PUBLISHED: 5:30 PM on Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Southeast region DOT names Savikko 2007 employee of year
The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) Southeast Region (SER) recently selected Bern Savikko as its 2007 Employee of the Year.

Savikko, an Alaska-registered professional engineer, works primarily in the marine engineering field with the Design Engineering staff.

Born and raised in Douglas, Alaska, Savikko initially studied biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks before switching programs to Washington State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering.

Savikko began his DOT&PF career in the mailroom while a college intern. Following graduation, he entered the Engineer-In-Training (EIT) program and worked in DOT's Central and Southeast Regions. His exposure to marine design during his rotation with the Division of Water and Harbors convinced him that he had chosen the right field. In 1982, Savikko joined the marine division as an entry level engineer and progressed to the division's engineering design manager position.

Savikko was nominated by his peers and selected employee of the year by his supervisors for his outstanding achievements.

"Bern's been a principal designer of shore facilities for the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) and has designed a myriad of structures such as vehicle transfer bridges, bridge lifts, pontoon systems, mooring dolphins, fender floats and pedestrian gangway," said Mal Menzies, Director, Southeast Region. Bern has designed harbor and seaplane facilities throughout Alaska."

During his 28-year DOT&PF career, Savikko designed many innovative solutions that included safely transferring vehicles and passengers to and from various AMHS ferries in Alaska's extreme tide ranges.

"He's an invaluable resource of information about shore facilities at the ferry's 32 ports of call," Menzies said. "Bern has an amazing ability to illustrate intricate problems with simple and clear drawings, and he promotes a cooperative work environment among his staff - making him greatly respected by his peers."

Other nominated staff members included James Lowell, P.E., a special projects engineering manager for the Construction Division; Timothy Doggett, P.E., a technical design engineer in the Marine Design section of the Preconstruction Division; Prince of Wales Island Maintenance and Operations (M&O) Foreman, Timothy Lacour who's based in Klawock. Lacour was also named Citizen of the Year by the Prince of Wales Chamber of Commerce. Janelle White, EIT, MBA, of the Project Control Section, for overseeing program and project budgets.

Those receiving certificates of commendation from the SER were; Jonathan Griffin of the Contracts Section; Pat Harmon, Heidi Mercure, and John Scott of Construction Division; Tim Reed of the Right of Way section; James Nelson, Jr. of M&O, Mary Kay Havens, Chad Howard P.E, Jonathan Weaver; Charles Tripp P.E, and Benjamin White of the Preconstruction and Design section. Also receiving certificates were Latina Bergam of Wrangell and Mandi Bolshakoff of Ketchikan both in the Construction Section.