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Signature Land Services
Building a Business with Heart
Three decades of marriage paves the way for a solid business partnership
By Kevin Klott

t Signature Land Services, Number 104 holds a special place in the hearts of Jen and Tim Schrage. The white 2001 F-250 diesel plow truck serves as the company’s quasi-symbol of loyalty, longevity, and reliability.

“It’s been through the ringer,” says Vice President Tim Schrage, who along with Jen formed the Anchorage-based company in 2008. “But you always keep your first truck.”

Jen and Tim bought Number 104 new in 2001. At that time, they managed commercial real estate and rental properties around Anchorage and were not impressed with the quality of snow removal and other services.

“We struggled to find contractors who could do typical things that needed to get done,” says Signature President and Owner Jen Schrage. “So, I looked at Tim and said, ‘We’ve got to figure this out. You’ve got a plow on your truck and I have a truck.’ So, we started a company and it eventually became our primary business.”

Signature Land Services offers asphalt paving, concrete, commercial snow removal, and commercial landscape services. It provides snow removal for all the Lowe’s and Walmart stores in Southcentral Alaska and for the 80-acre Tikahtnu Commons off North Muldoon Road.

As the Schrages began to secure large commercial clients, they established their roles within their new business. Jen Schrage oversees client relationships, marketing, and contract management, while Tim Schrage works on the operation side of the business to make sure equipment and work crews have everything they need to perform at the highest level of quality.

“I crack the whip and make sure he goes to work every day,” jokes Jen Schrage.

Both lifelong Alaskans, the couple met in high school and have been together for thirty-two years. Most of those years include being business partners in a variety of adventures. Signature Land Services is the third company they have owned together.

“We started off as entrepreneurs, owning a chain of liquor stores and a tire shop,” Jen Schrage says. “Signature is now our sole focus.”

The Tim and Jen Show
Signature Land Services started as a snow removal company and expanded into the world of paving and landscaping thanks to Tim Schrage’s brother, who owns a paving company in Oregon called Signature Paving Services.

His brother shipped his first paver, called Old Green, on a barge from the Port of Tacoma to Anchorage. That shipment changed everything for the Schrages.

“It allowed us to get into the dirt work side of things,” Tim Schrage says. “We already had dump trucks and sanders. We just had to spend a lot of time training staff.”

In addition to the thirty-five full-time, year-round employees, Signature Land Services increased its staff roster to more than 100 employees to run 23 wheel-loaders with containment plows, graders, specialty sidewalk plows, and more than 20 plow trucks, salt trucks, sand trucks, and blue shovels.

Roadwork restoration being done
After the November 2018 earthquake damaged the heating system at the Bristol Bay Native Corporation in Anchorage, Signature Land Services demolished and replaced the heated concrete, exposed aggregate front walks, and handicap parking.
When the company secures a contract, the Schrages take pride in the fact that they don’t hire subcontractors. An example includes a paving project at two Alaska USA Federal Credit Union banks in 2019. One of the banks included a 7-day, 24-hour facility. Because the company wasn’t allowed to shut down banking operations during the project, the Schrages divided the project into four phases.

“We understand the customer service piece,” Tim Schrage says. “We are able to line everything up, so we weren’t relying on subcontractors for any aspect of work. It’s all done by Signature.”

When all the work is conducted in-house, it becomes second-nature to treat staff members like family.

“Our biggest asset is our employees,” Tim Schrage says. “Many have been with us since the beginning. They are truly the backbone of our company. I’m not going to do this forever, so we are building a company that should outlast the Tim and Jen Show.”

Exceeding Expectations
When Mike Barnes needs concrete work, parking lot striping, crack sealing, sealcoating, sweeping, de-icing, or snow removal, he calls Signature Land Services without any doubts.

“They do everything for me,” says Barnes, chief operating officer at Sagaya Corporation, which owns the grocery chain New Sagaya Markets and Wholesale in Anchorage. “I’ve been here for more than nine years. Our contract negotiations are by phone. He drops the paper off and I sign it. It’s an old-school approach to business.

“If Tim says he’s going to be there and it’s going to get done, it’s going to be done and it’s going to be done right,” Barnes adds.

John Eng, president of High Point Construction, has used Signature Land Services for a variety of projects. He says the performance of the personnel and the company have always exceeded his expectations.

“They understand the needs and requirements of customers/clients and communicate in a professional, polite, insightful manner,” he says. “They verify the appropriate understanding of their agreements, and I look forward to working with the organization again in the future.”

Kevin Klott is a freelance writer. All photos courtesy of Signature Land Services.