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Everyday Hero profile: Ray Henrichs

Posted on Thu, Jan 16, 2020

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 Ray Henrichs, Equipment Operator for Knik Construction in Alaska.

Everyday Hero: Ray HenrichsName: Ray Henrichs

Company: Knik Construction Co.

Title: Equipment Operator

On the job since: 1990

Superpower: Resilience

Hometown: Soldotna, AK

Favorite Movie: Heat

Bucket List Destination: New Zealand

For Fun: Snowmobiling and spending time at his cabin in Caribou Hills on the Kenai Peninsula

How did you start your career at Lynden?
I was working for a paving company in Kodiak. A guy that worked with me was finishing the season running roller for Knik. He said they had a few weeks of work in Skagway for a screed operator. So I went to work for them at 24 years old. I flew up there and met Jim Kirsch. I got off the plane with long, bleached blond hair hanging down my back and I think Jim rolled his eyes when he first saw me. I grew up in the 80s and was a hair band/metal band guy. I had the hair to go with it. When I turned 40, I had 18 inches cut off. After I finished that first job with Knik, Jim told me there was more work for me if I was interested. It was a great job for a young man and it paid very well.

What is a typical day like for you?
Depending on the project, I may be traveling to a different location. If I am onsite at a camp, I wake up, eat breakfast and get to work.

What has been most challenging in your career?
Dealing with conditions at job sites. We have sub-zero temps, mud, ice, high winds, shifting earth or rock. Operating equipment safely while staying on schedule to get the job done is tough. Being gone for long periods with your work crew is sometimes a challenge for your family.

What changes have you seen over the years, either in business, customers or technology?
The evolution of equipment and technology is pretty cool. I totally blame my parents for my career choice. They bought me Tonka trucks when I was a kid and now the trucks, loaders and dozers are just bigger.

What project(s) are you most proud of?
We have had some projects in extremely remote spots where it is hard to get a barge into the site. A winter job in Chefornak near Bethel stands out in my memory. Our assignment was to move almost a million yards of dirt in five weeks to build a new runway. We had to strip a pit, get building materials to the site while dealing with freezing temperatures and ice. Other projects in St. Paul, St. George and the Pribilof Islands were also memorable.

A few years ago we needed to move a hovercraft from Anchorage to the slope. We took it apart in Anchorage in the spring. Some of the parts are tiny stainless steel nuts and bolts that come in a drum. Taking it apart wasn't bad but we had to re-assemble the hovercraft outside in Prudhoe Bay when it was blowing and below zero. It took us over a week to do it, but we got it done.

In 1995, we worked on an oil spill response project in the village of Chenega, off Prince William Sound. Part of the job was in the winter, and the next part in summer. We built the dock, a road, cleared trees, built a pad and put in water lines. It was instant gratification to look at all we accomplished. Working for Knik is that way – especially paving jobs. You spend an entire year building what's under that asphalt, then you pave it in a few days. Everyone sees only the top 2 inches, but you know what went into building that roadway. Years later you can look at it and say 'I did that.'

Can you tell us about your family and growing up years?
I have an adult stepdaughter from a previous marriage. She just moved to Idaho after graduating from high school. I grew up with four brothers in Soldotna. Most of my family moved down to Henderson, NV about 20 years ago, except for my dad who still lives in Alaska. He worked for BP for many years and just retired a few years ago. With five boys, we were put to work around the house – always had some project we were helping with.

When I was a kid, my family built a subdivision. I was hanging drywall at age 12 and digging ditches for culverts. We had a bunch of boys for free labor. My grandparents homesteaded in Soldotna in the early 1950s, so I grew up helping them build fence and bring in hay. I remember hiking down to the Kenai River and catching a fish with every cast.

I played baseball for awhile (third base and pitcher). My granddad taught me how to throw a curveball and a slider. He played in minor leagues in Texas in the 1930s. Once I got a car, I stopped playing and started working. I love cars. I had a 1974 Monte Carlo in high school. I bought a 1970 Camaro when I was in college and drove it up the Alcan to Alaska. At one point, I had a 1966 black-on-back Chevelle 4-speed with a 327 (engine). I am planning to attend the Barrett-Jackson car auction in January to see what I can find.

What was your first job?
My first job was working for my stepdad at a gravel pit. I learned my work ethic from him. I also worked in canneries, commercial fished a bit, worked at fast food and worked for the school district, doing the sound and light for the auditorium. I took anything that would pay.

What would surprise most people about you?
In 1984, I went to a specialty trade school in Southern California to learn computer programming. I graduated at the top of my class, but worked construction in Alaska in the summers and it paid more than an entry level job at Rockwell. I also disliked working indoors, so I abandoned that career. I am certified to program computer language like COBOL and Fortran. I was working with IBM mainframes, stacks of 16-inch disks and stacks of reel-to-reel tapes – all outdated stuff now.

I also like to cook and each year I host a New Year's Day brunch for 100 people at my cabin. I make Eggs Benedict and Bloody Mary's for all my friends their kids. I cook two prime ribs, two gigantic hams and use a couple hundred eggs to make the Eggs Ben. I have worked in bars before so I know how to mix drinks. I even worked the door at the Red Onion in Skagway at one point, checking ID and keeping an eye on things.

How do you spend your time outside of work?Ray Knik 1080x1080
I read a lot of books, do a lot of day and night hiking and spend time on my snow machines. I used to have seven, but now am down to three. When you work for a company like Knik, you work a lot of hours and basically just eat and sleep while you are at a remote project site. When you are off in the winter, you have time to really relax. I used to put 5,000 miles on my snowmobiles each year, but the snow isn't as good as it was and now I may ride only 1,000 miles a year. All my friends have cabins in Caribou Hills so we have a big circle that rides. I have been riding with their kids since they were 5 years old, and now we ride with their grandkids. I used to drag them out of holes when they got stuck, and now they are dragging me out!

What do you like best about your job?
I like working for a company that really makes me feel appreciated for the work I do and also gives me an opportunity to try new things. This year, I will be running an asphalt plant for Knik which I am looking forward to. This is a new job for me and I will be learning a lot while getting paid to do it. I also like the team aspect of working with other employees for long periods. We travel to projects as a crew and live in camps together for sometimes months at a time. The project managers are not above jumping in to help us out, which is another aspect I like about working for Knik. The managers get out of their employees what they put into their employees. This summer, we were shorthanded and needed someone to shovel and rake to help the screed operator. One of our managers was happy to help out. No job is below anyone at Knik.

Tags: Everyday Heroes

Everyday Hero profile:  Kevin Gillies

Posted on Wed, Dec 18, 2019

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 Kevin Gillies, Managing Director at Lynden International Logistics Co. in Calgary, Alberta.

Everyday Hero Kevin GilliesName: Kevin Gillies

Company: Lynden International Logistics Co.

Title: Managing Director

On the job since: 2000

Superpower: Leadership

Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

Favorite Movie: Braveheart

Bucket List Destination: St. Andrews ‘old course’ in Scotland for 18 holes

For Fun: Reading, spending time outdoors and at the family cottage in Saskatchewan

How did you start your career at Lynden?
I began my career with Lynden in late 2000 through an acquisition of Livingston Healthcare Services which became Lynden International Logistics Co. Lynden is now a leader in the warehousing and fulfillment of pharmaceuticals in Canada. I have over 40 years of service in the Logistics business and Lynden International Logistics Co. is a complex business model in a highly regulated and audited environment.

I started my career in this industry in 1977 working on the floor in a warehouse for Seaway Midwest, a Canadian company handling distribution of consumer goods and healthcare products. In 1983, Livingston bought Seaway Midwest, and I worked for Livingston until 2000 before joining Lynden. I moved up to supervisor, manager and continued taking on more senior leadership roles. By the early 80s, I was working predominantly in the health care distribution world, where I have spent the majority of my career handling all types of products within the healthcare portfolio.

What is a typical day like for you?
Working with the Lynden International Logistics Co. senior staff to provide direction for Lynden, meeting with both current and prospective clients, attending industry events and interacting with the various departments in our corporate offices in Seattle keeps me busy. I have traveled extensively for more than 30 years primarily within Canada from my home in Calgary to Toronto (my second home), with occasional trips to Montreal, Vancouver and Seattle for Lynden business meetings, and to other locations in North America as required. With the support of Lynden International and Lynden Inc., we have been able to continue to grow the business, adding a fourth Canadian Distribution Centre in Milton late in 2014. We are set to open a fifth location in Guelph in the spring of 2020. Both of these new locations are in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

What do you remember most about those early Lynden years in the business?
The transition was very smooth for all the staff that came over to join Lynden. While there were certainly a few bumps, we had great support from the late Dennis Patrick, Randy Jackson and all various head office support groups. Working with Dennis on the sale was certainly a new and very interesting experience for me as the details were being worked out. With the assets of Livingston being divided between Lynden and UPS it was a complex sale (as most are) but I began to see what made Dennis tick and how he thought his responses through before he spoke. He would always explain why he did things in a certain fashion and my impression of a silver fox at work began to form.

What has been most challenging in your career?
Probably making sure we keep replacing our excellent staff with the same caliber of people when they retire or leave. When we became part of Lynden in 2000, we were excited to find that one of the key Lynden mottos, closely followed the Livingston motto, is that you are only as successful as the people you have working for you. Everything that we have been able to accomplish is due to our excellent leaders and day-to-day folks providing excellent service. They are all part of the puzzle that makes us work effectively together. When a senior manager, office or warehouse staff retires, you forget how much knowledge they have after years with the company. Our goal is to bring in good people to fill those roles, train them and keep the momentum going that we have created.

Audits are also challenging. Our industry is highly regulated and we are required to participate in around 30 audits a year, both for our customers and our own Health Canada audit at each distribution center (DC). Some are yearly, other are every two or three years. Basically we are asked to prove that we do what we say we do in terms of handling the products and keeping the product secure in a temperature controlled environment. They are checking our actions against our written Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for our facilities and client specific procedure manuals put into place to manage client specific requirements for their day-to-day business. It seems that our QA group is always preparing for, completing or responding to a past audit. Each separate audit can take multiple days of effort.

What changes have you seen over the years, either in business or customers or technology?
Just about everything has changed. Obviously, computers were just starting to come into their own along with online inventory tracking when I first started in the 1970s. Back then we tracked inventory manually with paper. It’s been interesting to watch the various stages of computerization develop and how it dictates our business. We are heavily reliant on the IT group at Lynden in Seattle and they provide excellent support to us. The facilities themselves have evolved into larger, higher operations with the reliance on technology continuing to grow with far greater inventory control mechanisms in place. The powered equipment is now all electric and propane is not allowed to be used in the facilities. The security around our buildings, vaults and coolers has increased and evolved into specific protocols with specs that track the temp in the buildings, coolers and vaults. In the old days, vaults weren’t much more than cinder block rooms in a warehouse, now they are much more sophisticated with layers of security in place.

Employee training has also increased and become more regulated. We need to train an employee on many procedures before they can begin work with us. If we hire a warehouse or customer service person, they may need to learn 40 procedures in the early stages of their career with us, and up to 100 after they have gained experience. Each procedure or training session takes 20 – 30 minutes, you need to pass a quiz and must be renewed on a schedule, either annually or each time there is a change to a client’s procedures.

What project(s) are you most proud of?
In 2009 we secured the fulfillment business of the Canadian Pharmaceutical Distribution Network (CPDN), a consortium of 25 pharmaceutical manufacturers servicing over 600 hospitals in Canada. Lynden International Logistics Co. provides an order to cash service and collects the accounts receivable on behalf of the CPDN manufacturer members. The hospitals can order from any of the CPDN manufacturer members or multiple manufacturers on the same order, the merchandise is delivered at the same time, on the same invoice and we collect and remit the money to the manufacturers. I am proud of this business and that we just celebrated 10 years of a very successful partnership.

I am also proud of the dedication of our staff. An example is a few years ago, we had a critical shipment out of Toronto, going to Montreal at Christmas. Our supervisor was on call 24-7 for any emergencies. A drug was needed for a critical surgery and no planes were available. The supervisor ended up driving the drugs to Montreal that night to make the surgery. There are many other stories like that where our employees stepped up and acted as heroes to get important medicine to patients and doctors.

Can you tell us about your family?
My wife Bonnie and I will celebrate our 40th anniversary this month. We have four children; three daughters and a son ranging in age from 37 to 29. When the kids were younger, it was a busy time at our house. I was traveling a lot during that time so I called Bonnie the taxi driver. I typically would go out on the road for four days and then come back on weekends and pick up the slack. Three of our kids are in Calgary and one is in Fort McMurray.

I grew up with two brothers and two sisters in a small town of 100 people called Plato in Saskatchewan. I look back on those years fondly. It was a great place to grow up.

What would surprise most people about you?
I spent the first few years out of school working on the oil rigs in northern Alberta and then as a hard rock miner working underground in Thompson, Manitoba. Once I had kids I started helping coach my daughter’s ringette teams. On the weeks that I was on the road for work, I would come home on Thursday and have up to 10 or 12 ice times in the next three days for practices and games. I did that for about 15 years.

How do you spend your time outside of work?
We have a cottage at Clear Water Lake which is an hour north of Swift Current, Saskatchewan. It’s a small, spring-fed lake about a kilometer across. I grew up vacationing at this cottage and my siblings and I shared it as adults. The original cabin was built by my father in the 1950s. We have now taken that out and moved another house onto the property. My wife and I now own it and use it from May to October with our children.

I spend my weekends and occasional midweek afternoon on the golf course for the past number of years. I’m a hack with a 12 handicap, hoping to improve on it, like all the other hacks. I’m also a Saskatchewan Rough Riders football fan and a Calgary Flames hockey fan and follow their seasons. Once a Rider fan, always a Rider fan!

What’s ahead?
I will be retiring in January 2020. We have traveled all over the U.S. and down to Mexico and have taken a number of cruises, but we will now have time to see the rest of the world. We would like to spend a few weeks or even a month each year seeing other countries. We plan to go during the off season, get away from the cold and see a bit of the world.

Tags: Everyday Heroes

Everyday Hero profile: David Burgess

Posted on Wed, Nov 20, 2019

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 David Burgess, Driver at LTI, Inc. in Lynden, WA.

Name: David BurgessEveryday Hero David Burgess

Company: LTI, Inc./Milky Way

Title: Driver

On the job since: 1974

Superpower: A driving force for 41 years

Hometown: Bellingham, WA

Favorite Movie: Chinatown

Bucket List Destination: Europe by train

For Fun: Skiing, hiking, watching Seahawks football

How did you start your career at Lynden?
I started washing trucks at age 17 in Lynden, WA. Some of them had come back from Alaska and they were caked with mud, especially underneath. We had to blast that stuff off with a high-pressure hose. Then we advanced to a wash rack for the trucks to drive through. I drove trucks around the yard and up to the Canadian border here and there. Back in those days, in the 1970s, I received a waiver from LTI, Inc. instead of a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) because of my time behind the wheel. The hauls were seasonal so I worked six months in the summer, and I was laid off every winter.

What do you remember most about those early years in the business?
I remember Hank Jansen, Lynden’s founder, being around when I started. The other day I saw the house that was the office for LTI for many years. It was moved and someone is now living in it. I started out on the freight board, hauling just about anything, from 1978 to 1982. Then I was transferred to the milk board with several other drivers to replace retiring milk drivers. The transfers were by seniority and I started with Whatcom County farm pickup. It was a nice change from delivering freight. There is more involved with dairy pickup and it makes it more interesting to see the farmers every day. I also spent five years hauling molten sulphur for LTI, Inc.

What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy seeing the same folks every day. You get to know your customers really well; all the farmers at the dairies. Although they aren’t usually up when I get there during my first stops, I see them later in the day. I also like being outside to enjoy the landscape, the water and the mountains. Even the rain. Sometimes I can’t believe my ancestors settled here in this gray, dark climate, but it also makes it green and nice to look at from the inside of the truck. My job is also somewhat physical. We climb up and down ladders on the truck all day so it’s nice to get some exercise during the workday.

Lee Burgess with Lynden's No. 27Your father, Lee Burgess, was an early Alcan driver for Lynden in Alaska. What do you remember about your Dad’s legendary career?
When I was 9 years old, my dad took me on a ride-along to Fairbanks. He also took my grandfather up at one point. When I rode with dad in 1966, you had to get permission from Hank Jansen to take passengers. I have three sisters, but I guess none of them wanted to go. Dad ran pretty steady on the Alaska route for about 10 years, pictured to the right. I only saw him once a week when he was home, but we always took long summer vacations. My mom missed him, but made friends with the other drivers’ wives. They bowled in a league sponsored by Milky Way and went shopping together. Everyone stuck together. Dad is now 83 and he drives the old Alcan truck No. 27 to parades and truck shows. He enjoys still being part of the Lynden family.

What is a typical day like for you?

The biggest challenge is getting up at 3 a.m. to go to work. I live 40 minutes away from work, out by Lummi Island. I am at work and in the truck at 4 a.m. and drive to my first dairy pickup northeast of Lynden. My first load is 70,000 pounds of milk. I fill up both trailers and head to the Darigold plant. Before I leave the dairy, I take a sample of milk, run it through the lab, measure it, write down the weights, put it on a load sheet and enter it into my electronic program in the truck. We have a hand-held computer where we record the milk temperature, time and bar code labels that go on the milk.

We use a sanitized dipper and plastic vials to test the milk for bacteria and antibiotics and the sample is put in ice to keep it fresh. The procedure is very exact so you don’t contaminate the milk. Once this process is done and the milk test is clear, we open the values on the tankers and unload the milk into the tall silos at the Darigold plant. It’s about a 2-hour process from pickup, testing and delivery to Darigold. After the first load is delivered, then I have my coffee!

I go right back out to the second dairy and load up both tankers again. When I started I had around 13 stops and there were 440 dairy farms in Whatcom County. Today, I go to six or seven dairies and the number of farms has dwindled to 94. Each of those has about 50 to 1,500 dairy cows though, so there has been consolidation of the smaller farms.

What has been most challenging in your career?
Nothing has been all that challenging, just different. My years hauling molten sulphur required getting a haz-mat certification. It was just a test and wasn’t too tough, but it was a different mindset hauling that kind of freight. We picked it up at local refineries at Cherry Point in Ferndale, WA. It was Mobile and Arco back then, now they are BP and Tesoro. Most of it went to Georgia Pacific in Bellingham. They made acid out the sulphur to break down logs into wood pulp to make paper products. We drove to Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Longview and Cosmopolis over the five years I had that job.

I also drove flatbeds and hauled aluminum. We had a rock haul at one point from Kendall, WA on the way to Mount Baker and on to Bellingham to a cement plant. That was a 10-year project.

What changes have you seen over the years?
To sum it up, tremendous growth. When I started everything was more personal because it was a smaller operation based in Lynden, WA. I went to high school just six miles from Lynden. I feel like I have grown up with the company in some ways. Equipment has changed, too. When I started in the 1970s we had the most modern equipment you could get in the day, but the new trucks are more like driving a car. Lynden always provided good equipment to use. They spent money to make money. That’s why they are so successful.

Can you tell us about your kids and grandkids?
I have three adult children, ages 37, 34 and 27, and two grandchildren.

What would surprise most people about you?
Someday I would like to hike parts of the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) that runs from the Mexican border to the Canadian border.

How do you spend your time outside of work?
I learned to ski in fifth grade and still spend my winters skiing. My favorite place is Whistler. I also like to hike and would like to go on an extended backpacking trip at some point. I enjoy watching football and although Seahawks is my No. 1 team, I’m also a New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers fan.

What are your thoughts about working for Lynden?
I’m fortunate that I’ve had the job all these years. By the time you’re my age, most people have had two or three different jobs or even tried different careers. I have had one. I’m proud to work for Lynden and represent Milky Way on the road every day.

Tags: Everyday Heroes

Everyday Hero profile: Joy Mendes

Posted on Thu, Oct 17, 2019

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 Joy Mendes, Customer Service Training Coordinator at Alaska Marine Lines in Seattle.

Name: Joy MendesEveryday Hero Joy Mendes

Company: Alaska Marine Lines

Title: Customer Service Training Coordinator

On the Job Since: 1988

Superpower: Sunny disposition

Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI

Favorite Movie: Grease

Bucket List Destination: Azores Islands, Portugal

For Fun: Baking, Antiquing, Running

How did you start your career in transportation?
I took an office procedures course in high school and my teacher knew I was headed to a job after graduation, not college. With my family situation, college was not an option for me at that time. She got a call from a manager at Pacific Western Barge Lines. They said they were looking for someone and she would put the job lead information with my diploma so I would have it when I picked it up after graduation. I called Pacific Western on a Monday, interviewed and started the next Monday as a receptionist. I was in the barge business two weeks out of high school. Within a couple of months, I moved into billing to fill an opening. (Lynden Executive Vice President) Alex McKallor and I shared an office. Alex was a billing clerk. He would write the freight bills out by hand and I would type them on a 4-carbon copy freight bill.

What do you remember most about those early years in the business?
I was working at Pacific Western Lines in Seattle for two years when I met my husband, Daniel Mendes, who worked in the Anchorage office. Jim Warner was the Anchorage manager then and he would often come to Seattle. I got to know him well. He told Dan about me and sent him down to Seattle to teach our crews about the proper handling and shipping of drywall, but also, apparently, to meet me. Jim sent him in to meet me but I was the on the phone and didn't get a chance to talk to him. I was 20. He was 24. The next time I saw Jim he said "I only have one thing to say to you: You should marry Dan Mendes and you should take a trip to Anchorage." I went to Anchorage and took a position there when it opened up. I also ended up marrying Dan! While working in Anchorage I also had the opportunity to become the claims manager and the dispatcher for the company.

What has your career progression been?
Alaska Marine Lines purchased Pacific Western Lines in 1985. Dan and I were the last employees to close the Anchorage office. That's when we first met Jim Jansen. He came up to shut down the facility. Jim was very respectful and kind to us, despite the circumstances. I told Dan that Jim was a person I would definitely work for.

After that I did some freelance work, worked for Alaska Cargo Transport (which later was bought by Northland) and then the old Northland. I stayed in Anchorage one year longer and then moved back to Seattle where I started working for Alaska Marine Lines as a billing and receiving clerk and moved up to accounting, became the accounts receivable manager, then billing manager. I am now a training coordinator in customer service and I love it. I get a chance to travel around the system training our new employees one-on-one. We service more places than we ever did. There is so much more to know than in the old days.

What is a typical day like for you?
Busy. We answer a lot of questions about how to send household goods to Alaska or how to get a car or a huge piece of machinery shipped. We have customers who know their way around the process and those that are brand new to it and need some hand-holding. I am answering emails, answering the phone and often going out to the dock to check on a shipment. The other day something was routed for Skagway, but the customer needed it changed to Petersburg so we were working on a new bill of lading and a re-route.

What has been most challenging in your career?
When something goes wrong and we disappoint a customer. When they need it and they don't have it and we can't fix it fast enough. We will make mistakes sometimes – every company does. When you are personally talking to them, you are the face of the company, even if it was not your mistake. That is the most challenging for me.

What changes have you seen over the years?
It is the age of instant gratification and people are in a hurry. Sometimes we need to remind them that a barge can be delayed by weather or just because it has arrived it doesn't mean they can instantly access their freight. We still need to unload containers from the barge and then unload the containers. They have more information now so expectations are higher. 

Can you tell us about your family?
I have two children, daughter Ashley and son Alex. Ashley lives in Renton, WA. We just welcomed our fourth grandchild in September. My son Alex is going to college in upstate New York. I am the youngest of three kids who grew up in Michigan but moved to the Seattle area at age 14. Both of my children have hearing loss. My daughter and her whole family is deaf, and my son is hard of hearing, which has made our life that much more complex and rich. Every day isn't perfect but you need to create happiness where you are. If you look outward and help others, your life is amazing.

What would surprise most people about you?
I ran my first marathon at age 40 when my son was in ninth grade. I have now run seven full marathons (26.2 miles) and countless half-marathons with my husband Dan. I qualified for Boston and ran in that race three times and also qualified for and ran in the New York City Marathon. I also won first place in my age group once at a smaller marathon. My best times were a 3:38 marathon and a 1:38 half marathon. I am also quite shy. I dislike crowds and parties. Although I have people over to my house a lot, I am focused on the job of entertaining so conversation comes easier to me as I'm helping others.

How do you spend your time outside of work? 
My husband and I bought a 960-square-foot house in West Seattle five years ago. We lived in it for a while, then tore it down three years ago and are rebuilding it from the ground up as a much larger American Four Square style. We are keeping the design authentic to 1924, but with modern updates. We have purchased period lighting fixtures and push-button switches from an antique dealer in Port Townsend and hired a painter who has put in more than 2,000 hours giving it a vintage look. The best compliment for us is when someone in the neighborhood thinks it is an original home from 95 years ago.

What are your thoughts about working for Lynden and being a part of Alaska Marine Lines? 
I enjoy working for a company and with employees with a strong work ethic. As a trainer of new employees I tell them that you need to care about what you do and always go the extra mile. It all comes back to you. If you are willing to recheck the freight that doesn't look quite right, or call someone when you think there is a problem, it will pay dividends for your own career and the future of the company. We all need to care. Adopt an attitude that the buck stops with you. Don't pass the buck.

Tags: Everyday Heroes

Everyday Hero profile: Ethan Bradford

Posted on Sun, Sep 22, 2019

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 Ethan Bradford, Technical Services Manager at Lynden Air Cargo in Anchorage.

Name: Ethan BradfordEveryday Hero Ethan Bradford

Company: Lynden Air Cargo, 22 years

Title: Technical Services Manager

Hometown: Anchorage, AK

Favorite Movie: Back to the Future

Bucket list destination: Space

For fun: Flying, photography, building a new home

Superpower: Solving the challenges encountered each day in airline operations and searching for new global opportunities. Ethan is pictured in his field office in Papua New Guinea at the startup of Lynden Air Cargo’s project there in 2012.

How did you get your start at Lynden?
I started as an airline startup consultant in December of 1996, then became an employee in January 1997. My positions have included airline certification consultant, then chief inspector (a required position for airline operations). I have maintained the position of Technical Services most of my career at Lynden Air Cargo.

What is your favorite or most rewarding part of your job?
Solving the challenges and opportunities we encounter each day in our airline operations and expanding the business.

What has been most challenging in your career so far?
Establishing a business and airline in Papua New Guinea. Once we were immersed into the culture and mindset of this developing country it became easier.

Most memorable project?
Acquisition of aircraft serial number 5225. It involved a long path of twists and turns in foreign places before we were able to acquire this young aircraft.

What changes have you seen over the years?
We started out only operating in Alaska with a very simple infrastructure and level of sophistication. We have grown into a mature, more complex global operation that involves thousands of different challenges and opportunities to meet and solve every day. The uniquely experienced and dedicated people that work for Lynden Air Cargo are the key to our success in overcoming these challenges we encounter. We have come a long way from startup and we will continue to grow and learn to meet our customer’s needs, and do it safely and efficiently every day.

You have been singled out for being an expert at startups. Do you consider yourself skilled at getting programs off the ground?
Yes, I thrive on exploring new ground that provides Lynden Air Cargo opportunities for growth, but not without the team of professionals that work at Lynden Air Cargo that make it happen in the end and deliver to the customer.

Can you tell us about your family?
I just celebrated 35 years with my lovely wife, Lori. We have two grown children, Nicholas and McKenzie. My wife’s life’s work has been dedicated to teaching. She recently retired from the Anchorage School District after 27 years of running a top dance program. Her biggest gratification in her work is seeing the 17,000 some students who have moved on in life to become mature and productive adults in our world. Our son, Nicholas, who worked in the film and photography business in Alaska, went on to finish his degree and is now working on his passion producing human interest documentaries in Hollywood. Our daughter, McKenzie, graduated this last spring with her Masters in Environmental Science and Management from UCSB Bren School. Her passion is to solve the world’s challenge of giving everyone access to clean water for better health and growth, of which we take for granted. It all started after a trip to a village in Cameroon for a water project, learning how disadvantaged many people are. We are proud of them and know they will do well in our world.

How do you spend your time outside of work?
Well, we bought a lot on the hillside in South Anchorage and started building a house, which has become my hobby. It started with my father-in-law, who is an architect, handing his daughter plans to a unique and modern home design. My wife handed the plans to me to build it. We have built it ourselves, out of pocket, and with many unique challenges and opportunities along the way. It has been a rewarding experience. Besides that, I love to explore and share the world with my family. When I have had the time, I love to fly, which is how it all started. My dad taught me how to fly when I was 15. I’ve been glued to aviation ever since.

You have taken many great Lynden photos over the years. Is photography a hobby as well?
I have always loved curating the images of life, of work, and of family. I have over 100,000 photos in my iPhoto library!

What would surprise people about you?
That I can’t dance even though I married a dance teacher!

What are your thoughts about working for Lynden and being a part of Lynden Air Cargo?
I can’t think of enough words to describe how honored and blessed I feel to work for such a great company, more importantly, the people that make it a family company, and that starts from the top. It is the people of Lynden that makes Lynden who we are as a company. Each one of us contributes to the success and purpose of why we do what we do every day. We do it with passion, we do it efficiently, we do it safely, we do it for the customer, internal or external – we do it every day because that is what we do. I am proud to work for the Lynden family of companies.

Tags: Everyday Heroes

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