Member News

Happenings on the Alaska construction scene


Landye Bennett Blumstein welcomes new attorney

Kirsten Kinegak-Friday

The law firm of Landye Bennett Blumstein LLP announced this summer that Kirsten Kinegak-Friday has joined the firm’s Anchorage office.

Kinegak-Friday focuses her practice on Alaska Native and corporate law and civil litigation. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Stanford University in 2005 and her Juris Doctor from UCLA School of Law. She is admitted to practice in the Alaska State Bar and the Federal District Court of Alaska.

Kinegak-Friday is a member of the Alaska Bar Association and co-chairs the Alaska Native Law Section. She is a member of the Anchorage Association of Women Lawyers and previously served on Anchorage Bar Association Young Lawyers Section board.

A 2015 Alaska Journal of Commerce Top Forty under 40, Kinegak-Friday is a keynote speaker and a CLE presenter. She is a member of Alaska Supreme Court’s Committee on Fairness, Diversity & Equality, and has served on the boards of the Alaska Native Professional Association and the Alaska Native Justice Center.


R&M Consultants adds senior project engineer

Carla Baxley

Carla Baxley, PE, has joined R&M Consultants Inc. as a senior project engineer in the airport engineering group. Baxley brings 17 years of Alaska engineering experience to R&M, with 12 years spent at the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, where she was a designer, project engineer and manager on aviation and roadway projects in rural and urban Alaska.

“Carla’s experience from her time at DOT&PF is invaluable to our team,” said Evan Griffith, PE, R&M’s group manager of airport engineering. “Her insight will result in improved project processes and solutions for our clients.”

As a part of the firm’s airport engineering group, Baxley will support design of airport and other civil infrastructure projects. Her aviation experience includes engineering design for modifications or relocations of existing runways, taxiways, aprons, access roads, navigational aids, approach systems, signing and lighting. She is knowledgeable in development of airport layout plans, engineering design reports, erosion and sediment control plans, and construction safety and phasing plans. Additionally, Baxley has managed more than 60 aviation and highway design projects, giving her extensive experience with Federal Aviation Administration and Federal Highway Administration, or FHWA, regulations, policies and procedures.

Baxley has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She is a professional civil engineer licensed in Alaska. Baxley is active in Toastmasters.


Ahtna Inc. announces new hires, promotions

Ahtna Inc. recently announced several new hires and promotions within its subsidiaries.

Greg Jarrell

Greg Jarrell joined Ahtna Engineering Services Inc. with 21 years of professional business management and project execution experience throughout Alaska. As the new Alaska regional director, Jarrell will manage all Alaska business operations and oversee the development of environmental studies and remediation, construction and a variety of professional services projects not only for AES but also for its sister subsidiaries, Ahtna Environmental Inc. and Ahtna Global LLC. Jarrell earned a M.S. in geologic engineering from South Dakota’s School of Mines and Technology and a B.S. in geology from the University of Montana in Missoula.

Lori Kropidlowski

Lori Kropidlowski, CPSM, CPS/ CAP has been promoted to business development manager at Ahtna Environmental Inc. Kropidlowski has 26 years of experience in business development and marketing and is a certified professional services marketer, or CPSM, through the Society of Marketing Professional Services. She is responsible for all business development and marketing activities for AEI along with two sister subsidiaries, AES and AGL. Active in the community, Kropidlowski serves on the board of directors for both the National Association of Women in Construction, or NAWIC, and the Society of American Military Engineers’ Anchorage post. She is a lifelong Alaskan, born in Fairbanks and raised in Anderson and Anchorage.

Jeremy Blei

Ahtna Global welcomes Jeremy Blei, PE, to the role of senior program manager responsible for overseeing the firm’s extensive portfolio of work with the Federal Aviation Administration. Blei’s professional background includes 20 years of professional engineering and consulting experience, primarily in Alaska. He has managed and delivered all phases of environmental remediation projects including initial site design, remedial investigation, treatability and feasibility studies, O&M, and remedial action/construction. Born and raised in Alaska, Blei earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Ron DesGranges

In addition, there are two promotions within Ahtna Global. After four years of successfully managing construction programs at Ahtna, Ron DesGranges has been promoted to director of construction. DesGranges has 19 years of project management, construction and estimating experience for a wide array of both horizontal and vertical construction projects in Alaska. He has supervised a multitude of large and small projects with annual budgets of up to $500 million. DesGranges is especially skilled with the execution of projects in remote locations requiring complex logistic coordination.

Daniel Caldwell

Daniel Caldwell has been promoted to construction manager and estimator. Caldwell has 21 years of construction experience where he has managed major mixed-use commercial, civil, environmental and infrastructure development projects throughout local and remote areas of Alaska, the contiguous United States and Canada requiring logistics management expertise.


Lynden driver earns top trucking award again

In June, Alaska Trucking Association named Lynden Transport driver Jack Sorensen the 2018 Alaska Truck Driver of the Year. Lynden drivers have received the Driver of the Year honor four out of the past five years.

Lynden Transport Driver John Schank received the award twice, in 2014 and 2017, and Alaska West Express Driver Brian Ambrose was recognized in 2016. Ambrose earned second place overall champion of this year’s ATA truck driving championships competition as well as taking first place in the sleeper truck class.

“We are extremely proud of the professionalism and commitment our drivers exhibit every day on the job but also the knowledge and skills they bring to the annual ATA truck driving championships,” said Lynden Transport president Paul Grimaldi. “These drivers are the best of the best.”

Sorensen has earned many first-place finishes in the annual driving competition in Anchorage and has maintained an accident-free record for 34 years. He has traveled to the national truck driving competition seven times over his long driving career. “Driving in Alaska can certainly be a challenge with moose on the road year-round, tourists on the road in the summer and extreme weather in the winter,” he said.

Lynden Transport and Alaska West Express are part of the Lynden family of companies, whose combined capabilities include truckload and less-than-truckload transportation, scheduled and charter barges, intermodal bulk chemical hauls, scheduled and chartered air freighters, domestic and international forwarding and customs services, sanitary bulk commodities hauling and multimodal logistics.