Neither Mark Hylen, Bob Lee, or Randy Ernst were on the bowling team that won the Kenai Chamber of Commerce annual "Up Your Alley," bowling championship, but they are each important members of the Beacon Occupational Health and Safety Services team that is making high scores at the former PRISM training center on Marathon Road in Kenai. After accepting the traveling trophy, creator and vice president of Beacon, Mark Hylen updated the Kenai Chamber on Beacon's formula for success. "We started ten years ago believing Alaska was a land of opportunity, and perhaps even more so now than in our early days, and today we have about 150 full time folks and work a lot on site which takes us to a lot of small villages throughout Alaska as well as the North Slope, Fairbanks, Southeast, here in South Central, and down the Aleutian Chain. Everywhere we go we stick to our core values of quality service, rock star customer satisfaction, and having fun. When we came into this market we worked with the city and took a strong look at whether we could be successful. We already served a lot of clients in this area, and decided to do things a little differently, expanding the services, bringing clients back that weren't coming here any longer and sending their people outside for firefighter training when we had this world class facility right here in Kenai, so we turned that around and in the future are looking at bring people from the lower 48 up here to Kenai rather than going to Reno for their training," Hylen told the Chamber saying that he has already spoken with fire departments as far away as Boise, Idaho and Phoenix, Arizona.
Hylen is a lifelong Alaskan who graduated from Anchorage high school, earned a degree in finance, and has already taken his business internationally, "We are actually working safety in Iraq right now working with other Alaskan contractors to help them rebuild one of their major ports providing safety oversight and personnel. We have operations now in California and have recently bid work for Antarctica," said the youthful entrepreneur. Hylen believes in focusing on the quality of the services Beacon provides and not expanding just for the sake of having new work, "The key is sticking to what you do and doing it well. We've been asked by some of our clients that are very pleased with our health and safety services if we can do drug and alcohol testing and we would say no and wait until we could find the right people to join our team and the right systems to put in place, because we didn't want to do something wrong and do work just to have new contracts," he said. Hylen feels that the Beacon Center in Kenai will fit nicely with the new box store complexes locating in the area and reiterated that there is no hazardous waste, chemicals, or fumes that come from the training center and said he intends on being proactive in awareness with his new neighbors. "North to the Future is still a slogan that works for me and I tell all our friends and family that currently don't reside in Alaska that this is the place to be and will want to be in the future," concluded Hylen.
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