Tyler Allen’s Freeboard Sound Solutions’ introduction at the Maritime Blue Accelerator Launch Event.
Chief Executive Officer
Tyler has roots in the Alaska fishing industry going back three generations. From the age of 6 months, his summers were spent living and working for the family fishing business on Kodiak Island. By 15 he was a seasoned crew member working aboard salmon boats in Bristol Bay. To earn money for college, he ran the family fishing business in the summer and winter crab fished in the Bering Sea.
To round out his maritime knowledge, he later attended the Seattle Maritime Academy and graduated at the top of his class, interning for Trident Seafoods as a junior engineer.
From an early age, when Tyler wasn’t fishing, he worked for the other family business, MER Equipment. MER was founded by his maternal grandfather, Ivan Fox after Alaska’s Good Friday earthquake. A fisherman and then a fleet manager in the Alaska fishing industry, Ivan saw the earthquake’s devastation first hand and started MER, then Marine Engine Repair, in response to that crisis in order to get his fleet and his friends back out on the water again for the coming season.
After marrying and starting a family, Tyler stopped fishing and focused full time on growing MER into a global brand. Tyler’s love for the industry, Alaska and the fishing community still takes him and his family back to Kodiak every summer.
At MER, Tyler has served in many roles; parts specialist, fabricator, designer, engineer as well as product branding and sales development. He has overseen the successful launch of multiple product lines for the company and played an important role in leading the company to become the largest John Deere marine engine dealer globally. Today, the company is a highly regarded supplier of equipment to commercial fishing fleets, towing and harbor assists fleets, boat builders, shipyards, ferry fleets, passenger vessels and private yachts.
Over the years, both as a fisherman and an equipment supplier to the commercial marine industry, Tyler has seen the negative impact of climate change and ocean acidification. As the founder and CEO of Freeboard, Tyler’s goal is to guide the company toward common sense environmental solutions that will secure a future for fishing communities, Seattle’s working waterfront and his children.