As a Project Manager for League City, Scott Tuma likes to keep busy, and not just on land. In his spare time, you can find him on the beach racing his catamaran or even helping the blind learn how to sail. Learn more about this seafarer and his love for not only helping people, but animals too.
What do you do? I’m a Construction and Project Manager, and I’ve been working for the City for 10 and a half years. Basically, we have to make sure that the projects are built like the “picture.” We take the plans and make sure that contractors build whatever project it is according to the plan.
What major City projects have you worked on? I’ve done everything from the Public Safety Building, to renovating Fire Station No. 2, to the City’s first dog park. I was also part of the relocation of the Ghirardi Compton Oak tree.
Where are you from? I grew up In Nassau Bay, both of my parents retired from NASA. My dad was a project manager of Boeing Aerospace and my mom was a secretary for the space station. They were both working at NASA when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. We have boxes of patches, NASA stickers, everything.
What do you do in your time off? I enjoy sailboat racing and spending time with my wife and kids, and dogs.
How long have you done sailboat racing? I have been sailboat racing for over 40 years, I started when I was 5 with my dad. The best way to describe it is a giant chess game where all the pieces keep moving. The wind keeps changing, other boats keep moving and you have all the factors on your own boat that change. It requires a lot of patience, a lot of skill and quite a bit of luck. I did a lot of local and national races, I have a gold medal in the world blind sailing and three first-place national championships in blind sailing.
What is blind sailing? Blind sailing is where we have a boat of four crew, two people are blind and two are sighted. I guide the driver of the boat who is blind around the course and make tactical decisions. The other sighted crew is assisting the blind crew so you have two teams on the boat to build one full team on the boat.
How did you become involved with blind sailing? A friend of my dad is blind and needed a crew for a national regatta in 1992, so I started racing with him then. I kept racing with him and worked with two other blind teams, so I’ve helped build three different blind teams. I’ve raced in places like Connecticut and Newport.
Why do you like it? It adds a challenge to sailing and you work with great people. We build a relationship where we trust each other with maneuvers. It helps them achieve a goal and helps their motivation and self-esteem.
Do you have sailboats? I have two beach catamarans, one built out of spare parts and the other one is wooden and I refinished it last year. I mostly sail it in Galveston Bay. The wooden one I’m going take to a regatta in Canyon Lake soon. I also built a houseboat in the 90’s. It’s like living in an RV but in the water.
You also foster animals? Yes, my wife and I have fostered over 30-40 dogs. We mostly foster German Shepherds and larger dogs. We’ve been part of several rescue groups up in Houston.
It helps save pets and keeps them out of the shelters or being put down, and we realized foster pets are some of the appreciative because they’ve had a hard life. We spent almost a week down at the Bayou Animal Center in Dickinson after Harvey with the kids trying to show them about compassion and what people can achieve when they work together. Having the kids see all the donations and hard work from people was an eye opener and helped them to think more than just themselves.
Fun fact about yourself? I love to travel. My family’s plan is to do more beach traveling. I’d like to go to Buenos Aires, Honduras, Costa Rica, and more of Latin America and the southern Caribbean.
Favorite part about your job? The variety of projects and the people I work with. I like the challenges of the variety of projects. It’s never the same thing.