Charlie Parr, SR/WA recognized by IRWA Arctic Trails Chapter 71
January 31, 2018
A lifetime of contributions to the right of way field
At a recent awards ceremony in Fairbanks, Charles L. (Charlie) Parr, SR/WA was recognized for his lifetime achievement and contribution to International Right of Way (IRWA) Arctic Trails Chapter 71 and its members.
“It’s a special honor to be recognized by your peers,” said Charlie. “It was a real surprise. Thank you so much.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award is reserved for individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the right of way (ROW) profession and the association during their lifetime. Charlie has served as an officer, mentor, instructor, and newsletter editor and contributor to IRWA for decades. He is one of the founding members of Chapter 71 and has been a Senior Member since 1981. Charlie has instructed for the association since 1983 and was recognized as one of the top six ROW professionals in the U.S. and Canada in 1991.
“This is an award that comes from our hearts, to someone who has, from the beginning, been a constant mentor and inspiration for our Chapter members,” said Sharon McLeod-Everette. “He was our first president and remains a mainstay for our Chapter.”
A 57-year Alaska resident, Charlie has more than 43 years of experience in ROW and land titles. He is qualified as an expert witness on ROW and title matters in the Superior Courts of Alaska. He has also instructed courses in ROW, easements and title matters for Ilisagvik College in Barrow and the College of Rural Alaska at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Throughout the course of his career, Charlie has worked on numerous complicated ROW and title matter projects. Some of the most interesting include ROW acquisition for a fiber optic cable from Valdez to Prudhoe Bay, preparing legal descriptions for Federal and State lands in connection with the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System lease renewals, and identifying potential substitute lands for reconstituting the Mental Health Trust. Charlie is especially proud of his title opinion for the Cold Bay Airport, which involved the analysis of nearly 250 parcels accompanied by a detailed graphic exhibit.
Charlie started his career in ROW through chance. After several seasons on construction survey crews and as a construction inspector, he was unemployed and heard about an opening for a ROW agent at Golden Valley Electric Association. Not being entirely sure what that was, he applied anyway and was hired in June 1974. Charlie learned quickly and a few months later, was promoted to Real Property Officer, due to a resignation. He stayed in that position for seven years.
Since then, Charlie has continued his career in ROW working for the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF), as an independent consultant and as a Senior ROW Professional at R&M Consultants, Inc. (R&M). He served as Airport Leasing Chief for DOT&PF Northern Region from 1984 to 1990 where he was responsible for the real estate assets at 147 airports, including Fairbanks International Airport. He then returned to the private sector as an independent consultant in ROW, title and land management. From June 1990 to June 2004, Charlie managed the Fairbanks office of Land Field Services.
Charlie joined R&M in 2010. During his time at the firm, Charlie has provided land acquisition services for the North Slope Borough, ROW services for the Aleknagik Wood River Bridge project, land and ROW services for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, and ROW services for numerous Alaska infrastructure projects and studies. He is a valued member of the R&M team, bringing decades of experience in title issues and ROW acquisition to each project.
“I get paid to work on interesting and challenging projects and problems and meet new and interesting people,” said Charlie.
Charlie’s greatest interest is in mentoring the next generation of ROW professionals to continue this important work.
“Charlie seems to really want people to understand, enjoy and learn about the profession,” said Steve Taylor, Arctic Trails Chapter 71 President. “His knowledge of ROW and how case law applies situationally always seems unending.”
Charlie plans to keep working in the ROW field as long as he continues to learn and have challenging assignments. He also plans to continue to enjoy life outside of ROW issues, dancing with his wife when he can, doing occasional genealogy research, reading and gardening.
“I am at the age where I have to spend down my retirement accounts,” said Charlie. “So I may take more than one vacation a year!”