MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Learn more about the people behind our local businesses!

Alicia Chapman 
Willamette Technical Fabricators

In the spring of 2023, Governor Tina Kotek nominated PBDG member Alicia Chapman to serve on the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC). Alicia’s appointment acknowledges the work she has accomplished, both as the owner and CEO of Willamette Technical Fabricators, and as a champion of triple-bottom-line values — 21st-century business practices that center people, planet, and profit. Alicia’s DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprises) designation, her experience as a vocal transportation advocate, and her interest in clean energy were all factors in allowing Governor Kotek to establish more diversity within the Commission when naming this highly experienced new commissioner.

The Oregon Transportation Commission guides planning, development, and management of the state’s integrated transportation network, while also serving as the body that establishes state transportation policy. With a number of pressing, important projects on their agenda — including toll bridges, major highway improvements, and funding for the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program — the OTC gains a wise and experienced new commissioner, as Alicia’s civic work and overall scope of her business fit perfectly with the Commission’s needs.

With riverfront offices in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington, Willamette Technical Fabricators bring complex projects to life across the region. From building custom rugged work-boats that can squeeze between barges, to fabricating massive gates within dams straddling the Columbia River, Alicia and her business have been integral in multiple regional initiatives. But Alicia has always been a big thinker, and a powerful do-er. During her time in Washington, D.C., Alicia worked for USAID, where she helped organize international building projects in Palestine, Libya, and Afghanistan that in turn helped create local jobs, opportunity, and wealth. In 2012, Alicia moved to Portland to work on her Ph.D., and was soon recruited to work at OMIC (the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center) — an organization that envisions, develops, and provides innovative solutions to real manufacturing challenges. Later, when Alicia was ready to strike out on her own, she joined PBDG. As a PBDG member, Alicia received key guidance, services, and support as she completed her COBID certification, updated her capabilities statement, and developed a long-range financial forecast.

Willamette Technical Fabricators is now a thriving enterprise, with a leader who’s passionate about finding and sharing opportunities in a field that has few women and people of color. Alicia hopes to branch out into training in an effort to bring other community members into this exciting area of construction. In the interim, Alicia remains focused on building clean-energy transportation solutions and infrastructure projects encompassing bridges, hydropower dams, custom complex fabrication projects, and floating wind- and ocean-energy devices. Along with being a part of PBDG, Alicia is also a member of AISC (the American Institute of Steel Construction). Her current projects include: the Abernathy Bridge, which will create safety railings and structures that better protect fish; bulkhead gate storage, which supports the Army Corps of Engineers in maintaining hydroelectric dams; and the Bonneville Dam sluiceway roller gate.

Alicia’s multifaceted successes prove what PBDG has always known. Namely, that business owners are civic leaders. We applaud Alicia’s growth, her desire to give back, and her commitment to serve on the Oregon Transportation Commission. We know she will improve our infrastructure, as well as the opportunities for those in our community.

 

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