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April 2018

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April 2018 Digital Edition TA BLE OF CONTENTS

DEPARTMENTS

FROM THE EDITOR EAT, SHOP, PLAY, STAY EVENTS CALENDAR BUSINESS EVENTS INSIDE ALASKA BUSINESS RIGHT MOVES ALASKA TRENDS AD INDEX

ABOUT THE COVER: Thank you to the Corporate 100 companies that provided an image— representing the corporation’s services, culture, or people—for our cover: Afognak Native Corporation; Ahtna; Alaska Airlines; Alaska Communications; Alaska General Seafoods; Alaska Railroad; Alaska USA; Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.; ASRC; Baker Hughes, a GE Company; Bartlett Regional Hospital; Beacon Occupational Health & Safety Services; Bering Straits Native Corp.; BP Exploration (Alaska); Chugach Alaska Corp.; Chugach Electric Association; CIRI; Colville; Conam Construction; ConocoPhillips Alaska; Couer Alaska; Credit Union 1; Crowley Alaska; Cruz Construction; Denali Federal Credit Union; Doyon, Limited; ENSTAR; Everts Air Cargo; First National Bank Alaska; Foundation Health Partners; Grant Aviation; Guardian Flight; Hilton Anchorage; Homer Electric Association; Hope Community Resources; KeyBank; Lynden; Matanuska Electric Association; Municipal Light & Power; Matanuska Telephone Association; New York Life; Northern Air Cargo; Northrim Bank; PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center; Peter Pan Seafoods; Price Gregory International; Providence Health & Services, Alaska; Ravn Alaska; REI; Seekins Ford Lincoln; Subway of Alaska; Sumitomo Metal Mining; The Alaska Club; Three Bears Alaska; Unisea; Usibelli Coal Mine; Wells Fargo Bank N.A.

7 110 112 114 115 118 120 122

ARTICLES PROFESSIONAL SERVICES 8 | The Digital

Revolution Is Here

Alaska’s PR community talks digital, social marketing By Tracy Barbour

96

MINING

16 | EIS Permitting at

Alaska’s Operating Mines

Image courtesy of Within The Wild Adventure Co.

Pebble, Donlin Gold, Greens Creek, and Kensington By Dimitra Lavrakas

TELECOM & TECH

20 | 21st Century Tech on the North Slope

Resource development moves at lightning speed with fiber optic, IoT By Tracy Barbour

TRANSPORTATION

26 | Fly Safe with

Tech-Savvy Pilots, Aircraft

New technology helps navigate Alaska’s unique terrain By Vanessa Orr

32 | Job Outlook in Cook Inlet

LNG project could create thousands of openings By O’Hara Shipe

36 | Alyeska’s Future with Edison Chouest Offshore Update on developing partnership By Tom Barrett

LEGAL SPEAK

38 | Penny Wise—Pound Foolish: Wage & Hour Pitfalls Comply with labor laws now to save later By Renea I. Saade

4

Yoga on the outside deck of Tutka Bay Lodge is one activity whereby guests can both focus on their own wellness and take in the great outdoors.

EDUCATION

86 | Fairbanks Students Express Interest in Medical, STEM Fields But often not in Alaska, study shows By Sam Friedman

92 | Keeping Alaskans in Alaska Jobs

Workforce training for the next generation By O’Hara Shipe

HEALTHCARE

96 | Wellness Through Simplicity

Nature excursions, peaceful hideaways, moments to meditate By Judy Mottl

100 A couple taking a stroll at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, one of the accommodations used by guests on a Princess Cruises’ cruisetour.

TOURISM

100 | Alaska and Tourism: A Marriage Made in Heaven

Increasing visitor demand boosts package tour sales By Vanessa Orr

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com

Image courtesy of Princess Cruises

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April 2018 Digital Edition TA B L E

O F

C O N T E N T S

2018 CORPORATE 100 Special Section

Image courtesy of Alyeska Resort

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Annually Alyeska Resort hosts the Spring Carnival that features the Slush Cup, where skiers dress up in costume and attempt to launch themselves across a pond.

40 | 2018 Corporate 100

The Fairbanks Memorial Hospital is currently owned by the Greater Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation and is operated by the foundation’s wholly owned subsidiary Foundation Health Partners, making it one of a handful of independent hospitals in the country.

Executive Summary By Kathryn Mackenzie

42 | Not Just Another Human Resources Story Why HR is vital to organizations of all sizes By Lynne Curry

82

76 44 | The 2018 Alaska

Image courtesy of Dan Boyette

Business Corporate 100 Directory

72 | Baker Hughes, a GE Company

International oil and gas industry leader serves Alaska and its employees By Tasha Anderson

GCI Vice President Dan Boyette loves Alaska’s outdoors and all it offers; he’s been working for nearly three decades in Alaska, traveling statewide.

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76 | The Road to Independence

Foundation Health Partners cares for Fairbanks By Tasha Anderson

Image courtesy of FHP

78 | Alaska’s Iconic Alyeska Resort

Nearing six decades of quality service and community support By Tasha Anderson

80 | Alaska USA

Investments in community and culture By Tasha Anderson

82 | Rich Career in Telecommunications Dan Boyette celebrates nearly three decades at GCI By Judy Mottl

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


FROM THE EDITOR

The Alaska Business Corporate 100

VOLUME 34, NUMBER 4 Published by Alaska Business Publishing Co. Anchorage, Alaska EDITORIAL STAFF Managing Editor Kathryn Mackenzie 257-2907 editor@akbizmag.com

Associate Editor Tasha Anderson 257-2902 tanderson@akbizmag.com Digital and Social Media Specialist Arie Henry 257-2906 ahenry@akbizmag.com Art Director David Geiger 257-2916 design@akbizmag.com Art Production Linda Shogren 257-2912 production@akbizmag.com Photo Contributor Judy Patrick BUSINESS STAFF President Billie Martin VP & General Manager Jason Martin 257-2905 jason@akbizmag.com VP Sales & Marketing Charles Bell 257-2909 cbell@akbizmag.com Advertising Account Manager Janis J. Plume 257-2917 janis@akbizmag.com Advertising Account Manager Holly Parsons 257-2910 hparsons@akbizmag.com Advertising Account Manager Christine Merki 257-2911 cmerki@akbizmag.com Accounting Manager Ana Lavagnino 257-2901 accounts@akbizmag.com Customer Service Representative Emily Olsen 257-2914 emily@akbizmag.com 501 W. Northern Lights Boulevard, Suite 100 Anchorage, Alaska 99503-2577 (907) 276-4373 | Toll Free: 1-800-770-4373 Fax: (907) 279-2900 www.akbizmag.com Editorial email: editor@akbizmag.com ALASKA BUSINESS PUBLISHING CO., INC. Alaska Business (ISSN 8756-4092) is published monthly by Alaska Business Publishing Co., Inc., 501 W. Northern Lights Boulevard, Suite 100, Anchorage, Alaska 99503-2577; Telephone: (907) 276-4373; © 2018 Alaska Business Publishing Co. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Alaska Business accepts no responsibility for unsolicited materials; they will not be returned unless accompanied by a stamped, self addressed envelope. One-year subscription is $39.95 and includes twelve issues (print + digital) and the annual Power List. Single issues of the Power List are $15 each. Single issues of Alaska Business are $3.95 each; $4.95 for the October issue. Send subscription orders and address changes to circulation@akbizmag.com. To order back issues ($8.95 each including postage) visit www.akbizmag.com/store.

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Keeping Alaska healthy, happy, and employed

I

t’s a beautiful month for business. The sun is shining (most of the time), green is peeking out of white, and it’s time for the Corporate 100 at Alaska Business. Life doesn’t get much better. This year we again recognize and honor the state’s largest employers as they persist through a turbulent economy, keeping Alaskans in work and providing the products and services we rely on to keep us warm, fed, and healthy and happy. Combined, the 2018 Alaska Business Corporate 100 employ 72,899 people in Alaska and 2.4 million worldwide. And though that represents a roughly 18 percent drop compared to last year, when the number of Alaska employees was 89,329, the drop is partially affected by a number of businesses joining or dropping off the list, as well as some changes to employee reporting methods, according to the company-submitted surveys. In December, Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.3 percent, according to Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development figures, marking the state’s highest unemployment rate since 2012. While that is… well, a less-than-ideal ideal figure, it is just that, a figure. Alaskans know how to roll with the punches and nothing shows that more than the continued opportunities offered by the Corporate 100 and the dozens upon dozens of small businesses throughout the state; factor in the multitude of rural locations in dire need of services and the workers who offer them, and the employment picture becomes a bit brighter. Alaska always has been and remains a land filled with opportunity—opportunity that all of the businesses on the Corporate 100 recognized and built their successes around. We feature four such companies in profiles in the Corporate 100 Special Section: Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, Alyeska Resort, Foundation Health Partners (operator of Fairbanks Memorial Hospital), and Baker Hughes, a GE Company. From these companies we learn the secret of running a successful organization for decades in Alaska; how to find, train, and retain employees; and how each contributes to its community. In fact, just about every company on the Corporate 100 is an active member in the communities in which they operate. Whether through charitable donations, free- or low-cost training programs, internships and jobs, scholarship opportunities, or philanthropic efforts that align with the company’s mission and activities, Alaskans are giving. (Check out the Alyeska Resort profile on page 78 to learn about a very cool program designed to help disabled visitors learn to ski.) We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Every year we are honored by all of the businesses that take the time to fill out the Corporate 100 surveys, subject themselves to grueling Alaska Business profile interviews (associate editor Tasha Anderson is known for her mean streak—we’re talking to HR), and continue to support and uphold our many diverse communities. And of course, the Corporate 100 is just part of this month’s jampacked issue focused primarily on employment and human resources. Read all about the employee who has been with telecommunications giant GCI for nearly three decades and expect some surprises from Fairbanks high school students recently surveyed about their dream careers. What fields were they most interested in and where? As they say, “Read all about it!” right here in the April issue of Alaska Business. —Kathryn Mackenzie Managing Editor, Alaska Business April 2018 | Alaska Business

7


PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

The Digital Revolution Is Here

Alaska’s PR community talks digital, social marketing By Tracy Barbour

L

ast summer, Thompson & Co. Public Relations launched a monthly Twitter chat to promote Alaska’s Tourism Marketing Program. The PR agency incorporated local travel writers, editors, and other influencers to help amplify tourism-related messages during the chats. The messages focused on fun topics and intriguing questions such as “What do I pack when I come to Alaska?” and “What are the top twelve icons to see when you’re here?” The campaign adopted a simplistic yet effective approach to leveraging Twitter. “It’s using a well-known platform and putting an Alaska twist on it,” says Jennifer Thompson, president and CEO

8

of Thompson & Co. “It wasn’t super expensive—but it had a really wide reach.” The successful Twitter campaign illustrates one of the key PR and marketing trends playing out in Alaska—digital. PR and marketing practitioners are increasingly using digital media to help clients connect with their target audience. A number of other trends are also at work, and agencies are adjusting their approach to carry out successful campaigns throughout the state.

Digital Driving Current Trends The use of digital media represents a major trend in Alaska, according to Alexa Dobson,

president of the American Marketing Association (AMA) Alaska Chapter. There’s a greater awareness of the importance of digital and technology on the side of clients and marketers, says Dobson, who is also a digital marketing specialist at Yuit Communications, an Anchorage-based strategic communications and software development firm. “We’re definitely hearing a lot more about the digital component of ad campaigns from clients,” says Dobson. “And digital is making up a larger portion of the campaigns we put together.” However, the adoption of digital is occurring at a slower rate in Alaska than the rest of

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


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“As more and more people expect that immediate response, it will be more and more important for organizations to provide it. No longer can you wait until the end of the day. People are reporting the news 24/7. You can’t wait until the paper is printed to get the story out.”

—Michelle Renfrew Director of University Relations University of Alaska Fairbanks

MSI uses this type of advertising to give clients a targeted, scientific, and cost-efficient experience as well as an effective way to connect with audiences online. “It allows you to pinpoint your target market across channels based on their online habits, shopping trends, and viewing history,” Fagnani explains. MSI also capitalizes on Connected TV (CTV) for serving targeted video ads to viewers who stream media on Internet-connected televisions, computers, and other devices. This enables the agency to penetrate major networks like ESPN, CNN, and Fox when

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the United States. What’s transpiring now in Alaska is what was happening in the Lower 48 five years ago, Dobson says. “I think we’re consistently on a few years’ delay, but we’re definitely moving in the same direction,” she says. “I’ve always believed that this is an advantage if anything. In a sense, we have ‘future vision’ because we know what’s going on in the Lower 48, and we can scale to that.” Marketers can also capitalize on this digital “lag time” to invest in their education, attend conferences, and meet with other agencies in the Lower 48. AMA Alaska strives to facilitate the education process for its members. “With AMA, we make an effort to bring up several out-of-state speakers every year so people who can’t travel can attend and get a sense of what’s going on with marketing,” Dobson says. Digital marketing is also impacting the way Alaska’s marketers produce content by making them more strategic and purposeful. It’s much more important to provide digital content that is relevant, adds value, and encourages engagement, according to Laurie Fagnani, president of MSI Communications, a full-service, Anchorage-based advertising agency. “Otherwise, people will tune you out,” she says. “Consumers are delivered endless amounts of ads online across many devices and platforms, making their attention a scarce resource. You only have a few seconds to catch their attention—don’t waste it.” Another marketing trend that’s happening in Alaska is programmatic, digital-ad buys.

pipalaska.com

users are viewing content on devices such as Chromecast, Roku, and Apple TV, reaching a younger demographic of “cord cutters.” Because CTV is delivered online, it allows for more specific targeting and reporting than that of a traditional broadcast campaign. Fagnani says she is also seeing the continued personalization of marketing and, more recently, the automation of certain parts of that activity. The technology to create multiple versions of the same ad has existed for nearly a decade. But machine learning has entered the field now, and software will get exponentially better at making slight modifications to ad placement based on personal digital data. “Pair that with location-based technology and you can serve a highly-tailored message at just the right moment,” she says.

Social, Mobile, and Influencers The use of social media is also a growing trend with Alaska’s marketing and PR professionals. Increasingly, companies are developing a social presence, says Michelle Renfrew, director of university relations at University of Alaska Fairbanks and past president of the Public Relations Society (PRSA) Alaska Chapter. “More organizations are seeing social media and digital marketing as core to their overall business organization,” she says. “They are allocating resources and staffing to these sorts of things.” As another trend, Alaskans are steadily using mobile devices to stay connected to family, friends, and the brands they prefer. Mobile devices have forever changed how people communicate with one another, Renfrew says. They have also shaped consumer expectations when connecting with businesses. “Now we’re seeing advertising and sponsored content by brands in your news feeds all the time,” she says. “That definitely has implications. No longer do you have to go to the brick-and-mortar store; you can shop from home in your living room.” Consumers can contact organizations instantly through their social media channels—and they expect brands to be responsive. “That means you really need to embrace it and follow through,” Renfrew explains. “As

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


www.akbizmag.com

Thompson & Co.’s goal is to help clients reach the right audience with the right story. This often involves ensuring clients have keyword-rich content that makes their website easier and faster to find with a smart phone. Thompson also encourages clients to do less social media advertising and use more videos, contests, and other tools to connect with people. Most PR and marketing practitioners in Alaska have been gearing up for the migration to digital and social media for a while. For instance, Tyler Williams, the owner of Fairbanks-based Mammoth Marketing, began onboarding his clients to digital a couple of years ago. “I saw the writing on the wall, and I said this is an element that’s not going away so we need to be there to meet the demand for the clients,” says Williams, whose full-service agency serves clients statewide. In fact, digital used to be a hard sell with clients, but now many of them are eagerly asking for help with Facebook and Google. Williams conducts the “bones” of the digital housekeeping first, making sure clients have an effective website, Google listing, AdWords, and Facebook page. Then he strategically incorporates other platforms like Yelp and Home Advisor as well as relevant directories. “There’s always your top three things to focus on, then you just start picking and choosing after that,” he says. “You cannot ignore Google, Facebook, and Instagram now. You might be able to ignore Snapchat, but that depends on the business and its needs.”

“That’s where we plug in and help take the load off the owner. We give them room to breathe so they can run the business.”

Image courtesy of Mammoth Marketing

more and more people expect that immediate response, it will be more and more important for organizations to provide it. No longer can you wait until the end of the day. People are reporting the news 24/7. You can’t wait until the paper is printed to get the story out.” There is also an increasing expectation of transparency among consumers in Alaska, says Thompson, who operates offices in Anchorage, New York City, and Houston, Texas. The national news scene and the inclusion of “fake news” has stimulated a greater need for transparency. Therefore, she encourages her clients to be very forthcoming and share as much information as possible with consumers. “It’s important that they spend time to make sure what we put out there is the truth,” says Thompson, whose firm specializes in brand messaging, media relations, social media strategy, event coordination, and crisis planning. “Our number one constituent in the PR industry is the media. So it is important that we coach our clients that the media is trustworthy and wants to do fair and balanced reporting.” Influencers are coming more into play in Alaska. While this has been an ongoing trend nationwide, Alaskans are starting to leverage the power of influencers in their marketing and PR efforts. This allows them to reach more audiences, which is increasingly important as more people cut the cord and shun traditional media outlets. “People really trust other people—their friends and family— more than an ad,” she says.

—Tyler Williams Owner Mammoth Marketing

Alaska Trends Are Distinct Many of Alaska’s marketing and PR trends are similar to those in the Lower 48, but there are some notable differences. For example, Alaska consumers expect to be able to closely interact with brands, but in larger markets consumer access to businesses is more restrictive. Local radio may not be a goto news source nationally, but it’s still a very important component of marketing and PR in Alaska, Thompson says. Also, there tends to be more personalization of advertising for Alaska’s rural areas

April 2018 | Alaska Business

11


Image courtesy of MSI Communications

“Consumers are delivered endless amounts of ads online across many devices and platforms, making their attention a scarce resource. You only have a few seconds to catch their attention—don’t waste it.”

—Laurie Fagnani President MSI Communications

than what typically happens nationwide or even in Anchorage. MSI uses targeted messaging in rural markets as a regular part of its statewide multimedia campaigns. That’s the approach the agency took for the independent expenditure, write-in campaign for Senator Lisa Murkowski. The campaign used Alaska Native regional corporation CEOs to customize targeted mini-campaigns for different locales. “We knew intuitively that the message would be more impactful if it was delivered by a trusted source,” Fagnani says. In Alaska, marketers must modify their tactics to be successful, Williams says. “It’s challenging because we serve such a different and isolated sector of people, and our behaviors are so different,” he says. “What might work in the Lower 48 may not work here.”

Succeeding in the Industry To excel in Alaska, marketing and PR professionals need a variety of attributes. However, experts cite relationships and networking as essential ingredients for success. It’s crucial to build relationships and network with people who are within the industry and the broader community, Renfrew says. “Alaska is a big state with a small population; people are very connected here,” she says. “I think it’s important for a PR professional to understand you’re always representing your brand.” Renfrew encourages marketing and PR practitioners to get involved with organizations like PRSA and AMA to gain professional development, network, and find a mentor. She also advocates volunteering to develop their resume, make connections, and serve the community. She says: “You’re helping out a small business and enhancing your skills, which will help you down the road. It’s a win-win.” Dobson expressed similar sentiments. She says marketing and PR professionals should do whatever they can to develop their network early and often. Volunteering or joining a board or committee can be advantageous for someone who is new to the scene or trying to meet someone outside their regular job duties. She explains: “You’re trying to increase your visibility as someone who is contributing to the community. It’s not enough to be someone who is good at marketing. People need to know you, trust you, and like you.” 12

Thompson says it’s important to maintain transparency with stakeholders, be an avid consumer of the news, and be results-driven. It’s also essential to be a “sleeve roller upper” and maintain the mentality that no job is too big or too small for team members. “We really have a mentality at the agency that everybody should do everything,” she says. “It’s beneficial for our clients because at the end of the day their job gets done professionally.” Succeeding in Alaska’s market also requires being nimble and listening closely to clients, Williams says. Every client is different and will require a unique solution. “A real marketer will look for opportunities to serve the client and help their business,” he says. “You become an adviser for them.” That advisory role can be especially critical when clients are starting a new business and need help building brand visibility or when they are overwhelmed with trying to handle the marketing themselves. “That’s where we plug in and help take the load off the owner,” Williams says. “We give them room to breathe so they can run the business.” Many small businesses lack PR and marketing expertise in house so it makes good sense for them to outsource. But it may be more feasible for larger organizations to outsource. Renfrew explains: “For everyone to have a team in house to handle everything from production to design to strategy just isn’t realistic. I think it’s knowing when you have the expertise and resources to do it yourself and knowing when to leverage resources to get help. There are a lot of good PR and marketing agencies in the state, and if a business has a good working relationship with them, it can be very effective. They can become a strategic partner.”

Elements of a Successful Campaign Skillful marketing and PR practitioners can help clients create effective campaigns. But the components of a successful campaign will differ depending on the client and objectives. For Renfrew, a successful PR campaign starts with conducting research to identify the client’s goals and the strategies that can help them achieve them. Setting measurable objectives is also essential because PR campaigns need to demonstrate ROI just as other core business functions do.

Planning and implementation are also key campaign components. Then at the end it’s about evaluation. How did clients do? Were they able to achieve their goal? However, if clients don’t achieve their goal, it doesn’t mean they weren’t successful. “You learn what works and what you can do for the next campaign,” Renfrew says. “The objective is to aspire to hit your goals and targets, but the more astute organizations know that may not always be realistic and will support their PR team as much as they can in doing that.” For Thompson, the first step in any PR campaign is defining goals with the client. It involves determining what success will look like to the client at the end of the day—the client’s specific end game. “We often hear clients tell us that their goal is to create awareness, but we always dig in to define it further,” she says. “We’re really very succinct when it comes to metrics and research to show that something is successful.” Defining success varies from campaign to campaign, Dobson says. But she considers success to be whatever element can be measured and is closest to the client receiving money. This could be anything from someone signing up for a cost quote to someone making a purchase. “You have to figure out how you’re going to track that success. If you’re a dental office, your measure of success will be different than a retail store,” she says. Fagnani also focuses on setting measurable goals, ensuring a holistically positive user experience along with having rock-­ solid, interactive creative content. The message must be memorable enough to break through the clutter. And it has to respond to the age-old questions of “What’s in it for me?” or “What have you done for me lately?” “It’s not just about designing a great ad,” Fagnani says. “It’s about creative that moves a market, changes perception, or increases awareness.” A good example of a successful marketing campaign involved MSI’s recent promotion of Alaska Airlines’ Freight for Less benefit. The perk allows the airline’s Club 49 members to ship up to one hundred pounds of freight inside Alaska for $10 within 24 hours of travel or for $40 for members who are not

“I think we’re consistently on a few years’ delay [from the Lower 48], but we’re definitely moving in the same direction. I’ve always believed that this is an advantage if anything. In a sense, we have ‘future vision’ because we know what’s going on in the Lower 48, and we can scale to that.”

—Alexa Dobson President, American Marketing Association Alaska Chapter

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


traveling. The statewide, multi-media campaign featured custom-designed broadcast/ cable TV, digital, print, and airport advertising as well as an extensive online social media promotion. “Much to the delight of our client, Alaskans responded overwhelmingly to the new freight benefit and did so in record time,” Fagnani says. At Mammoth Marketing, effective campaigns also include an amalgamation of tactics. For instance, Williams leveraged “cross-platform integration” to help a client promote various events throughout the year. “When you’re firing multiple pillars of media out at once, it builds a really strong impression with the users,” he says. Another success story is Thompson & Co.’s Twitter campaign for the Alaska Tourism Marketing Program. The campaign, which began in July of 2017, now reaches more than 800,000 people on Twitter. It generates more than 5 million impressions each hour and has helped drive a 5 percent increase in Alaska Tourism’s Twitter followers. “The client is extremely happy,” Thompson says.

PR and Marketing Advice Alaska’s veteran marketing and PR practitioners have an abundance of advice to help lesser-experienced counterparts succeed in the industry. For instance, Fagnani says marketing professionals should familiarize themselves with Alaska’s resource industries. They should also obtain training and certifications in digital platforms like Google AdWords. “You don’t just need to know how to use them, but why and how to get better results,” she says. Williams’ words of advice focus on constantly reading, learning, and evolving. He says: “Seek out new sources. Talk to people. Everything is in a big state of flux, so it’s important to stay on top of it. And don’t get attached to strategies. Constantly modify your tactics to stay relevant. What you’re doing now may not work six months from now.” Likewise, Renfrew encourages PR and marketing professionals to find a mentor to guide them and to never stop learning. “Things are changing so quickly in the industry, and you need to stay up on the latest trends,” she says. Thompson also urges PR professionals to stay on top of new trends. They should also be constant consumers of news and capitalize on newer resources like Snapchat and Facebook Live. She advises: “Understand the tactics that are available to you. This will help you reach your target audience.” Dobson is a strong advocate of community development. She feels marketing professionals should have a favorable balance of giving more to the community than they take from it. “Network with your peers,” she says, “and give back in any way you can because the community is what you make of it.”  R Tracy Barbour has been an Alaska Business contributor since 1999. As a former Alaskan, she is uniquely positioned to offer in-depth insight and enjoys writing about a variety of topics. www.akbizmag.com

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We’re working together with United Way of Anchorage and the 90% by 2020 Partnership to raise the graduation rate.

L to R: Rick Fox, SVP & General Manager, Alaska Operations, Edison Chouest Offshore, Anand Vadapalli, President & CEO, Alaska Communications, Janet Weiss, President, BP Alaska, Shawn Uschmann, Director, External Affairs, AT&T Alaska

TRANSFORMATION TAKES A TEAM. JOIN US! AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

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READY FOR KINDERGARTEN A child who enters school not ready for kindergarten is already behind. But when a child is read to regularly they have a larger vocabulary and are more prepared to learn. To get them started on the right path with a strong foundation of language awareness and literacy skills, we work with Best Beginnings to provide a free book every month to children ages 0 – 5.

90% 90% GRADUATION GRADUATION BY BY THE THE YEAR YEAR 2020 2020 We Thehave graduation raisedrate thehas graduation risen from 59% rate to 81% in just decade, but we from 59% to over 81%ain just over a still dehave but workwe to do. only 2to years cade, still2020 haveis work do. away is and we need to reach 2020 only 2 years awaymore andkids we - more to gettothereach graduation to 90% need morerate kids to get the books to kids,rate moretomentoring, more graduation 90% - more homework help,more morementorcredit books to kids, recovery and this takes ing, more– homework help, With your more resources. credit recovery – help, this we can hit our goal! and takes more resources. With your help, we can hit our goal!

ATTENDANCE LEADS TO SUCCESS If a student is not at school, they cannot learn. Chronic absence at any grade level can cause a student to fall behind and, once they fall behind, it may become almost impossible to catch up. We are working with students with lower than 90% attendance and engaging the community about the importance of attendance for kids of all ages. Showing up to school is the first step to success.

RIGHT SUPPORTS, RIGHT KIDS, RIGHT TIME Each child is unique, dealing with their own specific set of challenges. In our Community + Schools, we work with teachers, students and their families to identify the issues causing their absences and then connect them with the out of school community supports and services to get them back on track and keep them on the road to graduation.

REACHING THE GOAL DEPENDS ON YOU.

United Way of Anchorage


MINING

Image courtesy of Kensington Mine

Lions Head Mountain towers over Kensington Mine’s assay lab.

EIS Permitting at Alaska’s Operating Mines Pebble, Donlin Gold, Greens Creek, and Kensington

T

By Dimitra Lavrakas

he whiplash decision in the Environmental Protection Agency’s late January announcement to hold steady on its 2014 determination that the size of the Pebble Project could harm Bristol Bay’s world-class sockeye fishery sent ripples though the mining industry. However, the determination does not preclude the mine from moving forward, and it has, filing for a federal permit in December that was ac16

cepted by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in early January. Pebble says the new permit reduces the mine’s footprint and increases environmental safeguards. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s statement also advised that the decision “neither deters nor derails the application process” for the mine. Canadian-owned Northern Dynasty Minerals, Pebble’s majority stakeholder in the project, is rolling on. “We filed our permit application for review by the USACE under the National Environ-

mental Policy Act,” CEO Tom Collier said in a January press release. “The USACE has determined we have a complete application and has initiated a thorough, objective review of the Pebble Project. We intend to participate fully in the process and encourage all project stakeholders to do the same.” The EPA decision stated that, while the company can continue pursuing federal permits, it will wait until May 2021 to review its assessment—that is unless USACE completes an environmental impact statement (EIS) beforehand.

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


SITKA BLUE LAKE

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SUMITOMO METAL MINING 2004 to Present

Photo by Dimitra Lavrakas

LAKE DOROTHY

Gold gleams in a core sample from the Pebble prospect.

The Pebble Project is a copper-goldmolybdenum deposit located on state land in the Bristol Bay Region of Southwest Alaska, about seventeen miles northwest of the community of Iliamna. The deposit is estimated to be about 90 million years old and may contain 57 billion pounds of copper, 3.4 billion pounds of molybdenum, and 70 million ounces of gold—an estimated value of $500 billion, according to Northern Dynasty.

Donlin Gold “On the project front, we made significant progress with a permitting process that is the most rigorous in the world,” said Donlin Gold General Manager Andy Cole in a newsletter. “The US Army Corps of Engineers received the final draft of our Environmental Impact Statement last summer and is scheduled to issue the final EIS in early 2018, which will be followed several months later by a Record of Decision.” “We’re in the final process of releasing the final EIS in early 2018,” says Jamie Hyslop, project manager with USACE. In June, the State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation issued the final air quality control construction permit to Donlin, which authorizes the installation and operation of all emission units. The company anticipates that it will be at least two more years before all permits are issued that are required for the project to proceed. Located in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region, Donlin Gold is one of the largest known, undeveloped gold deposits in the world, with probable reserves estimated at 33.8 million ounces of gold. Approximately ten miles from Crooked Creek Village, the open-pit gold mine would process approximately 59,000 short tons of ore per day. The mine has a total footprint of approximately 6,300 acres and is estimated to be operational for twenty-seven years. In the first www.akbizmag.com

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ENGINEERING THE FUTURE The mine Donlin Gold is planning will follow best practices and use technologically advanced processes, methods and equipment. In many cases, we’re going well beyond what’s required because minimizing risk and elevating safety is good for the environment – and good for our business. Visit donlingold.com

April 2018 | Alaska Business

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A Pebble mining camp sits on the tundra as a rainstorm approaches. Photo by Dimitra Lavrakas

five years, the project is expected to produce 1.5 million ounces of gold per year and more than 1 million ounces of gold per year over the life of the mine. Donlin Gold is an Alaska company owned by NovaGold Alaska Resources (subsidiary of NovaGold Resources, based in Vancouver) and California-based Barrick Gold US (subsidiary of Barrick Gold Corporation of Toronto). As development continues, Donlin Gold will continue to work with Calista Corporation and The Kuskokwim Corporation.

Greens Creek In mid-February, Idaho-based Hecla Mining Company announced that exploratory drilling at its Greens Creek Mine in 2017 revealed more resources than previously thought with the strong possibility of the gold, silver, lead, and zinc mine producing beyond its estimated ten-year life span. 18

“Recent exploration drilling further south suggests the bench mineralization remains robust,” according to a Hecla press release. With confidence in the results, the company is embarking on work in the East Ore Zone, an aggressive drilling program planned to continue well into 2018 with the goal of confirming reserves and expanding the known resource. The drilling of the Gallagher Zone confirmed modeled thicknesses that indicates a substantial resource and may have increased the resource by defining mineralization further to the west and east. Specifically, exploration drilling south of the 200 South Bench mineralization has extended it by another 300 feet. Underground drilling for the remainder of the year is planned to focus on the East Ore, Upper Plate, Deep 200 South, and Gallagher zones. Mike Satre, manager of governmental and community relations for Hecla, says this activity does not require additional permits.

“I came on as a geologist in 1999 and at that time we had a ten-year mine life. Fortunately, we’re in a very lucky situation where we can replace what we mine every year. It’s not adding to our existing ore bodies. It doesn’t change anything, it just means we can go longer.” So what would trigger the need for an EIS? “Some day we will use up space in our tailings storage facility and will need to expand.” The company has already undergone this process in 2003 and 2013; both times the expansions required an EIS and both were completed with permits approved. Greens Creek, on Admiralty Island eighteen miles south of Juneau, is one of the largest and lowest-cost primary silver mines in the world and is Hecla’s most successful mine. In 2016 Greens Creek produced 9.3 million ounces of silver, 53,900 ounces of gold, 20,596 tons of lead, and 57,729 tons of zinc.

Kensington Coeur Mining, based in Chicago, owns and operates Kensington Mine, a gold mine located forty-five miles north of Juneau. The mine opened in 2010 and in 2016 milled three times more ore than when it opened. “We plan to sustain a higher level of exploration expense at Kensington this year, given the promising results we saw from our program last year,” Kensington’s General Manager Mark Kiessling says. “Net of depletion, our 2017 drilling program increased reserves by 5 percent when compared to 2016. Coeur

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


A worker stands in the mine portal at Kensington Mine. Image courtesy of Kensington Mine

Our industry has__changed

OUR VALUES REMAIN THE SAME

During the past 75 years, we’ve grown from a small mining operation to one of Alaska’s leading businesses. Yet with all our progress, some things haven’t changed. Usibelli Coal Mine remains a family-owned and -operated company. We are still committed to producing affordable energy, while protecting the safety of our workers and the quality of our environment. Our future looks bright, thanks to the legacy we’ve been building since 1943.

plans to publish an updated technical report for Kensington later this quarter.” Coeur Mining subsidiary Coeur Alaska announced more good news in early February: the mine could surpass its anticipated mine life (initial projections estimated mine operations to run through 2023) because of expanded exploration on the site. “Throughout 2017, Kensington’s exploration program focused on resource conversion and expansion of the Jualin deposit as well as the expansion of higher-grade areas, such as Raven. Raven is expected to remain a supplemental source of higher-grade material throughout 2018,” Kiessling says. Jualin production is expected to improve as the company dewaters the mine area to facilitate more efficient drilling, development, and mining activities. “In anticipation of potential mine life expansion, additional tailings storage capacity is being evaluated,” Kiessling says, which would require permitting, and likely, an EIS process. The company expects to see production for all of 2018 to total 115,000 to 120,000 ounces of gold with capital expenditures expected to total $35 million to $40 million for the year.R Dimitra Lavrakas is the former associate editor of Alaska Business Monthly, and former editor of The Arctic Sounder, The Skagway News, and The Dutch Harbor Fisherman. www.akbizmag.com

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TELECOM & TECH

A GCI employee at work; GCI operates Alaska’s largest and fastest 4G LTE network. Image courtesy of GCI

21st Century Tech on the North Slope Resource development moves at lightning speed with fiber optic, IoT By Tracy Barbour 20

I

magine an oilfield camp sitting in the middle of nowhere on Alaska’s North Slope in December. A giant drilling rig, cranes, and other equipment dominate the landscape as workers busily prepare for the painstaking task of drilling. But before drilling can begin, reliable telecommunications services must be established to support the makeshift camp. Telecom equipment is hauled to the remote

location and installed in sub-zero temperatures and sometimes blinding blizzards. And that’s just a fraction of the challenges businesses face while providing telecommunications services to oil and gas and support services companies in Alaska. There are a variety of companies that supply telecom services to oilfields, offshore drilling rigs, and cargo ships that support the statewide efforts of Alaska’s oil and gas businesses.

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


Image courtesy of GCI

A crane sets a GCI tower in Platinum.

Alaska Communications Invests in Fiber and Satellite Headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska Communications is a leading provider of advanced broadband and IT managed service solutions for businesses and consumers in Alaska. The company operates an advanced, statewide data and voice network with the latest technology and diverse undersea fiber optic system connecting Alaska to the contiguous United States. Alaska Communications works closely with its oil and gas customers to develop industryspecific, custom solutions including a full range of custom data, managed IT, and voice services to companies that operate both in the field and on rigs. The company has also built custom Wi-Fi networks for marine vessels. “Currently, we work with multiple oil and gas companies from explorers and producers www.akbizmag.com

to suppliers in Alaska and the Lower 48, in- tions and Quintillion also partnered to make cluding Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico,” the network available to other telecom carsays Bill Bishop, senior vice president of Busi- riers in the market, further increasing the variety of new product and service offerings. ness Markets. The fiber investment boosted connectivity Several years ago, Alaska Communications partnered with Quintillion Holdings to to a number of oil and gas fields, including give Alaska’s North Slope oil and gas compa- the Kuparuk River Unit, Colville River Unit, Milne Point Unit, Prudhoe Bay nies access to reliable, high-speed Unit, and Oooguruk Unit. It also broadband service through fiber added to Alaska Communicaoptic networks. Alaska Commutions’ portfolio of managed IT sonications acquired a fiber optic lutions and professional services network from ConocoPhillips on the North Slope and is part of in the portion of Alaska’s North the company’s continued focus to Slope oil patch where the most provide reliable broadband and new development is occurring. IT solutions across Alaska. According to a company press Last year, Alaska Communirelease from 2015, the network was cations worked with Quintillion designed to enable commerciallyagain to secure fiber optic acavailable, high-speed connectivity Bill Bishop where only high-cost microwave Senior Vice President cess—this time for Northwest Alaska. The agreement gave Naand satellite communications of Business Markets tive corporations, government were previously accessible. In Alaska Communications agencies, healthcare clinics, and addition to its focused service ofschools in Northwest Alaska acferings to business and enterprise Image courtesy of cess to competitive, high-speed, customers, Alaska CommunicaAlaska Communications April 2018 | Alaska Business

21


reliable broadband and managed IT services for the first time in this region. It also brings high-speed fiber optic access, on a substantially more affordable basis, to these communities. Under the deal, Alaska Communications will be a reseller to select telecom carriers in addition to serving business customers with its expanded network. And Quintillion will purchase capacity services for its newly constructed terrestrial system to the oil fields of the North Slope on Alaska Communications’ fiber optic network from Fairbanks to the Lower 48. Also as part of the 2017 agreement, Alaska Communications will connect the original fiber to its existing network via Quintillion’s

22

new terrestrial network. This enables the company to provide redundancy and expand broadband and managed IT service offerings to even more oil and gas companies on the North Slope. “We are continuously investing in our fiber and satellite network and look forward to continuing our support of the oil and gas sector,” Bishop says.

ASTAC Upgrades Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative (ASTAC) is a full-service telecommunications company that provides fixed and mobile wireless solutions, including equipment sales and service to the North Slope region. The member-owned telephone

utility cooperative also provides local and long distance, Internet, and data services. It serves eight of the region’s traditional villages in Utqiaġvik, Wainwright, Atqasuk, Anaktuvuk Pass, Nuiqsut, Kaktovik, Point Hope, and Point Lay, as well as the petroleum industry at the production complex at Deadhorse-Prudhoe Bay. ASTAC also offers a private 4G LTE (long term evolution) network. The service, which was upgraded last year, allows customers to receive the equivalent of their home network out in the field. “This means that you could be on an exploration platform and work on a computer the same way you operate at your office network,” says Thomas Lochner, ASTAC’s director of business development and sales. “What we have is a truly private network—it’s not over the open Internet. I don’t know of anybody else in Alaska or nationwide who is offering this service.” The 4G LTE—which has lower latency than satellite—allows for more reliability and flexibility. This can be especially beneficial for oil and gas companies and other customers needing telecom services for mobile rigs or remote locations. Last April, ASTAC added new radios to improve its private LTE network. “We want to make sure we keep up with the technology once it’s ‘fully baked’ by the equipment providers,” Lochner says. ASTAC is also planning other upgrades and new services to enhance its suite of telecom solutions. This year, it plans to develop more offerings related to the Internet of Things (IoT) and enabling a “Smart Oilfield.” ASTAC is partnering with a company that developed a smart camera system to monitor analog gauges at well heads and transmit information back to the company that owns the equipment. The camera will be able to essentially “read” the information on the analog gauges, so no one will have to come out to view them manually. ASTAC will be responsible for maintaining the equipment that reads the gauges and transmitting the information back to the customer on the North Slope or anywhere else in ASTAC’s terrestrial network and private 4G LTE network. Using a smart camera system to read and transmit information from analog gauges is more cost-effective than replacing them. Plus, it can reduce manpower costs for oil and gas companies. “It allows them to not have a staff of folks to look at the gauges on the North Slope,” Lochner says. Incidentally, ASTAC can provide services to companies that operate in an oil field as well as on a rig in the sea. However, it doesn’t have the satellite infrastructure to provide reliable service to cargo vessels since its coverage extends only about seven miles out to sea. Another project ASTAC has planned for 2018 involves the Dalton Highway, which is a lifeline for North Slope oil and gas and support services companies. There’s no telecommunications coverage along a 500-mile stretch of the highway from Fairbanks to Deadhorse. “If something happens, you either have to use a satellite phone or wait for the next truck to come by,” Lochner says.

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


Image courtesy of ASTAC

“What we have is a truly private network—it’s not over the open Internet. I don’t know of anybody else in Alaska or nationwide who is offering this service.”

—Thomas Lochner Director of Business Development/Sales ASTAC

To alleviate this problem, ASTAC is partnering with several other companies to build additional cell towers along the highway. The first tower for the project will be at the Franklin Bluffs area about forty miles south of Prudhoe Bay. The tower will meet the coverage ASTAC already provides for Deadhorse and slightly southward. The buildout won’t remedy the entire 500 miles of “dead space”—which traverses a jagged mountain range—but it will cover a significant portion of it. Lochner explains, “What we’re aiming for is for people to not be greater than a half hour out of range.” The new cell sites will further ASTAC’s infrastructure investments in the region. Since 2012, the cooperative has invested more than $33 million in its North Slope network. It has also given back to its membership, distributing $1.5 million in capital credits to members over that same time period.

GCI Offers Integrated Solutions Alaska’s largest telecommunications company, GCI, provides a wide variety of commercial and professional services to the energy sector. They include both wired and wireless options, such as fiber optic cable-based services and LTE, or microwave-based solutions. The company’s professional services include engineering, project management, documentation, onsite IT/telecom technician construction efforts, and operational support. GCI’s LTE-based service offering covers the majority of the North Slope oil fields. www.akbizmag.com

GCI also provides what is known as “full life cycle support” to the energy sector. “GCI partners with you to explore, design, construct, and then operate your facilities, all while bringing the most relevant technologies, which help improve efficiencies,” says Rick Hansen, senior director of GCI’s Industry Solutions team. Hansen says GCI understands the energy sector and strives to serve as an integrated partner for clients. “Over the past twenty years, our team of technicians, engineers, and project managers have worked hard to earn the trust of our clients by providing a no-surprises approach to our projects and to our relationships,” he says. “We listen to our partner’s needs and then match the appropriate technology solution to meet them while planning for the future.” Over the years, GCI has established a strong track record of providing services that support exploration and operations on the North Slope, offshore in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, as well as in the Gulf of Mexico. “We provide reliable cost-effective connectivity, which creates operational efficiencies,” Hansen says. “The more remote areas of the state are serviced by our satellite network [VSAT] systems and have a very strong history of connecting folks off the beaten path.” GCI’s VSAT (very small aperture terminal) systems can provide services to a vessel at sea, and its terrestrial systems can connect those users to its LTE-based systems when in port. The company also has the technologies and infrastructure to assist the freight/cargo industry. In addition to serving oil and gas industry clients, GCI works closely with and provides services to the support industry and its many members. The company also has an active role in the Alaska Support Industry Alliance and the Alaska Resource Development Council. “GCI is connected and works hard to be the leader in these critical industries throughout Alaska,” Hansen says. “Efficient and responsible resource development is one of the main engines that powers the Alaska economy.” GCI also provides clients with a variety of IT services. Its Industry Solutions team includes infrastructure, server, security, and outsourced desktop technicians to help meet backend needs. “We are here to help your project and your company use the latest technology to its fullest,” Hansen says.

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“It’s our job to provide the physical pieces needed by our clients so they can continue to serve their clients successfully.”

Image courtesy of New Horizons Telecom

—Leighton Lee CEO New Horizons Telecom

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New Horizons Telecom Focuses on Engineering and Installation New Horizons Telecom is a full-service engineering and installation telecommunications and infrastructure company. The Palmer-based business provides the hardware—much of which people never see—that service providers use to meet their clients’ telecom needs. This includes installing towers and antennas for mobile phones; commercial structures and foundations; and communications equipment ranging from high-performance microwave and fiber optic network components to high-speed wireless systems. “It’s our job to provide the physical pieces needed by our clients so they can continue to serve their clients successfully,” says CEO Leighton Lee. Recently, New Horizons worked with communications giant Quintillion on a project to run more than 760 miles of subsea cable from Nome to Prudhoe Bay, with points branching off to village landings at Nome, Kotzebue, Point Hope, Wainwright, Utqiaġvik, and Oliktok Point. New Horizons was contracted to design and install the ocean terminals and terrestrial fiber optic cable for the project, which brings high-speed Internet and communication capabilities to these communities. Within the oil and gas industry, New Horizons’ role in telecommunications primarily encompasses engineering and installation. For instance, if a cargo ship serving the oil and gas industry needed Wi-Fi, New Horizons could be contracted by a satellite provider to facilitate the process. It would install a satellite uplink antenna, the rack that would house the equipment, and the radio equipment. “We would receive that signal and put in all the hardware necessary, which would allow the provider to come in, configure that equipment, and provide that service to that vessel,” Lee says. Satellite has been the telecommunications tool of choice for the kind of extreme and remote conditions that oil and gas and support services companies often encounter. Thanks to high-tech, low-Earth orbit satellites, it’s possible for cargo ships and isolated oil rigs to have a viable Internet connection. “LowEarth orbit takes latency down from 600 milliseconds to 20 seconds,” Lee says. “The lowEarth orbit gives vessels and rigs much better broadband capability.” New Horizons also works with oil and gas fields to implement its more conventional infrastructure services such as fiber optic cables in roads and buildings. For instance, the company has installed data systems along the trans-Alaska Pipeline as well as www.akbizmag.com

installed towers and lines in Prudhoe Bay. New Horizons also helps with the program management aspect of telecom projects, assisting with permitting and environmental consultation. “For example, we might get a call from GCI, and we’ll engage with them to determine what makes the most sense,” Lee says. “We then design and go out and construct those systems. Then all the customer needs to do is configure that system and provide that service.” Looking to the future, New Horizons is focused on leveraging IoT. This emerging technology, Lee says, will give oil companies more connectivity and flexibility in the deployment of control systems and monitoring systems. He explains: “The oil and gas industry needs more devices connected to the Internet and overarching monitoring programs. Every one of those will benefit from artificial intelligence, which can be useful for monitoring systems.” The North Slope is a challenging work environment, Lee says, but New Horizons has a staff of employees who are trained to work there effectively and safely. This year, New Horizons celebrates forty years of serving government, commercial, and oil and gas clients.

Quintillion Delivers Competitive Fiber Services Based in Anchorage, Quintillion focuses on bringing lower-cost, high-speed broadband service options to rural Alaska on a wholesale basis. Quintillion, together with a number of partners, is changing Alaska’s middle mile capabilities with the construction of new fiber optic cable systems, including subsea fiber optic cable from Prudhoe to Nome with additional connections into Utqiaġvik, Wainwright, Point Hope, and Kotzebue and terrestrial cable from Fairbanks to the oil and gas industry at Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay. “Quintillion’s backbone connectivity in these areas will enable Internet providers to deliver services to oilfield operations on land and to near-shore areas in the sea,” says Matt Peterson, vice president of Network Management. “Service could be extended to cargo ships nearby the service areas via radio link or via 4G/LTE mobile telephone services.” The Alaska portion of the Quintillion Subsea Cable System is the first phase of a planned multi-phase, international subsea cable system that is designed to connect Europe to Asia along the Lower Northwest Passage, providing a diverse and shorter route between the two continents. In Alaska, Quintillion’s network provides nearly unlimited capacity, low latency, and reliable backbone connections for Internet service providers in Prudhoe Bay, Utqiaġvik, Wainwright, Point Hope, Kotzebue, and Nome. The Quintillion subsea fiber optic cable system was launched December 1, 2017, in five northern Alaska communities. Quintillion serves as a bandwidth services provider, enabling high speed broadband capability to consumers and businesses in these communities. Crews completed installation of the Alaska Arctic portion of the Quintil-

Image courtesy of Quintillion

Safety is a core value at GCI, which recently surpassed 3 million hours of safe work time. Trust is also essential, and GCI is focused on safely delivering technology-related, valueadded solutions to its partners. “Trust is not given, it is earned in our business,” Hansen says. “Because of our very strong team in Deadhorse, Anchorage, Houston, and elsewhere, we have earned the trust of many partners throughout the energy sector.”

Matt Peterson Vice President of Network Management Quintillion

lion Subsea Cable System in early October. “The system performed flawlessly during test mode and is now live to service providers in Utqiaġvik, Wainwright, Point Hope, Nome, and Kotzebue, enabling 21st century communications in the Alaska Arctic for the first time,” Peterson says. Quintillion’s cable system can deliver gigabit and higher bandwidth services on a 1,400-mile subsea and terrestrial fiber optic network, including a subsea trunk line from Prudhoe Bay to Nome with branching lines to the five communities. The system is providing access to high-speed broadband capacity for telecommunication service providers at a far lower cost and improved quality of service than existing satellite and microwave options, according to Peterson. He says, “Introduction of high-speed Internet to Quintillion’s markets is enabling improved health and education services, helping to spur economic development, empowering local businesses, and allowing consumers access to video and other high-speed applications that were previously unavailable or unaffordable for many potential Quintillion end-user customers.” Optic fiber communication networks form the basis for broadband network globally, Peterson says. “Quintillion is pleased to bring competitive fiber services to Prudhoe and pioneer the subsea route to bring this technology to communities in the Arctic,” he says. “We are excited about the opportunities to extend this capability to other areas, both nearby our current service locations and additional communities in Alaska.” R Tracy Barbour has been an Alaska Business contributor since 1999. As a former Alaskan, she is uniquely positioned to offer in-depth insight and enjoys writing about a variety of topics. April 2018 | Alaska Business

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TRANSPORTATION

Image courtesy of Alaska Airlines

Simulated flight deck of a Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft practicing an RNP approach. Alaska Airlines pioneered RNP in the mid-1990s to increase access into the state’s capital of Juneau. Prior to RNP, hundreds of flights were canceled or delayed trying to get into the mountainous city.

Fly Safe with Tech-Savvy Pilots, Aircraft New technology helps navigate Alaska’s unique terrain By Vanessa Orr

A

irlines face many challenges when transporting passengers and freight in Alaska, including inclement weather; remote, unpaved runways; the absence of radar coverage; and terrain that can challenge even the most experienced pilot. As aviation science advances, so does the ability of airlines to use new technologies to keep planes safely in the air. “Our number one concern is passenger and crew safety, so it’s fair to say that all new tech-

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nology we evaluate is looked at through a safety lens first,” explains Bret Peyton, director of Fleet Tech Support at Alaska Airlines. “From things like ensuring a robust safety reporting iPad application is available to all crewmembers to outfitting our 737s with the latest weather radar available to installing flight path awareness instruments such as vertical situation displays for our 737 pilots, we always have safety at the forefront of our technology plans.” According to Peyton, Alaska Airlines uses three main criteria when deciding whether to employ new technology: does the new technology increase safety and/or compliance with FAA directives; does it increase the airline’s operational capabilities and enhance reliability for paying passengers; and does it blend well with the FAA’s national airspace modernization roadmap known as NextGen.

NextGen The FAA NextGen program is a suite of technologies that provides better flight information to pilots. Airplanes are equipped with a “moving map” video display screen that shows the pilot his or her location relative to terrain, weather, and other NextGen-equipped airplanes in the vicinity. NextGen’s Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) system, which includes ground-based transmitters, communications equipment, transponders, Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation, surveillance, and weather reporting, is managed by the FAA’s Surveillance and Broadcast Services program office. “The whole NextGen system started in Alaska; back in the day it was called Capstone, and it was created by a small group of tech-savvy pilots and engineers whose

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


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goal was to reduce controlled flight into terrain, or CFIT,” says Rich Sewell, aviation policy planner for the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, Division of Statewide Aviation. “It was originally designed for what we call ‘low-flyers,’ or general aviation-type planes, so that they could see and avoid terrain before flying into it. For a long time, there was a relatively high incidence of crashes in the general aviation community, and the initial numbers showed that Capstone dropped that number by 50 percent.” Despite its success, the program didn’t gain traction until about ten years ago when national airspace was heading toward gridlock. “The old technology of using radar was reaching capacity, and the FAA was looking for a way to better manage air traffic across the nation,” says Sewell. “They looked at Capstone, rebranded it NextGen, and the FAA began the massive implementation of this new program.” By January 1, 2020, the FAA is requiring that any aircraft that wants to enter Class C (such as Anchorage) or Class B airspace must be equipped with ADS-B Out technology. ADS-B Out broadcasts an aircraft’s position, altitude, and velocity to a network of ground stations that relay the information to air traffic control displays and nearby aircraft equipped to receive the data; optional ADSB In sends traffic information directly to the cockpit of properly equipped aircraft. To date, 50,000 general aviation aircraft nationwide are equipped with ADS-B technology. Yet despite its safety record and the fact that the state of Alaska has a program that provides low-interest loans for those who want to install it, many “low-flyers” still have not installed the equipment. “One of the challenges in Alaska is that outside of urban areas, you can no longer get traffic information services because there aren’t enough ground-based transmitters around the state,” says Sewell, estimating that Alaska has about 42 transmitters compared to 4,000 nationwide. “It’s hard to convince a guy with a small plane that doesn’t fly into Anchorage that he should spend the money when the services aren’t available.” One added benefit of NextGen is that, in the event of an accident, it alerts air traffic control of the precise location of a downed aircraft, greatly improving the chances of a successful rescue in Alaska’s abundant remote locations. “Because it is satellite-based, the electronics of the system know exactly where an aircraft is, both by [latitude/longitude] and altitude,” says Sewell. “The transponder sends out pings every second.” NextGen also uses satellite technology for Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance, a precision approach procedure that provides the lateral and vertical guidance needed for equipped aircraft to get within 200 feet of the runway before the pilot has to actually have eyes on the runway to land. “This is really important, especially in Alaska’s Bush and rural airports where instrument approach procedures weren’t available before,” says Sewell.

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An Alaska Airlines 737-900 ER. Image courtesy of Alaska Airlines

Required Navigation Performance Alaska Airlines played a major role in what has become another NextGen initiative. “Many of the communities that Alaska Airlines serves with its large passenger and freighter aircraft can only be reached in poor weather conditions as a result of Alaska Airlines’ pioneering satellite navigation program known as Required Navigation Performance [RNP],” says Peyton. “Back in the early ‘90s, the airline went way out in front and staked its future in the state of Alaska on RNP and developed instrument procedures that can get it in and out of communities large and small when it otherwise would have been shut out by poor ceilings or visibility.” The airline’s RNP program is quite a suc-

cess; in 2017 in Juneau alone, the company was able to safely deliver passengers and cargo to and from Juneau International Airport on 674 flights that would not have successfully landed or taken off otherwise. “Unlike the state of Alaska, most large cities down south have airport technologies other than RNP that help ensure schedule reliability,” Peyton says. “Due to the unique terrain and geography in Alaska, those systems just aren’t viable in most places in this state.”

TASAR Alaska Airlines is also working in partnership with the NASA on the TASAR (Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Requests) project, a multi-year trial of hardware and software

that helps pilots automatically identify more time and fuel efficient routes after takeoff. “Today, pilots work with airline dispatchers to plan the most fuel and time efficient routes before flight; this preflight planning is generally completed sixty minutes prior to departure,” Peyton explains. “What TASAR can do for us is provide better real-time updates after the flight departs to capture any changes to weather or airspace conditions that were originally forecast at the time the flight was dispatched. “For instance, let’s say that two hours after departure, upper level winds change appreciably from the forecast that was used to plan the flight,” he continues. “The TASAR project is helping to develop tools that can find route efficiencies with this new wind information that might provide a better cruising flight level or routing. These tools will be available to dispatchers on the ground and to pilots inflight who will use a FAA-approved Apple iPad application that continually seeks out better routes and altitudes using real-time wind, traffic, weather, and special use airspace data that may show differences from the original plan.” Peyton adds that the tools pilots and dispatchers use will be connected to one another so that everyone is on the same page when looking for possible time and fuel advantages during the flight. “It could be a real game changer, and the trial is well underway now in Alaska and will continue through 2020,” he says. “At that time, we will evaluate the overall benefit of TASAR, which we anticipate to be very high.”

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A graphic representation of an RNP approach. The procedure enables airlines to fly with pinpoint precision using satellite-based technology. Graphic courtesy of Alaska Airlines

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ELTs, EPIRBs, and Navigation Aids While all of these technologies are designed to help airlines operate more safely and efficiently, accidents still happen. And when they do, time is of the essence when it comes to providing search and rescue teams with the information they need to find a downed plane. “Recently, commercial carriers have been mandated by the FAA to update to 406 MHz emergency locater transmitters [ELTs], which greatly reduce the size of the search area if there’s a tragedy,” says Jane Dale, executive director at Alaska Air Carriers Association. “Before, a pilot might have been lost for an extended period of time or never found; this shifts the focus to rescue.”

Previously, commercial airplanes were equipped with 121.5 MHz ELTs, which used an analog signal. Satellites had difficulty detecting the low-power output, and a search area could be as large as 500 square miles. The 406 MHz version features global coverage and instantaneous detection and narrows the search time to hours—even minutes if it is also equipped with GPS. EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons) have also become more advanced; they are now able to transmit coded messages via satellite and earth stations and are accurate to roughly 50 meters (164 feet) when equipped with built-in GPS. Pocketsized options include SPOT, which sends an SOS GPS location with the push of a button,

and inReach, which provides two-way satellite text messaging and can send emergency messages 24/7 through a monitoring center. “There’s no reason not to have one of these,” says Dale. “They are not as expensive as they used to be, and you can carry them right in your pocket. If there’s an issue, you can get help with the push of a button.” Navigation aids have also evolved, with pilots transitioning from paper charts to digital tablets. New software for dispatch tracking provides estimated flight time arrivals at any point, as well as the ability for dispatchers to see a single aircraft or the entire fleet at one time. SOS calls can be received via email when there’s an accident, and on-call personnel are available 24/7 to assist with emergencies. “All commercial and recreational pilots have access to this technology, which is becoming the industry standard,” says Dale.

The Cost Factor While everyone would love to have the latest, greatest technology, it’s both expensive and time-consuming to retrofit an aircraft or to buy new equipment. “We are taking new deliveries of both 737s and Airbus aircraft in 2018, so retrofitting is just part of the story because those aircraft often come ‘forward-fitted’ with a new piece of technology,” says Peyton. “As to retrofits, with over 200 aircraft in Alaska Airlines today, retrofitting is usually a multi-year effort. “A good example is our recent addition of Data Comm technology, which allows pilots to use a textual exchange of information rather than voice over the radio, thereby increasing accurate communication and decreasing radio frequency congestion,” he continues. “Both our Boeing and Airbus fleets come forward-fitted with Data Comm for all new deliveries, but the Boeing retrofit for Data Comm includes a two-year timeline for completion. “Like most aircraft technology upgrades, it’s never cheap,” Peyton adds. “Technology upgrades generally range in the tens-ofthousands to hundreds-of-thousands of dollars per aircraft.” In commercial fleets, owners must also add in the time and cost of training. “The level of training depends on the technology itself and how much it changes or adds to existing procedure,” says Peyton. “In general, there will be several pages of written guidance pilots must read and understand, and often we will also follow-up with computer/tablet-based training and flight simulator training. If you take Data Comm as an example, we trained pilots using all three methods.” As technology continues to evolve, those who fly in the 49th State can trust that airlines are staying on top of all of the innovations that will help keep passengers and flight crews safe and get them quickly and efficiently to their destinations.  R

Vanessa Orr is a freelance writer and former editor of the Capital City Weekly in Juneau. 30

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


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OIL & GAS

Job Outlook in Cook Inlet LNG project could create thousands of openings By O’Hara Shipe

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laska’s first oil claims were filed in the 1890s on the Iniskin Peninsula on the west shore of Cook Inlet. In 1898 the first well was drilled, and although it produced marginal amounts of oil, it was not enough to support production and the well was largely abandoned until the 1960s. Following Alaska statehood, oil companies began to buy exploration leases in Cook Inlet in hopes of striking it rich. A total of twenty successful wells have been drilled in the upper Cook Inlet and all but four are still in production, but the area is still only classified as a moderate-sized deposit. Until recently, Cook Inlet has been disregarded as a depleted oil and gas producing basin, but that’s beginning to change. Cook Inlet’s modest production has been increasing since 2015, reaching 15,000 barrels per day in 2017. According to the Resource Development Council, increased production occurred after 2013 when Alaska changed its oil

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tax policy from tax credits based on investment to credits based on production. With lowered tax rates for producing wells, the new tax system made Alaska more competitive and an attractive place to invest. Texas-based Hilcorp submitted more than $3 million in bids securing 76,615 acres at the federal lease sale and an additional 26,822 acres at the state lease sale. Hilcorp was the only bidder in both instances, but that is not entirely uncharacteristic of the company that has made a specialty out of acquiring declining fields and reinvesting to rebuild them. Hilcorp’s investment could not have come at a better time: statewide, the oil and gas industry has lost about 4,000 jobs since peaking at 14,800 in 2014. Support industries such as construction are also reporting continued job losses. However, the Anchorage Economic Development Council’s 2018 Economic Forecast suggests that employment will stabilize statewide in 2018.

The State of Oil and Gas in Cook Inlet Although Hilcorp plans to drill up to six new wells in Cook Inlet, the project that has garnered the most attention is their proposed cross-inlet pipeline. Estimated to cost $73 million, the new pipeline would repurpose

an existing natural gas pipeline as an oil line to feed Hilcorp’s Nikiski Refinery. The plan also includes constructing nearly nine miles of new subsea and onshore pipelines. Once realized, the pipeline would cut down on the number of oil toting barges traveling across the inlet. Hilcorp believes this will not only reduce the price of oil production but also safeguard against offshore leaks. In a September 2017 company press release, Harvest Pipeline Company President Sean Kolassa stated that “the Cross-Inlet Expansion Project will bring a higher level of safety and reliability for shipping oil across Cook Inlet. We think it’s the right thing to do.” Building the new pipeline also has another side effect—decommissioning of the Drift River Terminal. The terminal, situated near the base of active volcano Mount Redoubt, has garnered criticism from conservationists concerned about the spill risks of transporting large quantities of oil across potentially turbulent waters. Another major player in Cook Inlet is BlueCrest Energy. The privately-held Texasbased outfit works both in exploration and production in the area. According to its website, BlueCrest Energy’s primary focus is the development of the Cosmopolitan Unit, which it says is one of the largest undeveloped fields in

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


Oil and Gas Industry: Keeping Alaska Employed

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ach April Alaska Business publishes the Corporate 100, featuring Alaska’s top employers, a vital part of the state’s economic health. Oil and gas explorers and producers, as well as businesses that supply services and support to that industry, routinely make the Corporate 100 list. These oil and gas businesses not only support and strengthen local economies through job creation but routinely focus on contracting with local vendors. The oil and gas industry also contributes to local communities through charitable work and donations. Listed here are companies with a primary focus on the oil and gas industry as featured in the Alaska Business 2018 Corporate 100 that—even with current industry challenges—continue to provide job opportunities in Alaska. BP Exploration (Alaska) ConocoPhillips Alaska Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. Crowley Alaska Schlumberger Oilfield Services Udelhoven Oilfield System Services Colville Baker Hughes, a GE Company

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the Cook Inlet basin. Using horizontal drilling techniques, BlueCrest has been able to access offshore oil reserves from an onshore drilling site, thus reducing the risk of offshore leaks. In 2016, the company’s onshore facility began producing oil, but BlueCrest believes there is still room for future expansion drilling. BlueCrest halted its drilling operations in Cook Inlet in August 2017, citing Alaska’s controversial cashable tax credit program as the culprit. BlueCrest, which already received a $30 million loan from the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority in 2015, says the state owes them nearly $100 million in unpaid tax credits. Simply put, the company cannot afford to keep drilling without the tax credits—the result of which has been about 150 layoffs.

Alaska LNG Project As it stands now, the Alaska LNG project may very well have the best chance of boosting the job market for oil and gas workers in Cook Inlet. Assuming the project can both secure permitting and funding, the 800-mile pipeline would be among the world’s largest natural gas development projects. “Its construction will create an estimated 12,000 direct jobs with another 1,000 longterm jobs for the operation of the project. The economic impact of this project is also expected to create thousands of indirect jobs,” stated Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Heidi Drygas in the February 2018 Alaska Economic Trends. Current Alaska LNG project plans call for the main gas liquification plant and marine terminal to be located in Nikiski, so Kenai Peninsula job seekers would be well-positioned for potential jobs at those facilities. Governor Bill Walker echoed this sentiment in his January 2018 State of the State Address. “Nothing on Alaska’s horizon has a greater potential to fuel and propel our prosperity than this opportunity. Jobs, low-cost energy for Alaskan homes and businesses, cleaner air, and a healthy economy across the state are what is at stake. And with a strong project labor agreement, Alaskans will be first in line to work on a gasline,” Walker said. However, to hire Alaskans for the project, the local market needs to have workers with the right skills available. Commissioner Drygas says that “maximizing Alaska resident hire also requires [that the state] increase the number of programs helping high school students transition to postsecondary education or training.” One prevailing belief is that coordinated statewide programs at the high school and post-secondary levels will succeed at preparing an Alaskan workforce for the thousands of jobs expected to be created by the LNG project.  R

www.foss.com

O’Hara Shipe is a freelance writer in Anchorage. 34

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


OIL & GAS

Image courtesy of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company

Alyeska personnel and Prince William Sound community members visit OSRB-4, a large purpose-built open water response barge under construction in Amelia, Louisiana.

Alyeska’s Future with Edison Chouest Offshore Update on developing partnership

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By Tom Barrett

n 2017, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company marked forty years of operating the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). And thanks to strong efforts by North Slope producers, last year also marked the second annual increase in TAPS throughput since 2002. Every new year brings new opportunities, new challenges, new milestones to accomplish. In 2018, Alyeska will continue moving North Slope crude safely every day while focusing on another major landmark: this summer’s transition of our marine services provider for Prince William Sound operations from Crowley Maritime to Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO). I want to update you on our progress and share our enthusiasm about this transition. Even six months out, much preparation is underway. While this is a change in a complex business arrangement, it is much more than that. The marine services contract is one of Alyeska’s most important and sensitive—our marine contractor works with Alyeska’s people and stakeholders to prevent 36

and, if needed, respond to marine incidents or spills. They help us protect Prince William Sound and Port Valdez marine environment, resources, and communities. They become our partner in delivering excellence and maintaining trust with our stakeholders. Every one of our employees understands this accountability. Alyeska’s Valdez staff doesn’t just work here. Many are from families that have fished and recreated in these waters for generations. This gives us a strong sense of stewardship. ECO will soon share this responsibility. ECO and its people also share Alyeska’s passion for our respective work and commitment to safety and innovation. ECO’s experienced crews work in Arctic and Antarctic waters, the North Sea, Africa, and other demanding locations. They service private companies and specialized US government missions. It was clear from the start of our partnership that ECO’s people take great pride in their fifty-plus-year marine operations legacy and embody the sailor grit, commitment to safe operations, and operational excellence that grounds our own #TAPSPride.

Brand new, fit-for-purpose escort and general purpose tugs—along with response barges—are being built for this contract. Unlike the current fleet, the new tugs have increased power, better towing equipment and electronics, and more. The barges have clean decks specifically designed to operate a new, more efficient type of skimmer. All will be US Coast Guard classed and American Bureau of Shipping certified. The transition will not be one fleet leaving port as another arrives. ECO personnel are already training for Prince William Sound operations. In October, the first group of experienced ECO mariners began learning about the specifics of the Alyeska Ship Escort/ Response Vessel System (SERVS) mission in Prince William Sound, training in ECO’s state-of-the-art ship simulator, and getting hands-on experience with SERVS equipment. ECO captains have also been riding Prince William Sound waves on escorts crewed by our longtime marine services partner, Crowley. This training tempo will increase as the actual transition approaches and as vessels and crews arrive in Port Valdez.

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


Fourteen tugs and barges are in various stages of completion. Five vessels—two escort tugs, a general purpose tug, and two barges—have already launched. In March, residents of Prince William Sound saw the first of each class of vessel arrive in their backyard: The escort tug Commander, the general purpose tug Elrington, and the oil spill response barge OSRB-1. In preparation, ECO is building personnel housing and a new office/warehouse facility in Valdez. By summer, five new escort tugs, four new general purpose tugs, and four new barges will be in Valdez. ECO is also bringing an existing large anchor-handling tug. They join a familiar nearshore response barge that ECO is buying from Crowley, some smaller barges, and other equipment like a self-propelled skimmer, the Valdez Star. A broad range of stakeholders are making this journey with us. Alyeska staff dedicated to the transition regularly tour ECO’s training facilities, shipyards, and construction centers in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oregon to monitor progress. We often bring guests so they can experience firsthand the commitment and competencies of ECO, its vessels, and its people. ECO also gets to hear directly from our neighbors about their concerns and lifestyles in Prince William Sound. We’ve been joined by Prince William Sound fishermen and residents, the Southwest Alaska Pilots Association, members of the PWS Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council, and local, state, and federal officials from Alaska and beyond. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and US Coast Guard are closely involved too ensuring standards of equipment performance, testing, and training are satisfied. And Crowley remains fully committed to a smooth and effective transition. I find this entire process remarkable. I am excited by the craftsmanship and capabilities of the new vessels and meeting the talented ECO leadership, crews, and staff. I appreciate our partnership with TAPS trade tanker operators, the thoughtful and methodical planning and execution of the transition by a fully engaged staff, open conversations with regulators and stakeholders, and a wholehearted investment of time and energy by many people. All know we need a smooth and safe turnover. And all share with me the anticipation of knowing that when this transition is accomplished, we will welcome a new fleet of amazing ships and their capable crews to Prince William Sound. At that time, we will enjoy the great satisfaction that comes from knowing we have substantially improved prevention and response capabilities for marine operations in Prince William Sound for many years to come.  R

Tom Barrett is a retired US Coast Guard Vice Admiral, former Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Transportation, and President of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. www.akbizmag.com

OSRB-2, a large purpose-built open water response barge, before her December launch in Portland, Oregon. Four such barges are joining the SERVS fleet, all painted black and white. Image courtesy of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company

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Legal Speak By Renea I. Saade

Penny Wise—Pound Foolish: Wage & Hour Pitfalls Comply with labor laws now to save later

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t’s no secret—staying in compliance with all the laws that apply to employment relationships is like trying to round up a herd of cats. Or, here in Alaska—a family of lynx. Employers have to remain vigilant and monitor the constant influx of changes in federal, state, and local laws all while remaining mindful of employee expectations for the employment relationship and staying true to their company’s core values, mission, and business goals. The one area of compliance that routinely presents a challenge for most employers is wage and hour law. In recent years, the US Department of Labor (DOL) has routinely estimated that 70 percent to 75 percent of employers operating in the United States are not in full compliance with the Federal Labor Standards Act, the primary federal wage and hour law. DOL’s annual report for fiscal year (FY) 2017 disclosed that over the past five years it has recovered back wages due to more than 1.3 million workers. To put that in perspective, that is more than the population of Las Vegas, Nevada; Orlando, Florida; and Cincinnati, Ohio combined. Over the course of the past five years, the DOL has purportedly recovered more than $1.2 billion (yes—that’s billion with a “b”) on behalf of those workers. The agency asserts it recovered more than $270 million in FY 2017 alone. That equates to an average of $740,000 a day. And, by all accounts, these enforcement efforts at the federal level are on the rise. DOL conducted 3,200 outreach events in FY 2017 in order to educate workers of their wage and hour rights. The agency’s website has undergone significant upgrades and now contains a substantial amount of information to help both workers and employers better understand their rights and obligations; it was visited more than 35 million times in FY 2017. These educational efforts, while welcomed by most employers as they often help clear up misunderstandings employees and employers alike may have about applicable law, are inevitably also going to result in additional claims. In Alaska enforcement is also on the rise. The State of Alaska Department of Labor’s enforcement efforts continue to focus on identifying misclassifications of workers, unpaid overtime and payroll taxes, and unlawful disparities in pay practices. According to DOL, the industries with the most frequent violations continue to be healthcare, construction, agriculture, hospitality, temporary help, and retail. Needless to say, all of these industries are key components to Alaska’s economy. Thus, wage and hour compliance is an important issue for Alaskan employers. If an employer is found, after a federal or state agency audit or investigation of an employee raised claim, to have violated a wage 38

and hour law, the economic consequences are significant. In addition to any back wages found to be due, the employer often is required to pay interest on the wage assessment, a statutory penalty (that can equal the wages owed essentially doubling the amount due), and, to the extent the employee retained the services of a lawyer to help him/her bring the claim, all reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred. Given the high probability of a compliance violation or employee claim and the significant potential financial exposure if one does arise, employers are well advised not to skimp on their compliance efforts or efforts to fairly and legally compensate their employees. While it may save a few cents up front to take shortcuts in pay practices and/or not to work with HR or legal professionals to ensure the company’s pay practices pass the compliance tests, those pennies saved can end up costing a pretty significant pound! To help review a company’s potential exposure for wage and hour issues, the following is a summary of some of the most common pitfalls.  Minimum Wage: Unfortunately, employers cannot just set an hourly rate for their non-exempt/ hourly employees and check that issue off the compliance list. Minimum wage rates regularly change on both a federal and state level. And, in some cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, and others, on a local level as well. Indeed, pursuant to Alaska Statute 23.10.065(a), the Alaska minimum wage is adjusted annually for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the proceeding January-December calendar year. The CPI increased 0.4 percent in 2016 and as a result, the Alaska State minimum wage increased to $9.84 effective January 1, 2018. Alaska also recently eliminated the law that allowed employers to pay certain workers with disabilities a sub-par minimum wage rate. Because of the constant changes in minimum wages, employers are encouraged to check their minimum wage rate compliance annually.  Overtime/Voluntary Flexible Work Hour Plan: Most employers are well aware that overtime pay here in Alaska is determined not only on a weekly basis (after 40 hours in a pre-set work week) but also on a daily basis (after 8 hours in a pre-set work day). Even still, many employers still fail to properly track when a workweek or work day starts (this occurs frequently for rotational workers) and have difficulty calculating the correct overtime rate if the employee’s regular rate of pay is not adjusted for certain bonus payments or other compensation. There are several resources available to Alaskan employees to help sort through and simplify these issues, including compliance specialists who are available to answer questions at both the DOL and State of Alaska’s Wage and Hour Division. Alaskan employers can also participate in the state’s Voluntary Flexible Work Hour Plan that allows an employer to avoid overtime pay obligations on

a daily basis if an employee voluntarily decides to work a consolidated work week (four 10-hour shifts, for example). The devil is, of course, in the details as eligibility for the plan requires pre-approval and strict conformance with the rules that apply to the approved plan, including ensuring that the employee’s schedule once working under the plan does not deviate more than 20 percent from the approved schedule. If a violation occurs, the plan can be invalidated, usually resulting in retroactive overtime liability. But, like with all these issues, such financial consequences can be eliminated or at least reduced if compliance is monitored.  Misclassification of Independent Contractors: Many employers attempt to keep payroll and other overhead expenses down by engaging the services of independent contractors. Unfortunately, though, the majority of those independent contractors are misclassified. The legal test to have a true independent contractor relationship is difficult to meet. To add to the complexity of this issue, there are often different standards that must be met to qualify the person as an independent contractor for wage and hour purposes than there are for workers’ compensation and other legal liability exposure purposes. Calling a person an “independent contractor” does not suffice even if the worker agrees to that classification in writing. The proper classification will depend upon, among other things, the financial and liability risk each party takes on, how the work is directed and controlled, the terms and conditions of the arrangement, how the person is paid and so forth. If a worker is misclassified as an independent contractor, an employer could end up owing back wages, overtime pay, business reimbursements, payroll taxes, penalties, and workers’ compensation premiums. For these reasons, all employers are wise to be diligent to ensure that any independent contractor relationship meets the multiple tests and the relationship is frequently reviewed to ensure compliance. If an employer believes that a misclassification may exist, there are programs under which an employer can self-disclose the misclassification, cure any underpayments, and avoid penalties that an enforcement action would bring.  Misclassification of Exempt Workers: In order for employees to be exempt from minimum wage and hour laws, including overtime pay, they must have certain minimum duties that fall within a specifically legally recognized exemption classification under federal or state law and be paid a minimum salary threshold. While there are specific classes of workers (for example, there are specific exemptions for certain minor workers, shrimp hand pickers, live-in child care workers, licensed guides, newspaper delivery workers, etc.), most exempt employees fall under the general executive, professional, or administrative classifications. Each of these classifications has its own minimum duties requirements. Compliance issues often arise because employers have not taken steps to ensure that their employee is

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


actually performing the tasks required to meet the duties test (relying on the employee’s job description is not enough—employers must check to make sure the employee is actually regularly performing those duties) and/or that the employee is actually receiving the minimum salary amount required to be legally considered exempt. In Alaska this is particularly important because the salary threshold is much higher than the current federal threshold of $455 per work week (although the federal threshold was scheduled to increase to more than $900 per work week in December 2016—that law was legally challenged and has not yet gone into effect). Here in Alaska, the minimum salary threshold is based on a formula that requires the employee to be paid twice the amount he/she would earn if paid minimum wage for a 40 hour work week. Given the current $9.84 minimum wage rate, that equates to $787.20 per work week ($9.84 x 40 x 2). Thus, in general, an Alaskan worker must perform the minimum duties of one of the recognized classifications and make a minimum of $787.20 per work week in order to fall within the state’s general exempt classification. Like the misclassification of independent contractors, any wage and hour violations should be immediately cured and remedial steps should be conducted in a way that minimizes the risk of a statutory penalty assessment.  Off-The-Clock Work: In today’s society of telecommuting and everyone’s smartphone essentially serving as a virtual office, it has become difficult for employers to prevent off-the-clock work by nonexempt workers. Unfortunately, some employees (and attorneys) take advantage of this reality and the number of class action lawsuits for off-the-clock work has increased. While any “de minimus” (legal jargon for insubstantial or insignificant) time spent by the employee will remain unpaid, it is often the case that little tasks can eventually add up resulting in risk for an off-the-clock claim. In order to avoid the expensive legal risk of an off-the-clock claim or class action, all employers should familiarize themselves with the wage and hour rules for, among other things, travel time, waiting or “on call” time, training time, and time spent putting on/taking off protective gear or other required work clothing and monitor the time employees spend performing any work tasks (such as recordkeeping, answering emails, texts or calls, etc.) before or after their shift begins. Many employers adopt written policies to specifically address these issues and implement mechanisms to reduce liability (such as shutting down remote access to email accounts and systems during non-work hours and requiring employees to sign certifications each week that they have accurately recorded all hours worked).  Tips and Tip Pools: The laws related to tips and tip pools constitute a complex web that is often dependent upon the particular facts of the employment relationship. In general, however, employers in Alaska are not allowed to take a “tip credit” to meet their minimum wage requirements, are required to pay out any collected tips (after deducting any actual credit card fees incurred) on a daily basis (or as soon as practical), and ensure that tips are adequately tracked for payroll taxes and recordkeeping purposes. Employers in www.akbizmag.com

Alaska can mandate that tips be pooled; however, only those employees that customarily and regularly receive tips can participate. Who actually falls in that category is where controversy and disagreements often arise but the threshold here in Alaska is currently those that usually receive at least $30 in tips a month. So the owner of a salon or the dishwasher at a restaurant usually wouldn’t qualify. Employees can certainly still voluntarily distribute a portion of their tips to their coworkers, but an employer cannot mandate it. An employer-imposed gratuity (which is different than a voluntary tip) has different rules. Both the DOL and State of Alaska have published very helpful guidelines and FAQs on tips and tip pools that can serve as terrific resources for employers with such pay programs.  Notice and Recordkeeping: Employers have a number of wage and hour notice recordkeeping obligations. These include an obligation to display the current minimum wage poster and post a notice in the workplace (or otherwise sufficiently notify employees) when paychecks will be delivered. Employers must also keep accurate payroll and time records, ensuring that all workers (exempt and non-exempt) record hours worked and, for non-exempt workers, whether and when unpaid meal breaks are taken. There are also rules on how long certain records must be kept. Failure to comply with these notice and recordkeeping requirements can not only subject the employer to statutory penalties that can add up to a significant amount, but the lack of having this documentation in place can also make an employer’s defense against a wage and hour claim much more difficult. Again, the summary above is only an overview of some of the potential wage and hour pitfalls employers regularly face. And these issues and the applicable rules are often as clear as the slushy mud found on Alaska’s roads during the breakup of the latest snowdrift. It is natural if some do not seem self-explanatory and the answer is not readily apparent. For more information, all employers are encouraged to consult with a HR or legal professional to determine if and how these issues or others apply to their particular workforce and how best to address the same. Additional information is also available at www.dol.gov and http://labor.alaska. gov/lss/whhome.htm.  R Renea I. Saade is a Shareholder of Littler Mendelson (www.littler.com), the largest labor and employment law firm worldwide. Renea regularly provides practical employment law advice, counsel, and representation to employers operating in Alaska and throughout the Pacific Northwest. She lives in Anchorage and may be reached at rsaade@littler.com or 907-561-1249. This article is provided for educational purposes only and is not an adequate substitute for legal counsel.

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April 2018 | Alaska Business

39


SPECIAL SECTION

Corporate 100

The main entrance to Providence Alaska Medical Center. Image courtesy of Providence Health & Services Alaska

2018 Corporate 100 Executive Summary By Kathryn Mackenzie

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pril in Alaska is exciting. The last vestiges of winter start to melt away as spring slowly emerges from the depths of snow and ice collected during the long, dark months. With each day of extended sunlight Alaskans begin to emerge from the winter haze with green vistas on their minds and a spring in their step. April also means it’s time for the annual Alaska Business Corporate 100, where we celebrate the companies that build our economy and communities through providing jobs. For several years Alaska Business has been ranking the Corporate 100 by number of Alaska employees, recognizing how important quality positions are in every Alaska community. To qualify for the Corporate 100, businesses are required to operate at minimum one physical location in Alaska and disclose their number of Alaska workers as well as their global workforce when applicable. If there is a tie in Alaska employees, the date the company was established in Alaska is used to determine ranking. The 2018 Corporate 100 is particularly exciting with several new entries and a number of changes in ranking—including a shake-up in the top five companies and a new number one. Though we received a flood of new entries this year, the top five companies on the list are familiar names to Alaskans and together employ more than 20,700 workers here (and nearly 429,000 employees worldwide). All together the 2018 Alaska Business Corporate 100 employ 72,899 people in Alaska and 2.4 million worldwide. The number of Alaska employees is lower than the 2017 figure of 89,329, a decrease of 16,430, or about 18 percent. While it’s true that Alaska has lost jobs over the past year, the drop in numbers re40

ported by the Corporate 100 is in part affected by several companies coming on or off the list, as well as a few companies changing their employee reporting methods. More to the point, it’s not news to anyone that many of Alaska’s industries have for years been feeling the impact of the price of oil, but it also shouldn’t surprise any of our astute readers to know that the companies employing Alaska are bullish about the state, its future, and the opportunities here. Alaskans are resilient, and many indicators point to Alaska’s troubled economy leveling out, the first step on the path to growth.

Top Five Employers Despite seemingly troubled waters, our Corporate 100 continue to move forward, and leading them is Trident Seafoods Corporation with 5,887 employees in Alaska and 10,000 worldwide. Trident operates twelve shore-based seafood processing plants in Alaska and more than half of its employees are employed here, making Trident Seafoods a significant contributor to the state’s economy and employment rate. The company produces seafood from nearly every commercial fishery in Alaska. Over the past year the healthcare industry has experienced substantial growth in Alaska. In 2017, Anchorage’s healthcare sector reported another year of growth, adding roughly 800 jobs, a nearly 4 percent increase compared to the previous year, according to the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation’s 2018 Economic Forecast. Healthcare accounted for an average of 20,700 jobs in 2017. Outpatient services (dentists, imaging, and private practice physicians) comprise the majority of this sector, employing 53 percent of healthcare workers. Hospitals, meanwhile, contributed 34 percent, and nursing and residential care services accounted for the remainder of 13 percent, according to the

AEDC report. This trend is reflected by Providence Health & Services Alaska’s move from the number four spot in 2017 to number two this year with 4,300 Alaska employees and 111,000 workers worldwide. One contributor to Providence’s growth is the expansion of its emergency care facility to fifty rooms. NANA Regional Corporation is the first of many Alaska Native organizations listed in the Corporate 100; it’s ranked at number three (compared to number two in 2017) with 4,060 employed in Alaska and more than 12,200 worldwide employees engaged in natural resource development, land management, oil and gas, and the commercial and federal sectors. Number four on the Corporate 100 list is Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (up one place from 2017) with 3,735 employees in Alaska and 11,657 global employees. Arctic Slope Regional Corporation operates six major business lines: government services, petroleum refining and marketing, energy support services, industrial services, construction, and resource development. Rounding out the Top 5 is Carrs Safeway with 2,800 workers in Alaska and 284,000 employees worldwide. Carrs Safeway moved up from the 6th spot in 2017. The retail, fuel, and drug store was established in Alaska in 1950 and continues to this day to provide Alaskans with the necessities of day-to-day life. The Corporate 100 are representative of Alaska’s major industries, including construction, financial services, health and wellness, industrial services, mining, retail and wholesale trade, seafood, telecommunications, transportation, and travel and tourism, as well as Alaska Native Corporations. These are the companies that employ workers in Alaska’s population centers and remote and rural communities. Whether in Juneau, Anchorage, or Utqiaġvik, every job counts.R

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


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SPECIAL SECTION

Corporate 100

Not Just Another Human Resources Story Why HR is vital to organizations of all sizes By Lynne Curry

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hich of the following do you believe?

✔ You can’t trust anyone in HR: they’ll get you talking, look sympathetic, but then turn everything you say over to management. ✔ HR is a luxury we don’t need because we need all our budget resources to pay the employees who produce. ✔ HR = a partnership for managers, employees, and organizations. ✔ HR = lots of talk + little action. Thirty-nine years ago I leapt off a cliff, creating a business that offered Alaskan employers and employees “growth”—in profits, productivity, success, and employee and career satisfaction. The last thing I wanted to do was become an HR “type.” I didn’t like paperwork. And then I found out what HR can be and do for Alaska businesses and employees.

How HR Shoots Itself in the Foot In many organizations HR has minimal impact. Supervisors don’t let the human resources deparment know about problem employees until they’re ready to terminate them, when HR intervention earlier might have made a difference. Senior managers rarely invite HR to the table to discuss strategy. A significant number of employees avoid HR, distrusting what might happen if they air their grievances. Some HR professionals contribute to this problem by falsely promising and then breaking employee confidentiality; it only takes one betrayal for the “don’t trust them” word to spread. They fail to balance organizational interests with employee advocacy, when HR needs to serve both groups. They act as if HR certifications trump real-world experience and talk over supervisors and employees who leave conversations with HR thinking, “You don’t get it.” The HR We Need in Alaska True HR, or what we need in Alaska, is realworld. True HR focuses on what organizations need in terms of its people and how HR can help employers achieve success—making the right hiring decisions, helping managers motivate and retain productive employees, and 42

True HR focuses on what organizations need in terms of its people and how HR can help employers achieve success— making the right hiring decisions, helping managers motivate and retain productive employees, and fairly removing the wrong employees before they destroy the morale of others. fairly removing the wrong employees before they destroy the morale of others. Here’s what HR can do to alleviate these issues. HR professionals can vet applicants by creating recruitment ads that draw the most qualified candidates, assess them against organizational needs, and conduct reference and background checks to spot potential problems. HR can create the skills-training programs needed to keep managers and employers working at the highest levels and can teach managers and supervisors how to best motivate, appraise, and retain employees. While employees still value basic health and retirement benefits, they also want more individualized, flexible benefits. HR can design the right compensation, benefit, and incentive programs that fairly reward high performers without breaking the bank. HR can also help senior management assess the organization’s pulse by administering employee surveys, 360-degree reviews that assess every manager, and create grievance channels that allow employees to voice concerns. If an employee deserves termination, HR can investigate the supervisor’s claims to ensure fair decisions have been made and can provide the departing employee with outplacement. HR helps organizations avoid risk with EEO compliance, safety and OSHA compliance, workers’ compensation administration, drug testing, policy creation and enforcement, and other risk management processes. Finally, HR can partner with senior management to forecast organizational needs and strategically develop the organization’s future structure—but only if senior management sees HR as a viable partner.

The Balance: Organizational Interests and Employee Advocacy To do the above, HR needs to fairly balance employer and employee needs. Some HR rookies so eagerly strive to please management that they fail both employees and their

organization; after all, management needs to hear what they’ve done wrong to make it right. Also, employees aren’t widgets, and HR serves no one if it forgets the “H” in HR.

When the Trust Isn’t There When employees don’t trust HR to solve problems, they disengage, walk out the door, or worse, negatively impact other employees. Further, how can management fix a problem if they don’t know it exists? As just one example, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently noted that three-quarters of those with sexual harassment allegations hadn’t brought their complaints forward. As a result, these long-buried complaints allowed anger to fester, allowed potential harassers to create problems for others even as they secured promotions, and resulted in defamation against some potentially falsely-accused employees. We see the result all over the media. Time to Turn to HR HR professionals often wonder why supervisors and managers don’t seek them out before problem employee situations hit rock bottom. The answer? Managers see problemsolving as their job, not HR’s. It isn’t until a capable HR professional proves his or her worth that a supervisor or manager learns to make HR a first and not a last call. Similarly, how can HR earn a place at the table when senior executives meet to create strategy? After thirty-nine years offering HR on-call services, I’ve learned three answers for gaining trust and thus a seat at the table. First, I have to prove I know what I’m doing. When I don’t know an answer or strategy, I need to say so and then find the right answer and strategy. Second, my intent must be clear. I need to make it clear I place their organizational needs

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


HR’s Future Some “old-style” thinkers believe HR departments should focus on administering payroll and employee benefits, processing hiring decisions made by others, and managing terminations, layoffs, and Department of Labor paperwork. All true, but HR needs to move beyond these boundaries. Nothing shows the problem that results from employers and HR sticking their heads in the “HR is only compliance and paperwork” sand more than the #MeToo movement. Thousands of women and men aired long-buried painful stories, igniting anger that swept through many workplaces. Others, feeling unfairly targeted for behavior they believe to be acceptable, fought back. Employers need HR’s help to address these complaints, many of which take aim at senior managers and others that organizations hope to retain. HR needs to do more than fairly investigate such allegations: it needs to help organizations overhaul themselves at the cultural DNA level. HR needs to make it safe for targets and witnesses to come forward, to ensure that no one is above the law, and to hold managers, supervisors, and employees accountable for creating and maintaining a respectful work environment for everyone. While harassment issues are glaringly obvious, they represent only one area in which HR needs to exercise interventionary muscle. Our workplaces, like our larger world, appear to be coming apart, with escalating amounts of workplace violence and polarized groups who shout at rather than talk with and listen to each other. A truly effective HR department may be the one group most suited to help organizations address these needs.  R

CORPORATE 100 SPECIAL SECTION | HUNAM RESOURCES

first—whatever the cost. For example, when I’m asked to investigate certain situations, I may suggest my client reach out first to their attorney, even if that means the attorney’s staff then provides the investigative services. Third and most important, I, and any HR professional, need to show we “get it,” that we understand how supervisors, managers, and executives view situations. Instead of expecting managers to join HR’s team, HR needs to partner on management’s team. Finally, we need to contribute in ways that demonstrate our value.

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Lynne Curry is author of “Solutions” and “Beating the Workplace Bully” and founded The Growth Company, an Avitus Group company. Curry is now a Regional Director of Training and Business Consulting at Avitus Group. She may be reached at Lcurry@avitusgroup.com, on Twitter @lynnecurry10, and at www. workplacecoachblog.com. Curry was recently named one of the Top 30 Conflict Management experts on LinkedIn. www.akbizmag.com

April 2018 | Alaska Business

43


SPECIAL SECTION

Corporate 100

The 2018 Alaska Business Corporate 100 Directory This photo was taken in Utqiagvik, Alaska, during the bi-annual whaling feast called Kivgiq. Image courtesy of ASRC

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Trident Seafoods Corporation 405 E. Fireweed Ln., Suite 203 Anchorage, AK 99503 206-783-3818 Joe Bundrant, CEO Seafood

Trident Seafoods owns and operates 12 shorebased seafood processing facilities in Alaska and support facilities for its catcher-processing, catcher vessel and tender fleets. Trident produces seafood products from nearly every commercial fishery off Alaska for retail, food service, and club stores.

Providence Health & Services Alaska 3760 Piper St., Suite 3035 Anchorage, AK 99508 907-212-3145 Bruce Lamoureux, Chief Executive Health & Wellness

alaska.providence.org | Info.PHSA@providence.org /ProvidenceHealthAlaska | @provak Healthcare, serves Alaskans in six communities: Anchorage, Eagle River, Matanuska-Susitna Valley, Kodiak Island, Seward and Valdez. PH&SA includes Providence Alaska Medical Center.

NANA Regional Corporation PO Box 49 Kotzebue, AK 99752 907-442-3301 Wayne Westlake, President/CEO Native Organization

nana.com | news@nana.com /nanaregionalcorporation | @NANACorporation company/2853774 Natural resource development, land management, oil and gas sector, commercial sector, federal sector.

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation PO Box 129 Barrow, AK 99723 907-852-8633 Rex A. Rock Sr., President/CEO Native Organization

ASRC is the largest Alaskan-owned and operated company and has six major business segments: government services, petroleum refining and marketing, energy support services, industrial services, construction and resource development.

Year Founded:1973 Estab. in Alaska:1973 Alaska Employees:5,887 Worldwide Employees: 10,000

Year Founded:1902 Estab. in Alaska:1902 Alaska Employees:4,300 Worldwide Employees:111,000

Year Founded:1972 Estab. in Alaska:1972 Alaska Employees:4,060 Worldwide Employees:12,251

Year Founded:1972 Estab. in Alaska:1972 Alaska Employees:3,735 Worldwide Employees:11,657

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


OUR STRENGTH Netiye’ means ‘our strength’ in Ahtna Athabaskan


CORPORATE 100 SPECIAL SECTION | DIRECTORY

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Carrs Safeway 5600 Debarr Rd., Suite 100 Anchorage, AK 99504 907-339-7704 Stephanie Kennedy, District Manager Retail/Wholesale Trade

Retail food, drug and fuel.

GCI 2550 Denali St., Suite 1000 Anchorage, AK 99503 907-265-5600 Ron Duncan, CEO Telecommunications

gci.com GCI delivers communication and technology services in the consumer and business markets. Headquartered in Alaska with locations in the U.S., GCI has delivered services for more than 35 years to some of the most remote communities and in some of the most challenging conditions in North America.

Alaska Airlines 4750 Old Int’l Airport Rd. Anchorage, AK 99502 907-266-7200 Brad Tilden, Chairman/CEO Alaska Air Group Transportation

alaskaair.com Alaska Airlines, Virgin America, and regional carrier Horizon Air, provide passenger and cargo service to 118 destinations in Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, and the Lower 48.

BP Exploration (Alaska) PO Box 196612 Anchorage, AK 99515-6612 907-561-5111 Janet Weiss, BP Alaska President Oil & Gas

alaska.bp.com | @BP_Alaska BP operates the Greater Prudhoe Bay area, which consists of the Prudhoe Bay field and a number of smaller fields. This area produces more than half of Alaska’s oil and gas production. BP also owns interests in seven other North Slope oil fields and pipelines, including TAPS.

Foundation Health Partners 1650 Cowles St. Fairbanks, AK 99701 907-452-8181 Jim Lynch, CEO Health & Wellness

General medical and surgical facilities that offer comprehensive care for every stage of life, including specialized services in behavioral health, endocrinology, hospice care, cancer treatment, medical imaging, dermatology, rehabilitation, cardiology, sleep medicine, diabetes care, and much more.

Safeway / Albertsons | Boise, ID, USA

Year Founded:1901 Estab. in Alaska:1950 Alaska Employees:2,800 Worldwide Employees:284,000

Alaska Air Group Inc. | Seattle, WA

Year Founded:1979 Estab. in Alaska:1979 Alaska Employees:2,000 Worldwide Employees:2,200

Year Founded:1932 Estab. in Alaska:1932 Alaska Employees:1,825 Worldwide Employees:22,000

BP PLC | London, England

Year Founded:1959 Estab. in Alaska:1959 Alaska Employees:1,700 Worldwide Employees:74,000

Year Founded:2016 Estab. in Alaska:2016 Alaska Employees:1,700 Worldwide Employees:1,700

North Pacific Seafoods 627 Shelikof St. Kodiak, AK 99615 907-486-3234 Kazuo Taguchi, Chairman Seafood

northpacificseafoods.com Seafood processing and marketing.

Peter Pan Seafoods PO Box 16 King Cove, AK 99612 907-497-2234 Barry Collier, CEO Seafood

ppsf.com Peter Pan Seafoods, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Maruha Nichiro. Peter Pan Seafoods operates four shore based processing facilities in Alaska processing salmon, crab and groundfish. Peter Pan’s sale’s team markets seafood in the United States and around the world.

Bristol Bay Native Corporation 111 W. 16th Ave., Suite 400 Anchorage, AK 99501 907-278-3602 Jason Metrokin, President/CEO Native Organization

bbnc.net | info@bbnc.net | /BristolBayNativeCorporation @BristolBayToday | /company/bristol-bay-native-corporation Construction, government services, industrial services, and tourism.

Marubeni Corporation | Tokyo, Japan

Year Founded:1972 Estab. in Alaska:1972 Alaska Employees:1,500 Worldwide Employees:1,530

Maruha Nichiro | Tokyo, Japan

Year Founded:1907 Estab. in Alaska:1907 Alaska Employees:1,450 Worldwide Employees:1,510

Year Founded:1972 Estab. in Alaska:1972 Alaska Employees:1,428 Worldwide Employees:4,643

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


CORPORATE 100 SPECIAL SECTION | DIRECTORY

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Alaska USA Federal Credit Union PO Box 196613 Anchorage, AK 99519-6613 907-563-4567 Geofferey S. Lundfelt, President/CEO Financial Services

AlaskaUSA.org | memberservice@alaskausa.org | /AlaskaUSAFCU @AlaskaUSA | /company/alaska-usa-federal-credit-union Financial services including: checking, savings, and loans for members and their businesses, as well as mortgage and real estate loans, insurance, investments and financial planning services.

Jacobs 949 E. 36th Ave., Suite 500 Anchorage, AK 99508 907-762-1500 Jeff Doyle, VP/General Manager Alaska Operations Industrial Services

jacobs.com | /JacobsConnects | @JacobsConnects /company/jacobs Global professional services leader serving the Alaska oil & gas, transportation, port & maritime, environmental, and water and wastewater markets with camp, equipment, infrastructure, scientific, engineering, fabrication, construction, operations, maintenance, and turnaround services.

Unisea PO Box 920008 Dutch Harbor, AK 99692 425-881-8181 Tom Enlow, President/CEO Seafood

Unisea.com Unisea’s largest Alaska operations are the state of the art processing facilities in Dutch Harbor. Unisea processes surimi and fillets from pollock and processes crab, cod, and halibut.

Westward Seafoods PO Box 920608 Dutch Harbor, AK 99692-0608 907-581-1660 Mark Johanson, President Seafood

Seafood processing and sales.

Alaska Regional Hospital 2801 DeBarr Rd. Anchorage, AK 99508 907-276-1131 Julie Taylor, CEO Health & Wellness

alaskaregional.com | /alaskaregional @alaskaregional | /company/2548094 24-hour ER department, Family Birth Center, Alaska Regional Imaging Alliance, Center for Surgical Robotics, cancer center, cath lab, diagnostic imaging, heart center & cardiac rehabilitation, orthopedic & spine, rehab unit, nurse residency program, surgical services, therapy dogs.

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Estab. in Alaska:1948 Alaska Employees:1,298 Worldwide Employees:1,900

Jacobs | Dallas, TX, USA

Nippon Suisan Kaisha | Tokyo, Japan

Year Founded:1946 Estab. in Alaska:1962 Alaska Employees:1,200 Worldwide Employees:74,000

Year Founded:1974 Estab. in Alaska:1975 Alaska Employees:1,111 Worldwide Employees:1,175

Year Founded:1989 Estab. in Alaska:1989 Alaska Employees:1,058 Worldwide Employees:1,095

HCA | Nashville, TN

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Ravn Alaska 4700 Old International Airport Rd. Anchorage, AK 99502 907-266-8394 David Pflieger, President/CEO Transportation

flyravn.com | sales@flyravn.com | /RavnAlaska | @RavnAlaska /company/ravn-alaska Scheduled passenger, cargo, mail and charter service.

ConocoPhillips Alaska 700 G St., PO Box 100360 Anchorage, AK 99510 907-276-1215 Joe Marushack, President Oil & Gas

conocophillipsalaska.com | n.m.lowman@conocophillips.com /conocophillips | @COP_Alaska An independent exploration and production company. We are Alaska’s largest oil producer and have been a leader in oil and gas exploration and development in the state for more than 50 years.

Chugach Alaska Corporation 3800 Centerpoint Dr., Suite 1200 Anchorage, AK 99503-4396 907-563-8866 Gabriel Kompkoff, CEO Native Organization

chugach.com | communications@chugach.com /chugachalaskacorporation | /company/chugach The Chugach family of companies provides government services, facilities services and energy services. Chugach also manages a diverse portfolio of investments and land/ resource development opportunities.

Year Founded:1963 Estab. in Alaska:1963 Alaska Employees:1,015 Worldwide Employees:1,015

Year Founded:1948 Estab. in Alaska:1948 Alaska Employees:1,000 Worldwide Employees:1,000

ConocoPhillips Company | Houston, TX, USA

Year Founded:1952 Estab. in Alaska:1952 Alaska Employees:1,000 Worldwide Employees:11,400

Year Founded:1972 Estab. in Alaska:1972 Alaska Employees:1,000 Worldwide Employees:5,900

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


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CORPORATE 100 SPECIAL SECTION | DIRECTORY

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The Alaska Club 5201 E. Tudor Rd. Anchorage, AK 99507 907-337-9550 Robert Brewster, CEO Health & Wellness

thealaskaclub.com | marketingmail@thealaskaclub.com /TheAlaskaClub | @TheAlaskaClub The Alaska Club has a network of statewide locations offering a variety of group fitness classes, state-of-the-art equipment, personal training, swimming, youth activities, amenities and more. Providing a variety of fitness options for adults and children. The Alaska Club, the way fitness should be. Partnership Capital Growth | San Francisco, CA, USA

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Alaska General Seafoods PO Box 149 Naknek, AK 99633 907-246-4285 Brad Wilkins, General Manager Seafood

akgen.com | /Alaska-General-Seafoods Alaska General Seafoods is a shore-based seafood processor that acquires, cans, freezes or provides fresh seafood products to wholesale buyers from around the world.

Lynden 6441 S. Airpark Pl. Anchorage, AK 99502 907-245-1544 Jim Jansen, Chairman Transportation

lynden.com | information@lynden.com | /LyndenInc | @LyndenInc /company/lynden-incorporated Lynden is a family of transportation companies with capabilities including truckload & less-than-truckload service, scheduled & charter barges, rail barges, intermodal bulk chemical hauls, scheduled & chartered air freighters, domestic & international air/ocean forwarding, and multimodal logistics.

Alaska Commercial Co. 3830 Old International Airport Rd. Anchorage, AK 99502 907-273-4600 Rex Wilhelm, Vice Chairman Retail/Wholesale Trade

Rural Alaska’s largest retailer of food, apparel, and general merchandise with continuous service since 1867.

Central Peninsula Hospital 250 Hospital Pl. Soldotna, AK 99669 907-714-4404 Rick Davis, CEO Health & Wellness

cpgh.org | /voiceofcph CPH is a Planetree designated hospital offering emergency medical care, surgery, birth center, imaging, laboratory, physical therapy and behavioral health. Specialties include: joint replacement, oncology, neurology, orthopedics, pediatrics, family medicine, general surgery & internal medicine.

Hope Community Resources 540 W. International Airport Rd. Anchorage, AK 99518 907-561-5335 Roy Scheller, Executive Director Health & Wellness

hopealaska.org | info@hopealaska.org | /HopeCommunityResources Providing services and supports to Alaskans who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental health challenges and complex medical conditions.

Alyeska Resort/ Hotel Alyeska PO Box 249 | Girdwood, AK 99587 907-754-2111 Mark Weakland, VP/Hotel General Manager Travel & Tourism

alyeskaresort.com | info@alyeskaresort.com | /alyeskaresort @resortalyeska | /company/283664 Alyeska Resort is Alaska’s premier year-round destination. Just 40 miles from Anchorage, it’s a great base camp for summer and winter activities. Featuring the 300 room Hotel Alyeska, ski resort served by 7 lifts, 7 restaurants, a full service spa, and banquet and meeting facilities.

Alaska Marine Highway System 7995 N. Tongass Hwy. Ketchikan, AK 99901 800-642-0066 John Falvey, Captain Transportation

ferryalaska.com | dot.amhs.customer@alaska.gov /AlaskaMarineHighway Providing marine transportation for passengers and vehicles to over 30 Alaska coastal communities. No pre-set itineraries. Amenities available include staterooms, dining, movie theatres, and viewing lounges.

Year Founded:1986 Estab. in Alaska:1986 Alaska Employees:1,000 Worldwide Employees:1,000

Year Founded:1986 Estab. in Alaska:1994 Alaska Employees:945 Worldwide Employees:971

The North West Co. | Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Year Founded:1906 Estab. in Alaska:1954 Alaska Employees:930 Worldwide Employees:2,600

Year Founded:1867 Estab. in Alaska:1867 Alaska Employees:920 Worldwide Employees:1,925

Year Founded:1971 Estab. in Alaska:1971 Alaska Employees:920 Worldwide Employees:920

Year Founded:1968 Estab. in Alaska:1968 Alaska Employees:847 Worldwide Employees:847

Year Founded:1959 Estab. in Alaska:1959 Alaska Employees:800 Worldwide Employees:800

Year Founded:1963 Estab. in Alaska:1963 Alaska Employees:800 Worldwide Employees:800

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


P Left: Seth Kroenke, President, Remote Alaska Solutions. Right: Lake Hood Hangars at Ted Stevens International Airport, Anchorage. Photos courtesy Remote Alaska Solutions (RAS)

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Remote Alaska Solutions, Inc. CONCRETE STRONG!

emote Alaska Solutions, Inc. (RAS) is a family-owned and operated business with its roots of creation in Bush Alaska. RAS was founded with the mission to bring the Alaska market new technology, proven solutions and innovative ideas for the future of the building industry. Now based in Palmer, RAS specializes in delivering solutions to challenging logistical projects throughout Alaska with an emphasis on the Anchorage basin including Anchorage, Eagle River/ Chugiak, Palmer/Wasilla, and Girdwood. Our scope of work includes anything from below grade (water, sewer, foundations, concrete, remote roads, and environmental remediation) to above ground projects (steel buildings, commercial and residential buildings, aircraft hangers, and all applications of ICF construction), and the design/build of Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) commercial buildings our specialty. What is ICF Technology? (ICF) construction is an emerging construction technology that provides highly energy efficient and structurally resilient buildings and is used throughout North America. RAS has embraced this construction methodology to become the leading ICF construction company in Alaska. RAS is a certified ICF dealer and installer

utilizing the best in ICF materials from Nudura®. Since its creation, ICF construction has become popular for both residential and commercial applications. The advantages of using ICF technology are enormous, both from a structural and environmental standpoint. Structurally, ICF results in a 200year structure, as compared to a 30year wood structure. ICF is windproof, water and mold resistant, tornado resistant, hurricane resistant, and earthquake resistant. ICF Construction is 20% to 30% faster than conventional framing, and 50% to 60% faster as compared to CMU construction. ICF is almost completely sound proof with a STC rating of 50 and better, up to a R-45 insulation performance rating, and in most cases a 50% to 70% reduction in energy costs recognized. Structures built with ICF walls require far less energy to heat than comparable wood-framed structures. Poured concrete walls provide an excellent thermal mass helping to store and release heat as needed to maintain an even indoor temperature. This means a more comfortable environment that requires fewer heating cycles and substantially less energy. Insurance premiums can be up to 50% less with an ICF structure, especially in – PA I D A D V E R T I S E M E N T –

areas where severe weather is common. Fire resistance of an ICF structure is also a significant determining factor. In most cases, ICF wall packages achieve a four-hour fire rating just by the nature of the ICF technology. Buildings are now being constructed to a new standard, and that standard is Net-Zero. Net-Zero structures built with ICF technology maximizes the use of onsite renewable energy, thereby producing more energy than they consume over the course of a year. Remote Alaska Solutions’ team of talented, highly skilled craftsmen is our greatest asset. With a firm and confident belief in our products and services, we are able to work through even the most complex building scenarios that arise both at the design table and in the field. We look forward to contributing to the bright future of Alaska in a way that adds tremendous value to the clients we serve right here at home.

Palmer, Alaska 907-406-4545 I www.remoteAK.com


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SEARHC 3100 Channel Dr., Suite 300 Juneau, AK 99801 907-463-4000 Charles Clement, President/CEO Health & Wellness

searhc.org | /SouthEastAlaskaRegionalHealthConsortium @SEARHCTweets SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium provides the highest quality health services in partnership with Native people to improve their health, prevention and awareness to the highest possible level. We serve communities throughout the S.E. Alaska archipelago.

Calista Corporation 5015 Business Park Blvd., Suite 3000 Anchorage, AK 99503 907-275-2800 Andrew Guy, President/CEO Native Organization

calistacorp.com | calista@calistacorp.com | /calistacorporation @calistacorp | /company/calistacorporation Calista Corporation is the parent company of more than 35 subsidiaries in the following industries: military defense contracting, construction, marketing and advertising services, communications, real estate, environmental and natural resource development and information technology services.

Alyeska Pipeline Service Company PO Box 196660, MS 542 Anchorage, AK 99519-6660 907-787-8700 Thomas Barrett, President Oil & Gas

alyeska-pipe.com Alyeska Pipeline Service Company has operated the Trans Alaska Pipeline System since 1977 and has delivered more than 17 billion barrels of oil. Focused on safe and flawless operations, employees are committed to keeping TAPS sustainable for all of Alaska.

Mat-Su Regional Medical Center PO Box 1687 Palmer, AK 99645 907-861-6000 Dave Wallace, CEO Health & Wellness

matsuregional.com Mat-Su Regional Medical Center is a state-of-the-art healthcare facility providing advanced surgical service, including robotics, the area’s only birthing center, emergency services, diagnostic imaging, a sleep lab and a convenient Urgent Care Center in Wasilla.

Alaska Railroad Corporation PO Box 107500 Anchorage, AK 99510-7500 907-265-2300 Bill O’Leary, President/CEO Transportation

alaskarailroad.com | /AlaskaRailroad | @AKRR Freight rail transportation, passenger rail transportation, and real estate land leasing and permitting.

Wells Fargo Bank N.A. 301 W. Northern Lights Blvd. Anchorage, AK 99503 907-265-2730 Greg Deal, AK Regional Bank President Financial Services

wellsfargo.com Diversified financial services company, providing businesses of all sizes with checking and savings products, insurance, retirement planning, payroll services, merchant services, loans, credit cards and online tips and tools for building a successful business at wellsfargoworks.com.

First National Bank Alaska PO Box 100720 Anchorage, AK 99510-0720 907-777-4362 Betsy Lawer, Chair/CEO Financial Services

FNBAlaska.com | customer.service@FNBAlaska.com | @FNBAlaska Friendly, knowledgeable Alaskans offering the convenience, service & value of a full range of deposit, lending, trust and investment management services, and online and mobile banking. With 28 branches in 18 communities and assets of more than $3.8 billion, we believe in Alaska and have since 1922.

Bartlett Regional Hospital 3260 Hospital Dr. Juneau, AK 99801 907-796-8900 Chuck Bill, CEO Health & Wellness

Emergency services; diagnostic imaging; critical care; cardiac & pulmonary rehab; speech, infusion, respiratory, occupational & physical therapy; behavioral health; birthing center; lab services; inpatient & same day surgery; critical care; comprehensive medical & surgical care; oncology center.

Year Founded:1975 Estab. in Alaska:1975 Alaska Employees:800 Worldwide Employees:800

Year Founded:1972 Estab. in Alaska:1972 Alaska Employees:788 Worldwide Employees:2,331

Year Founded:1970 Estab. in Alaska:1970 Alaska Employees:775 Worldwide Employees:776

Community Health Systems | Nashville, TN

Alaska Dept. of Commerce, Community & Economic Development | Juneau, AK

Year Founded:1935 Estab. in Alaska:1935 Alaska Employees:750 Worldwide Employees:750

Year Founded:1914 Estab. in Alaska:1914 Alaska Employees:745 Worldwide Employees:750

Wells Fargo & Company | San Francisco, CA, U.S.

Year Founded:1852 Estab. in Alaska:1916 Alaska Employees:700 Worldwide Employees:263,000

Year Founded:1922 Estab. in Alaska:1922 Alaska Employees:662 Worldwide Employees:662

Year Founded:1885 Estab. in Alaska:1885 Alaska Employees:610 Worldwide Employees:610

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


BREAKING VIEWS!

Alaskans have voted and the “Eyes Have It!” Alaska’s top organizations choose Land’s End for their special events, strategic conferences and planning retreats. Where else can groups experience some of the most spectacular, breathtaking beachfront scenery on the planet? From small groups on up to large gatherings of 250 guests, our oceanfront meeting facilities combine award-winning cuisine, expansive decks and personalized Alaskan service, all in an unparalleled natural paradise. Come see, feel and taste why Land’s End is just the beginning for the perfect gathering.

Click on Special Events at: www.Lands-End-Resort.com Or talk to one of our event specialists at: 1-907-235-0410

LE Eyes ABM FP.indd 1

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FedEx Express 6050 Rockwell Ave. Anchorage, AK 99502 800-463-3339 Dale Shaw, Managing Director Transportation

fedex.com Air cargo and express-package services.

Teck Alaska-Red Dog Mine 3105 Lakeshore Dr., Bldg. A, Suite 101 Anchorage, AK 99517 907-754-3800 Henri Letient, General Manager Mining

One of the world’s largest producers of zinc concentrates.

Alaska Communications 600 Telephone Ave. Anchorage, AK 99503 907-297-3000 Anand Vadapalli, President/CEO Telecommunications

alaskacommunications.com Alaska’s leading provider of managed IT services, high-speed internet, data networking and voice communications.

Doyon, Limited 1 Doyon Pl., Suite 300 Fairbanks, AK 99701-2941 907-459-2000 Aaron Schutt, President/CEO Native Organization

doyon.com | communications@doyon.com | /doyonlimit @doyonlimited | /company/68337 Oil field contracting-drilling, camp, engineering and pipeline construction services; government servicesconstruction services and utility services on military installations in Alaska; information technology-operate in the tribal and not-for-profit space; and natural resource development.

Matson 1717 Tidewater Rd. Anchorage, AK 99501-1036 907-274-2671 Kenny Gill, VP Alaska Transportation

Containership cargo transportation service between Tacoma, WA, and Anchorage, Kodiak, and Dutch Harbor. Delivery services to the Alaska Railbelt. Connecting carrier service to other water, air, and land carriers. Less-thancontainer-load freight consolidation and forwarding services.

Three Bears Alaska 445 N. Pittman Rd., Suite B Wasilla, AK 99623 907-357-4311 David Weisz, President/CEO Retail/Wholesale Trade

threebearsalaska.com Retail grocery, general merchandise, sporting goods (hunting, fishing & camping), pharmacy, package stores (beer, wine & spirits), and fuel.

Crowley Alaska 201 Arctic Slope Ave. Anchorage, AK 99518 907-777-5505 Rocky Smith, Sr. VP/General Manager Transportation

crowleyalaska.com | /Crowley | @CrowleyMaritime /company/crowley-maritime Statewide fuel transportation, distribution and fuel sales including propane and LNG. Valdez tanker docking, escort and spill response services. Offshore engineering and project management services. Offshore infrastructure installation services. Ocean towing and large module transportation services.

Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Anchorage 9600 Old Seward Highway Anchorage, AK 99515 907-868-9300 Troy Jarvis, General Manager Retail/Wholesale Trade

Visit Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge of South Anchorage for a new or used car, service repairs & maintenance, or parts.

FedEx Corp. | Memphis, TN

Year Founded:1973 Estab. in Alaska:1988 Alaska Employees:605 Worldwide Employees:400,000

Teck Resources Limited | Vancouver, BC, Canada

Year Founded:1989 Estab. in Alaska:1989 Alaska Employees:600 Worldwide Employees:12,000

Year Founded:1999 Estab. in Alaska:1999 Alaska Employees:600 Worldwide Employees:600

Year Founded:1972 Estab. in Alaska:1972 Alaska Employees:591 Worldwide Employees:888

Year Founded:1882 Estab. in Alaska:1964 Alaska Employees:570 Worldwide Employees:1,947

Year Founded:1980 Estab. in Alaska:1980 Alaska Employees:559 Worldwide Employees:612

Crowley Maritime Corporation | Jacksonville, FL, USA

Lithia Motors | Medford, OR, USA

Year Founded:1892 Estab. in Alaska:1953 Alaska Employees:550 Worldwide Employees:5,600

Year Founded:1946 Estab. in Alaska:2001 Alaska Employees:549 Worldwide Employees:13,300

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot Long-Time, Dedicated Advocates in Alaska

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©Judy Patrick Photography

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Left to right: Jennifer Alexander, Shareholder, Bill Bittner, Shareholder, David Gross, Managing Shareholder, Holly Wells, Shareholder, Sarah Badten, Of Counsel.

irch Horton Bittner & Cherot (BHBC) is a fullservice law firm that offers expert legal counsel in diverse areas of law. BHBC’s expertise includes complex litigation, construction, regulatory compliance, complex financial and commercial transactions, bankruptcy, healthcare, employment, labor, government contracts, tribal and Alaska Native law, and natural resources management. It’s experienced attorneys are skilled in litigating personal injury, product liability, bankruptcy, divorce, and business torts in state and federal court as well as before a variety of federal, state, and local agencies. The firm’s robust appellate practice includes the representation of individuals, public, and private entities. In Alaska’s competitive legal market, BHBC offers extremely unique services; it is the largest full-service firm “born and raised” in the state. Consequently, BHBC is engrained with an understanding of Alaska’s unique geographical, cultural, and political landscape which greatly benefits its clients. “This Alaskan sensibility infuses all of our practice areas as we bring added value to our clients in everything we do,” says David Gross, Managing Shareholder. COMPANY HISTORY BHBC has a long, rich history in Alaska. It was founded in 1971 by Ron Birch as a general practice firm in Anchorage. During the 1970s, BHBC represented the parties constructing the trans-Alaska Pipeline. The firm’s litigators represented Alaska Native Corporations (ANC) in cases heard by the US Supreme Court that, to this day, affect federal procurement rules. In 1975, BHBC opened a Washington, D.C. office near Congress and executive branch agencies so clients could benefit from its presence in the nation’s capital. The D.C. office quickly accumulated an impressive track record and built a national reputation as one of Washington’s preeminent government relations firms. Additionally, the D.C. office has developed a national regulatory and litigation practice.

BHBC LEADERSHIP BHBC founders Bill Bittner and Suzanne Cherot are actively engaged in the firm with David Gross. Together, they work diligently with the firm’s attorneys to offer high-quality legal services while adopting practical and innovative strategies to ensure BHBC’s clients receive efficient and cost-effective legal services. In Anchorage, Adam Cook heads the construction law practice, representing public and private entities, while Holly Wells chairs BHBC’s municipal law and election law practices. Cook and Wells also collaborate on complex port and harbor and “high-dollar” construction projects. Jennifer Alexander leads BHBC’s employment and labor practice as well as its healthcare law group. BHBC’s newest shareholder, Aaron Sperbeck, chairs the firm’s criminal practice. Within the D.C. office, Jim Lister leads BHBC’s natural resources practice and its bankruptcy practice, which includes Alaska cases. Elisabeth Ross chairs the firm’s telecommunications and energy practice group and works alongside Jon Devore as he leads the BHBC government contract team in its representation of small business, tribes and ANCs. BHBC also serves clients in numerous other industry areas, including legal services for municipalities, homeowners’ associations, real estate, landlord-tenant, marijuana industry compliance, insurance coverage, telecommunications, and government contracting.

To learn more about how BHBC employs its creativity, skill, and experience to benefit clients, visit www.birchhorton.com or call (907) 276-1550.

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ESS Support Services Worldwide 201 Post Rd. Anchorage, AK 99501 907-865-9818 Larry Weihs, Regional VP Industrial Services

essalaska.com | kmadlock@ess-worldwide.com | /ESSALASKA Restaurants, lounges, and espresso operations. Catering services: small to large remote site facilities for short- or long-term projects, including offshore drilling platforms, employee staffing and leasing, in-flight services, governmental agency support services and Impressions Catering.

Princess Cruises, Holland America Line & Seabourn 720 W. 5th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 907-276-7676 Stein Kruse, Group CEO Travel & Tourism

worldsleadingcruiselines.com Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn own and operate 9 hotels, 20 railcars and over 200 buses and motor coaches in Alaska in addition to supporting port operations to the cruise business. 481 employees work year-round in the state with an additional 2,960 seasonal employees.

PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center 3100 Tongass Ave. | Ketchikan, AK 99901 907-225-5171 Ed Freysinger, CEO Health & Wellness

peacehealth.org/ketchikan | ketchikanmarketing@peacehealth.org /PHKetchikan | @ph_kmc In 1923 the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace opened the Little Flower Hospital in Ketchikan. Today it is a 25-bed critical access hospital, in partnership with the City, providing medical services including general and orthopedic surgery, medical clinics, rehab therapies, lab, sleep center, and more.

Compass Group PLC (North America) | Charlotte, NC, USA

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Estab. in Alaska:1986 Alaska Employees:500 Worldwide Employees:500,000

Year Founded:1873 Estab. in Alaska:1947 Alaska Employees:481 Worldwide Employees:4,082

Carnival Corporation | Miami, FL, USA

PeaceHealth | Vancouver, WA, USA

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Schlumberger Oilfield Services 6411 A St. Anchorage, AK 99518 907-273-1700 Nathan Rose, Managing Director Oil & Gas

slb.com Schlumberger is the world’s leading provider of technology for reservoir characterization, drilling, production, and processing to the oil and gas industry.

AT&T 505 E. Bluff Dr. Anchorage, AK 99501 800-478-9000 Bob Bass, President Alaska Telecommunications

AT&T helps millions connect with entertainment, business, mobile & high speed internet services. We have the best global coverage of any U.S. wireless provider and are one of the world’s largest providers of pay TV. Nearly 3.5 million companies worldwide turn to AT&T for our highly secure solutions.

The Odom Corporation 240 W. First Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 907-272-8511 William Odom, Vice Chairman/Executive VP Retail/Wholesale Trade

Licensed wholesale alcoholic beverage distributor. Franchised soft drink distributor.

North Star Behavioral Health 2530 Debarr Rd. Anchorage, AK 99508 907-258-7575 Andrew Mayo, CEO Health & Wellness

North Star is Alaska’s premier behavioral health provider specializing in helping young people with life challenges. We have served youth through our acute and residential treatment programs since 1984, and now treat service members, their dependents and veterans at the Chris Kyle Patriots Hospital.

Northern Air Cargo 3900 Old International Airport Rd. Anchorage, AK 99502 907-243-3331 David Karp, President/CEO Transportation

nac.aero Anchorage based Northern Air Cargo is Alaska’s largest all-cargo airline. From groceries and generators to medical supplies and lumber, customers across Alaska, including a wide array of industries such as oil & gas, mining, construction, and commercial fishing rely on NAC’s services.

Year Founded:1890 Estab. in Alaska:1923 Alaska Employees:450 Worldwide Employees:16,000

Year Founded:1956 Estab. in Alaska:1956 Alaska Employees:450 Worldwide Employees:100,000

AT&T | Dallas, TX

The Odom Corporation | Bellevue, WA

Year Founded:1876 Estab. in Alaska:1971 Alaska Employees:450 Worldwide Employees:>250,000

Year Founded:1934 Estab. in Alaska:1934 Alaska Employees:427 Worldwide Employees:1,593

Universal Health Services Inc. | King of Prussia, PA

Year Founded:1984 Estab. in Alaska:1984 Alaska Employees:401 Worldwide Employees:401

Year Founded:1956 Estab. in Alaska:1956 Alaska Employees:395 Worldwide Employees:395

Saltchuk Resources | Seattle, WA

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Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


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Coeur Alaska 3031 Clinton Dr., Suite 202 Juneau, AK 99801 907-523-3300 Mark Kiessling, General Manager Mining

The Kensington underground gold mine and associated milling facilities are located in the Berners Bay Mining District on the east side of Lynn Canal about 45 miles northwest of Juneau, Alaska. The project is owned and operated by Coeur Alaska, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Coeur Mining.

Credit Union 1 1941 Abbott Rd. Anchorage, AK 99507 907-339-9485 James Wileman, President/CEO Financial Services

cu1.org | /creditunion1 | @OneForAllAlaska Credit Union 1 values responsible, accessible lending as one of our most vital community services. We’re proud to offer versatile accounts and quality loans to match our members’ unique needs and lifestyle, and our many electronic services represent the cutting edge of personal money management.

Hotel Captain Cook 939 W. Fifth Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501-2019 907-276-6000 Walter Hickel Jr., Chairman/CEO Travel & Tourism

captaincook.com The Hotel Captain Cook is a 546 room luxury hotel with 4 restaurants and an athletic club. Centrally located in Downtown Anchorage, Alaska, we are the last large family owned hotel in Anchorage, and with our sister hotel, the Voyager Inn, are the only two members of Preferred Hotels in Alaska.

Coeur Mining | Chicago, IL, USA

Year Founded:1987 Estab. in Alaska:1987 Alaska Employees:378 Worldwide Employees:2,287

Year Founded:1952 Estab. in Alaska:1952 Alaska Employees:370 Worldwide Employees:385

Year Founded:1964 Estab. in Alaska:1965 Alaska Employees:370 Worldwide Employees:370

Hickel Investment Company | Anchorage, AK, 99501

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Udelhoven Oilfield System Services 184 E. 53rd Ave. Anchorage, AK 99518-1222 907-344-1577 Jim Udelhoven, CEO Industrial Services

udelhoven.com | cduxbury@udelhoven.com Oilfield services, construction management, electrical & mechanical construction.

Year Founded:1970 Estab. in Alaska:1970 Alaska Employees:360 Worldwide Employees:380

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


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Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation (UIC) PO Box 890 Utqiagvik, AK 99723 907-852-4460 Delbert Rexford, President/CEO Native Organization

uicalaska.com UIC provides services to clients in a variety of industries, including operations in Barrow, construction, architecture and engineering, regulatory consulting, information technology, marine operations, logistics, and maintenance and manufacturing, and government contracting.

Subway of Alaska 1118 E. 70th Ave., Suite 200 Anchorage, AK 99518 907-563-4228 Steve Adams, President/Co-Founder Food & Beverage

subwayak.com | subwaycatering@subwayak.com | /subway @subway | /company/subway Subway is the undisputed leader in fast, healthy food. Our easy-to-prepare sandwiches are made to order right in front of the customer, precisely the way they want— using freshly baked breads, select sauces and a variety of delicious toppings. Celebrating 30 years in Alaska in 2018.

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Subway World Headquarters | Milford, CT, USA

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Sumitomo Metal Mining Pogo PO Box 145 Delta Junction, AK 99737 907-895-2841 Chris Kennedy, General Manager Mining

pogominealaska.com 2016 marked ten years of safe and efficient gold production at Pogo. In 2017, operations continue for the top producing underground gold mine in Alaska. The company invests heavily in exploration and is continually working to extend the life of the mine.

Northrim Bank PO Box 241489 Anchorage, AK 99524 907-562-0062 Joseph Schierhorn, Chairman/President/CEO Financial Services

Northrim.com Northrim Bank is an Alaskan-based community bank, headquartered in Anchorage with 14 branches statewide and serving 90% of Alaska’s population. Northrim is committed to providing customer first service to businesses, professionals, and individual Alaskans.

Year Founded:1988 Estab. in Alaska:1988 Alaska Employees:340 Worldwide Employees:340

Year Founded:2005 Estab. in Alaska:2005 Alaska Employees:330 Worldwide Employees:330

Year Founded:1990 Estab. in Alaska:1990 Alaska Employees:324 Worldwide Employees:324

BETTER FOR BUSINESS You work hard for your business, and so should your financial partner. Alaska USA serves your business’s financial needs with award-winning service and personalized attention that’s better than banking.

Federally insured by NCUA

www.akbizmag.com

April 2018 | Alaska Business

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MTA 1740 S. Chugach St. Palmer, AK 99645 907-745-3211 Michael Burke, CEO Telecommunications

mtasolutions.com | /MatanuskaTelephone MTA is leading Alaska’s technology revolution, empowering its member-owners to live a connected life. MTA, an Alaskan-owned communications company, delivers broadband, business solutions, data center, IT services, TV, landline, online directory and TV advertising.

Denali Federal Credit Union 440 E. 36th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99503 907-257-7200 Robert Teachworth, President/CEO Financial Services

denalifcu.org | info@denalifcu.com | /Denalifcu linkedin.com/company/denali-federal-credit-union Complete financial services for individuals & businesses. 17 branches in AK & WA, more than 30 ATMs, and network access to more than 5,300 branches and 30,000 ATMs make us Alaska’s most convenient financial institution.

Ahtna PO Box 649 Glennallen, AK 99588 907-822-3476 Michelle Anderson, President Native Organization

ahtna-inc.com | sblue@ahtna.net | /Ahtna.Inc twitter.com/ahtnainc | linkedin.com/company/ahtna-inc. Ahtna’s principle activities include construction and environmental, facilities management and support, engineering, government contracting, land management and resource development, and oil and gas pipeline services.

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Price Gregory International 301 W. Northern Lights Blvd., Suite 300 Anchorage, AK 99503 907-278-4400 Robert Stinson, Sr. VP Construction

Estab. in Alaska:1953 Alaska Employees:320 Worldwide Employees:320

Year Founded:1948 Estab. in Alaska:1948 Alaska Employees:313 Worldwide Employees:321

Ahtna, Inc. | Anchorage, AK, USA

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pricegregory.com Pipeline, power, heavy industrial construction, EPC and consulting services. Infrastructure construction services provider. Quanta Services | Houston, TX

Year Founded:1972 Estab. in Alaska:1972 Alaska Employees:309 Worldwide Employees:1,380

Year Founded:1974 Estab. in Alaska:1974 Alaska Employees:300 Worldwide Employees:3,000

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


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Everts Air Cargo PO Box 61680 Fairbanks, AK 99706 907-450-2300 Robert Everts, President/CEO Transportation

EvertsAir.com | shoshaw@EvertsAir.com Everts Air Cargo provides scheduled cargo service within Alaska and air charter services to domestic and international destinations. Passenger, freight and charter service is provided out of Fairbanks using Pilatus and Caravan aircraft.

Chugach Electric Association 5601 Electron Dr. Anchorage, AK 99518 907-563-7494 Lee Thibert, CEO Utility

chugachelectric.com | Chugach Electric | /chugachelectric We provide safe, reliable and affordable electricity through superior service and sustainable practices, powering the lives of our members.

Bering Straits Native Corporation 3301 C St., Suite 400 Anchorage, AK 99503 907-563-3788 Gail R. Schubert, President/CEO Native Organization

beringstraits.com | info@beringstraits.com | /GoBSNC Bering Straits was established by ANCSA in 1972. It is owned by more than 7,700 Alaska Native shareholders and actively pursues responsible development of resources and other business opportunities. The company serves the federal government and commercial customers.

Cook Inlet Region, Inc. PO Box 93330 Anchorage, AK 99509-3330 907-274-8638 Sophie Minich, President/CEO Native Organization

CIRI.com | info@CIRI.com | /CIRInews | @CIRI CIRI’s financial expertise spans diverse business sectors, including real estate, oilfield and construction services, land and resources, energy development, environmental services, government contracting and private equity investments.

Year Founded:1995 Estab. in Alaska:1995 Alaska Employees:287 Worldwide Employees:309

Everts Air Cargo | Fairbanks, AK, USA

Year Founded:1948 Estab. in Alaska:1948 Alaska Employees:286 Worldwide Employees:286

Year Founded:1972 Estab. in Alaska:1972 Alaska Employees:286 Worldwide Employees:1,472

Year Founded:1972 Estab. in Alaska:1972 Alaska Employees:283 Worldwide Employees:1,403

“This is a major shift. How will it affect us?” People who know Tax Reform, know BDO. The recent tax reform will have broad implications – both on businesses and the people who lead them. From lowering corporate and individual income tax rates and eliminating deductions, to new pass-through rules and the shift to a territorial tax system, the sweeping legislation represents the biggest change to the tax code in a generation. At BDO, we’re using our deep technical experience and industry-specific knowledge to help clients identify the potential impact of the new regulation – and plan for the changes. Contact us to learn what you should be doing immediately to prepare for the new tax reform. Kevin Van Nortwick, Office Tax Managing Partner, 907-278-8878 / kvannortwick@bdo.com BDO Anchorage, 3601 C Street, Suite 600, Anchorage, AK 99503 @BDO_USA_Tax

Accountants and Advisors

www.bdo.com

© 2018 BDO USA, LLP. All rights reserved.

www.akbizmag.com

April 2018 | Alaska Business

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Chenega Corporation 3000 C St., Suite 301 Anchorage, AK 99503-3975 907-277-5706 Charles W. Totemoff, President/CEO Native Organization

chenega.com | info@chenega.com Professional services contracting for the federal government, including technical & installation services, military, intelligence & operations support, environmental, healthcare & facilities mgt., information technology and telecommunications.

Goldbelt, Incorporated 3025 Clinton Dr. Juneau, AK 99801 907-790-4990 Elliott Wimberly, President/CEO Native Organization

Goldbelt.com Tourism, hospitality, transportation, security services, 8(a) government contracting.

CONAM Construction 301 W. Northern Lights Blvd., Suite 300 Anchorage, AK 99503 907-278-6600 Dale Kissee, President Construction

conamco.com General construction contractor specializing in design and construction of oil and gas facilities and pipelines, mining facilities, water and sewer facilities, and other remote infrastructure projects.

Municipal Light & Power 1200 E. First Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 907-279-7671 Mark Johnston, General Manager Utility

mlandp.com | askmlp@mlandp.com /mlandp | @mlandp ML&P provides safe, affordable and reliable electric service to 30,000+ residential & commercial customers in Anchorage, including the downtown & university-medical districts and JBER.

Estab. in Alaska:1974 Alaska Employees:268 Worldwide Employees:5,525

Year Founded:1974 Estab. in Alaska:1974 Alaska Employees:250 Worldwide Employees:1,400

Quanta Services | Houston, TX

nightly & extended stay... Large Suites with Fully-Equipped Kitchens

Personalized Guest Service Great Restaurant & Bar Near Airport - Corporate Discounts

FREE: Airport Shuttle • Fitness Facility • Internet Access

Call direct • 800-528-4916 Locally Owned & Operated in Fairbanks

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Year Founded:1974

Year Founded:1984 Estab. in Alaska:1984 Alaska Employees:250 Worldwide Employees:300

Year Founded:1932 Estab. in Alaska:1932 Alaska Employees:242 Worldwide Employees:242

NEVER MAKE ANOTHER COLD CALL

Holly Parsons (907) 257-2910 hparsons@akbizmag.com

Make more sales using my marketing expertise. Contact me to get started.

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Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


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Beacon Occupational Health & Safety Services 800 Cordova St. Anchorage, AK 99501 907-222-7612 Holly Hylen, President/CEO Health & Wellness

beaconohss.com Beacon provides single-source remote medical, occupational medicine, safety and training solutions to keep your employees safe, and healthy, regardless of their location. Our client-specific approach is proactive, preventative and leverages our highly skilled team of professionals and technicians.

Vigor Alaska 3801 Tongass Ave. Ketchikan, AK 99901 907-228-5302 Adam Beck, President Industrial Services

vigor.net | /VigorIndustrial | @VigorIndustrial With eight locations and approximately 2,300 workers Vigor is the leading provider of shipbuilding, ship repair and conversion and complex industrial fabrication in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Vigor employs 220 Alaskans in the Ketchikan shipyard able to travel to the most remote locations. Vigor | Portland, OR, US

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N C Machinery 6450 Arctic Blvd. Anchorage, AK 99518 907-786-7500 John J. Harnish, CEO Industrial Services

Cat machine sales, parts, service, and rental. Cat engines for marine, power generation, truck, petroleum, and industrial applications. Sales and rental of Cat and other preferred brands of rental equipment and construction supplies.

Aleut Corporation 4000 Old Seward Hwy., Suite 300 Anchorage, AK 99503 907-561-4300 Thomas Mack, President/CEO Native Organization

Federal government contracting; fuel sales, storage and related services; rental properties; natural resources; industrial instrumentation & process control equipment sales; oil well-testing services; mechanical contracting & construction; water quality testing.

Harnish Group Inc. | Tukwilla, WA, USA

Year Founded:1999 Estab. in Alaska:1999 Alaska Employees:234 Worldwide Employees:267

Year Founded:1994 Estab. in Alaska:1994 Alaska Employees:220 Worldwide Employees:2,300

Year Founded:1926 Estab. in Alaska:1926 Alaska Employees:219 Worldwide Employees:1,020

Year Founded:1972 Estab. in Alaska:1972 Alaska Employees:210 Worldwide Employees:1,066

Be a part of getting wild, healthy, and sustainable seafood from Alaska harvesters to consumers worldwide. Find jobs in Alaska’s seafood industry at jobs.alaska.gov/seafood/

Alaska’s seafood industry is the largest private sector employer in the state employing thousands of Alaskans. We are always looking to increase Alaska hire.

PSPA Member Locations

PACIFIC SEAFOOD PROCESSORS ASSOCIATION: ALASKA GENERAL SEAFOODS ALYESKA SEAFOODS, INC. GOLDEN ALASKA SEAFOODS NORTH PACIFIC SEAFOODS PETER PAN SEAFOODS PHOENIX PROCESSOR LIMITED PARTNERSHIP TRIDENT SEAFOODS CORP. UNISEA INC. WESTWARD SEAFOODS, INC. www.akbizmag.com

April 2018 | Alaska Business

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ENSTAR Natural Gas. PO Box 190288 Anchorage, AK 99519 907-277-5551 John Sims, President Utility

Alaskans have relied on ENSTAR to serve their homes and businesses with clean burning and efficient natural gas for over 55 years. ENSTAR is a regulated public utility that delivers natural gas to over 144,000 residential, commercial & industrial customers in and around Southcentral.

Grant Aviation 6520 Kulis Dr. Anchorage, AK 99502 888-359-4726 Robert Kelley, President/CEO Transportation

flygrant.com | wecare@flygrant.com An Alaska owned airline known for a strong track record of safety, community involvement and for being one of the friendliest airlines in Alaska. Provides scheduled and charter passenger, mail, freight and air ambulance services in the YK Delta, Bristol Bay and the Aleutians.

REI 1200 W. Northern Lights Blvd., Suite A Anchorage, AK 99503 907-272-4565 Jerry Stritzke, CEO/President Retail/Wholesale Trade

rei.com/stores/anchorage.html | /REI National specialty outdoor retailer.

Colville Pouch 340012 Prudhoe Bay, AK 99734 907-659-3198 Dave Pfeifer, President/CEO Oil & Gas

Colville’s group of oilfield companies provide a full complement of Arctic logistics capabilities. Our services include fuel, aviation, waste management, transport, industrial supply and camp services.

AltaGas Ltd. | Calgary, AB, Canada

Year Founded:1961 Estab. in Alaska:1961 Alaska Employees:200 Worldwide Employees:200

Year Founded:1971 Estab. in Alaska:1971 Alaska Employees:200 Worldwide Employees:200

Year Founded:1938 Estab. in Alaska:1979 Alaska Employees:200 Worldwide Employees:12,000

Year Founded:1981 Estab. in Alaska:1981 Alaska Employees:187 Worldwide Employees:187

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UNFORGETTABLE ŠHagePhoto

CORPORATE 100 SPECIAL SECTION | DIRECTORY

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Alyeska Resort stands alone as a premier year-round destination in Alaska. With worldclass amenities, state-of-the-art technical features and support in its unparalleled location, Alyeska Resort redefines corporate events and meetings. Providing over 8,000 square feet of dedicated meeting and exhibit space, and an additional 15,000 square feet of special event space, meeting planners have maximum flexibility. Contact our sales staff today to customize your company meeting or retreat. 64

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907-754-2208

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


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Matanuska Electric Association PO Box 2929 Palmer, AK 99645 907-761-9300 Tony Izzo, General Manager/CEO Utility

A member-owned electric cooperative that serves just over 50,000 members across more than 4,300 miles of power lines in the Mat-Su and Eagle River areas. MEA’s mission is to provide safe reliable energy at reasonable rates with exceptional member service and commitment to the community they serve.

Tanadgusix Corp. (TDX) 3601 C St., Suite 1000 Anchorage, AK 99503 907-278-2312 Ron Philemonoff, CEO Native Organization

tanadgusix.com | info@tanadgusix.com /TanadgusixCorporation Hotels, tourism venues, alternative energy, electric utilities, power plants, wireless technologies, satellite technologies, environmental construction services, remediation, maritime industries, and industry-leading airport parking facilities in Alaska and Washington.

Baker Hughes, a GE Company 795 E. 94th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99515 907-267-3431 Jon Rhodes, Area Manager Alaska Oil & Gas

bhge.com | /BHGEOG | @bhgeco | /company/4334 BHGE covers every segment of the oil and gas industry as a full-stream company, including upstream, midstream, and downstream solutions. Delivering integrated oilfield products, services and digital solutions to the oil and gas industry.

Hilton Anchorage 500 W. Third Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 907-272-7411 Steve Rader, General Manager Travel & Tourism

In-room safe, 24-hour business center, Kaladi Brothers Coffee kiosk, and complimentary fitness center with pool and hot tub.

www.akbizmag.com

Year Founded:1941 Estab. in Alaska:1941 Alaska Employees:182 Worldwide Employees:182

Year Founded:1973 Estab. in Alaska:1973 Alaska Employees:179 Worldwide Employees:530

Year Founded:1969 Estab. in Alaska:1980 Alaska Employees:175 Worldwide Employees:65,000

Year Founded:1927 Estab. in Alaska:1927 Alaska Employees:172 Worldwide Employees:172

April 2018 | Alaska Business

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Cape Fox Corporation PO Box 8558 Ketchikan, AK 99901 907-225-5163 Chris Luchtefeld, CEO Native Organization

capefoxcorp.com | info@capefoxcorp.com /Cape-Fox-Corporation-434485000093440 It is the mission of Cape Fox Corporation to grow and maintain a strong financial foundation by profitably managing financial and land resources to provide immediate and long term economic, education, and cultural benefits for shareholders.

Year Founded:1973 Estab. in Alaska:1973 Alaska Employees:165 Worldwide Employees:738

Ketchikan

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Afognak Native Corporation 300 Alimaq Dr. Kodiak, AK 99615 907-486-6014 Greg Hambright, President/CEO Native Organization

afognak.com | alutiiq.com Afognak Native Corporation, Alutiiq and their subsidiaries operate government and commercial contracts in the following sectors: leasing, security services, IT, logistics/ operations/maintenance, youth services, and timber services.

Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union 1020 S. Bailey St. Palmer, AK 99645-6924 907-745-4891 Al Strawn, CEO Financial Services

mvfcu.coop | /mvfcu.coop | @mvfcuak Building better financial futures for people who live, learn, work, or worship in the state of Alaska and the Waipahu, Hawaii, Neighborhood Board #22. MVFCU offers a full range of financial services to all eligible members.

Sourdough Express 600 Driveways St. Fairbanks, AK 99701 907-452-1181 Jeff Gregory, President/CEO Transportation

Sourdoughexpress.com | jgregory@sourdoughexpress.com Freight-transportation services, logistics, moving and storage services. Steel Connex container sales/lease.

Year Founded:1977 Estab. in Alaska:1977 Alaska Employees:151 Worldwide Employees:4,819

Year Founded:1948 Estab. in Alaska:1948 Alaska Employees:147 Worldwide Employees:155

Year Founded:1898 Estab. in Alaska:1902 Alaska Employees:145 Worldwide Employees:145

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


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Cruz Companies Alaska 7000 E. Palmer Wasilla Hwy. Palmer, AK 99645 907-746-3144 Dave Cruz, President Industrial Services

Experts in resource development and heavy civil construction.

Usibelli Coal Mine 100 Cushman St., Suite 210 Fairbanks, AK 99701 907-452-2625 Joseph E. Usibelli Jr., President/CEO Mining

usibelli.com | info@usibelli.com /UsibelliCoalMine | @Usibelli Alaska’s only operational coal mine and its affiliate companies.

Ryan Air 6400 Carl Brady Dr. Anchorage, AK 99502 907-562-2227 Wilfred “Boyuck” Ryan, President Transportation

From Platinum to Kobuk, from Gambell to Mt. Village, we know the challenges of transportation in Alaska. For more than 50 years, we’ve developed the skill, perfected the processes and implemented the technology required to efficiently move freight across the Bush.

Guardian Flight 3474 Old International Airport Rd. Anchorage, AK 99502 907-245-6230 Fred Buttrell, CEO Transportation

airmedcarenetwork.com/join/alaska Guardian Flight is the state’s largest air medical provider with more aircraft in more places than all other organizations in the state combined. Guardian Flight is part of the AirMedCare Network, a national alliance of air ambulance providers–the largest of its kind in the United States.

www.akbizmag.com

Year Founded:1981 Estab. in Alaska:1981 Alaska Employees:144 Worldwide Employees:228

Year Founded:1943 Estab. in Alaska:1943 Alaska Employees:141 Worldwide Employees:176

Year Founded:1953 Estab. in Alaska:1953 Alaska Employees:135 Worldwide Employees:135

Air Medical Group Holdings | Lewisville, TX, 75067

Year Founded:2000 Estab. in Alaska:2000 Alaska Employees:130 Worldwide Employees:230

April 2018 | Alaska Business

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Homer Electric Association 3977 Lake St. | Homer, AK 99603 907-235-8551 Bradley Janorschke, General Manager Utility

homerelectric.com | /homerelectricassociation twitter.com/HomerElectric Homer Electric Association is a member-owned electric cooperative serving over 23,600 members on the western Kenai Peninsula from Soldotna, Kenai, Homer and remote communities across Kachemak Bay.

Alsco PO Box 240048 Anchorage, AK 99524 907-279-2500 Don Wirth, General Manager Retail/Wholesale Trade

alsco.com | dwirth@alsco.com Table linen, napkins, towels, aprons, entry mats, dust mops, wet mops, medical linens, scrubs, chef and kitchen apparel, industrial uniforms, coveralls, FR garments, restroom services, janitorial supplies, sales-service-rental.

Pruhs Construction 2193 Viking Dr. Anchorage, AK 99501 907-279-1020 Dana Pruhs, CEO Construction

Heavy civil contractor, roads, airports, site work, underground utilities, industrial.

New York Life 188 W. Northern Lights Blvd., Suite 1300 Anchorage, AK 99503 907-279-6471 Charles Villarreal, Managing Partner Insurance

alaska.nyloffices.com | /NYLAlaska Our entire company is focused on one thing: doing right by you. And that’s not just talk. Because we’re owned by our clients, not Wall Street. We help you manage your finances, so you’re free to focus on what’s really important.

Year Founded:1945 Estab. in Alaska:1945 Alaska Employees:130 Worldwide Employees:130

Year Founded:1889 Estab. in Alaska:1988 Alaska Employees:126 Worldwide Employees:18,000

Year Founded:1958 Estab. in Alaska:1958 Alaska Employees:125 Worldwide Employees:125

Year Founded:1845 Estab. in Alaska:1959 Alaska Employees:111 Worldwide Employees:12,000

Celebrating 45 years in providing healthcare to Alaskan Families

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www.mpfcak.com Walk-In and Same Day Appointments Available - 1(888) 382-8486 68

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Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


Unpack once...see Alaska at your own pace. Now that’s a vacation!

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• UNLIMITED MILEAGE • BEDDING AND COOKWARE • CLEANING AND DUMPING ON RETURN • COLLISION INSURANCE • FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE THE BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE IN TOWN! FOR OVER 32 YEARS—THE COMPANY ALASKANS TRUST FOR THEIR VACATIONS.

CALL NOW 800-421-7456 The only RV Rental Company at the Anchorage Airport.

MOTORHOME & CAR RENTALS 3875 Old Intʼl Airport Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99502 info@abcmotorhome.com • www.abcmotorhome.com


CORPORATE 100 SPECIAL SECTION | DIRECTORY

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Seekins Ford Lincoln 1625 Seekins Ford Dr. Fairbanks, AK 99701 907-459-4000 Ralph Seekins, President Retail & Wholesale Trade

seekins.com | sales@seekins.com | @SeekinsFordLinc Automotive sales, service, parts and body shop.

Olgoonik Corporation 3201 C St., Suite 700 Anchorage, AK 99503 907-562-8728 Hugh Patkotak Sr., President/CEO Native Organization

olgoonik.com Worldwide government contracting and commercial services: construction, oilfield and science program support, logistics, environmental remediation, facility operations and maintenance, professional administrative support, and security.

KeyBank 101 W. Benson Blvd., Suite 400 Anchorage, AK 99503 907-562-6100 Lori McCaffrey, AK Market President Financial Services

Key provides deposit, lending, cash management and investment services to individuals and small and midsized businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products.

Construction Machinery Industrial 5400 Homer Dr. Anchorage, AK 99518 907-563-3822 Ken Gerondale, President/CEO Industrial Services

cmiak.com Construction and mining equipment sales, rentals, service, and parts.

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Year Founded:1977 Estab. in Alaska:1977 Alaska Employees:108 Worldwide Employees:108

Year Founded:1973 Estab. in Alaska:1973 Alaska Employees:106 Worldwide Employees:839

KeyCorp | Cleveland, OH

Year Founded:1825 Estab. in Alaska:1985 Alaska Employees:106 Worldwide Employees:18,000

Year Founded:1985 Estab. in Alaska:1985 Alaska Employees:105 Worldwide Employees:105

MEETINGS WITH A VIEW Book your next meeting overlooking Lake Hood, with the view of the busiest floatplane base in the world. Engage your meeting guests with the true Alaskan ambiance and lodge decor. With over 6,000 sq.ft. of meeting space, we are sure to have the perfect location to make your event a resounding success. Contact our Executive Meeting Planner today at +1 907. 243.2600.

Lake Spenard Meeting Room

THE LAKEFRONT ANCHORAGE 4800 Spenard Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99517 USA T +1 907.243.2300 F +1 907.243.8815 E anchorage.us@millenniumhotels.com W www.millenniumhotels.com

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Baker Hughes, a GE Company International oil and gas industry leader serves Alaska and its employees

Oil and gas services provider BHGE routinely introduces new products and tools to the oil and gas industry.

By Tasha Anderson

B

aker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), is an international, full-stream oil and gas industry equipment and service provider and leads the industry in technological innovations, such as the Dynamus Extended-life Drill Bit, which according to the company “enables operators to keep drilling while using the most robust drilling equipment available. It protects the BHA [bottom hole assembly component of a drilling rig] by mitigating lateral vibrations. Its cutters are designed to prevent cracks and heat damage, and its body has been engineered for long life in extreme operations.” In addition to its significant technological innovations, Area Manager of Alaska BHGE Oilfield Services Jon Rhodes explains, “Globally BHGE is a full-stream provider—and we are the only full-stream provider.” While many companies specialize in upstream, midstream, or downstream oil and gas activities, BHGE brings together capabilities across the full value chain of oil and gas activities. “We are the only company able to provide full stream capabilities, from reservoir to refinery,” Rhodes says. “None of our competitors can offer that, start to finish.” In fact, BHGE has recently been awarded its first full stream contract for Twinza Oil Limited to provide full-stream support on the Pasca A gas condensate field, located off Papua New Guinea in the Gulf of Papua. The company provides a broad portfolio of services to the Alaska oil and gas industry, including oilfield services such as completions, coil tubing drilling, drill bits, drilling and evaluation, artificial lift, and upstream

Image courtesy of BHGE

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Image courtesy of BHGE

chemicals, as well as oilfield equipment such as wellheads and turbo machinery. “We have a larger portfolio in other global locations, but these are the services we focus on in Alaska at the moment,” he says. BHGE works throughout the state with all of Alaska’s oil and gas companies, including in Cook Inlet, but the bulk of their current operations are on the North Slope. Wherever BHGE operates, Rhodes says, “It’s all about creating value for our customers.” While Alaska’s economy was particularly hard hit by the crash in oil prices and their long, slow recovery, worldwide the industry took a blow. “We’re seeing a bit of encouragement in the last couple of months—oil prices have gone up, so the outlook is looking better—but it’s still about how you can offer value to your customers to help them reduce their costs and be more efficient.” The more BHGE is involved in the oil and gas process, the more opportunities the company has to increase value for their clients. “We have the technology and experience to add value every single step of the way.” And the company’s value in Alaska can be measured in many other ways. In Alaska

BHGE employs about 175 workers and operates facilities in Anchorage, Soldotna, Kenai, and Deadhorse. Rhodes says BHGE hires locally when possible and that many of the company’s current staff instate are life-long Alaskans. Worldwide the company employs about 65,000 people, and Rhodes explains that naturally the company has an ongoing campaign to retain employees as well as bring new talent on board. He says in particular the new generation of employees is concerned with more than just money. “Everybody is chasing the best talent; hiring the right people is getting harder and harder. Millennials interview the company quite often rather than the company interviewing them.” He says beyond an attractive salary, many of the best young workers are looking for a safe work culture and challenging opportunities, as well as opportunities for career progression, training, and travel, something he says BHGE can offer. Rhodes himself has worked with the company for nearly three decades. He went to university and studied geology, he was hired straight out of university in 1990, and has worked at the company since. “At the time

“It’s all about creating value for our customers. We’re seeing a bit of encouragement in the last couple of months—oil prices have gone up, so the outlook is looking better—but it’s still about how you can offer value to your customers to help them reduce their costs and be more efficient. We have the technology and experience to add value every single step of the way.”

—Jon Rhodes Area Manager Alaska Oilfield Services Baker Hughes, a GE Company

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


CORPORATE 100 SPECIAL SECTION | BHGE

CORE SERVICES

Image courtesy of BHGE

Software Development Requirements Analysis Business Analysis Project Management Project Quality Assurance IT Management and Consulting System Implementation

CYBERSECURITY SERVICES BHGE provides cutting-edge technology such as the Auto Trak eXact high-build rotary steerable drilling system.

Baker Hughes was the largest recruiter of geologists in the UK,” he explains. “I found myself on a rig after a month’s intensive training offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.” Shortly thereafter he transitioned to working in West Africa for several years, and after that he moved to the Middle East and lived in Dubai for thirteen years. Following that period, Rhodes was back in the United States in Houston and the company’s headquarters before arriving in Anchorage on January 1 this year. “I like the culture of the company, and I like the people I work with. I enjoy the work variation from day-to-day and the opportunity the company have given me to travel and meet different people and experience different cultures and places.” While his stay in Alaska has been relatively short to-date, he says both he and his wife are enjoying the Last Frontier. “I never thought I’d live in a place with a ski resort thirty minutes away, and here I am, a Brit living in Alaska.” In addition to changing physical locations, Rhodes also changed the type of work he’s done at the company, starting by working on “the rigs” in locations around the world for nearly a decade before moving onshore and now managing oilfield services in Alaska. “They’ve treated me well, and I’ve been very happy,” he says. And Rhodes isn’t the only one. At a recent Baker Hughes event, he met employees that had been with the company for thirty and forty years and whose children started their careers with the oil and gas corporation. “That reaffirmed my decision to stay with the same company. I know other companies actively like to have a high turnover to bring new people in. We obviously want to keep the pipeline full and bring new people in and up, but we also value experience,” he explains. www.akbizmag.com

Cyber Security Reviews Information Risk Assessment Physical Security Assessment Disaster Recovery Planning Business Continuity Reviews

Technical Innovation for Industry and Government Phone: 907-586-6167 www.wostmann.com

Alaska Procurement Technical Assistance

The Alaska PTAC provides services designed to help navigate the often complex government contracting processes from federal registrations and payment systems to finding opportunities and marketing to agencies. We provide no cost, technical assistance in all aspects of selling to federal, state, and local governments. PTAC is a program of the UAA Business Enterprise Institute and a member of the National Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers.

We can help! www.ptacalaska.org

CONTACT PTAC TODAY Anchorage: (907) 786-7258 Fairbanks: (907) 456-7822 April 2018 | Alaska Business

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CORPORATE 100 SPECIAL SECTION | BHGE

Do you avoid smiling? Do you often cover your mouth when smiling or laughing? Do you lack confidence in the appearance of your teeth (smile)? Are you tired of the ‘denture’ look?

We have smile solutions!

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Dale Burke, DDS, and Mark Williams, DDS 4450 Cordova St., Suite 130 I Anchorage, AK 99503 email: info@anchoragedentalsolutions.com Anchoragedentalsolutions.com I 907-562-1686

During his career, Rhodes says BHGE has both given him opportunities to travel and opportunities to stay put, such as the long period of time he and his wife spent in Dubai. “I spent thirteen years in Dubai when, really, if I’d been more willing to move sooner, I could probably have progressed better, but it was my choice. My wife and I enjoyed Dubai and we were allowed the opportunity to stay.” He says choosing to reside in one location may run the risk of missing out on certain opportunities, but the ability to stay put is more important than upward mobility to some. “At the end of the day, if you’re good at your job and you deliver value, the opportunity to ‘stay put’ is always there.” BHGE regularly surveys to ensure its employees are being paid competitively and have other common attractive employee benefits. “But it isn’t always just about money. Money is important, but we want people to want to come to work, and we try to create that kind of environment.” BHGE, in turn, is looking to attract intelligent employees who exhibit the company’s culture and values. Qualities such as integrity, the ability to work in a team, care for the environment, and a desire to provide customers with quality products and services are all important qualities for prospective employees to possess. “We want people who are willing to think out of the box, people who don’t just come to work, punch a card, and go home at night,” Rhodes says. Investment in the company and its clients is a key value. These employee qualities echo the company’s culture pillars:  We drive customers in everything we do.  We connect and invest in each other.  We lead in all ways.  We are inventors.  We collaborate without boundaries. These pillars also inform BHGE’s high safety standards. “In Alaska we are very proud of our safety culture,” Rhodes says, adding that the company has been recognized by ConocoPhillips in Alaska for its safety record and culture, winning the Safety Excellence Award for 2017. A significant part of BHGE’s safety policy is making every day a “Perfect HSE Day,” which Rhodes explains is a day in which there is no significant injury to any employee or to the environment. As of February 28, in Alaska BHGE Oilfield Services achieved a record of a little more than two years without incident—789 Perfect HSE Days. “We want every employee to get up in the morning, go to work, do their job, and go home at night safely: do no damage to the environment, no damage to themselves, and no damage to a fellow employee. That’s it, simple. That’s what we’re aiming for. We count them day by day so everybody stays focused on it every day,” Rhodes says.

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Image courtesy of BHGE

CORPORATE 100 SPECIAL SECTION | BHGE

BHGE values its employees and ensures that they retain quality employees with years of experience while routinely searching out new talent for its global team.

Another fundamental aspect of the safety culture is the idea of Stop Work, whereby any employee who sees something unsafe is not only allowed to stop the work, but is expected to do so. “If I saw someone walk past something I thought was dangerous, there’d be a serious conversation as to why the employee didn’t say something.” He says Stop Work action is fully supported by BHGE, and, in Alaska, the oil companies also fully support every worker’s right and obligation to work safely. “When you’re talking about the oil and gas industry, there is a huge cost involved in stopping; every minute costs. But we want our employees to have the wherewithal and confidence that they will be supported when they highlight something unsafe and Stop Work for an unsafe activity, and we will support them 100 percent.” Baker Hughes has a solid foundation in Alaska, operating in the state since 1980, but the company recently experienced a significant change. In July 2017, it completed a transaction that combined Baker Hughes with GE’s oil and gas business, creating BHGE. A July release stated, “The new company is the first and only to bring together industry-leading equipment, services, and digital solutions across the entire spectrum of oil and gas development.” Rhodes explains GE is the majority shareholder—owning 62.5 percent of the new company—and the remainder of the shares are quoted on the stock market. In the July release, new BHGE President and CEO Lorenzo Simonelli said, “BHGE has proven technologies and experience with the spirit of a startup, and our leadership team looks forward to quickly demonstrating the strengths of the new company.” In addition to the company’s excitement and optimism moving forward as a newlycombined organization, Rhodes says he is also cautiously optimistic about the oil and gas industry in Alaska and elsewhere. “Overall, I’m optimistic about the long-term outlook for the industry. We are seeing companies investing in Alaska, and they are investing in longer-term projects.” R

Tasha Anderson is the Associate Editor for Alaska Business. www.akbizmag.com

April 2018 | Alaska Business

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The Road to Independence Foundation Health Partners cares for Fairbanks By Tasha Anderson

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n 2015 the Board of Trustees for the Greater Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation made a bold decision: taking the year of 2016 to prepare for independence, embarking on a journey to be both locallyowned and -operated starting January 1, 2017. Foundation Health Partners (FHP) Board Chair Jeff Cook says, “This was a courageous move by the board with the full support of FMH [Fairbanks Memorial Hospital] administration. It was the most significant decision made since the separation from the Sisters of Providence in 1967, maybe of greater importance.”

Building a Foundation in Fairbanks Cook was born in Fairbanks at the city’s hospital—then called St. Joseph’s Hospital— which was owned and operated by The Sisters of Charity. St. Joseph’s Hospital was significantly damaged by a flood in 1967, the final straw for a structure that was already aged and deteriorating, having been built some sixty years earlier. Cook explains that the Fairbanks community “voted down a government, borough-owned hospital. Likewise, city voters voted down a bond issue to build a city-owned hospital. Some few of those that were involved in not wanting a city-owned or borough-owned hospital formed The Greater Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation,” envisioning a new, community-owned hospital. The Fairbanks Memorial Hospital replaced St. Joseph’s, opening at 1650 Cowels Street in 1972; in 1994 the Foundation opened the Denali Center, a ninety-bed, short- and long-term facility geared toward providing services to the elderly; and in 2008 the organization purchased the Tanana Valley Clinic “to increase access to healthcare for Medicare patients in our community,” the Foundation states. Cook says that from 1968 until 2016, whatever properties the Greater Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation owned were operated through partner organizations, the most recent of which was Banner Health. “The culture of Banner changed to the degree that we did not feel we could maintain that relationship,” he says. The Foundation looked at other entities to run operations, but ultimately decided instead to form FHP, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Greater Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation, to run operations for the hospital, Denali Center, clinic, and other related office buildings and properties. Cook says, “The beauty of that is we look at the world from Fairbanks, Alaska. We have a 76

great management team and they’re excited about taking this on.” He continues, “The easy decision would have been to stay with Banner or sign on with another partner, but that would not have been the best decision for our hospital and our community. We overcame our fears and dived in.”

Interior Care While FHP has been managing operations for a relatively short time, the company’s track record thus far is exceptional. Cook reports that during a recent surprise inspection by the Joint Commission (an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the United States), the accreditation surveyors said they were astounded at the quality of FHP’s facilities and the quality of its people. Cook says the Foundation also met recently with two of its bond rating companies, which reaffirmed the organization’s bond rating. “It showed we have a solid balance sheet and we have solid facilities and employees,” Cook says. But more than meeting previous standards of operations and healthcare services, FHP is moving forward. Less than a year ago the company opened an $88 million facility that replaced all of its old operating rooms and complements the hospital’s surgery complex and capabilities. “In healthcare, like anything else, you can’t stand still,” Cook says. “The world is changing, reimbursement is changing, technology is changing—so we’re continually asking ourselves: how do we better serve Fairbanks and Interior Northern Alaska.” The company’s acquisition of the Tanana Valley Clinic, which itself has a fifty-seven year history in Fairbanks, was in part a strategic move to address several of these issues. “Tanana Valley Clinic was the largest private clinic in the state. They were having struggles, and we didn’t want to lose that clinic or those doctors, and we also wanted to make sure that any Medicare eligible patient had access to care.” In many rural communities, and even in Alaska’s larger population centers, it can be difficult for those covered by Medicare to find healthcare providers that will accept Medicare reimbursement. Cook explains, “Reimbursements are tougher and tougher; Medicare is continually making it harder for doctors and healthcare facilities to get paid what it takes to keep the doors open. We were just at a conference and they said that in the last five or six years approximately seventy ru-

Image courtesy of FHP

SPECIAL SECTION

Corporate 100

Jeff Cook Board Chair Foundation Health Partners

ral hospitals have closed and several hundred are at-risk, just because of the requirements.” In addition to a commitment to provide care to as many Interior resident as possible, FHP has recently taken several actions to improve the level of care available in Fairbanks. In 2017 FHP became an official member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. The Foundation says this membership “promotes a close clinical relationship that is focused on sharing knowledge and expertise so that more patients can stay close to home for care.” The Tanana Chiefs Conference Sobering Center was dedicated in November, and Fairbanks Memorial Hospital was an important partner for that project, as well. Cook explains that before the center opened, those who were inebriated were taken to the hospital’s ER to be cleared and were then sent to the Fairbanks Correctional Center until it was safe to release them. “That was not a good use of police time or the emergency room, so we worked with Tanana Chiefs Conference to open up the Sobering Center. There’s now a lot more compassionate care for those who are chronic inebriants. It’s more dignified, and hopefully it will encourage them to break that cycle.”

Recruitment and Employees FHP is committed to finding the right people to provide the best healthcare possible to the Fairbanks community. The company’s mission states: “People First. Community Focused. Excellence Every Time,” and FHP’s core values are excellence, integrity, compassion, stewardship, and responsiveness. The company’s mission and values speak

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


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People First FHP puts people first in its many endeavors, whether that’s bringing quality people to Alaska, ensuring a positive workplace for its current employees, or investing routinely in infrastructure and technology to ensure a high level of care for the Fairbanks area community. Cook says, “We realize how fortunate we are to have such a great facility, to have the community support that we do. We are so blessed that we are independent [and] are able to do what is best for Fairbanks.” R

Connected

people that haven’t had that before.’” Before recruiting this doctor, Cook says, the hospital was sending approximately 450 cases related to heart issues out of the area, either to Anchorage or to the Lower 48. Now, with their cardiologist, they only have to send out roughly forty-five cases a year. When the hospital recently recruited an endocrinologist, he expressed a similar sentiment, saying that he saw immense value in building a practice in modern, well equipped facilities in a quality community that previously found it necessary to seek outside medical services. Cook says, “I can say without a doubt there is no community of our size in the country that has anything that matches the physical facilities we have, the equipment and the technology.”

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CORPORATE 100 SPECIAL SECTION | FOUNDATION HEALTH PARTNERS

to the type of qualities that FHP looks for in employees. Cook says it’s important for their staff to have a happy and outgoing personality, to be empathetic, to be focused and interested in the patient, and to fit into the organization’s culture of nurture and care. “The other thing we like is employees that look beyond their own life and the hospital to volunteer in the community.” Cook explains that FHP recruits actively through the WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) program, a regional healthcare training opportunity wherein Alaska sends twenty students a year to participate in a training program comprised of several years of education in Anchorage and the program’s other partner states. If a student returns to Alaska to practice medicine after completing the program, much of the program’s cost is forgiven, an incentive to encourage Alaskans to bring their skills home. Cook says in the last couple of years, several Alaskan students have gone out of state as part of their WWAMI program, married another medical professional, and then returned. “In that case we’re getting two for one—it’s great,” Cook laughs. In addition to recruiting through the WWAMI program, FHP also looks to attract talent from around the state or the Lower 48, as necessary. It’s important to find people who love Alaska: “What we want is for people to come here that want to stay here, that know what they’re getting into.” He says when recruiting a vascular surgeon from outside Alaska a few years ago, “we brought him and his family up in January to look at Fairbanks” to ensure he had a realistic idea of everyday life in Interior Alaska. FHP also recruits from Alaska’s many education facilities, such as the University of Alaska, which has a close partnership with the state’s medical providers for its nursing program in Anchorage. FHP has seen success building up the number of medical personnel in Fairbanks. For example, Cook says that for many years the hospital had a large number of traveling nurses that commuted in and out of the area instead of residing there, but FHP is working on greatly reducing the number of travelers. “When we do recruit, we do it very strategically; some of the advertising we do is in Field & Stream magazine Plane & Pilot, publications where Alaska has something to offer [their readers]… The last thing we want is to bring people up, spend that time and money, and they don’t like it here. And, if there’s a spouse and a family involved, you need to recruit the whole crew, and make sure they’re a fit,” he explains. Even with the challenges of living in the Interior, “Fairbanks is a great place to practice medicine,” Cook says. In 2008 the company recruited the area’s first cardiologist and opened a catheterization lab; Cook asked the cardiologist why he decided to practice in Fairbanks. “He looked at me like I was the dumbest guy in the world and said, ‘You’ve got a hundred and some thousand people in your immediate area, you have no cardiologist, you built this beautiful facility and cath lab, and I get to help build a practice and treat


SPECIAL SECTION

Corporate 100

Alaska’s Iconic Alyeska Resort Nearing six decades of quality service and community support By Tasha Anderson

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n January 2019, Alyeska Resort will celebrate sixty years of operations in Girdwood. As the organization’s diamond anniversary approaches, VP and Resort Owner Representative Mandy Hawes says, “We’re really proud of the legacy that Alyeska has in the state and the history out at the resort.” Alyeska is gearing up to celebrate sixty years in Alaska with deals and anniversary celebrations in addition to the numerous activities that already take place at the resort year-round. During the winter and summer seasons there’s live music every weekend night at the Sitzmark Bar and Grill, often performed by Alaskan musicians but also featuring Outside talent. This month Alyeska is once again putting on their Spring Carnival from April 13-15, including one of the resort’s most popular events: Slush Cup, which has been aired on ESPN in past years. Hawes explains, “We have a huge pond in front of the Sitzmark and there’s a competition; skiers have to dress up in costume and try to launch themselves across the pond. You end up with people swimming around in the pond and people getting pulled out, and then some people that actually jump across the whole pond and do some kind of flip. It’s really fun to watch.” Moving into the summer, Alyeska hosts the Fiddlehead Music Festival in June, the Blueberry Festival in August, a Mountain Bike Festival in late August and early September, the Alyeska Climbathon in September, and Oktoberfest over two weekends in late September.

Year-Round Operations Alyeska offers year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure, whether it’s skiing in the winter or hiking or mountain biking in the summer, but that’s not all the venue does. Hawes says that in a general view, Alyeska Resort’s business is split into thirds: hotel operations, restaurant operations, and ski/ mountain operations. The resort offers a multitude of dining options, including on the mountaintop, at the resort, and around the base of the mountain. Seven Glaciers, a AAA Four Diamond, award-winning fine dining restaurant, and Bore Tide Deli & Bar, offering up soups and sandwiches, are both located on the mountaintop. At the hotel, guests are provided with several options including the Pond 78

Image courtesy of Alyeska Resort/©HagePhoto

Throughout the winter and summer seasons there’s live music every weekend night at the Sitzmark Bar & Grill, which specializes in burgers and sandwiches and features local and seasonal beers on tap.

Café, Sakura Restaurant (fresh seafood and meats, specialty rolls, and cocktails), the Tramway Café, the Aurora Bar & Grill, and the Pond Steakhouse. In the base area, the Sitzmark Bar & Grill specializes in burgers and grilled sandwiches and has a dozen local and seasonal beers on tap. Hawes says, “My favorite place to eat is the Sakura for creative signature sushi rolls and unique cocktails like the Sake Mojito; our food and beverage program is world class.” These dining options add to Alyeska Resort’s viability as a year-round destination; most of Alaska’s tourism businesses and entities have distinct peaks in the summer or winter and often shut down in shoulder and off-seasons. Hawes says that, from the perspective of hotel operations, summer is the season that carries the hotel; however, “from a mountain perspective, it’s really the winter that carries, [though] we do have essentially a year-round mountain operation today.” Alyeska is known for its downhill skiing opportunities, but the resort offers a variety of winter-based activities. Hawes says, “We partner with several heli-ski operators including Chugach Powder Guides and Silverton Mountain Guides for backcountry skiing access. Perhaps a little less well known is Girdwood’s extensive Nordic trail system, fat tire biking trails, snowshoeing, snowmachine tours, and many other winter sport opportunities. Destination travelers are beginning to discover the beauty that is Alyeska in the winter as well.” Alyeska’s recreational opportunities don’t vanish with the snow; the venue has invested in developing summer trails on the mountain for both mountain biking and hiking and has pursued cross-country biking options in Girdwood. “Overall we are a year-round resort that is learning and growing and becoming more successful over time from a year-round basis,” Hawes says. If the resort still has a soft shoulder season, she says it’s in the fall (though it’s one of her favorite hiking and trail running seasons): summer tourism has ended and winter tourism hasn’t picked up, often as the state waits for snow. She explains that last year Alyeska conducted a study on snow levels to get a good sense of the stability of snow in the area and determined the resort can open the mountain to skiing with confidence in early December.

“We are really focused on making our guest experience consistent from start to finish, so we aim to open the mountain in the first or second week of December, somewhere in that window as mother nature allows.” Other factors affect the slight dip of activity in October and November, such as local Alaskan families, which take advantage of the resort year-round, may be adjusting to new schedules and routines related to the start of school. However, while spring is a difficult shoulder season for other tourism-related entities, Hawes says Alyeska has mostly managed to fill “gaps” early in the year with meetings and conferences.

Recruitment, Training, and Values Alyeska’s ability to operate year-round is an advantage for many of its employees, who then have the advantage of permanent instead of seasonal employment, though of course the resort does have some fluctuation in its employment needs throughout the year. In contrast to many of Alaska’s tourism outfits, Alyeska has a peak number of employees in winter because of ski operations, Hawes says. “When skiing shuts down, some of those will transfer over to the hotel.” However, with higher occupancy in the summer, the resort is really recruiting year-round for different positions. Seasonal or not, Alyeska invests in their employees. Hawes says, “We believe that if our employees enjoy their work, feel appreciated, and get to experience our products for themselves and are constantly learning that their excitement will translate directly to our guests.” Part of the effort to recognize employees is realized in an Employee of the Season program that celebrates workers in different departments from season to season. The resort also focuses on the wellness and safety of their employees, and part of that mission is accomplished through benefits such as offering free season passes for skiing and biking to all staff members as well as discounted employee hotel rates, retail, pool and fitness, and dining discounts. “We want our staff to love where they work and get to experience it, too.” Alyeska also demonstrates the value they place in their employees by allowing them to cross-train and participate in many of the hotel’s different departments and activities. “We

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Tasha Anderson is the Associate Editor for Alaska Business.

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April 2018 | Alaska Business

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CORPORATE 100 SPECIAL SECTION | ALYESKA RESORT

house at Alyeska, a mountaintop museum. “The resort is proud to be the largest private giver to facilitate public transit within the Girdwood Valley and supports Glacier Valley Transit’s fare free service providing safer roads, recreational opportunities, employee transit, and guest transit throughout the valley,” Hawes says. Beyond this, the resort also routinely supplies donations for fundraisers across the state for a number of organizations. She continues, “We are so proud of our legacy, our continued growth, and our place in Alaska’s history and economy.” R

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In the Community After sixty years in Girdwood, it’s natural that Alyeska has and continues to invest in the small community. Hawes says, “Alyeska donates to many local programs—in fact this past fall we helped facilitate a land sale to Challenge Alaska, which is a dynamic program that provides training and access to skiing for disabled athletes.” The resort also has a Military Monday program that recognizes those active in military service with free lift tickets and rentals the first Monday of every month. Alyeska partners with several nonprofits such as the Alyeska Ski Club, a volunteerbased ski training program for racing, freestyle, and mountain learning, and Round-

tC en

have a lot of current employees that have more than one job code, so they’re doing those roles in different seasons within the same week. They may be part-time at the bell desk helping people with luggage, and then they may be part-time teaching ski school: there’s a lot of transition within the resort,” Hawes says. The resort also prioritizes promoting from within. “We really love to see development, and we love to see people find just the right fit for their skillset and aligning that with their job.” Hawes is herself an example of this. She grew up in Kenai, and, after leaving the state for a short time for an education in Texas, she returned to take a position as the resort’s controller about fifteen years ago. Roughly four years ago, after a transition in ownership in 2006, Hawes was elevated into an executive role as the VP of Finance, and it was just recently that she moved into her current position. “[This role involves] more executive management,” she says. “Not just producing the numbers but using the numbers to help make good decisions in the business and making recommendations to [owner] John Byrne. He’s very active in his ownership role and I think he still wants to be extremely active, but there are some things that I can handle for him, and that’s kind of how the evolution has happened.” She says people are what she enjoys most about her current job. “We have a great team of people that are really passionate and really motivated and love where we live. It’s hard not to love living in Girdwood.” She’s developed into a “leadership nerd,” routinely reading up on theories and best practices of leadership and applying them to her daily work. “I love taking that content and translating it to people that I work with. The new role that I have allows me to do that even more,” Hawes says. It’s important that employees at the resort connect with guests and visitors in a positive way, and that ability is one of the top traits the company looks for when recruiting. Hawes quotes the resort’s Mountain General Manager Brian Burnett, who ends all of his weekly meetings with: “Name tags, greetings, eye contact, and random acts of kindness.” She continues, “That really sums it up. We’re looking for someone that’s professional but also is going to make a really good connection with a guest and make their experience unique and personalized, so they can make a lasting memory.” Alyeska prioritizes recruiting from Alaska, but will reach out to outside sources such as hospitality or culinary schools when necessary. Once employees on-board, they’re given multiple training opportunities, including digital training and weekly on-boarding sessions with the HR team. “We’ll [also] do crossfunctional onboarding. We have something like forty different departments at the resort… It can be quite complicated; we’re training from anything like making snow out on the mountain using electricity and water in the middle of the night when it’s cold to making a sandwich to checking someone in.” One fascinating job at Alyeska is shooting howitzers at the mountain as part of an avalanche mitigation program. “There’s highly technical work that we do, and safety and wellness is a big part of our culture,” she says.


Alaska USA Investments in community and culture By Tasha Anderson

A

laska USA Federal Credit union was founded in Alaska in 1948 and today has more than 640,000 members; eighty-seven branches in Alaska, Arizona, California, and Washington; and more than $7.21 billion in assets. Alaska USA Chief Administration Officer Rachel Norman says this longevity and level of success “boils down to our commitment to our members. Day in and day out, that is what’s happening here. At any branch location, for any phone call that comes in, we have a group of people working hard to make our members happy and take care of them.” She continues on to say that Alaska USA’s members are one of the credit union’s most significant assets: “How our members value us, and how we value them—that partnership continues to lead to great work in Alaska and the other markets we do business in.”

In the Community Alaska USA is a 100 percent member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative, so building and maintaining good relationships with—and providing support to—communities in which its branches are located is important to the credit union. Norman explains that Alaska USA has focused on two primary groups for charitable giving: children and military members/veterans. In 2003 the organization established the Alaska USA Foundation, which “actively fundraises and distributes funds to organizations that provide needs-based services to children, veterans, and active duty members of the armed services and their family members.” In 2017 the Alaska USA Foundation distributed more than $220,000 to nonprofits in its member communities, including $81,902 in military donations in Alaska, $80,400 to food banks, and $59,000 to benefit children. Norman says, “These are incredible organizations doing amazing things for kids, veterans, and members of the military—and the foundation is so proud to be a part of it.” In March, Alaska USA hosted its 23rd annual Military Appreciation Breakfast, where the financial institution honored more than sixty members of Alaska’s armed forces, including twelve recipients of the Service Person of the Year award. In a release about the event, Alaska USA President and CEO Geoff Lundfelt stated, “Alaska USA owes its existence to the military and its civil service force, who sought financial services in prestatehood Alaska. The Military Appreciation Breakfast is a small token of our appreciation 80

Image courtesy of Alaska USA

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Corporate 100

Reflections on Alpenglow, oil on canvas, Alaska Artist Marianne Elson.

for what they did, and continue to do, for Alaska USA and the country as a whole.” In late December, Alaska USA employees donated $50,000 to United Way. Norman explains, “This year we deepened our partnership with United Way and just had a blast.” Earlier in the year Alaska USA leadership was looking for ways to engage their employees as well as benefit United Way and developed several programs to meet that goal. “The biggest hit was Coffee for a Cause,” she says. “Our senior leadership—our president, our CFO, our chief lending officer—all donned aprons and took on the role of baristas. They went through every floor in our corporate office building, as well as other branch locations, and provided coffee and doughnuts, waiting hand and foot on the employees.” Donations were not required, but many Alaska USA employees elected to contribute money to the “tip jar,” and those funds were then donated to United Way. “We were doing this just as a nice thing for the employees,” Norman says, “and I was blown away at just how generous the employees were and how much fun they had.” Another popular program was “Giving for Goodies.” In that campaign, Alaska USA employees were invited to take advantage of their baking skills for a good cause. “It was all employee sponsored and coordinated,” Norman says. “Some of our fabulous bakers went to town and made incredible treats and donated them all. Staff members came and purchased them, and all proceeds went to United Way.”

Between these events—and two others, Donate for Days Off and Jeans Day for United Way—and “as a result of our team members’ generosity,” Alaska USA was able to raise and donate three times the amount of the previous year’s contribution. Norman says, “It was the first time we had really dug into that employee fun piece and parlayed it into fundraising; the employees loved doing it and at the end of it we raised a ton of money. That felt great. The employees felt super proud of it, as they should have.” One of the programs Norman is personally passionate about is Alaska USA’s partnerships with schools in their communities, where the credit union provides Financial Literacy sessions. The presentations are built around the Moon Jar concept whereby children are encouraged to “save, spend, and share.” Norman explains, “The concepts elevate from there for middle school and high school students as we orient them to the basics of personal finance management.” Alaska USA participates in the Get Real Financial Reality Fairs, a two-hour experience during which high school seniors are presented with real-life choices about how to stay within a budget while paying for basics such as housing, food, and transportation. Norman reports that during the 2016-2017 school year, more than 2,600 students participated in the Financial Reality Fairs, which were supported by more than 1,100 volunteers in cities throughout the state. “I happen to be the mother of teenage high schoolers and I’ve participated in the Financial Real-

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


Values and Valued Employees Alaska USA’s mission “is to provide quality financial services to our members affordably, conveniently, and professionally,” Norman says. “This message is really engrained within the Alaska USA culture.” That mission is supported through Alaska USA’s employees, who Norman describes as “bright, service oriented individuals with excellent communication skills and who are team players.” The credit union uses several methods to search out quality employees such as job fairs and employee referrals. Alaska USA participates in several job fairs in its service areas, partnering with universities or other community entities. In its larger markets, Alaska USA hosts their own Alaska USA job fairs, which allows for job seekers to meet a number of representatives from the organization that are looking to fill positions. “In advance of those events, we reach out to our current staff and ask them to refer friends, family members, and professional associates. If we end up hiring a referral, we pay a referral bonus to the staff member,” Norman says. The credit union places a high value on training and education, going so far as to create the Alaska USA University, comprised of a team that creates and delivers training programs that “allow a brand new employee with no experience in financial services to be trained into a knowledgeable member of the team in short order. If they bring the aptitude and attitude—we will help them with the rest.” Alaska USA also supports individual professional development, offering a tuition assistance benefit to employees engaged in earning a college degree. Once employees are in place, a comprehensive compensation and benefits package includes medical, dental, and vision coverage for employees and their families. Norman says, “Additionally, the credit union sponsors an Employee Bonus Program that all employees participate in. When the credit union hits its financial and service goals, the employees share in the financial rewards.” The company also offers several programs to reward reliable employees with time off or allow employees time off to participate in volunteer or charitable activities without using standard paid time off. Norman has a great deal of experience as an Alaska USA employee. She’s been with the financial institution for more than twenty years; it was a job she landed not long after graduating from college. “When I was in college and right after graduating I worked at a temporary agency conducting interviews and skills assessments. Alaska USA had an opening for a job very similar to that in Anchorage doing the interviewing and hiring for Anchorage area branches. It was luck and happenstance,” Norman laughs. She hadn’t planned for a long career in Alaska, saying, “I can honestly tell www.akbizmag.com

you that I would not have predicted either staying in Alaska or with a company for that long, but Alaska USA has provided me so many incredible opportunities.” Over her twenty-year career she’s progressed through the company’s HR department, holding “virtually every management role in the HR department.” Now as Alaska USA’s chief administration officer, she says she’s still learning and growing. “I’m actually transitioning into a new extended role that includes my human resources responsibility but also expands into other facets of our organization, such as corporate relations and enterprise content. The synergy between each of these areas is how we communicate and connect with our staff and how we trans-

late that into employee engagement at work and in the community,” she explains. She’s excited about this new growth opportunity, though her “true love is employee relations. I’ve been in the fortunate position to have influence on employee benefits, salary administration, bonus programs, and all of the good stuff that we do for our employees, and I really enjoy that piece. However, helping team members work through ups and downs and creating positive solutions—that’s what keeps me coming back for more.” R Tasha Anderson is the Associate Editor for Alaska Business.

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CORPORATE 100 SPECIAL SECTION | ALASKA USA

ity Fairs,” she says. “I really love the work. I think there’s a real value in teaching our kids those things that, honestly, they’re not getting necessarily naturally through the school system. Those partnerships are really important to [Alaska USA] and to me, personally.”


SPECIAL SECTION

Corporate 100

Rich Career in Telecommunications Dan Boyette celebrates nearly three decades at GCI

I

By Judy Mottl

f one were to describe Dan Boyette as adventuresome it would be fitting yet a clear and definite understatement. After all, how many twenty-five-year-olds would pack up their lives (with $50 bucks in their pocket and man’s best friend on a leash) and head to remote Alaska via a one-way ticket from New Jersey? 82

But that’s exactly what the sixty-nine-yearold GCI vice president and general manager of GCI’s TERRA Aleutians program did after graduating Nichols College with a business administration degree in 1974. Boyette took a job with the AmeriCorps Vista national service program and his initial assignment was helping expand health services in

rural Alaska communities. He made his home in Bethel, 400 miles west of Anchorage. As he recalls, when he arrived forty-four years ago, English was still very much a second language in the small village of just about 2,000 residents. “I knew I didn’t want to follow the lifestyle of a being a guy that commutes to New York City,” says Boyette, on why he went north.

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


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Dan Boyette and his wife love spending time on the water. Image courtesy of Dan Boyette

“There were few opportunities in New Jersey for anything remotely close to having any adventure. I wanted to do something new, something that had sort of an unprovoked good and offered the benefit of helping people. So, I signed up to go to Alaska.”

—Dan Boyette, VP, GCI

www.akbizmag.com

April 2018 | Alaska Business

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—Dan Boyette VP, GCI

“There were few opportunities in New Jersey for anything remotely close to having any adventure. I wanted to do something new, something that had sort of an unprovoked good and offered the benefit of helping people. So, I signed up to go to Alaska.” In fact, in signing up with the volunteer program launched by President John Kennedy in 1965, Boyette specifically asked to be sent to a remote Alaska area and not a city like Anchorage. When he (and his fouryear-old shepherd husky mix Pete) arrived in Bethel, he knew no one and his knowledge of Alaska was limited to what he had learned from maps. At the time Alaska had hospitals in regional centers, but a true health distribution system didn’t exist. Boyette spent his first fifteen years changing that scenario. He traveled throughout western Alaska, traversing the state hundreds of times over, helping to establish village health clinics. The clinics at that time communicated with regional health centers and doctors via VHF radio, and it was communication technology (and the obvious need for improved technology in rural areas) that eventually caught Boyette’s interest in a big way, paving his path to a career with GCI.

Image courtesy of Dan Boyette

CORPORATE 100 SPECIAL SECTION | DAN BOYETTE, GCI VP

“I have never regretted working for CGI. For me the company always treated me fairly, gave me challenging work to do, and I was just always plenty happy enough that I had come to work here and happy I am able to stay.”

forts would involve a long list of firsts regarding Alaska’s telecommunications history. “That was so much fun, so cool [the state position]. I was a young guy and my job was to travel to all those places and do all the advance work to get it set up so the crews could come in and build the stations,” Boyette recalls. “I got to travel all over the state several times over. For a young guy with a little bit of itchy feet it was just a great job. It couldn’t have been better.”

All Roads Led to GCI It was through a work connection from his stint with the governor’s office that Boyette met the founding partners of a telecom services company, GCI, launched in 1979 by Alaska entrepreneurs Bob Walp and Ron Duncan. In thirty-seven years as CEO, Duncan has led GCI to become the largest telecommunications provider in Alaska with more than 2,200 employees and nearly $1 billion in revenue. Around the same time as Duncan and Walp got GCI moving forward, Boyette left his state job, built his first of two log cabins in Bethel, and started a family. In the next decade Boyette worked a slew of different jobs

In his nearly three decades with GCI Boyette has been involved in a long list of astounding telecommunications achievements in Alaska. GCI’s milestone timeline is chock full of innovations—including a broadband distribution network for integrated voice, data, and video services and a fiber optic ring for high speed data connectivity and deploying local telephone service. GCI also launched cable modem Internet access, rolled out free unlimited Internet access with long distance, and became the state’s largest Internet service provider. Other milestones include launching local telephone service in ten Alaska communities in the Interior and on the Kenai Peninsula; building a fiber optic cable in 2003 connecting Seward, Alaska, and Warrenton, Oregon; and facilities-based local telephone competition in Juneau. GCI also launched 4G LTE service throughout Alaska, providing record speeds for mobile users, and was the first provider to offer the Apple iPhone to customers in Alaska. It most recently deployed 1 gigabit service. As Boyette recalls, his initial GCI role was one of community relations as GCI had started a major network expansion program throughout rural Alaska and needed someone to help with advance work. The job tasks also included working on land acquisition and permitting, as well as a little bit of PR work—all right up his alley. But the job also meant a move from Bethel, a place he still calls his hometown. The family relocated to Anchorage and he quickly found that adjusting to city life was a bit challenging. “It was a shock. A total culture shock but turned out to be a good move,” says Boyette. “The first couple of years I was pretty frustrated, and I’d go home every couple of weeks and tell my wife, ‘That’s it, we’re moving go-

“There is a reason for everything, and I say don’t burn your bridges as you might want to cross them someday.”

—Dan Boyette VP, GCI

After serving Vista as a community liaison for a few years, he moved into a position in the state governor’s office of communications. At the time, in 1976, then-Governor Jay Hammond had created a telecom office and was working on building 200 satellites to provide the first-ever telephone services to rural communities. “We did that in two years. We put a phone in each health clinic and a public phone, a shared phone, in every village. It was the very first telephone service in western and northern Alaska,” Boyette recalls. “I was low man on totem pole doing all this traveling, but in my mind I had the best job in the place,” he adds. The phone service marked another first for Boyette after helping establish health clinics where there had been none. In fact, his decades of communications ef84

while raising three children with his wife. In the first decade of business GCI quickly established itself as a telecom maverick and innovator in Alaska. In 1982 its network carried the first long distance call in the state. Then in the 90s GCI bought capacity on the North Pacific Cable, the only fiber optic cable linking Alaska with the contiguous United States and foreign countries. GCI also demonstrated advanced satellite communication in rural Alaska and began providing personal communications services for the entire state. Boyette and GCI crossed paths in 1989 when a former state colleague reached out to see if Boyette wanted to join GCI. Boyette was interested as the role was very similar to the state gig that had proved so rewarding. “There is a reason for everything, and I say don’t burn your bridges as you might want to cross them someday,” he says.

ing back to Bethel,’ but it turned out to be a great move,” he says, adding his association with GCI “has just been great.” When he joined he says he had no expectations of working for any company for nearly three decades. “I thought well I’ll just sign on, see where this goes, and give it everything I got and see how this turns out. I certainly had no intention of signing on for life. It was purely: I’m just going to jump in with both feet and see where this takes us.” And that leap has taken him far as he’s been part of the state’s technology revolution, playing a role in delivering the first telephone service to high-speed Internet to telehealth services. In citing his most proud accomplishments at GCI, Boyette talks about a 2007 project that established cell service throughout rural

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


—Dan Boyette VP, GCI

Alaska. Within two to three years cell towers were available to 95 percent of Alaska. “That’s due to the work we did and the work of other telecom partners as well. It does have a huge impact [on people’s lives],” he says, noting that while a lot of homes in rural Alaska don’t yet have indoor plumbing they now have Internet. “The services have been transformational to the communities. GCI gave me some opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else,” Boyette says.

No Retirement in Sight And Boyette clearly isn’t ready to give up on new opportunities. Just like his days with Vista and the state job, he’s still busy traveling all over Alaska as GCI is investigating a fiber optic cable extension to Dutch Harbor and one that would play a critical role in providing fiber, rather than satellite, to residents in the Aleutian Islands. It’s a several-year project which means a plan to retire this past January is now solidly sitting way back on the shelf. But, perhaps most importantly, Boyette clearly has no regrets about his move to Alaska, his chosen career path, and his decision to find adventure. “I have never regretted working for CGI. For me the company always treated me fairly, gave me challenging work to do, and I was just always plenty happy enough that I had come to work here and happy I am able to stay,” he says. What he loves most about GCI is the fact that it is competitive—and competitive in a positive way and not a negative way, he says. He uses sports as an analogy in describing GCI as competitive. “If you ever played sports one of the best things about it is the competition and [how it] brings out the best in people,” he says, noting the telecom industry is one that moves quickly and that speed of transformation is a big part of his job’s appeal. “It moves fast, and we have to try to keep up; it’s a challenging business and its competitive in the best of ways.” He notes he is far from being an anomaly in working for GCI for so long as many colleagues boast twenty-plus years on the job. A big reason for such employee tenure is the company’s culture and philosophy, explains Boyette. “It is a very fair company that treats its people well and treats them with dignity and respect. You get a challenging job and turnover here is really quite low,” he says, adding the founders “created a corporate culture here that makes it a really good place to work.” www.akbizmag.com

Yet while many in the company likely know Boyette very well given his three decades on the job, there is likely something few know about him—that he nearly went into a military life and spent two years studying at the Citadel before getting his degree from Nichols.

“I had some idea I wanted to join he military after college, and then after a couple of years I figured out the military wasn’t for me,” he says, adding his military interest is likely the only thing his colleagues may not know about him. “I think people know who I am and what I’ve been doing. Not a lot of secrets in my life.” And it’s clearly no secret he’s been someone always seeking adventure to It’s no secret Boyette is an adventure seeker and his career at GCI in Alaska seems to have fulfilled his quest. “It’s been a lot of fun,” says Boyette. R Judy Mottl writes about important issues country-wide with an affinity for Alaska.

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CORPORATE 100 SPECIAL SECTION | DAN BOYETTE, GCI VP

“[Telecommunications] services have been transformational to the communities. GCI gave me some opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else.”


EDUCATION

Image courtesy of Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, Career & Technical Education Program

Students at Hutchinson High School; of the 1,387 students that responded to the survey, 241 indicated an interest in the law/public safety career cluster.

Fairbanks Students Express Interest in Medical, STEM Fields But often not in Alaska, study shows

F

By Sam Friedman

airbanks-area teenagers want to work in the medical industry more than any other career field, according to a report recently commissioned by the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. If the labor market behaves as Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development forecasts predict, that’s good news for future high school graduates in the Interior and for the region’s school district that has invested in healthcare education. The state predicted healthcare would be one of the fastest growing industries between 2014 and 2024. It’s also one of the best paying sectors in the state. 86

However, future surveys may have to consider the national and international job market as much as the local one when studying job opportunities. In the survey, most students said they wanted to leave Alaska when asked where they want to work. The district commissioned the report to study whether job training programs are meeting the needs of students and the labor market. The district conducts this survey every five years, but this is the largest response it has received in at least twenty years, says Daniel Domke, the school district’s director of Community and Technical Education, the part of the district that used to be called vocational education. In addition to strong interest in the medical field, the survey found students are most interested in the four following career clusters: STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics); arts and communica-

tions; the military; and law and public safety. Student interest compared to local job forecasts shows students may be overly interested in public safety fields (particularly lawyer jobs) despite weak local job growth forecasts in these fields and may be overlooking good jobs in the construction industry. Overall, the survey asked Fairbanks-area students to rate their interest in sixteen career clusters and specific jobs within these clusters. Some 1,390 7th through 12th graders took the survey, about one-quarter of the district’s middle and high school population. A survey that asked parents what career is right for their child received 400 responses, and a survey that asked staff what careers were “of interest” to middle and high school students received 231 responses. The district also surveyed local employers about what skills they look for from prospective employees. That survey got only 72 responses, not a large enough sample size to

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


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give statistical confidence that these views reflect the wider labor market in Fairbanks.

Image courtesy of Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, Career & Technical Education Program

Hutchison High School students in Fairbanks participate in Fire Hawks Boot Camp, part of instructor Suzy Coronel’s Introduction to Fire Services Class. Fairbanks high school students have the option to earn several emergency services certifications through health science programs.

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Preparing for the Medical Field Domke is a former charter airline owner and pilot who has worked in career training at the district for eighteen years. He takes pride in seeing former high school students enter the labor force. Domke says he was once in the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital emergency room and ran into three certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and a physician assistant who were all school district alumni. It wasn’t just a coincidence he saw so many former district students. At Foundation Health Partners, the local organization that operates Fairbanks’ largest medical clinic and largest hospital, 80 percent of the CNAs are graduates of a CNA program offered through the school district and University of Alaska Fairbanks. In addition to preparing for the CNA test, students in the program earn nine college credits. Medicine is a logical career for the school district to prepare students because it pays high wages (at least for upper-level employees) and is expected to grow in Alaska, with particularly rapid growth expected for ambulatory clinics (clinics that treat patients outside of the hospital). Among 1,387 students who responded to the question about what type of career most interests them, 453 identified the health/ medical industry. Fairbanks North Star Borough students are particularly interested in becoming medical doctors, a career that pays an average Alaska salary of between $107 and $129 an hour depending on specialty. Also popular, lucrative, and expected to become more numerous are jobs as nurses, physicians’ assistants, and physical therapists. The state has about 370 general and family practitioner doctors and about 5,400 registered nurses. In general, the survey found that—across most industries—students, parents, and school district staff overestimated the amount of education needed to qualify for various jobs. The students, parents, and staff were particularly likely to believe graduate degrees were required for jobs that don’t necessarily require them. But the medical field is an exception to this general trend. The most lucrative medical jobs aren’t available through short certificate programs. Most upper-level medical jobs require four-year college degrees followed by graduate programs. Nursing assistants jobs—a low-level position accessible to participants in the high school career training program—make an average of $18.04 an hour in Alaska. Domke believes that high school training for entry-level medical jobs is valuable even for people who plan to go to college and medical, dental, or nursing school. Students who participate in career training in high school see the value of education and perform better across the board, he says. “The career exploration piece is important,” he says. “It provides intrinsic motivation to do well academically. To accomplish

the goals [of becoming a high-level medical employee] you can’t drift through high school with a 1.2 [grade point average]. It’s a great motivator for students. When they have a plan then they work that plan so they maximize their academic education.” Students who earn college credit through programs like the nursing assistant program also accelerate their education because they’re earning college credits while still in high school. In addition to the CNA program, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District offers classes that allow high school students to earn emergency medical technician and emergency trauma technician certifications.

Careers Outside Alaska One of the survey’s major findings dealt not with what careers students want to pursue but where they want to go. In one question, students were asked to check boxes for all the places they were interested in getting a job in their preferred career area. About one-quarter checked the Fairbanks box and about one-sixth chose the “somewhere else in Alaska” box. A vast majority wanted to work in the United States in general and about one-fifth were interested in international opportunities. Domke says he’s not surprised most students have ambitions to leave Alaska, based on his experience at the district. Fairbanks is a transient place and many students are with military families who only plan to stay in the state while the family is stationed here. He says it’s also common for people born in Alaska to want to try living in other places. “We all want to get out of the cold and the dark,” he says. “For young people in high school, it’s a big world out there and there’s a desire to get out there and explore.” The strong interest in leaving Alaska after high school may be enhanced by the booming national economy compared to Alaska’s ongoing recession. The US unemployment rate has been dropping as the country climbed out of the Great Recession and hit a seventeen-year low of 4.1 percent in December. Alaska, meanwhile, has an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent and is in the midst of a local recession. The students’ wanderlust may come as a surprise to their parents. Asked where they thought their children wanted to work, more than one-third of parents said Fairbanks and more than one-quarter said “somewhere else in Alaska.” Fewer than 50 percent of parents thought their children were interested in working in the United States in general. Lured in by CSI? The fields of law, public safety, corrections, and security—another career cluster students are particularly interested in—has little projected growth in Alaska’s occupational forecast. Among the 1,387 students who responded to the question about what career group they were interested in, 241 picked law/public safety, the fifth most popular career cluster. Among students interested in this career cluster, 37.7 percent were interested in becoming lawyers, followed by 33.9 percent interested in becoming police officers.

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


Daniel Domke, of the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, says students today often buy into careers that provide a moral purpose or support the community, such as lawyers, police officers, EMTs, or other emergency services. Image courtesy of Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, Career & Technical Education Program

The state’s occupational forecast predicts the legal industry will contract over the next decade with jobs for lawyers and paralegals falling by 5.9 percent. The state has about 1,000 lawyers and about 500 paralegals. The occupational forecast for police jobs, meanwhile, was nearly flat.

Alaska has about 1,400 patrol officers, roughly 300 supervisors, and about 100 detectives. These and other state job projections for the next decade are based largely on job trends in past decades, weighted most strongly toward recent years, says Dan Robinson, chief of Alaska’s

Research and Analysis Section at the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. New forecasts, for the decade between 2016 and 2026, are due out soon and may reflect lower projections in fields that have seen job losses since Alaska entered its recession, he says.

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Images courtesy of Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, Career & Technical Education Program

A student works in Peter Daley’s welding class at Hutchison High School, a career and technical skillfocused high school in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. Daley’s students can earn American Welding Society certifications through his class.

Construction/architecture was the sixth most popular career cluster choice among high school students, despite a forecast for slow growth of these generally well-paying jobs.

Domke says it makes sense that students are drawn to these fields, despite the poor job forecasts. “Kids find those fields exciting and they grew up watching CSI and there’s the public service aspect of it,” he says. “Kids of this generation, they buy into their communities and there’s a moral purpose to a lot of those jobs.” He goes on to say the school district is not in the business of discouraging students from preparing for the career they’re passionate about, regardless of the predicted future for that field. “If a student comes up and says, ‘I’m going to be a lawyer,’ we’re not necessarily going to say, ‘Well, you ought to look at the job data, it’s projected to decline.’ We’re going to say, ‘Here’s what that job pathway looks like, here’s your academic prep in high school,’” Domke says. “At the public school level we want to cast a wide net. It’s a win if a student gets a great academic education in high school no matter what they decide to do.” 90

Domke also points out that field-wide career forecasts don’t show opportunities in specific parts of the field. For example, law enforcement jobs aren’t projected to grow across the state, but entry level jobs at rural Alaska police departments are almost always available. To help students interested in law enforcement, the school district hopes to work with the University of Alaska Fairbanks on a police academy program, Domke says.

Overlooked Opportunities For construction jobs, there’s a noticeable gap between what district staff think compared to what students think. In the staff survey, district employees said that construction/architecture was “of interest” to district middle and high school students, the fourth most popular career cluster. Students, however, showed only moderate interest. Out of 1,387 students, 199 expressed interest in construction/architecture, making it the sixth most popular choice and behind a selection for students who indicated

they were “unsure” about what career was right for them. “The staff sees those as great opportunities for kids: high wage, high demand, high skill work in Alaska,” Domke says. “Students don’t see those opportunities in the same way as staff do.” Alaska Department of Labor figures show construction trade workers make between $23.88 and $39.23 an hour. The occupational forecast predicts slow growth in these jobs of 1.6 percent between 2014 and 2024 and a decline in the number of better-paying construction supervisor jobs. Alaska has about 2,300 carpenters, 2,100 electricians, and about 1,500 plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters. But these numbers don’t factor in localized construction in the Interior through 2020, the time period during which the region will undergo $500 million in new construction to prepare for the arrival of F-35 fighter jets at Eielson Air Force Base. The construction industry is also booming in parts of the Lower 48, Domke says. At Fairbanks North Star Borough schools, the Community and Technical Education program shows people the value of some of these construction trades through classroom guest speakers and school counselors. Borough schools offer construction-related certifications such as the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s ten-hour certification, forklift certifications, scaffold certification, and fall prevention certification. “Those certs are useful whether a kid goes to work at a retail store and ends up running a forklift in a back warehouse or if they move right on to a construction site,” Domke says. The district is looking into partnerships with labor unions that would let students work toward journeymen trade certifications.

Career and Technical Education Real world job training is becoming increasingly important to career and technical education in Fairbanks, regardless of the field. Looking into the future, Domke says he hopes to expand the number of internships, the number of partnerships with the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the number of certification courses. Certification classes make sense because they take the guesswork out of building a curriculum. The certification requirements show by definition what skills an industry wants from employees. Gone are the days when a school would create a vague cooking class and call it career training, Domke says. Instead, classes are designed to fit industry standards. Instead of the teacher’s idea for what is important, a cooking class today might, for example, be based on National Restaurant Association ProStart certifications. “That validates our curriculum. That is the kind of curriculum we want to have in place,” Domke says. “We don’t want to make this stuff up.”  R Sam Friedman is a freelance reporter in Fairbanks.

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


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EDUCATION

Cyrus Savetilik (left) is from Kodiak and is continuing his education at the Alaska Job Corps, focused on carpentry. Robert Chiklak (right) is pursuing a career in heavy equipment operation and attended the Introduction to Heavy Equipment Operation with EXCEL in November 2016.

Keeping Alaskans in Alaska Jobs Workforce training for the next generation

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By O’Hara Shipe

t is estimated that by 2020, almost 50 percent of workers will be comprised of Millennials, making it the largest segment of the US workforce. This should come as little surprise considering the April 2016 US Census Bureau report that revealed Millennials officially surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation. What may come as a surprise is that in Alaska’s industry-driven economy, few Millennials occupy positions within the state’s key industries. In its recent Millennial Workforce Development Report, which analyzed data from JobsEq, the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) found that only 16.6 percent of the Anchorage workforce between the ages of 16 and 44 are employed in “blue-collar” jobs. By contrast, AEDC estimates that roughly 48 percent are employed in traditional “white-collar” positions. Although the report only accounts for about 1 percent of the Anchorage Millennial population and the percentage of “white-collar” workers may be inflated, the numbers are nonetheless significant. With major new oil and gas plays, there is some concern that the Millennial workforce

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may very well be the state’s canary in the mine, signaling trouble ahead for the employers of an aging workforce. This is not the first time Alaska has found itself in this situation. In 1999, the Alaska oil and gas industry realized that 55 percent of its highly trained workforce—specifically process technicians—were eligible for retirement. “Historically, when the pipeline began operating, it was kind of a ‘learn on the job’ type of experience, but it had become much more technical than that. The oil and gas companies had no real stream of new incoming workers to fill those highly skilled positions,” explains Alaska Process Industry Careers

Consortium (APICC) Executive Director Cari-Ann Carty. “So, in partnership with educators, trainers, community members, and government agencies, these industry employers established APICC to create, connect, and enhance the quality of training and education programs available in Alaska.”

APICC Traditionally, APICC focused its efforts on establishing a process technology degree program and scholarship fund. The twoyear degree program is marketed to highschool graduates who show an aptitude for math and science. According to Carty, the

“We don’t have a big staff, so we try to focus on the most critical needs—the ones that could really make a difference in creating opportunities for Alaskans where we have been seeing a shortage of local talent in those particular positions.”

—Cari-Ann Carty Executive Director, Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


Photo by Martha Peck

“Our foundational sessions are really designed to teach employability and leadership skills as well as getting kids from the rural villages to see that there is life and career options outside of the village… A lot of times kids—because of what they hear and see on TV—deselect careers before really knowing what they are.” —Carol Wilson Executive Director EXCEL Alaska program boasts astronomical job placement numbers, with BP filling every one of its entry level technician positions with program graduates. Currently, the program, which is affiliated with the North American Process Technology Alliance (NAPTA), is facilitated through the Kenai Peninsula College and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. While the process technician program has long been the crown jewel of APICC, the consortium has broadened their focus to include four different areas of development: defining workforce needs from an employer’s perspective, creating statewide skill standards, developing standardized curricula, and promoting industry careers to Alaskans. “We don’t have a big staff, so we try to focus on the most critical needs—the ones that could really make a difference in creating opportunities for Alaskans where we have been seeing a shortage of local talent in those particular positions,” says Carty. For example, APICC is taking steps to support the maritime sector, which currently employs more than 70,000 people across 500 firms statewide. According to the American Maritime Partnership, Alaska ranks third in the nation in per capita maritime jobs, and the thousands of Alaskan jobs directly related to the maritime industry contribute more than $1 billion in economic impact. Unfortunately for Alaskans, nearly half of the maritime workforce is comprised of non-residents. This is something APICC is hoping to change through the Alaska Maritime Workforce Development Plan and partnerships with Maritime Works, University of Alaska, and Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, amongst others. During the creation of the plan, APICC identified five overall strategies to increase the number of skilled Alaskan workers as well as twenty-three specific occupations and occupational groups, such as seafood harvesters, seafood processors, research, management, and support industries. Through coordinated training between K-12 educators, regional training centers, and the University of Alaska, APICC hopes to reach www.akbizmag.com

Kerri Kelly is currently enrolled in a MATPS heavy equipment operator intensive training program in Aniak.

their goal of ensuring that Alaskans are qualified to fill skilled and well-paid maritime positions. While APICC has secured backing at both the state and corporate level, Carty believes that there is still a sticking point preventing potential employees from pursuing industry work. “There’s nothing more valuable than having some type of onsite experience, whether it’s just a day tour or a workshop or an internship. I think our history shows that in workforce development, nothing is more impactful than showing future employees what work looks like. The problem is, students get information from the people they know like their parents and teachers, but if their role models aren’t aware of what career paths are viable then the students aren’t going to develop an interest in them,” explains Carty. Carty was herself born in Adak and grew up in King Cove and was not exposed to a wide variety of occupations. “My grandpa owned a bar, but most people in King Cove fished, worked at the cannery, or owned a crab boat. That was my whole world and I had no idea there was anything else,” says Carty, who eventually moved to Anchorage where she planned to study psychiatry. “One of the things that is hard to communicate to young people getting started in their careers is that whatever you think your career is going to be, most likely you will deviate from it. There are very few people that decide what they’re going to be, go to college for four years, and stay in that career their whole life. It’s not about finding a career. It’s about finding the start to your career, where you want to begin, and making sure that there’s an opportunity for you to begin that career.”

EXCEL Alaska One of APICC’s community partners is the newly-established nonprofit EXCEL Alaska. The relatively small operation was established in 2012 with the goal of providing sup-

plemental academic and career educational opportunities for middle school and high school students in western Alaska. At the heart of the EXCEL program are “foundational sessions,” which take place in Aniak and Anchorage. The sessions are geared toward 7th to 12th graders and are designed to be cumulative as well as age appropriate. For example, 7th grade students gather for four days in Aniak to practice leadership and teamwork skills while 11th graders travel to Anchorage for an eight-day workshop focused on learning career skills through a simulated corporation. “Our foundational sessions are really designed to teach employability and leadership skills as well as getting kids from the rural villages to see that there is life and career options outside of the village,” says EXCEL Executive Director Carol Wilson. “A lot of times kids—because of what they hear and see on TV—deselect careers before really knowing what they are.”

“We try to emphasize that we don’t want to take kids away from their villages, we want to offer them a toolkit, so they have the option and ability to take a skilled position somewhere like the North Slope where they can work two weeks and then return home for two weeks. It’s really about providing options that weren’t there before.”

—Carol Wilson Executive Director, EXCEL Alaska

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Nina Meyers was raised in Pilot Station; now living in Anchorage, she is interested in pursuing an education in the heavy equipment operation industry. Photo by Martha Peck

While creating awareness about different career options is one hurdle EXCEL is trying to overcome through its foundational sessions, another perhaps more daunting one is addressing the cultural differences between village and city life. Actions as seemingly mundane as answering a phone call in a professional manner can be a struggle for some students in rural Alaska because they may not have experience conversing with people outside of their village. Wilson adds that soft skills such as maintaining direct eye contact and speaking assertively can be difficult for students if they clash with cultural norms in their village. As an outside program coming into the village, EXCEL is aware that they must tread a fine line between helping to prepare students for industry-driven careers and stripping them of their traditional way of life. “We try to emphasize that we don’t want to take kids away from their villages, we want to offer them a toolkit so they have the option and ability to take a skilled position somewhere like the North Slope where they can work two weeks and then return home for two weeks. It’s really about providing options that weren’t there before,” says Wilson. EXCEL’s former Board President Martha Peck believes that there are standards of employability that students from every community in Alaska need to learn. “In 1998 the Alaska State Board of Education adopted a set of employability standards 94

which have not been updated in twenty years. Do many of the standards still apply? Yes, they do. But there are a lot of things missing,” says Peck, who spent a year and a half interviewing employers from a diverse group of industries to discover what essential skills students are lacking. Actions such as cell phone use at the workplace, ingesting recreational marijuana on the job, being physically fit for work, and being punctual are all behaviors Peck believes are still missing from the employability standards. Another complaint many employers expressed was a lack of writing proficiency and basic knowledge of workplace etiquette including maintaining proper dress codes. Although the foundational sessions are geared toward preparing students to exceed employability standards, EXCEL also hosts discussions about suicide awareness and drug and alcohol abuse. In addition to their foundational sessions, EXCEL has “specialty sessions” aimed at helping students earn career and technical education certificates in carpentry, welding, and heavy equipment. Other offerings include an advanced Fish and Game internship, math and English high school credit recovery, and an academic decathlon. This summer, the specialty program is set to expand again with a two-week surface mine training course followed by a two-week paid internship through Calista Subsidiaries. By

offering a diverse set of specialty sessions, EXCEL strives to provide a well-rounded and holistic education to its students. If EXCEL’s 70 percent increase in participation numbers over the past three years is any indicator, the program has been well received. Along with its comprehensive approach to workforce development, the EXCEL program’s application process is unique. Because western Alaska has some of the lowest high school graduation rates in the state, EXCEL opted to evaluate students on their potential rather than their academic performance. “We have an evaluation rubric that we ask a potential student’s teacher to fill out and it asks about the student’s attendance, overall attitude, and whether they have the skill set to be away from home,” says Wilson. “But ultimately, the biggest thing we look for is desire and the ability to be successful.”

Putting Alaskans in Alaska Jobs APICC and EXCEL are only two of the many industry workforce development programs in the state. Another prominent program is run by the King Career Center (KCC), which has twentysix career pathway programs including diesel maintenance technology, welding, natural resource management, and carpentry. ANSEP has expanded their youth education options, adding STEM courses for students as young as ten years old. Even with an increase in workforce development programs, there is still work to be done.

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


“Maximizing Alaska resident hire also requires we increase the number of programs helping Alaskan high school students transition to post-secondary education or training, registered apprenticeship, and university programs. A key component to achieving this will be increasing the number of qualified career and technical education instructors for secondary, post-secondary, and apprenticeship training,” wrote Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Heidi Drygas in the February 2018 edition of “Alaska Economic Trends.” With decreased state and federal funding for the University of Alaska and public schools across the state, Alaska will need to find solutions for how to financially support additional workforce development programs and associated staff. That said, the Alaska oil and gas industry continues to move forward, and there’s renewed excitement surrounding oil and gas production in Alaska. As the industry rebounds, the employment needs of operators will increase, and it only benefits the state to train Alaskans to meet that increased need. Workforce development advocates such as APICC and EXCEL are hopeful that participants of these programs will be ready and able to step into those positions. R

Photo by Martha Peck

O’Hara Shipe is a freelance writer in Anchorage.

Jayden Duny is from Marshall and has wanted to be a heavy equipment operator from a young age; after completing his education he plans to apply to either Donlin Gold or Fort Knox.

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HEALTHCARE

Image courtesy of Within The Wild Adventure Co.

Moments of meditation can be found on land or on the water.

Wellness Through Simplicity Nature excursions, peaceful hideaways, moments to meditate By Judy Mottl

T

here are nearly endless options in Alaska for those seeking to soothe the spirit and replenish the soul—from nature excursions and pampering spas to daily health-focused activities such as yoga and nutritional programs. Wellness is gaining deeper attention and traction in both the recreational realm and the typical workday as individuals and employers are recognizing the benefits of a healthy and happy lifestyle, both at home and at work. Wellness programs, along with boosting job satisfaction and personal inner peace, can also help companies reduce health insurance costs. Saving on healthcare insurance is no small win for businesses as healthcare costs increased 79 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to the Society for Human Re96

source Management’s 2017 Employee Benefit’s Report. According to Get Healthy Now, from the University of Louisville, Kentucky, every dollar invested in a wellness program generates $7 in healthcare savings. But saving on healthcare is just one of many benefits wellness programs provide employers and individuals. More than half of employers providing such wellness initiatives (whether that be through reimbursement for gym memberships or providing nutritional guidance) are seeing a decrease in employee absenteeism, increased employee productivity, and a more satisfied workforce, according to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans’ “Workplace Wellness Trends: 2017 Survey Results Report.” On the personal level, young and old understand that participating in wellness programs can lead to a better life balance, a healthier lifestyle, and greater peace of mind. Living a healthy lifestyle, both at work and at home, can help battle stress-related ailments while boosting energy, fitness, and stamina. Employees are increasingly seek-

ing out wellness benefits as part of their employment benefits package. A UnitedHealthcare survey found that 70 percent of employees are interested in wellness programs and 59 percent who have access to such programs credit them with boosting their health.

The Alaska Wellness Movement The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness as “as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being” that “goes beyond mere freedom from disease or infirmity and emphasizes the proactive maintenance and improvement of health and well-being.” Attaining wellness can be achieved both in a reactive or a proactive approach, “incorporating attitudes and activities that prevent disease, improve health, enhance quality of life, and bring a person to increasingly optimum levels of well-being.” In the workplace the definition is tweaked a bit: “Wellness at work is the right to work in a manner that is healthy, safe, motivating, and edifying. We are responsible for conducting work in a way that improves our wellness and the wellness of others.”

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


Image courtesy of Pearson’s Pond Luxury Inn and Adventure Spa

TRICARE® approved facility

A part of North Star Behavioral Health

An outdoor hot tub offers a special moment to relax and reflect while surrounded by natural beauty.

Alaska, in short form, presents a doubleedge sword when it comes to corporate-based and personally driven wellness. For all its scenic beauty, the largest state in the union is a place where its residents are thrust into extended months of darkness and bitter cold—weather that for many is not conducive to feeling good or healthy. But Alaska also offers exceptional options for rejuvenating the spirit and one’s sense of peace given its extraordinary scenery and outdoor recreational opportunities. At Pearson’s Pond Luxury Inn and Adventure Spa in Juneau, owner Maryann Ray encounters visitors who find solace through enjoying the activities and scenery unique to Alaska. “It really depends on the individual,” she says, noting that Alaska is a well-known adventure destination for both residents and visitors. The inn and spa, which is distinguished as Alaska’s only AAA Four Diamond Award resort, sits alongside a glacial kettle pond and offers visitors a wide variety of massage and relaxation therapy treatments. “In summer we tend to see more actionoriented guests, looking for relaxing evenings after a day of excitement. Conversely, our winter guests are often looking for a retreat or refuge. They want solitude and time to just be.” The spa provides a quiet, relaxing natural environment, with services such as massages on the menu, as well as a variety of outdoor adventures including hikes. There are hot tubs and saunas as well as biking excursions. “Also, beginning this summer, we will be offering in-room, personal restorative coaching sessions,” notes Ray. www.akbizmag.com

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Tutka Bay Lodge caters to guests interested in relaxing in the wilds of Alaska. Image courtesy of Within The Wild Adventure Co.

Pearson’s Pond Luxury Inn and Adventure spa is located on a scenic pond, which adds to the lodge’s tranquil atmosphere. Image courtesy of Pearson’s Pond Luxury Inn and Adventure Spa

Spa guests, says Ray, consider wellness critical to overall health and living healthy. “We often have guests make reservations saying they ‘need to decompress.’ It’s amazing to watch as they unwind and see their smiles grow throughout their stay. By the end of their visit, you can see the change in both their bodies and outlook.” In fact, Ray views her spa and inn and the entire property as a wellness area. “Once you step inside, you feel the world drop away. Our garden has been called enchanted and many of our rooms have been designed with a Zen-like ambiance,” she says. 98

Pearson’s Pond Luxury Inn and Adventure Spa is just one of hundreds of wellness options in Alaska, such as The Nest Spa and Wellness Center, situated in the diverse wilderness of Denali National Park and Preserve. The center offers a wide range of massage and wellness programs with a holistic approach. It describes its expertise as allowing guests to “channel your inner peace in a way that will leave you feeling revived and rejuvenated.”

Embracing Wellness Ideology While many of Alaska’s wellness options tap nature as as a focus for healing, other

wellness programs are medically focused in scope. Fairbanks Family Wellness offers massage, chiropractic, and naturopathic care and approaches wellness with a traditional medical view, providing services such as lab work and physical exams. There are also wellness programs supported by the state’s health and social services agency, including the annual Alaska School Health and Wellness Institute, held last fall at the BP Energy Center in Anchorage. The program is geared toward helping schools play a valuable role in giving Alaska’s young students the tools and support they need to lead healthy, happy lives. Much like how corporate wellness programs can help increase job satisfaction and reduce employee absence, the belief is that a healthy student will be a successful student with better attendance and higher graduation rates. Health and wellness programs have also been shown to reduce behavioral issues. The Alaska School Health and Wellness Institute program was established in 2005, “focused on the development of school wellness teams and policies and has since grown much larger in scope and attendance, addressing many new emerging school health and safety topics while providing important professional development opportunities for school staff,” according to its website. Wellness is also gaining traction with other nonprofit enterprises such as the Alaska Tribal

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


Health System that supports the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC). ANTHC, which describes itself as the biggest and most comprehensive tribal health organization in the United States, provides wellness programs in addition to comprehensive health and medical services to shareholders. Today, some nine out of ten organizations offer at least one wellness initiative, according to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans’ survey, “Workplace Wellness Trends: 2017 Survey Results Report.” Alaska’s growing interest in wellness is not only tied to lowering healthcare costs— it’s also about boosting productivity and ensuring a healthy lifestyle, says Katherine Dehoop at the Anchorage-based Within The Wild Adventure Co., which operates the Tutka Bay Lodge. The eleven-acre lodge is located at the southern end of Kachemak Bay, near Homer, and offers visitors access to tidal fluctuations, rugged coastline, and deep fjords. The property houses a main lodge and six private guest houses. There are guided adventures such as deep-sea fishing, bear viewing on Katmai Peninsula, and the opportunity to hike the lodge’s trail system. “Every year in our reservations office we see more guests that want to experience Alaska not as a tourist but a traveler. They want to exercise in nature; eat healthy, fresh food; and breathe wild air,” says Dehoop. There are also a growing number of young professionals and families seeking to increase their physical and mental wellness by completely unplugging from everyday technological distractions. “Guests do not want easy access to Wi-Fi or TV. They want to connect with each other [and] nature and renew their sense of self. There has been a notable increase in yoga, meditation, and wellness activities.” The mission for Within the Wild Adventures is to provide guests with an opportunity to experience “the powerful sense of time spent in the natural world,” explains Dehoop. “Guests can enjoy long hikes in an old growth forest, low tide beach exploration, sea kayaking among curious otters, morning yoga on the deck, and private massage in our wellness room,” says Dehoop. The lodge also offers guided tours for foraging for berries, mushrooms, and other edible plants as well as cooking classes that incorporate fresh regional cuisine. “Of course, sometimes just a glass of wine on the deck watching a bald eagle soar above the water is all one needs to replenish,” she adds.

in 2013 to $98.6 billion in 2015 and, in that time frame, the spa industry added 16,000 spas, more than 230,000 workers, and $3.5 billion in revenue. The global workplace wellness industry grew 6.4 percent between 2013 and 2015, from $40.7 billion to $43.3 billion, according to the institute. But Dehoop and Ray don’t need those numbers to validate what both are experiencing at their respective wellness retreats. They interact daily with Alaska residents and visitors interested in being healthy, reinvigorating their spirit, and getting a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of daily life. And, as they both share, attaining wellness can be done without a hot tub experience, a

nature hike, or a kayak excursion. “Get out into nature and learn something new,” advises Dehoop. Whether that’s a hike on a new trail or participating in new activities, such as cooking classes, wellness is doesn’t have to complicated. Wellness, agrees Ray, can be achieved by simple acts. “Take some time each day, if only five minutes, to sit quietly in a beautiful spot and breathe,” she says. “Let go of your ‘to do’ list for five minutes and allow nature to help you get a fresh outlook.” R Judy Mottl writes about important issues country-wide with an affinity for Alaska.

Wellness: Not a Fad The existence of luxury spas in rural Alaska is a reflection of the growing demand for personal wellness, not just in Alaska but on a global scale. According to the Global Wellness Institute, wellness tourism revenues grew 14 percent in a span of two years, from 2013 to 2015 (the latest data available)—more than twice as fast as overall tourism expenditures. The global spa market grew from $94 billion www.akbizmag.com

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TOURISM

Alaska and Tourism: A Marriage Made in Heaven F Increasing visitor demand boosts package tour sales

By Vanessa Orr 100

or many people, a trip to Alaska is a dream come true. They want to see and do everything from watching whales breech in Southeast waters and riding ATVs along Southcentral trails to learning about mining history and searching out the Aurora in Fairbanks. What visi-

tors often don’t realize is just how large Alaska is and the logistics required to navigate the state—which is why for some travelers a package tour is just the ticket. “I was born and raised in Alaska and it’s big,” laughs Ralph Samuels, vice president of government and commu-

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


On a Southeast land tour, guests can take a helicopter to the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. Image courtesy of Princess Cruises

nity relations-Alaska for Holland America Group. “I’ve been here fifty-six years and have had the opportunity to see a lot of the state, and I can tell you that it’s not always easy to get around. “You can fly to Anchorage, rent a car, get a hotel and go, but there’s a real hassle factor when you’re traveling on your own,” he adds. “A tour package can let you see a lot of different things at reasonable prices, and you can pick and choose what you want to do.”

On and Off the Water Holland America Line and Princess Cruises offer excursions on Alaska’s waterways www.akbizmag.com

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as well as transportation into Southeast and the Interior, where guests can choose from a wealth of activities. On a day trip to Southeast, for example, cruise passengers can go ATV riding, visit a brewery, attend a logging show in Ketchikan, or take a zip line ride. “Guests on our cruises that cross the Gulf to Seward or Whittier can purchase a cruise tour to Denali and Talkeetna and travel aboard one of our own glass-domed railcars pulled by an Alaska Railroad locomotive,” says Samuels. “As part of the land portion of their vacation, they can enjoy a jet boat experience, horseback riding, ATV riding, and flight-

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seeing to Denali, as well as river rafting, dogsled rides, and more. “In Fairbanks, they can ride on the Riverboat Discovery or learn more about Gold Dredge #8 and the mining industry,” he adds. “These are all fantastic tours on their own, whether part of a package we provide or not.” The majority of Holland America/ Princess Cruises’ tour business comes from cruise

Guests can choose to go river rafting in Denali National Park on a Holland America Line tour. Image courtesy of Holland America Line

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


Image courtesy of Princess Cruises

Flyfishing at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge.

passengers, with the rest being made up of people who have taken a cruise before and decided that they want to come back to see Alaska in a different way. The company provides vacation options for those who only want a cruise, for visitors look-

ing for a cruise and land tour combined, and land-only vacation packages. “There are so many different aspects to Alaska: in Southeast, for example, you can spend an afternoon whale watching, which is far different from

what you may see and do in Denali or Fairbanks where you’re on the tundra in pure wilderness,” says Samuels. “We’ve seen people from our Southeast cruises come back at a later time to see wildlife in the Denali area. For both cruising through Southeast Alaska and visiting Denali, our cruisetours [also known as land and sea journeys] are a great way to show off the state.” Doreen Toller and her husband, Robert, have owned Alaskan Tour Guides in Wasilla for the past twenty years. The company caters to two niche markets— small group tours of up to thirteen people and private tours, which are mostly used by extended families. “We do roughly the same things for both groups in terms of where we go,” says Doreen Toller. “Private groups take a higher level of planning, but we customize all of our tours.” Most of the company’s tours begin and end in Anchorage, with the majority of guests traveling from Homer to Fairbanks. “We also have a couple of trips that go to Wrangell St. Elias National Park and down to Valdez, but we primarily travel between Seward and Denali,” says

“In every job that must be done

there is an element of fun.” Mary Poppins

Find big mountains and big ideas when you meet in the Mat-Su Valley. Just 35 miles north of Anchorage. www.alaskavisit.com 104

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


Comfort and Convenience While there are many people who are fine with hiking Alaska’s backcountry with a tent and a backpack, those who choose package tours tend to prefer to travel in a little more comfort. “We’ve had phenomenal growth over the past couple of years—Baby Boomers have the income to travel and want to www.akbizmag.com

ATV touring is a common element of an Alaskan Tour Guides’ tour. Image courtesy of Alaskan Tour Guides

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Toller, adding that they will also transport passengers from cruise ships. Alaskan Tour Guides, a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner, prides itself on offering multi-day, multi-adventure trips that span multiple generations and offer something for all activity levels. “One of the things that make us unique is that—because we drive smaller coaches and have smaller groups—we are able to get off the beaten path a little more,” says Toller. “We can go where larger coaches or groups can’t, like Indian Valley Mine, the Matanuska Glacier, Eklutna, Hatcher Pass, and Wrangell St. Elias. Our destinations set us apart.” The Tollers pride themselves on providing an authentic experience, using Alaskan guides and scheduling activities at Alaskan-owned operations. “We look for smaller, local suppliers that have good safety records and can provide a personalized experience,” says Toller. “They need to provide excellent service and be very conscientious and connect with our guests personally, which is what our customers love. “For example, we’ve been working for years with Dream a Dream Kennel, owned by Mat-Su Mayor Vern Halter,” she continues. “He provides a very intimate experience for our guests; they get to have lunch with a musher and spend some one-on-one time. They get to meet real Alaskans and learn what life is like up here.” Alaskan Tour Guides guests appreciate that they don’t have to battle for attention as well. “In a smaller group, people are able to do more in the time that they have,” says Toller. “Of course, everyone wants to do everything, but the size of Alaska won’t accommodate that. But they do get to see more because they don’t have to wait for fifty or one hundred people to get on and off a bus, have lunch, or use the restroom. We can include more because we have more time.”

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Image courtesy of Princess Cruises

Guests get to soar above the trees at the Grizzly Falls ziplining expedition in Skagway.

travel comfortably and don’t want to be part of a big crowd,” says Toller of Alaskan Tour Guides’ niche market. “They are looking for upscale tours.” The company has invested heavily into its small coaches, which include leather captain’s chairs, recliners, and large viewing windows. Its fleet includes five coaches, as well as smaller deluxe vans for when they have four to five people traveling. “We put so many miles on in Alaska that we want our guests to be comfortable, not crawling over each other,” she says. Clients stay in high-end accommodations that are Alaskan-owned and -operated and dine at fine restaurants, such as Ray’s Waterfront in Seward and the Grande Denali Lodge. Toller adds they can also provide moderately priced rooms for family groups on a tighter budget. “All of our activities are also top-notch,” she adds. “Even within package tours, we 106

try to make it about the individual travelers. We get a feel for the family or group and put together a tour that will best satisfy them.” Holland America Line and Princess Cruises place a priority on making sure that they are offering something unique to customers—especially because some of their guests are repeat visitors. “We’ve been traveling to Denali for decades, and we’re always looking for something new and fresh,” says Samuels. “We don’t own the attractions, but we have a department that works with suppliers to arrange activities, and they are always on the lookout for something different that guests will enjoy. “Vendors sometimes approach us with a new idea, and we’ll look at it to determine if we already offer something similar, and if it will sell,” he adds. “Other times, we’ll approach vendors because we’ve heard that a lot of people like their

product. It’s a two-way street.”

Benefits to Alaska While guests benefit from the opportunity to meet real Alaskans and see parts of the state that they might otherwise never see on their own, the travel industry also benefits the businesses who work with Alaska tour operators. “We’ve been working with most of our suppliers for many years, and they have grown as we have gown,” says Toller. “We started with one vehicle, and now we have seven. For our suppliers, these smaller groups are their livelihood. This is not just some summer job; this is their business. And working with Alaska companies also allows us to keep as much money as we can in the state and in our economy.” “Tourism is very important to the communities here, and Alaska is very important to us,” says Samuels. “Not only does it keep jobs and money in the community, but

Alaska Business | April 2018www.akbizmag.com


Image courtesy of Alaskan Tour Guides

communities it serves. Students in Ketchikan, Healy, and Skagway received funds, and if the program is successful, the company will explore expanding it to other areas, says Samuels.

Visitors to Dream a Dream Kennels get to see a dog team in action up close as part of an Alaskan Tour Guides customized tour.

from a government perspective, it results in sales tax revenue and property tax revenues from the facilities that we use. “Even people who are not involved in the tourism business get the benefit of tax revenue and employment,” he adds.

“While some of it is seasonal, we have a lot of management positions that are here full-time, year-round.” About six months ago, Holland America Group began providing scholarships to high school students in some of the

Finding the Perfect Package With so many options available, it’s easy to book a dream trip to the Last Frontier… as long as visitors reserve space early. “While a good number of people start planning eight months to a year out, a lot of others wait until the last minute,” says Toller. “But we are so booked—this year we are selling out a lot sooner than in the past. “Word-of-mouth travels and the fact is, if you don’t book early, you don’t get Alaska,” she adds. “The biggest challenge is that the state lacks the infrastructure of a lot of other destinations, primarily in its number of hotels. We simply can’t meet the demand.” Toller credits this to a number of things, including the fact that the domestic market in the Lower 48 is doing well and Alaska is still a top US vacation destination. “We’re basically one giant national park,” she laughs, “and the Last Frontier is on everyone’s bucket list.”

Be inspired by the light of the Aurora Borealis. Renew your energy under the Midnight Sun. Experience the warmth of Fairbanks—Alaska’s Golden Heart—and the gateway to Denali, Interior and Arctic Alaska. Call 1-877-551-1728 x3765 for your free Meeting Planner Guide. Explore your Alaskan meeting opportunities at meetfairbanks.com.

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Image courtesy of Alaskan Tour Guides

Guests enjoy authentic, hands-on experiences on Alaskan Tour Guides’ customized tours, including playing with puppies at Dream a Dream Kennels.

Samuels doesn’t foresee a slowdown in cruise traffic anytime soon either. According to the Alaska Travel Industry Association, its cruise partners project a 6 percent to 7 percent growth in cruise capacity, which means that bigger volume ships will soon be coming to Alaska. “In 2017, we had 1.1 million visitors,

and it looks like it will be slightly more in 2018 and 2019,” says Samuels. “Tour operators are looking for volumes of people, and when they add another ship, they can bring 35,000 to 60,000 more visitors to Alaska. We’re excited about the opportunity.” This same increase may not be seen in

non-cruise related traffic, however. “The cruise industry drives half of the Alaska travel market, but the other half of the 2 million visitors we see each year come by air, the Alaska Marine Highway, or drive,” says Sarah Leonard, Alaska Travel Industry Association president and CEO, adding that these visitors may buy a package or come up on their own. “When you look at the past year, the independent sector isn’t seeing big growth,” she says. Leonard believes that this is due in large part to a roughly 90 percent decline in the state’s tourism marketing budget, which ranks second to last in the nation in terms of state tourism spending. For people considering a package tour to Alaska, the options are nearly endless, as are the opportunities to see nature, culture, and wildlife that they’d never see anywhere else. “For almost forty years now, we’ve loved living in Alaska,” says Toller, “and we love showing it off.”  R

Vanessa Orr is a freelance writer and former editor of the Capital City Weekly in Juneau.

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VACATION SHOPPING

EAT

SHOP

PLAY 

STAY

Alaska Vacations

Photo by O’Hara Shipe

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Alaska Railroad While many are aware of the numerous travel options on the Alaska Railroad during summer, the railroad also has many fantastic winter options and in the 2016-2017 season it saw a 33 percent increase in ridership compared to the previous year. It’s likely the Railroad will continue to see growth as they continue to expand their winter tourism options. For example, the Arctic Circle Adventure runs from September to April and is a six-day, five-night package that includes traveling on the railroad, touring Coldfoot, driving the Dalton Highway, flightseeing, and sightseeing in Fairbanks and Anchorage. In the summer, one of the longer packages offered by the railroad is seven days and nights and includes several trips by train, fly-in bear viewing, a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, and a marine wildlife and glacier cruise in Kenai Fjords National Park. alaskarailroad.com

Alaska Wildland Adventures Alaska Wildland Adventures is the owner/operator of three wilderness lodges on the Kenai Peninsula that provide the main lodging for their sports fishing packages and guided journeys. One of their guided journeys, the eleven-day Grand Journey, is the company’s most comprehensive package and includes a stay at several Alaska lodges, water activities, finedining, and traveling along many of Alaska’s scenic highways. The company’s fishing adventures offer up to eight full hours of fishing with guided staff ensuring guests get to try their hand at Alaska’s best fishing spots. alaskawildland.com Gray Line Alaska Gray Line Alaska offers Alaska land tour packages including self-drive tours, escorted tours, and explorer tours. The

escorted tours provide the camaraderie of group travel; for example, the Escorted Alaska National Parks tour includes eight nights of hotel accommodations, a cruise, motor coach travel in Southcentral and Interior Alaska, and a tour on the Riverboat Discovery. Gray Line also offers a range of Highway Tours. The Alaska by Car Northbound tour includes seven nights of hotel accommodations, seven-day car rental, several cruises, and the Tundra Wilderness Tour in Denali National Park. graylinealaska.com Stephan Lake Lodge Stephan Lake Lodge is a remote, fly-in lodge accessible by Bush plane located 140 air miles from Anchorage in the Talkeetna Mountains. The lodge offers several curated hunting and fishing packages. For hunters, the lodge provides ten-day guided Dall sheep, moose, and brown bear hunting packages as well as seven-day guided caribou, black bear, and wolf/wolverine packages. Stephan Lake Lodge’s fishing packages range from one to five days. All its packages include cabin accommodations, and the hunting packages provide for an optional jet boat rental. stephanlakealaska.com Tower Rock Lodge Located on the Kenai River, Tower Rock Lodge has designed a number

fishing packages. Whether guests are looking for king salmon, silver salmon, halibut, or trout, the company offers a package to help them find their quarry. For every package the lodge prepares all fishing tackle and bait and provides guided fishing services. Most packages also include fish processing, cleaning, vacuum packing, freezing, and boxing. The Cheechako Package is the lodge’s longest planned trip, spanning seven days and six nights. For this package all meals are included, as is fifty pounds of fish processing, one halibut charter, and four salmon/trout charters on various rivers. towerrocklodge.com Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours offers snowmobile and ATV tours. They include the Multi-Day Snowmobile Tour in Willow, complete with appropriate winter gear, orientation and safety information, the guided tour, fuel and oil, lodging, and food. The multi-day trip can range from two days and one night to five days and four nights. The company also offers a multi-day ATV tour in Eklutna, ranging from one night to four. The tour includes safety gear, orientation and safety information, guides, fuel and oil, cold drink breaks, and lodging and food. youralaskavacation.com R

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VACATION SHOPPING

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laska’s many charms attract a wide variety of travelers, from those looking to hike off into the trees armed with little but a compass and some pepper spray to those planning to gaze out over Alaska waters from a hot tub with a glass champagne in hand. Alaska’s excellent travel and tourism companies are capable of providing services to a full spectrum of visitors, and many have put together vacation and recreation packages tailored to travelers who may be less familiar with Alaska or perhaps are just looking to sit back, relax, and let someone else do the planning.


EVENTS CALENDAR APRIL 2018

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Anchorage APR

Fairbanks

Spikes

In Anchorage playwright Schatzie Schaefers’ warmly comic new play, a young columnist sees red flags when she takes a close look at a major energy corporation whose CEO keeps the company’s explanation of its financial success and pricey stocks a closely guarded secret. Set in 2001, the play is loosely based on the Enron scandal. cyranos.org

13-29

Anchorage

APR

21

2018 Alaska Heart Run

All money raised at the Heart Run at the Alaska Airlines Center benefits the American Heart Association and will fund research and community programs that help to right cardiovascular diseases and stroke. www2.heart.org R

APR

NYO Games

More than five hundred

26-28 athletes from across Alaska compete at the annual NYO Games Alaska on the UAA campus. NYO Games celebrates Alaska’s rich diversity and is open to students of all backgrounds. Athletic events include the kneel jump, wrist carry, stick pull, toe kick, onehand reach, two-foot high kick, onefoot high kick, Alaska high kick, and seal hop. Additional activities include musical and dance performances, the Pilot Bread recipe contest, and the Opportunities Expo. citci.org/event-programs/nyo-games

Fairbanks APR

The Arctic Man

The Arctic Man is a race for teams of two skilled competitors: A skier begins at a summit elevation of 5,800 feet and drops 1,700 feet in less than two miles to the bottom of a narrow canyon where he meets up with his snowmobiling partner. The snowmobiler meets the skier, on the go, with a tow rope and pulls the skier 2.25 miles uphill at top speeds of up to 86 mph. The skier and the snowmobile then separate and the skier goes over the side of the second mountain and drops another 1,200 feet to the finish line. arcticman.com

9-15

112

Spring Migration Celebration

Scheduled to coincide with the peak of bird migration, the program is comprised of bird and wildlife viewing, information booths featuring local conservation organizations, nature walks, and activities for the whole family such as puppet shows, crafts, and games. This free event is cooperatively presented at Creamer’s Field by Friends of Creamer’s Field, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Alaska Bird Observatory, the Arctic Audubon Society, the Alaska Public Lands Information Center, Ducks Unlimited, and the US Fish & Wildlife Service. fairbanksalaska.com/events/event/spring-migrationcelebration R

29

APR

APR

STAY

Fairbanks Outdoor Show

20-22 More than 140 vendors from Alaska and the Lower 48 gather to present fishing charters, hunting expeditions, boats, ATVs, trailers, rafting, kayaking, outdoor gear, fishing and hunting supplies, camping supplies, taxidermy services, and more at the Carlson Center. Hours are Friday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. carlson-center.com Girdwood APR

Alyeska Spring Carnival and Slush Cup

APR

As If!

As If! is the Alaska State 26-29 Improv Festival performed at McPhetres Hall and Hangar Ballroom; it’s dedicated to the art of unscripted theater and features performances by improv ensembles from Alaska and Outside and includes workshop opportunities. Attendees can buy a season pass or purchase ticket to individual performances. asifest.com

Palmer APR

27

Skeetawk Film Contest The theme of this year’s film contest is “Retro Night.” The

night begins with videos chosen for the Skeetawk Film Contest and then slides into the feature film. Go dig out grandpa’s best ski outfit from the back of the closet because at intermission there’s a costume contest for the best-dressed retro skier or boarder. Doors open at 5:30 at the Glenn Massay Theater. glennmassaytheater.com

Petersburg APR

Blessing of the Fleet

The annual blessing of Petersburg’s fishing fleet is sponsored by the Sons of Norway Lodge. After, coffee and pastries are

29

13-15 Spring Carnival takes advantage of the long days with extended hours of lift operations, great spring-skiing conditions, and Alyeska’s largest and most popular winter event, Slush Cup, in which competitors dress in zany costumes and attempt to skim across a ninety-foot-long pool of freezing water. Other activities include the Sitzmark costume party, Idiot Swim, Dummy Downhill, XTRATUF Pull tug-ofwar, and live music. alyeskaresort.com Juneau APR

Alaska Folk Festival

Juneau emerges from winter with the state’s largest annual gathering of musicians from Alaska and beyond for a week of musical performances, workshops, dances, and just plain jamming. The best part: it’s free and open to the public. Activities take place at Centennial Hall. akfolkfest.org

9-15

APR

Empire Eats

Empire Eats is a live cooking show that features guest cook Anna Satler of Anna’s Alaska at Centennial Hall from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Satler will provide a cooking demonstration of some traditional Alaska foods often with Alaska ingredients such as moose and salmon. Bags of groceries will be raffled off as will the dishes Satler prepares on stage. A portion of ticket and drink sales will benefit United Way of Southeast Alaska. traveljuneau.com/event/ empire-eats/518/

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SHOP

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Valdez

Ketchikan

Fat Bike Bash

APR

The Third Annual Chugach Fat Bike Bash features a little something for everyone from fun-loving fatties to cross-country specialists and the return of the Downtown Downhill for adrenaline junkies. valdezadventurealliance.com R

6-8

served at Fisherman Memorial Park with visiting and stories about the various boats and old time fishermen and women. Open to the community and broadcast over the radio. petersburg.org

include bicycle repairs, garage sale, doit-yourself reusable bag making, wild and garden grown apothecary, and more. A full schedule of events and sign-up sheets are available. skagway.com

Skagway

Wrangell

APR

27-29

Sustainable Skagway Summit

The theme of this year’s event is “Small Change = BIG Results.” The weekend summit includes a short film series on related topics, as well as classes on canning, making natural home detergents, and how to make kitchen waste free. Other demonstrations

APR

Stikine River Birding Festival

26-28 This festival is a celebration of spring in Wrangell and annual spring Eagle migration and shorebird migration on the Stikine River. Activities include a golf tournament, fish fry, art workshops, and speakers. stikinebirding.org R

APR

Hummingbird Festival

Through the month of April, this festival celebrates the return of migratory birds back to Alaska. The most notable bird at this festival is the Rufous hummingbird, who begins arriving in Ketchikan in midMarch. The festival includes guided hikes, art shows, activities for children, and many other birding events. alaskacenters.gov/event/hummingbirdfestival R

1-30

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EVENTS CALENDAR APRIL 2018

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Business Events APRIL

APR

3-4

37th Annual Governor’s Safety and Health Conference

Egan Center, Anchorage: The Alaska Safety Advisory Council works with organizations to promote safety so that resources can be marshaled and used to reduce the menace of accidental death and injury. akgshc.com

APR

AKMGMA Annual Conference

Alyeska Resort, Girdwood: The Alaska Medical Group Management Association is a professional organization comprised of group practice administrators, managers, health care executives, consultants and vendors located throughout Alaska. This year’s conference is called “The Future isn’t what it Used to Be: Leading in an Age of Acceleration” and focuses on leadership and workforce issues in the medical field. akmgma.org

5-7

APR

AKANA Annual Meeting

Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa: The annual meeting of the Alaska Association of Nurse Anesthetists is an opportunity for networking and education. alaskacrna.com

7-8

APR

Alaska Rural Energy Conference

Westmark Fairbanks Hotel, Fairbanks: The Alaska Rural Energy Conference is a three day event offering a large variety of technical sessions covering new and ongoing energy projects in Alaska, as well as new technologies and needs for Alaska’s remote communities. akruralenergy.org

10-12

APR

Alaska Native Studies Conference

Juneau: This year’s Alaska Native Studies Conference theme is: Past, Present, Future—Working Together. alaskanativestudies.org

13-15 APR

21

AFCCA Annual Child Care Conference

BP Energy Center, Anchorage: The conference includes seven hours of training, and lunch is provided. alaskafcca.org

AKHIMA Annual Meeting APR-MAY 2018 BP Energy Center, Anchorage: The

23-2

Alaska Health Information Management Association is a state organization affiliated with the national organization American Health Information Management Association, an association of health information management professionals worldwide. akhima.org

APR

27-28

Alaska Society of Radiologic Technologists Annual Conference

Alyeska Ski Resort and Hotel, Girdwood: This conference offers Category A+ or A continuing education credits. Credits are accepted by the ARRT and ARDMS for Ultrasound. aksrt.com

MAY

MAY

3-5

Alaska VFW Alaska Department Convention

North Pole: The annual convention includes a Joint Memorial Service, VFW Business Session, guest banquets, and other events including a $10,000 raffle drawing. alaskavfw.org

MAY

6-12

AWWMA Annual Statewide Conference

Anchorage Marriott Downtown: Join the American Water Works Association to celebrate Drinking Water Week—a unique opportunity for both water professionals and the communities they serve to join together to recognize the role water plays in our daily lives. This year the theme is “Protect the Source.” awwma.org

MAY

Alaska Bar Convention

Dena’ina Center, Anchorage: This conference provides opportunities to complete CLE requirements as well as an opening reception, several luncheons, and an awards reception and dinner. alaskabar.org

9-11 MAY

ADS Annual Meeting

Sheraton Hotel, Anchorage: The annual meeting of the Alaska Dental Society, which is “Committed to enhancing the dental profession and the health of all Alaskans.” akdental.org

11-12

MAY

ACUL Annual Meeting

Land’s End Resort, Homer: The Alaska Credit Union League’s annual meeting is an opportunity to gather, network, and learn. alaskacreditunions.org/events.html

17-19

JUNE Bay Writers’ Conference JUNE Kachemak Kenai Peninsula College, Homer:

8-12

Sponsored by the Kachemak Bay Campus-Kenai Peninsula College-UAA, this highly-acclaimed, nationally-recognized conference features workshops, craft talks, public readings, and panel presentations in literary fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and the business of writing. sites.kpc.alaska.edu/writersconf

ICCA Conference JUNE IEEE Sheraton Anchorage Hotel: The event

12-15

creates a forum for scientists and practicing engineers throughout the world to present the latest research findings and ideas in the areas of control and automation. www.ieee-icca.org

Annual Nuka JUNE 8th System of Care Conference

18-22

Nuka Wellness and Learning Center, Anchorage: This conference presents Southcentral Foundation’s developed and proven content on organizational strategies and processes; integrated medical, behavioral, and traditional practices; and supporting infrastructure. Discover new insights, learn from relevant experiences, and obtain guidance from Southcentral Foundation’s award-winning system. southcentralfoundation.com

8(a) Association JUNE National 2018 Small Business Conference

20-21

Anchorage Marriott Downtown: The 2018 Alaska Regional Conference is specifically tailored to businesses looking to do work in, partner with, currently working in, or with businesses and Federal Government Offices of Alaska and the Northwest region of the United States. The conference offers educational sessions and resources for small, minority, current 8(a), and graduated 8(a) R businesses. national8aassociation.org

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Inside

Alaska Business April 2018

THE SALVATION ARMY

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he Salvation Army Alaska Division has been selected as a grant recipient of the 2018 Uber PNW Community Impact Initiative. The $5,000 in-kind Uber ride credits will enable The Salvation Army to restart its ride program for homebound senior participants of the Older Alaskans Program. This partnership between The Salvation Army and Uber brings both organizations together to address a significant community challenge in an innovative and impactful way. By utilizing the core of Uber’s business operations, The Salvation Army hopes to solve the challenges brought forth after the ride program was discontinued due to funding restraints. alaska.salvationarmy.org

LYNDEN

L

ynden is starting off the New Year by offering customers improved online shipping tools. In February Lynden introduced Shipment Updates, a feature designed to make it easier for customers to track shipments throughout the shipping process—from receipt by Lynden to delivery. Customers may choose to receive email updates for all of their shipments or only for the individual shipments they specifically request. The new feature is available to Lynden customers and can be accessed through either Standard Tracking or EZ Commerce. Customers can include any email party (such as suppliers or their own customers) on the update messages so everyone can see when a shipment is received, en route, and when it is delivered. lynden.com

M

SEARHC

t. Edgecumbe Hospital recently installed and deployed the Hugs Wi-Fi Infant Protection solution, along with the matching mother/ infant component of the Hugs system, Kisses

Mother, as an additional layer of security in its Labor and Delivery Department. Hugs technology is a comprehensive infant security system that protects newborns against the risk of abduction not only in the Labor and Delivery Department but anywhere in the hospital covered by Wi-Fi. Each infant wears a tiny Hugs Wi-Fi tag on his or her ankle attached with a special tamper-detecting band. Protection of the baby begins immediately once the tag is attached. searhc.org

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KONIAG

oniag Incorporated acquired Glacier Services Incorporated (GSI) with an eye toward continued economic growth in Alaska. GSI is the largest Alaska-owned oil field automation services firm and its clients and projects range from the Kenai Peninsula to the North Slope. GSI strengthens Koniag’s oilfield services capabilities. Koniag also owns Dowland-Bach and there will be an opportunity to create economic synergies and bundle services. Koniag purchased Dowland-Bach in 2009. Koniag has shown four years of continued profitable growth. This investment is designed to continue that upward trend. koniag.com

T

SUBWAY

he Subway restaurant located at 9000 Lake Otis Parkway was replaced by a new Subway Restaurant opening next door at 8936 Lake Otis Parkway. The new restaurant unveiled a new Subway Fresh Forward design, offering guests an enhanced experience and delivering bold and playful décor, new menu options, and a flexible, comfortable environment for dine in or on the go. The Lake Otis Subway Fresh Forward design features self-ordering kiosks, designated pre-

order pick-up areas, Wi-Fi, USB charging ports, and Alaska’s only touch-screen drive-thru ordering system. Gluten-free bread will also be available at this location. subwayak.com

A

THE FORAKER GROUP

report released by The Foraker Group reinforces earlier studies that found Alaska’s nonprofit sector to be a major driver in the state’s economy. Foraker’s research shows that the sector directly employs more than 44,000 people with a payroll of $2.68 billion and generates close to $7 billion in revenue. Nonprofits also contribute to Alaska’s economy by playing a critical role within the state’s major industries. From associations engaging in the policy-making process to economic development agencies promoting job opportunities, nonprofits contribute to the vitality of commercial enterprises. For the business community, nonprofits are often a vehicle for collaboration to improve the business climate or pursue shared objectives like visitor marketing. The complete report is available at http://www.forakergroup.org/index. php/sector-voice/conducting-research/alaskasnonprofit-sector-generating-economic-impactjanuary-2018. forakergroup.org

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ALASKA AIRLINES

laska Airlines, Virgin America, and the Association of Flight Attendants have reached a tentative merger agreement for the airline’s 5,400 flight attendants. The merger agreement includes competitive pay raises, an increase in retirement contributions and quality of life benefits, and preserves all productivity of Alaska Airlines existing contract. Alaska Airlines’ flight attendants will conduct a ratification vote that is expected to be complete this month. The tentative merger agreement

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INSIDE ALASKA BUSINESS marks a major milestone in integrating Virgin America and Alaska Airlines flight attendants. alaskaair.com

PORT OF NOME

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he US Army Corps of Engineers—Alaska District entered into an agreement with the City of Nome in February to examine the feasibility of constructing navigation improvements at the Port of Nome. The new investigation will examine a wider array of benefits than the previous study, including Nome’s role as a regional hub for surrounding communities that rely on fuel and goods. The budget, schedule, and scope of the study will be refined at a planning charrette scheduled for late April in Nome. nomealaska.org

GCI

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CI launched CloudFlex SD-WAN, an easily configurable, cloud-based networking solution that lets businesses across the United States to spend less time managing complex networking technology and more time focusing on their core business. CloudFlex Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) capabilities move management of business networks to the cloud, eliminating many of the costs associated with hardware-based networking and enabling significantly greater network flexibility. Through CloudFlex SD-WAN, businesses can remove geographic boundaries while improving network scalability, performance, and control. Additional capabilities to be integrated as part of the CloudFlex suite include managed Wi-Fi; data recovery and backup; advanced security features; network performance monitoring; managed voice and video conferencing; and scalable cloud solutions. gci.com

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

ollowing a regulatory change that went into effect in February, Alaska employers are no longer allowed to pay less than minimum wage to workers who experience disabilities. In repealing 8 AAC 15.120, Alaska joins New Hampshire and Maryland as the first states in the nation to eliminate payment of subminimum wages for persons with disabilities.

An exemption from paying minimum wage to persons with disabilities has existed for many years, beginning at the federal level with the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and in Alaska regulations since 1978. Historically, minimum wage exemptions were considered necessary to help people with disabilities gain employment. Experience over the past two decades has shown that workers with disabilities can succeed in jobs earning minimum wage or more. The elimination of the minimum wage exemption brings employment practices into alignment with Alaska Employment First Act of 2014, which requires vocational services help people with disabilities to become gainfully employed at or above the minimum wage. labor.alaska.gov

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CLIA ALASKA

ohn Binkley, president of Cruise Lines International Association Alaska (CLIA Alaska), reported in February the Alaska cruise industry will see unprecedented growth over the next two years. “Alaska will continue to set records the next two years, with an anticipated cruise visitor growth of 19 percent [compared to] 2017. We look forward to welcoming an estimated 1,310,000 cruise visitors in 2019,” Binkley told a group at the Southeast Conference Mid-Session Summit in Juneau. This first release of 2019 projections indicates cruise visitors to Alaska will increase 12 percent compared to 2018 projections, which are expected to set another record over 2017. Binkley attributes the growth to high demand for Alaska cruises and the extremely high level of guest experience. CLIA Alaska member lines sent 33 ships on 497 voyages carrying a total of 1,089,700 passengers to Alaska in 2017. The projections for 2018 are 34 CLIA Alaska ships, 519 voyages, and 1,165,500 passengers. Projected 2019 figures are 37 CLIA Alaska ships, 567 voyages, and 1,310,000 passengers. cliaalaska.org

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HEMP FARMING

he Alaska House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation to remove industrial hemp from the list of controlled substances and to authorize commercial farming of hemp

in Alaska. Senate Bill 6 (SB 6) passed the State Senate unanimously last April, and in February of this year the bill passed the house by a vote of 36-0. SB 6 removes industrial hemp from Alaska’s list of controlled substances and defines it as an agricultural product. The bill allows Alaska to participate in a federal pilot program and instructs the Alaska Division of Agriculture to develop a registry of hemp farming operations in Alaska. dnr.alaska.gov/ag

N

NOVAGOLD

OVAGOLD Resources in February released the 2017 drill results for its flagship Donlin Gold project in Alaska, which is owned equally by NOVAGOLD and Barrick Gold Corporation. The results from this drill program continue to substantiate the unique value proposition that Donlin Gold represents for both owners. With a better understanding of the targeted mineralized zones, the new data will provide valuable inputs to advance optimization work. Highlights of the results include: a total of sixteen core holes were completed (7,040 meters) and core samples assayed; intercepted distinct significant high-grade zones in multiple areas; and intercepted high-grade mineralization at depth in ACMA deposit in an area of previously sparse drilling. novagold.com

T

UAF

he University of Alaska Fairbanks launched a new business incubator aimed at helping university scientists and inventors move their ideas from the laboratory into the private sector. The UAF Center for Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship will augment existing public and private sector services to convert university inventions and intellectual property from concepts into fledgling businesses. The new center will work with university experts and external entities to provide a range of services to university entrepreneurs and is housed on the fourth floor of the new Engineering Learning and Innovation Facility. uaf.edu

A

ALERA GROUP

lera Group, a national employee benefits, property/casualty, risk management, and wealth management firm, acquired Wilson Albers & Company, located in Anchorage.

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Wilson Albers & Company, parent company of The Wilson Agency (Anchorage), Albers & Company (Tacoma, Washington), and ConnectHR, headquartered in Anchorage, provides a variety of employment resources in the areas of insurance, retirement, and human resources. aleragroup.com

S

5TH AVENUE MALL

hoppers at Anchorage 5th Avenue Mall can enjoy a new local retail offering in Summit Spice & Tea Company, a premium boutique for spices, spice blends, and loose-leaf teas, located on the second floor of the center. The company has been hand-blending spice and tea recipes since 1998 and offers an extensive selection of specialty groceries, fine chocolates, and unique gifts. Summit Spice & Tea Company is the third local company to join Anchorage 5th Avenue Mall in the past three months, including Alaska Cake Studio, a gourmet bakery offering silk desserts, custom cakes, and pastries, and Capstone Express, a telemedicine clinic offering state-of-theart healthcare services with high-tech communications and remote access to medical providers. simon.com/mall/anchorage-5th-avenue-mall

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GET LOST TRAVEL VANS

et Lost Travel Vans, based near Anchorage International Airport on Lake Hood, announced a new travel service in Alaska. Get Lost will offer camper van RV rentals throughout the summer months, beginning May 1. Reservations are open and available via the website booking engine now. Get Lost travel vans are late model Dodge Grand Caravans modified to accommodate a kitchenette in the rear of the vehicle and a storage bench, bed, and pop up table in the van’s interior. A rooftop tent rounds out the sleeping areas and allows a small amount of extra storage. The vans offer sleeping areas for four adults and seat belts for five passengers. The kitchenette includes a two-burner propane stove and a drawer-style refrigerator. A sink and faucet provide running water via an electric pump. The water and gray water tanks are nine gallons each and can be easily filled and drained. A separate battery system powers the kitchen, interior lights, and USB ports. Van rentals come

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equipped with cooking pans, place settings, cleaning supplies, and bedding. The company also offers add-on amenities such as camp chairs, kettles, spice kits, and coffee presses for a customized experience. getlosttravelvans.com

P

PREMERA

remera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska launched a new engagement platform designed to simplify healthcare for Alaskan customers, making it easier for patients to find the doctors and medications they need. Called Premera Pulse, the new service addresses the challenge patients face when searching for the right, high-value provider, accessing their medication list and medical history, or scheduling doctor appointments. The personalized text messaging experience notifies the customer at important moments in their healthcare journey and directs them to the information they need via a secure website. Eligible customers were offered the choice to opt-in to this offering as part of a pilot phase launched last year. As of late February, Premera Pulse made the healthcare experience seamless for more than 9,260 activated members. The platform also makes booking appointments with high-value care providers easier for patients. Through the platform’s provider scheduling feature, patients have booked more than 390 appointments. premera.com

A

AHFC | RASMUSON FOUNDATION

laska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC), in partnership with the Rasmuson Foundation, announced $2 million in Teacher Health Professional and Public Safety Officer Housing (THHP) grants to support housing construction in four rural Alaska communities. The projects below, selected for funding, are energy efficient, provide job training and employment to a local labor force, and address a specific goal or need for safe, quality, affordable housing.  Hoonah Indian Association will receive $550,000 to support seven units (fourteen bedrooms), along with office space for rotating behavioral health services.  Village of Kasaan will receive $373,000 to replace a damaged trailer with a duplex

intended to house teachers and provide lowincome housing for a tribal member.  Village of Tununak has been recruiting for a Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO) for nearly two years without success. The village will receive $381,000 to build a threebedroom home. The village’s approach to the project development combines several funding sources to modernize infrastructure, including water, sewer, and roads.  Huslia Village Council is receiving its third THHP grant in twelve years, $550,000, to build a duplex for law enforcement and health professionals. The community has experienced a shortage of VPSOs, and a health aide position has been vacant since 2016. ahfc.us

T

AGDC

he Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) opened a satellite office in Nikiski staffed by longtime Kenai Peninsula resident Debra Holle Brown. Nikiski is the site of AGDC’s planned Alaska LNG liquefaction plant and export terminal that will be supplied by Alaska’s long-awaited gasline from the North Slope. The facility will produce and export up to 20 million tonnes of LNG annually to customers across the Asia-Pacific region and provide LNG for intrastate distribution. The gasline will have additional capacity to supply more than double the entire existing gas demand in Alaska. AGDC’s Nikiski office is located within the Nikiski Recreation Center at 50097 Kenai Spur Highway. agdc.us

C

CONOCOPHILLIPS

onocoPhillips signed a definitive agreement with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation to acquire its 22 percent non-operated interest in the Western North Slope of Alaska, as well as its interest in the Alpine pipeline for $400 million in cash before customary adjustments. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval, and has an effective date of October 1, 2017. In 2017, the gross daily production from these assets was 63,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. In addition, the deal gives ConocoPhillips 100 percent interest in approximately 1.2 million acres of exploration and development lands, including the Willow discovery. conocophillips.com R

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RIGHT MOVES Alaska Geographic

Alaska Geographic welcomed Andy Hall as its new Executive Director. Hall is a lifelong Alaskan with deep connections to Alaska’s public lands. He was born in Sitka, where his father was a historian and later a park superintendent. In the late sixties, Hall moved to Mt. McKinley National Park where his father served as superintendent. Hall has dedicated his life to exploring, writing about, and supporting Alaska’s wild places. He served on Alaska Geographic’s board of directors for nine years, the last two as chairman.

CRW Engineering Group

CRW Engineering Group hired six new employees, expanding its structural, mechanical, and administrative groups. Nicholas Choromanski, PE, SE, Senior Structural Engineer, has eleven years of experience creating structural designs in Alaska. Choromanski holds a BS and MS in civil engineering with a structural emphasis from UAA. Prior to CRW, he was a principal at Schneider Choromanski Structural Engineers, serving as their region manager for the Anchorage office. His broad experience includes numerous projects for the Department of Defense and private developments, including the CIRI Headquarters Office Building. He has also designed K-12 and higher education facilities. Marit Hartvigson, a Revit Designer/ Technician, joined CRW’s Structural Group. She began her education in civil engineering but found her true passion as a technician. She brings ten years of experience to her design work. A longtime Alaskan, Hartvigson has worked on projects including Hartvigson the Dena’ina Wellness Center, the new Alaska Airlines Hangar in Anchorage, and the Eielson Air Force Base F-35A Six-Bay Flight Simulator. Vincent Valenti, EIT, is a longtime Alaskan from Fairbanks with two years of structural experience. He graduated with a BS in civil engineering from UAF. While at UAF, Valenti worked on a concrete parking garage as a senior design project. After completing a Valenti thesis analyzing sea ice parameters in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, Valenti earned a MS in civil engineering from UAA. Prior to CRW, he worked

on several structural projects including the new Alaska Airlines Hangar in Anchorage, the Fort Wainwright Drone Hangar, and the Manokotak Community Center. Charles Bergeron, EIT, joined CRW’s Mechanical Group in September. He has three years of Alaska engineering experience and a BS in mechanical engineering from UAF. Since coming to CRW, Bergeron has worked on HVAC projects at Rogers Park Elementary School, Bergeron Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union, and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Dorothy Swanda Jones Building. Mechanical EIT Elan Edgerly joined CRW in November. A Kodiak native with four years of engineering experience, Edgerly earned his BS in mechanical engineering from Oregon State University. He also holds a MS in civil engineering from UAA, with a thesis Edgerly focused on hydrokinetic energy using turbines in the Tanana River. Margaret “Jake” Osselburn joined CRW’s Administrative Group late last year. A professional with nineteen years of experience, she is an expert at helping an office run smoothly. With time spent in the financial and oil and gas industries, sports management, counseling, and the US Embassy in Thailand, Osselburn Osselburn brings a breadth of knowledge to CRW.

Stantec

Stephen Cegelka, PE, SE, joined Stantec in its Anchorage office as a Senior Structural Engineer. He has more than twenty years of instate industry experience serving both public and private clients. In his new position, Cegelka provides senior design leadership for a variety building and civil design Cegelka projects. Since joining Stantec, Cegelka has focused on military, transportation, and water projects. His previous project experience includes multiple North Slope and other oil and gas projects, along with bridges, schools, military facilities, and airport terminals.

Northrim Bank

Northrim Bank announced the hiring of Cindy El-Khoury, VP, Loan Documentation Manager; Cindy Fields, VP,

Internal Audit Manager; Aili Peyton-Jalbert, AVP, Commercial Cash Management Officer; and Phil Reid, VP, Commercial Loan Officer. El-Khoury joins Northrim Bank with seventeen years of experience with loan documentation. Originally from Washington State, she has been in Alaska for more than seventeen years. El-Khoury studied at Washington State University. El-Khoury Fields comes to Northrim Bank with fourteen years of experience in audit and regulatory compliance and ten years of accounting experience. A lifelong Alaskan, she holds a bachelor’s degree from UAA and is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor. Fields currently serves Fields as the vice president of the Institute of Internal Auditors Alaska Chapter. Peyton-Jalbert joins Northrim Bank with eight years of banking experience. She holds a master’s degree in communication from the University of Hawaii. Peyton-Jalbert is the president-elect of Anchorage Gateway Rotar y, a volunteer at Muldoon Peyton- Jalbert Elementary School, and a committee member of the Associated General Contractor’s Construction Leadership Council. Reid comes to Northrim Bank with nearly twenty-four years of banking experience. A lifelong Alaskan, he has worked at various financial institutions throughout the state. Reid has a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech. He is currently a Commander in the Reid Navy Reserve. Reid is the incoming board president of the Anchorage Community YMCA and serves on the board of the Community Pregnancy Center in Anchorage.

Dwell Realty

Steve O’Donnell has joined Dwell Realty. A licensed general contractor, O’Donnell has owned Willodell Enterprises, Inc. for the past thirty years, specializing in commercial tenant improvements. O’Donnell’s focus at Dwell Realty is new home sales and office/retail leasing. Daniel George, a former State Legislative Aide and lifelong Alaskan, has joined Dwell Realty as a licensee

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specializing in residential sales. George will continue his public service in community council activities. A born and raised Alaskan, Tammy Stewart also joined the company and brings with her a strong understanding of both the Anchorage and Eagle River housing markets. She loves the beauty of this state and the people in it. Stewart’s mission is to provide clients with the highest degree of service possible. Dwell Realty also welcomes Charlotte Gaston. She enjoys uncovering her clients’ wants and needs in order to find them the perfect home. Having brought new life to a home she owns in West Anchorage, Gaston helps her clients envision the renovations needed for a home to reach its full potential. Ted Mala, formerly with NANA Management Services as the senior director of business development, also joined Dwell Realty, specializing in residential and commercial real estate. Mala’s family is originally from Alaska and he is a NANA shareholder. He was previously licensed to sell real estate in California.

First National Bank Alaska

Five Alaska banking experts were appointed or promoted to new positions inside First National Bank Alaska. Katie Harman is the MatanuskaSusitna Valley’s newest Mortgage Loan Originator. Harman’s focus is on meeting customers’ mortgage loan Harman needs from the bank’s Wasilla Branch. “My devotion to guiding First National’s customers through the process hinges on giving them peace of mind the entire time,” Harman said. “Buying a home or refinancing a mortgage involves big decisions and trust. It’s my job to provide that trust.” In her first role with First National, Melanie Hosch brings more than twenty-three years of banking experience with her as Branch Manager of Hosch the Parkway Branch in east Anchorage. Hosch is responsible for business development, consumer loans, branch operations, and customer service. “I bring a positive attitude with me to Parkway every day,” Hosch said. “I also always strive to go above and beyond in assisting our customers.” Assistant Vice President Ligia Lutan is a new addition to Corporate Lending’s Loan Officer team. Working out of the bank’s corporate headquarters in midtown Anchorage, Lutan develops and maintains business banking relation-

ships and helps companies build on opportunities through lending. Lutan brings residential market information and economic analysis knowledge with her to First National. “I’ve always set out to learn as much as possible about everyone I meet,” Lutan said. Lutan “Alaska is a unique place to live and do business, so having a clear understanding of the wants and needs of our customers is pivotal to helping create their success.” Vice President Jenny Mahlen has spent twenty-four years at First National, working intently with customers throughout the Interior. Today, she’s the Branch Manager of the Golden Valley Branch in Fairbanks. Mahlen graduated from the Pacific Coast Mahlen Banking School last year after completing a rigorous three-year program. “Taking the time to get to know people and allowing them to get to know you are keys to creating meaningful relationships,” Mahlen said. “Knowledge is key and the more we know about one another, the more help we can be to one another.” In her second stint as a First National banker, Assistant Vice President Veronica Pillans brings more than thirteen years of experience to her work as Loan Officer. Now operating out of the Wasilla Branch, Pillans first worked for the bank from 2005-2012. “I’m a lifelong Alaskan and proud member Pillans of the Mat-Su community, so it means something to help grow the local economy in any possible way,” Pillans said. “It’s motivating to do so with the backing of First National’s amazing reputation.”

Alaska Railroad

The Alaska Railroad (ARRC) promoted Director of Project Management Brian Lindamood to Vice President Engineering. The Engineering VP oversees the evaluation, planning, and construction of the railroad’s infrastructure. This includes engineering, Lindamood bridge maintenance and construction, and capital project management. Lindamood has led the railroad’s Project Management Department since January 2012. He joined ARRC in June 2006 as a capital projects manager.

Marsh & McLennan Insurance Agency

In Marsh & McLennan Insurance Agency’s (MMA) Anchorage office, Jennifer Meyhoff was named Principal. Meyhoff joined the firm in 2004 and leads the Employee Benefits Division in MMA’s Anchorage office. She has more than twenty-five years of industry Meyhoff experience and works with companies on health and welfare, compensation, and retirement services. Meyhoff attended the University of Oregon and is on the Board of the Alaska Association of Health Underwriters. She also serves on the Advisory Council for Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska.

GCI

GCI announced that Jim Steele has b e en hire d as D ire c tor of GCI G overnment , within GCI’s Government, Healthcare & Education team. In his new role, Steele is responsible for the GCI Government program and will lead business development, Steele provide strategic management, and generate new revenue sources. Steele joins the GCI team with more than twenty-five years of technology experience in a number of IT leadership roles in the state, most recently as the Deputy CIO with the State of Alaska.

UAA

The UAA College of Health announced that, after a national search, Dr. Brad Myrstol has been appointed Director of the Justice Center. Myrstol, who has been Interim Director since August 2017, is also director of the Alaska Justice Information Center and Myrstol has been with the Justice Center as a faculty member since 2009. Previously he worked at the Justice Center as a research professional from 2002 to 2006. Myrstol received his PhD in Criminal Justice from Indiana University in 2006. He has served as the principal or co-principal investigator on a variety of Alaska justice topics. R

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April 2018 | Alaska Business

119


ALASKA TRENDS

Housing Challenges in the Last Frontier To summarize changes between 2014 and 2018, challenges for housing continue:  Overcrowding impacts rural Alaska, with more than half of all households in some areas overcrowded.  The statewide percentage of overcrowded homes is twice the national average.  Nearly 79,000 households spend more than 30 percent of their income on costs related to housing.  Approximately 14,600 housing units are energy inefficient, burdening residents with high costs. Significant progress has been made thanks to state investment in the weatherization and home energy rebate programs that improved 5,210 housing units.

Housing Condition Needs A national report on housing needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives found that of all tribal areas, Alaska had the worst physical housing condition problems, with 36 percent of units surveyed having some type of physical problem. Rural Alaska faces significant housing challenges. While statewide an estimated 3.5 percent of housing units lack a complete kitchen and 4.4 percent lack indoor plumbing, in rural regions of Calista and Bering Straits 25.9 percent and 16.3 percent of housing units lack a complete kitchen, and 34.2 percent and 20.9 percent of housing units lack indoor plumbing, respectively. As shown to the right, the number of homes lacking a complete kitchen and plumbing is significant; statewide 12,635 homes lack one or both of these facilites.

1,641

Lack complete kitchen

7,105

Lack complete kitchen AND plumbing

3,889

Lack complete plumbing

239,043

Occupied with complete facilities

Alaska Housing Needs—Key Facts 16,107

units need to be built to alleviate overcrowding in the state

12,635

homes in Alaska lack complete kitchens and/or plumbing

14,600

homes are rated 1-star, burdening households with high energy costs

318

new senior living facility beds need to be added annually to keep up with senior population growth

$23.25

15,972

55%

11%

household hourly wage required to afford the average 2-bedroom rental in Alaska

of homes in Alaska are at higher risk for moisture and indoor air quality issues

78,959

households in Alaska are housing cost-burdened

estimated shortage of affordable and available housing units for extremely low income housholds increase in new construction rate needed to meet projected population growth

Affordable Housing Needs The US Department of Housing and Urban Development considers households “ cost-burdened” if they are spending more than 30 percent of their income on total housing costs, “very cost- burdened” if they are spending more than 35 percent of their income, and “severely cost- burdened” if they are spending more than 50 percent of their income on housing. An estimated 31 percent (78,959) of households in Alaska are cost-burdened. This burden falls more heavily on renters than homeowners with an estimated 46 percent of renters (39,767) identified as costburdened or very cost burdened whereas approximately 23 percent of homeowners (39,191) are considered cost-burdened.

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Overcrowding Alaska has overcrowding rates that are approximately double the national average, and some regions of Alaska are extremely overcrowded. Percent of Occupied Housing Units

45%

40% 35%

ANS Crude Oil Production 03/01/2018 05/01/2015

■ Overcrowded

01/01/2014

■ Severely Overcrowded National Overcrowded

09/01/2012

30%

05/01/2011 01/01/2010

Alaska Overcrowded

09/01/2008

25%

05/01/2007

20%

09/01/2004

01/01/2006

15%

05/01/2003

10%

09/01/2000

ANS Production per barrel per day 543,923 Mar. 1, 2018

01/01/2002 0

400,000

800,000

1,200,000

SOURCE: Alaska Department of Revenue Tax Division

5%

ANS West Coast Crude Oil Prices

ta

03/01/2018

lis Ca

NA NA

Ba y Ar ct ic Slo pe Be rin gS tra its

ist ol

Br

Ko nia g

Al eu t

Ah tn a

Do yo n

Ch ug ac h

CI RI

Se ala

sk a

0%

09/01/2014 09/01/2012

Population Growth Populations are growing in many regions in Alaska. New housing construction is not sufficient to meet projected demand, which could impact overcrowding and/or homelessness. New housing units required to meet population growth in 2020 and 2025 were calculated by dividing projected number of new people by average household size in each region. Below shows estimates for all regions except CIRI because its greater population dwarfs housing needs in the rest of the state, with the CIRI region needing an estimated 9,650 housing units by 2020 and 18,675 by 2025.

09/01/2010 09/01/2008 09/01/2006

ANS West Coast $ per barrel $64.75 Mar. 1, 2018

09/01/2004 09/01/2002

2020 2025 Aleut 2020 2025 ASRC 2020 2025 BBNC 2020 2025 Bering Straits 2020 2025 Calista 2020 2025 Chugach 2020 2025 Doyon 2020 2025 Koniag 2020 2025 NANA 2020 2025 Sealaska 2020 2025 Ahtna

09/01/2000

Total Housing Units Needed by 2020 and 2025

$0

$20

$40

$60

$80 $100 $120 $140 $160

SOURCE: Alaska Department of Revenue Tax Division

Statewide Employment Figures 10/1976—11/2017 Seasonally Adjusted 12/01/2017 11/01/2012 01/01/2010 03/01/2007 05/01/2004 07/01/2001 09/01/1998

Labor Force 363,230 Dec. 2017 Employment 336,869 Dec. 2017 Unemployment 7.3% Dec. 2017

11/01/1995 01/01/1993 03/01/1990 05/01/1987 07/01/1984 09/01/1981 11/01/1978 01/01/1976

-200

0

200

400

600

800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2200 2400 Source: 2018 Alaska Housing Assessment/AHFC

0 100,000 200,000 300,000 400,000 SOURCE: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Research & Analysis Section; and US BLS

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April 2018 | Alaska Business

121


ADVERTISERS INDEX ABC Motorhome Rentals.................69 Advanced Dental Solutions........... 74 Advanced Physical Therapy of Alaska....................................................97 Ahtna Inc.................................................45 Alaska Air Cargo Alaska Airlines................................... 41 Alaska Communications (ACS)........ 3 Alaska Executive Search...............107 Alaska Logistics...................................28 Alaska Mergers & Acquisitions LLC...............................39 Alaska PTAC........................................... 73 Alaska USA Federal Credit Union.....................59 ALSCO.......................................................30 Altman Rogers & Co.......................... 19 Alyeska Resort......................................64 American Fast Freight........................71 American Heart Association.........24 American Marine / Penco..................................... 120, 121 AMS Couriers........................................ 27 Arctic Chiropractic..........................111 Arctic Office Products.....................67 AT&T............................................................. 9

BDO........................................................... 61 Birch, Horton, Bittner & Cherot...55 BP................................................................ 81 Bristol Bay Native Corp.................123 Calista Corp...........................................85 Carlile Transportation Systems....103 Chugach Alaska Corp.......................60 CIRI.......................................................... 114 Conrad-Houston Insurance Agency............................39 Construction Machinery Industrial (CMI).................................... 2 Copper Valley Telecom....................23 Cornerstone Advisors.......................35 Cruz Companies..................................65 Denali Federal Credit Union..........43 Donlin Gold............................................17 Doyon Limited......................................79 Explore Fairbanks............................108 Fairbanks Memorial Hospital........99 First National Bank Alaska................. 5 Foss Maritime........................................34 Fountainhead Hotels........................62 GCI..........................................................124 Great Originals Inc.............................83

Historic Anchorage Hotel.............111 Hotel Captain Cook........................109 ICE Services...........................................34 Island Air Service................................ 27 Judy Patrick Photography..........122 Junior Achievement..........................89 Land’s End Resort...............................53 Landye Bennett Blumstein LLP....................................83 Lynden Inc..............................................49 Mat-Su Convention & Visitors Bureau..........................104 Matson Inc.............................................87 Medical Park Family Care, Inc......68 NCB.............................................................11 New Horizons Telecom, Inc..........22 North Star Behavioral Health........97 Northern Air Cargo.............118, 119 Northrim Bank...................................... 13 Novagold Resources Inc................. 57 Odom Corporation............................58 Pacific Pile & Marine....................115, 116, 117 Pacific Seafood Processors Association................63 Parker Smith & Feek...........................47

PenAir.......................................................29 Personnel Plus.................................. 113 PIP Printing............................................ 10 Ravn Alaska............................................ 75 Redpath Mining Contractors and Engineers.....................................17 Remote Alaska Solutions.................51 Risq Consulting.................................... 37 Samson Tug & Barge.........................43 Stellar Designs Inc.......................... 112 The Lakefront Anchorage..............70 Thomas Head & Greisen..................66 Travel Juneau....................................105 United Way of Anchorage.....14, 15 University of Washington............... 77 Usibelli Coal Mine............................... 19 Visit Anchorage................................... 91 Voyager Inn......................................... 101 Washington Crane & Hoist.............33 Webb Chiropractic Ideal Protein.................................... 113 WesternAircraft | Greenwish Aerogroup Company......................31 Westmark Hotels - HAP Alaska.... 74 Wostmann Associates....................... 73

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Profile for Alaska Business

Alaska Business April 2018  

Thank you to the Corporate 100 companies that provided an image—representing the corporation’s services, culture, or people—for our cover

Alaska Business April 2018  

Thank you to the Corporate 100 companies that provided an image—representing the corporation’s services, culture, or people—for our cover