Velocity's Innovative Professionals (VIP) Group

Velocity is proud to announce the founding of Velocity’s Innovative Professionals (VIP) group. VIP will serve as a think tank for young professionals determined to spread Alaska’s energy news and facts. We have collected a group of engaged, inspired and energetic individuals to be our group’s “founders” from across industry and backgrounds.

We would like to take a minute to highlight them!


Erin Bragg

A Project Scientist for SLR Consulting, Erin has over eight years of experience in environmental management and sustainability. She has extensive experience with public outreach and regularly works with diverse groups of stakeholders to achieve sustainability, environmental, and conservation goals. Also, she’s an avid alpine skier.


Reed Derrick

Reed is a Project Coordinator for Delta Constructors, LLC. His journey in the Oil & Gas industry began in Prudhoe Bay performing facility shutdown work for BP. Over the course of the last 8 years, he has gained a multitude of knowledge and hands-on experience in developing the current culture that is the North Slope. He also enjoys getting out on the green and golfing.


Taylor Ferguson

Taylor has worked in a variety of STEM-related positions during her time in Alaska, but is currently an Assistant Program Director for Alaska Resource Education. She is passionate not only about the natural world, but humankind's role in it, and learning about ways we can live and use our resources sustainably and with longevity.And of course sharing this information with the kids she teaches. She is also a dog mom to retired Iditarod champion dog Sorel.

Nicole Johnson

Nicole joined SLR Consulting in June 2021 as a Principal Consultant in the role of AlaskaBusiness Development Lead. In this role, she works with technical and scientific leaders from across the globe to develop new and innovative methodology to address the concerns and needs of Alaskans—including increasing scientific and technical understand in rural communities.


Lauren Latchem

Lauren is an engineer for Norgasco, a gas distribution company that serves Alaska’s NorthSlope. Before moving back to her Alaskan roots after school, she worked designing environmental exhaust treatment packages and as a waterfront engineer maintaining and designing modifications for the U.S. Navy’s nuclear submarines fleet. Lauren is also a land scape photographer, private pilot, and rescue diver.


John Reed

A former US Navy aircrewman on MH-53E helicopters, John now works as a Marketing Coordinator forNANA Worley. In this role, John understands the necessity of responsible resource development to create economic opportunities for all Alaskans.

He is also currently in the process of applying for MBA programs at APU and UAA.

Rysen Shirzadi

Rysen is a development engineer in ASRC Energy Services’ Innovation Department.  His job is to envision, design, build, and deploy innovative technologies in the energy and remediation space.  Originally from Texas, Rysen has been on the AES team for two great years, and has developed apps and hardware that have become critical to AES’ technology portfolio.


Beki Toussaint

Working for AlaskaResource Education (ARE) Beki has combined her passion for teaching with her knowledge and experience from consulting in industry. Since joining ARE in2012, Beki has spent her time helping students connect the dots between what the resources are, how they impact our economy and what careers are available to them right here in Alaska. Beki also loves to wake surf, fly fish, hunt, snowboard, snowmachine, or do basically anything outdoors.


Esther Tempel

Esther is the proposals coordinator for ASRC Energy Services, LLC. She is leading AES’s charge on Infrastructure Bill bidding and assisting clients with their carbon initiatives. She’s working toward being a subject matter expert in regard to grants, government contracting, and anything carbon.

Owen Phillips

Owen is the editor/publisher of Velocity and a reformed academic with a background in chemistry. His wild life path has included making science art, working in the Alaska Legislature, hosting parties in Smithsonian Museums and sharing his love of learning with anyone who will listen. He is a recent graduate of Washington State University's Masters in Strategic Communication program.


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