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Rolland Trowbridge, Volunteer Chief Engineer

Rolland in the engineering room

Rolland Trowbridge is a world traveler and jack-of-all-trades with roots in Michigan; he was born in Detroit and grew up and went to school in Grand Rapids.

His first job – at the age of ten – was working at a television repair shop rebuilding tuner knobs. He started off in Moody Bible Institute’s aviation program and finished his flight training at Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music (now Cornerstone University) – while also completing a double major of English and world religion at Calvin College.

He married his high school sweetheart, Deb, in his second year of college.

Starting in his college days, Rolland honed his skills as an entrepreneur. After work in the automotive repair field, he started his own companies specializing, respectively, in automotive diagnostic training and in injector rebuilding.

He eventually sold the latter company to prepare for a rare, incredible journey: an around-the-world voyage in a sailboat with his wife Deb and daughters Jannelle and Bianca. Piloting their sailboat, Precipice, the family sailed first to Newfoundland, where they lived for a year. Their cruise then took them to Greenland and over Canada to Alaska via the Northwest Passage.

While the family pondered their next destination, a storm in the Bering Sea ripped the life raft off their vessel and changed their plans. They stopped in Nome to make repairs and soon became immersed in the local community.

In Nome, Rolland has brought both his dedicated work ethic and his broad technical expertise to serve the community. At KNOM, he’s regularly checking our systems, making repairs, and offering guidance for the future engineering needs of our mission.

Rolland keeps busy, both inside and outside of our studio walls. He owns Trinity Sails and Repair, providing auto diagnostics and maintenance, shipwright and sail repairs, and commercial diving. He also operates Arctic Maritime Agency, providing logistical support for local mariners. Rolland is also on call as an Emergency Medical Technician for the Nome Volunteer Ambulance Department.

Rolland is preparing to race in the Iditarod sled dog race in 2015, and Jannelle hopes to complete the Junior Iditarod in 2014. Currently, the family has 34 dogs.