Published May 2023
Terry Caetano has never been afraid of risk.
Whether it’s landing new business in Alaska or braving the rugged Alaskan wilderness to hunt Kodiak Bears, Terry embraces the opportunities, challenges, and lessons that risk provides. With a constant eye on Anvil’s future, he is always eager to go where others have not.
With two engineering degrees from Montana Tech, Terry began his career at Anvil in 2000 as a metallurgist.
“When I started at Anvil, we had several labs on the Bellingham campus,” he shares. “One of the labs performed metallurgical and welding testing, which was the perfect type of work for a metallurgist.”
Soon, Terry was given the opportunity to develop a Q&A service for two large Chevron projects in Salt Lake City. This service became Anvil’s Quality Management Services group. Shortly after these projects concluded, Terry became responsible for implementing QMS across all of Anvil’s programs.
After spending nearly ten years in this role, Terry was approached in 2015 to lead Anvil’s business in Alaska.
“When Ross Warne asked me about Alaska, I instantly had a smile on my face,” Terry reveals. “The opportunity to live in Alaska and work on Alaskan projects was too tempting to pass up. I was always fascinated with Alaskan upstream projects, so it wasn’t a hard sell for me to move up there.”
“What was unique about the work was the complexity of the problems,” Terry continues. “We had to innovate solutions for problems that no had seen before. The easy problems had been solved a long time ago. Back then, and even today, when someone has a corrosion problem within a North Slope production facility, it is more often than not something no one else has ever seen before.”
Formed in 2013 as a joint-venture between Alaska Anvil and Doyon Emerald, Doyon Anvil operates as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE). This designation for the small business was made possible, in large part, because of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. In 2016, Terry became the President and General Manager of the Doyon Anvil joint-venture.
“My job is to keep both owners happy and to support a strong relationship between these two companies” Terry shares. “This also means I report to two boards of directors, so in essence, I have two bosses, two sets of meetings, reporting requirements and different fiscal calendars. This job keeps me very busy.”
An ambitious mindset also applies to Terry’s life outside of the office. As an avid outdoorsman, Terry is not afraid of the Alaskan wilderness. His greatest outdoor adventure came last year, when Terry won a tag to hunt a Kodiak Bear on an uninhabited portion of Kodiak Island.
Last winter, accompanied by only a guide and armed with a rifle, Terry was dropped off at the hunting area by floatplane.
“I’ll pick you up in a week – weather permitting,” the pilot tells him.
During hunting season, Kodiak Island typically experiences heavy rainfall. However, in 2022, temperatures were historically much colder than usual. It snowed every single day of the hunt.
“We had good gear, but we were not planning on these conditions because we didn’t think they were possible,” Terry shares. “I learned from that mistake.”
The weather did not deter Terry’s hunt. On the second day, he spots his Kodiak Bear.
“I’ve always enjoyed the tracking and stalking of these creatures,” Terry says. “This hobby teaches you to be patient, to learn from what you see, and to recognize what you don’t know.”
Terry and his guide slowly spend the next two days tracking the bear through the rugged terrain, enduring freezing winds and unrelenting snowfall. After two days of stalking, four days into his trip, Terry successfully harvests the bear.
When retrieving the bear, Terry takes an unlucky step and sinks his foot into a deceptively deep portion of river. He suffers frostbite.
“This made the return hike to base camp difficult and an adventure of its’ own,” Terry says. “Before you get frostbite, your toes go numb from the cold. This makes it hard to tell how bad your condition is until you can deal with the problem. Let me testify that hiking on rugged terrain when you cannot feel your foot touch the ground is a different experience.”
The return to base camp is met by adverse weather. Until conditions improved, Terry’s pilot was unable to retrieve Terry and his guide. They wait out the storm for two days before being picked up and ultimately returning to his home in Anchorage.
“To make a long story short, I found the experience amazing and something I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life,” Terry concludes.
While Terry’s role at Anvil and his life have evolved over the years, his attitude and dedication has not.
Terry has applied the same guiding-principle to every project he’s been a part of. It can be summarized best with a quote from Warren Buffet:
“Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing.”
“Excellence takes time – experience is often the best teacher on the path to excellence,” Terry explains. “Be patient and master as much as you can, then try something new. If you mess up, spend the time to learn the lesson. Don’t consider it as falling down; think of it as falling forward, because you are learning something new. This knowledge makes all future endeavors less risky.”
“At Anvil, our work matters,” he says. “Our clients bring us challenging and complex problems to solve, and the work is not trivial. Anvil excels at finding employees who are deeply committed to their profession. This commitment results in designs that are of the highest quality, and it sets us apart from our competitors.”
Thank you, Terry, for twenty-three years with Anvil. We can’t wait to see where your ambitions take us next.