Owen Olsen Interview

FORMER ACCOUNTANT & FIRST OUTSIDE BOARD MEMBER
1971-2019

OWEN OLSEN
Former Accountant & First Outside Board Member
1971-2019

When did you get started with Anvil and what was your role? What was it like back then?

I’m a Certified Public Accountant and was here when Anvil first started. I didn’t work for Anvil but was an independent Certified Public Account and helped Anvil with their financial statements. I was also the first non-employee (outside) Anvil Board Member. Even after I retired, I was still doing work for Anvil until 2019.

In the beginning, there were only three people at the company. One of the first office locations we had was a little store out on Main Street in Ferndale, WA, but soon we had to move into houses behind us to accommodate the staff because we grew and grew.

What do you think helped shape Anvil’s growth?

A very strict discipline by Larry Levorsen. One thing about Larry was he knew he had to sometimes make tough decisions and he made them. The thing he stressed was for our engineers to get to personally know the companies and the people who we were working for. It certainly paid off because many contracts we got were because our staff personally knew some of the people within the particular company. Getting to know the people at the companies we worked for was a very important part of the growth of Anvil. And, we still work for some of those people today.

Also, I would say referrals. Larry had a very good reputation in the oil industry which was important.

What do you think sets us apart from other companies?

Larry hired good people. That was his thing. Sometimes mistakes were made, but Anvil’s reputation was that they had very good and capable engineers and you could rely on them. I think that’s what built the company.

What was Anvil’s culture like?

I really think it’s the type of people Larry selected. That’s the culture at Anvil. He wanted very dependable people because he couldn’t let somebody down. You better not let people down because you may not get another contract.

What else stands out for you about the last 50 years?

Larry was the focal point and everybody respected him because he had proof that he produced. I think people looked up to him. He was the leader of the organization. He was a strong leader. I think that pretty well says why Anvil is like it is. He was very, very adamant about people getting to know people and having a good relationship with people and the companies we dealt with. It was a very high priority for Larry.

What is one word to describe Anvil?

Strong. Strong like an anvil. I think the name is very appropriate.