Captain Joe Ruch
Grand President - Elect
Captain Joseph C. Ruch was born in 1954, the 6th of nine children, on the east side of Detroit. Joe graduated from De La Salle Collegiate High School in 1972 and started working at Chrysler Corporation the very next day. He attended Michigan State University from 1973 thru 1974 and the Great Lakes Maritime Academy from 1976 to 1979.
After graduation from Great Lakes Maritime Academy, he signed on the S.S. Elton Hoyt 2nd and has been a Licensed Deck Officer with the Interlake Steamship Company from July 1979 to present; sailing as Master from 1993 to present.
Captain Ruch holds a License as Master of vessels of Unlimited Tonnage upon the Great Lakes and Inland Waters as far East as Anticosti Island; Master of vessels Less than 1600 Gross Tons upon Oceans; Second Mate of vessels of Unlimited Tons upon Oceans; First Class Pilot of vessels of Unlimited Tonnage upon the Great Lakes between Duluth, Gary, Buffalo and Cape Vincent.
Joe is a member and past Chairman of Lake Carriers Association Captain's Committee and a member of the Board of Visitors of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy.
Within the International Shipmasters Association, Joe serves on the Navigation Engineering and Legislation Committee and the Scholarship Committee. He is past Grand Chaplain, past Chairman of the Membership Committee and past President of Port Huron Lodge No.2.
Joe has also worked as a mate on an Environmental Protection Agency vessel on the Great Lakes; Master, Mate and Able Seaman with Selvick Marine Towing and Able Seaman with Military Sealift Command Atlantic.
Joe met his wife, Tracey, in 1976 at Northwestern Michigan College. They were married in 1979 and have four children, Grace, Bill, Mary and Patrick. Joe also has a daughter, Alysia, and four grandchildren.