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Coffman Engineers Announces Changes


ew professional certifications and licenses and new hires are being celebrated at Coffman Engineers.

In December, Coffman welcomed Josh Crowe to its structural department as a senior structural engineer. He has twenty-one years of experience in construction administration and marine and structural engineering. He is a licensed civil and structural engineer in the state of Alaska and is knowledgeable in both steel and concrete design and construction methods.

In January, the firm welcomed Sisi Cooper as Coffman’s senior process safety consultant. Her role is to develop and expand the new Process Safety Management, or PSM, service offering. Cooper will lead PSM efforts to support clients in Alaska with their process safety and regulatory compliance needs and requirements. She will also explore expanding these services across Coffman’s offices to industrial clients.

In February, Coffman announced that Michelle McGinnis, in the company’s corrosion control department, earned her Project Management Professional certificate. McGinnis joined Coffman in 2014 and has provided project controls and management services for numerous projects in the oil and gas, commercial construction, and hospitality industries.

In March, Coffman announced Deanna Nielson earned her Alaska Professional Engineering license in electrical engineering. Nielson has been with Coffman’s electrical engineering department for more than seven years, designing medium and low voltage power distribution systems and industrial instrumentation and control systems, primarily for the oil and gas industry as well as for commercial and residential projects.

Portrait headshot photograph of Josh Crowe grinning
Josh Crowe
Portrait headshot photograph of Michelle McGinnis smiling
Michelle McGinnis
Portrait headshot photograph of Sisi Cooper grinning
Sisi Cooper
Portrait headshot photograph of Deanna Nielson smiling
Deanna Nielson

Photos provided by Coffman Engineers.

Northrim Bank Recognized by Small Business Administration Alaska District Office

n May 9, the SBA Alaska District office announced three categories of top lenders in the SBA Loan Program in Alaska during fiscal year 2022. AGC member company Northrim Bank won Community Lender of the Year and 504 Third Party Lender of the Year.

The SBA Loan Program provides lenders with a loan guarantee which lowers the risk of lending to small businesses and enables lenders to provide financing to small businesses and entrepreneurs in situations they are unable to do so conventionally.

“The SBA relies on a critical partnership with our lenders to finance the startup and growth of Alaska’s small businesses. Their efforts continue to play an instrumental role to businesses who have pivoted from the challenges of this past year. We appreciate their commitment in providing services and loans to Alaskan small businesses who would not have been able to access this financial assistance otherwise,” SBA Alaska District Director Steve Brown said.

The Community Lender and 504 Third Party Lender awards recognize Northrim Bank’s commitment to providing financial assistance to Alaska’s small business owners, which resulted in the approval of twenty-three SBA 7a loans totaling just more than $9 million and nine 504 loans totaling nearly $11 million during FY2022.

“It is an honor to be named the 2022 SBA Alaska Community Lender of the Year and the SBA Alaska 504 Third Party Lender of the Year again this year. At Northrim, our local lenders assist small businesses throughout the state by being responsive to their needs and providing flexible and customized solutions. We understand the unique opportunities and challenges of living and working in Alaska and remain focused on adding value to the small business community through our work with the SBA Alaska office,” Mike Huston, president of Northrim Bank said.

ChemTrack Alaska and Tutka LLC Recognized by US Small Business Administration

n conjunction with National Small Business Week the first week of May, ChemTrack Alaska Inc. was recognized as the 2023 Northern Pacific Region Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year. ChemTrack provides environmental, construction, engineering, and innovative remedial technology services across the state. In a letter announcing the honor, Bibi Hidalgo, associate administrator from the Office of Government Contracting and Business Development wrote, “Your hard work, innovative ideas, and dedication to your community have helped you excel, but also inspire other businesses to do the same. The SBA is pleased to recognize your achievements and your role in driving our nation’s economic growth.” A Department of Defense Small Business Specialist nominated ChemTrack for the award.

Carrie Jokiel, ChemTrack Alaska, Inc. president, says the award’s significance reaches far beyond the company’s current work. “This is a truly special honor for ChemTrack and our talented, hardworking team, and it reflects more than 40 years of embodying our company’s mission and values, providing excellence in our services and maintaining strong, trusted commitments to our business partners,” Jokiel says. “Recognition like this is important to us in that it provides a platform to further encourage current businesswomen and future women entrepreneurs to strive to have a meaningful impact in their industries.”

Amie Sommer, owner of Tutka LLC of Wasilla, was also recognized as the Alaska Small Business Person of the Year.

“Our 2023 State Small Business Persons of the Year have given their all to achieve their American dream—to own and build a strong, resilient business; create jobs; increase competition and innovation; and power America’s historic economic recovery,” says SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “These incredible entrepreneurs show the vibrancy and grit of our nation’s small businesses.”

Sommer and her sister launched a company in 1999 known as Professional Services and Safety Instruments, which provided gas detection instrument service, rentals, and environmental services. The company grew and expanded, and Sommer’s sister stepped back while her husband, John Sommer, stepped forward into the business. They changed the name to Tutka, LLC and reorganized, expanding into heavy civil construction. The company employs between 15 and 35 employees, depending on projects, and about 12 people year-round.

Its three-year revenue average is more than $10.5 million, though the company experienced a significant dip during the pandemic. The Sommers’ philosophy to grow slowly and steadily organically played an instrumental role in keeping their doors open.

Megan Hoen Joins Associated General Contractors of Alaska As Operations Manager

egan Hoen joined the Associated General Contractors, or AGC, of Alaska in October as its operations manager, overseeing all office operations and helping with AGC’s popular Online Plans feature, as well as acting as staff liaison for some of AGC’s member committees.

Hoen has deep Alaska roots, with family members in Fairbanks who were involved in politics and law in Alaska. She grew up in Anchorage and graduated from Dimond High. She went to Boise State University and, during her junior year, secured an internship with a local construction company, which served as her first introduction to construction in Alaska. Working for AGC has been a great fit, she says. She particularly enjoys the complexities of her daily tasks. “No day is the same and there are challenging aspects to everything we do. I like the challenge. And what I like especially about AGC is that we’re actually able to change policies, and implement new policies, for the betterment of the construction industry,” she says.

Hoen says she loves to spend time hiking, biking, and fishing outdoors with her husband and their two dogs.

Portrait headshot photograph of Megan Hoen smiling
Megan Hoen

Photo provided by AGC of Alaska.