Business profile: Dan Miller

Posted: Monday, April 21, 2003

Title and company: General Manager, Bicknell Inc.

Services: Bicknell Inc. is the Juneau-based general contracting company that is developing land and building homes in the Montana Creek Subdivision. The company also builds roads and lays pavement.

"Typically we have four to six houses going at any one time at various stages," Miller said. "Through the winter months we have a couple of construction projects, snow removal and street sanding. And then in the summer we may end up with a couple of hundred different paving jobs."

Miller said he spends most of his time on the housing construction projects.

"There's like 3,000 different things that have to go on a house," he said. He works with the building designers to develop a floor plan for the home, orders the material and organizes the digging of the foundation.

Biographical information: Miller was born in north Idaho and raised in Spokane, Wash. His father was a contractor by hobby and as a part-time job, and he introduced Miller to the construction business.

Miller attended Washington State University for three years, focusing on architecture and structural courses. In 1983 he moved to Alaska while working for Osborne Construction, a Seattle-based company that has projects throughout Alaska.

He lived in Fairbanks for eight years, Anchorage for four, and numerous towns and villages, such as Bethel, Nome, Kotzebue and Dutch Harbor, for several months at a time while working on projects.

He moved to Juneau to work as the construction superintendent for the Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority, and took the general manager position with Bicknell Inc. in May of last year.

"We've been talking for the last six years about me going to work with them, and I finished my commitment with Tlingit-Haida ... so it was perfect timing," Miller said.

Working with Bicknell Inc. owner Sandy Bicknell and his son Spike has been a positive experience, Miller said.

"It's really a family environment and it's great," he said. "We've put together an incredible crew."

Continuing education courses, trade journals and home shows help Miller keep his skills up with the times, he said.

"A lot of people in this business, they become stagnant, they don't want to learn any new stuff," he said. "You really have to stay dynamic."

Family: Miller lives in Juneau with his fiancé Laura Otness, who he will marry in June; his son Jake Miller, 15, and daughter Amanda Miller, 9; and Otness' three kids and two dogs. He plans to stay in Juneau for a while, he said.

"One of the houses I'm building out there in the (Montana Creek) subdivision is my own."

Quotable: "It's very rewarding to be able to stand back and look at the things that you build and know you did it with an excellent crew in a timely manner and you have satisfied customers," Miller said.

Contact information: The office for Bicknell Inc. is at 10000 Crazy Horse Drive, No. 8. Miller can be reached at 789-5727.

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