About SWS
We are Alaska web designers!

What’s it like to work with us?

We are a down-to-earth small business, which puts quality over quantity and
believes in providing stellar customer service that is friendly and unintimidating.

Core Team

Heidi Weiland: Project Manager & User Experience Designer

heidi-headshotI grew up in beautiful (and small) Valdez, Alaska. My curiosity to see what else is out there in the big, big world has fueled travels around the globe as well as many years of living abroad in cities like London, Montreal, Buenos Aires and São Paulo, Brazil. I love languages, making art and music and going on outdoor adventures here in Alaska.

I graduated from Rice University with a BA in Studio Art and have a Latu Sensu graduate degree in Interactive Multimedia and Graphic Design, which I studied at Senac University in Brazil. In 2003, I started my own freelance web design business and in 2005 helped form Sound Web Solutions with my mom, Karen. I have worked extensively in all areas of web design, including graphics, animation, front and back-end programming, user interface design for web, mobile and interactive applications, graphic design (identity, promotional materials, email marketing) and project management. My deep understanding of the development process and years of experience of working in the industry enable me to manage complex projects and build high quality products. For me, my driving force is to make people happy by building authentic relationships and providing a stellar service that transforms our clients’ businesses.

 

Michael Miller: Project Manager & Server Side Developer

Michael MillerSpecializing in web strategy, web programming and top notch WordPress training, Michael brings the best of geek tech and Apple beauty to the table.  A large dose of friendly comedy usually accompanies his expert advise. He is also the founder of our IT department Out of a Jam Solutions, where he works to make customers’ lives simpler with repair and consulting for computers and Mac networks for businesses.

 

Kurtis Simonsen: Web Developer

I spent my childhood in Washington, Kelowna, British Columbia, and Anchorage. I have dual citizenship with Canada thanks to my Canadian mom. After college on the east coast, I moved back to Anchorage because it definitely feels like home. I love that it’s so easy to ride your bike on all the trails and still be in a city. I have a cat named Chipsworth and I love singletrack biking, snowboarding, computers, and being around positive people.

I went to Salisbury University in Maryland where I majored in Environmental Studies and minored in Journalism & Public Relations. After returning to Anchorage, I worked as a College Career Guide and Recruiter for UAA where I worked with diverse students and staff, traveled throughout Alaska and inspired young people to set a path and go for it!  While I love working with people, I’ve always been a “tech guy” but I didn’t realize I could make a living at it until I read a book called, “A Year Without Pants.” It changed my view on what work is and inspired me to become a web developer. I love making something that’s functional as well as aesthetically pleasing and I love the fact that the technology constantly evolves so there is always more to learn!

Karen Weiland: Frontend Web Developer

Karen WeilandI am a native San Franciscan, but have lived in Colorado, Utah, Montana, Idaho, and Alaska. I arrived in spectacular Valdez in the summer of 1979 intending to stay in Alaska just for the summer. I’ve been in Alaska ever since. When not working on web projects, my other interests include skiing, hiking, sea kayaking, running, photography, traveling, reading, learning to play the piano, and biking.  I have an 18 pound Ragdoll cat, Bear, who lets me live with him.

After graduating from the University of California with a B.A. in Art, I went on to graduate school in Denver where I received an M.A. in Library Science. This was a perfect pairing of art and technology, which appealed to both my artistic side and tech geekiness. Witnessing a telnet connection to an academic database back in 1981 in Nome, Alaska, afforded me a peek into the fascinating world of the nascent Internet. I was hooked! Connecting people with digital information became my passion. As library director of the Valdez Consortium Library, I single handedly set up a local area network in the library and connected it to the fast growing network of online information resources, which grew exponentially into the World Wide Web.

Ultimately, my tech savvy led to managing all aspects of the City of Valdez’s computer and networking infrastructure. This was too much geekiness, not enough art! So I moved onto the perfect combination of art and the Internet, website design. In 2005, I formed Sound Web Solutions with my brilliant and talented daughter Heidi. As the business has grown, my role has evolved to project management and providing fantastic client support.

Felipe Abreu: Web Content Specialist

Felipe AbreuHailing from São Paulo, Brazil, Felipe brings a big city perspective to doing business online. With a background in International Relations, he spent many years of his pre-SWS working for the German cultural organization, DAAD. There, his work included providing consulting for research applicants looking for opportunities in Germany, coordinating outreach and organizing city wide educational fairs.

 

Margaret Adsit: Digital Strategic Planner, Search Engine Expert, Copywriter

I grew up on a small farm in Southeastern Wisconsin. Driven by a love of writing, I attended the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.  While in studying, I found my second and third love, environmental science and traveling, which has led me to adventure across the globe, to places like China, Alaska, Costa Rica, and Hawaii.  While working in resource conservation, I never gave up on my dream of becoming a writer, a dream that has happily melded with my penchant for a vagabond lifestyle.  After all, the more you see, the more you know, which means the more you have to write about.  I am now  resident of Hawaii, splitting my time between Alaska summers, Wisconsin falls and Hawaiian winters.

Ashley Fandrich: Office Manager

Ashley Fandrich, Office ManagerI was born and partially raised in Alaska and Hawaii. I left Alaska when I was 18 to explore the United States and was able to call, Arizona, Maryland and Pennsylvania my home for several years and since settled in Palmer, Alaska with my husband and children. I have three boys who love the outdoor activities Alaska has to provide, as do my two dogs, Buddy and Baby. I love backpacking/hiking, 4×4 mudding and fishing.

I went to school at American InterContenintal University Online where I received my Associates of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Criminal Justice and my Bachelors of Business Administration with a concentration in Operations Management. I am currently working on my Masters of Business Administration and will graduate in July of 2016.  I choose Out of a Jam and Sound Web Solutions for the personal, professional, and knowledgeable staff as well as the friendly atmosphere they provide. My motto is if you boldly face your problems your problems will soon disappear!