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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.

Introducing Jason Phillips, HSSE Specialist, Driver Trainer at Lynden Training Center in Fairbanks, Alaska.

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Name: Jason Phillips

Company: Lynden Training Center, Fairbanks 

Title: HSSE Specialist, Driver Trainer

On the Job Since: 2018

Superpower: Patience

Hometown: Fort Bragg, NC

Favorite Movie: Saving Private Ryan

Bucket List Destination: Ireland

For Fun: Camping and riding ATVs with family 

How and when did you start working for Lynden Training Center? 
I was a driver with Carlile Transportation and met Kip Machos through my wife. Kip worked for Lynden Transport and Alaska West Express. He told me about the companies. Word of mouth is important in the trucking community and there are certain companies you hear are good to work for. The Lynden family is one of them, so I looked into working there. I started as an owner operator with Lynden Transport and eventually moved to Alaska West Express.

Have you worked for or done projects with other Lynden companies? 
Part of my job is training drivers to obtain their CDL as well as everyday driving tasks. I help Lynden Transport in Fairbanks with the Dock to Driver program. I just finished training two Alaska West Express employees and am now training one Alaska West Express driver on a CDL upgrade. It is about a three-week training period that prepares them to take the driving test for a Class A license.

What is a typical day like for you?
I only live about 15 minutes away from work, so the commute isn’t too bad. My day depends on whether we have people that need driver training. I spend one day a week at Lynden Transport with their new drivers. Today I caught up on paperwork. I see what dispatch has for me. I also support the Lynden Training Center as an assistant instructor for other classes we teach at the facility.

Everyone at the Lynden Training Center is part of the emergency response team for Alaska West Express. We also provide confined space rescue on standby for outside customers. There has been a lot of tank cleaning projects at the different refineries, so we provide a rescue team on standby for safety purposes. We go out and make sure everything goes smoothly. If something goes wrong, we are trained to go into the tank and perform a rescue. We’ve been pretty busy this summer providing these services at least once a month. 

I also support dispatch with various projects like moving trailers around and helping recover broken down equipment.

What has been most challenging in your career?
Being an instructor is all new to me, and I’m learning different ways to tailor my instruction to student’s unique learning styles. I’m more hands-on with them, but we also need to do a classroom session. I really enjoy taking them out on the road and showing them the ropes. 

What are you most proud of in your career?
When the people I’ve trained pass their tests I know I’ve done my job well. Since we all work together at the same facility, I’m usually the third or fourth phone call they make after they call their family. That makes me very proud.

Can you tell us about your family and growing up years?
I have one older brother and one younger brother. We were a military family, so we moved about every three years. Growing up in the military your only constant is your family. It was pack up and move on.  We’ve lived in Maryland, then moved to Germany for three years, back to Maryland and then to Alaska. I was 11 when we moved to Fairbanks so my dad could work out of Fort Wainwright. After that we were in Anchorage for two years, then to Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX, and then back to Fairbanks. I graduated from high school in Fairbanks. It sounds like a lot, but it was normal for us. It was all we ever knew. My dad did 27 years in the army and my mom was in the military, too. She did in-home daycare when we were growing up so she could spend more time with us. Now she uses those skills to watch her grandchildren. The whole family stayed in Fairbanks. My younger brother is a driver for Alaska West Express, and my older brother is an engineer for the State of Alaska. 

I have a boy and a twin boy and girl. My oldest son is 12 and the twins are 8. I married my high school sweetheart Morgan who is also in the trucking industry as a dispatcher. 

What was your first job?
I was a grocery bagger at Safeway in high school. 

What would surprise people most about you?
When I worked at Safeway in high school I was a baker’s apprentice and a cake decorator. I never did a wedding cake, though. Those take a special hand.

I was also a haul road trucker for 12 years, hauling bulk chemicals three times a week from Fairbanks to the slope (Prudhoe Bay). My wife was a pilot car driver for me when I would haul oversize loads. 

How do you spend your time outside of work? 
Our family camps and fishes a lot, and we spend a lot of time supporting our kids’ different sports. My oldest son plays hockey, my younger son is in a martial arts program called Tang Soo Do and my daughter is in competitive cheer. Each sport takes us around the U.S. for competitions. We will be in Chicago in March and Orlando in April for a cheer competition and in North Carolina in July for Tang Soo Do. We also travel around the state a lot with hockey and cheer. 

What do you like best about your job?
Knowing that I’m helping the future of trucking by training competent drivers. Safe, well-trained drivers contribute to keeping the industry healthy and keep commerce moving. 

Topics from this blog: Lynden Alaska West Express Lynden Employees Lynden Training Center Lynden Transport Everyday Heroes Featured

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