Home Posts tagged Jenna Rahkonen
Class of 2024

President, Iron-Lift LLC: Age 39

Jenna RahkonenJenna Rahkonen said she developed a unique set of skills during her career in manufacturing and construction — and used them to launch a business last year.

Rewinding a couple decades, she joined her family’s business, Alden Manufacturing, right out of college and eventually became director of Operations there.

“I learned a lot being involved in projects from start to finish and being in the factory when things were made,” she recalled. “I fell in love with the job, which was shocking to everyone, including myself.”

After her family sold the business, Rahkonen moved into the construction world, working in the Finance department at Northern Construction in Palmer, and later helping her husband, Alex, start his own crane-rental company, Northern Crane LLC, in the same town. There, while maintaining her financial role at Northern, she aided in the completion of 10 wind-turbine projects across the U.S. But she craved the challenge of running a business of her own.

“That’s how Iron-Lift LLC was born,” she said, explaining that the steel-erection company, which specializes in bridge construction, operates two branches out of its Monson headquarters: one that works on the state level with the Department of Transportation, the Department of Fish and Game, and other agencies; and a federal branch that has secured significant contracts, including a major current project performing lock and dam repairs for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“It’s been interesting every single day, waking up and learning something new, overcoming a new challenge,” she said. “And I have an incredible team behind me.”

Active in the community, Rahkonen also volunteers with HomeFront Strong, a nonprofit organization that works to build resilience in veterans and military families. As the daughter of a Vietnam veteran and the granddaughter of a Korean War and World War II veteran, she wanted to give back to those who have served this county.

Specifically, she’s HomeFront Strong’s treasurer and auditor; coordinates the food-distribution program, which delivers boxes of food to homebound veterans in the Palmer and Ware area; and serves on the board of directors, where she’s involved in the annual golf-tournament fundraiser, the annual Veterans Day breakfast, and fundraising for Suicide Awareness Month every September.

“It really puts a focus on family members of veterans as well, because they all go through similar things,” Rahkonen said. “We also do storytelling, where veterans and surviving family members tell their stories to volunteers during an interview. We’re trained in PTSD and mental health, and it’s therapeutic for them to tell their story.”

—Joseph Bednar