Alyeska's Russian Jack School Business Partnership
The School Business Partnership that Alyeska currently enjoys with Russian Jack Elementary School began more than two decades ago when Alyeska’s original headquarters were housed on Bragaw Street, right down the street from the school. Alyeska’s employees have a legacy of volunteering and supporting the communities in which they live and work, and over the years, Russian Jack has offered a number of opportunities for employees to get involved.
The biggest component of employee involvement centers on the Russian Jack reading program. Alyeska employees who participate typically spend one hour a week reading with students. This hour offers a chance for employees to help improve students’ reading skills and to mentor the children who take part in the program.
The relationship shared between the school and Alyeska deepened unexpectedly in the late 1990s. A fire at Russian Jack on the evening of December 27, 1998 caused extensive damage throughout the school, and it was no longer habitable. During reconstruction, students were housed in alternative sites to finish out the school year. To ease disruption for some of the students, Alyeska offered a portion of its office space to serve as classrooms. Students attended “school” in the headquarters until the restoration of Russian Jack was complete.
While the fire was a tragedy, a positive outcome was the solidified relationship between Alyeska and Russian Jack, a relationship that continues today.
The reading program is as strong as ever, with employees and students still spending a portion their week strengthening reading skills. Alyeska also sponsors a Super Citizens program in which high-achieving students visit the new Alyeska headquarters and are treated to pizza and a fun overview of pipeline operations. The students get the biggest kick out of watching security footage of wildlife that inhabits the pipeline corridor.
And, of course, the Thanksgiving dinner supplied by Alyeska and served by Alyeska volunteers has become a beloved tradition. Now in its 16th year, the students of Russian Jack and the Alyeska employees alike look forward to the annual Thanksgiving feast.
The favorite dinner combination over the years has been mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, turkey, and – drum roll please – chocolate milk.
2014 internship recruiting is underway
Recruitment for Alyeska’s 2014 Internship Program is underway. The application deadline is January 15, 2014. The internship program is a key component of Alyeska’s overall workforce development strategy to build and sustain a high performance culture.
“Management of the internship program is closely aligned with the company’s long range plan to attract, develop and retain a high potential workforce,” said Tabetha Toloff, Alaska Native Program Director. “People are the key to our success and through the internship program we identify new and diverse individuals who epitomize Alyeska’s cultural attributes.”
If you know a highly motivated college student currently attending an accredited university, participating in an undergraduate or graduate degree program, click here to download the 2014 internship application and program requirements.
Alyeska tests response capability in Prince William Sound drill
Response and prevention is a big part of our business, and Alyeska conducts over a hundred spill response drills and exercises each year. These events can range in size from a few people to a few hundred. Last week, the company participated in the annual Prince William Sound response exercise, one of our largest and most complex ever. Alyeska, ConocoPhillips and many others worked to support Polar Tankers on the effective execution on this drill.
Employees from all over TAPS converged on Valdez for a two-day incident management team tabletop with 24/7 operations, simultaneous field deployments and a transition to Anchorage. At the end of the exercise, almost 600 people had “played” in the drill, including participants from Alyeska, industry and regulatory partners.
“The team’s efforts were always focused, deliberate and thoughtful, and everyone honored the need to protect people’s safety first,” said Andrés Morales, SERVS director and Incident Commander. “I am so proud of this team.”
Alyeska President reflects on the passing of Stan Stephens
Alaska lost a true champion this past week with the passing of Stan Stephens of Valdez, a man whose passion for protecting Prince William Sound translated to every aspect of his life, a man I was fortunate to know and call a friend. Stan and I shared a relationship dating back many years, long before I became president of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company in 2011. His passing has prompted reflection across the state about his legacy and character. I want to share my thoughts on the life he led, and the legacy of stewardship and integrity he leaves in his wake.
Stan was a practical man and a sailor through and through, a straight-talker and storyteller whose character was defined by strength, patience and practicality. I viewed Stan as an advocate -- never an adversary. Together, we believed positive and practical solutions could be reached. Our rapport dates back to my days as commander of the United States Coast Guard for Alaska, when Stan weighed in on environmental and safety issues. His prowess, acumen and knowledge reflected rich understanding of the unique ecosystem of Prince William Sound, and revealed his innate energy around protecting its waterways and shorelines.
Our paths also crossed with the formation of the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens Advisory Council, an organization whose work is synonymous with Stan himself. He helped create the group and remained devoted for decades, active until he retired from its board of directors in 2012.
Stan had a sweeping impact on our industry. He dedicated thousands of hours to RCAC. A Legislative citation issued in 1995 called him a shining example of how “citizens can constructively influence decisions that affect their lives and communities.” Stan’s passion, hard work, and commitment exemplified how a single person can have a profound impact. In his steady and even way, Stan campaigned for vapor recovery systems for tanker loading berths and championed air quality improvements. He advocated for redundant systems to improve safety on the Terminal, and was a staunch supporter of improvements to oil spill prevention and response readiness.
He shared his connection to the Sound with thousands of strangers, shuttling visitors to some of the Sound’s most pristine, special places. He understood that Valdez’s distinction as the terminus for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System helped make the town successful, and demanded that a strong level of responsibility and care accompany that success. From our earliest to our final conversations -- talks that took place across the breakfast table at the Totem Inn in Valdez, on decks of boats, and at his hospital bedside -- Stan focused on protecting Prince William Sound. He believed in the compatibility of the missions of RCAC and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, and in the importance of always continuing to improve the relationship between the two.
Stan kept a weather eye on the horizon. He mentored others, in particular a new generation of boat captains and citizen leaders. This exemplified his leadership -- a belief that a captain is only as good as his crew. In our final meeting, just days before he died, Stan expressed high confidence in Amanda Bauer, whom he mentored closely and who is now Chairman of the RCAC, carrying on his legacy.
What I will remember most about our last visit in his office at the Valdez Boat Harbor, the port spread out behind it, the mountains rising up, is that we were reflective together, like sailors standing at the rail on a calm ocean.
Thank you for everything, Stan. Alaska will miss you.
Alyeska Fire Brigade wins 14th Governor’s Trophy
TAPS United Way campaign update
Alyeska's 2013 United Way campaign raised $597,933. Alyeska President Tom Barrett is currently serving as the Anchorage United Way Workplace Campaign Chairman. Smiling for the camera at the United Way kickoff, Sept. 4, are Tom Barrett and Alyeska employees Pat Walden, Diana Swenk, Michelle Egan, Tabetha Toloff, Michael Levshakoff, and Angela Walters. Kneeling are Susan Parkes (also serving as a United Way board member) and Janet Guerra.
Alyeska employees and contractors annually rev up to contribute to United Way with direct contributions and through a variety of volunteer positions throughout the organization. This year Alyeska’s campaign crossed the finishline with $597,933 raised to improve education, to ensure financial stability and to better health standards for all Alaskans.
Alyeska's 2013 United Way campaign
“This year, our campaign encourages people to surpass previous years’ support or become involved for the first time,” said Tabetha Toloff, Alaska Native Program Director, co-chair of this year’s campaign. “Without a doubt, individual and collective support for United Way has an incredibly positive impact in people’s lives and does Drive Change!”
By donating to United Way, you support a network of services that together serve the entire community, said Mel Williams, Business Practice Officer/Employee Concerns Program Manager and also a campaign co-chair.
“By supporting United Way, you support all the services a family needs to prosper,” said Williams. “Food, affordable housing, tutoring, mentoring, job training, child care, after-school programs, elderly services – join us by becoming a leadership giver, or surpass last year’s giving by $99, and make all of this possible.”
Rev up your engines, make a donation, make a difference in your community and leave poverty in the dust! Drive Change the United Way!
So far, Alyeska employees & contractors have raised more than $217,000, well on the way to exceed last year's total of $644,000.
Successful shutdown completed at 1:25 a.m., August 12
Alyeska planned 18-hour shutdown was completed at 1:25 a.m., August 12. Work completed during the shutdown included gas building work at Pump Station 4, regulatory leak testing of 27 mainline gate valves and check valves between Pump Stations 7 and 9, and the installation of an additional suction valve to the suction header at Pump Station 9. Two tablespoons of crude oil spilled from a suction hose stinger at Pump Station 9. There were no injuries associated with the shutdown.
“These choreographed shutdowns have proven safe, efficient and effective,” said Mike Joynor, Senior Vice President of Operations. “Thanks to everyone who worked through the weekend to make sure TAPS continues to run safely.”
2013 Anchorage Alyeska Food Drive
With the generosity of our employees and contractors, this year’s Anchorage Alyeska Food Drive collected three shopping carts and two pallets of food for a total of 1,262 lbs. Our employees and contractors also donated – drum roll please -- $18,460 to the Food Bank of Alaska, shooting past last year’s Anchorage Food Drive record of $12,650!
Alyeska’s Food Drive is part of our annual United Way campaign. Each year, our employees and contractors donate their time and pledges to help United Way fulfill the unmet needs in our Alaska communities. Our full United Way campaign kicked into gear at the beginning of September.
Straight pipe installed at Pump Station 10
In a shutdown July 26, a team of Alyeska employees and contractors completed straight pipe work at Pump Station 10, effectively disconnecting the last inactive pump station on the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS).
With the installation of the Pump Station 10 straight pipe, all of the inactive pump stations – Pump Stations 2, 6, 8, 10, 11 and 12 – are now disconnected from the mainline pipe, and the dead-leg piping segments associated with these inactive stations are now disconnected from TAPS.
Disconnecting the dead-leg piping from inactive stations lowers the risk profile on the pipeline and considerably reduces the potential for a leak.