Dept. of Transportation
Metro Transit Division

King Street Center
201 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104
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The 2003 Operator of the Year is Porter Mathis

photo of Porter Mathis

Porter was born on January 6, 1952 in San Antonio, Texas and moved to Seattle when he was one year old. He attended Horace Mann and Leschi Elementary Schools.

At the age of eight he started playing baseball and football. He continued a very active athletic life into high school. A 1970 graduate of Garfield High School, Porter was the captain of the baseball team and the football team's quarterback.

Porter attended Bellevue Community College and continued to play baseball for various semi-pro and local teams. He received six "Gold Glove" awards and numerous honors for his excellent athletic talent. As he neared the end of his own playing days, he helped coach high school baseball.

Porter and his wife Denise have three children. Very active in his church, Porter became a Deacon at Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church four years ago. He also serves as a resource person for individuals and families who are recovering from addictions.

To his supervisors and fellow operators at Metro he is known as a peer and friend. Now approaching 30 years with Metro, he has 75 commendations and a 23-year Safe Driving Award. He has provided excellent customer service, always greeting his passengers with a warm smile, a hello, and a "Have a nice day!" He is always glad to answer questions to help riders get where they need to go in a timely manner. He sees his job as one of providing information, safe passage and giving respect to everyone along the way.

Porter is an avid gardener, manicuring his lawn, planting flowers and pruning his hedges. His landscaping has caught the attention of his neighbors who try and keep up with Porter's lawn and garden activities.

He also enjoys fishing, jazz and a good game of chess. He is a gourmet chef, and is very comfortable in finding his way around the kitchen. He grew up watching his mother cook and recently surprised his wife with a catfish and crabmeat entree he prepared. She had enjoyed the dish at a local restaurant and described it to him. She calls him the "King Chef."

In September 2003 Porter was selected Operator of the Month at South Base. This was his second such award. Porter was voted Operator of the Year in balloting by all the Operators of the Month for 2003.

Porter's message from the presentation ceremony:

See related storey.