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, Business Manager

Danielle was born in New York and raised in Illinois. She said her “crazy husband,” Jim, is why she lives in Alaska.  He had visited Alaska in his youth and convinced Danielle in July 2006 to travel to and live in Alaska for 3 years. Over ten years later, they are still here.  Danielle and Jim married in 2009 and have three beautiful children: Oliver, Talia & Reed. In her free time Danielle enjoys spending time with her family, crafting, baking, & learning to garden.  She is a self-proclaimed Geek who loves watching, Dr. Who (and has once built a Tardis Murphy bed in her garage), playing video games and debating geek culture with her husband. She can be seen around town playing Pokémon Go and the online card game trying to “catch them all.”

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

BRETT ALLEMANN, Construction supervisor

Brett and his wife Tiffany para-sailing off the shores of Oahu.

Brett and his wife Tiffany para-sailing off the shores of Oahu.

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 had four amazing children: Micah, Raylie, Jace & Kelty. When Brett has the opportunity for down time, he enjoys listening to music, playing drums, reading, continuing education, playing sports and investing. 

 

The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one.
— John Maxwell

REUEL ATTWOOD, Lead Service Technician

Reuel and his wife Len at the Meridian Systems Christmas Party in 2013.

Reuel and his wife Len at the Meridian Systems Christmas Party in 2013.

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.  

 

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
— Robert Frost

GAVIN BROWN, Sales SPECIALIST

Gavin and his fiance Sydney Taylor hiking in Alaska.

Gavin and his fiance Sydney Taylor hiking in Alaska.

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.

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.
— Albert Einstein

Jessi Cherry, General MANAGER

Jessi and her husband enjoying the sunset at one of their favorite beaches, Opal Beach in Pensacola, Florida.

Jessi and her husband enjoying the sunset at one of their favorite beaches, Opal Beach in Pensacola, Florida.

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.  Jessi is an avid Disney fan and loves traveling to the Disney parks any chance she gets. She also enjoys sewing and arts & crafts she especially enjoys creating custom Minnie Mouse ears for her Disney trips.  Jessi also has a habit of traveling around the country to see her favorite band, the Backstreet Boys, in concert.

 

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.
— Henry David Thoreau

Ryan Hobbs, Direct Digital Controls Technician

Ryan making a "Bro"man.

Ryan making a "Bro"man.

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.

Well done is better than well said.
— Benjamin Franklin

Corbyn Jahn, Controls Systems Design Engineer

Corbyn in Canada representing his country in the Klondike Road Relay Race where his team set the Mixed Team Record in 2015.

Corbyn in Canada representing his country in the Klondike Road Relay Race where his team set the Mixed Team Record in 2015.

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.

Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary… That’s what gets you.
— Jeremy Clarkson

JOe Meridian, Mascot

Our best guess of what Joe may look like.

Our best guess of what Joe may look like.

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. 

 

 

Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction.
— Anonymous

Jacob Kirk, Controls Systems Design Engineer

Post Mount Marathon with my supportive sister

Post Mount Marathon with my supportive sister

Jacob was born and raised in Alaska. He enjoys spending a lot of time outdoors competing in the Mount Marathon Race, Frisbee tournaments & other endurance races in the summer to weekend downhill skiing at Alyeska in the winter.  During his many trips to the Kenai to work with Brett, he has been adopted by and given the name “Uncle Jake” by the Allemann children. If you speak to our Senior Technician, Clint, he calls him “Tiberius.” If you catch Jacob at lunchtime, you’ll often find him playing cribbage or ping-pong with his work husband, Corbyn.

Adventure is out there

Brittany Lauper, Administrative Assistant

Hiking Winner Creek Trail in Girdwood, AK

Hiking Winner Creek Trail in Girdwood, AK

Brittany was born in Juneau and raised in Chugiak, Alaska.  She is a dog lover and adopted 2 fur babies – Moose & Luna – that she is obsessed with.  She has one younger brother and is also a proud auntie. Brittany is incredibly talented in creating unique crafts and decorations.  If you give her dogs and some crafting supplies, she will be the happiest girl in the world. She loves creating anything. She said her brain never stops thinking of fun ideas or things to make.

Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching
— C.S. Lewis

CHRIS SCHNEIDER, SALES SPECIALIST

Chris & Marie Packrafting North of Talkeetna

Chris & Marie Packrafting North of Talkeetna

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 wonderful things Alaska has to offer. Chris enjoys an active Alaskan life with his friends.  In his spare time, Chris enjoys sailing, hiking, snowboarding, ice climbing, packrafting, biking, hunting, live music & camping.  

Get up. Dust Off. Reload. Re-calibrate. Re-engage – And go out on the attack.
— Jocko Willink

CLINT WAGNER, Direct Digital Controls Senior Technician

Clint hiking Savage River in Denali National Park.

Clint hiking Savage River in Denali National Park.

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.

 

No one here gets out alive.
— James Douglas Morrison

Sam Watkins, MSP Technical 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”.

I have had people walk out on me before, but not... when I was being so charming
— Decker, Blade Runner (1982)

Jacob Wingerd, direct digital controls technician

Jacob and his dog, Kaira, on a floaty at Nancy Lake

Jacob and his dog, Kaira, on a floaty at Nancy Lake

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 received his Engineering Degree in Computer systems

from University of Alaska Anchorage in 2017. Jacob has a keen interest in robotics

and generally 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.

Retreat, hell! we’re just advancing in a different direction!
— Oliver Smith

 

FOUNDERS

 

John Fortner, Founder

John and Christine become Grandparents!

John and Christine become Grandparents!

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.

Make it so.
— John-Luc Picard

ERIC PERSSON, Founder

Eric and his grandson, Zach, skiing at Alyeska. This was Zach's first time skiing.

Eric and his grandson, Zach, skiing at Alyeska. This was Zach's first time skiing.

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.   

Life is a journey, not a destination.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson