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Lynden's Ken Hall named Volunteer of the Year

Posted on Wed, Feb 24, 2021

Ken HallLynden Transport's Fairbanks Account Manager Ken Hall received the George Nehrbas Volunteer of the Year Award for 2020 from the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce. The award is presented to a member of the Chamber who has distinguished themselves as an outstanding volunteer. "I've been very fortunate to have the opportunity to be involved in many different activities over the years," Ken says. "I was surprised and flattered to get this recognition."

Ken has taken on leadership roles within Lynden Transport and has contributed 10 years to serving the Special Olympics of the Tanana Valley and organizing critical fundraisers for them. He has also dedicated 23 years to the Fairbanks Curling Club as a volunteer and board member. Over the course of 30 years, Ken has volunteered with youth-focused groups in Fairbanks like the Boy Scouts and at PTA events at the school where his wife taught. He also serves as a member of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Climate Change Task Force.

Tags: Lynden employees, Lynden Transport, Alaska

Just another day in the Bethel neighborhood

Posted on Wed, Feb 03, 2021

Pete Kaiser with teamLynden Air Cargo Captain Daryl Smith took this photo of Peter Kaiser as he was training his sled dog team. Daryl lives in Bethel, AK and saw Pete from his house. "I thought it would be newsworthy since he works for Lynden and is an Iditarod champion," Daryl says. Pete works for Knik Construction and Bering Marine. He won the Iditarod in 2019 and has won the Kuskokwim 300 sled dog race multiple times. Pete has plans to compete in both the Kuskokwim 300 and Iditarod races again this year.

Tags: Bering Marine Corporation, Lynden Air Cargo, Lynden employees, Knik Construction

Goodbye and good luck to twelve Lynden retirees

Posted on Tue, Jan 19, 2021

Twelve veteran Lynden employees wrapped up their careers at the end of 2020. We wish them well in retirement.

Mark SheehanMark Sheehan, Alaska Marine Lines and Northland Services, 40 years
Mark came to his job at Alaska Marine Lines through his brother Tom Sheehan. Tom and Mark both worked for Northland initially and later moved to Alaska Marine Lines. Mark went back to Northland and continued his career there until the 2014 acquisition by Lynden. He retired last month as Marine Operations Manager. It's been a long and storied career, but by far the most significant event was meeting and marrying co-worker Cindy Sheehan in 1999. Cindy also retired in December. "I have been so happy to be a part of the Lynden team," Mark says. In his marine career, Mark has saved many castaway and stowaway critters from certain death in Seattle ports, including stray cats, otters, pelicans and a hawk. A few years ago an albatross hitched a ride on a voyage from Honolulu to Seattle. Mark first saw the bird when the night crew pointed it out to him. The bird was severely dehydrated and emaciated. Mark called the Seattle Aquarium's veterinarian who brought the female bird to a Wildlife Care Center where it was treated for pneumonia and survived. It's no surprise that in retirement, Mark plans to volunteer at wild and domestic animal rescue organizations.

Lu JacksonLu Jackson, LTI, Inc., 37 years
As a Human Resources Manager for almost four decades, Lu has worked for four Lynden presidents, including the late Lynden patriarch Hank Jansen. "I have such great memories of working with him," she says. "It's nice to see that the integrity, philosophy and character of the company has withstood all these years." Although she is excited about retirement, Lu says she will miss the people. "Everyone says that, but it's really true." Lu handled everything from payroll to dispatching in her career and is very proud that she was never late to work – ever – in 37 years. Retirement will find her on her farm caring for animals, enjoying outdoor activities and getting to know her two new golden retriever puppies that joined the household just a week after she retired. Lu was featured as the December 2020 Everyday Hero. To read more about her, go to www.lynden.com/heroes.

Mike MaloneMike Malone, Alaska Marine Lines, 35 years
Back in 1985, Mike started working in the Container Freight Station (CFS) warehouse. He then worked in rates and billing, pricing and finished up his career as Pricing Analyst. "Back then, we had just one sailing to Southeast Alaska, then it was twice a week. The ARM barge was added to service Central Alaska and Prince William Sound and then the purchase of Northland added Western Alaska and Hawaii. "We've seen quite the growth," Mike says.

"I have so many memories of all the people I've worked with, it would be hard to list just one, but working with the Freitrater program, coming up with auto rating and smart prompting cut the number of corrections we were seeing significantly."

After years of sitting in either traffic or at his desk, Mike says he is looking forward to getting some regular exercise, and he has a lot of projects to do around the house. "I would like to travel once my wife retires and maybe take some actual guitar lessons. I've really enjoyed working with all the people at Alaska Marine Lines and Lynden over the years. It's a really top-notch organization from the top down.

Sue HeatherSue Heather, Alaska Marine Lines, 34 years
Sue has worked both full time and part time for Alaska Marine Lines' accounting department over her long career. "I retired from full time work in 2002, but came back part time later that year," she says. "I guess I just couldn't stay away!" Sue started her job with Alaska Marine Lines in 1986 when the employees numbered about 70. "I started out doing accounts payable then added accounts receivable. Eventually I became the accounting manager for Alaska Marine Lines and Alaska Marine Trucking," she says. "I have worked with such a great group of people over the years. My bosses have always led by example and always had time to listen to me or help when I needed it." In retirement, she is planning to spend more time with her grandson, work at her church food bank and sew.

Cindy SheehanCindy Sheehan, Alaska Marine Lines, 31 years
Cindy began her career with Alaska Marine Lines in 1989 at the suggestion of friend and now Lynden Logistics Manager Becky MacDonald. She was the first female barge checker in the history of the company although "I didn't know the difference between a chassis and a container at the time," she says. Her first office was a container under the First Avenue South Street Bridge, now Alaska Marine Lines' Y-2 yard. She also worked with two brothers, Mark and Tom Sheehan. Tom worked for Alaska Marine Lines, Mark for Northland Services. She continued to work with Tom over her long career, and she married Mark. Over the years, Cindy worked on a variety of Alaska Marine Lines projects, including the first Alaska Railbelt Marine sailings to Whittier, AK. She was soon promoted to Customer Service Manager, followed by Director of Customer Service in 2013 and Vice President of Customer Service in 2016. "I've always loved working with customers and took a great deal of pride and pleasure helping them," she says. "At Alaska Marine Lines, we're committed to keeping real, live people to talk to rather than recorded options to answer callers' questions." Cindy and Mark both retired last month and now plan to do some camping and fishing. Cindy will also start some quilting projects to donate to the American Heroes wounded veterans and Children's Hospital in Seattle.

JeffJeff McKenney, Alaska Marine Lines, 31 years
"After 13 years of owning my business, I took a position with Alaska Marine Lines to dispatch and manage the trucks and operators," Jeff says. "When a sales position opened in Seattle, I thought it was the right time to advance my career and use the knowledge I had learned over the years to sell the services Alaska Marine Lines offered." More than 30 years later, Jeff retires as an Account Manager with experience in both operations and sales. "I feel lucky to have had a position where I worked with people who were my friends and colleagues. Alaska Marine Lines and all the Lynden companies have made my job fun. Our abilities to be innovative through equipment design, schedules, and online tools offers so much to the customer compared to our competition. The fact that we can pull multiple Lynden operating companies together to offer the customer a One Lynden solution has a lot of merit."

Jeff says Lynden has been a great company to be a part of and he appreciates everything the company has done to support his family. "I have really enjoyed providing the customer with a positive experience, showing customers what Lynden can do and being part of Lynden's success." Jeff's retirement plans include boating, fishing and traveling the U.S. via RV. A trip to the Grand Canyon is one of the first stops on the itinerary. Jeff was featured as the November 2020 Everyday Hero. To read more about him, go to www.lynden.com/heroes.

Greg NiermanGreg Nierman, Lynden Incorporated, 27 years
Greg, pictured right, started working for Lynden Incorporated as a software developer in 1989 and transitioned to supervisor, manager and back to developer by the end of his 27-year career. "There were about 15 people total in IT when I started, and now there are nearly 70," he says. Greg's most memorable work project over the years was working on the Cross Dock initiative. "I will always remember the wonderful people I've had the honor of working with," he adds. Greg's plans for retirement include spending time with his grandkids, coaching archery and building and playing guitars.

John WalkerJohn Walker, Lynden Incorporated, 20 years
Over his 20 years with Lynden Incorporated's IT Department, John says he will remember Side-By-Side Billing, numerous ILS (Integrated Lynden Systems) integrations and Route Trip Maintenance as his favorite projects. As a Senior Programmer Developer and Applications Development Supervisor he saw IT grow by "leaps and bounds" as well as the applications that IT produced for Lynden's operating companies. "Working at Lynden has been more like an adventure than a job," John says. "There is always something new to learn and problems to be solved. But it's the people that I will miss the most (certainly not my commute!). I've met a lot of great people over the years and hope to continue the friendships we've established." Retirement plans include visiting family more often, traveling, fly fishing (see picture), golf, photography and chainsaw carving.

Pam SanchezPam Sanchez, Alaska Marine Lines, 18 years
Pam was a fixture in the customer service department for many years, making sure that receiving, billing and customer service tasks ran smoothly. In a single day, she might handle 50 questions about pricing, scheduling, logistics, cargo claims, purchased transportation both via phone and email. "Over the years I was always impressed with how Alaska Marine Lines worked to improve their service to customers," she says. "We always let them know we are here for them and that we care." Although Pam says she will miss working with and talking to her co-workers, she is looking forward to doing all the things she didn't have time for when she was working. Her plans include planting a garden, tackling home improvement projects and having time to exercise. Pam's son, Matt Miller, works at Northland and will carry on the family tradition at the Y-5 warehouse.

Bob McGrathBob McGrath, Lynden Incorporated, 8 years
Bob began work for Lynden in 2011 as a contractor, auditioning with Rick Nuckolls on the Master Customer Master (MCM) application. "I was hired on May Day, 2012. This job has been the pot-o-gold at the end of my career rainbow, which has spanned four decades," he says. "I began years ago as a PICK programmer and finished at Lynden as a programmer. In between, I worked in a variety of related job roles involving both hardware and software. There have been immense changes over the course of my career, but I think the change in speed and scale, in all realms of computing, has had the greatest impact."

Bob lists the following as highlights of his Lynden career: the HAZMAT implementation, developing the UV/TariffTrak interface used in the pre-ship and billing systems, the UV2XML document interface, and working with great teams on the first and subsequent ILS migrations.

Retirement will bring changes. "We will be moving to Chicago to be with family for a while," Bob says, "but will eventually come back home to Whidbey Island. Between Chicago and home, we plan to travel and live abroad. Once back home, I'd like to pick up ceramics again, bake up a storm and teach at-risk kids programming as a model for success."

"Lynden is a great company and this has been one of the best jobs of my career," he adds. "The values guiding Lynden come from the top down, but seem to be deeply embedded in the company: ethical, generous, disciplined, and caring for employees and community. In the end though, it is the Lynden people I admire most. I was lucky to be part of this, even for a short time."

Stanley Sniadosky and Jim Warren also retired last year, from Alaska Marine Lines and Lynden Incorporated respectively.

Tags: Lynden, LTI Inc., Alaska Marine Lines, Lynden employees

Lynden Vice President Dennis Mitchell joins Airforwarders Association Board

Posted on Thu, Dec 17, 2020

Dennis MitchellLynden International Senior Vice President Dennis Mitchell was elected to the board of the Airforwarders Association (AfA) on Nov. 16.

The AfA serves as the voice of the air forwarding industry and represents nearly 400 member companies dedicated to moving cargo throughout the supply chain. The association's members range from small businesses with fewer than 20 employees to large companies employing more than 1,000 people and business models varying from domestic to worldwide freight forwarding operations. The AfA helps freight forwarders move cargo in the timeliest and most cost-efficient manner whether it is carried on aircraft, truck, rail or ship.

“Dennis is a highly respected member of the AfA that was selected by our membership for a board position. His skills and expertise in the transportation industry will help guide the AfA in its ambitious agenda toward continued success,” says Brandon Fried, AfA Executive Director.

Mitchell will be sworn in on Jan. 5 to serve a three-year term as one of eight AfA board members. Lynden International Vice President Laura Sanders also served a 12-year term on the AfA board from 1999 to 2012. Lynden International has been a member of the AfA for more than 25 years.

Mitchell brings 26 years of Lynden experience to his board position as well as background as a business owner. He owned his own customs brokerage firm from 1986 to 1994 prior to joining Lynden in Anchorage. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Supply Chain Management from the University of Alaska and is a licensed customs broker. Mitchell is also the former chair of the board of directors for the Anchorage Economic Development Corp.

Tags: Lynden International, Air freight, Lynden employees

Knik Health and Safety Manager Dora Mae Hughes receives Alaska Excellence in Safety Award

Posted on Fri, Dec 04, 2020

Dora Hughes receiving awardKnik Construction Health and Safety Manager Dora Mae Hughes (above) was selected as a winner of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Alaska Excellence in Safety Awards in the Individual Category. "Dora was selected out of many of her industry peers for her approach to safety," says Knik President Dan Hall. "We clearly have an exceptional HSS manager and award winner on our team. What a great honor for Dora and Knik. This should lead us to a bright future with improving safety numbers."

Tags: Awards, Lynden employees, Safety Award, Knik Construction

Lynden delivers PPE to frontline medical workers in Alaska

Posted on Fri, Sep 25, 2020

Lynden delivers PPEEarlier this year Northern Star Resources Limited, owner of the Pogo Gold Mine, donated $1.5 million worth of medical personal protective equipment (PPE) to Alaska communities with a focus on Fairbanks and the delta regions. Lynden International arranged customs clearance and Lynden Transport delivered the supplies to the communities which were then distributed by Foundation Health partners to doctors, dentists and health providers who have been unable to secure PPE on their own. "We value our partnership with Lynden and appreciate the help distributing these supplies," says Wendie MacNaughton, External Affairs Manager for Northern Star. The shipment, which was the largest donation received from private industry, included 12,500 isolation gowns, 100,000 N95 masks and 400,000 surgical masks. "Lynden International employees were glad we could assist Northern Star-Pogo navigate the import challenges that come with these PPE imports, and we're extremely grateful for their generous donation to Alaskan health care providers," says Keith Hall, Licensed Customs Broker for Lynden International in Anchorage.

Tags: Lynden International, Lynden employees, Lynden Transport, Shipping to Alaska, Lynden Capabilities

Lynden International's overnight turnaround for charter of PPE

Posted on Wed, Aug 26, 2020

Lynden International teamThis hearty band of Lynden International employees was ready and waiting for a FedEx charter flight of personal protective equipment (PPE) arriving from China to the Anchorage airport earlier this year. They quickly unloaded five 53-foot containers worth of masks, gowns and other materials and palletized it for next-morning delivery to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services warehouse. According to Regional Vice President Rick Pollock, most employees were working remotely at the time, but the group immediately responded to the call to action and worked late into the night to get the work done. After the Alaska governor made the request for PPE supplies for Alaska's frontline workers, Lynden worked with FedEx and other partners to coordinate the charter, sourcing suppliers in China and handling customs. "From the first planning call in March to the plane landing in Anchorage, Lynden was with us every step of the way. They are a great partner and we are appreciative of their logistical support during the COVID pandemic response," says Heidi Hedberg, Director of Public Health, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

Tags: Lynden International, Lynden employees, Lynden Capabilities

Lynden employee ensures lifesaving drug reaches patient

Posted on Wed, Jul 29, 2020

My Post (2)-2"We are sometimes called upon to do the exceptional, to directly help a patient in need," says Brian MacAskill, Vice President and General Manager at Lynden International Logistics Co. Earlier this year, Lynden International Logistics Warehouse Supervisor Devendra Solanki (pictured right) received an emergency call from Health Canada at 11:23 p.m. A 10-year-old patient at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto required a lifesaving drug. Within 15 minutes, the order was enroute to the hospital and Devendra delivered it soon after for the patient. "We are very proud of Devendra," Brian says. "Great efforts are made on a daily basis that have a profound impact on the companies and customers we serve."

Tags: Lynden International Logistics Co., Lynden employees

North to Alaska, South by Barge: Voyage of a Reefer Tech

Posted on Mon, Jun 29, 2020

AML reefer techs in SeattleEvery fishing season, Alaska Marine Lines refrigeration mechanics (reefer techs) leave Seattle and make the journey north to keep Lynden's refrigerated containers (reefers) in top shape. The techs fly to Alaska and then accompany the loaded reefers on the southbound barges. These ride-along-with-the-reefer trips have been taking place for years, but the voyage of the reefer technician has not been well known. Until now.

Mechanic Greg Restad was so impressed with his off-site assignment that he decided to document his experience. Greg's notes provide a unique look behind the scenes of this annual effort to protect customers' fish and other refrigerated freight and maintain Lynden's equipment. It should be noted that Greg has 30 years of experience working on refrigerated equipment including working for Les Candee and Art Burg at Foss Maritime in the early 1980s.

According to Assistant Maintenance and Repair Manager Steve Tafoya, mechanics check around 3,000 reefers each year during the north-to-south trips. Most reefers last around 20 years, but with excellent care, they can last longer.

"We run a pre-trip inspection anytime a reefer enters the yard so we keep close tabs on all equipment and any emerging problems," Steve says. "It could be power, a leak, burnout of the evaporator motor or something else. The most common issue with reefers is a lack of communication with the tug. Our mechanics also check and service generator sets, make sure gear vans are stocked and that the GRASP reefer monitoring system, all plugs and time share panels are working," Steve explains. Everything is documented and becomes part of the service record.

Mechanics sleep on the tug when the barge is under way or in bunkhouses in Naknek, Dillingham and St. Paul. Meals are eagerly anticipated as the tug cooks are known for their gourmet cooking. "Naknek has a great bunch of guys and good accommodations," Greg says. "They made me feel welcome and fed me well. It's nice when I get a couple days to check out the yard and my units before loading because once they start loading, these guys move. Everyone pitches in to get us in and out of port. I never heard 'It's not my job' even when I had a container I couldn't fix that was located in the middle of the stack. They had to bring in a barge alongside and crane it out of the middle of my barge. 'It's no one's fault; it can't be helped; let's get it done' was their response."

It's not always smooth sailing. Sometimes parts have to be flown in to repair a reefer or an employee needs medical care. One tech was suffering from an abscessed tooth and had to come back to Seattle, so he traded places with the next tech on the list.

And then there are rough seas. On Greg's first outing in Naknek, he was worried when he heard about 16-foot seas on the voyage. "The 70-knot gusts almost knocked me off my feet in the yard, and then they told me we were going to leave," he says. "Thankfully, Captain Eric kept the wind behind us, charted sheltered waters and, by the time we got into the Gulf, the seas had calmed down to 10 feet. The crews were always great. They were polite and forgiving when I wasn't familiar with the program and ran me though the safety procedures and orientation. It was fun to see how fast I could don a survival suit."

Although the reefer techs are away from home for long periods, they are treated to delicious meals like prime rib and salmon prepared by the tug cooks. The views are pretty good, too. Eagles, whales, sharks and porpoises all share air and sea space with the barges and tugs in the North Pacific. For many reefer techs, it's a nice change of scenery from working in the Seattle yard.

"These techs are on the front line making sure our reefers are keeping the fish cold and the perishables fresh," Steve says. "They spend months away from home, family and friends to uphold the Lynden brand of service. We all appreciate the work they do."

Tags: Barge, Alaska Marine Lines, Lynden employees, Crew Experiences

Alaska Marine Lines employees participate in Stay 6', Stay Safe campaign

Posted on Tue, Jun 02, 2020

Alaska Marine Lines Stay Safe campaignAlaska Marine Lines launched a Stay 6', Stay Safe campaign and contest to encourage social distancing among onsite employees in Seattle, Alaska and Hawaii, according to Bridgette Bell, Director of Human Resources.

The contest ran for a few months and employees submitted ways they were staying safe while at work as well as at home to be entered into the weekly drawing. The employee whose name was drawn won a gift card to a local restaurant in an effort to support local businesses who are also feeling the effects of the pandemic.

Some of the employee led social distancing ideas included employees eating lunch outside or in their car instead of the lunchroom and taping a 6 foot line on the floor in offices. One manager even created a 6 foot safety stick as a tool to give employees a sense of how far away 6 feet actually is.

Even though the contest is no longer running employees are still supporting each other by maintaining social distancing guidelines. Pictured above are employees at the Yard 1 Diesel Shop in Seattle. "We are all in this together, just 6 feet apart," Bridgette says.

Tags: Alaska Marine Lines, Lynden employees

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