Our Story

Highland Refrigeration is a privately owned industrial refrigeration company founded in Seattle in 1999.

We set our goals to design and build the most efficient refrigeration systems, using components of highest quality standards available worldwide using our many years of experience.

We sell single components or complete refrigeration projects, containerized or prefabricated refrigeration systems. Our expertise covers low temperature cold storages, -76°F (- 60°C), complete integrated refrigeration systems for processing lines, semi-automatic plate freezers, and blast freezers of any kind.

Highland Refrigeration is proud of its dedicated staff, a most valuable asset. We have a strong team of engineers to assist and ensure that our customers receive well-engineered systems at competitive prices and with full service backup. Our experienced Service Department is available for service and follow-up wherever it’s needed.

Our success is based on the quality of our products as well as the excellent customer service we provide.

Our Team

Meet The Highland Team

Lars Matthiesen

President, Mechanical Engineer

Lars established Sabroe Refrigeration for North America in Seattle in 1979 and ran the company for 14 years before consulting for GEA (Kuhlautomat Berlin) and establishing their screw compressor presence in the USA, now GEA Refrigeration, N.A.. In 1999 he opened his own company, Highland Refrigeration. Lars holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Yara Silva

President, Civil Engineer

Yara oversees finances and administration for Highland Refrigeration. She has been with Highland since its earliest days. Before moving to Seattle. Yara negotiated daily operations with major clients at Unibanco, the third largest private bank in Brazil at that time, and worked in trade finance at the International Department. Yara holds a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering.

Kjeld Hansen

Vice President of Engineering, Mechanical Engineer

Kjeld has worked as a Design Engineer in the refrigeration field for many years, including 18 years as Chief Engineer at Sabroe North America. Previously, he worked for Tyson Foods, overseeing the refrigeration systems at plants and cold storage facilities nationwide. He also made a name for himself in the soft drink industry, designing and procuring the refrigeration system for the world’s biggest Coca Cola plant, in Brampton, Canada.

Todd Poulsen

Vice President of Operations and Service

Todd has more than 30 years of experience in marine and industrial refrigeration systems, building, trouble-shooting and service. A veteran of Sabroe Refrigeration, he has worldwide exposure and expertise.

Stephen Schwitters

Project Engineer, Alaska State Mechanical Administrator

Before joining Highland in 2012, Stephen spent 8 years working in the Alaska seafood industry in engineering positions, both on-shore and at sea. He has practical experience with the refrigeration systems and operations of processing facilities, vessels, and tenders which is helpful in his work at Highland. Stephen holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Alan McMurray

Project Engineer

Alan joined our Highland engineering team in 2015. He designs and oversees fabrication of refrigeration systems and is the liaison to shop projects. Alan holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Inoka Wijesekera

Project Engineer

Inoka is our newest team member and holds a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering. Inoka has 5 years of experience in ammonia refrigeration project management and PSM/RMP programs. She was a Project Engineer at Tyson Foods refrigeration engineering team before she joined our Highland team.



“We chose Highland Refrigeration as our refrigeration system designer and supplier based on system simplicity, redundancy, reliability, price, and a well-known reputation for standing behind their product.”

Jerry Kennedy, Partner Alaska Longline Company

“Blue North is pleased to have partnered with Highland Refrigeration to provide the refrigeration equipment for the new “Blue North”. Highland Refrigeration’s leading edge technology and team of experts creates a synergy with our company that we believe is second to none.”

Kenny Down, President and CEO Blue North Fisheries

“Highland Refrigeration has supplied 100% of our refrigeration design, equipment purchases, and service since 2004. They excel in all aspects of the marine refrigeration business…most importantly their positive proactive attitude and attention to detail is unsurpassed.”

Nick Delaney, Managing Director of Alaskan Leader Fisheries