Living the Mission, Loving the Work

Chris Tillman Blog Post

Chris Tillman says he is proud of the work Alaska Housing performs across the state in pursuit of its mission to provide safe, quality, affordable housing to Alaskans. He’s especially passionate about the word ‘safe’ in the mission.

The Risk Manager at Alaska Housing, Chris has spent 16 years working in the area of health and safety.

“I’ve always had the feeling that I could help someone,” Chris said when asked why he was drawn to this field. “I’m the person who pulls over to check in whenever I see someone on the side of the road with their hazards on. I try to help wherever I can.”

Looking for Challenges

This natural interest led him to work as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for 10 years. “It was exciting, sad and at the same time fulfilling,” he said.

Chris went through all the levels of EMT work in Alaska before looking for a new challenge. He went on to roles involving extensive work in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance, as well as continuing hands-on safety tasks.

In 2010, his work took him to Florida for oil spill cleanup after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Throughout his career Chris has worked in oil and gas, mining and renewable energy. He decided to change things up in his career when he joined Alaska Housing in 2018 as a risk specialist.

My role now is very different from past jobs. I used to work as a contractor, which is like being a hired gun. I was interested in getting into the corporate safety side, but honestly once I made the switch I didn’t like it right away. I missed being out in the field.”

– Chris Tillman, Risk Manager

Expanding His Role

When Chris was promoted to the position of risk manager in 2022 he was tasked with learning a whole new skill set. Engaged in learning a completely new role, his interest in corporate safety was renewed.

“I got to work more directly with people outside of the organization, great personalities,” Chris said. “There’s a lot of behind the scenes work that I didn’t know about when I was working as a risk specialist. I had no idea all of the brokers and outside agencies indirectly involved in my work. I had a lot to learn and I have been learning on the fly for the last year.”

Chris and his team of risk specialists directly support AHFC’s mission by ensuring properties are safe through inspections. Indirectly, he says that he sees his work as important to the corporation’s mission in the way that he keeps employees safe.

Taking Care of People

For Chris, his work is about taking care of people that he says he sees as a family.

“Once you get here and you get to know people, there’s a real familial feel,” Chris said. “Within my department, we help each other and have each other’s backs.

“Knowing that all our employees will go home safe and sound, with all their digits intact, that’s something I find rewarding. It enables them to be out in the field serving Alaskans.”

While chatting with Chris, the photographer prompted him to sit at his desk and joked, “Smile and say ‘I like my job!’” Chris replied, “I love my job.”

Want to join an inspiring team making a difference in people’s lives? AHFC is the right place for you. See our available jobs and come join our team.