• Tuesday , 18 June 2019

NorthStar fuel pro reflects on early days in Dutch Harbor, Alaska

NorthStar Senior Inventory Specialist Robert Sevilla in Seattle.
NorthStar Senior Inventory Specialist Robert Sevilla in Seattle.

Senior Inventory Specialist Robert Sevilla began his career in the field.

By Hilary Reeves

The winter of 2011 was a bad one for Alaskans: the snowiest winter on record and one of the coldest. That December, the crew of Delta Western Dutch Harbor heard that the coastal community of Nome was completely iced in and running out of fuel after a barge scheduled to arrive in the fall couldn’t make its delivery.

“We had to charter an ice class marine tanker to make the delivery from Dutch Harbor to Nome” over 300 miles of thick sea ice, said NorthStar’s Robert Sevilla. “I believe that if you put in the hard work and strive to better yourself every day that there is nothing you can’t achieve.”

Post-winter move

Sevilla started with Delta Western as a Fuel Dock attendant and driver in Dutch Harbor some 15 years ago. He transitioned to the role of Warehouse Administrator, maintaining the company’s packaged product inventory, then to the role of Office Administrator. By the spring of 2012, he was ready for a change.

“A position opened up in our Seattle corporate office for an Inventory Clerk, so I applied for the position and, luckily, I got it,” he said.

From there, Sevilla moved to his current position as Senior Inventory Specialist, a role that now sits in the NorthStar Energy supply group.

“I started in the field, so I enjoy seeing how everything unfolds, from purchasing our products to our site receiving them, selling to the customer to invoicing them. I get to see the paper trail from cradle to grave, sort of, and at the end of it all when the inventory is in balance, I know I did my job.”

Childhood challenges

The youngest of five children, Sevilla spent his childhood moving between the United States and the Philippines. His first job was encoding Census data for his brother’s NGO there.

“There was a project to collect data from the people living in the slums in Manila so the government would try to relocate them to better housings. It was something I understood because I grew up in a single-parent household with my mom working multiple jobs in the U.S. to make ends meet,” he explained. “She had to make a tough decision to send us home to the Philippines to stay with relatives. Living away from my parents was hard, but it built a strong foundation for my relationship with my siblings. My childhood had challenges, but I was still grateful because I knew that there are others who had less than me.”

“Living away from my parents was hard, but it built a strong foundation for my relationship with my siblings. My childhood had challenges, but I was still grateful because I knew that there are others who had less than me.”

Sevilla has been married for 16 years to his “wonderful wife,” and “has been blessed with two amazing daughters.” He said he’s grateful to have found his way to helping people in a slightly different capacity.

“I’m grateful for all the opportunities that the company has given me,” he said. “We have amazing people in place, and I believe we’re poised to do great things in our field, not only expanding the areas we service, but also venturing into alternative energy solutions. I see us continuing to be the best at what we do: providing safe, quality products and services for the people and communities that we serve.”

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