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Everyday Hero Profile: Brian Zweegman

Posted on Wed, Oct 20, 2021

Lynden is recognizing employees who make a difference every day on the job and demonstrate our core values, Lynden's very own everyday heroes! Employees are nominated by managers and supervisors from all roles within the Lynden family of companies. Learn more about the people behind your shipment.

Introducing Brian Zweegman, Welder/Fitter at Lynden Tank Company in Lynden, Washington.
EDH post (1)
Name: Brian Zweegman

Company: Lynden Tank

Title: Welder/Fitter

On the Job Since: 1995

Superpower: Exceptional memory

Hometown: Lynden, WA

Favorite Movie: The Bourne Ultimatum

Bucket List Destination: Alaska and Holland

For Fun: Attending my kids’ sporting events and activities, RV camping, traveling and trap shooting

How and when did you start working for Lynden?
I started working at Lynden Tank in March of 1995 when I was 17 years old. The Mt. Baker Rotary Club had a job shadow program and Guy Jansen, who is a member of the Rotary, brought me to the tank shop as part of that program. I was given a job that same day. At one point, I drove for Milky Way for about a year, and I also drove for LTI, Inc. for about a year and did maintenance. I have done many projects through the tank shop for various other Lynden companies.

What is a typical day like for you?Brian Zweegman, EDH
On a typical day, I start work at 6 a.m. and work until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. No two days are exactly the same. Some days I am running a press brake, bending up components used for manufacturing milk tanks. Other days I could be inspecting a coded/chemical trailer or welding up components or doing a final inspection before a new set of milk tanks hits the road. There are some days that I do a bit of it all. My daily tasks depend on what is needed and what is a priority for the company.

What has been most challenging in your career?
Currently, our biggest challenge is navigating through material shortages and delays in getting the supplies that we need to build a quality product that meets our high standards. Personally, one of my challenges on the job is that I am color blind so I cannot do any wiring.

What are you most proud of in your career?
Every time we turn out a new set of trailers, I think we (all the tank shop employees) are proud of the work we put into them. When I am traveling in Washington or Idaho or beyond and I see a set of trailers I am proud that I had a small part in building them.

Can you tell us about your family and growing up years?
I grew up north of Lynden on a dairy farm that my parents still run today. My two brothers, my sister and myself all went to school locally, and we all still reside within 30 minutes of the family farm. Growing up, I was very active in the Lynden High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) and spent a lot of time working on Ag (Agriculture) mechanic projects in our school shop. I won various awards for these projects and also my tractor driving skills at both the state and national levels.
Today I still live in Lynden with my two kids. My son Case is a senior at Lynden High School and plays football and baseball. My daughter Maddie is a sophomore at Lynden Christian High School where she plays fastpitch and is involved in FFA.

What was your first job?
As a child of a dairy farmer, my very first job was on the family farm. When I was 11 years old I fed bull calves for a neighbor which was my first job off the family farm.

What would surprise most people about you?
I think a lot of people would be surprised to know that underneath my somewhat rough exterior I am a bit of a softie who wears my heart on my sleeve.

How do you spend your time outside of work?
When I’m not at Lynden Tank or watching my kids’ sports and activities I still work on my parents’ farm doing maintenance and crop harvest. When time allows, I like to take my travel trailer to new locations and explore new areas.

What do you like best about your job?
The first and most important thing that I like about working at Lynden Tank is my boss Len Kilmer. He is fair and honest, and he creates a great environment for us to work in. A very close second is the entire tank shop crew. They make coming to work fun, and I enjoy working with them all. I also like that no two days are ever the same which keeps things fresh. Very early on in my career with Lynden I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Mr. Hank Jansen. Those times produced great memories which I will never forget.

Tags: Lynden Tank Company, Lynden Employees, Everyday Heroes

Everyday Hero Profile: Jerry Crisp

Posted on Tue, Sep 21, 2021

Lynden is recognizing employees who make a difference every day on the job and demonstrate our core values, Lynden's very own everyday heroes! Employees are nominated by managers and supervisors from all roles within the Lynden family of companies. Learn more about the people behind your shipment.

Introducing Jerry Crisp, Regional Maintenance Manager at LTI, Inc. in Sunnyside, Washington.
Everyday Hero (2)-1
Name: Jerry Crisp

Company: LTI, Inc.

Title: Regional Maintenance Manager

On the Job Since: 1992

Superpower: Imparting important knowledge to the team

Hometown: Yakima, WA

Favorite Movie: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Bucket List Destination: Going to Florida to visit my brother that I haven’t seen in 12 years, traveling through the U.S. and holing up when I find a place with 80-degree weather year-round.

For Fun: Spending time with family and friends and traveling

How and when did you start working for Lynden?
I started in Sunnyside on Dec. 2, 1992. I was informed about the mechanic position opening by a friend that worked for LTI, Inc. I was looking forward to going from a small one-man shop working 24/7 to a shop that had a crew of three others to share the workload. Then eight years later, I was in the manager position overseeing six mechanics and four wash bay techs.

What is a typical day like for you?
Very unpredictable! I don’t think a day has gone by where the day went as I planned without a hiccup at some point. But I actually think I prefer it that way – it adds variety to the day.

What has been most challenging in your career?
The most challenging is trying to be ahead of operations in getting prepared for harvest and winter-time challenges. We have equipment that sits idle until we need it for the local harvest, and then we start prepping it about a month ahead of time. Winters are very unpredictable, so you have to be ready for the worst-case scenario.

What are you most proud of in your career?
Being able to finish out my career at LTI, Inc. To put in so many years in at one company is very rewarding.

Can you tell us about your family and growing up years?
My family consists of my siblings, two sisters and two brothers, I am second to the youngest. I think most of my childhood memories come from living in Nile River north Naches, WA. It was the best place to grow up, fishing, swimming in the river and climbing the mountains was the best you could ask for.

What was your first job?
My first job was pumping gas at Eagle Rock in Nile (now it’s called the Woodshed). Hunting season was the busy time of the year with all of the hunters coming to get gas and food. They would throw their keys at you and say fill it up and park it for me. I guess I looked older than I was then!

What would surprise most people about you?
Well, I have never been arrested, and I’m a nice guy!

How do you spend your time outside of work?
I spend most of my time thinking about work, but I see that changing in the near future.

What do you like best about your job?
It has to be the people. We have such a variety of people – office staff, drivers, mechanics, yard crew and wash bay. A lot of them are either fathers, daughters, brothers, sons, uncles or cousins to one another. It is nice to work with all of the different generations of families.

Tags: LTI Inc., Lynden Employees, Everyday Heroes

Everyday Hero Profile: Gordy Lindblad

Posted on Fri, Aug 20, 2021

Lynden is recognizing employees who make a difference every day on the job and demonstrate our core values, Lynden's very own everyday heroes! Employees are nominated by managers and supervisors from all roles within the Lynden family of companies. Learn more about the people behind your shipment.

Introducing Gordy Lindblad, Facilities Maintenance Manager at Alaska Marine Lines in Seattle, Washington.
Everyday Hero post
Name: Gordy Lindblad

Company: Alaska Marine Lines

Title: Facilities Maintenance Manager

On the Job Since: 2004

Superpower: Always getting the job done

Hometown: Enumclaw, WA

Favorite Movie: Tombstone

Bucket List Destination: Taking all the grandkids to Disneyland

For Fun: Golf, playing with the grandkids

How did you start working for Alaska Marine Lines?
I had worked for Crowley Maritime for 30 years when Lynden took over the rail barge operation. I was asked to help out with the transition and then was lucky enough to be hired to help with the operation in Seattle and to help the Alaska Railroad with facility changes.

What is a typical day like for you?
I take care of 17 Alaska Marine Lines and Alaska Marine Trucking facilities in Seattle and Alaska. I work with managers and teams to maintain the facilities and handle repairs. I also do work for many of the other Lynden companies as needed, whether its docks, warehouses, offices or equipment like barges or tugs. Whatever is needed, I do it! I helped build the Petersburg and Haines facilities. Depending on what’s going on, we sometimes need to work around the clock dealing with weather and other issues that come up. I live in Enumclaw, so my commute is about an hour each way.

What has been most challenging in your career?
Making sure all facilities are maintained and safely operational. It can be a challenge when you are pouring concrete in the middle of the winter in Alaska!

Over the course of my career, I’ve had some interesting things happen like an A-frame building collapsed in Whittier under the snow and we had to repair it. We pride ourselves on doing as much marine repair as possible. It is tough to find marine contractors and repairs are very expensive. Before I was with Lynden a rail barge broke in half at sea and we had to figure out how to handle it.

What are you most proud of?
Building a new facility or upgrading a facility and the appreciation of everyone that uses it.

Tell us about your growing up years.
I come from a family of three brothers. We all played football, with one of my brothers going on to play for the Denver Broncos. I went into the navy out of high school and when I came out, I went to work on tugboats. After two years of being seasick, I went to work for Crowley loading rail barges in Seattle for 28 years.

What was your first job?
I worked nights in a brick yard when I was a senior in high school. My job was to run a cutter making different sizes of clay bricks to run through the 2-block long kilns.

What would surprise people about you?
When I was a kid, I always wanted to race boats and motorcycles. I did the motorcycles, but at 65 I actually had a chance to drive a flat-bottomed race boat. I was so sore afterward I decided it was not a good idea. It was a real eye-opener. Going 140 mph was way too fast for me.

Before working for Alaska Marine Lines, I had a roofing business and warehoused for Costco when they first started out doing hot tubs. I had a 20,000-square-foot warehouse and did all deliveries and warehoused for Washington, Oregon and California. I did 4,000 hot tubs a year.

How do you spend your time away from work?
I spend most of my time with my eight grandkids. I have three girls and five boys ranging in age from 3 months old to 9. I also play golf and have an endless honey-do list. We have some property in Enumclaw, and I have been ‘asked’ to build new decks, a green house and remodel bathrooms and bedrooms in my spare time.

What do you like best about your job?
By far the people. We have the most talented and hardworking people in the industry and wonderful support from leadership. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to work with everyone here at Lynden. I really believe anything is possible with the people here. It’s a workplace environment where everyone has input, and everyone is listened to.

Tags: Lynden Employees, Everyday Heroes, AML

Everyday Hero Profile: Bob Barndt

Posted on Fri, Jul 23, 2021

Lynden is recognizing employees who make a difference every day on the job and demonstrate our core values, Lynden's very own everyday heroes! Employees are nominated by managers and supervisors from all roles within the Lynden family of companies. Learn more about the people behind your shipment.

Introducing Bob Barndt, District Operations Manager at Lynden Logistics in Anchorage, Alaska.

Bob Barndt Everyday HeroName: Bob Barndt

Company: Lynden Logistics

Title: District Operations Manager

On the Job Since: 1987

Superpower: Taking care of internal and external customers

Hometown: Eagle River, AK

Favorite Movie: Tombstone

Bucket List Destination: Talladega Motor Speedway in Alabama to watch a race

For Fun: Spending time off the grid at his cabin, snow machining in winter and traveling in RV in summer

How and when did you start working for Lynden? Have you worked for or done projects with other Lynden companies?
I hired on with Lynden in 1987 at Prudhoe Bay as a foreman. Lynden was a contractor for ARCO at that time, and I was there for eight years. Over the last 34 years I have been fortunate to be able to work across all of the transportation disciplines with several Lynden companies. I spent 22 years with Lynden Air Cargo helping them get the customer base established in “Bush” Alaska, first with the Lockheed Electras and then with the Hercs. I was called upon numerous times to help out on project work, mainly in support of Lynden Logistics Services. One of the more interesting jobs I was fortunate to be part of was working in Russia for about a year on a huge oil spill cleanup project. My last four years have been working with the Lynden/UPS Projects team helping maintain our long-standing contract to move their bush packages all over the state of Alaska.

What is a typical day like for you?
These days I am working closely with our Lynden/UPS Projects team on the day-to-day challenges of moving 4,000 to 5,000 packages to over 600 zip codes and cities in Alaska. As we like to say…”Putting out Fires!” I have a great team to support me, too.

What has been most challenging in your career?
Not many that I can write about except in my early career with Lynden Air Cargo (humorous now). I was sent to St. Mary’s to help load fish on the Lockheed Electras and I had to sleep on a cot in a 20-foot CONNEX for three days. Little did I know that was the norm for working in Bush Alaska!

What are you most proud of in your career?
The many customers that I have helped over the years, both large and small. It makes me proud that I have done a good enough job that even as I transitioned from the different Lynden companies, they call me to seek out a transportation solution. See, we have the best Lynden employees in the transportation business, so it makes my job easy.

Bob Barndt at starting line with Quinn Itens Lead dogs
Bob volunteering at the Iditarod dog sled race in 2010.

Can you tell us about your family and growing up years?
I am originally from Friedens, PA, where my folks were raised. Their parents were coal miners. My father joined the Army and met my mom. I was raised the oldest of seven kids. We traveled to many bases before I joined the Navy. I spent four years as a Torpedomen’s Mate. Then I moved back to Alaska and started my new career in the Oil Patch. This is where I was hired on with Lynden.

What was your first job?
I had paper routes, mowed lawns and was a grocery bagger at the base commissary. I also had a job as a short-order cook at a local rod and gun club in Hanau, Germany. I look back at that job as being my first real paycheck job, and I would love to do it again!

What would surprise most people about you?
I actually wanted to be a professional bowler when I graduated from high school. Also, for you bowlers, my high is 299! When I met my bride and told her this, she said ‘DORK!’

How do you spend your time outside of work?
I spend my time with my bride Ann and family at our cabin snow machining in the winter and traveling in our motorhome in the summer. Being an “Off Grid” cabin owner and serving as part-time carpenter, plumber, electrician and all-around handyman is fun and actually therapy for me.

What do you like best about your job?
Absolutely 100 percent the people! There is no doubt in my mind Lynden has the best employees in this business!

Tags: Lynden Employees, Lynden Logistics, Everyday Heroes

Everyday Hero Profile: Mike Manley

Posted on Mon, Jun 21, 2021

Lynden is recognizing employees who make a difference every day on the job and demonstrate our core values, Lynden's very own everyday heroes! Employees are nominated by managers and supervisors from all roles within the Lynden family of companies. Learn more about the people behind your shipment.

Introducing Mike Manley, Sales Account Manager at Canadian Lynden Transport in Calgary, Alberta.

Mike ManleyName: Mike Manley

Company: Canadian Lynden Transport

Title: Sales Account Manager

On the Job Since: 2005

Superpower: Calm in the face of adversity

Hometown: Calgary

Favorite Movie: Firefly

Bucket List Destination: The Caribbean

For Fun: Visit family, golf

How did you start working for Canadian Lynden Transport? Have you worked for or done projects with other Lynden companies?
I have been in the trucking industry since 1985, I have done everything but drive trucks. In 2003 I spent one year in the U.S. working and living in Las Vegas then came home and was looking for a job, I was hired by Walter Rakiewich and Doc Willigar out of Edmonton. I also spent five years working on the Kearl Lake Project with Lynden Canada from 2011 to 2016.

What is a typical day like for you?
My official title is Sales Account Manager, however we are in a little different situation in Calgary as there are only two of us here, so not only do I have my sales duties but I also help out with operations doing billing, tracking, customs paperwork, loading and unloading trailers. I’m here between 7:30 and 8 a.m. and we can be here as late as 8 p.m. but we are generally done by 5 p.m. I have about a 30-minute commute one way.

What has been most challenging in your career?
Growing and adapting to the technology and learning the new systems.

What are you most proud of in your career?
Developing relationships both within the company and with our long-standing customers, as well as being part of the very successful Kearl Lake Project.

Can you tell us about your family and growing up years?
I’m the oldest of 9 children. I was born and grew up in Salt Lake City and moved around the U.S. until I was 12. My Dad went to Princeton University, then got a job at the University of Calgary and I have been in Calgary ever since. I enjoyed most sports, did some camping and enjoyed the outdoors while I was growing up.

What was your first job?
My first job was delivering newspapers. I had to get up at 5 a.m. and deliver them before school.

What would surprise most people about you?
I was a chocolatier for 10 years and had my own chocolate manufacturing business. The company was Renaissance Chocolates. We made a variety of chocolates and candies from peanut brittle to truffles. It was a family business. My uncle started Dilletante Chocolates in Seattle and he trained me. We had to decide to go big or sell it, so we sold it. I was young with no money so trucking it was.

How do you spend your time outside of work?
These days it’s mostly with family or enjoying an occasional round of golf. I’m just a recreational golfer. I’m about a 20 handicap. I don’t really do many tournaments; just like to get out with friends.

What do you like best about your job?
The company has always treated me well, and I really enjoy working with the other folks from around the different Lynden companies.    

Tags: Lynden Employees, Lynden Transport, Everyday Heroes

Everyday Hero Profile: Rae Rhodes

Posted on Fri, May 21, 2021

Lynden is recognizing employees who make a difference every day on the job and demonstrate our core values, Lynden's very own everyday heroes! Employees are nominated by managers and supervisors from all roles within the Lynden family of companies. Learn more about the people behind your shipment.

Introducing Rae Rhodes, Customer Service Representative at Alaska Marine Trucking in Ketchikan, Alaska.
Everyday Hero (1)-1
Name: Rae Rhodes

Company: Alaska Marine Trucking

Title: Customer Service Representative

On the Job Since: 1998

Superpower: Personifying customer service

Hometown: Ketchikan, AK

Favorite Movie: Anything with John Wayne

Bucket List Destination: South Africa

For Fun: Boating, fishing and bonfires on the beach

How did you start working for Alaska Marine Trucking?
I actually started working at Arrowhead Transfer in Ketchikan in 1996, then in 1998, we became Alaska Marine Trucking. Dave Curtis is the one who urged me to apply for the job after I left Boyer Alaska Barge Lines, and here I am, 25 years later!

What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day is filled with doing what I enjoy doing – being the face of Customer Service. Whether on the phone or up front and personal with a customer at the counter, or assisting our team of drivers, dispatch or our guys in the warehouse… It's all Customer Service.

What has been most challenging in your career?
In all honesty, change has been the most challenging. In my years here, there have been some very minor and some very major ones.

What are you most proud of in your career?
I'm proud of all aspects of my career, but if I had to pick just one, it would be the ability to treat each customer as an individual with individual needs, knowing that they are the reason we are here. A smile goes a long way.

Can you tell us about your family and growing up years?
I'm the youngest of five. I was born in Ketchikan, as were my siblings, and have lived my entire life in this little town by the sea. I grew up at the end of the road on the "South End" of town, where I learned to love the ocean and all things to do with it. In my younger years, there was no reason to go to town as I had everything right there in my front yard. My fondest memories, whether old or new, have to do with being on the water. I married my high school sweetheart, Jay, and we've been married for 37 years.

What was your first job?
Believe it or not, Ketchikan at one time, a very long time ago, had a Kentucky Fried Chicken! That was my first job.

How do you spend your time outside of work?
In the spring, I like to put my hanging baskets together, and attempt to get a few veggies in the garden all the while looking out at the ocean, checking the weather, wondering when the first trip out on the boat will be. My days of summer are spent waiting for Friday at 5 p.m. to roll around so we can cast off the lines from the dock and spend the weekend On Holiday, as I like to say, fishing, shrimping, and hanging out on a beach around a beach fire. Since I'm the one at the wheel finding the holes to drop the shrimp pots, I'm either a "Hero or a Zero!" The best part of all of this is your cell phone is only good for one thing – taking pictures! Nothing makes me or Jay happier than a weekend on the boat. Fall rolls around and it's always a bit sad, as it means that the time has come to get the boat ready for the winter, but then thoughts turn to vacation and the longing for some sun, sand and heat sets in (again, the whole ocean thing!). Once we're back and settled in for the winter, hibernation begins, all the while waiting for spring to roll around again.

What do you like best about your job?
The people.

Tags: Alaska Marine Trucking, Lynden Employees, Everyday Heroes

Everyday Hero Profile: Alfred Blum

Posted on Tue, Apr 20, 2021

Lynden is recognizing employees who make a difference every day on the job and demonstrate our core values, Lynden's very own everyday heroes! Employees are nominated by managers and supervisors from all roles within the Lynden family of companies. Learn more about the people behind your shipment.

Introducing Alfred Blum, Warehouse Associate - Detailed Receiver at Lynden International Logistics in Delta, British Columbia.

Alfred Blum, EDH croppedName: Alfred Blum

Company: Lynden International Logistics, Delta, British Columbia

Title: Warehouse Associate - Detailed Receiver

On the Job Since: 1980

Superpower: Perfect Attendance

Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.

Favorite Movie: Rambo: First Blood

Bucket List Destination: Thailand

For Fun: Golf, landscaping, BBQ and smoking meats

How did you start your career at Lynden?
I started my career working for Johnson & Johnson and other companies. Then Livingston came in and I worked for them until they were bought out by Lynden. Now I have 41 years of seniority overall and the last 20 years with Lynden. With the change, I knew the work would be different products, but I was confident that I would adapt. I've been through a lot of managers over four decades and never been called into office for discipline or issues. After the buyout everything stayed the same with the business, we just had new clients.

What is a typical day like for you?
I get up at 5 a.m. and my shift starts at 6:30. I work four 10-hour shifts Monday through Thursday. First, I unlock the cages and bay doors and then the trucks show up for morning deliveries. We load and wrap pallets, I unload the truck, and do all the paperwork to put the product away. Afternoon is crunch time for CPDN (spell out) orders to go out. I assist with picking orders. With CPDN it's all different drugs for around 20 different clients. Before CPDN, we were shipping for Abbott and Johnson & Johnson products, so we warehoused soaps, toothbrushes, hygiene products, drinks like Boost and Ensure. Now we have a 50,000-square-foot warehouse and most of our product is pharmaceuticals. Our warehouse incudes a drive-in cooler at 2 to 8 degrees, an ambient area at 15 to 30 degrees and a walk-in freezer to store ice packs for packaging of our cold chain vaccine products.

Monday and Tuesday are big days for drug receiving from Ontario. On a typical Monday we get 15 skids, Tuesday might be 8, then cold-chain products. Cold chain comes on refrigerated truck from drug companies in Ontario and Vaughan. Some products don't move that often, some move within days. But all of the shipments are high value. One vial can be worth $30,000. When you pick orders, it prints out an invoice and you can see how much the order is work. Sometimes a $650,000 shipment will fit into three small boxes destined to a hospital or cancer clinic.

What has been most challenging in your career?
Probably keeping up with the volume of shipments. We'll get orders from 1 to 3 p.m. which is the busiest time of day for the drugs. Pharmacies, clinics and hospitals place their orders and our last truck leaves at 5 p.m. to deliver to a flight or to get it delivered next day all over B.C. It's a crunch to get the orders checked, packed, labeled, put onto pallets and shipped. You don't want to fail. We have a team that does this and if they are swamped, we all stop what we're doing and pitch in. I don't think we have ever failed, but there have been times we begged the driver to stay until 5:15 p.m. to get it all on the truck.

What are you most proud of in your career or your most memorable project?
A few years ago, we had an account with the center for disease control called BBC up here. It's like the CDC in the states. I was on call 24-7 for rabies vaccines for the BBC. Mostly it was children who would come in contact with a bat or a wild animal. I would get four to five calls a week to come in after hours (usually at 2 to 3 a.m.) to fulfill emergency orders for hospitals. I did that for five years. The only time I missed a call was when I was on holiday. I would get the call, drive to the warehouse, pick the order, pack it and sometimes drive it myself to the doctor, other times I would contact a carrier to pass it on. I am still the go-to guy for CPDN emergency shipments. I am also the designated first aid contact for my work group.

Can you tell us about your family and growing up years?
I was born in and lived in Vancouver until I graduated from high school in 1979. Then I moved to New Westminster where I met my wife Earlena. We were both employed by Johnson & Johnson and Abbott Laboratories. We've been together 30-plus years. We have a 25-year-old daughter Madison and a 22-year-old son Austin. My father passed away 26 years ago, and I miss him. We went duck and goose hunting for many years in Saskatchewan. My mom is 97 and lives in an independent living facility. I visit her three times a week. She just gave up driving a few years ago.

In school, I was an average student. I had to work for my grades. I graduated from David Thompson Secondary in 1979. All through school I played rugby and tennis. My dad was a baseball coach with community baseball, and he coached me from little league until I was 15. I played Babe Ruth league, until age 17, then tried one season of mens hardball. I wasn't comfortable doing that so started playing men's fastpitch and played that competitively for 6 or 7 years. I then joined slo-pitch and played on the same team, the Homegrown, for 22 years. My position was shortstop and left field. My wife played on the team, too. I now play golf almost every weekend and shoot in the mid-90s.

What was your first job?
A paper route, but I had to get up at 4 a.m. and ride my bike a long way to get the papers, so my parents made me quit. I then worked for a company called Evergreen Press. It was a local newspaper. I would go to the press building where they printed the paper and put strapping around the bundles on the conveyor belt. I did that for six months, then I got a job at Fletcher's Meat Packers. It was brutal and I didn't last long. I then started my career path with Johnson & Johnson that lead me to LILCO.

What would surprise most people about you?
I have perfect attendance. In 41 years, I have never missed a day of work.

What are you most proud of?
I feel proud that both our children have never been in trouble. They were great kids growing up, always respectful. Both of them were dream children. I would hear about other parents dealing with problems with their kids and feel so grateful that ours didn't have any issues. My son is into sports, played football all his life, peewee to high school, and my daughter is an avid runner and earned her black belt in Tae Kwon Do at age 12. Both work and still live at home. My son is a fourth-year plumber and about to earn his Red Seal which means you are qualified in plumbing, gas and electrical to work anywhere in the world.

I am also proud of what we have accomplished with the money we make. We are not rich, but I'm happy that we have a beautiful home and a good life.

What do you do outside of work?
I enjoy landscaping and taking care of our front yard. We have a manicured Japanese garden and topiary in the front. We moved into the house 21 years ago and brought it back to life. My wife and I do it together on Saturday afternoon and it's very relaxing. Then we sit on the back deck with a bottle of wine. We have a core group of friends, 4 different couples, that get together once every two weeks. We'll have dinner and then go to the pub 'meat draw.' They sell tickets for a package of ribs, steaks or a roast from Costco and then call the winning ticket. There may be 100 people entered. This may be a uniquely Canadian thing!

We also watch NFL football and consider the Seattle Seahawks our home team since they are the most local for us. My son likes Pittsburgh. When we go out to the pub with our friends hockey is always on the TV. But I don't care about hockey.

What kind of music do you like?
Neil Diamond, Simply Red, Michael Jackson, Queen and many other bands and artists. I used to play piano and my son dabbles in guitar.

Favorite hobby?
I BBQ quite often. Our back deck has a gazebo so I can cook in all weather. I also have a Big Chief Smoker. My friends do, too, so we all buy salmon and have a smoke off at my house, using our various recipes. You can sometimes buy a Sockeye Salmon off the boats for $15. My special recipe includes brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, Worcestershire, garlic powder, red wine and onion. I use hickory or alder wood. We start the smokers at 10 a.m., then they go home and usually come back at 3 p.m. to enjoy the finished product. We have a few drinks and swap smoked salmon with each other.

Tags: Lynden Employees, Everyday Heroes

Everyday Hero Profile: Bayard Folsom

Posted on Thu, Mar 18, 2021

Lynden is recognizing employees who make a difference every day on the job and demonstrate our core values, Lynden's very own everyday heroes! Employees are nominated by managers and supervisors from all roles within the Lynden family of companies. Learn more about the people behind your shipment.

Introducing Bayard Folsom, Driver at Alaska West Express in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Everyday Hero Bayard Folsom
Name: Bayard Folsom

Company: Alaska West Express

Title: Driver

On the job since: 2007

Superpower: Ingenuity

Hometown: Coos Bay, OR

Favorite Movie: Book of Eli

Bucket List Destination: South America

For Fun: Camping, hunting, fishing and four-wheeling

What is a typical day like for you?
Just like everyone else, I get up and go to work. Some days it’s trucking the haul road and other days it’s working on trucks or equipment projects in the shop. I may be driving in Alaska or helping on projects in the Lower 48.

What are you most proud of in your career?
I am most proud of being part of the team at Alaska West Express since 2007. I am the person they can depend on to run recovery or manage an emergency scene when there are limited resources. I try to be anywhere they need me to be.

Can you tell us about your family and growing up years?
I was born in Oregon and grew up in Alaska enjoying camping, fishing and hunting with my parents and younger sister.

What was your first job?
My first job was working as a helper in a local truck/hydraulic shop at age 15.

What would surprise most people about you?
I’ve been told I’m a pretty good cook, and I can sew!

What are you most proud of?
To be able to help when and where I’m needed.

Tags: Alaska West Express, Lynden Employees, Everyday Heroes

Everyday Hero Profile: Taco Esquibel

Posted on Fri, Feb 19, 2021

Lynden is recognizing employees who make a difference every day on the job and demonstrate our core values, Lynden's very own everyday heroes! Employees are nominated by managers and supervisors from all roles within the Lynden family of companies. Learn more about the people behind your shipment.

Introducing Taco Esquibel, Superintendent at Knik Construction in Alaska.
Everyday Hero Taco Esquibel
Name: Taco Esquibel

Company: Knik Construction Co.

Title: Superintendent

On the Job Since: 1994

Superpower: Resilience

Hometown: Kingman, AZ

Favorite Movie: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Bucket List Destination: Pyramids of Egypt

For Fun: Snow machining, hunting, spear fishing and scuba diving

How did you start your career at Lynden?
It all started when I met Neil Arthur and Ray Henrichs at Road Builders in Soldotna. We were working in Seward, Tok, Delta Junction and other places. They talked about working for Knik. They said it was a great job and they were making good money. When Knik eventually acquired Alaska Road Builders a few years ago, it became a full circle for me.

I put in my application and then went and bought a pager (we didn't have cell phones back then) so I would be able to respond right away if he called. If I didn't get the job with Knik I was planning to go back home to Arizona or Nevada. I decided to call Knik and ended up talking with Dennis Fuchs. He gave me the right names and connections in Bethel, AK and soon I interviewed with Bill Hanson. He was working on the Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway project. He hired me and I went to work right away as a roller hand on that project. Jim Kirsch was running the paving. He was an awesome guy and one of my mentors. He figured out that I knew what I was doing with paving. There were 8 or 9 of us that were fulltime employees then. We did dirt work, crushing and paving and offloaded barges. It was so interesting to see Alaska – the 24-hour sunlight, the 16 to 18-hour days. For someone in their 20s, it was nice to be doing something completely different.

I couldn't even pronounce the names of the places where I was working, and being from Arizona, I had never been around barges in my life. The first thing I saw when I arrived by small plane to the job site was a big barge.

What is a typical day like for you?
It all depends on what we are doing and where we are. Night shift or day shift? Am I paving, or doing dirt work? Making rip-rap? No matter what the project, you are planning it out the night before. If we need to start work at 6 a.m. I'm up one or two hours before the crew making sure things are ready and in place. If we are rained out, or someone is sick, you need to plan accordingly. If I'm at my own house in Anchorage and on my own schedule, I can go into the office and get things going. If we are all together at a work camp onsite, project managers will meet the night before and get up early to start our 12 to 14-hour days. We are currently not working on any projects, but things will start up again in mid-April.

What has been most challenging in your career?
The weather and some of the locations where we have to figure out how to work within the elements and available materials. Wake Island, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Kotzebue, Nome, Shemya Island, Platinum. Bethel, McGrath, Sitka… flying in is the only option usually. It can be pretty spooky for someone with no flying experience to go into these places in small planes. Rick Gray is one of the best pilots I've ever seen in my life. He makes sure we all get there safely.

The weather can create challenges like equipment freezing up – think of a water sprayer – and rules in different parts of the state. Shemya is one of the worst places I've been for weather. We were there for almost two seasons and only saw sunlight four times. Foggy and rainy with wind blowing so hard you can't see more than 50 feet in front of you. The wind was 20 mph on an average day. Our job was reconstructing taxiways and runways. The first year we used a machine with GPS control to run the machines. The only way to control the level and depth of the paving in the old days was to use a wire. The new machine uses lasers and a computer program to do that work, but the wind in Shemya had other ideas. It interfered with the lasers and the program shut off. We figured out what was happening the first night. The wind was vibrating and throwing the laser out of balance and we had heavy fog that created damp conditions that interfered with the lasers, too. We got it figured out, but it was one of the most challenging projects we've done.

It's also tough to be away from home for long periods of time. I try to keep the crew together and having a good time when we are living in camps on a jobsite. I get to know everybody and their families. You could be the Michael Jordan of construction, but if you can't handle the living conditions, you won't make it. You learn how to be cordial to your coworkers 24 hours a day 7 days a week for months on end. You are eating, sleeping and working together so you get to be a team real quick. Depending on where we're working, we might not have TV, internet or cell phone coverage. It's a challenge, but all part of the job.

What are you most proud of in your career, most memorable project?
Dora Hughes (Knik HSSE Manager) and I worked on the Cape Nome project for five years without an injury. We worked with the native corporation handling explosives and dealing with big rock making rip-rap for breakwaters and jetties. You basically shoot the mountain to create rock, run a rock sorter and move the big rock where needed. We received awards and jackets for working safe.

I'm a perfectionist. Over the years if something is going wrong, I speak up and ask what's going on. Sometimes people on my crew don't like that, but later they will come back and say, 'you were right.'

Can you tell us about your family and growing up years?
I grew up poor, so I now appreciate things I have earned with hard work. I have an older brother and sister, and a younger brother, Mike Esquibel, who also works for Knik as an office engineer and surveyor. The rest of the family is back in Kingman, AZ. Growing up I loved playing sports; they gave you a reason to enjoy school! I played basketball and football. I had a couple of junior colleges that were interested in me for football, but I didn't think I had the academics to do it. My dad had a service station and we also ran a roofing business as a second income. My dad worked construction for the road system of Mohave County. My grandfather owned the Central Commercial Lumberyard in my hometown.

My father instilled a work ethic in me. I liked to party, but if we had a roofing job on a weekend, we had to leave at 5 in the morning because it gets hot by midday. I would get home about 3 or 4 a.m., and he would get me up to go roof just a few hours later. He always said, 'if you are going to play all night, you are going to pay all day.' My older brother helped, and two cousins helped, too. I graduated in 1988 and moved to Alaska in 1992. In between I worked as a bricklayer/hottie. I made the mortar and brought it to the bricklayers in a wheelbarrow. I also moved the blocks and stacked them up for the job.

I also worked on the road system in Arizona, traveling all over to different cities working. I would live in my vehicle while I was on the road. It was a great life for a young man.

Once a year I try to get home. I miss my family. My mom and dad have come up to see me in Alaska. My sister has two girls and my niece lived with me for two summers to work in Alaska and check it out up here. Last year I took my dad and niece elk hunting.

What was your first job?
Working at a service station after school.

What would surprise most people about you?
I like to make my own food. I fish for salmon, smoke it and then can it with my buddy and coworker Dan Swanson. We drink beer and smoke fish for two or three days each year. I also enjoy making jam. Wild raspberry bushes grow in my yard, so I harvest them and make jam from the berries. Also, I'm a metal head. My favorite music is heavy metal like Megadeath, Slayer, Metallica and some of the new stuff like White Zombie.

What are you most proud of?
I feel like I conquered life and have made a good place for myself in the world. I didn't have a thing when I hit the state of Alaska. Someone owed me money and didn't pay up, so I decided to try a fresh start. I drove up the Alcan with a man I met 15 minutes before who was coming up to see his family. When I showed up, I didn't know anybody. A lady was supposed to give me a place to stay and then didn't help me. My heart sank. The first thing I thought of was going to the Catholic Church. Luckily, the guy I rode up with helped me and I stayed with his brother. My life has been good in Alaska, but it took a long time to get to where I am now. After living in Arizona, my first winter in Alaska was a learning experience. I lived in a dome house and the first morning it was 45 degrees below zero!

Taco Esquibels CabinEventually, I built a cabin on two acres on Mackey Lake near Soldotna (pictured right). I spend as much time there as I can. I met some people that are homesteaders there across the lake, and they helped me with the construction along with a lot of friends. Lately, I have been getting into spearing pike in Mackey Lake instead of using a rod and reel.

What do you like best about your job?
The feeling of accomplishment in finishing a project. You do the work, and it's there for years for cars to drive over or planes to land on. You are making things that last. It's been interesting for me to see the changes in Knik over the years. We went from a few people doing it all to separate work groups for paving, dirt and crushing rock. I feel fortunate to have been part of Knik back in the day. I like being outside every day and seeing different places. It's also nice to work with good friends like Dan Hall, who started the month before I did.

Tags: Lynden Employees, Knik Construction, Everyday Heroes

Everyday Hero Profile: Brian Crawford

Posted on Tue, Jan 19, 2021

Lynden is recognizing employees who make a difference every day on the job and demonstrate our core values, Lynden's very own everyday heroes! Employees are nominated by managers and supervisors from all roles within the Lynden family of companies. Learn more about the people behind your shipment.

Introducing Brian Crawford, Operations Supervisor at Lynden Logistics in Anchorage, Alaska.

Everyday Hero Brian CrawfordName: Brian Crawford

Company: Lynden Logistics

Title: Operations Supervisor

On the Job Since: 2002

Superpower: Puts the team in teamwork

Hometown: Lytle, TX

Favorite Movie: A River Runs Through It

Bucket List Destination: Hike the Pacific Crest Trail

For Fun: Hiking, fishing, watching a good movie

How did you start your career at Lynden?
I saw the job opening on Craigslist and applied for it. For the past 18 years I have been with Lynden Logistics – Lynden Projects UPS. I worked my way up from Customer Service Representative to the Office Supervisor/Manager. When I started, Lynden Frontier Projects was in Canada and was run by Maggie Aurilia, a great person. UPS wanted the operation back in Alaska. Maggie and my old boss hired me in 2003 to work at the facility at the airport in Anchorage. It took us two years to become a well-oiled machine. It was a learning experience, that's for sure.

What is a typical day like for you?
I wake up, have a cup of coffee, check work emails and see if there are any new fires that need to be put out before I head to work. Then I arrive at work and put on my best game face and tackle the day. My job is to keep the office running properly, to help out the crew when they need help, and if I need help I reach out to Bob (Barndt) or the lead, Jessica Harpole, when I am beyond busy. I also monitor emails from our agents, the uploads from the scanner/handheld that tells us that the packages have been delivered or are on vacation or hold for pickup and so on.

I do billing for the 30 plus contractors that deliver the packages for us to make sure they get paid and I work on invoices. I also investigate missing packages or those without a proper signature. I talk to the contractor/agent to make sure the package has been delivered then follow up with the customer. Other tasks are taking phone calls to help out our agents, go out in the warehouse and look for mis-sorted packages to see if they have come back yet. There is total of five of us. Bob Barndt helps when I need to bend his ear and need help with flights out to the Bush. He keeps me centered. Also on a daily basis I run a report that's called Over & Under that gathers all the packages that have been scanned the previous day and handed off to our agents such as Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan, etc.

To get packages to the Bush we use mainline carriers like Lynden Air Cargo, Northern Air cargo, Everts and Alaska Central Express. These airlines take the packages to the main HUB such as Dutch Harbor, Bethel, Barrow, Kotzebue, Nome, Juneau and other places. To get packages to remote areas in the deep bush, we use Ryan Air, Wright Air Service, Alaska seaplanes, and other small carriers. Then there are the mainline carriers that travel the road system like Wilson Brothers that drive from Anchorage to Valdez, a six-hour drive one way.

The packages get delivered throughout Alaska from the West Coast, the Interior, the Aleutian Islands and Southeast Alaska. We get some weird packages, especially live critters such as turtles, lizards, lady bugs and crickets. The main challenge is the low visibility, high winds and snowstorms. Then there are vehicle and plane breakdowns that will delay us for a couple of days. Right now, it's COVID-19 turning some stations into a skeleton crew of three or less people which makes it pretty hard to sort six pallets of freight.

What has been most challenging in your career?
The job itself is the most challenging. It's not for the faint of heart. The logistics of the job is very challenging also. If the carrier isn't flying to a destination that day and we need to move the volume, then you check with the other carriers to see when they are flying to the destination. If it's no better than the first carrier then you leave the volume there, but you hope that another carrier can get out there faster. It's a game of chance sometimes with availability of lift.

What are you most proud of in your career?
Sticking it out through the extreme tough times at work when most people would have thrown in the towel. Being proud of helping customers, going out of my way to make sure they get their package. Also earning the respect of my co-workers.

Brian Crawford fishing with Nick KarnosCan you tell us about your family and growing up years?
My hometown of Lytle, Texas is a HUGE football town, just like any other small town in Texas. My parents decided to move to Alaska for the better paying jobs in the summer of 1983 and drove from Texas to Alaska. I have two half-sisters and one half-brother. My brother is 46 and lives in Indiana, one sister is 44 and lives in Chicago, and the other sister is 40 and lives in Alaska. I was pretty laid back in high school and did some wrestling, but it wasn't my cup of tea. I graduated in 1989 from Wasilla High School then went to the Travel Academy for Cargo Specialists in 1990. I got a job with Grayline of Alaska in 1991 as a cargo handler in Anchorage. I moved to Homer in 1995 with my fiancée, did some commercial fishing longlining and tendering for a few months. I got married in June of that year and got hired on with South Central Air Cargo handler for a few years. I moved to Anchorage in '98 and worked for Reeve Aleutian until I blew out my lower back and got re-educated at Career Academy Business Office in 2000. Did some odd jobs here and there till 2002. I worked at Regional Hospital patient accounts as a collector which was an interesting job, then got hired with Lynden in March of 2003. I am now divorced and I have three wonderful kids. One son who is 23, and two girls, 14 and 16, who are the joys of my life. I am enjoying watching my kids evolve into young adults thinking they have it all figured out, and then they ask for advice. I tell them stuff they don't want to hear, but hey, they have to learn from their mistakes. I know I did when I was growing up.

What would surprise most people about you?
I am the quiet kind of person who likes to observe to see what's going on and then surprise people with a wealth of knowledge about music and movie trivia. I know how to cook and not burn boiling water, and I know how to do laundry. I learned all that good stuff while married and domesticated. Brian is pictured above with Nick Karnos fishing the Kenai River in Alaska.

What do you like best about your job?
Getting the job done correctly and making the customer happy.

Tags: Lynden Employees, Lynden Logistics, Everyday Heroes