Environmental and Land Development
Environmental & Land Development Practice Area Leader
907.562.2000Kristen loves all things outdoors. On the water, on the trails, or in the mountains, she's at one with nature. She found her way to Alaska via a VW Vanagon camper in 1995, and has since made the biggest state her home. Her love of nature translates well to her role at DOWL, where she is the Environmental and Land Development Practice Area leader. She has been with DOWL for nearly 20 years, has a master's degree in environmental science, and earned a graduate-level National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) certification. She regularly leads large, complex NEPA projects for transportation or North Slope projects, and enjoys collaborating with clients and agencies to work through challenging permitting issues. While clacking away at her laptop late into the evening, she's more likely to gravitate to salty snacks than sweet ones, but her kids say she makes the best monkey bread anywhere. We're not sure she's shared her monkey-bread talents with her DOWL family, but we're prepared to wait another few decades, if that's what it takes.
Read Stapleton, AICP
Land Use Planning Sub-Practice Leader
971.280.8641As DOWL’s Land Use Planning Sub-Practice area leader, Read has spent many late nights presenting to planning commissions and city councils, advocating for client projects and for new land use policies. It was at one of these meetings, many years ago in a rural farming community, where Read heard one of the council members say someone should “bite off more than they can chew, and chew it anyway.” This is a quote that has always stuck with Read and fits his busy life. As an active father of two boys, amateur guitarist, cyclist, remodeler of a 110-year-old house, frequent traveler, and DOWL sub-practice area leader, Read loves to stay active and push the boundaries of his own personal and professional limits—as well as those of the land use planning team he leads. One area where he has learned to respect his limits is on the company softball field, where after two season-ending hamstring injuries, he has officially signed on a pinch runner. His less painful exploits are in the kitchen where he loves to fix his hometown meal of Memphis-style pulled pork, which would have even our company safety gurus recommending biting off more than you can chew.
Environmental Sub-Practice Leader
541.683.6090Austin is DOWL’s Environmental Sub-Practice Area leader, and his admiration of ecology and natural resources began at a young age in the woods, fields, and wetlands surrounding his home in the foothills of Oregon’s southern Willamette Valley. This respect for nature, combined with growing up building artisan homes and barns with his father, taught him the correlation between infrastructure and the natural environment. Today, Austin and the entire environmental team are National Environmental Policy Act specialists, and they work with clients to make sure their designs are compliant with applicable federal, state, local, and other environmental standards. While Austin enjoys getting his hands dirty with environmental work, he’s not a fan of one very particular and troublesome natural phenomena: sand, which gets everywhere and ruins his time on the beach. Lucky for him, his hobby of collecting vinyl records—nearly 1,500 of them in total (so far)—keeps him busy and sand-free.
Willie Stoll, PLS, CFedS
Survey & Mapping Sub-Practice Leader
907.562.2000Willie is a flexible guy–he can stay up late and also get up early, because that’s what surveyors and dads with new infants sometimes need to do. As DOWL's Land Survey Sub-Practice Area leader, Willie oversees all of the management, staffing, training, and equipment purchases for the group, while also leading many Alaska survey projects. While he wanted to be a pilot when he was young (color blindness kept him out of the Navy), and an engineer as a young adult (he has a degree in civil engineering), it seems as though a career in survey chose him. When Willie was a boy, his father, who was also a licensed Professional Land Surveyor, would sometimes take him on survey projects to be the rod-man, clear brush, or do whatever else was needed. Young Willie went along with little to no complaints. In fact, if we took a vote, Willie would probably win the least likely to complain award. His positive attitude may be attributed to the countless hours he spends in the mountains running with his wife, who he says is his hero because “she makes all this possible.”
Wade Irion, PE
Water Practice Area Leader
406.656.6399Wade is one of the few night owls in our ranks. As DOWL’s Water Practice lead, he’s probably up late at night thinking about the coefficient of friction for his bathtub drain or, you know, something watery. Wade comes to his job naturally, having more than three decades of experience as a water resources engineer. He manages and provides quality assurance for a variety of water resource projects requiring orchestration of multiple tasks and disciplines. To work at DOWL you pretty much need to love the outdoors, and Wade is no exception–whether backpacking, skiing, or hunting, he just wants to be outside. Wade is good at making decisions and made two really important ones early in life: Since childhood he always wanted to be an engineer (which he is), and he married his high school sweetheart (aww). While Wade values education and intellect, his favorite quote by Theodore Roosevelt is a nod to what he holds dearest: “To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”
Greg Gabel, PE, CFM
Drainage & River Systems Sub-Practice Leader
406.656.6399Anyone who likes the movie Shawshank Redemption and selects its lead character Andy Dufrain’s quote “Get busy living or get busy dying” as his favorite is a friend of ours. Our friend and Drainage and River Systems Sub-Practice Area leader Greg obviously knows a good movie when he sees it, but he also knows a thing or two about water. Greg learned valuable lessons about water growing up on his family farm, irrigating grain and sugar beets in the summer. Greg successfully performs hydrologic and hydraulic (H&H) analyses on a wide variety of projects, and is well-versed in an eyes-glaze-over list of H&H modeling programs. While water is his expertise, Greg’s passion is sports. As a boy, he dreamed of being a professional basketball player and looked up to Michael Jordan. Greg is also a silver medalist from the Big Sky State Games’ table tennis competition (not to be confused with ping-pong). For fun he likes to golf, listen to music, and travel (preferring travel if it involves either of the first two). We wonder if there’s a golf course in Zihuatenejo, Mexico? If you didn't understand that reference, immediately stop what you're doing and go watch Shawshank Redemption.
Jay Thom, PE
Dams & Irrigation Sub-Practice Leader
406.656.6399As the leader of DOWL's Dams, Intakes, and Canals Sub-Practice, Jay is a dam expert! He and his team specialize in storage and diversion dams, canals and canal structures, irrigation systems, and river basin hydrology. Jay's work can be high stakes, and he is very serious about his responsibility and the safety of the dams and other structures he and his team are associated with. It’s an undisputed fact at DOWL, there is no one more committed to their clients than Jay. Somehow he also finds time for more serene activities such as bird watching with his wife. (They were recently in Alaska and were treated to a rare sighting of the Falcated Duck at Potter's Marsh.) When not putting in the hours for his clients or chasing bucket-list birds, Jay’s real passion is time spent with his rather large family (whom he recently took on a Hawaii vacation). We missed him while he was gone, but we love it when Jay takes a little me-time to recharge. Jay, you deserve another!
Kevin Johnson, PE, BCEE
Water Supply & Wastewater Sub-Practice Leader, Office Manager
406.586.8834Kevin is DOWL’s Water Supply and Wastewater Sub-Practice Area leader. Kevin has over two decades of experience in the facility planning, grant writing, design, and construction administration of diverse and complex municipal projects. Kevin appreciates continual improvement and isn’t afraid to try new things. His favorite quote by Yogi Berra sums it up: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it!” This philosophy explains why he went outside of the typical engineer’s comfort zone, going on a blind date with the woman who is now his wife. We think he has achieved his childhood dream of becoming a grownup, but his hero is Mr. Incredible, so there is room for doubt. There’s no doubt that diffusing his pre-teen daughter is an incredible talent of Kevin’s (many of us with children wish we knew his secret), but he is still merely hopeful that his tricks will continue to work when she reaches her teen years. We’re here for you, Kevin.
Bridge, Structural, and Marine
Guy Hakanson, PE
Bridge, Structural, & Marine Practice Area Leader
541.683.6090Guy is DOWL’s Bridge, Structural, and Marine Practice Area leader. He grew his love of engineering and construction services by working in a gravel-crushing company in the small town of Oakland, Oregon. Seeing how infrastructure projects began—literally from the ground up—inspired Guy to go to school and get his engineering degree. Since 1986, he has worked across multiple disciplines at the firm. Today he puts his experience and expertise to work mentoring staff and providing quality reviews on projects. Guy says it's the people—not the work—that he really cares about, because “people are the real treasures in life; work is just something we do.” This philosophy may explain one of his two hidden talents: baby whispering, since babies can probably innately sense love, security, and caring. As for his other hidden talent: singing? Who knows?It may be unveiled at some future DOWL karaoke night!
Bob Goodrich, PE
Bridge Sub-Practice Leader, Office Manager
503.589.4100Bob’s dream of becoming an engineer came true when his childhood dream of being an NBA player didn’t quite pan out. Sad for the NBA, good for DOWL. Bob is our Bridge Sub-Practice Area leader and a senior project manager for bridge and roadway projects. He is a practical guy who uses a spreadsheet and cooking diary when Traegering meat such as brisket or pulled pork. As a former Oregon Department of Transportation bridge engineer, he knows what’s it’s like to be the client and works with his team to meet project goals. When not managing projects such as iconic pedestrian bridges, roadway widenings, historic bridge rehabilitations, accelerated bridge construction, and seismic retrofits and assessments, Bob is probably busy with a kid activity or lacing up his Nikes.
Nick Robertson, PE, SE
Structural Sub-Practice Leader, Office Manager
503.620.6103It’s not surprising that the guy who can name all of the U.S. presidents, in order, lists a quote from (a fictional) Abe Lincoln as his favorite: “Be excellent to each other.” It’s a simple quote that gives you an idea of who our Structural Sub-Practice Area leader is. Nick, an accomplished structural engineer by trade, has focused his career on solving problems and finding solutions, and puts people above professional accomplishments. He says the best thing about his job is when he is able to help a client put a piece of resilient infrastructure into the world. Before he started managing our Structural Sub-Practice Area, Nick cut his teeth by managing the office softball team, bowling league, fantasy football league, and March Madness pools. These days, when he isn’t hard at work on his next deadline, you can often find him at home “destroying” his two boys at videogames.
Guy Hakanson, PE
Marine Sub-Practice Leader
Steve Noble, PE, PTOE
Transportation Practice Area Leader
907.562.2000As DOWL’s Transportation Practice Area leader, Steve manages the largest group of professionals in the firm—and some of DOWL’s largest transportation projects. From Alaska’s first diverging diamond interchange to fast-paced design/build, Steve understands local, state, and federal transportation planning and design projects. He is a go-to guy at DOWL, often with a line outside his door. But once you get your turn, you may find yourself in a chat about his next race, your last ski, or perhaps discussing upcoming vacations. Steve’s priority for work and family doesn’t leave much time for recreating (unless he and his wife get the chance to run together), so he is known to hit the ski trails at 10 p.m. some nights. Because he learned to ski only six years ago, it’s impressive that Steve has competed in the 40K Tour of Anchorage race three out of the last four years—and set personal records each time.
Sarah Nicolai, PE, PTP
Transportation Planning & Traffic Engineering Sub-Practice Leader
425.869.2670Building a genuine connection with people is the foundation to any professional relationship. Sarah is easy to chat with and invests the time needed to build respectful relationships. As DOWL’s Transportation Planning and Traffic Engineering Sub-Practice Area Leader, Sarah is able to marry thoughtful participation from affected interests with an organized, end-goal style that gets projects completed. She began her career at DOWL nearly 15 years ago as a junior transportation planner, but soon earned the lead role where she excelled, bringing the firm work and herself client kudos. In life she values deep connections with close friends and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, walking Bella (her dog), and gardening. Her favorite quote is from Edie Windsor who advises, “Don’t postpone joy.” Great advice, Edie and Sarah.
Jeff Bernardo, PE
Transportation Engineering Sub-Practice Leader, Office Manager
541.683.6090What do sports car enthusiasts and transportation engineers have in common? More than you’d think, says this former SCCA Solo 2 driver (car of choice: 3rd gen Mazda RX-7 Twin-turbo) and DOWL’s Transportation Engineering Sub-Practice Area leader. Problem solving, attention to detail, being nimble, and enjoying your work are all skills adept engineers and drivers share, Jeff says. These days, he participates in sports just for the fun of it, and he takes more pleasure in helping others succeed than passing the checkered flag himself. Jeff looks to the past for inspiration. “My grandfather, a coal miner and logger, is my hero,” he says. “He had grit!” Jeff uses his own grit and determination to stay on top of quality control and to mentor staff in shepherding large, public-sector roadway, trail, and bridge projects through to completion.
Leah Whitfield, CM, ACE
Aviation Planning & Design Sub-Practice Leader
303.674.1256Leah is DOWL’s Aviation Planning and Design Sub-Practice Area lead and brings a diverse background including airport management, air traffic control, and meteorology to DOWL’s projects. She and her team provide planning, engineering, project management, construction management, and security/operations experience for airports ranging in size from massive, metropolitan hub airports to small, rural General Aviation facilities and private aviation clients in the cargo and aircraft manufacturing industry. Leah grew up on a farm in the Bluegrass state, and while she’s all things aviation now, she used to be all things tobacco–planting, picking pollen, pollinating, picking seed, and the list goes on from there. This hard work gave Leah a perfect foundation to follow her mom’s advice and go after hard things, such as attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for her bachelor and master’s degree, and parlaying her education and practical experience into a career in aviation planning and design.
Lynn Bruno, PLS
Civil Practice Area Leader
541.385.4772Lynn started a humble life in a town of 43 people without running water in his home. His no-frills childhood made him grow into the no-frills Civil Practice Area leader he is today. With a focus on talented teams and customer service, Lynn is a professional who cares about things that are real: friends, family, co-workers, the outdoors, and sports. Lynn started his career as a surveyor but quickly transitioned into leadership positions. His skills include team building; project and people management; and negotiating land development deals, easements, and contracts. Lynn loves coaching from the sidelines and points to his father’s honest approach to life and exceptional work ethic as guiding principles he gained from his mentor and hero. You may or may not be impressed to know that Lynn has an uncanny ability to remember where most NFL players went to college. And in case any NFL muckety-mucks are cruising DOWL's website, Lynn wants you to know that he is open to moonlighting as an NFL draft analyst.
Justin Mason, PE, CWRE
Commercial & Industrial Sub-Practice Leader, Office Manager
541.385.4772Justin’s favorite quote is by Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” As DOWL’s Civil Sub-Practice Area leader, it’s these words that guide him to work hard, while also taking time to get out and enjoy the Bend, Oregon, life–skiing, boating, and enjoying nature with his wife and kids. At work, Justin is passionate about developing a livable, vibrant environment for Central Oregon’s rapidly growing population, and he has experience on a wide range of projects including the design and contract management of a mix of public and private improvements. Like so many of DOWL’s leaders, he’s an early bird who prefers to be in the action as opposed to on the sidelines. But unlike the rest of us, he has a hidden talent for furniture making. Next time you see Justin, ask him to show you a picture of the gorgeous farmhouse kitchen table he made.
Kendall Gee, PMP
Geo-Construction Practice Area Leader, Office Manager
303.674.1256Kendall is a busy guy in all areas of life: profession, family, church, volunteering, hobbies, and constant house remodeling projects. He and his wife have a rather large family (seven children of all ages) and family and his faith are what gives Kendall energy. He gives 100% to the clients, projects, and staff in his charge. As DOWL’s Geo-Construction Practice Area leader, Kendall is responsible for groups who focus on project front-end work (geosciences and owner’s representation services) to back-end work (inspection and construction administration). He mentors staff to always remember it’s the keys to the front door of a completed project that the client wants, not a soils report, Request for Proposal document, or pavement density specifications. This parts-make-the-whole philosophy is likely seeded by his favorite words to live by, courtesy of Ronald Reagan: There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don't care who gets the credit.
Eric Voorhees, PE
Construction Administration Sub-Practice Leader
907.562.2000Eric, a self-proclaimed “ginger,” has many hidden talents and fun facts, including shot putting and sky diving, and others you’ll have to ask him about. What we can tell you is he is the Construction Administration (CA) Sub-Practice Area leader who always does what he says he’s going to do, works tirelessly for his clients, and does it all with a smile. He started his career in the construction industry as a teenager pouring concrete and building houses. After earning his civil engineering degree, he started at DOWL in 2007 in the transportation engineering group. He has since parlayed his design and construction experience to be the CA lead, marrying his on-the-ground know-how with design textbook precision. The other thing he married at DOWL was former employee Nan Llewellyn (now Voorhees). Both love to show their young boys Alaska’s best–hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and skiing.
Kasey Jones, PhD, PE
Geosciences Sub-Practice Leader, Office ManagerIt's hard to say how many geotechnical engineers started out life dreaming of becoming a professional football player. We know of at least one: Kasey Jones. He has gotten closer than most of us to that football star dream, playing college football at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Today, as DOWL's Geosciences Sub-Practice Area leader, he has no regrets. With a doctorate in civil engineering, specializing in materials and geotechnical engineering, Kasey has a strong background in all technical aspects of geotechnical engineering. He continues to complete research in the field of geotechnical engineering and regularly has the findings published. He says the best of what Wyoming has to offer–hunting, fishing, and photography–gives him pleasure and junk food gives him energy. Next time you need some really good foundation recommendations, give Kasey a call.
Jason Kelly, PE
Inspection Sub-Practice Leader, Office Manager
503.620.6103Jason is DOWL’s Inspection Sub-Practice Area leader who prefers his snacks sweet and, being a child of the 1980s, prefers his movies snarky and fun (think Ferris Bueller, Goonies, and lots of Harrison Ford films). At work he’s all things inspection and specializes in complex, multidisciplinary transportation projects such as bridge, heavy civil, and roadways. He loves bridges and doesn’t mind wading through a river to find the scour damage, and isn’t afraid to get a couple hundred feet in the air to inspect a suspension bridge (with all of the proper safety gear, of course). He and his group also provide constructability reviews during design alternatives, which can save contractors and owners from wasting time and money in the field, where minutes of downtime can cost thousands of dollars. For Jason, construction doesn’t end at work–he likes fixing things and finds his weekends filled with remodeling, landscaping, or carpentry projects. His family gives him energy, which probably explains his interest in genealogy and why his vacations often involve traveling with his wife to visit his aunt in Georgia, taking his nephews to Disneyland, or going with the in-laws to Hawaii. He usually has a few dogs around the house, typically of the Bullmastiff variety. At work, he is a bit of an email hoarder, but is quick to point out his email box is very organized. He likes a light-hearted verbal joust now and again, but always keeps the quote from Karl Weick in mind: “Fight like you are right, listen like you are wrong.”
Kendall Gee, PMP
Project Management and Owner's Representation Sub-Practice Leader