John Huntley's New Opportunity Found on the Gulf Coast

width=400

Among John Huntley’s AGC activities is participation in government affairs. Here John is meeting with State Sen. Kelli Linville.

“I don’t do gloom and doom I just look for opportunities.”

That’s the sentiment of John Huntley third generation co-owner of family-owned PM Northwest Inc. in Mt. Vernon. Four years ago John jumped at the opportunity to buy Mills Electric in Bellingham.

Recently John found a surprising new opportunity: transporting Gulf oil spill clean-up crews. His firm PM Northwest Inc. a Mount Vernon-based plant maintenance contractor established in 1957 recently expanded to operate the transportation business from Texas to Florida.

“I have a friend in Texas who had a welding company that I’ve done work with” John says. “He got into the rental equipment business which evolved into renting busses. He got a call to help with the oil spill but he needed help providing licensed drivers. He called me we got the licenses we needed and now do work for Signature Group a disaster relief contractor. Things are a little bit on hold right now but other opportunities may arise beyond the clean up.”

John has been in construction for more than 30 years and for 25 years he has been a co-owner with family members of PM Northwest. He says he’s worked in every refinery in the State of Washington over those years.

As with everything else John’s businesses have been affected by the economic downturn but it’s been a hiccup that he barely acknowledges.

“In hard times you regroup and restructure” he says. “Last year was crummy for Mills but we kept everyone and the outlook looks good now.” Mills holds licenses to do work in Idaho Montana Oregon and California and expects to have its Alaska license soon. We are about ready to expand our horizons with Mills” he says. “Plus PM Northwest will have a great year this year.”

A key to thriving in difficult times has been “hiring good people” John says. “With both Mills and PM Northwest we have an outstanding group of people with great guys coming up.” Those up-and-comers include a fourth generation of Huntleys John’s son Josh and nephews Jerrod Jesse and Jake.

John’s positive outlook also shows in his community work. He’s President-Elect of the St. Joseph Hospital Foundation Board and is on the Whatcom Hospice Board. With other AGC members Huntley is part of a team of AGC contractors (Dawson and Diamond B among them) that created the Whatcom Hospice House which is nearing completion. (See accompanying article on the Hospice House Open House event).

As a relatively new member Huntley has found opportunity within AGC. PM Northwest and Mills are AGC Safety Team® and Group Retro members and John is active in AGC’s government affairs efforts. “AGC has been great” he says. “I’ve gotten a lot out of it – excellent support and the opportunity to build valuable relationships.”

There’s that word again…opportunity. John Huntley just seems to keep finding it.