Life in Concord: The Land of Opportunity

The conclusion of Anvil’s Branch Highlight Series takes us to Concord, CA, where we’ve proudly operated for more than two decades.

Located in Northern California, Concord is nestled right outside of San Francisco – in the heart of California’s famous Bay Area. Only a thirty-minute-drive away from the big city, Concord is a suburban haven for those wanting the amenities of San Francisco without the hustle-and-bustle of urban living.

The conclusion of Anvil’s Branch Highlight Series takes us to Concord, CA, where we’ve proudly operated for more than two decades.

Located in Northern California, Concord is nestled right outside of San Francisco – in the heart of California’s famous Bay Area. Only a thirty-minute-drive away from the big city, Concord is a suburban haven for those wanting the amenities of San Francisco without the hustle-and-bustle of urban living.

Anvil’s own Carlos Hernandez hiking through Yosemite National Park.

Concord is also located conveniently near Oakland, Sacramento, and San Jose – all three cities can be visited within an hour from our office. Because of this, as is the case with many of California’s major cities, there’s always something to do in Concord.

“There’s a ton of hiking, lots of bands play in this area, and Napa is even nearby,” Carlos Hernandez, Process Engineer, says. “Yosemite National Park isn’t too far away either.”

Yosemite Valley is only three hours away from our office in Concord, CA. Photo courtesy of the NPS.

While Yosemite is obviously stunning, the San Francisco Bay Area is a sight to behold in itself. Our employees in Concord are treated to some of our country’s most beautiful locales each time they commute to work.

“We have an incredibly diverse environment in Concord,” Albert Chung, Process Engineer, admits.

Albert is right – Concord is known for the variety of outdoor pursuits on offer for the city’s inhabitants. While hiking, fishing, camping, and biking might be more popular with adults, ‘Camp Concord’ is a popular recreational destination for families of all sizes in the Bay Area.

“The weather in Concord is absolutely perfect,” Andy Tsung, Senior Project Manager, adds. “Compared to Southern California, the cooler weather in Northern California is where you want to be.”

A sunset in Concord. Photo courtesy of the Contra Costa Herald.

The Bay Area is constantly brimming with exciting activities, gorgeous surroundings, and most importantly, a culture that’s completely its own.

“There’s a lot of different, varied restaurants in Concord, but especially in San Francisco and Oakland,” Carlos says. “The cultural scene, in terms of museums and art shows, is vibrant. There’s also a ton of fun professional sports teams.”

As Carlos referenced, Concord has a strong connection to the fine arts. The city hosts an annual Jazz Festival, the B8 Theater Company, as well as the Solo Opera, to name a few of the interesting entertainment options available.

The suburbs of Concord offer a welcome escape from the city of San Francisco. As of 2022, Concord has a population of 126,708 people. Photo courtesy of the Contra Costa Herald.

The area also has a rich connection and history with the country of Mexico. The area was discovered and settled by Don Salvio Pacheco, a Californio ranchero. In 1834, Pacheco received a land grant for all of California’s Ygnacio Valley. He subsequently gave parcels of land to the residents of Todos Santos, the former Mexican town we now refer to by the name of Concord.

“I was ultimately drawn to Concord because it’s relatively close to home,” Carlos shares, referring to his family in Monterrey, Mexico.

Anvil is honored to have roots in the Golden State, an area which prides itself on the ambition of those who’ve come before us.

Life in Denver: Whatever You Want It to Be

Established in 2016 as our newest branch, Anvil is proud to operate out of Denver, Colorado. As a company of enthusiastic engineers, it’s an honor to contribute to the city’s rich history of manufacturing excellence.

“Living in Denver allows me to ride my bike to and from work and still have enough time to spend with my family in the evenings,” Jason Davis, Piping Engineer, says. “I can escape the city life over the weekend without spending countless hours in my car, leaving me more time to enjoy my getaway.”

Engineer Pass, a historic road which takes drivers through the San Juan Mountains. Photo courtesy of Jason Davis.

Established in 2016 as our newest branch, Anvil is proud to operate out of Denver, Colorado.

“Living in Denver allows me to ride my bike to and from work and still have enough time to spend with my family in the evenings,” Jason Davis, Piping Designer, says. “I can escape the city life over the weekend without spending countless hours in my car, leaving me more time to enjoy my getaway.”

Having grown up near the area, Jason and his family have come to love the variety of sporting options in Denver.

“During an average week, I have the freedom to play sand volleyball one day, ice hockey the next day, and golf the day after that,” Jason says. “If you’re more of a sports fan, Colorado has just about every professional sport you can think of.”

Denver, and by extension Colorado, harbor strong cultural ideals; the area is home to an exciting list of engaging activities.

“Red Rocks Amphitheater is just minutes from our office,” Jason explains. “Concerts at Red Rocks cannot be beat – you have not lived until you’ve seen your favorite band play at Red Rocks. Downtown Denver also offers its own medley of breweries and fine dining. There are options for every taste.”

Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Photo courtesy of the venue.

Denver is also home to the Denver Art Museum, the American Mountaineering Museum, the Colorado Railroad Museum, and many more interesting spots to spend a rainy afternoon. However, when it comes to true recreational entertainment, the very best of Colorado lies just outside the city limits.

“Most people in Denver only live within an hour’s drive of world class skiing and snowboarding,” Jason shares. “Some of the ski-resorts even open to mountain bikes during the offseason, allowing people to ride a lift to the top of the mountain and bike down. If you enjoy riding in the mountains, there are more trails than you could ever ride in one lifetime. For campers such as myself, there are an endless number of camping spots with amazing views, not to mention countless hiking trails, that will all take your breath away.”

“The outdoor activities in Denver are unmatched,” Marco Scofidio, Senior Structural Engineer, confirms. “Hiking, fishing, camping, the scenic mountains – it’s all great.”

Colorado is one of the country’s most popular fishing destinations. Photo courtesy of Ken Swalley.

Cradled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is naturally stunning.

“The Denver office looks out on mountains to the west and over the city to the east,” Jason explains. “I typically go for a walk during lunch to enjoy the view from the top of a nearby park. Sunrise from the office is not to be missed.”

“Denver offers something for everyone,” Jason adds. “Whether you prefer hanging out in the city, going to dance clubs, dining at fantastic restaurants, or if you prefer to camp in beautiful locations far away from the hustle and bustle and cook a hearty meal over a campfire – you will always have something to do.”

The city of Denver has a population of over 738,000 people. Photo courtesy of The Denver Post.

Ken Swalley, Denver’s Branch Manager, concurs.

“In my spare time, you’ll often catch me rafting, hiking, or biking,” Ken says. “I love living here.”

Life in Billings: The Great Outdoors

One of the important aspects of life at Anvil has always been the natural beauty of where we work. Our five branch locations, which are strategically placed across some of our country’s most scenic regions, often play a major part in how our employees enjoy their life away from work.

From fly fishing to snowmobiling, perhaps none of Anvil’s branch locations encapsulate the spirit of the outdoors more than our branch in Billings, MT. Located in the south-central portion of the state, the metropolis sits at the seat of Yellowstone County – cradled between seven different mountain ranges.

One of the important aspects of life at Anvil has always been the natural beauty of where we work. Our five branch locations, which are strategically placed across some of our country’s most scenic regions, often play a major part in how our employees enjoy their life away from work.

From fly fishing to snowmobiling, perhaps none of Anvil’s branch locations encapsulate the spirit of the outdoors more than our branch in Billings, MT. Located in the south-central portion of the state, the metropolis sits at the seat of Yellowstone County – cradled between seven different mountain ranges.

Rhonda Laughman and family in the mountains of Montana.

“The winter sports are great in Billings, with a lot of snow,” Brandon Crane, Control Systems Engineer, says. “We’re about an hour from the Beartooth Mountains, which obviously provides us with tons of opportunities to hike, camp, snowmobile, and fish.”

The Beartooth Mountains infamously feature Granite Peak – the highest point in all of Montana.

“Billings is a great hub for all the outdoor adventures Montana has to offer,” Rhonda Laughman, Anvil’s Project Management Department Manager, affirms. “We camp, mountain bike, hike, run, fish, play golf, ski, water-ski … it’s so much fun.”

Camping in the Beartooth Mountains. Photo courtesy of Troy Hand.

Whether you’re enjoying a hobby or exercising your body – if you enjoy the outdoors, you’ll struggle to find a city with more options than Billings.

“The sheer number of outdoor activities just outside my door helps support my work/life balance,” Toby Erickson, Senior Project Manager, shares. “My favorite thing about living in the area has to be riding my motorcycle through the mountains.”

Toby Erickson’s motorcycle photographed at Beartooth Pass.

While Billings sits very much in the shadows of the mountains which surround it, Montana is home to a wide range of natural environments.

“I enjoy digging for fossils,” Troy Hand, Civil Structural Designer, reveals. “In Billings, you’re only a couple hours drive from a variety of regions with differing and interesting geological features and petroglyphs.”

“There’s a lot to love about life in Billings,” Bridger Flynn, Civil/Structural Engineer, affirms. “Hiking in the Beartooth Mountains, fishing on the Bighorn River, the long summer days, and winters spent in Red Lodge.”

The great outdoors are fundamental to the lives of our employees in Billings. However, despite its reputation as an alfresco haven, Billings is also Montana’s largest city.

“Billings is the local epicenter of our area – everyone around us comes ‘into the city’ for our shops, districts, clubs, bars, and to just have fun,” Devon McHugh, Civil Structural Designer, shares. “However, since Billings isn’t this huge metropolis, it often still feels like a small town.”

As of 2022, Billings has a population of just over 117,000 people – the second smallest of all our branch cities.

Brandon Crane snaps a selfie while riding dirt bikes with his son.

“It’s big enough to have all the amenities I want while staying small enough to support a reasonable commute,” Bridger Flynn affirms.

“Nothing is too far from the office,” Devon McHugh adds.

Despite its comfortable size, Montana boasts an exciting collection of restaurants, museums, art galleries, and more.

“I love trying out the different breweries in town and around Montana,” Rhonda Laughman shares. “Billings has some great local eateries and bakeries. My favorites are Le Fournil and Veronika’s.”

“The downtown location offers a lot of choices to go out and eat after work,” Greg Nelson, a Senior Civil Structural Designer, agrees.

In addition to great eats, Montana is also home to the Yellowstone Art Museum, the Billings Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Museum of Women’s History.

“It feels much more like home than other office locations,” Brandon Crane shares.

Like many of Anvil’s branch locations, Billings has the potential to be whatever you want it to be – with the spirit of the outdoors at the heart of everything.

Life in Anchorage: Alaska’s Spirit of Adventure

Anvil is proud to offer business out of Anchorage, AK. Established in 1984, Anvil’s presence in Anchorage helps our company target projects that would otherwise be impossible. “I love how close we are to so many great hiking and skiing locations in Anchorage,” Alissa Engelby, Civil/Structural Engineer and Workgroup Lead, says. “Some of my favorite things about living in Alaska would have to be all of the great outdoor activities – hiking, fishing, camping.”

Photo courtesy of Alissa Engelby.

Anvil is proud to offer business out of Anchorage, AK. Established in 1984, Anvil’s presence in Anchorage helps our company target projects that would otherwise be impossible.

As the company’s first expansion beyond its headquarters in Bellingham, ‘Alaska Anvil’ operated as a subsidiary of Anvil for nearly thirty years – before merging with Doyon Emerald in 2013 to ultimately become Doyon Anvil, a joint venture company, expanding our reach into Alaska even further.

For over 35 years, Anvil’s team in Anchorage has participated in an extensive list of interesting projects. However – while innovative efforts on pipelines, drill sites, and oil refineries across the state ensures work always stays exciting – it’s the balance between work and play that makes life in Alaska so desirable.

Skiing is one of Anchorage’s biggest pastimes. Photo courtesy of Kelvin Simonson.

“Anvil’s Hybrid Office Work (HOW) Program has been incredible in Anchorage,” Kari MacDonald, Project Manager, says. “I’m often able to get out for a quick ski or bike during lunch, so my outdoor time has definitely increased a lot since 2020.”

Harboring the Gulf of Alaska, Anchorage sits comfortably between the arctic waters of the Cook Inlet and the steep slopes of the Chugach Mountain Range. These mountains – named after the Native Pacific Eskimos who once inhabited the same land as the people of Anchorage – receive more snowfall than any other location on the planet.

“I love how close we are to so many great hiking and skiing locations in Anchorage,” Alissa Engelby, Civil/Structural Engineer and Workgroup Lead, says. “Some of my favorite things about living in Alaska would have to be all of the great outdoor activities – hiking, fishing, camping.”

“There is some of the world’s best fishing in Alaska,” Kari MacDonald affirms. “We get salmon, shrimp, and, of course, halibut.”

Alaska is one of the most coveted fishing locations in the entire world. Photo courtesy of Kari Macdonald.

“We’re blessed with four incredible seasons in Alaska,” Kelvin Simonson, Electrical Engineer, says. “Crisp, cold, and clear weather in the winter, followed by a quick spring and long summer days. Fall might be my favorite though because the colors are awesome in the mountains, and it’s the season for berry-picking, fishing, and hunting.”

While life at Doyon Anvil obviously revolves around Alaska’s legendary frontier, both in the personal lives of our employees and the professional projects they pursue, Anchorage is still the urban center of Alaska and the state’s largest city.

Anchorage has a population of over 291,000 people. Photo courtesy of Anchorage Daily News.

When you fully account for all of Anchorage’s unique cultural offerings – Alaska Native Heritage Center, Anchorage Museum, Alaska Aviation Museum, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra and Opera, International Gallery of Contemporary Art, and a plethora of exciting restaurants and breweries – it’s easy to see why there’s so much more to life in Alaska than just the outdoors.

A life spent in Alaska is one fueled by the thrill of discovery.  Anchorage is a place to explore the beauty of our planet and the future of renewable energy.

Life in Bellingham: The Perfect Juxtaposition

Anvil’s headquarters are in Bellingham, WA – the final major city before Washington’s border with Canada. Cradled between the shores of the Pacific Ocean and the slopes of Mount Baker, Bellingham is poised in the heart of the Pacific Northwest and is home to some of the area’s most exciting businesses and universities.

Mount Baker. Photo taken by Bret Macaleer.

Anvil has five full-service engineering, procurement, and project management branch locations. Set across five different states, with employees working on-site at client facilities as well, we’re proud to operate out of Anchorage, AK, Bellingham, WA, Billings, MT, Concord, CA, and Denver, CO. As “One Anvil” we operate as one seamless organization, sharing resources as required to execute programs and projects across the country for consistent engineering services – regardless of location.

While our branches were strategically placed near major clients and cities, they were chosen for a far more important reason: the work-life balance they provide our employees and the abundance of nature and activities they offer.

Anvil’s headquarters are in Bellingham, WA – the final major city before Washington’s border with Canada. Cradled between the shores of the Pacific Ocean and the slopes of Mount Baker, Bellingham is poised in the heart of the Pacific Northwest and is home to some of the area’s most exciting businesses and universities.

As one of our planet’s most beautiful locations, there’s always something to see in Bellingham. Whether it’s a hike through Whatcom Falls – a set of wooded trails woven through a series of small waterfalls – or even a trip down Chuckanut – a beautiful, twisting drive along the cliffsides of the Salish Sea – the city offers an incredible selection of breathtaking views.

“My favorite thing about living in the Bellingham area has to be our accessibility to the mountains – my family hikes, backpacks, skis, and climbs near Mt. Baker,” Michelle Hawkins, Anvil’s HR Manager, says. “I’m also a big fan of exploring tidepools. During low tide, the sea animal diversity is incredible.”

Bellingham is home to a variety of rare wildlife – including these underwater creatures photographed by Anvil’s own Michelle Hawkins.

“Living in Washington, you really can be outside, pretty much all year-round. Although we do get a handful of hot days in the summer and cold days in the winter, it’s nothing compared to other areas of the country,” Michelle continues. “I also enjoy landscape photography, and nothing beats a Mt. Baker sunrise or a Mt. Shuksan sunset.”

Featuring its own unique collection of mountains, ridges and foothills, Bellingham is practically surrounded by highlands; with Mt. Baker to the East, Chuckanut Mountain and Oyster Dome to the South, along with the best of what Canada has to offer (Whistler, anyone?) to our North, fans of winter sports are truly spoiled in Bellingham.

“Skiing at Whistler, Baker, Mission Ridge, Snoqualmie, Crystal, and Stevens Pass – there’s just so much to do in the winter,” Ben Taylor, Anvil’s Control Systems Resource Manager, says. “Growing up I dreamed of skiing at Whistler, and now I do. The North Cascades have the most remaining glaciers of any state in the Lower 48, and the mountains here are just spectacular.”

Bellingham’s Mt. Shuksan photographed at sunset by Michelle Hawkins. Bellingham is home to a handful of mountains, ridges, and foothills.

“Throw in the occasional trip to Seattle for a Seahawks or Sounders game,” Ben continues, “and it really is a pretty great place to live – we have such amazing access to so many activities.”

As Ben alludes, if the traditional outdoors isn’t really your thing, don’t worry – Bellingham is uniquely positioned between two of North America’s most exciting cities: Seattle, WA and Vancouver, B.C.

“We’re blessed with a high quality of cultural offerings right here in Bellingham, but we also have Vancouver and Seattle nearby too,” Lesley, Senior Process Engineer, affirms.

With Bellingham situated about two hours between both cities, a weekend spent in Seattle or Vancouver is a great escape for anyone wanting to spend some time away from home, do some shopping, or even catch a concert. However, despite the luxury of lying between these two major metropolises, Bellingham is very much its own city.

The City of Bellingham – as of 2022, Bellingham is estimated to have a population of over 92,000. Photo courtesy of the Bellingham Herald.

“Bellingham has its own art museum, the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, the Bellingham Music Festival, an Art Walk every month, Month Baker Theater, the Pickford Film Center, and so much more,” Lesley lists.

A haven for students – Bellingham is home to Western Washington University, Whatcom Community College, and Bellingham Technical College – the city often pushes cultural boundaries and is home to a plethora of exciting restaurants and breweries.

“I believe Bellingham was voted to have the most breweries per capita of all local cities,” Danny Kaiser, Senior Piping Designer, says. “In my opinion, Bellingham is the perfect size for a city. It’s comfortable, small, but there’s always something to do. I’m also a member of the Bellingham Golf and Country Club, which is only five minutes away from Anvil’s campus!”

Even with a youthful identity, Bellingham has become an increasingly popular destination for families to settle down in recent years.

A busy downtown Bellingham. Photo courtesy of the City of Bellingham.

“Bellingham’s safe, has good schools, and provides children with plenty of room to grow and live,” Paul Duersch, Project Manager, says. “It’s a fantastic place to start a family.”

“My wife and I were drawn to Bellingham because we thought it would be a great place to raise our kids,” Jim Holien, Anvil’s Bellingham Branch Manager, confirms. “We’ve loved our time here and the longstanding family traditions we’ve developed.”

No matter how you like to unwind, you can do it in Bellingham.

“It’s a nice place to be weird,” Bret Macaleer, Civil/Structural Workgroup Lead, lovingly jokes.

Adoringly nicknamed the ‘City of Subdued Excitement,’ Bellingham has the potential to be just about whatever you want it to be; a progressive city, an outdoor haven ,or even a quiet town to raise a family – Bellingham will welcome you with open arms.

“Bellingham is the perfect juxtaposition between the hustle-and-bustle of city life and the serenity of the great outdoors,” James Song, Process Engineer, sums up.