Al Roskam, owner of Alaska Pellet Supply has tenaciously stayed with government contracting despite a very difficult initial experience. In July 2016 APS secured a contract with the U.S. Forest Service in Sitka for a small annual wood pellet supply worth $3,324 a year and APS continues to supply wood pellets in the Juneau market, including a contract with Sealaska Corporation.
Things looked very different in 2012 when Al worked with Jody King, one of Alaska PTAC’s contract specialists, to secure a $338,000 contract delivering wood pellets to the U.S. Coast Guard wood pellet boilers at the Sitka Coast Guard air station base located in southeast Alaska. Unfortunately, after one initial delivery, the wood boilers shut down due to a mechanical issue and were not used for the next two and a half years.
Alaska Pellet Supply was then caught in the middle of mechanical breakdown and the inevitable bureaucracy involved with resolving a difficult government situation. APS did not immediately find another wood pellet customer and in a sad twist of irony, worked as a subcontractor to remove the very pellets they filled in 2012 when working to replace wood pellet burning boilers with oil fired boilers. Al says, “Even though it has been rocky start for APS, we still owe a lot of gratitude to Jody and the Alaska PTAC team for showing us the way to get started.”
Today, between their commercial contracts and the contract with the U.S. Forest Service, Alaska Pellet Supply continues to promote alternative energy in Alaska and run a successful small business. Al is an inspiration and example for anyone who has the the creativity and grit to start a small business and pursue both government and commercial contracts.