In 2014 Meridian Systems became an employee-owned company. As an employee-owned company we want to share a little bit about ourselves.
Danielle Aitchison, Office Manager
Danielle was born in New York and raised in Illinois. She said her "crazy husband" is why she lives in Alaska. He had visited Alaska in his youth, and convinced Danielle in July of 2006 to make the journey to live with him in Alaska. Danielle and her husband Jim are animal lovers and have two Old English Sheep Dogs and two cats. Since their marriage in 2009 they have had two children: Oliver born in March 2011, and Talia born in February 2013. Danielle has many different interests including crafts, baking, and most recently gardening. She is a self-proclaimed Geek who loves watching Dr. Who, playing video games, and reading comic books with her husband.
BRETT ALLEMANN, Construction supervisor
Brett is a true “Alaska Grown” resident being born and raised on the Kenai Peninsula. He graduated from Nikiski High School and afterwards received his Electrical Apprenticeship certificate from AVTEC in Seward, Alaska. After receiving additional schooling at the local Kenai Peninsula College, he moved to Anchorage in 2006 to take a position at Meridian Systems. Outside of his business life, Brett is an active and faithful Christian, husband and father. Brett’s wife, Tiffany, is also “Alaska Grown” and grew up in the same town. They married in 2007 and since then have three amazing young children: Micah, Raylie and Jace. They’re expecting the addition of their fourth child in November 2014. When Brett has the opportunity for down time, he enjoys listening to music, playing drums, reading, continuing education, playing sports and investing.
REUEL ATTWOOD, DIRECT DIGITAL CONTROLS TECHNICIAN
Reuel was born in Alaska, but spent a majority of his life outside of the state. During the time away from Alaska he was in the Navy and had the opportunity to see many parts of the world. 2012 was a big year for Reuel; he married the woman of his dreams, Len, and returned home to Alaska. He is the father to two grown daughters from a previous marriage. Reuel categorizes himself as the nerdy type, and is very interested in electronics, computers, and robotics. He and Len (who refers to him as “Dork”) enjoy traveling around Alaska, and all over the world. During the weekends Len and Reuel treat their neighbors to their Karaoke renditions of their favorite songs.
GAVIN BROWN, IT SPECIALIST
Gavin was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. He has a deep affinity for the state and enjoys Alaska's open space and freedom. He has taken time to explore life in other states, which has confirmed the simple fact that Alaska is his home. He is the proud father to two young boys and a step son. Gavin and his fiance welcomed their first daughter in the summer of 2014. During the summertime Gavin can be found mountain biking, rock climbing, fishing, camping, or playing paintball with his friends. During the long winters he enjoys experimenting with gadgets, and will occasionally create something completely unique. He also likes to experiment in the kitchen and enjoys subjecting his friends and family to his latest attempts at wine and cooking.
Jessi Cherry, SALES MANAGER, LEED GREEN ASSOCIATE
Jessi was born and raised in the great state of Kansas. She made a leap of faith during the summer of 2004 and took a road trip with her husband, Jesse, to Alaska. They started working seasonally in Denali National Park, and after two summers she decided this was a place she wanted to stay. After moving to Anchorage permanently, she and her husband adopted two awesome cats. When Jessi is not making arts & crafts and sewing, you can find her at her favorite boot camp gym. She’s an enthusiastic New York Giants fan and also enjoys watching the UFC. She also has a habit of following her favorite bands and sports teams around the country, especially if they are visiting Las Vegas.
John Fortner, General Manager
John was born in Portland, Oregon in 1960 and moved to Anchorage at the ripe old age of 2 weeks old. John’s parents were moving from California to Anchorage and his Dad thought it would be a hoot to take his wife (who was 8 ½ months pregnant) on a car ride to Alaska. John decided to show up a bit early and saved his Mom from a bumpy car ride up the Alcan highway. John grew up in Anchorage and attended Willow Crest Elementary and Dimond High School. After high school John moved to Phoenix, AZ to pursue higher education. In 1981 John married Christine and he convinced her to move back to Alaska with him - where they have had many adventures together. They have two grown children and one grandchild. When John is not working he enjoys spending time doing investment research, hanging out at his cabin on Crooked Lake, and being unstoppable at first-person shooter games on his XBOX One and PS4.
Ryan Hobbs, Direct Digital Controls Technician
Ryan was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri. When he was 12, his Mom remarried and they relocated to Kenai, Alaska. After graduating from Nikiski High School, he worked set netting and drift netting fish sites. In mid-2013, he spontaneously moved to Anchorage, Alaska and has not looked back. He is an avid fan of mixed martial arts, and will often drive down to the Kenai Peninsula to watch his friends compete in the sport. He also enjoys exercising at the gym, traveling, and embracing the Alaskan outdoors. He has traveled to many places in the world including multiple spots throughout Brazil during the 2014 World Cup Games. He has a goal to set foot on Antarctica before his 30th birthday. Whenever he is not exploring new continents, he likes to spend time with his nieces and nephews or read books by his favorite author, John Grisham.
Corbyn Jahn, Design Engineer
Corbyn’s family migrated to Alaska during the oil boom of the 1980’s. Both Corbyn and his sister, whom he is very close with, were born in Anchorage. They spent their childhood in the Valley where he graduated from Colony High School. Corbyn attended college at the Oregon Institute of Technology and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Renewable Energy Engineering. Corbyn is an avid runner and a private pilot. He’s a very active person and spends his free time running, rock climbing, biking, and kayaking. He also enjoys traveling and will be spending Christmas of 2015 in New Zealand with his sister.
Joe Meridian is the mascot of Meridian Systems. Although Joe has never been seen we all feel his presence. Our employees refer to Joe as a, "Heck-of-a-Guy". He has sprinkled our lives with great treasures; such as donuts in the break room, presents in our stockings during Christmas time, and an occasional early release on Fridays. There is much speculation of what Joe may look like. We assume he spends his days enjoying the open seas, inspecting the quality of our work, and eating lots and lots of Spam.
ERIC PERSSON, SENIOR CONSULTANT
Eric's Swedish parents met in a Seattle English Class in 1947 and married shortly after. His father came to Alaska to work for a few months, but quickly fell in love with the state and moved his wife to the great north, and they have been here ever since. Eric has been happily married to his wife Jana for nearly 30 years. They have three grown children and five grandchildren who bring great joy to their family. When Eric and Jana get a spare moment they like to travel across the globe to places like: China, Peru, Germany, and most recently Fiji. After nearly 60 years in Alaska, Eric and his wife winter in Tucson, Arizona where they recently purchased a home. In Eric's spare time he loves doing activities in the great outdoors including: golfing, gardening, snowmobiling, and alpine skiing. He also enjoys renovating their home and lakeside cabin.
CHRIS SCHNEIDER, SALES SPECIALIST
Chris was born and raised in Gridley, Kansas. Chris joined the United States Army and was stationed in Alaska in 2008. While in the army he worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers and was deployed during 2009 & 2010 to Iraq. After his deployment he decided to make Alaska his home after falling in love with all the wonder things Alaska has to offer. Some of his favorite Alaska activities include: hiking, snowboarding, and ice fishing. Recently he obtained his degree in Human Resources with a minor Human Services. Chris is an avid fan of his home state's sports teams the Kansas City Royals and the Kansas City Chiefs. When he is not watching his favorite sports teams he can be found listening to music, reading, or watching the UFC with his friends.
CLINT WAGNER, DIRECT DIGITAL CONTROLS TECHNICIAN
Clint was named after the infamous Clint Eastwood and hails from Waldon, Arkansas. Clint is the middle child, and has two brothers: Travis is in the Navy and lives in Maryland; and Ross lives in Arkansas and is attending the University of Arkansas in the Pre-Pharmacy program. His parents Bill & Amenda are now retired and living in Waldron. Clint adventured to Alaska to spend the summer in 2006 he quickly fell in love with the state and moved here permanently in 2007. Clint loves riding his motorcycle and ATV during the summer months. He also spends lots of time with his dog, Bear, exploring trails around Alaska. During the wintertime Clint spends his time watching as much football as possible. He’s a HUGE fan of the Arkansas Razorbacks and Green Bay Packers. Clint is also an avid reader.
Sam Watkins, IT Specialist
Sam was born in Valdez in 1984 and moved to Anchorage in the summer of 1995 with a small stint in Colorado. Sam has been happily married to his wife Ingrid for over 10 years now. Sam has been enamored by computers and information technology since he was a wee lad.
Other hobbies include snowboarding, skiing. He also enjoys hiking and video games. His favorite sports team is the New Zealand All Blacks which he says he inherited since he is married to a “Kiwi”.
Jacob Wingerd, direct digital controls technician
Jacob was born in Alaska, lived in Hawaii for his freshman year of High School, and says he enjoys both the 49th and 50th States. Jacob likes to travel to Texas to visit his Dad who he has a close relationship with. Together, he and his father enjoy working on (and occasionally racing) their BMW’s at the Texas World Speedway. Jacob enjoys continuing his education and is close to completing his Engineering Degree in Computer systems. Jacob has a keen interest in robotics and generally and enjoys "nerding out" with other like-minded people.
Jacob also enjoys:
Reading Sci-Fi and Fantasy books (“The Legend of Drizzt is awesome!”)
Competing in Tennis matches (“Undefeated doubles in high school!”)
Martial Arts - Jacob has a Black belt in Taekwondo and has studied Hapkido & Mixed Martial Arts.
And especially hiking with his dog.