Business Profile: Spill Shield International

PHOTO/James MacPherson/AJOC
Name of the company: Spill Shield International

Established: 1992

Location: 4735 Gambell St., Anchorage

Telephone: 907-561-6033

Web site:

Major focus of services: Spill Shield International sells supplies for environmental cleanup and other equipment for Alaska climate conditions.

History of the company: Spill Shield was originally owned by a Native corporation before Jerry Harms bought the company including rights to distribute products in Alaska. One key product the company still carries is the Absorbent W Water Scrubber, which filters oily water through either a barrel-type or other container. Spill Shield has sold these products in Hawaii, Japan and Russia.

In 1995 Spill Shield added another product, the Smart Ash incinerator, which can burn spill absorbent materials and many other industrial materials. The Alaska company has notched performances as top dealer for the product for seven years. More than 600 of the incinerators are being used in Alaska, and Spill Shield has sold others to be used in Africa, Japan and Russia.

The company carries other products used for spill response, maintenance and containment, which are employed in several sectors including Alaska harbors, Bush villages, auto mechanics’ shops, electric utility cooperatives, military projects and commercial fishing.

Harms originally operated Spill Shield from his home until moving to office space by 1994 and later moving to the current location five years ago.

In 1994 his wife Kris Harms joined the business full time.

The business owners said Spill Shield has grown during its tenure, chiefly by testimonies of clients.

Top accomplishment of the company: The couple is proud to mark Spill Shield’s 10th anniversary this year, which they attribute to hard work, quality service and product demonstrations. "We both kind of decided to refuse to give up," Kris Harms said.

She also is pleased Spill Shield has introduced innovative products to Alaska, and the couple is encouraged by helping customers use products to solve problems.

Major players: Kris Harms, president, and Jerry Harms, vice president, Spill Shield International.

Jerry Harms came to Alaska in 1973 and worked 10 years in the Fairbanks construction industry. He later worked in the commercial food sector. Kris Harms moved to the state in 1975 and worked as a credit union auditor in Fairbanks. Later they ran Summit Lake Lodge near Paxson, then briefly moved out of state, returning to Alaska to operate Spill Shield.

-- Nancy Pounds

01/21/2002 - 8:00pm