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Employees retire with 200 years of combined service

Posted on Mon, Dec 20, 2021

Scott Polinder

Scott Polinder
Scott is one of Lynden's longest-tenured drivers. He started driving for Milky Way in 1974. "Scott continuously showed his reliability and commitment to safety throughout his driving career and achieved an amazing 43 years of safe driver awards," says LTI, Inc. President Jason Jansen. "He made a positive impact to our company over the years, and Lynden is honored to have had him on our driver team."

Brian Wood
Brian started with Lynden as a contractor in 1993. Two years later, he was hired as the Imaging Manager managing the ViewStar Software System in IT at Lynden, Inc. Brian has performed various tasks for Lynden over the past 20 years, filling in where needed. He says he looks forward to retirement and "reinventing himself into something completely different" as well as spending time with family.

John KaloperJohn Kaloper
"I was traveling through Anchorage on business one day in 1983, and I bumped into Bill Ferrari (then Vice President of Sales) in the hotel where we were both staying. We began a conversation, and I went to work for Lynden shortly after that in January 1984," John says. His first position was Account Executive in Seattle, then District Sales Manager and ongoing promotions culminating in his final role as President.

Looking back, John says his most memorable project was Lynden Logistics' involvement in the rebuilding of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in 1994. "We were awarded the contract to move 225 40-foot oversized modules via ocean freight from Houston to Moscow to serve as housing for the U.S. construction workers," he says.

There were multiple challenges with this project including the offload of a crane in St. Petersburg that crashed through the pier when the rigging broke. The crane was a total loss, and there wasn't time to ship a new one. A crane was rented locally at a significant increase in costs plus the expense of legal challenges resulting from the damage.

The second challenge was the result of a barge sinking in the waterway connecting St. Petersburg and Moscow which caused a two-week delay on delivery of the modules to the building site. "I had a number of sleepless nights dealing with the many calls needed to get these issues resolved," John remembers.

John says he is proud of the great relationships and long friendships forged with so many people in the organization. His plans for retirement include traveling to see his granddaughters in Michigan with his wife, Julie, and spending time on their boat. Fishing, golfing, skiing and house projects are on the agenda, too.

Dorene KolbDorene Kolb
Dorene leaves Lynden after 29 years with the satisfaction of helping to launch one of Lynden's most important programs: EZ Commerce. From meeting with customers to creating forms to adding features to create EZ Tracing and EZ Reporting, it took almost two years. "There were so many times I went to former Vice President Skip Hanson and said EZ Commerce was going to kill me, but I remained diligent and kept things moving," she says. Skip created the Bull Dog award and presented it to Dorene in recognition of her tireless work on the new program.

Dorene's Lynden career began in 1992 at Lynden Air Freight in Los Angeles as an Air Export Customer Service and Ocean Manager. She then moved to Seattle where she served in a variety of marketing positions, ending with Senior Marketing Project Manager for Lynden. In all those years, Dorene says she is most proud of the Driver Recruiting program she coordinated and the opportunity to mentor fellow employees.

"When I first came to Lynden's marketing team one of my areas of responsibilities included creating a Driver Recruiting program. I learned that it wasn't much different than working with sales. Although each Lynden operating company is responsible for their own hiring processes, they helped me learn the ropes and create a program that is valued and utilized," she says. "We now have a dedicated webpage, recruiting materials and analytics to monitor success."

Dorene has shaped many careers over her decades with Lynden. "My last few years have focused on mentoring people and providing support and feedback when requested. I've had some great people like Rich Wilroy, David Rosenzweig, Charlie Weaver, Skip Hanson, Alex McKallor and Ryan Dixon who mentored me. The best thing I could do was pay it forward."

After living in Edmonds, WA for 26 years, Dorene and her husband Carl have relocated to Lake Havasu, AZ and will be building a home there. "We planned a 21-day cruise for April sailing through the Panama Canal," she says. "We also plan to see the country in our motorhome, stopping whenever we like, staying as long as we like and moving on towards the next sunrise/sunset."

Jeanine St. JohnJeanine St. John
Jeanine retires as Vice President of Lynden Logistics, 27 years after she started her career managing Lynden's work with BP. "There have been so many exciting projects over the years, but the thing they all have in common is Lynden companies working as a team to achieve great results," Jeanine says. "Whether it was oil, mining, communications, defense or construction – each had challenges that the Lynden team was able to meet."

In 40 years working in Lynden's home state, Jeanine says she is most proud of the way the One Lynden team has coalesced in Alaska. "I love Alaska, both personally and professionally, and I've been very fortunate to work for a company full of people who have that same determination to make Alaska a great place to live and work."

Another part of Jeanine's career was working with industry, business groups, and community leaders to support Alaska's resource industries.* "Working on advocacy and campaign issues is always full of challenges, but when you win, it's a great feeling of accomplishment. I truly believe that the Lynden team will have great success continuing to move Alaska forward in developing its resources and infrastructure."

Jeanine will now enjoy unlimited time with her husband, Al, who also retired this fall. "We look forward to fun times with friends and family, including our five grandchildren," she says. "Fishing, hunting and quilting will move right up the priority ladder, as will working with a variety of nonprofits we support."

*This fall, Jeanine received the Chuck Becker Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, a nonprofit trade association that promotes responsible exploration, development and production of oil, gas and mineral resources to benefit all Alaskans. Jeanine is only the second recipient of the award which recognizes an individual who commits time and passion to the Alliance. She served as president and as a board member of the organization for more than 20 years.

Bob GehrkeBob Gehrke
After more than 32 years with Lynden, Bob Gehrke retires as Software Asset Manager at Lynden, Inc. in Seattle. Bob started his career with Lynden Air Freight in 1989 as a Property Control Specialist, later added Telecom and Facilities to his tasks, and was then hired as Purchasing Manager in 2006.

Bob says his most memorable project was the remodeling of floors 6, 7 and 8 at the SeaTac headquarters building. "It was a project that lasted almost two years from the planning stages to final construction. I was able to work with and meet many employees from different companies. The greatest challenges were the first Microsoft and the first Oracle audits. I lost some sleep and years of my life. I will not miss them!"

"During his tenure Bob was instrumental in many things and always kept us on track with purchasing and asset management," says Ken Kinloch, Director of IT Infrastructure and Security. "His knowledge and ability in this area will be missed." Bob plans to spend his days tending his coffee farm and relaxing on the beach at his home on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Tags: Lynden, LTI Inc., Lynden Employees, Lynden Logistics

Alaska Marine Lines wraps up strong fish season

Posted on Mon, Nov 08, 2021

My Post - 2021-11-01T112738.579"We had a very good seafood year," says Tyler Maurer, Alaska Marine Lines Seafood Sales Manager. The 2021 fish season for Alaska Marine Lines and the supporting Lynden companies has been strong. Alaska salmon runs were 15 percent higher than projected, and the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon run stunned scientists with a record 66.1 million fish, with a catch of approximately 40 million which was 90 percent of the record 44 million.

At Lynden, salmon season is an 'all hands on deck' event typically lasting from May through September. All Lynden companies were busy keeping up with the volume this year, prompted not only by larger returns, but by restaurants opening back up after pandemic closures and a change in consumer buying habits.

Each year, Lynden Air Cargo flies fresh fish from Naknek, Emmonak, Cold Bay, Sand Point and Dillingham to Anchorage where Lynden Logistics provides support for transloading to Alaska Marine Lines, Alaska West Express and Lynden Transport and ships seafood with other air carriers all over the world. LTI, Inc. trucks provide Seattle surface delivery support and provides transportation to locations in the Lower 48.

On average, Alaska Marine Lines moves 7,000 containers of fish each year from Alaska fisheries southbound to Seattle. "We moved over 11,000 containers this year," Tyler explains, "and we still have more frozen and canned product to clean out of Alaska for a few more weeks to come."

Alaska Marine Lines moves significant volumes of frozen and canned fish from all over the state departing Western Alaska, Prince William Sound and Southeast. "We also have a new facility in Kodiak and have started to move domestic fish from the island. We use Kodiak as a re-handle port for fish originating in Western Alaska," Tyler says.

To prepare for the push each year, Lynden asks its customers for projections so it can build realistic expectations for staffing and equipment. "We knew this would be a big year," Tyler says. "We just didn't expect it would be this big of a year with all regions having strong returns."

Equipment reliability is extremely important when moving a temperature-controlled, high-value commodity like fish, so reefer techs take on an even more important role during fish season.

"With Copper River Kings selling at $80 per pound to retailers in the Lower 48 states, to start the season, we must have everything in place and running well to deliver the fish in pristine condition," Tyler says. "We are sometimes pushed to the limit in the summer months, but we all get the job done safely. From top to bottom, it's a Lynden-wide group effort, and we all lean on each other to get the job done including our partners at Western Towboat, Bering Marine and Dunlap Towing."

Tags: LTI Inc., Alaska West Express, Lynden Air Cargo, Seafood, Lynden Transport, Alaska, Lynden Logistics, Multi-Modal, AML

Rhubarb juice and oat milk new hauls for LTI, Inc.

Posted on Mon, Nov 01, 2021

My Post - 2021-10-27T100759.570Rhubarb juice and oat milk have joined canola oil and whiskey in LTI, Inc.'s growing list of special commodity hauls. Since March, LTI, Inc. Sunnyside drivers have picked up oat milk from Ogden, UT and delivered it to Delta, B.C. for Oatly. "The Oatly brand is international, available at retail stores and is used at Starbucks locations across the U.S.," explains Marcos Bustamante, Sunnyside Operations Manager.

Around 35 miles away, in Abbotsford, B.C., LTI, Inc. drivers are on the job picking up rhubarb juice for delivery to a winery in Hill City, South Dakota. "International projects like this require collaboration between Sunnyside and LTI, Inc.'s Mount Vernon group to deliver the products across the border," says Greg Masset, Sunnyside Dispatch. Drivers Chad Haarsma and Jonathon Harshfield haul the juice from the plant in Canada to Sunnyside, where Jerome-based team drivers pick it up and deliver to the winery in South Dakota.

Drivers sometimes deal with unplanned same-day load add-ons, but "luckily, we have great drivers that always come through for us and understand how important it is to take care of our customers," Marcos says. "Our success wouldn't be possible without the help of all the other Service Centers and our great drivers. I especially want to thank the Sunnyside dispatch team and special commodities team for the great job they have been doing."

Marcos says LTI, Inc. is always looking for other food-grade products to carry. "Our canola oil business has grown with the addition of a new customer called Viterra that has led to Sunnyside investing in special trailers dedicated to hauling oil," he says.

Drivers supporting the oat milk project include: Guadalupe Bustamante, Brandon Call, Pablo Valdes-Medina, Jose Rivera, Mark Nickerson, Jose Gonzalez Vargas and Scott Scherzinger.

Tags: LTI Inc., Bulk, Specialized

LTI, Inc. receives sixth consecutive SmartWay Excellence Award from EPA

Posted on Wed, Oct 27, 2021

My Post - 2021-10-25T093457.527

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has once again honored LTI, Inc. and its Milky Way division with a SmartWay Excellence Award. It is the sixth consecutive award for LTI, Inc. and affirms its status as one of North America’s most efficient and lowest emitting tanker fleets. The SmartWay Excellence Award is reserved for the top performing SmartWay Partners and is the EPA’s highest recognition for demonstrated leadership in freight supply chain energy efficiency and environmental performance. This year only 62 carriers were selected out of 4,000 SmartWay partners. LTI, Inc. is one of only 12 companies who have earned six awards.

“To be recognized for a sixth year is a true testament to our team,” says LTI, Inc. President Jason Jansen. “Our entire group is consistently focused on innovation and efficiency. We are continually seeking opportunities to remove waste from operations. All these efforts reduce the impact of transporting freight on our environment. This award is only possible because of the dedication of our people. I am extremely proud of their achievement.”

LTI, Inc. and Milky Way became SmartWay partners in 2010. Each year the companies voluntarily submit operational data to the EPA for consideration. The companies consistently score in the top 1 percent of tanker carriers in the nation for low carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions per ton mile while operating in extreme weather and carrying the heaviest payloads.

“For 17 years the SmartWay Transport Partnership has worked with the freight industry to find innovative ways to reduce pollution for goods movement,” says Sarah Dunham, Director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality. “We commend the innovation, drive, and collaborative spirit of our partners whose efforts are helping to meet the challenge of climate change and to create a healthier environment for us all.”

 

Tags: LTI Inc., Awards, Green Lynden, Milky Way

Lynden responds to crises at home and abroad

Posted on Fri, Oct 01, 2021

The month of August brought temperatures so hot that wells ran dry in Oregon. The month also delivered devastation in Haiti with a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. In typical Lynden fashion, LTI, Inc./Milky Way and Lynden Air Cargo quickly mobilized people and equipment to help.My Post - 2021-11-22T130941.566

"Like many states, Oregon has been suffering from drought conditions this summer. When I first talked to the Oregon Emergency Management Team about this project in late July, there were 55 dry wells. That quickly increased to 187 and numbers continued to climb," says LTI, Inc. Klamath Falls Operation Manager John Bailey.

The state reached out to LTI, Inc./Milky Way to see if its tankers could haul water, instead of milk, to stranded residents. Oregon's Bootleg Fire was in full swing and water tenders were scarce. John, Regional Manager Greg Tolle and Lynden leaders came up with a viable plan and moved forward to meet the state's needs.

A milk tanker is not set up to pump water, so alterations were needed to make the deliveries. "On day one it took two drivers, one to run the pump and the other to hold the end of the hose so it wouldn't come flying out of the tank," John explains. "On the second day, we built a 2-inch PVC fitting that slips into the tanks making it a one-man job. That worked so well another water hauler copied us."

John says he was surprised at the overwhelming support from residents when they first saw the Milky Way tankers pulling down their streets. "Driving a 6,700-gallon milk tanker on city streets can be challenging. In some instances, we had to ask neighbors if it was ok to back into their driveway to get turned around." Each day, the Oregon State Water Master emails a list of homes needing water to LTI, Inc. and the delivery route is built from that information. The Lynden team will continue serving Oregon residents through October.

A half a world away an earthquake struck Haiti on Aug. 14 leaving thousands dead and many injured. Haiti is still dealing with the fallout from an earthquake in 2010 that killed an estimated 300,000 people. As it did in 2010, Lynden Air Cargo began flying relief missions immediately.
Haiti earthquake flights - LAC
"Our first three flights were assisting with the movement of a search and rescue team's gear from Washington, D.C. to Port-au-Prince in Haiti," explains Dan Marshall, Lynden Air Cargo Charter Manager.

"We have also flown two supply missions from Fort Lauderdale, FL to Port-au-Prince. Authorities that grant landing permits switch from one day to the next which adds to the confusion on the ground, however the Lynden team persevered and operated all flights very close to the originally scheduled date and times."

The two crews flying to Haiti include: Captains Brent Ellender and Chris Nichols, Flight Officers Random Dudley and Guillaume Saget, Flight Engineers John McClellan and Cliff Ayers, Loadmasters Ron Pine and Kevin Boyles, and Mechanics Bill Hamilton and Jim Brookshire.

Tags: LTI Inc., Lynden Air Cargo, Disaster Relief, Milky Way, Drivers, Truckload, Specialized, Community

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

Lynden companies team up to deliver emergency supplies for Anacortes water system

Posted on Tue, Aug 03, 2021

Lynden companies stepped up to help the City of Anacortes, WA when it experienced a shortage of chlorine for its regional water system. Despite a national shortage of sodium hypochlorite (chlorine), employees from Lynden Logistics Services, LTI, Inc. and Alaska Marine Lines worked together on a plan to deliver chlorine to the city as quickly as possible. Lynden Logistics Services moved 21 totes of chlorine product from Houston, and LTI, Inc., using Alaska Marine Lines' fiberglass-lined ISO tanks, delivered two loads from California to Anacortes. Thanks to these efforts and others, the treatment plant is now at full capacity and the regional water system is stable.

"The City of Anacortes is extremely thankful to Lynden as they assisted Marathon Refineries with the shortage of sodium hypochlorite," says Anacortes Mayor Laurie Gere. "This is an amazing community and the protection of the safe drinking water for our region was a priority for all. Again, the city has much appreciation and gratitude for the rapid and generous response."

Anacortes water system unloading chlorine2

Lynden has been a transportation partner to the Anacortes refinery for more than 20 years. "Our refinery team members have great relationships with a number of suppliers and contractors such as Univar and Lynden Logistics Services who were able to quickly respond to the supply shortage," says James Tangaro, Manager of the Marathon Anacortes Refinery. Pictured to the right is LTI, Inc. Driver Glenn Manning (top) and Mechanic Tyler Manke unloading a tank of chlorine.

Anacortes water system unloading chlorine

"It's a great feeling to know that our assistance averted what could have been a very serious situation for the community drinking water supply," says Lynden Logistics Logistics Services Manager Becky MacDonald. "It was a great team effort by all three companies with assistance from Lynden Safety Director Jim Maltby on the bulk loads, Al Hartgraves, Anthony Knapp and the LTI, Inc. crew providing the drivers and quick response, and Alaska Marine Lines providing the tanks."

Tara Havard, of the Marathon Anacortes Refinery, expressed her appreciation for Becky's quick response. "Through Becky's efforts, not only were we able to keep the refinery situation under control, we were also able to support the City of Anacortes during this crisis. Not to mention the creative brainstorming with Alaska Marine Lines to use the ISO tanks to fill bulk loads out of Univar in California."

Tara also noted her relationship with Lynden is deeply rooted to her days growing up in Valdez, AK where she observed her grandfather, Mac McElrath, navigate logistical and supply chain issues on a daily basis while working for the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. Mac worked closely with Harmon Hall, the father of Knik President Dan Hall. "That was the best training a kid from Alaska could have in creative problem solving, the power of relationships and taking care of your community," she says.

Tags: LTI Inc., Lynden Logistics, Community, AML

LTI, Inc. moves from Bonanza to Klamath Falls

Posted on Tue, Mar 16, 2021

LTI, Inc. Klamath Falls locationFor the past 15 years, LTI, Inc. drivers would head out to local dairies in Bonanza, OR to pick up milk for their customer. But the arrangement changed last year which allowed drivers to take on other projects and serve new customers. LTI, Inc. Vice President of Operations Chae Matta and Regional Manager Greg Tolle immediately started looking for options for the 24-man crew to continue working in the area.

"Unfortunately, our office and yard in Bonanza were more than 50 miles out of route for Lynden's California work, so we found a new 3.5-acre location just south of downtown Klamath Falls," explains Operations Manager John Bailey. "The new location on Highway 97 puts us right in line with the current routes, so it offers new opportunities for the Klamath Falls team."

By late fall, the mobile office, a shed, carport and other equipment were moved from Bonanza to the new space. "It was an all-day process to get everything set in place so we could resume business as usual," says John, "I really appreciate Chae and Greg creating this new opportunity for our team. I see nothing but growth in the future." Employees that came in on a day off to help included Brent Hadwick, Clint Shultz, Hank Walling, Joe Hicks, Sutherlin Driver Supervisor Patrick Murphy and McMinnville Mechanic Terry McCord.

Tags: LTI Inc., Drivers, Bulk, Truckload

LTI, Inc. hauls world-famous Woodinville Whiskey

Posted on Wed, Feb 10, 2021

LTI, Inc. equipmentAdd award-winning whiskey to the long list of LTI, Inc.'s food-grade hauls. Woodinville Whiskey Co. recently called upon Lynden to haul its premium 140-proof whiskey from Woodinville, WA to its aging and bottling facility in Quincy, WA. LTI, Inc. drivers are also picking up the mash byproduct from the whiskey distilling process and delivering to a farm near Monroe, WA.

Because the whiskey is flammable, it qualifies as a hazmat, food-grade load which is one of LTI, Inc.'s specialties. "The project really is a good fit for our strengths as a carrier," says Business Development Manager Al Hartgraves. Al says the new project came about through company teamwork. While LTI, Inc. Driver Cesar Cortez was delivering a load to one of the wineries next door to Woodinville Whiskey, he was approached by one of the owners. He asked Cesar if LTI, Inc. could provide the same pickup and delivery service for his company to Eastern Washington. Cesar passed along the request to dispatcher Eric Bordynoski who got in touch with Al and soon a contract was under way.

"LTI, Inc. has never hauled whiskey before so specific equipment needed to be sourced and drivers trained for this type of hazmat transport," Al says. The maintenance team of Dave Seaman and Jerry Crisp jumped into action to secure the highly specialized food-grade hazmat trailers, DOT 407s, needed for the project. Although the whiskey is picked up in Woodinville and delivered to Quincy, the run begins and ends at LTI, Inc.'s Sunnyside facility due to the wash facilities located there.

LTI, Inc. equipmentSunnyside Driver Brandon Weaver, pictured right, was the first driver to haul the whiskey this fall, and he says it is a nice change from his usual route. "It's a lot of responsibility, too, though. Hazmat loads require an endorsement and intense focus, so safety is always on my mind." Driver Ed Flores is also hauling whiskey for the project.

The second part of the project is hauling the spent mash, which is grain left over from the distillation process. A full load is picked up each day from the distillery and delivered to a farm facility near Monroe where it is used to produce electricity for Qualco Energy. "The whole process is full circle and something we have not been involved in before," Al says. "It's an exciting new project for us to fully support the efforts of Woodinville Whiskey, and we will be bringing on more qualified drivers with this type of hazmat endorsement early in the year."

The grain for the whiskey is grown in Quincy which is where the whiskey is returned to age five to seven years before bottling. Woodinville Whiskey's expansion has positioned them to produce over 250,000 cases per year.

Tags: LTI Inc., United States, Bulk, Hazmat, Truckload

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.

My Post - 2021-11-24T104012.541Mark 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 Services 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., Lynden Employees, AML