I grew up in Alaska, having moved here at age five. My dad was a pilot for a small air-taxi service out in bush Alaska, and he flew everything from mail, groceries, and dog-teams to med-evac flights up and down the villages in the Yukon-Kuskoquim River Delta. The most well-known of these villages is Bethel. We spent a few years in the bush (Hooper Bay, Mountain Village, St Marys) before moving to Anchorage, the “big-city”. During my childhood up here, I also lived in Kodiak and Fairbanks. We left the state in ’89. Fast forward eight years: I’m living in Bend, Oregon, just about done with college and can’t wait to get back up to Alaska. My best friend happened to be a driver-guide and she encouraged me to apply for the rail services division. I do, and wonder of wonders, I score an interview! Even better – I get hired. My first summer, I was a host guide(aka rail guide). I loved it. The hours were long, but after the first few runs, I really didn’t notice. The first season flew by, and I stayed the winter in Anchorage, working at the hospital, playing with the Anchorage Symphony and telling everyone about what a great time I had on the train. The next summer I was an onboard bartender, and the summer after that, an Onboard Manager. Shortly after my summer as an Onboard Manager, I had the opportunity to work full time for the company, taking a position that put me in Fairbanks in the summer, Anchorage in the winter. In the meantime, I met and married my husband (also a rail employee), who also went on to work full-time in Fairbanks for the Transportation Division. With both of us in Fairbanks, we opted to move there full time and skip the back and forth and having two households. We stayed in Fairbanks for over five years, when the opportunity for promotion came along again, and I was able to move back to Anchorage in my new role as Administrative Manager for the Rail Office. It hasn’t been all about work though! We’ve had the chance to cruise five times (five times more than I would if I hadn’t worked here!) and bring our families with us to enjoy the experience. We’ve been to Europe, the Caribbean, Tahiti, the Panama Canal, Hawaii, and are looking forward to our next adventure this spring. In the ten years I’ve been full-time with the company, my co-workers have become friends and family – we’ve celebrated marriages, births and deaths, new starts and major changes. I feel extremely grateful for the opportunities I’ve found here- a company that not only promotes from within but then continues working with their employees to grow their full potential and offer more chances to advance is a rare one!