Dennis McGrew – Forty Years of Mentorship

Dennis McGrew

When Dennis McGrew joined Anvil forty years ago, things looked a bit different. Dennis joined Anvil in February of 1983, only twelve years after the company was founded.

“It was really small at the time,” Dennis shares, “I’m talking like forty people. Everyone could fit in one room.” 

In 1985, Dennis was asked to lead the newly opened branch office in Anchorage, AK. This was Anvil’s first expansion outside of Washington State.

After establishing a strong presence in Alaska, Dennis returned to the Bellingham branch and became the manager of the Mechanical Engineering Department in 1991.

Dennis also served as a senior vice-president of Anvil during this time, a role he served for several years. In 2001, Dennis assisted with the opening of our office in Concord, further developing Anvil’s business in California. For a brief period in the years that followed, Dennis was also the CEO of Hipp-Anvil in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Anvil Founder Larry Levorsen

“Since day one, Anvil’s been a fantastic place to work,” Dennis says. “Everyone is enthusiastic to come to work.” 

Dennis was hired by Larry Levorsen, a friend of his father-in-law. During his time at Western Washington University, Dennis would often spend summers fishing with Larry and his family.

“Our founders, Larry Levorsen and Ron Vekved, were two men I admired,” Dennis shares. “They really set us up to succeed by establishing our employee-owned status. It sets us apart from any engineering company I’ve ever seen.” 

As further branch locations have opened and the world around our organization has changed, Dennis lauds the consistency of his work over the last four decades. 

“As we opened our office in Anchorage, and then eventually in Concord, and so on – it was unique in that our culture really didn’t change,” Dennis says. “We still worked as a team in every office, just as we do today. Even when COVID-19 occurred and we were forced to work at home, it didn’t really change a whole lot for us.” 

Within Dennis’ team of mechanical engineers, he’s created a strong culture of collaboration. 

“Our teamwork is what sets us apart,” Dennis says. “We’re extremely stable. There are no rivalries between offices – we are just one. I genuinely enjoy coming to work every day.” 

Since 2010, Dennis has taught a pressure-vessel course to the next generation of mechanical engineers, instructing three graduates about every two years. 

“It’s one of the most important things we can do,” he says. 

One of Dennis’ current pupils is Josh Seig, a Jr. Mechanical Engineer who joined Anvil in 2021. Josh can often be found at his Dennis’ desk, engaged in conversation.

“I have spent much of my time at Anvil under Dennis’ mentorship,” Josh shares.

“He has helped me to become a better engineer by sharing his knowledge of industry, codes, and mechanical systems.”

Josh is also a graduate of Dennis’ pressure-vessel course. 

Josh Seig and Dennis McGrew

“Dennis is always willing to field tough technical questions and provide guidance, while also allowing me to work independently and grow as a new engineer,” Josh says. “More importantly, Dennis is a pleasure to work with. He is a great mentor – I have learned a lot from Dennis, and I am glad to have the opportunity to work with him.” 

Thank you, Dennis, for an invaluable forty years – here’s to many more! 

Anvil Announces Safety Milestone – 10 Million Hours of No Lost Time

At Anvil Corporation, safety is no accident, and we are excited to announce the amazing milestone of 10 million man hours without a lost time injury. “This accomplishment is a reflection of the commitment every employee at Anvil takes daily,” says Eric Peterson, Anvil’s Safety Manager.

Anvil established the Why We Work Safely campaign this July to focus on the core reasons we want every employee to go home safely every day. Employees were asked to share photos of their families, furry friends and favorite things to showcase why they each choose to work safely.

“As a father myself,” Eric states, “my family motivates me to work safely as they depend on me to come home in one piece every day. I know each Anvil employee has their own motivation for practicing safe working habits on and off location, so this campaign was a great opportunity for them to reflect on our safety practices while showing off photos of beautiful families, pets and memories.”

Employees submitted great photos, which will be displayed on a banner for all to enjoy at the Bellingham campus, all while engaging in a wonderful discussion and refresh on our safety standards.

10 million hours represents thousands of projects, employee time and more over the past 12 years. Here are some interesting stats of this time:

  • Over 1 million hours were worked onsite at client facilities
  • Employees have completed 7,312 hours of OSCA Safety Training
  • Employees have completed 30,621 internal Anvil Safety training modules
  • The Anvil Safety Committee logged 2,527 hours reviewing incidents, auditing Anvil facilities and reviewing Anvil safety programs
  • Anvil has spent over $50,000 in proactive safety measures and reimbursed over $80,000 in PPE equipment

Thank you to all Anvil employees for committing to our high safety standard. Here’s to 10 million more hours!