By Randi Thompson
January 31, 2018
I met Tyrus W. Cobb in 1984 at the home in which I lived in Springfield, Virginia. Marybel Batjer and her sister Christina, both fellow Nevadans, had this great house in the Washington DC suburbs where they rented rooms to young fellow Nevadans who moved to the Capitol. They also hosted many parties for some of the many Nevadans living in DC at that time.
I remember meeting Ty in the kitchen, and distinctly remember that he was really tall, and he had these big, dark, thick, Harry Potter-like glasses. As we chatted I remember becoming a bit intimated by him, as I learned that he was not just a friend of Marybel’s – who was herself a big shot at the Pentagon and a bit intimidating to me – but he was a Special Assistant to President Reagan for National Security Affairs. I was all of 23-years-old at the time and just moved to DC, so meeting people who worked for the President was a big deal.
Fast forward to 2007. I run into Ty at the legislature in Carson City. He has moved back to Reno and is running the Northern Nevada Network, an organization that provides information on issues impacting Northern Nevada to leaders in the Reno-Sparks business community. We reminisced a bit about our “DC days” and he asked me if I’d be interested in working with him at the Network. He needed someone who understood politics. I gladly agreed and started working for him that April; and it’s one of the best job decisions I have ever made.
Ty had an incredible career both in the military and in civilian life. He served in the Army for 25 years, retiring as a colonel. He then went to Washington DC, where he worked at the Pentagon and the White House. He returned to Reno in 2002 and maintained a keen interest in national security issues. That is why, in 2009, he created the National Security Forum of Northern Nevada, which brings important discussions on national security issues to Reno residents. Today those breakfast meetings are held at the Sands Regency and attract over 200 people.
His work with the Forum and the Network, as well as his outstanding military and civilian contributions, earned him the Distinguished Nevadan Award last year from the Board of Regents. It recognizes individuals who have made significant achievements that have contributed to the cultural, scientific or social advancement of Nevada.
This year, Ty has decided to step back from both the Northern Nevada Network and the Security Forum to enjoy life with his family. So, I’m taking this time to say thank you to Ty for all he has done for Reno, as well as for me. These past 11 years working with him have been so rewarding. His wisdom, intelligence, and grace have influenced me significantly. He is driven and demands excellence, and he put those expectations on me, making me a better person for it.
I’m honored to have worked with Ty and honored to call him a friend as well as mentor.
Now go enjoy your retirement!