Member News

Happenings on the Alaska construction scene


Sam Baker named general counsel for National Academy of Construction

Sam Baker, AGC Member News


The National Academy of Construction named Sam E. Baker, Jr. as general counsel for its organization in October. Baker is senior partner at Oles, Morrison, Rinker and Baker, LLP, in Seattle. The announcement was made at the academy’s annual meeting held Oct. 12 at the U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego.

Established in 1999, the National Academy of Construction, or NAC, has had only one general counsel since its founding: James P. Groton, partner at Sutherland, Asbil & Brennan. Groton served in that role from 2002 until Baker’s election to the post. As general counsel, Baker will now serve on the executive committee of the academy.

The NAC is an organization of industry leaders — construction users, engineers, designers, constructors, consultants, attorneys, sureties, editors and academics — who have made outstanding, life-long contributions to the design, construction and engineering industries.

When elected to the academy in 2014, Baker was cited as “the embodiment of the principles of the academy involving a diverse group of construction leaders committed to serve the industry and the nation.”

A former officer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baker is a longtime representative for contractors in evaluating and resolving disputes. His clients include major construction firms, including participants in the heavy civil, marine, buildings and industrial sectors of the industry.

Oles, Morrison, Rinker & Baker LLP is a leader in construction law in the Pacific Northwest. The firm represents the oldest and largest construction law practice on the West Coast. Baker was instrumental in expanding its offices to Anchorage and Oakland, California. He was the first attorney to serve as director of the Beavers, a heavy engineering construction organization. In 2012 he was selected by the Beavers to receive its coveted Golden Beaver award for service and supply.

Baker earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and a J.D. degree from the University of Montana. He was inducted into the University of Washington Hall of Fame in 2006, becoming its first lawyer member. Since 2005 he has served on the Charitable Trust of the Beavers.


New hires at Ahtna Inc.

David Bennet, Ahtna Inc.


Ahtna Inc. is pleased to announce several new hires within its subsidiaries.

Ahtna Environmental Inc. welcomed David “Dave” Bennett to its team as business development director. With a bachelor’s degree in civil/ envi ronmental engineering from the University of Wisconsin- Madison and 24 years of experience, Bennett has a solid background in understanding client operations, needs, planning and project execution. His professional strengths are opportunity identification and capture, client relationship- building, teaming partner engagement, proposal and presentation preparation, and service line expansion.

Morgan Bruno, Ahtna Inc.


Morgan Bruno, PE, joined Ahtna Engineering Services LLC as a project manager. Bruno is an environmental engineer with nine years of experience, including: preparation of remedial investigation and feasibility study-related documents; data evaluation; groundwater, surface water, soil, sediment and vapor intrusion sampling; geoprobe, hollow-stem auger and sonic drilling oversight; risk analysis; non-aqueous phase liquid mobility analysis; and bench-scale treatability experiments, among others.

Michael Selhay, Ahtna Engineering Servicess LLC


Michael Selhay joins Ahtna Environmental Inc. as a senior construction manager with more than 18 years of construction and management experience leading all phases of construction planning and development, design coordination and contract administration. Selhay was the project manager of the Alaska Vocational Technical Center, or AVTEC, Culinary Arts Facility Project and the dormitory replacement project in Seward, which won both the 2011 and 2013 Alaska General Contractor’s Challenge award for the $5 million to $15 million project category.

Nelson Crone, Ahtna Environmental


Also joining Ahtna Environmental Inc. is Nelson Crone, as the firm’s Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, specialist. Crone is skilled in working with GIS data for a variety of visual and computational purposes. He works with global positioning system, or GPS, equipment and has provided operation, ArcCollector deployment and operation, ArcPad and other data collection techniques for field technicians. He works with remote sensing systems, performing image analysis and has worked with unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAV, systems to create imagery products. He has also worked with Spatial Data Standards for Facilities, Infrastructure and Environment, or SDSFIE, database creation for federal projects and has worked with Earthsoft’s environmental data management and decision support system EQuIS.

Ahtna Inc. is one of 13 Alaska Native Regional Corporations formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 and is headquartered in Glennallen. The company has more than 2,000 shareholders, the majority of whom are of Ahtna Athabascan descent, and it employs more than 1,300 people worldwide.