Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight

Learn about fellow SMPS Alaska Chapter members!


Title: Vice President, Principal in Charge of Business Operations and Development
Firm: Design Alaska
SMPS Member Since: 2011
Number of years in the A/E/C industry: 18

Jeff graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering from the US Air Force Academy and came to Alaska in 1996. After serving at Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) and Shaw AFB (South Carolina), he came back to Fairbanks, his wife’s hometown. Once back in Alaska, Jeff worked at Eielson AFB again as the Chief Engineer and then Deputy Base Civil Engineer. In 2008, he joined Design Alaska as its Marketing Director. He received a master’s degree in Engineering Management from University of Alaska, Fairbanks in 2010. In 2014, Design Alaska transitioned leadership, and Jeff took over with his current responsibilities as Principal in Charge of Business Operations and Development and Vice President of the Board of Directors.

Community Activism: I am on the Executive Board of the Midnight Sun Council Boy Scouts of America; the Past President of the Alaska Society of Professional Engineers, Fairbanks Chapter;and coach for the Interior Baseball League.

How has SMPS helped you in your career? I have benefitted from the professional contacts, communications training, and continuing education opportunities.

Helpful hint to share with your fellow SMPS members: One of my favorite quotes by Benjamin Franklin is, “energy and persistence conquer all things.” Pace yourself; the race we’re running is an endurance race.

Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you. I own a kilt and lived in Scotland for a couple of years. Scotland is like a second home, and if I ever go through a major career change, I would consider moving there and doing something completely different.

What I did at work yesterday: Everything from health insurance renewals to fixing a non-functioning oven in the break room. Other things I did included proposal writing, check signing, cost reports for projects, holding a marketing staff meeting, inputting project descriptions in Deltek, approving purchase requests, troubleshooting the A/C units, and evaluating our software/computer needs.

Are you interested in seeking a CPSM; and if so, how do you expect the certification to benefit you? Not sure. I’m already keeping up the fees and continuing education on a Professional Engineer license and Project Management Professional certificate. This may be my next professional challenge.

Committee: Treasury
Title: Marketing Coordinator/Project Administrator
Firm: Reid Middleton, Inc.
SMPS Member Since: 2011
Number of years in the A/E/C industry: 10

Melissa has 10 years of marketing and administrative experience in the A/E/C industry with Reid Middleton. Supporting a branch office gives Melissa the unique opportunity to serve in many different capacities within the office, enabling her to truly be involved in every proposal and project from start to finish—from the development of marketing materials, to accounting and client communications, specifications, and on through to the final product. She is also responsible for event coordination and strategic planning for the office. Melissa was born and raised in Alaska and is a proud mom to 3-year old boy/girl twins.

What does your committee position entail? I work with the SMPS treasurer to help maintain the association bank account and pay association bills. I also assist with the check-in process at monthly meetings and other events. I look forward to getting more involved with the chapter by volunteering for other committees.

Community Activism: I support various non-profit organizations and am looking forward to getting more engaged in A/E/C community events.

How has SMPS helped you in your career? SMPS has helped me connect with others within the industry and learn about local opportunities. It has also provided valuable insight and training through SMPS seminars and meetings. Most of all, my fellow SMPS members inspire me to improve my skills and further my career.

Helpful hint to share with your fellow SMPS members: Attend the training programs offered by SMPS. They provide you with skills you can immediately take and apply in your career in the A/E/C industry.

Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you. Before finding my way to this industry, I was a desktop analyst/network administrator for five years.

What I did at work yesterday: I attended the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation three-year forecast luncheon and received some great information! The rest of my day was spent reviewing possible opportunties, business development and administrative discussions with our Principal Engineer, various project coordination tasks, and preparation for a trip I’m taking next week to our main office in Everett, Washington for training.

Are you interested in seeking a CPSM; and if so, how do you expect the certification to benefit you? I do plan on seeking a CPSM. I believe the certification would add credibility to my role within Reid Middleton, as well as provide me with valuable knowledge about the A/E/C industry.

Member Spotlight Archive