NEWS

Celebrating Veteran’s Day at Anvil

In preparation for Veteran’s Day, we interviewed a handful of veterans throughout our company. By learning more about their experiences in the service and the military, we hoped to better understand the unique value they each bring to Anvil, as well as highlight their individual careers.

Conversations with Anvil’s Veterans

For over fifty years, Anvil has proudly opened its doors to our nation’s veterans.

Whether it’s Ken Swalley, Anvil’s Lakewood Branch Manager and a Navy veteran, or Alex Bresnan, a Junior Electrical Engineer who is still actively serving his enlistment in the Navy Reserves, Anvil is proud to offer our nation’s veterans the professional opportunities they deserve, at every level of our organization.

With locations, clients, and projects all over the nation, it’s a special honor whenever Anvil can be represented by those who have made the personal sacrifice of serving our country.

In preparation for Veteran’s Day, we interviewed a handful of veterans throughout our company. By learning more about their experiences in the service and the military, we hoped to better understand the unique value they each bring to Anvil, as well as highlight their individual careers.

With a variety of backgrounds and military experiences, Anvil’s veterans can offer unique perspectives on every project they participate in.

Kevin Gaskin with his daughter

For many of Anvil’s veteran employees, the chance to serve our country opened doors to a variety of professional and educational opportunities.

“It’s something I always knew I wanted to do,” Kevin Gaskin, Mechanical Engineer, says. “My service allowed me to visit countries and participate in cultures I would have otherwise never experienced.”

In the U.S. Marine Corps, Kevin served as a Rifleman for six years. He’s now been with Anvil for almost four.

“What was my call to serve? That’s a good question,” Aaron Voth, Electrical Engineer, says. “I think my answer is multifaceted. A big reason is I’ve always just thought very highly of veterans. I wanted to be appreciative of the freedoms we currently have because of the work put in from previous generations or generations currently serving.”

Aaron served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years as an Assistant Operations Chief before eventually becoming a Corporal. In the Marines, Aaron was often tasked with designing, developing, and establishing power grids, ultimately enabling the operations of locally deployed troops. He’s taken these professional experiences with him into his career at Anvil, where he’s now worked as an Electrical Engineer for three years.

A photo of Aaron Voth during his time in the service

Despite the professional experience the military offers, Anvil’s veterans also knew enlisting meant a chance to see the world.

“After my training, I went to the USS Abraham Lincoln, an aircraft carrier, for five years. On the Lincoln, I travelled all over the world – we literally circumnavigated the globe,” Alex Bresnan, Electrical Engineer, says. “There were deployments all through Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and so on and so forth. Turkey was probably one of the most beautiful countries we visited – I have great memories swimming in the Indian Ocean and having barbecues on the flight deck.”

Alex, who is still actively enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserves, started with Anvil this year. In the Navy, many of Alex’s responsibilities revolve around electrical maintenance of Naval equipment, particularly submarines.

“I think a favorite place I visited must be Singapore. It’s a tropical island city – they really took advantage of the Olympic Games to rework their entire infrastructure,” Alan Clemenson, Electrical Engineer, says. “It’s the cleanest city I’ve ever been to in my entire life.”

Alan, who also joined Anvil in the past year, served as an Electrical Technician in the U.S. Navy for nearly seven years. In a similar sense to Alex, Alan served many purposes within the Navy – most notably, he serviced the USS Pickney, maintaining its surface-to-air missile guidance system.

“I was mainly stationed overseas in Gaeta, Italy. We visited over twenty different countries and basically serviced communications in the Mediterranean Sea, the North Sea, and the Black Sea,” Matthew Kelley, Electrical Engineer, says. “I was later stationed in Bangor, where I would do message traffic for all submarines in the Pacific Theater.”

Matthew, who joined the Navy over a decade ago, has been with Anvil for a few years now. In the Navy, in addition to servicing communications, Matthew was mostly tasked with maintaining radios, computer systems, and radars.

Matthew Kelley with his wife

When Anvil’s veterans look back at their time in service, many draw memories from experiences as individualized and unique as their travels.

“We’ve had really cool things happen,” Alex shares. “We’ve had Toby Keith come out and put on a concert in the hangar bay, UFC Fighters came out and did a demo, even the cook from MasterChef came and cooked steaks for us on the flight deck. But, you know, there’s also the operational side of things – there’s nothing like seeing planes launching off the flight deck doing high speed maneuvers. There’s an adrenaline to all of it.”

“One of my favorite memories involves the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics – when we were stationed in Russia, we were actually able to see the fireworks from the Opening Ceremony on our ship,” Matthew shares. “I’ll never forget that.”

“My wife is from Turkey – I actually met her while I was in the service,” Josh Goertz, Control Systems Engineer, says. “We have two kids together – my first was actually born while I was stationed at Fort Lewis.”

Josh, who fulfilled multiple responsibilities during his enlistment in the U.S. Army, was mainly stationed in Iraq. Together with local engineers, Josh worked to help rebuild villages and infrastructure that had been damaged by local warfare. In 2015, Josh was granted an internship at Anvil before being brought on fulltime.

Alex Bresnan in uniform

In addition to a wife and family, Josh’s service in the U.S. Army ultimately sparked a career in engineering.

“My service was probably the kicker to my career in engineering. One of our big things, because we were working with host nations so much – infrastructure is just key to building any country,” Josh said. “We always had a hard time getting the right people to look at stuff. We were constantly working with engineers to help rebuild the infrastructure in the province.”

As was the case with Josh, many of Anvil’s veterans became interested in our shared industry because of their enlistment and the responsibilities it came with. In fact, most veterans we spoke with cited an easy transition between their service and becoming an engineer.

“You know, one of the things the Navy does well is take someone young and just force them to work with the expensive equipment,” Alan says. “You get your hands in the gears, and once you get used to it, the level of anxiety goes away, and you just start to understand how things work. I was able to transfer this experience when I started school – I was able to jump into our various labs and show my classmates that nothing was as hard as it looked.”

Despite the impressive level of technical experience, there were also lessons to be learned in the service beyond the realms of engineering.

“In terms of experience, it was always my failures I learned most from,” Aaron shares. “Both in the actual field of work I was doing, but also in terms of learning how to be a leader. As a Corporal, I was placed in a lot of leadership roles – it was important to not only work together with my team but also to be willing to lead by example.”

Alan Clemenson during his time in the service

While the service undoubtedly prepared many of Anvil’s veterans for a career after their enlistment, it’s now Anvil’s responsibility to help support their lives at home.

“There was actually a small group of us that would go out every Veteran’s Day and hash it out,” Josh laughs. “You know, Anvil is just a good company. Nobody treats you differently – if I ever need help lifting anything physically, because I’m a bit limited in my arm, no one ever gets on my case. You are who you are, and you do whatever you can – nobody looks down on you for it.”

“I’ve been treated with nothing but kindness during my time at Anvil – it’s a great place to work while raising a family,” Kevin adds.

Even for Alex, who is still actively fulfilling his service with the U.S. Navy Reserves – Anvil ensures Alex can balance all his responsibilities.

“It’s definitely difficult – I’ll work a 40-hour week and then on weekends, I’m either going out of the state or sometimes out of the country,” Alex says. “I have to say though, so far, Anvil has been very receptive to my other responsibilities. I just try to be as transparent as I can be.”

As Anvil takes the time to celebrate Veteran’s Day this year, we found it important to reflect on the meaning of the holiday.

“Veteran’s Day isn’t just for remembering the ones that have died – it’s also for honoring those that are still alive,” Matthew says.

“You know, my great grandfather fought in World War ll,” Alan shares. “With opportunities like these, I like to think back to what he might have experienced, and what he ultimately sacrificed. Veteran’s Day is an opportunity to think about those who came before us. It’s important to remember their sacrifices.”

“It’s a comprehensive appreciation of all the men and women that have served or are currently serving our country,” Aaron says. “I also think it drives home a genuine gratitude for just all the blessings we have in the country.”

Anvil wants to thank our company’s veterans, as well as those throughout our nation who have served or are currently serving – thank you for protecting our country’s freedom. We stand on the back of your sacrifices.

Anvil Attends bp Cherry Point’s Annual Safety Fair

On Thursday, September 8th, Anvil attended bp Cherry Point’s annual Safety Fair at their refinery in Blaine, WA. Our team – together with about two dozen other local engineering and construction businesses – showcased their contributions in ensuring the overall safety of our shared industry.

On Thursday, September 8th, Anvil attended bp Cherry Point’s annual Safety Fair at their refinery in Blaine, WA. Our team – together with about two dozen other local engineering and construction businesses – showcased their contributions in ensuring the overall safety of our shared industry.

Anvil’s booth at the Safety Fair.

Anvil was represented by Jim Holien, Kyle Brooks, Austin Brooks, Jen Desrochers, Eric Peterson, and Tom Butenschoen.

Guests visiting Anvil’s tent were treated with presentations of our 3D modeling and laser scanning technology.

Designed to digitally map out our clients’ facilities, a set of cameras and lasers are operated to scan the complex and crowded machinery of the refineries we work in. Present in each of our resource disciplines, this method often allows members of our team to accurately tour refineries without even having to step a foot inside one.

This practice also allows our team to design projects in the most cost effective, efficient, accurate, and – most importantly – safe manner possible.

“Using laser scanning and 3D modeling improves safety and efficiency for all stages of an Anvil project, which leads to safer designs for our clients,” Eric says. “Laser scans reduce the number of field walks required for Anvil employees while improving the accuracy of our designs. 3D model reviews allow for input from the client and constructors, resulting in safer designs and construction of projects.”

“We scan practically everything before most projects,” Austin says. “We put it all together back at the office.”

According to Austin, small projects sometimes only take a day to complete while larger projects can take weeks. Anvil is often tasked with providing 3D models for new refinery units – even for those we’re not involved with on the engineering side of things.

A 3D model of an Anvil project created through laser scanning.

“This type of technology was revolutionary to the work we do at Anvil,” Austin says. “I don’t think we could ever go back to the way things were done before.”

As the team wrapped up for the day, Jim Holien, Bellingham Branch Manager, remarked on the importance of the Safety Fair.

“It’s great that bp does this every year – it’s a fantastic way to bring local members of our industry together,” Jim says.

Anvil wants to thank bp Cherry Point for continuing to hold their annual Safety Fair – our team will gratefully take any opportunity to celebrate the various professionals who help keep our industry safe.

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.

​​​​​​​Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day

​​​​​​​Anvil is constantly evolving. Whether it’s expanding the scope of our projects through technological innovation or even improving the level of benefits we’re able to offer our employees, Anvil has always known that engineering and progress go hand in hand. With this belief in mind, it’s no secret that our industry, and company, have undergone many changes over the years.

​​​​​​​A Series of Interviews with the Women of Anvil

Anvil is constantly evolving. Whether it’s expanding the scope of our projects through technological innovation or even improving the level of benefits we’re able to offer our employees, Anvil has always known that engineering and progress go hand in hand. With this belief in mind, it’s no secret that our industry, and company, have undergone many changes over the years.

Alissa Engelby, a Lead Structural Engineer out of our Anchorage branch, has witnessed some of these changes first-hand.

“When I first started in engineering, I was usually the only woman in the room or even within a company,” Engelby said.

Alissa Engelby

An engineer for over twenty years, Engelby was forced to endure discrimination early on in her career before making her way to Alaska and Anvil.

“At my first job, my boss got a few phone calls that some clients didn’t want to work with me,” she shares. “He told them to give me two weeks, and to come back to him if there were any issues. I worked very hard to make sure there were no issues.”

Despite the adversity she’s faced, Engelby has enjoyed a successful career in our industry, and is hopeful for the next generation of female engineers.

“Have confidence in yourself,” she tells them, “and if you have a strong work ethic, you’ll succeed. When I first started, there was always the assumption that I didn’t know what I was talking about. I think the opposite is now true.”

Cynthia Greene, a Project Controls Lead in Billings, holds similar sentiments.

“The message that is given to women early on in education has changed,” Greene said. “Working together we can accomplish amazing things.”

Greene, who’s been with Anvil for nearly twenty years, has grown to appreciate the value of working on a unified and diverse team.

“At Anvil, we work for each other, and each person’s individual success elevates us all,” she said.

Cindy Greene

This sense of unity, shared among all women in the engineering industry, transcends work at Anvil. For Greene, professional inspiration is drawn from a figure from within her own family: her sister-in-law.

“She has accomplished so many things as an engineer and manager in the field of aerospace,” Greene said. “She is a leader, mentor, and inspiration to many. She has given me the renewed energy to continue to improve and achieve new accomplishments.”

As Greene alludes, a strong sense of ambition is a common trait among women in this industry. Kari MacDonald, a Project Manager in Anchorage, isn’t afraid to push boundaries whenever she can.

“Within this industry, initially, it seemed like women were only in administrative roles,” MacDonald said.

MacDonald recalls a story from early in her career, an instance where the extent of her skills weren’t being properly utilized.

Kari MacDonald

“I hate filing and, unfortunately, it was a large part of my first job in oil and gas,” she remembers. “However, my boss believed that the success of our team hinged on working together. He really enjoyed filing and felt I was better on the phone talking to candidates, so we divided and conquered. I’ll always remember this – it showed me the value of a team and not a position.”

As our industry continues to evolve, Anvil pledges to progress alongside it. On this International Women in Engineering Day, we applaud the careers of all women at Anvil – your unique experiences and unrivaled dedication make Anvil the company that it is today.

Whatcom Community College and Anvil Corporation Partner to Launch a New National Cybersecurity Training and Education Center on Anvil’s Campus

Bellingham, Washington – June 22, 2022, Whatcom Community College (WCC), the National Cyber Security Training and Education (NCyTE), and Anvil Corporation were joined by Mayor Seth Fleetwood on Anvil’s campus on May 18, 2022 for a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house to launch an official Cyber Range training center on Anvil’s campus.

Bellingham, Washington – June 22, 2022, Whatcom Community College (WCC), the National Cyber Security Training and Education (NCyTE), and Anvil Corporation were joined by Mayor Seth Fleetwood on Anvil’s campus on May 18, 2022 for a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house to launch an official Cyber Range training center on Anvil’s campus.

Attendees included Dr. Kathi Hiyane-Brown, WCC President; Dan Lewis, Anvil CFO; Joe Timmons, NW Washington Regional Representative, Office of Jay Inslee; Sean Connell, Whatcom County Liaison, Congressman Rick Larsen’s Office; Ann Larson, NW Regional Director, Senator Patty Murray’s Office; and Senator Simon Sefzik. Also, in attendance were Anvil clients and employees, WCC employees and students, and representatives from the National Cybersecurity Training and Education (NCyTE) center. Students enrolled in the WCC Computer Information System program provided real-time demonstrations on how to apply cyber security defense measures to thwart potential attacks on Industrial Control Systems (ICS) in manufacturing and refining facilities.

“Launching the Cyber Range training center in partnership with Anvil at their Bellingham campus is the perfect example of the power and momentum that can be achieved by collaborating with our industry partners. These relationships benefit our local community and beyond and are critical to preparing our students to enter the workforce with competitive skills. We are enormously grateful to Anvil’s collaboration with WCC.” said Dr. Kathi Hiyane-Brown, President of Whatcom Community College.

The purpose of the Cyber Range is to provide hands-on education and simulation environments to advance cybersecurity education and support WCC students to attain multiple WCC Computer Information Systems (CIS) program degrees offering WCC students high demand, high wage, high-tech occupations. The NCyTE Cyber Range also assesses and tests cyber vulnerabilities to Industrial Control Systems, advancing Anvil’s cyber defense engineering capabilities.

“Our clients know that the greatest risk is the one you cannot see. For Anvil, rapidly advancing a comprehensive set of engineering solutions to address ICS vulnerabilities will meet the needs and requirements of multiple clients across multiple industries,” remarked Cody Steinmetz, Anvil COO. “Anvil’s advanced controls and process teams incorporate industry standard cybersecurity defense methodology and techniques into processes our clients already use to reduce risk.”

“This partnership with Anvil is a unique opportunity to pair WCC’s CIS students with working industrial engineers, providing real-world, hands-on learning scenarios, and this type of learning environment is a significant advantage for students. NCyTE will seek to replicate this model across the nation to help other colleges and industry partners create similar environments that support the cyber defense of critical infrastructure,” said Corrinne Sande, NCyTE Principal Investigator and Director and Director of CIS and Computer Science at WCC.

“The NCyTE Cyber Range represents a commitment to the future of Whatcom County by creating internships and jobs in the engineering and technology sectors,” said Dena Lund, Anvil President & CEO. “The Cyber Range is also an asset that supports preparedness in the defense against cyber-attacks on the critical infrastructure that Anvil’s clients operate.”

About NCyTE: The National Cybersecurity Training & Education (NCyTE) Center is funded by the National Science Foundation. NCyTE’s mission is to advance cybersecurity education in the U.S. to support tomorrow’s workforce. The NCyTE Center is based in Bellingham, WA at Whatcom Community College. For more information visit www.ncyte.net.

Whatcom Community College is the host institution of two national centers, the CAE Candidates National Center (CCNC) and the National Cybersecurity Training and Education (NCyTE) Center. Funded by NSA the CCNC, is the entry point for all colleges and universities applying for CAE designation and provides mentoring, resources, advice, and support for applicants.

The National Security Agency (NSA) redesignates WCC as a CAE-CD. This signifies that WCC is committed to producing the cybersecurity workforce responsible for reducing vulnerabilities in our national infrastructure. WCC supports higher education and research in cybersecurity through their leading-edge Computer Information Systems (CIS) program. To achieve this designation, organizations must complete several, months-long application processes and meet rigorous curriculum and program requirement reviews.

About Whatcom: Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington is regularly recognized as one of the top community colleges in the nation for student outcomes. The College is a destination for cybersecurity, healthcare and business studies, and offers two Bachelor of Applied Science degrees, transfer degrees, career and workforce preparation, online courses, and community education classes. Whether a recent high school graduate, laid-off worker, seasoned employee, or future university student—all students count on WCC to support their academic and career goals. For more information, visit www.whatcom.edu.

WCC: Media Contact & Public Information Officer: Marni Saling Mayer, PIO and Director of Communications & Marketing, pio@whatcom.edu, Phone: 360.383.3312

NCyTE: Toyo Garber, NCyTE Center Marketing & Communications Manager, TGarber@whatcom.edu, Phone: 360.383.3176

About Anvil Corporation: For over 51 years, Anvil has provided clients across multiple industries and locations with innovative and quality engineering and procurement solutions to build, transform, and safeguard their critical infrastructure including, refineries, gas processing plants, and manufacturing facilities.

Anvil is a 100% ESOP-owned company that believes in building solid client relationships and meeting all stakeholder commitments. With five branch offices across the Western USA and deep expertise in revamping and retrofitting large-scale infrastructure, Anvil is the premiere engineering partner for clients looking for long-term dependability and results.

For more information visit www.anvilcorp.com.

Anvil Corporation: Derek E. Toffer Business Development and Marketing Manager, dtoffer@anvilcorp.com, Phone: 360.937.0333

 

Anvil Celebrates an All-Time Safety Record of 9 Million Hours

​​​​​​​Anvil achieved yet another safety milestone on April 8, 2022, by reaching 9 million hours without a lost time injury since 2011 – with over 1 million of those hours worked by Anvil employees inside client refineries, plants, and industrial facilities.

​​​​​​​Anvil achieved yet another safety milestone on April 8, 2022, by reaching 9 million hours without a lost time injury since 2011 – with over 1 million of those hours worked by Anvil employees inside client refineries, plants, and industrial facilities.

​​​​​​​“The dedication to safety that Anvil employees demonstrate every day in the workplace and at client locations is a benchmark of excellence in our industry,” said Dena Lund, Anvil President. “I am proud of what we have achieved and want to congratulate all of our employees for reaching this significant milestone.”

​​​​​​​As a result of an embedded safety culture and mindset, Anvil employees continue to remain alert in spotting possible hazards or near misses, both in the office and at client sites.

​​​​​​​“This impressive achievement is built on a foundation of people genuinely caring for each other,” noted Cody Steinmetz, Anvil Chief Operating Officer. “We share a cultural fabric with our clients that allows us to learn from each other, watch out for one another, and ultimately return home safely to our loved ones.”

​​​​​​​The company’s Anvil Target Zero program acknowledges employees who demonstrate exceptional dedication and leadership in advancing Anvil safety in the workplace. Since the launch of the program in 2014, 105 employees have been recipients of the Anvil Target Zero award.

​​​​​​​“Employee commitment to heightened situational awareness, safety training, and following safety protocols prevent incidents from happening and escalating into major events,” noted Eric Peterson, Anvil Safety Manager. “This not only reduces risk to daily business operations, but it also ensures employee and client safety and security and compliance with OSHA standards.”

​​​​​​​Whether preventing a slip hazard in the office, detecting a chemical leak in a refinery, noticing incorrect equipment installations in a gas plant, or identifying process safety issues in an industrial facility, Anvil employees watch out for each other and provide their clients with another level of safety oversight.

​​​​​​​Congratulations to all Anvil’s employees for achieving yet another major safety milestone in the company’s 51-year history.