Petty Officer 1st Class Derek Shay of Fountain Valley was recognized during a banquet held in Alameda Friday. Coast Guard officials said, “Shay was not only an outstanding engineer and set and example, but frequently volunteered about 100 hours a week.”
“His volunteer work included preparing food baskets for the needy in Haiti and Africa, and helping seniors with their gardening, lawn care and home maintenance need,” officials said. Shay said serving in the Coast Guard enabled him to live out his childhood goals of pursuing a career where he could help and protect people.
“I believe in the Coast Guard missions and I lead by example,” Shay said. “Doing so, my sense of ownership, pride and work ethic rubs off on my shipmates.” Shay was selected from a field of 27 nominees from units in the 11th Coast Guard District, which includes California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah.
Petty Officer 1st Class Stepheni Norton, who was listed as one of San Diego Magazine’s small-business owners 50 people to watch last year, was named Reserve Person of the Year. Norton is a yeoman assigned to the operational support division at Coast Guard Port Security Unit 311, in Long Beach. Norton provided “care suitcases” with food and supplies for homeless veterans in Southern California and developed a website to announce charity and non-profit events.