What does it mean for you to work for Alyeska and TAPS, playing a role in supporting Alaska in so many ways?
Martin: Coming from the commercial fishing industry out of Cordova, I started working in Valdez right on the heels of the Exxon Valdez incident. To me, doing the right thing every day, understanding that Alaska is our backyard, helps in many of the decisions that we make. My goal is to ensure that Alyeska can safely move Alaska North Slope Crude from Prudhoe Bay through Prince William Sound to the West Coast every day safely, effectively and efficiently.
Deanna: I enjoy being part of something big, in an industry and at a company that has helped make Alaska great.
Martin D.: It is a really cool thing for me to work for Alyeska. Growing up in Valdez and spending the last five years in Fairbanks, I was able to see the major impacts that the company has in the communities that they operate in. It is an amazing opportunity to work for a company that truly cares about the state and its residents. The thing I appreciate most is the company’s commitment to environmental responsibility, as well as economic development in a highly ethical manner while operating an 800-mile pipeline across some of the most extreme terrain in the country from Prudhoe Bay to my home in Prince William Sound. It just is a really special feeling knowing that I am a team member that can help to contribute to the future success of the company.
How long have you worked on TAPS, as Alyeska and contractor, and what positions have you held?
Martin: I've worked on TAPS since 1991. I started as a contractor in Valdez with Caps Services Limited at SERVS, worked in that role until 1999 when I moved to Alyeska. I've been very lucky to be able to move around quite a bit during my career. I started as a Response Coordinator, The Fishing Vessel Coordinator, Nearshore Response Coordinator, SERVS O&M Supervisor, Interim BWT Supervisor, Mechanical Maintenance Supervisor, all in Valdez, and finally the Contingency Response Planning Manager based out of Anchorage.
Deanna: I started working for Alyeska’s Corporate Communications in November of 2014 in Valdez and now I’m an Administrative Analyst for Projects/Engineering in Anchorage.
Martin D.: I had my first internship in the summer of 2016 and am currently in my second one! Over my two internships I have worked in Utilities at the Valdez Marine Terminal. Last summer, I spent the first half at the Ballast Water Treatment Facility and then moved to the Power/Vapor Facility for the second half. I am currently at the Power/Vapor Facility for the entirety of this summer.
How special is it for you to be able to work at the same Alaska company as your spouse and son?
Martin: I feel very blessed that we have the opportunity to work for APSC. There were many years that my wife and children did not understand the trials and successes of my job, why I would talk about things like situational awareness during dinner, or how important it was to use proper PPE when working in the garage. Now with them working for TAPS they have a common understanding.
Deanna: I like that we have it in common. I think it makes the successes more exciting to share with each other and the down days easier to handle because we work in the same environment so we have a deeper understanding of what each one of us does. I was lucky to be in Valdez at the Terminal and take many tours of the process areas, so it is fun when our son calls and is excited about something he’s learned. Because of those opportunities I had, I am able to picture and share that excitement with him.
Martin and Deanna, you must be very proud of Martin and his work as a new technician.
Martin: He put the work in to get this opportunity. He just graduated from the Process Technology program at UAF! His goal is to get a full time position where he can use his Process Tech knowledge. It would be pretty neat to see another Martin Parsons living in Valdez for the next 25-plus years.
Deanna: He worked full-time while being a full-time student in college and it was a joy to watch him get his degree from UAF this spring. He has amazing work ethic and I love that he enjoys what he is doing. And we know that whatever he does, he will be amazing.
Martin D., it must be pretty exciting to follow in the steps of your mom and dad, who have so much Alyeska experience.
Martin D.: It is a really special feeling to work for the same company as my parents. My dad was living and working in Valdez for the past 25 years up until he was moved to Anchorage. I think he gets excited knowing that there may be an opportunity for another better-looking Martin Parsons to live in Valdez for another 25 years. It has provided my family with many amazing opportunities my entire life up to this point and it is a cool thought that I have the opportunity to make my own career within the company.
Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
Martin: I think as employees we are very lucky to work for a company like Alyeska. You really don't hear stories about people sticking with one company for their career. The example of John Baldridge working 40 years here and many others have put in significant time is quite a telling tale of how the company treats employees. I have put in over 25 years on TAPS and hope to continue for another decade or so.
Deanna: Alyeska is an amazing company to work for and I can't wait to see what the future holds.
Martin D.: I am extremely grateful to have an opportunity to even possibly start a career with a company like Alyeska. It has been cool to learn about the company from an outside perspective being the son of employees and now I get to learn about the company from an inside perspective.