facility tours are scheduled to begin at 1:00 pm, followed by the donation presentation and ribbon cutting ceremony at 2:00 pm. Community and business leaders, local law enforcement officials, and members of the media have been invited to attend.

Joseph Kawaky, Executive Vice President

Read related story that appeared in The Daily World, December 7, 2012