The hard-working men in our crane department keep our Port running smoothly. Over the coming weeks, we will highlight each of their individual specialties and celebrate their dedication to keeping the Port of Gulfport moving forward.
Gary Pitcovich: Crane Manager
As the leader of the Crane Team, Gary’s knowledge of his cranes and dedication to his team set him apart. Under his leadership, the cranes the department averages an outstanding 97.5% uptime on all vessel operations, and his team speaks highly of him as a trusted manager and friend.
Gary has been working at the Port since 2009 and has been a crane technician since 2007. After 5 years with Ports America overseeing our mobile harbor cranes as the Crane Superintendent, he was hired by the Port of Gulfport as the Assistant Crane Manager and then promoted to Crane Manager in 2017. Gary assisted with the commissioning and deployment of our new STS gantry cranes and has a unique knowledge of various cranes and vessel operation requirements thanks to his previous positions. He manages the Crane Team, leading the maintenance and repair of all our cranes to ensure customers’ operational needs are always met. Gary has played a direct role in the acquisition of talent as well as building the crane department’s facilities, tools, equipment, and parts block. Under his leadership, the crane department averages an outstanding 97.5% uptime on all vessel operations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from William Carey University and recently completed his MBA there as well.
In his words: “We keep cranes running and ships sailing”.
Gary’s team speaks highly of him, telling stories of working multiple shifts together in the pouring rain and a leader who always has their back. He’s invested in them as individuals, supporting them as men with families and lives outside of the office, and as employees dedicated to their craft. They respect his knowledge, his ability, his dedication, and of course mention their gratefulness for his service to our country as a Marine. His training and experience in the USMC is part of what gave him the expertise he utilizes today to not only work on large machinery like our cranes but also skillfully lead a diverse team of men as they keep the Port of Gulfport moving.
In their words:
“Gary’s our buffer. He’s our leader. I would do anything for him.”
“He doesn’t berate you, he doesn’t knock you down.”
“He does a lot more around here than people realize; he’s always willing to fill in for anyone who needs him.”
“He takes care of us and looks out for us.”
“I think the world of him.”
“Gary is the best boss I’ve ever worked for.”
Jay Signorelli: Lead Crane Technician
Jay is the resident IT expert of the Crane Team. Our cranes are controlled by a series of complex software applications, so Jay’s ability to navigate hardware and software issues is an invaluable asset to our team.
Jay Signorelli joined our Crane Team in 2018. He has a background in Information Technology and specializes in computer hardware and software applications. When building the crane team, it was important to have personnel on hand that could troubleshoot computer-related issues. Our gantry cranes are controlled by Programmable Logic Control, which entails a series of complex software applications. Jay’s familiarity with computer servers, routers, switches, and other communication devices makes him a valued member of our crane team. His ability to navigate and troubleshoot computer issues on our cranes help ensure we keep our cranes remain operational to service our customers. Jay often volunteers to assist with operations that can require working long hours, even into the early morning.
In his words: “The problem lies between the chair and the keyboard.”
Blake Bishop: Lead Crane Technician
A valuable member of our crane team since 2017, Blake has experience assisting with the delivery and start-up of cranes all across America. His specialty is welding, and he routinely performs vital welding repairs and mechanical maintenance on our three gantry cranes.
Blake Bishop joined the crane team in 2017. He has an extensive background with Ship to Shore gantry cranes. He has worked directly for the ZPMC commissioning team where he has assisted with the delivery and start-up of cranes all over the country. Blake’s specialty is in welding and fabrication. He serves with the crane team performing welding repairs and mechanical maintenance. His skill set also includes motor alignment, wire rope adjustments, and hydraulic repairs. He regularly volunteers to assist with our vessel operations that can require working late into the evenings and early mornings. Blake’s background, experience, and work ethic make him a key player to our success.
In his words: “Without the cranes and the crane team, this place would just be a big parking lot.”
Roy Lang: Lead Crane Technician
With over 21 years of experience at the Port of Gulfport, Roy is known for his dependability and dedication. His specialty is the crane spreaders, which attach the crane to containers, requiring daily checks and maintenance.
Roy Lang has been with the Port of Gulfport for 21 years. He has served in various maintenance roles over the years and volunteered to join the crane team at its inception in 2015. Roy is very familiar with crane operations here at the port and was part of the “old school crane team” that maintained the cranes before Hurricane Katrina. He assists with the maintenance and repair of the STS Cranes and specializes in the crane spreaders. The spreaders are what attach the crane to containers and require daily checks and maintenance. Roy ensures that our lifting devices are always ready to go for the next vessel operation. He is admired by his coworkers for his dedication and is always there when you need him despite our ever-changing operations. “Big Papa” as the team often calls him, is a highly valued member of our crane team and contributes to our success each and every day.
Paul Neumaier: Senior Lead Crane Technician
Hired for his impressive background and electrical knowledge, Paul has often been designated the MVP of the Crane Team. He’s “saved the day” countless times to keep our cranes running, and we’re grateful for his expertise.
Paul joined our team in 2016. He was hired for his impressive background and electrical knowledge. He has an extensive employment record with major organizations, serving in lead maintenance and technical roles dating back to the 1970s. Paul started working at the Port around the time of the arrival of the STS Cranes. Most of his first months were spent working directly with the ZPMC commissioning team as they prepared our cranes for service, and he quickly impressed us with his attention to detail in every matter. Our three gantry cranes are almost entirely electric, so Paul’s skill set has proven to be a very valuable addition to the team. He is familiar with every system on our cranes, as he assisted with the final wiring and inspections during the handover from ZPMC. His knowledge of incoming power, ABB drives, controls, safeties, hydraulics, pneumatics, and other systems has earned him the designation of MVP of the crane team. Paul has “saved the day” countless times during crane breakdowns. We are very fortunate to have a technician of his caliber on our team.
In his words: “It’s your world, I’m just living in it.”