Movers & Shakers 08/10/14



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Aimee M. Devaris will serve as director of the Alaska region for the National Weather Service, one of six in the nation. Devaris began her National Weather Service career as an intern at the weather service office in Kodiak in 1994. She worked through the ranks as a forecaster and became a warning coordination meteorologist at the forecast office in Juneau. She moved to Anchorage in 2001 to assume programmatic responsibilities at the regional headquarters office. In 2005, Devaris moved to weather service headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., to serve as the chief of the performance branch, where she was in charge of quality assurance. She was then chosen as executive officer for the Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services where she led the service’s national budget planning activities. Her selection as deputy director to Alaska region brought her back in 2008. Devaris graduated from the University of Alaska in Anchorage with a master’s degree in engineering and science management and a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from Texas A&M University.

GMW Fire Protection Inc. announced the appointment of Todd Heesch as president and Karen Todd as sales and marketing manager. Heesch has served as general manager of GMW since 2009 and in 2013 purchased the company. He received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Kentucky in 1997. He was registered as a professional engineer in 2003. Heesch arrived in Alaska in 1999, as a staff mechanical engineer for PDC Inc. and subsequently became a project manager for Superior Plumbing and Heating before joining GMW. Todd has served for 16 years as service representative in the fire protection industry. She arrived in Anchorage in 2010 where she qualified for the Pinnacle Award for fiscal 2011-12 (top 10 percent sales of the company) with Simplex Grinnell before joining GMW. She has nearly 30 years experience providing customer service to corporate clients.

Carolyn Thompson has joined Umiaq LLC as the new office manager in Barrow and Terri Mitchell has been promoted to the manager for Umiaq’s newly formed Environmental Department. The Umiaq Barrow office manager is the primary point of contact with the North Slope Borough’s Planning Department for all Umiaq related NSB permitting and zoning issues. As a previous program manager for the North Slope Borough Public Works Department, Thompson participated in the early stages of development of the RELI/AHFC Weatherization Program. In her recent position as senior project manager for WHPacific, Carolyn represented the North Slope Borough under a Professional Placement contract with CIPM. Mitchell holds a master’s degree in environmental policy and management with honors and has more than 14 years of experience providing environmental documentation and permitting for bathymetric surveys in the arctic, telecommunication infrastructure, airports, roadways, wind towers, material sites and fuel tank farms. Umiaq’s Environmental Department provides the expertise to support Alaska and Arctic operations through the development of oil spill response plans, emergency response plans, incident management expertise, NEPA documentation, and permit packages for the most challenging of projects.  Current projects include the Arctic Fibre Project, a fiber optic line running from Tokyo to London through the Northwest Passage, Alaska LNG, response planning support for Shell and the Point Thomson Project.

Naomi DuCharme has joined URS Corp. as a field camp manager. She brings more than 12 years of experience in management, facilitating, and customer service. DuCharme holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage in physical education with an emphasis in outdoor leadership and administration.

The University of Alaska Anchorage Office of Alumni Relations and the UAA Alumni Association announced the recipients of the 2014 Alumni of Distinction awards. These three distinguished UAA alumni will be honored for their outstanding contributions to their chosen fields and community at the 5th annual Green & Gold Gala on Sept. 27 at the Alaska Airlines Center on UAA’s campus. They are: Ted Trueblood, Alumni of Achievement Award (master’s degree, civil engineering, 1980), president, Tryck Nyman Hayes Inc. (retired), past president, UAA Alumni Association; Cristy Hickel, Alumni Humanitarian Award (bachelor’s degree, physical education, 1986; master’s degree, interdisciplinary studies, 1989), program director, Sports Programs for Youth Development, Education & Recreation; Virginia Groeschel, Alumni Emerging Leader Award (bachelor’s degree, civil engineering, 2006), aviation design engineer, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities; President, College of Engineering Alumni Chapter.

Scott Vierra has joined North Star Terminal and Stevedore Co LLC in their equipment services division. He will work with general contractors and corporations that will need stevedore and crane rental services in the future. He has been an Alaskan resident for nearly 30 years and brings 14 years of professional business-to-business experience that has included selling equipment and fleet vehicles throughout the state of Alaska.

WHPacific Inc. announced the addition of Benjamin Lloyd and Travis Holmes as civil engineers in training to the company’s Anchorage office. Lloyd and Holmes will be working with WHPacific’s transportation group on civil and surface transportation projects. The growth of WHPacific’s transportation team in Anchorage will allow the company to better serve clients on projects for Alaska Department of Transportation, Alaskan Native Villages, and various city roadway design and construction projects throughout Alaska. Lloyd graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Brigham Young University in 2013 and is currently working on his master’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He also successfully completed the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam. Holmes also successfully completed the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam and is a recent graduate from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Prior to joining WHPacific, he worked as a public works engineering intern at Fairbanks North Star Borough and provided traffic data analysis for the Municipality of Anchorage Project Management and Engineering Department.

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