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THIRD ANNUAL BEST OF ALASKA BUSINESS AWARDS July 2018 Digital Edition


Higher standards Construction Machinery Industrial and Epiroc – Part of the Atlas Copco Group. In the World – The best construction equipment technology. In Alaska – The best sales and product support lineup. In Your Corner – The Winning Team.

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Anchorage (907) 563-3822 (800) 478-3822 Juneau (907) 780-4030 Fairbanks (907) 455-9600 Ketchikan (907) 247-2228

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July 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: In our mission as Alaska’s business advocate, Alaska Business regularly covers the state’s major industries, but it’s our great pleasure annually in July to dive into an incredibly broad range of Alaska companies (as voted on by our readers) from the gamut of business lines in our Best of Alaska Business special section. On the cover we are especially thrilled to share the work of local Lindsey Neidlinger, as Alaskan artists and designers form a vital thread in the fabric of the state’s economy. She is inspired by “the tangled relationship between organic forms and urban development… a flower growing through a sidewalk or water leaking through a rusted vat.” We ourselves are inspired by Neidlinger’s work, an ink and digital composition that “pays respect to the land and the people that were here first.”

7 94 96 98 99 102 104 106

Illustration by Lindsey Neidlinger

ARTICLES EDUCATION

8 | Alaska’s Hospitality Recruitment Challenge

“Who wants to work just four months of the year?” By Judy Mottl

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PROFESSIONAL SERVICES 12 | Alaska Nonprofits Fight for Fair Pay, Offer Training

Economy loses $1 billion annually because women are underpaid By Vanessa Orr

FINANCE

PIP Printing of Alaska

18 | Conscious (and Cautious) of Cryptocurrency Tips to understanding virtual currency By Tracy Barbour

TELECOM & TECH

24 | How Healthcare Providers Security, accessibility, and backup By Tracy Barbour

MARKETING

28 | Marketing on the Move From company vans to city buses, vehicle wraps reach the masses By O’Hara Shipe

OIL & GAS

62 | Oil & Gas Legislative Update

Favorable legislation bodes well for Alaska’s future By Julie Stricker

TRANSPORTATION

70 | CDLs Fly South for Shift Work

Lower 48 companies recruit Alaskans to meet demand By Sam Friedman

CONSTRUCTION

76 | Evolving Envelopes Attractive, energy efficient masonry By Judy Mottl

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PIP Printing’s staff, who work diligently to provide the gamut of printing services.

FISHERIES

80 | Permit Migration and a Graying Fleet

Rural access to fishing permits declines By Isaac Stone Simonelli

TOURISM

90 | Alaska’s Wildlife Rehab Centers

Saving lives, educating the public By Vanessa Orr

INSURANCE

82 | Marine Insurance Germane to Multiple Industries 'The original insurance' By Tracy Barbour

ENVIRONMENTAL 84 | Marine Salvage

Out-of-the-box thinking to preserve Alaska’s environment By Isaac Stone Simonelli

84 When a vessel becomes grounded, salvage teams have to decide if it’s safer to remove the boat as is or if they need to lighter off fuel and remove anything else that could be potentially hazardous to the environment if it spills.

CLARIFICATION In the June 2018 edition of Alaska Business we reference the M/V Laura Maersk. To clarify the entities involved in resolving the Laura Maersk event, please note the following: The Laura Maersk is a client of Resolve Marine Group, and Resolve Marine Group along with 1 Call Alaska worked with the US Coast Guard to prevent the vessel from running aground and to resolve the incident before it turned into a more serious problem.

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com

Resolve Marine

Protect Your Data


When you see Alaska through Robert Murphy’s eyes, you see a world of possibilities. Robert Murphy started Alaska Excursions with a single van, a lot of imagination and a simple mission: Offer visitors from around the world the Alaska experience of a lifetime. Robert could bank anywhere but he chooses First National Bank Alaska. Today, Robert operates Alaska Excursions in Skagway, Haines and Juneau. And First National has helped him grow every step, tour, cruise, zipline run and charter along the way. If you have a vision and need a local bank that knows how to navigate Alaska’s changing economy, give us a call. We’d love to explore your possibilities and discover new ways to help your business – and Alaska – succeed. For the rest of Robert’s story visit FNBAlaska.com 907-777-4362 / 1-800-856-4362

Robert Murphy CEO/ Founder Alaska Excursions

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We Believe in Alaska


July 2018 Digital Edition TA B L E

O F

C O N T E N T S

Best of Alaska Business Special Section 32 | Welcome to the 2018 Best of Alaska Business Awards

33 | Place to Work 1-250 Employees

34 | Place to Work 250+ Employees

36 | Corporate Citizen 37 | Fundraising Event 38 | Meeting or Event Venue 39 | Hotel for the Corporate Traveler 40 | Corporate Retreat

41 | Group Fishing Charter 42 | Team Building Company

43 | Promotional

Products Supplier

44 | Web Design Firm 46 | Managed IT Service Provider 48 | Video Production Company 49 | Office Furniture 51 | Fitness,

Training, or Gym

52 | Patient Healthcare 54 | Restaurant to Take Clients Illustration by Lindsey Neidlinger

55 | Take-Out or Catering 56 | Brewery 57 | Coffee Shop 58 | Steakhouse 60 | Pizzeria 6

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


FROM THE EDITOR VOLUME 34, NUMBER 7 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 Senior Advertising Account Manager Janis J. Plume 257-2917 janis@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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Celebrating a Job Well Done

D

eciding what to focus on for this month’s Letter From the Editor was simple. It’s all about the best of Alaska. From our incredible cover to finally revealing the Best of Alaska Business award winners starting on page 32, this issue is a wealth of celebration and information. This is the second year of what we hope will become a long-standing tradition of commissioning an Alaskan artist to design and create the cover for the July issue of Alaska Business, highlighting the annual Best of Alaska Business special section. This year we were fortunate to work with Lindsey Neidlinger, an exceptionally talented ink and digital composition artist who was born and raised in Anchorage. As a selftaught graphic and fine artist, Neidlinger is inspired by the relationship between organic forms and urban development and how nature manages to peek its way through even the most urban areas (imagine a flower pushing its way through the crack of a sidewalk). This cover—entitled Miss Alaska—dazzled all of us here at Alaska Business with its many layers and imagery that coalesced into a unique image that pays homage to Alaska’s unique and fantastic culture. “I really wanted to create a piece that had an element of familiarity to it for the local people that will see it. My goal was to make the eye dance between each layer to leave the viewer feeling fulfilled. It was also important to me personally to pay a tribute to the “traditional” Alaskan culture I’ve grown up with and love,” says Neidlinger, who goes on to say Miss Alaska’s message is simple. “While our modern consumer culture in Alaska is fantastic and unique to our home, it’s important to remember the foundation it was built upon and to pay a respect to the land and the people that were here first. Those elements and traditions are the mother to the Alaska we know and love.” We invite you to look closely at Miss Alaska and find the layer that most resonates with you. Is it the fireweed and foliage woven throughout her crown? The moose antlers standing tall and proud? Or the delicate pearl beading dotted around the hem of the crown? There is a little something for everyone in Miss Alaska, named thus because “who else could carry a crown so large,” says Neidlinger. This cover set a high bar for the Best of Alaska Business special section. This year we surveyed our readers in nearly two dozen categories to discover which businesses they think are the best at what they do. You’ll likely recognize a few winners from past years, such as 49th State Brewing Co., First National Bank Alaska, and GCI. But you’ll also see new winners from all over the state. I don’t want to give away their names just yet, but some of the new categories include best group fishing charter, best place to enjoy a steak, favorite place to shed stress (and maybe a few pounds), best video production company, and many more. Congratulations to all of the 2018 Best of Alaska Business award winners. Whether we’ve seen you here before or this is your company’s first win, every vote that led to your win represents another satisfied customer and another reason to pat yourselves on the back for a job well done. The celebration starts here, today, and culminates at the Best of Alaska Business awards party on July 12 at 49th State Brewing Co. You love them and so do we; what better place to celebrate than at this multi-year, multi-category Best of Alaska Business winner? Thank you to everyone who contributed to this outstanding issue: the photographers who captured the essence of each business through their own artistry, the team here at Alaska Business, and, of course, the artist who made this cover frame-worthy. To contact Lindsey Neidlinger, who is “always eager to take on new challenges and opportunities that will help me grow as an artist,” visit her website at earthtolindsey.com. Enjoy the third annual Best of Alaska Business awards and we’ll see you at the party!

twitter.com/AKBusinessMonth

linkedin.com/company/alaska-business-monthly

www.akbizmag.com

—Kathryn Mackenzie Managing Editor, Alaska Business

Alaska Business

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EDUCATION

Alaska’s Hospitality Recruitment Challenge “Who wants to work just four months of the year?” By Judy Mottl

A

laska boasts incredible summers with long days and an abundance of natural beauty. As soon as the snow and ice begin to melt, tourists arrive en masse and businesses statewide open their doors to meet visitor needs: accommodations, food, and fun. For those in need of work, Alaska’s summer season is bursting with hospitality—and tourism—related jobs, but there is one major hitch—most of these positions are seasonal, lasting just about four months.

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“Hospitality is a fast-paced industry that requires continual learning and growth to keep in stride with our customers’ expectations.”

—Kaleen Haines, Human Resources Director, Alyeska Resort

Hospitality and recreational venues regularly seek out new talent by finding new and unique recruiting methods and establishing incentives for employees who return each year. “It’s interesting as it’s kind of a bifurcated industry right now,” says Economist Neal Fried, adding the state tourism segment is “looking really good” and he expects continued growth in the future. The local hospitality business segment, however, isn’t as fortunate, says Fried— the restaurant and tavern sectors are experiencing a softening due to Alaska’s recession.

Alaska’s tourism industry is one of extremes with vast fluctuations in employment numbers. Fried uses the Denali region as an example: unemployment can be as low as 2 percent in the summer and hit 20 percent in the winter. “That is a real challenge for recruitment because who wants to work for just four months of the year?” He adds that trying to recruit from outside of Alaska is getting tougher as there are greater job opportunities in the Lower 48, also a result of its healthy economy.

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


Holland America Group

Seasonal employees for Holland America Group have a range of opportunities and often return to take new roles to expand hospitality skill sets.

Training, Incentives At Alyeska Resort, employee training programs play a critical role in retaining the resort’s workforce, according to Human Resources Director Kaleen Haines. As a year-round destination, the resort— located about forty miles from Anchorage in the heart of Girdwood—offers summer and winter excursions and features the 300-room Hotel Alyeska. “Hospitality is a fast-paced industry that requires continual learning and growth to keep in stride with our customers’ expectations,” says Haines. This has prompted the resort to embrace several new technologies, including an online learning management system that helps the resort systematically train and develop employee skills. “We hope that this leads to both an enhanced customer experience as well as an enriched employment experience for our staff,” says Haines, adding that recruiting, hiring, and retaining workers isn’t challenging on all fronts. “It’s yes and no. It really depends on the position. More specialized positions can be challenging, but that is likely the case for many of the companies operating in Alaska. As a whole, we are pretty lucky here in Girdwood and at the resort. Girdwood is a unique place that has a special draw of its own, and the resort brings an amazing group of people from season to season to appreciate all that the summer and/or winter has to offer. It seems that many people are interested in adventure, and that is something we have plenty of,” she says. Some challenges related to employment recruitment are cost and lack of housing for seasonal employees near tourist destinations. “We offer onsite employee housing, seasonal bonuses, and have a quality benefits package. We have a strong wellness and safety initiative throughout our organization,” says Haines. The resort also offers workers a variety of health, wellness, and recreational discounts. At Holland America Group, which includes Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, and Seabourn in North America, employee incentives are far ranging and include free cruise opportunities. Holland America Group, which has operated in Alaska for seventy-one years, also owns the Westmark hotel chain in Alaska. Holland America Group offers traditional cruises and land-sea cruise tours, with excursions ranging from river rafting to a journey www.akbizmag.com

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—Kaleen Haines Human Resources Director Alyeska Resort

exploring Denali. More than half the vessels in its fourteen-ship fleet sail to Alaska, carrying between 1,400 and 2,100 passengers and feature everything from spas and salons to cooking and culinary experiences. Of course, each customer experience requires employees and the more amenities and excursions offered, the greater the need for qualified seasonal workers. “It is a tough time to find the number and quality of workers we need for our seasonal business in Alaska,” says Jeanne Amey, director of shoreside talent acquisition. She says the most difficult jobs to fill are skilled positions, including driver guides, line cooks, and maintenance positions. “But these are also fantastic ground-level job opportunities for those interested in developing a career in hospitality and building their skill sets,” Amey says, noting the company strives to provide plenty of opportunity for seasonal employees to move into full-time roles. Amey says that at least one Holland America Group vice president began as a driver working in the Denali region and that her department is in the process of hiring an employee who began as a seasonal worker in Alaska. A critical component to Holland America Group’s hiring strategy for all workers is training. “We offer training for thousands of jobs in industry, from working at the front desk of a hotel to serving as a guide on a train,” as well as hundreds of roles in back-end operations, Amey says. “Our business model allows us to plan ahead with our workforce management so we know how many workers and what skill sets we’ll need before the season even begins and do the training accordingly to make sure we’re ready,” she says. Many employees actually take on different roles season after sea-

“These are also fantastic ground-level job opportunities for those interested in developing a career in hospitality and building their skill sets.”

—Jeanne Amey Director of Shoreside Talent Acquisition Holland America Group

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son, which helps them grow their hospitality skill set. “The seasonal nature of the work has its built-in challenges, such as retaining the workforce season after season,” says Amey. To overcome that challenge Holland America Group works closely with Alaskabased recreational enterprises, such as ski resorts, to build reciprocal relationships. “That, in addition to the benefits we offer, such as free cruising benefits, work together to help us get the numbers we need for the season once we open up.” Engagement and interaction with Alaska communities is extremely important, says Amey, as are the company’s efforts to work with schools and universities to build awareness among students of job opportunities with the company. That effort begins on the high school level, and beginning this year includes a scholarship program for students in Alaska’s remote areas, including Ketchikan and Sitka. “The intention is to continue this support of high school students who want to go into trades,” Amey says. To that end, the company initiated an endowment program with the University of Alaska that is focused on Alaska’s youth with the goal of supporting a strong workforce for years to come. “You have to start on the high school level to make sure we are supporting the hospitality educational process from the very beginning,” Amey explains. “We just don’t find the numbers we need in Alaska directly.”

Industry Support Many hospitality venues in Alaska aren’t as vast as Holland America Group and don’t have tremendous resources for recruiting, training, and staff retention. But they do have support from the Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant, and Retailers Association (CHARR), a nonprofit focused on fulfilling the needs of Alaska’s hospitality industry. The organization, according to President and CEO Pete Hanson, provides training programs, legislative and government relations, informational and membership services, and promotes the industry. It’s a key support program for many members given the tight labor market. “Honestly, some people would rather not work at all than take a job that starts at $11 per hour. As a result, they are missing out on a great opportunity. This is an industry that will provide an opportunity for anyone who wants to work,” he says, noting that one-third

Holland America Group

“Girdwood is a unique place that has a special draw of its own, and the resort brings an amazing group of [workers] from season to season to appreciate all that the summer and/or winter has to offer. It seems that many people are interested in adventure, and that is something we have plenty of.”

The position of tour director is just one of hundreds of hospitality roles Holland America Group recruits employees for each year.

of all Americans’ first job was within the hospitality industry. “It’s where they can learn skills that will allow them to advance in the hospitality industry to become business managers or owners or make them successful in whatever else they decide to do—in college and beyond,” he says. Alaska CHARR offers training programs, including a high school-focused Pro Start technical education program providing training in culinary arts and restaurant management skills. “There is a state-level competition and a national-level competition each year. Alaska just had two high school teams compete at the National ProStart Invitational in Providence, Rhode Island, a couple of weeks ago,” notes Hanson. Not only does ProStart provide job skills, it instills confidence and teaches goal-setting, teamwork, and other key life skills. It also helps to correct wage discrepancies, since ProStart students often command a higher starting wage than young people without experience or training, notes Hanson. The organization, which has been serving the hospitality industry since 1964, has an educational fund providing scholarships to Alaska residents who would like to pursue culinary arts or hospitality management degrees at the college level. “Most of these students attend UAA, UAF, or another in-state school, but some also attend universities in the Lower 48. Currently we have scholarship recipients attending UNLV, Brown, Gonzaga, Johnson, and Wales and other institutions,” says Hanson. Alaska CHARR also provides certified food protection manager training using the nationally-accredited food safety training ServSafe Food Safety Program. The group works with the National Restaurant Association on an apprenticeship program to train more chefs and hospitality industry managers. “For people who would rather learn onthe-job, as opposed to in a classroom setting, the apprenticeship program will get them marketable skills that employers in our industry need,” says Hanson. R

Judy Mottl writes about important issues country-wide with an affinity for Alaska.

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


John Schweiker TITLE: Account Executive LOCATION: Anchorage, Alaska DATE HIRED: June 12, 1984 NOTES: A 2016 Presidential Award winner. Active in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska. Big Brother to 2nd Lieutenant ~a, USAF, since he was 8 years old. Lives happily Pedro Pen with his wife Nancy and their cats, Princess and Abby.

Matson’s people are more than Alaska shipping experts. They are part of what makes our community unique. Visit Matson.com


PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Alaska Works Partnership

The Women in the Trades program provides hands-on training to help women gain experience and transition into a well-paid construction career.

Economy loses $1 billion annually because women are underpaid By Vanessa Orr

W

omen make up 48 percent of Alaska’s workforce, and the state’s economy depends on their successes. Yet women often face challenges when it comes to finding the resources they need to start or advance in business and are still fighting to earn the same wages men make for doing the same job. “Women are an economic powerhouse to the Alaska small business community, yet data shows that there is still a gap in the resources women entrepreneurs receive,” says Nancy Porzio, district director for Alaska at

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the US Small Business Administration. On average, women are paid $0.68 for every $1.00 a man receives, with Alaska ranking 48th in the nation for women’s pay. Women also often find it challenging to enter the traditionally male-dominated fields that are so prevalent in Alaska. Fortunately, there are a number of nonprofit organizations working to make a difference in women’s career success, providing everything from one-on-one mentoring to classes on interviewing and help finding and filling out apprenticeship applications. The YWCA’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Program, for example, takes a two-fold approach to helping women enter or advance their careers. “Our economic justice project serves a lot of at-risk Alaskans—both men and women—with the goal of helping them become financially and economically knowledgeable,” says Amanda Laird, development manager for YWCA Alaska, of the

Alaska Works Partnership

Alaska Nonprofits Fight for Fair Pay, Offer Training

Students learn ironworking in the Women in the Trades program run by the Alaska Works Partnership.

program that also teaches career-building skills. Courses in the program range from budget basics and resume building to dealing with debt and salary negotiations. “We work creatively with clients to help them with whatever they need from job searching

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


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“As a state legislator for ten years, I saw the difference that women made when they were at the table. Yet they are significantly underrepresented relative to their strength in the population. We wanted to give women the tools to be competitive and run successfully for public office.”

—Kay Brown Chair, Alaska Women Ascend

Alaska Works Partnership

The Women in the Trades program run by the Alaska Works Partnership introduces women to different trades in the construction field.

to writing resumes to learning how to interview properly to rebuilding their credit after a domestic violence situation,” says Laird. “For example, if there’s a gap between when they left a job and what they’re doing now, we can help show them how the skills they gained while

working at home or volunteering at a shelter can apply to different jobs.” The program is a success: six months after working with the YWCA, 30 percent of surveyed clients have become employed, 55 percent completed a financial goal, and

86 percent stopped using payday lenders. Additionally, 35 percent started saving monthly toward future goals. YWCA also put into place an economic equity initiative to close the pay gap by 2025. “Not only is this a moral issue, but it’s an economic issue as well,” says Laird. “Approximately $1 billion is being left out of the Alaska economy because women are underpaid.” The organization’s goal is to collaborate with businesses to help them apply practices and policies so that women receive fair pay. In partnership with AWAIC, Alaska Mental Health Trust, University of Alaska, and the

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Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


Businesswomen attend a training session provided by the Alaska Small Business Administration. Alaska SBA

Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, YWCA offers salary negotiation training for women to help them know what questions to ask during an interview. The initiative is currently working with the McDowell group to survey Alaska companies to determine which are best for working women and to help interested businesses learn what they need to do to hire and retain

more quality female employees. “We chose 2025 as a goal because, if you look at the rate of change right now, if everything stays the same it will be 2142 before women are paid equally,” says Laird. “That means that your great-great-great-granddaughter will be the first generation to receive equal pay. We can’t wait 125 years, so we chose to act now.”

Women in the Trades The Women in the Trades program, run by the Alaska Works Partnership, is geared toward ensuring that women have the same job opportunities as men. Funded by the Department of Labor, the goal of the organization is to provide free, construction-related training specifically for women interested in a career in the construction trades.

Delivering Excellence

For more than 40 years, Alyeska has safely and successfully moved more than 17 billion barrels of oil through the Trans Alaska Pipeline System. It’s an accomplishment that is not only meaningful to our employees, but to all Alaskans. We look to the future with continued confidence and commitment.

alyeska-pipe.com www.akbizmag.com

July 2018 | Alaska Business

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Alaska Works Partnership

Students get a taste of the electrical trade in a Women in the Trades class run by the Alaska Works Partnership.

“Women can take several different classes— carpentry, electric, welding, for example—to see what they want to pursue,” explains Keri Jones, program administrator, adding that the program is free and open to women over the age of eighteen. “Once they find their niche, we walk them through how to apply to an apprenticeship program and offer an interview skills class specific to the trade in which they’re interested. We can also help with funding for tools, clothes, and other job-related expenses.” This assistance not only helps women who want to work in male-dominated trades but is beneficial to the businesses that hire them. “There are twenty-two apprenticeship programs in Alaska, from bricklayers to heavy equipment operators, and they want more

women in their programs,” says Jones. “If women don’t apply, these companies miss out on really good apprentices and employees that are fully capable of doing the same job as men.” Women interested in applying should visit www.Alaskaworks.org and click on the Women in the Trades tab.

Life After College At the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), the Career Exploration & Services Department not only helps students prepare to enter the workforce but also helps alumni who are already in the field. “We provide assistance with cover letters, resumes, mock interviews, job searching, career guidance, and internships, as well as hold several workshops during National Career Development Month in November,” says Employee Relations Specialist Danica Bryant. “We also host career fairs, including a Women in Law Enforcement Fair [sponsored by Women Police of Alaska with the support of Alaska State Troopers], and networking events like etiquette lunches.” This fall UAA will for the first time hold a private event at retailer JCPenney for UAA students and recent graduates to help them augment their professional wardrobe by offering a 40 percent discount on professional clothing. UAA students and alumni can use their Seawolves@Work (Powered by Handshake) account to register for workshops, make appointments with the career department, and search for jobs. “Handshake has a genius algorithm that does job searching for students based on their profiles and enables them to connect with employers,” says Bryant, who adds that since the system was put into place this past July, the department has conducted a total of 280 one-on-one appointments, and 1,602 students and alumni have activated accounts. Even if a student has graduated, he or she can take advantage of UAA career programs. “Regardless of where they are in their careers, alumni can benefit from networking to help them with projects at their current jobs or make connections if they want to change jobs,” says Bryant. “Our workshops on salary negotiation and consumer security are also extremely helpful, as is our federal application workshop, which is great for anyone applying for a federal job or who wants to advance in their career.” While many students begin to think about employability as they near graduation, UAA is working to prepare them from the start. “By 2020, UAA’s goal is to increase the number of graduates in high demand jobs by 2 percent per year,” says Bryant. “To help do this, we need to connect students with good career development throughout their college years and not just in the last semester of their senior year.” Political Aspirations Women considering a career in politics can take advantage of the eight-month Alaska Women Ascend program.

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Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


SBA to Establish Women’s Business Center This fall, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) will be providing a $150,000 grant to an eligible nonprofit to establish a Women’s Business Center (WBC) in Alaska. Part of a national network of more than one hundred centers, the new center will offer one-on-one counseling, training, networking, workshops, and mentoring to women entrepreneurs on numerous business development topics including business start-up, access to capital, international trade opportunities, marketing, and federal contracting. “Right now, there are a lot of entrepreneurs working from their kitchen tables who want to take it to the next level,” says Porzio. “We want to provide them all of the services they need to start or expand a business. “One of main drivers behind the Alaska WBC is that SBA Administrator Linda McMahon wants us to spread the word about SBA services and become more recognized in the community,” she adds. “We want them to know that the SBA is alive and well in Alaska, and that we’re here to help.” During fiscal year 2017, WBCs across the country provided assistance to nearly 150,000 www.akbizmag.com

entrepreneurs, resulting in 17,000 new business starts. In Alaska, the WBC will have a physical presence in a city yet-to-be chosen, and women living throughout the state will also have remote access to its programs. “We hope to also develop partnerships with other organizations throughout the state to provide services in their areas,” says Porzio, adding that more information will be forthcoming on the website www.sba.gov/ak. R

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

Alaska Works Partnership

“As a state legislator for ten years, I saw the difference that women made when they were at the table,” says Kay Brown, chair at Alaska Women Ascend. “Yet they are significantly underrepresented relative to their strength in the population. We wanted to give women the tools to be competitive and run successfully for public office.” The program just f inished its f irst cohort and is now accepting applications for the second round of training beginning in September. “While there was training available before, it was a weekend here or there,” says Brown. “We wanted to stretch it out so that we could help women grow and develop. Public speaking, for example, is not learned overnight; it ta kes mu ltiple ef for ts to improve.” The program costs $200 and is open to progressive women—registered Democrats, nonpartisans, or those undeclared. “We want to work with people who share our values— who believe in women’s rights to control our bodies, reproductive freedom, who support LGBTQ and nondiscrimination against all people, who support collective bargaining, public education, and more,” says Brown. “We want to see them carry these values into public office.” The first cohort graduated more than sixty women, and a number of them have run for office or are taking active roles as managers or treasurers. “The program was very successful—a lot of women gained the confidence to step forward and run; in fact, we have about ten women running in the upcoming fall election,” says Brown. While the program takes place in Anchorage, women throughout the state are welcome to take part online, and financial scholarships are available. Applications are available at www.akwomenascend.org.

The Women in the Trades program in action as a group of women are offered free training.

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FINANCE

Conscious (and Cautious) of Cryptocurrency Tips to understanding virtual currency By Tracy Barbour

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len Kratochvil, president of Alaska Computer Guy, bought his first cryptocurrency in 2014. He purchased Bitcoins as a personal investment. Today, his company—an IT support and computer services provider—allows customers to

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pay with several cryptocurrencies. The Anch­ orage business gladly accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, DigiByte, credit cards and, of course, cash. Kratochvil’s gravitation to cryptocurrency is simple: not everyone has a credit card, many people don’t use checks anymore, and more people use third-party payment systems such as Apple Pay. Plus, accepting cryptocurrencies is generally more cost-effective for business owners. For instance, Alaska Computer Guy’s transaction fees with Bitcoin are less than one half of one percent. That’s significantly less than the 2 percent to 3 percent businesses

typically pay in credit card processing fees. “Cryptocurrency is tremendously cheaper,” Kratochvil says. “I think that it is going to revolutionize the financial industry.” Alaska Computer Guy is among a small but growing number of businesses that accept cryptocurrencies in Alaska. Lately, cryptocurrencies have been causing quite a bit of controversy—positive and negative— as they gain popularity worldwide. They’re stimulating interest among would-be investors in Alaska and increasing concerns among financial industry regulators.

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


Cryptocurrencies are a type of digital record created and stored electronically in a blockchain, a distributed database that keeps a permanent record of digital transactions. When cryptocurrency is used to pay for goods or services, each transaction is securely encrypted and recorded in a blockchain, which serves as a ledger. What Are Cryptocurrencies? Simply put: Cryptocurrencies are a type of digital record created and stored electronically in a blockchain, a distributed database that keeps a permanent record of digital transactions, according to the Alaska Division of Banking and Securities, a division of the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. When cryptocurrency is used to pay for goods or services, each transaction is securely encrypted and recorded in a blockchain, which serves as a ledger. Unlike traditional currency, cryptocurrencies have no physical form and typically are not backed by tangible assets. They are not insured or controlled by a central bank or other governmental authority; cannot always be exchanged for other commodities; and are subject to little or no regulation. Types and Uses Among cryptocurrency, Bitcoin and Ethereum have the largest market capital by a significant lead. Bitcoin—the most recognizable cryptocurrency—uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks. The management of transactions and the issuance of Bitcoins are carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public. Ethereum is an open-source decentralized application platform with features capable of supporting “smart contracts.” These applications, which run on a custom-built blockchain, can run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship and fraud, or third-party interference. In the race for market dominance among cryptocurrencies, Ethereum is considered to be an evolution of Bitcoin, according to Benjamin Craig, executive vice president and chief information officer for Northrim Bank. “It reconciles faster, is scalable, and allows you to build applications, to include tokens, on top of it,” he says. Alaskans are employing cryptocurrencies in a variety of ways. “I believe there is a small but growing number of Alaskans using cryptocurrency as a direct payment to each other or third-party commercial entities, but the technology still has a steep adoption curve for cryptocurrency consumers and businesses,” Craig says. “I also believe that Alaskans are buying cryptocurrency as an investment, or using it as a low-cost and fast way to send money both to US and international recipients.” According to Craig, person-to-person money transfer is one of the most underappreciated aspects of cryptocurrency. Historically, financial institutions such as banks and credit unions relied on industry alliances to www.akbizmag.com

send money abroad. “These systems have not changed in decades. Corporations like Western Union, PayPal, and even retailers like Wal-Mart have more recently implemented their own money transfer systems, but these, too, are expensive, reliant on proprietary infrastructure, and require recipients to be on their network.” Craig adds: “Cryptocurrencies like Ripple and Steller are specifically targeting these challenges, touting nearly instantaneous, extremely low-cost payments across the globe— with no dependencies on legacy or proprietary networks. For people who frequently send money home to family abroad, this is game-changing technology.” The acceptance of cryptocurrency as a payment tool varies among businesses. While most companies in Alaska are not yet accepting digital currency as a form of payment, there is broader acceptance among large national companies. For example, NewEgg and Amazon—two of the largest out-of-state resellers in Alaska—both accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment. Cryptocurrency is also being widely embraced by Overstock, which allows payment from about fifty different cryptocurrencies. Interestingly, Alaska is Overstock’s top state for cryptocurrency by percentage of purchases. However, cryptocurrency’s usefulness extends far beyond its commonly-perceived role of simply being a method of payment. “That was its genesis, but today it is in its second epoch,” Craig says. “It is a vehicle to quickly and cheaply transfer funds, a speculative investment, a self-executing digital contract, [and] an engine to permanently record [not necessarily financial] transactions over a distributed network. “And the future of cryptocurrency is being developed right now: ‘third generation’ cryptocurrencies are in development that can serve as entire operating systems, allowing for distributed hosting of decentralized applications across the globe,” he adds. “The ephemeral

state of this technology will require a different mindset than how we used and regulated legacy fiat currency. That said, cryptocurrency was close to US$800 billion earlier this year, a sizeable number to be sure, but the world’s economies are in excess of hundreds of trillions USD, so it’s still an evolving technology and should be treated as such.”

Risks and Benefits Cryptocurrency comes with a unique set of risks and rewards. Bitcoin, for example, carries benefits and risks in three parts: as a utility, as a currency, and as a speculative investment, according to Craig. As a utility, all cryptocurrency is built on blockchain technology—which can sometimes be challenging for non-mathematicians and non-technologists to fully comprehend. But this is the single most exciting thing about crypto­currency, and it is the motivation for high-tech developers, very large companies, and even governments to get involved with crypto­ currency, Craig says. “With blockchain, every transaction is converted into a mathematically-verifiable sum that ‘proves’ the integrity of your transaction,” he explains. That sum is then incorporated with other transactional sums into immutable “blocks” of data forming a “chain” that is then copied and distributed across many other computers. “This blockchain process ensures that all transactions are, therefore, mathematicallyverifiable, cannot be altered once they are recognized, and are stored in multiple places.” According to Craig, there are many uses for blockchain beyond transferring currency, such as maintaining the authenticity of goods in transit through multiple waypoints, memorializing intellectual property rights, or even authoring digital contracts that conditionally self-execute once predefined criteria are met. Currently, there are more than 1,500 different cryptocurrencies, and most of them differentiate themselves based on the technology and use case of their blockchain.

“I believe there is a small but growing number of Alaskans using cryptocurrency as a direct payment to each other or third-party commercial entities, but the technology still has a steep adoption curve for cryptocurrency consumers and businesses.”

—Benjamin Craig EVP/Chief Information Officer Northrim Bank

July 2018 | Alaska Business

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Alaska Computer Guy payments accepted sign. Alaska Computer Guy

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“However, like all things new that are still in development, the blockchain technology used in these cryptocurrencies is still being vetted, and there have been some bugs along the way,” he says. “Even some of the largest names in cryptocurrency have had to ‘fork’ into two different cryptocurrencies to patch the underlying technology.” As a currency, cryptocurrency is superior in many ways to traditional fiat money (currency the government has declared to be legal tender but is not backed by a physical commodity), Craig says. Many cryptocurrencies can be sent or received almost instantly from the sender to the receiver—without thirdparty or government oversight. Because cryptocurrency transactions are immutable, they are less likely to be altered by a fraudster or dependent on one institution’s record keeping. And because they are distributed, there are multiple copies of the transaction, proving its legitimacy. However, Craig says, there is a public perception that cryptocurrencies are used for illicit purposes. That is true, but not more so than traditional fiat currency. A common misconception is that cryptocurrency transactions cannot be tracked, when, in fact, they are recorded into a permanent and distributed ledger. “However, because it’s so easy to create a cryptocurrency wallet, connecting those transactions to verifiable people is difficult,” he says. “Each cryptocurrency must have its own wallet. If you try to transfer one cryptocurrency [such as Bitcoin] to a different wallet [such as Ethereum], best-case scenario it will fail, worst case scenario it’s gone forever.” Craig adds: “Also, because cryptocurrency is digital by definition, it’s exposed to the same risks as other Internet-connected devices and hackers who would like nothing more than to empty your wallet. This has led to many active cryptocurrency users creating a 'cold wallet,' an offline storage medium not connected to a computer network.” As a speculative investment, dealing with trading cryptocurrency is like operating in the “wild west,” Craig says. It’s similar to trading Forex or speculative commodities before regulators placed (some) safeguards on the market. He explains: “Cryptocurrency is somewhat subject to traditional financial principals, such as Elliott Wave patterns, Fibonacci retracements, and doji candlestick forms, but it is also more heavily influenced by social media, international traders with a multitude of motivations, and ‘crypto­whales,’ traders with massive ownership stakes who can drive the market up or down at will.” Interestingly, although cryptocurrency trading borrows standard industry terms like “bulls” and “bears,” it has its own peculiar language. Crypto traders might make references to FOMO, “fear of missing out”; HODL, an intentional misspelling of “hold,” also abbreviating “hold on for dear life”; FUDster, a disseminator of fear, uncertainty, and doubt trying to influence the market; moon, when a cryptocurrency price spikes abnormally high, such as 100 to 1,000 percent; Lambo, short for Lamborghini, jokingly what investors that

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


moon will buy with their earnings; and P&D, pump and dump pyramid schemes attempting to boost a cryptocurrency’s value in order for the organizers to sell it, leaving regular investors with an overvalued coin. Kristy Naylor, acting director of the Alaska Division of Banking and Securities, also associates a variety of risks and benefits with cryptocurrencies. Because cryptocurrencies are a digital medium of exchange created independent of banks or governments, there is currently very little regulatory oversight over them. Naylor says: “So if you have a problem, who do you complain to? With traditional investments, you might go to a regulatory agency to complain.” One of the most common risks related to cryptocurrency is market volatility. Crypto prices fluctuate rapidly, with big highs and big lows, Naylor says. And cryptocurrencies are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which insures bank deposits up to $250,000. Also, investors must have a key to access their cryptocurrency. “If you lose your key, it’s gone forever,” she explains. “If you try to use a digital wallet to save your key, that software can be susceptible to hacking.” There’s also risk stemming from the tremendous buzz around cryptocurrency. Naylor explains: “Any time there is the next big new thing out there people who are bad actors tend to use that as a means of perpetuating fraud. It’s just a convenient vehicle. People might devise Ponzi or pyramid schemes around a cryptocurrency. Pump and dump scams have also been used. But the same thing happens when oil and gas prices get very high.” Naylor adds, “I think people let their guard down a little bit when they start to hear stories of the incredible wealth that can be made. They don’t ask as many questions and are not as skeptical as they should be.” Concerns over potential fraud led the Alaska Division of Banking and Securities to issue an official warning earlier this year. In January, the agency reminded Alaskans to be cautious about investments involving cryptocurrencies. It also advised people to be wary of these common signs of investment fraud: “guaranteed” high investment returns, unsolicited offers, projects that sound too good to be true, pressure to buy immediately, and unlicensed sellers. The division’s warning about crypto­ currency investing was part of its ongoing mission to protect consumers of financial services and to promote safe and sound financial systems. “Whenever something like cryptocurrency is in the news a lot, it draws a significant amount of attention,” Naylor says. “That’s when we see investors of all different experience levels turn to different potential investments. We just wanted to alert people to some of the risks that are out there that could be associated with investing in something that’s a little bit non-traditional.” Incidentally, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) identified initial coin offerings and cryptocurrencyrelated investment products as emerging investor threats for 2018. www.akbizmag.com

While Kratochvil recognizes the potential risks surrounding cryptocurrencies, he relishes the ease and speed of using digital currency. Cryptocurrency transactions can clear in as few as 15 or 20 seconds, while credit card payments can take a day or two to post to an account. Making international payments is also easier, faster, and cheaper with cryptocurrency. “It’s direct from one person to another person; it doesn’t have to go through a bank wire,” he says. “International payments can take hours instead of days to clear with cryptocurrency.” However, Kratochvil understands that using cryptocurrency can be intimidating for people who are unfamiliar with the concept. So he teaches informal classes using DigiBytes to educate the public about cryptocurrency. His classes are designed to offer assistance from a computer support standpoint. “I help people with technical questions and issues relating to using cryptocurrency, but I do not offer investment advice.”

Crypto Trends There is an explosion in the number of cryptocurrencies being developed. There is also an increase in people conducting ICOs to raise money to start new cryptocurrencies. And that’s where Naylor is seeing some of the fraud popping up. “I’m not saying that all ICOs are fraudulent,” she says. “But some people are saying invest your money and you can get an exchange of the early coin, and it turns out that it is a fraud; there is no new cryptocurrency being created at all.” Like Naylor, Craig has noticed the exponential growth of new crypto­ currencies, some of which are driven by get-rich investment schemes (Bitconnect), jokes (Garlicoin), and satire (Dogecoin). He says Bitcoin continues to serve as the de facto “index,” significantly influencing the value of other alternative cryptocurrencies. However, there is a groundswell of support for many of the top twenty-five coins by market capitalization to replace Bitcoin due to its relative high-cost of transaction fees and long reconciliation times. “There are many crypto­ currencies vying for market dominance based on the underlying merits of their technology, corporate backing, and market ubiquity. Those are worth keeping an eye on,” Craig says. Alaska-specific regulations are being reviewed as a result of the growing using of cryptocurrency here. In October 2017, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed a revision to the Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act into law, establishing a legal framework that defines how a person’s digital assets—including cryptocurrency—can be handled by a trusted custodian. The act also spells out the laws regulating what that custodian can and cannot do with the digital assets in question. Interestingly, the revised act includes a section dedicated to cryptocurrency holdings.

Glen Kratochvil, President, Alaska Computer Guy Alaska Computer Guy

July 2018 | Alaska Business

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And in March 2017, the state of Alaska introduced House Bill 180 defining digital currency, as well as broadening its definition of money transmission to include digital currency. A wide array of business functions would require money transmission licenses, including buying and selling through a third party, transmitting, controlling, and issuing digital currencies. On January 31, the bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee. Alaska has attempted to include “virtual currency” in the definition of "money transmission" before, but those bills did not survive. If this latest bill gets approved, many digital currency businesses will have to obtain an annual money transmission license from the Alaska Division of Banking and Securities.

Given the fact that strict transmission requirements have caused some players to pull out of Hawaii and Washington, the passage of such legislation in Alaska could negatively impact the further development of cryptocurrency. At least that’s what Craig thinks could happen. He believes it will be nearly impossible to stop the unregulated use of cryptocurrency, as it was designed to be accessible to all for this very reason. Generally speaking, he says he is not in favor of legislation over complex burgeoning technologies, without people fully understanding the ramifications of that legislation. “History has proven that early adoption of legislation to complex topics is often instigated for

a specific reason but has consequences that are punitive to the growth and adoption of new technologies,” he says. “This specific bill addresses one aspect of digital currency, but cryptocurrency has many uses and is still evolving; this bill could unintentionally stif le an emerging technology vital to Alaska’s economic future.” Naylor points out that the bill primarily defines what digital currency is in relationship to money transmission. “Our ‘definitions’ related to digital currency are from papers on Virtual Currency published by the Financial Action Task Force,” she says. “We are not licensing Bitcoin companies, we are licensing companies who offer to accept and transmit currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency to another location or person by any means.” She adds: “If the bill were to pass, I think it would have the effect of modernizing our law to catch up to the current state of the money transmission industry to help us appropriately regulate the industry and fulfill the division’s mission to both protect consumers of financial services and promote safe and sound financial systems.”

Cryptocurrency Investing Tips As a general piece of advice, Naylor cautions Alaskans to give careful consideration before investing in cryptocurrency. “People need to be educated about what they are investing in and understand the potential risk associated with any type of investment before they make that investment,” she says. Kratochvil of Alaska Computer Guy encourages crypto investors to start small. To someone who isn’t familiar with technology, getting into cryptocurrency can be dangerous, he says. “There is some room to make some expensive mistakes.” Craig advises people to never invest more than they are willing to lose. “If you plan on ‘day trading,’ don’t plan on [sleeping] because the cryptocurrency market is highly volatile, open twenty-four hours a day, and is influenced by three time zones of traders that don’t think alike. Consider using an offlinewallet for substantial holdings,” he says. He also encourages people to research and trade on paper before investing any real money in the crypto market. They should also avoid sketchy cryptocurrency exchanges. “There have been several failed currency exchanges in the last two years, resulting in cybercriminals absconding with cryptocurrency worth millions of dollars,” he says. The Alaska Division of Banking and Securities can help investors research the background of those selling or advising the purchase of an investment. The division can be reached at (907) 269-8140 or securities@alaska.gov. 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. 22

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


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TELECOM & TECH

How Healthcare Providers Protect Your Data Security, accessibility, and backup By Tracy Barbour

H

ospitals, clinics, and other healthcare organizations handle massive amounts of sensitive information, making effective data backup critical to their operations. In fact, healthcare industry professionals say data backup is not only the key to safeguarding confidential patient information but it’s necessary to their survival. Healthcare providers and caregivers frequently use what is known as electronic protected health information (EPHI) in their efforts to assist patients. They use this information in nearly every clinical care workflow scenario and clinical care decision. The accessibility of EPHI—which includes everything from lab results and radiology images to patient medications—helps guide patient care. “Ensuring the reliability and availability of this data is critical to our mission and is a top concern in information services,” says Don Waters, vice president of engineering services at Providence St. Joseph Health Information Services. “It’s delivering the right data at the right time to the right place of care every single day.” Ensuring the accessibility of patient data is also a chief concern according to Mario Lanza, MD. Lanza is president and medical director of Anchorage-based Alyeska Family Medicine, a full-service clinic that provides services ranging from diagnosing and treating acute and chronic illnesses to routine health screenings and lifestyle counseling. Lanza is committed to taking a comprehensive approach to protecting patient information. “Patients rely on us to have their medical records available when they come in for care,” Lanza says. “Computers fail and hard drives fail. If we were to lose access to the data, it would be catastrophic.” Lanza is adamant about ensuring Alyeska Family Medicine’s data is reliably backed up, and he feels the cost of maintaining proper data backup and security is money wellspent. “The potential cost of losing all of your data is astronomical,” he says. “If we lost our entire database, we would be out of business.” IT security is a top priority for Alyeska Family Medicine—especially given the potential threat

of ransomware, hacking, and other similar risks. And Lanza appreciates the triple-redundancy system that DenaliTEK uses to back up Alyeska Family Medicine’s data. DenaliTEK employs a 3-2-1 backup strategy for all of its clients—regardless of their industry. It stores client data in three places: two local devices and one cloud storage location, according to Todd Clark, president of DenaliTEK, which specializes in managed IT services. Some people might feel this approach to data backup and security is overkill, but not Clark. He prefers to use an allinclusive approach to data backup with health organizations and other businesses. He says: “We happen to think that all of the security and disaster recovery elements of HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] are not overkill for any business… We never want to be in the position of saying we can’t get your data.”

HIPAA Compliance and Data Backup Beyond the practical side of data backup and security, healthcare facilities have a legal responsibility to safeguard people’s information under HIPAA, which in part is designed to reduce the administrative costs of healthcare—particularly through the promotion of electronic recordkeeping—and to increase the security and portability of patient records. Essentially, it strives to protect patient privacy while promoting electronic recordkeeping. HIPAA applies to all healthcare providers, health plans, and clearing houses—collectively known as covered entities—that electronically maintain or transmit the health information of individuals. Covered entities, as well as their business associates, are obliged to maintain appropriate measures that address the physical, technical, and administrative aspects of patient data (information) privacy. These entities also must have security guidelines in place as part of HIPAA’s Standards for Security of Electronic Protected Health Information, often referred to as the Security Rule. Under the Security Rule, covered entities are required to ensure

“Patients rely on us to have their medical records available when they come in for care. Computers fail and hard drives fail. If we were to lose access to the data, it would be catastrophic.” —Mario Lanza, President, Alyeska Family Medicine

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the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all the data they create, receive, maintain, or transmit. They also must identify and protect against reasonably anticipated threats to the security or integrity of the information as well as protect against reasonably anticipated, impermissible uses or disclosures. HIPAA also requires covered entities to implement a contingency plan to prepare for a major data loss that could result from a natural disaster, computer virus attack, or other emergencies. The contingency planning has to include a data backup plan to create and maintain retrievable exact copies of EPHI, a disaster recovery plan to restore any loss of data, and an emergency mode operation plan to enable the continuation of critical business processes for protection of the EPHI while operating in emergency mode. For Alyeska Family Medicine, a contingency plan was a virtual lifesaver when the clinic’s primary server crashed ten years ago. During the crisis, a corruption of the database on the server threatened to wipe out several days’ worth of data. Thankfully, the clinic had a reliable, clean copy of the data stored in the cloud. “If it wasn’t for the fact that we had our database backed up in the cloud, Alyeska would have been devastated,” Lanza says. Clark is a huge proponent of using the cloud for offsite data backup. Cloud backup is a secure option, he says. And it gives organizations a viable way to regain data lost through malicious viruses, crippling ransomware, and other computer problems. “If we put the data in the cloud, then we have something we can restore from in the worst possible scenario,” he says.

Data Backup and Storage Solutions Healthcare organizations can use a myriad of solutions to meet HIPAA’s requirements for maintaining and protecting patient data.

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


Most health facilities are understandably reluctant to disclose details about the specific computer software and tactics they use to safeguard patient data during backup and storage. However, their backup solutions generally address the following areas to ensure HIPAA compliance: user authentication through passwords, role-based access, data encryption, offsite storage, storage facility security, and reporting. At Providence, for instance, the backup and recovery model is driven by the characterization of the data involved. Providence has a very geo-diverse health system footprint, and it uses all of its locations to help ensure data recoverability, security, and accessibility. Backups and data replication are constantly occurring throughout Providence’s health system. “We have a large portfolio of backup technologies throughout our health system,” says Waters. “Each is tailored to support a variety of data systems types and the critical nature of the data to our care operations.” The frequency of backups at Providence depend on the classification of the data. Some backups take place in real time; others happen at regular intervals. “Creating frequent backups of our data taken at frequent intervals ensures the data availability and integrity and ensures our ability to restore critical patient data should there be an event that impacts the access or availability of the data,” Waters says. Providence also conducts regular testing to ensure the recoverability of data in case of a major disaster. “We have implemented technology solutions that allow for sustaining clinical care continuity in the event of a significant disaster as well as the ability to completely restore an exact copy of all EPHI,” Waters explains. As part of its data security strategy, Providence uses strict measures to determine who can gain physical access to the major data centers that host its technology infrastructure. These data centers maintain limited access controls for different users as well as device and media controls. In some cases, individuals must be escorted onto the premises and into the data center. “Access is largely managed by roles-based access controls, governed by what you do in service to the organization as a care provider,” Waters says. Like Providence, Alyeska Family Medicine takes a multifaceted approach to backing up and securing patient data. In addition to backing up data in three different places, “When it’s here on our server, it requires two passwords for someone to access it,” Lanza says.

Protecting Data During Transmission Providence has implemented a number of technical security measures to safeguard EPHI against unauthorized access while it is being transmitted over an electronic communications network. For instance, there are integrity controls to help ensure that in-transit EPHI is not improperly modified without detection. A primary method for protecting the integrity of EPHI being transmitted is through the use of network communications protocols as well as data encryption. Encryption is a method of converting an original message of regular text into encoded or unreadable www.akbizmag.com

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text that is eventually decrypted into plain comprehensible text. “In general, these protocols, among other things, ensure not only the security of the data but also the data integrity while being transmitted from one location to another,” Waters says. Any time data is transmitted offsite, it should be encrypted, Clark says. Different manufacturers have their own type of encryption technology. But, in general, encryption involves securing data in transit and at rest (in databases and file systems). In a normal situation, data is encrypted by the backup software at the healthcare facility, and this encrypted backup is sent over the wire to a data center that is in compliance with HIPAA. “Typically, we would have a business associates’ agreement with that data center so that they are in agreement with the HIPAA privacy rules.”

Backup Trends and Tips A number of trends are emerging in the areas of data backup and data security. For instance, Waters is seeing a significant increase in cloud security applications across the technology industry, with many startups focusing on cloud threat detection. Also, the cloud is an integral part of the backup and recovery market in different industries, Waters says. The global cloud backup and recovery market is expected to grow 14 percent from 2018 to 2022, according to research by Gartner Inc. Clark has noticed a significant increase in ransomware, which is a huge threat to healthcare organizations. “Not only can ransomware bring a business to its knees, but there’s a good chance they can’t get their data back if it’s not on backup,” he says. “And there’s no guarantee they can get their data back even if they pay the ransom.” As a word of advice, Clark encourages healthcare organizations to evaluate backups around the 3-2-1 rule. They also should make sure backups are working effectively, check their logs daily, and run a test restore monthly. It’s also important to have an advanced antivirus solution running on every computer, ensure all operating systems are patched to the current levels, and have an upto-date and well-maintained fire wall. And as an often-overlooked area, organizations must train all employees on cybersecurity awareness. Security breaches can easily occur if an unsuspecting employee visits a website infected with malware, falls for a phishing email scam, or installs a malware-infected thumb drive. “It’s impossible to fortify a system well enough that an employee making a mistake online or otherwise couldn’t circumvent all of the security controls,” Clarks says. “User training is an important part of a security plan.” 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. 26

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


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If you are not an Alaska resident, you should compare this Plan with any 529 college savings plan offered by your home state or your beneficiary’s home state and consider, before investing, any state tax or other state benefits, such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in the home state’s plan. You can also visit our website or call the phone number to request a Plan Disclosure Document, which includes investment objectives, risks, fees, charges and expenses, and other information that you should read and consider carefully before investing. Offered by the Education Trust of Alaska. T. Rowe Price Investment Services, Inc., Distributor/Underwriter. C3UZDFVTG 201711-312746


MARKETING

O’Hara Shipe | Alaska Business

Donovan Conley-Smith of GraphicWorks carefully cuts away excess material as part of a vehicle wrap.

Marketing on the Move From company vans to city buses, vehicle wraps reach the masses By O’Hara Shipe

O

ver the past two decades, marketing professionals have been running at a breakneck pace to keep up with technological innovations that are driving the world forward. The advent of the Internet in the early ‘90s ushered in a new era of content marketing on digital platforms. That landmark change was followed by the rapid popularization of social media, forcing marketers to again rethink their strategies, engineering brands with interactive, shareable personalities. Now a move toward artificial intelligence and virtual reality has marketers working to craft unique digital experiences catered to individual users. 28

With an estimated 3 billion social media users worldwide, an increased focus on digital marketing is undoubtedly warranted— but what has become of more traditional techniques such as printed products? According to GraphicWorks co-owner Victor Alexander, printed collateral still holds a prominent place in the Alaska marketing scene. Alexander and business partner Bonnie Moore recently celebrated twenty-four years of being in business and believe that the market for printed branding materials such as vehicle wraps is only getting bigger. “We do printed banners and posters but honestly, I would say something like 50 percent of our business right now is going to vehicle wraps,” Alexander explains. “It’s a little bit of a seasonal thing because in the summer our shop is booming with vehicle wrap projects as the tourist season picks up and then it kind of slows down in the winter. But I’d still say, overall, vehicle wraps are accounting for a big portion of the work we do.”

When Alexander and Moore began their business, they focused primarily on paper prints mounted on foamcore, but it wasn’t long before they saw the market potential for vehicle wrapping. In 1997, after fielding requests from clients, the duo partnered with 3M to bring its products to Alaska. “We had to get a certification from 3M to verify that we had the right printers, ink, and laminates in order for them to provide their long-term warranties. The vinyl used in vehicle wrapping is kind of a unique product, so it does take some specialty equipment,” says Alexander. Self-adhesive vinyl has only been on the market since the 1980s, and prior to the early 1990s only large clients like the US Air Force could afford the custom product. Improvements in production made custom vinyl more accessible by the late 1990s, but protocols for application had yet to be established. So for GraphicWorks, the application of vinyl vehicle wraps was an on-the-job learning experience.

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


“If you want to change something or if the vehicle is damaged, we can just put on a new piece of vinyl over the repaired section. Plus the vinyl is more durable. Vinyl can protect a vehicle’s paint from chips and dings from gravel on our roads.”

PIP Printing of Alaska

—Debbie Hahn Sales Manager PIP Printing of Alaska

“We’ve sort of seen the whole arc of vehicle wrapping from being a specialty product to being much more of a commodity now. Before we had to educate clients about wrapping being a possibility, and now it’s not uncommon for a client to accumulate three bids on a project,” Alexander says. One local competitor, Innovative Designs, is led by entrepreneur and sole proprietor Owen Henry. Innovative Designs is a small operation of four that has already begun to carve out a niche within the market. “I like to see small businesses grow and I feel like giving a small business an eye-catching

From left to right: Shelley Bramstedt, co-owner; John Tatham, co-owner; Lynette Andersen, sales rep; Debbie Hahn, sales manager; Jan Tatham, co-owner; and Mike Vania, general manager and sales rep of PIP Printing of Alaska. s

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Printing of Alaska has been providing the gamut of print services in Alaska since 1979, including full service design. “We can do anything from simple door decal to a city bus; we do vans, trucks, cars, food trucks, hotel shuttle vans, trailers, and shipping containers—we’ve even done boats,” says Debbie Hahn, sales manager.

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Customized plans for businesses of all sizes • Workers Compensation • Commercial Auto • Aviation • Bonding • Property • General Liability • Earthquake/Flood

www.pipalaska.com

907.274.3584 www.akbizmag.com

907-276-7667 www.chialaska.com July 2018 | Alaska Business

29


Even on Alaska’s most well-maintained roads, vehicles need withstand quite a bit of weathering and abuse, so PIP Printing uses a 3M vinyl specifically manufactured for outdoor applications that has an over laminate for protection. Hahn says, “I have vehicles out on the street that are five, six, seven years old that still have good looking wraps on them. We’ve done several city buses, and those get a lot of wear and tear; they have to be washed every day due to all the road grime on our city streets.” Because Alaska is one of a handful of states that doesn’t allow billboards, Alexander, Henry, and Hahn all agree that vehicle wraps are one of the most effective and eye-catching ways to gain brand awareness. “If you think about the number of impressions one vehicle would get you over the six year lifespan of a wrap—it’s huge. Honestly, 30

you can’t beat a wrap in terms of cost per an impression. It’s really pennies on the dollar for what you put into it,” says Alexander. Hahn explains that a vinyl vehicle wrap is cheaper than painting a vehicle, and since the vinyl doesn’t damage the underlying paint, it’s easier to modify. “If you want to change something or if the vehicle is damaged, we can just put on a new piece of vinyl over the repaired section. Plus the vinyl is more durable. Vinyl can protect a vehicle’s paint from chips and dings from gravel on our roads.” According to a 2016 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report, Americans spend on average 17,600 minutes driving each year, equivalent to seven forty-hour work weeks. With so much time spent behind the wheel, an attractive vehicle wrap is all but guaranteed to bring in business. However, attracting potential clients is not the only

benefit of wrap. As Hahn, Henry, and Alexander put it, having a professional appearance adds a lot of credibility and legitimacy to a business and has the potential to provide an unforgettable experience for current or potential clients. One international example is the memorable 2010 Copenhagen Zoo bus wrap that featured a realistically rendered larger-thanlife boa constrictor squeezing the bus until the metal crumpled under the pressure. More locally, United Way of Anchorage’s 2015 “Put Kids on the Road to Success” bus wrap pictured children sitting in the bus windows wearing an assortment of job-related regalia. The campaign was met with approval, and although there was not a way to directly track the impact of the bus, United Way of Anchorage is confident the wrap helped increase brand and campaign awareness.

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


O’Hara Shipe | Alaska Business

Victor Alexander of GraphicWorks displays available 3M vinyl options.

“We’ve sort of seen the whole arc of vehicle wrapping from being a specialty product to being much more of a commodity now. Before we had to educate clients about wrapping being a possibility, and now it’s not uncommon for a client to accumulate three bids on a project.”

—Victor Alexander Co-owner, GraphicWorks

Donovan Conley-Smith of GraphicWorks applies a vehicle wrap. O’Hara Shipe | Alaska Business

Director of Marketing for United Way Anchorage Sandy Stora says, “Buses go everywhere and reach everyone; they’re moving billboards, and they’re lovely.” Hahn agrees, saying, “It’s a great use of marketing dollars because it’s a one-time charge and gets lots of views because it’s out on the road and in the community.” Vehicle wraps aren’t only for buses, cars, and trucks. They can be applied to boats, fourwheelers, trains, helicopters, and airplanes. Shops generally have their own bay for wrapping small vehicles or boats. PIP Printing expanded its physical footprint a few years ago, which included adding a bay for car wraps. However, for fleets of vehicles or large airplanes, helicopters, or boats, the vinyl application operation will travel. “About two months ago we went out to the Alaska Communications vehicle barn and wrapped www.akbizmag.com

pretty much their entire fleet,” Hahn says. “The biggest thing we’ve ever wrapped was a C-130 Hercules, and we did the whole fuselage, which was about one hundred feet long. That one we had to do off-site in a massive hanger,” Alexander says with a laugh. “You can pretty much wrap anything—you just have to be able to figure out the math so you know how much material you’re printing on. It’s a little bit like fitting a jigsaw puzzle together.” Fitting the pieces together is only one part of the labor that goes into turning a vehicle wrap into a reality. Before the vehicle even makes it to the garage to be wrapped, a graphic designer is consulted to help the company develop its vision. The graphic designer and vehicle wrapper work together to ensure that the graphic elements of the design do not interfere with the vehicle’s functionality, such as emergency exits and windows. Once the design is finalized, the vehicle wrapper calculates the most efficient way to print the design so very little product is wasted. After the material is printed, it goes through a lamination process to help extend the wrap’s life. During the installation process,

the vinyl wrap is applied in strips by hand and any excess is cut away. Often the wrapper will remove the vehicle’s lights and grill to ensure a seamless wrap. On average, the process can take anywhere from twenty to forty hours, depending on the scale and complexity of the project. The intensive labor involved means that full vehicle wraps can end up on the pricey side; however, many Alaska companies offering vehicle wrap services provide a variety of options to choose from including custom logo printing or die-cut lettering. “3M offers forty different colors of vinyl, so we can match just about any corporate branding, and if that doesn’t work, we can print a logo on clear vinyl. The best part is that the vinyl won’t hurt the vehicle’s paint job and won’t leave an adhesive residue, so the resale value of your vehicle won’t be affected,” explains Alexander. In fact, Hahn says that PIP Printing has done all-over, color change wraps on cars even for individual customers. “The customer will bring in a white vehicle and want it to be silver or two-tone. It’s less expensive [than painting] and if you don’t like it, it’s easy to change.” The relative cost-effectiveness, coupled with the eye-catching nature of vehicle wraps, is why Henry recommends the process to any company looking to develop a brand identity. “The way someone perceives a business is going to be based on their first impressions. When you see a vehicle pull up at your residence, whether it’s a tree removal service or a carpet cleaner, you’re ultimately going to have a better impression of their business if their vehicle is professionally branded and looks good. The way I see it, the cost is worth it because you only have one chance to make that first impression,” says Henry. R

O’Hara Shipe is a freelance writer in Anchorage. July 2018 | Alaska Business

31


Welcome to the Best of Alaska Business Awards A

laska Business is eager to present the third annual Best of Alaska Business special section. Just three years ago General Manager Jason Martin strolled into the editorial department and said, “I want to throw a party. How can you make that happen?” Well, more accurately, we were all invested in finding a way to bring attention to the exemplary work demonstrated by Alaska’s businesses, so we created the Best of Alaska Business survey to allow our readers to choose their favorite businesses—and then made sure to plan a party, which this year is taking place July 12 at 49th State Brewing Company in Anchorage.

Our magazine (and newsletter and website and social media) often focus on the state’s major players, whether through our strongest industries or the powerhouse companies that operate in them. But we are Alaska’s business advocate, and we take that seriously. We believe no business is too small to make an impact, either by drawing visitors to Alaska, supporting the state’s companies or their employees, or just making living in Alaska brighter and more interesting. When we were developing our Best of Alaska Business categories, we took into account the businesses patrons visit every week or every day. We asked what companies our readers have connected with because of their service or products. What entities make doing business in Alaska easier? We posed those questions and more to our readers in twenty-two categories and they responded in droves, voting on the winners listed in the following pages. We’re incredibly grateful to our readers for taking the time to vote—your feedback is invaluable.

And to the winners: congratulations, thank you, and keep up the good work. Illustration by Lindsey Neidlinger

32

Alaska Business | July 2018


Best Place to Work 1-250 Employees

O

Altman Rogers & Co.

ne of the benefits of working at a small business is the opportunity to develop strong relationships across the organization. Employees can be as invested as they want in every aspect of the company’s operations.

© Kerry Tasker

Our job requires an adventurous attitude and allows us the opportunity to visit every corner of our amazing state.

DENALI

altrogco.com |

altrogco |

49th State Brewing Company

© Kerry Tasker

ST. ELIAS

We promote teamwork and hold our employees to the highest of standards within a casual, fun atmosphere.

www.akbizmag.com

49statebrewing.com | 49thstatebrew

49thstatebrewingcompany

altmanrogers

Advanced Physical Therapy

© O'Hara Shipe

FORAKER

Anywhere you see the Advanced Physical Therapy symbol you'll know that research based care and respectful service are taking place. aptak.com |

AptAKAnchorage

July 2018 | Alaska Business

33


Best Place to Work 250+ Employees

E

ven at a large corporation employees don’t have to feel like just another face in the crowd. These employers make sure every employee counts by creating an inclusive culture that recognizes everyone from the most experienced to the freshest faces.

First National Bank Alaska

© Kerry Tasker

DENALI

2018 marks the third consecutive year that Alaska Business readers voted First National Bank Alaska as the Best Place to Work. fnbalaska.com |

FNBAlaska |

fnbalaska

Keeping Alaskans SAFE onshore or off for over 30 Years Yukon Fire Protection is the industry leader for consulting, designing and engineering industrial fire protection solutions keeping employees and company assets safe. • 24/7 Responsive Service • Inspections • Installations • Fire Alarms/Sprinklers • Suppression Systems

• Marine Systems • Preventative Maintenance • Mass Notification Systems • Flame or Gas Detection Systems • Portable Fire Extinguishers

YUKON FIR E P ROTE CTION

907-563-3608

sales@yukonfire.com

YUKON INDU STR I AL A DIVISION OF YUKON FIRE PROTECTION

907-274-7973

Visit yukonfire.com for more information about our services 34

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


Credit Union 1

© Kerry Tasker

ST. ELIAS

Working in a “fun, creative, collaborative” environment allows GCI employees to deliver trailblazing solutions and service to some of the state’s most-remote communities. gci.com | GCIAK | gciak

WE LOVE I.T.

Best Place to Work 250+ Employees

GCI

© O'Hara Shipe

FORAKER

The Credit Union 1 experience is comprised of hard work, history, excellence, and success. cu1.org |

CreditUnion1 |

oneforallalaska

We are honored to be selected as one of your Favorite Managed IT Service Providers in Alaska. Our promise is to provide exceptional, white-glove service and the latest technology to ensure your business thrives. To learn more about our products and business solutions, visit alaskacommunications.com

©2018 Alaska Communications

www.akbizmag.com

July 2018 | Alaska Business

35


Best Corporate Citizen

T

here is a direct correlation between healthy communities and a strong economy, and businesses are the conduit through which both are strengthened. Through donations and volunteer work, businesses show their dedication and connection to their employees and the environment in which they operate.

First National Bank Alaska

© Kerry Tasker

DENALI

First National Bank Alaska contributes some $1 million annually to charities and community events, including American Red Cross of Alaska, Alaska Public Radio Network, Boys & Girls Clubs Alaska, and United Way. fnbalaska.com |

FNBAlaska |

GCI

fnbalaska

Credit Union 1

© Kerry Tasker

ST. ELIAS 36

© O'Hara Shipe

GCI is passionate about supporting public safety organizations; organizations that promote healthy Alaskans; and projects that are priorities for local communities. gci.com | GCIAK | gciak

FORAKER

Credit Union 1 is proud to help foster thriving, happy communities by always putting people first. cu1.org |

CreditUnion1 |

oneforallalaska

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


Empty Bowl Project

t’s not always easy to ask for money. But, what makes it easier is a thoughtful, fun, engaging fundraising event that appeals to a wide variety of people who want to make a difference while forming enduring relationships with likeminded individuals.

© Matt Waliszek

DENALI

This fun, festive, good natured competitive event was started by Bean's Cafe specifically to draw attention to all the empty bowls in our community. beanscafe.org |

beanscafe |

Great Alaska Aviation Gathering and Airplane Raffle

© O'Hara Shipe

ST. ELIAS

Best Fundraising Event

I

BeansCafeAK

Alaska Run for Women

© O'Hara Shipe The Great Alaska Aviation Gathering’s Airplane Raffle offers a first place prize worth upwards of $250,000, making it the largest raffle prize an individual can win in Alaska and a fun way to show support for Alaska's aviation industry and community.

members.alaskaairmen.org |

www.akbizmag.com

alaska.airmen |

AlaskaAirmen

FORAKER

In 2017 the Alaska Run for Women raised more than $240,000 for breast cancer research, education,outreach, prevention, and early detection.

akrfw.org |

alaskarunforwomen |

akrunforwomen

July 2018 | Alaska Business

37


Best Meeting or Event Venue

W

here you hold your event often matters almost as much as the event itself. These three venues demonstrate the wide range of options available to Alaskans looking to hold the event of a lifetime and cater to any event planner’s unique needs with keen attention to detail.

Dena'ina Center

© Kerry Tasker

DENALI

The Dena’ina Center offers some of the largest, most flexible, and state-of-the-art event spaces in Alaska… There is a perfect space for any event at the Dena’ina Center. anchorageconventioncenters.com/denaina-center |

Hotel Captain Cook

DenainaCenter |

denainacenter

49th State Brewing Company

© Kerry Tasker

ST. ELIAS 38

© Kerry Tasker We had the honor of hosting President Barack Obama (as well as seven other high ranking foreign diplomats) in 2015 for the GLACIER Conference. In 2017, we hosted the President and First Lady of the People's Republic of China.

captaincook.com |

hotelcaptcook |

hotelcaptcook

FORAKER

Your event, whether it’s an intimate party, a lavish reception, or an important business meeting, will be as effortless as it is memorable.

49statebrewing.com | 49thstatebrew

49thstatebrewingcompany

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


Hotel Captain Cook

needs, like a business center and Wi-Fi. But they also need a warm, welcoming, reliable place to rest and refresh after a long day of meetings and networking. For those who are constantly on the move from city to city and state to state, these hotels offer the comforts of home that make all the difference to the weary traveler.

© Kerry Tasker

DENALI

What sets the Hotel Captain Cook apart from other hotels that accommodate corporate travelers is that we have a keen attention to detail, and our staff remembers our clients by name. captaincook.com |

hotelcaptcook |

Embassy Suites

© O'Hara Shipe

ST. ELIAS

Best Hotel for the Corporate Traveler

orporate C travelers have specific

hotelcaptcook

The Lakefront Anchorage

© Kerry Tasker

This modern all-suite hotel makes access to the airport, top Anchorage attractions, and area companies easy.

www.akbizmag.com

embassysuitesanchorage.com AnchorageEmbassySuites | EmbassyAlaska

FORAKER

The Lakefront Anchorage provides our business guests convenient access to the Ted Stevens International Airport while simultaneously providing them with an Alaskan lodge ambience and service culture.

millenniumhotels.com/en/anchorage millenniumhotels | millennium

July 2018 | Alaska Business

39


Best Corporate Retreat

S

ome hotels are perfectly suited to accommodate large groups that are traveling with a purpose. These are those hotels. They offer what your group needs to grow, learn, and develop life-long relationships many miles away from the stresses of the daily office grind.

Alyeska Resort

© Alyeska Resort

DENALI

From the ballroom overlooking the mountain to the intimacy of our executive boardrooms, Alyeska Resort is an Alaska conference center that provides a naturally inspirational environment. alyeskaresort.com |

AlyeskaResort |

resortalyeska

Chena Hot Springs Resort

Land's End

© Land's End

ST. ELIAS 40

Chena Hot Springs resort enjoys a clean, healthy, and beautiful natural environment and continues to welcome people from all over the world.

chenahotsprings.com | ChenaHotSprings

ChenaHotSprings

FORAKER

The view. The waterfront location. Because nothing really compares with the setting here at Land’s End, we hear many of our corporate guests talk about this being the most beautiful location in Alaska.

lands-end-resort.com | landsendresort

LandsEndResort

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


Best Group Fishing Charter

W

Saltwater Safari Company

hen it comes to fishing, these companies have seawater in their veins. Let their years of experience be your guide as you set out on your next great ocean adventure in search of Alaska’s worldrenowned halibut, salmon, rockfish, lingcod, pacific cod, and more.

© Saltwater Safari Company

DENALI

Saltwater Safari Company has been in business for twenty-six years and original owners Captains Bob Candopoulos and Steve Babinec (along with extensively trained crews) skipper the boats Legend and Legacy, which are immaculately maintained. saltwatersafari.com |

SewardAlaskaFishing

Seward Fishing Club

Crazy Ray's Adventures

© Seward Fishing Club

ST. ELIAS

Fishing aboard the sixty-five-foot Rainisong enhances any day. It’s big, stable, and comfortable. “Our experienced crew is really helpful for those who have limited experience.”

www.akbizmag.com

sewardfishingclub.com |

Seward-Fishing-Club-313385572125

FORAKER

Prince William Sound offers an experience that is truly once-in-a-lifetime, and Captain Crazy Ray’s true passion is assisting his clients in receiving an adventure that they will never forget.

crazyraysak.com |

CrazyRaysAdventures

July 2018 | Alaska Business

41


Best TeAm Building Company

B

usiness is built on communication. What better way to fortify relationships within your business than to gather everyone at the company and head out to play some mysterious and exciting games of chance. Whether that’s solving complicated problems at an escape room or enjoying some good old fashioned skeeball, these adventures will bring the entire company closer together.

Avalanche Escape Rooms

© Kerry Tasker

DENALI

Avalanche Escape Rooms’ newest adventure is called “It’s Mine,” in which long lost family documents have recently been uncovered revealing the existence and location of a hidden gold mine. avalancheescaperooms.com |

Alaska Escape Rooms

AvalancheEscapeRooms

Dave & Buster's

© Matt Waliszek

ST. ELIAS 42

© Matt Waliszek

All of our stories, from mechanics to escape scenarios are built in-house… Most of our inspiration comes from the diversity of our creative backgrounds.

alaskaescaperooms.com | AKEscapeRooms

Alaskaescaperooms

FORAKER

Companies need to keep their employees communicating well together, and there’s no better place to get your group to collaborate, grow as a team, and have fun than at Dave & Buster’s.

daveandbusters.com | daveandbusters

daveandbusters

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


Alaska Serigraphics

romoting an event takes a whole lot of effort. Distributing swag at that event allows all of that hard work to carry on long after the event is over. Even without an event, promotional products keep your company’s name on the public’s desks, bodies, and minds.

© Kerry Tasker

DENALI

We help companies, organizations, and individuals transform their designs into great promotional gear. akserigraphics.com |

akserigraphics |

Stellar Designs

© O'Hara Shipe

ST. ELIAS

Best Promotional Products Supplier

P

Our customers utilize our in-house design team to add local knowledge and flavor to their designs… we keep up with national trends in design style, garments, and decoration methods to offer national caliber products.

www.akbizmag.com

stellar-designs.com |

StellarDesigns |

Stellar_Designs

akserigraphics

Klondike Promotions

© O'Hara Shipe

FORAKER

We are the only promotional products team in the state of Alaska that is 100 percent industry certified by the Promotional Products Association. This is a true manifestation of our commitment to maintaining the highest of industry standards and to total quality excellence.

klondikepromotions.com |

klondikepromotions

July 2018 | Alaska Business

43


Best Web Design Firm

H

ave a website? How’s the design? It can be overwhelming to launch or redesign a website that communicates to your potential clients who you are, what you do, and why you’re great. Good news! These companies specialize in making your website modern, intuitive, and informative.

C+L Creative

© Kerry Tasker

DENALI

C+L Creative stays on top of ever changing technology, security, and SEO best practices because they know it makes a big difference to client outcomes; the company always make these issues a priority. cplusl.com |

clayandlaura |

Sundog Media

ClayButcher

MSI Communications

© O'Hara Shipe

ST. ELIAS 44

Website development has changed in many ways over the last twenty years, but one constant is that a great website does an amazing job telling our customers’ story in an authentic way that connects with their audience.

sundogmedia.com |

SundogMedia |

sundogmedia

© Kerry Tasker

FORAKER

MSI’s six-person, full-service web development team has invested heavily in staying ahead of web development and software technologies, as well as emerging trends in the online, digital, and social marketing arena.

msialaska.com |

msialaska |

msialaska

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


Best Managed IT Service Provider

A

s technology advances and IT in the workplace becomes increasingly complicated, more companies understand the importance of working with IT experts to keep their data safe and operations running smoothly. Whether through malicious intent or an innocent accident, these companies can help prevent or address a technological breach that could spell catastrophe.

GCI

© Kerry Tasker

DENALI

At GCI, we go all out to provide Alaskans with the latest and greatest products and services, as well as quick and efficient customer service. gci.com |

GCIAK |

gciak

Alaska Communications

© O'Hara Shipe

ST. ELIAS 46

Arctic IT

© O'Hara Shipe

We work to understand our clients’ business pain points and long-term goals and then develop technology solutions that support those goals.

alaskacommunications.com | AlaskaComm

AlaskaComm

FORAKER

Using tenacious ingenuity… we simplify technology. arcticit.com |

arcticinfotech |

arcticit

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


Best Video Production Company

H

aving a professionally shot video in your marketing arsenal allows you to reach a wider audience. A well-produced video with exciting imagery and exceptional sound offers your company one more marketing tool to spread your message to potential clients anywhere, anytime, on any platform.

Channel Films

Š Kerry Tasker

DENALI

We work with a very diverse group of folks all around the state, from a local tourism owner/operator to nonprofits to global companies. channelfilms.com |

C+L Creative

channelfilmsak

MSI Communications

Š Kerry Tasker

ST. ELIAS 48

We always encourage our clients to share their story with Alaskans. We focus on using storytelling skills that make an emotional connection.

cplusl.com |

clayandlaura |

ClayButcher

FORAKER

All of our projects afford the opportunity to do meaningful, creative work that delivers great value to our clients. msialaska.com |

msialaska |

msialaska

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


omfortable employees make for productive employees. Investing in quality office furnishings will always benefit your bottom line. Whatever your furnishing needs may be, from traditional office sets to the latest in powered standing desks to ergonomic chairs and keyboards, these local companies have you covered.

Best Office Furniture

C

Scan Home

© Kerry Tasker

DENALI

Even though we sell a product, we are really in the service business and want to build long-term relationships with our customers so we will be their ‘go-to’ furniture store. scanhome.com |

scanhomeak |

scanhome

We Are a Leader in High-Value Office Furniture Paired with one-stop selection and in-stock availability, we simplify the furniture procurement process, so our customers can effectively, and efficiently, save time and money. Get a quote today.

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Best Office Furniture

Bailey's Furniture

Arctic Office Products

© Matt Waliszek

ST. ELIAS

© O'Hara Shipe

We are a home-grown Alaskan business that provides quality, scalable furnishings… More importantly, we create lasting relationships and straightforward solutions.

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We offer product, design, project management, delivery, and installation, with the largest furniture selection in Anchorage. arcticoffice.com | OfficeArctic

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Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


Best Fitness, Training, or Gym

laska’s A fitness centers

The Alaska Club

allow you to maintain a healthy body and mind without the hassle or expense of investing in home or office gym equipment. Whether during Alaska’s long summer days or dark winter nights, keeping your energy level up will lead to greater happiness and productivity at home and work.

© Kerry Tasker

DENALI

Our commitment to health, wellness, and community extends past the thresholds of our clubs into the neighborhoods we serve through various outlets including community events, donations, and sponsorships. thealaskaclub.com |

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Planet Fitness

Body Renew

© O'Hara Shipe

ST. ELIAS

We strive to create a workout environment where everyone feels accepted and respected.

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PlanetFitness

© Matt Waliszek

FORAKER

We are a high touch, results-based business that prides itself on creating a welcoming environment for those who rarely or have never been in a gym.

bodyrenewalaska.com | BodyRenewAK

bodyrenewak

July 2018 | Alaska Business

51


Best Patient Healthcare

W

Providence Alaska Medical Center

hen you’re

sick or injured, how you’re taken care of is almost as important as the treatment itself. These healthcare providers pride themselves on offering the latest technology and a caring personal touch to ensure every patient experience is as positive as possible.

© Kerry Tasker

DENALI

Providence Alaska Medical Center caregivers focus on compassion and quality to ensure we provide the best possible care to the communities we serve. alaska.providence.org |

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All across our hospital, from our housekeepers to our dietary staff to our nurses and caregivers who provide hands-on care, each of our Alaska Regional Hospital employees is dedicated to caring for our patients as they would for their own loved ones.

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Best Patient Healthcare

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Our twenty-one providers work as a team to satisfy our purpose of making a positive difference in every patient's life. mpfcak.com |

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Best Restaurant to Take Clients

A

n important part of building and maintaining client relationships is networking. When you need a little something extra, moving your next client meeting from the conference room to a restaurant could do the trick. These restaurants have created an atmosphere that shows your clients just how much you value their business.

Glacier Brewhouse

© Kerry Tasker

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Our conference room is a perfect spot for small business meetings and private celebrations… Amenities include a media ready television, flip charts, projectors, and screens. glacierbrewhouse.com |

Simon & Seafort's

© Matt Waliszek

ST. ELIAS 54

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49th State Brewing Company

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Enjoy a daily lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, or perhaps a special business or romantic occasion in our warm, inviting, and spacious dining room.

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Reserve a big table, a private dining room, a patio, or the entire restaurant and relax as we provide uncompromising attention and service to your guests.

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Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


Peppercini's Deli & Catering

we don’t have to be. There are dozens of options for catering and take-out in Alaska that can meet any of your company’s onsite dining or catering needs. Large or small, options include casual fresh to highend cuisine designed to meet your every need. These companies are sure to delight your palate and your guests with delectable food and exceptional customer service.

© Kerry Tasker

DENALI

We have literally hundreds of business customers who we have been servicing for years. The vast majority of our staff have been here for years, and our customers appreciate the familiarity and friendship that goes along with that. alaskadeli.com |

PeppercinisDeliandCatering

Dianne's Wild Fork Catering

Our team of professionals have been serving our wonderful food to clients at business meetings, open houses, and life celebrations in and around Anchorage for many years.

www.akbizmag.com

cateringanchoragealaska.com | DiannesWildFork

Moose's Tooth

© Kerry Tasker

© Dianne's Wild Fork Catering

ST. ELIAS

Best Take-Out or Catering

e’re not all chefs. W Fortunately,

WILDFORKCatering

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A flavor-packed menu, mouthwatering beverages, and adventurous monthly specials make for a good time, any time of day. moosestooth.net |

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July 2018 | Alaska Business

55


Best Brewery

laska is A fortunate to have experienced exponential growth in craft brewing. And Alaskans are the benefactors of that growth. From barrel-aged stouts and barley wines to IPAs and Belgian ales, these breweries have a beer for every taste. Check in with your favorite brewery often as they regularly craft seasonal and limitededition brews.

49th State Brewing Company

© Kerry Tasker

DENALI

All of our small-batch handcrafted artisan ales and lagers are brewed in Alaska, onsite at our brewpubs… We combine the best malt, hops, water, and yeast with our intense passion. 49statebrewing.com |

Broken Tooth Brewing

© Kerry Tasker

ST. ELIAS 56

49thstatebrewingcompany |

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Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

© O'Hara Shipe The brewery has won two gold and six bronze medals from the Brewers Association’s Great American Beer Festival, as well as a silver and bronze medal from the World Beer Cup.

brokentoothbrewing.net |

brokentoothbrewing

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We are Anchorage’s oldest and boldest brewery creating innovative and delicious beers since 1995. Our attention and commitment to the quality of our products… is a hallmark of our business.

midnightsunbrewing.com | MidSunBrewing Midnight-Sun-Brewing-Company/543314242380756

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


Kaladi Brothers Coffee

offee! There’s not a whole lot more to say. Everyone has very strong opinions about who brews the best coffee in town. These three are among the best according to our readers, who we suspect might need some caffeine now and then to power through those busy days.

© Kerry Tasker

DENALI

Kaladi Brothers Coffee provides a meeting place for members of the community to come together, share ideas, and build relationships. kaladi.com |

KaladiBrothersCoffee |

kaladibrothers

SteamDot

Black Cup

© Matt Waliszek

ST. ELIAS

Best Coffee Shop

C

Our cafés are where we evaluate all our coffees. You’ll find us constantly tinkering with new batches and arrivals in the cupping room.

www.akbizmag.com

steamdot.com | SteamdotLab

SteamDotCoffeeCompany

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FORAKER

We believe no shortcuts exist to extraordinary coffee. Each phase, from harvesting and processing to roasting and brewing, must be handled with care.

blackcupak.com |

CafeDelMundoCoffee

July 2018 | Alaska Business

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Best Steakhouse

I

t’s hard to beat a great steak. Many of Alaska’s fine dining establishments offer quality cuts, but our readers have determined that these three restaurants in particular serve up a mouthwatering steak every time. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner—it’s a great time for steak.

Club Paris

© Kerry Tasker

DENALI

Make it a point to visit Club Paris and treat yourself to a huge, mouth-watering steak, charbroiled to perfection and unequaled in tenderness and flavor. clubparisrestaurant.com |

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Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


© Matt Waliszek

ST. ELIAS

Located in bustling downtown Anchorage, part of the 5th Avenue Mall, this one-of-a-kind steakhouse transports you to another place and time.

sullivanssteakhouse.com/anchorage SullysAnchorage | SullivansSteak

Best Steakhouse

Sullivan's Steakhouse of Anchorage

Texas Roadhouse

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The Texas Roadhouse story is simple: legendary food, legendary service, all with lots of legendary fun. texasroadhouse.com | texasroadhouse texasroadhouse

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Best Pizzeria

E

Moose's Tooth

verybody likes pizza, but not every pizza is great. Not only do these fine pizzerias serve the traditional options such as pepperoni or vegetarian, they have also developed unique in-house recipes and specialties to delight even the most discerning pizza lover.

© Kerry Tasker

DENALI

Moose’s Tooth serves pizza and Broken Tooth Brewing beer (with a side of tiedye). We strive to offer a truly gourmet pizza experience, focusing on creative, high quality food in a casual environment. moosestooth.net |

moosestoothpub |

Hungry Robot

© Isaac Stone Simonelli

ST. ELIAS 60

Uncle Joe's Pizzeria

© Matt Waliszek

When we ordered our oven we had not picked a name yet. We had the oven built to look like a robot, and we decided to call the business The Hungry Robot because we ‘feed’ it pizza and wood all day long and it is still hungry.

thehungryrobot.org |

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Uncle Joe’s is known for serving up traditional and gourmet pizzas; our pizzas are hand-crafted and stone baked, then topped with generous portions of only the finest and freshest ingredients.

unclejoespizzeria.com Uncle-Joes-Pizzeria-168500066247

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


IN A JOB THAT REQUIRES VERSATILITY AND FLEXIBILITY – WE HAVE YOUR BACK. In over 7 million hours of service, the Pilatus PC-12 NG has earned a solid reputation for outstanding performance, reliability, safety and operational flexibility. With a large 8-passenger cabin, low operating costs and #1 rated customer service, this big single will never be a hangar queen in your flight department. It turns chief pilots into heroes almost overnight. Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd • Phone +1 303 465 9099 • www.pilatus-aircraft.com Western Aircraft, Inc. • Phone +1 208 385 5155 • www.westair.com


OIL & GAS

Oil & Gas Legislative Update Favorable legislation bodes well for Alaska’s future By Julie Stricker

62

F

or the past several months things have been looking up in Alaska’s oil patch. Oil prices are edging up, announcements of big discoveries keep coming, and favorable state and federal legislation bode well for the immediate and long-term future of Alaska’s oil and gas industry. Perhaps the biggest news came with the passage of the federal tax overhaul bill in December, which includes a provision to open a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife

Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas leasing, a goal Alaska’s congressional delegation has been attempting to reach for decades. ANWR was created under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) in 1980. ANILCA took about 8.9 million acres of land in northeast Alaska previously designated as wilderness and added another 9 million acres of public land to create the refuge. Approximately 1.5 million acres of land along the coastal plain was not designated

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


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“We have fought to open the 1002 Area for a very long time, and now our day has finally arrived… Alaskans can now look forward to our best opportunity to refill the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, thousands of jobs that will pay better wages, and potentially $60 billion in royalties for our state alone.”

—Lisa Murkowski US Senator

as wilderness, but Section 1002 of the act mandated studies to assess its wildlife and potential petroleum resources. That strip of land became known as the 1002 Area, and USGS estimates show it may contain 10.4 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil. However, ANILCA’s Section 1003 states “production of oil and gas from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is prohibited and no leasing or other development leading to production of oil and gas from the [Refuge] shall be undertaken until authorized by an act of Congress.” Since the 1980s, Alaska’s congressional delegation has attempted to open the 1002 Area to leasing but fell short in administration after administration until this past December. As chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Senator Lisa Murkowski wrote the section of the bill that calls for an environmentally protective oil and gas development plan in the 1002 Area of the refuge. The plan requires two lease sales over the next ten years. “This is a watershed moment for Alaska and all of America,” Murkowski said after the bill passed. “We have fought to open the 1002 Area for a very long time, and now our day has finally arrived. I thank all who kept this effort alive over the decades, especially Ted Stevens and Frank Murkowski, and all who supported this bill. Alaskans can now look forward to our best opportunity to refill the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, thousands of jobs that will pay better wages, and potentially $60 billion in royalties for our state alone. This is a major victory for Alaska that will help us fulfill the promises of our statehood and give us renewed hope for growth and prosperity.” Alaska Governor Bill Walker says the move is a “historic opportunity for Alaska.”

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


A loon sits on its nest on the North Slope section of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.

“Alaskans have long supported leasing and responsible development in the coastal plain, which was set aside for oil and gas development.”

US Fish and Wildlife Service

—Kara Moriarty President and CEO Alaska Oil and Gas Association

“This is an important priority for my administration given the potential for significant new revenues from lease sales and production,” Walker notes in a statement. “The State of Alaska will work with the US Department of Interior to support their efforts to prepare for these lease sales and ensure that local input is taken into consideration. Alaska has a long history of safe development on the North Slope, and new technology is making the footprint of development even smaller.” In April, the Bureau of Land Management issued a draft notice that it would begin to prepare an environmental impact statement for a

leasing program in the 1002 Area. The process includes a sixty-day public comment period and five scoping meetings in Alaska communities. That notice is the first step in a long process to conduct the lease sales, says Kara Moriarty, Alaska Oil and Gas Association president and CEO. “Alaskans have long supported leasing and responsible development in the coastal plain, which was set aside for oil and gas development,” she says. That step is only the first in a years-long process. “You won’t see production for—assuming you have a successful lease sale—probably ten to fifteen years,” she says.

Alaska Oil Tax Credit Bond Measure In the meantime, Alaska needs to focus on increasing production, she says. For the past several years, state tax credits have been an important tool in state policy. The credits are largely behind an 80 percent boost in Cook Inlet gas production since 2010. Smaller, agile companies such as Caelus Energy, Repsol, and Armstrong Energy entered the Alaska market and larger ones, such as BP and ConocoPhillips, increased their investment on the North Slope. As a result, oil and gas companies have been making enormous discoveries, such as Repsol and Armstrong Energy’s Nanushuk field, which has contingent oil reserves of

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“Refinancing the debt we owe in tax credits will unfreeze global capital for Alaska projects across economic sectors. We look forward to these companies resuming exploration and development that puts Alaskans to work and supports Alaska’s revenue stream.”

—Cathy Giessel Alaska Senator

1.2 billion barrels of recoverable light oil, according to Repsol. It is the largest onshore oil discovery in Alaska in thirty years. ConocoPhillips says 2017 was its best exploration season in years. It could add 100,000 barrels of oil per day to the trans-Alaska pipeline, which has a current throughput of about 550,000 barrels per day. The company planned to drill five wells in the National

66

Petroleum Reserve-Alaska but drilled six instead because of improved operational efficiencies. All struck oil. The company didn’t release any estimates, but it says it expects to see another strong season next year. In a statement, ConocoPhillips Alaska’s President Joe Marushack says that if Alaska maintains its current fiscal policies, its exploration work could lead to billions of dollars in investments, including “significant new revenue for the state, the federal government, and the North Slope Borough and villages and the creation of hundreds of new direct jobs.” The state Legislature ended the tax credit program in 2017, saying it had become unaffordable. For the past three years, the state has made only a partial payment to companies owed money under the program because of budget constraints. But after years of paying only partial rebates and vetoing hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments, the tax credit program was in shambles and damage was done to both the ability of oil and gas companies to operate in Alaska and the state’s reputation. By early 2018, the state owed about $900 million under the program and its delay in paying the rebates “has damaged the state’s reputation and chilled future investment; caused projects to be shelved, resulting in negative economic impacts to the state and local communities; and many Alaskans are now out of work, especially in the oil and gas industry,” AOGA’s External Affairs Manager, Brandon Brefczynski, told the

Senate Resources Committee in March. In December, the governor introduced bills (HB 331 and SB 176, respectively) that would allow the state to sell bonds to pay off the tax credits in a lump sum. The Department of Revenue would issue ten-year bonds covering the total cost of the tax credit obligations. The oil companies would be encouraged to take up to a 10 percent discount in the face value of the credit certificates in order to be paid immediately, which would pay for the bonding measure. The state would face annual payments of about $115 million; much less than the estimated $200 million it would face for 2018. The House passed the bill in early May, but it took until the very end of its extended legislative session for the Alaska Senate to pass it. “Refinancing the debt we owe in tax credits will unfreeze global capital for Alaska projects across economic sectors,” Senator Cathy Giessel said in a news release. “We look forward to these companies resuming exploration and development that puts Alaskans to work and supports Alaska’s revenue stream.” AGOA’s Moriarty says the passage of the bond bill will have an impact in the next one to three years. “That allows companies to repay loans and continue to reinvest in Alaska,” she says. “You also look at, in the short term, the fact that we did not have an increase in the tax policy even though there was a strong desire by members of the state House to increase taxes. Some even wanted to see an increase of tripling our taxes.” If something like that

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


Draft Climate Change Policy Some uncertainties remain. Walker created a task force to come up with a draft climate change policy for the state. The draft focuses on a series of shortterm targets such as reducing greenhouse gases by 30 percent by 2025; increasing the use of renewable energy sources; increasing the state’s energy efficiency by 15 percent; and producing half of its electric energy through renewable sources by 2025. It suggests the state increase its investment into clean energy and focus on natural gas as a “bridge fuel.” An early version of the draft included a line that says, “there is an economic and ethical imperative to pursue a transition away from a global dependence on fossil fuels,” which was removed in the most recent version. The draft

www.akbizmag.com

“Alaska has a long history of safe development on the North Slope, and new technology is making the footprint of development even smaller.”

—Bill Walker Governor of Alaska

does acknowledge that the state economy is dependent on natural resource development. One of the plan’s goals is to “develop an energy transition scenario planning and strategy that leverages current and potential oil and gas development and the benefit of increased clean energy alternatives.” The draft was open for public input through June 4. A final report is due in September, which could lead to policy changes in the upcoming Legislature, Moriarty says. “Depending on what that looks like, that can either be a good thing or a bad thing for our industry,” she says. “So it’s a little too soon to tell.”

US Fish and Wildlife Service

would have passed, that would have had a devastating impact on the industry immediately. “So, fortunately, we dodged that bullet, for now,” she says. While taxes help with the short-term picture and development in ANWR helps shape the long-term, Moriarty says it’s hard to say if one is more important than the other to the oil industry. “The reality is you need all of it to sustain a healthy economy for the state of Alaska,” she says. “All of these together continue to lay the framework and environment for us to be successful both here in the short term as well as the long term.”

Summer scenic of a valley in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Fish Habitat Initiative Moriarty says she’s keeping the climate policy draft on her radar, as well as what she calls the fish habitat initiative, which could “really ruin everything.” Otherwise known as the Stand for Salmon initiative, the measure would

July 2018 | Alaska Business

67


US Fish and Wildlife Service

Mancha pinnacles in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

change laws regulating fish habitat and set new Department of Fish and Game guidelines under Title 16 for permitting mining and oil and gas projects. Proponents say the measure would promote responsible resource development. Opponents say it would effectively eliminate large-scale projects around the state. Backers of the initiative gathered enough signatures for it to go on the November ballot. However, the initiative’s constitutionality has

been questioned, with Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott saying the measure crosses the line as far as appropriating the state’s natural resources, which is up to the Legislature, not the public. A Superior Court judge overruled Mallott and in April the initiative went before the Alaska Supreme Court, which has been asked for a ruling before September. Moriarty says the initiative bills itself as a

salmon habitat measure, but it is far broader in scope. “It changes the way you permit all fish habitat,” she says. “The proponents call it Stand for Salmon, which is a convenient misnomer. In addition to salmon, it also applies to twenty-one other species of anadromous fish. So it’s not solely applied to salmon species, it applies to all fish habitat in Alaska.” A coalition consisting of Alaska’s twelve Native regional corporations, resource development industries, unions and trade groups, and the Alaska Chamber formed an opposition group called Stand for Alaska. Alaska Gasline Development Corporation President Keith Meyer says the fish habitat initiative would prevent construction of the longawaited Alaska natural gas pipeline project. Walker also opposes the measure, saying that using the initiative process for measures that could impact development concerns him. Moriarty says the initiative would ruin the oil and gas industry. “It wouldn’t matter that they would have the tax credit bond bill and it wouldn’t matter that you have these new large discoveries and it wouldn’t matter that they might have an eventual lease sale in ANWR,” she says. “All of that would not matter if the initiative passes, because the initiative will make it virtually impossible to permit new projects.” R

Julie Stricker is a journalist living near Fairbanks.

It’s here!

The Alaskan Arctic is now connected with 21st century communications. The Quintillion fiber system is bringing high speed internet to northern Alaska communities from Nome to Prudhoe Bay. Introduction of high-speed internet capacity to Quintillion’s markets is improving health and education services, helping to spur economic development, empowering local businesses, and allowing consumers access to video and other high-speed applications.

Internet at the Speed of Light. Powered by Quintillion. To learn more and see what's next, go to Qexpressnet.com

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Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


ROTAK Helicopter Services

Making projects economically feasible for Alaska

R

OTAK Helicopter Services is giving Alaskans a rare opportunity to capitalize on an unusual piece of equipment: the Kaman K-MAX helicopter. There are only 14 K-MAX helicopters opera�ng in North America and none of them have been available this far north un�l now. With an intermeshing, counter-rota�ng, dual-rotor system, the K-MAX is unique in design and purpose. The $7 million aircra� can operate at high and hot al�tudes without sacrificing payload capacity, and it can li� external loads of 6,000 pounds plus fuel. “There’s not another helicopter that can do what the K-MAX can,” says ROTAK General Manager and Girdwood na�ve Ely Woods. “It will out li� all other helicopters at higher al�tudes.” The single-engine, dual-rotor K-MAX is built for work. It’s very quiet and fuelefficient—50 percent more efficient than any other helicopter in its weight class—which allows ROTAK

to offer extremely compe��ve services. “There’s nothing else that can touch its price and li� capacity for what we bill per hour,” Woods explains. MAKING AN IMPACT ROTAK, whose name evolved from the words “Rotor” and “Alaska,” specializes in providing cost-effec�ve precision aerial li� support in various applica�ons. The company focuses on performing disaster relief work and support for powerline infrastructure, remote tower construc�on, oil and gas, and mining projects. In addi�on to opera�ng three heavy-li�ing K-MAX, ROTAK also operates the versa�le

AS350B2, Robinson R44, and R22 helicopters to assist clients with construc�on, u�lity work, transporta�on, and sight surveys. “We want to be part of building Alaska’s future; we have a great team of specialized, solu�on-focused people with proven results,” Woods says. ROTAK is also engaged in meaningful projects. The disaster relief work it performed in Puerto Rico and its tower support services in Alaska are prime examples. Currently, ROTAK is helping the Federal Emergency Management Agency rebuild Puerto Rico’s power grid, destroyed last year by Hurricane Maria. The work, which primarily involves the posi�oning and placement of towers and power lines, is rewarding. Woods explains: “It’s more than just making money, but about having an impact on people and being part of something bigger than us.”

– PA I D A D V E R T I S E M E N T –

FUTURE PLANS ROTAK is also having a major impact in Alaska with the construc�on of its new hangar at Ted Stevens Anchorage Interna�onal Airport. The $2.8 million project—expected to generate approximately sixty jobs—will create a state-of-theart facility that will serve as ROTAK’s main base of opera�ons. Scheduled comple�on is set for October 2018. Once it’s built, the hangar will give the company a more strategic and spacious loca�on for project staging, major maintenance, and other manufacturing ac�vi�es.

Addi�onally, ROTAK is planning to offer more logis�cal services to help clients complete complex projects efficiently, safely, and cost-effec�vely. “We’re always looking for innova�ve and crea�ve ways to get involved,” Woods says. “We design and fabricate specialized equipment for our fleet to make projects possible and meet deadlines.”

For more informa�on about how ROTAK is making larger infrastructure projects economically feasible, call (907) 229-9117 or visit www.rotakheli.com.


TRANSPORTATION

CDLs Fly South for Shift Work

Lower 48 companies recruit Alaskans to meet demand By Sam Friedman

D

emand for qualified truck drivers in the Lower 48 has been so strong in recent years that some of the big national trucking companies have come to Alaska to look for labor. One company even offers Alaska drivers a deal that flips the usual Alaska out-of-state worker arrangement on its head: recently recruited truck drivers at Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Schneider National can live in Alaska and be flown to the Lower 48 to work three-week shifts. By his count, sixty-seven graduates of the Northern Industrial Training (NIT) trade school in Palmer have taken rotational schedule jobs at Schneider in the last two-and-a-half years, says Joey Crum, president and CEO of NIT. Schneider reports it currently has twentyseven Alaska residents driving various routes in the Lower 48. It’s worth the expense to recruit Alaska drivers because of the quality of candidate the company gets, says Rob Reich, Schneider’s senior vice president for equipment, maintenance, and driver development. “We have found the work ethic, attention

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to safety, and professionalism to be worthy of the investment,” Reich says. Crum is a former truck driver who recently finished a term as president of the Alaska Trucking Association. He’s been at NIT for fifteen years and says he’s never seen a labor market so hot in the Lower 48 that a company was willing to regularly fly employees to work from Alaska. “The industry finds a way,” he says. “If they can’t find what they need locally, they’ll find it somewhere else.” Nebraska-based Werner Enterprises and Tennessee-based TCW have also come to Alaska to recruit drivers recently, although these companies were looking for drivers willing to relocate to the Lower 48, Crum says. While the job market for truck drivers may be red hot in the Lower 48, it’s also still strong in Alaska, Crum says. At 7.3 percent, Alaska’s unemployment rate is a few points higher than the national rate. But Crum says there are always jobs somewhere in the state available for people who have commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs). The trucking industry employs thousands of Alaskans and continues to bring in nonresident drivers for hard-to-fill jobs. Like seafood processing, hospitality, and the oil industry, trucking has traditionally been an Alaska industry that depends heavily on out-ofstate workers. According to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s

most recent report on nonresident workers, out-of-state drivers represented 18.5 percent of the workforce of 3,602 heavy and tractor-trailer drivers in 2016. That category of driver made an average quarterly wage of almost $14,000 that year. The nonresident count includes both seasonal workers and those who live elsewhere and regularly fly in for rotations. Crum says that since 2016, oil and gas companies have flown in fewer commercial truck drivers from out of state. But he says the practice remains common in the seafood processing industry where companies frequently struggle to find qualified drivers at their remote plants.

A Graying Workforce In both Alaska and the Lower 48, the trucking industry is seeing an aging workforce. According to the Commercial Carrier Journal, a trade publication, almost 60 percent of the national driver workforce is older than forty-five. Nationally, a dearth of young drivers is sometimes blamed for what some see as a pending existential crisis in the driving industry. Under this theory, young people are avoiding the trucking industry out of concern that self-driving cars and trucks will make the jobs obsolete in their lifetimes. Crum says autonomous trucks will eventually make their way to Alaska highways. But he argues that’s not a reason for young people to avoid the industry. Automation, he says, will assist drivers, not replace them.

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


A Sourdough Express truck pulls a trailer with a bulldozer on the Parks Highway south of Cantwell. Sourdough Express

“Some of those vehicles are the wave of the future. It’s going to happen,” he says. “The response to this from both the American and Alaskan trucking associations is the same and that is: planes are almost fully automated. But when is the last time you got on a plane that didn’t have a pilot?” In the Lower 48, the work schedule of longhaul truckers may also be discouraging some younger people from pursuing truck driving jobs. But that’s less of a factor in Alaska, says Aves Thompson, executive director of the Alaska Trucking Association. Alaska is a big state, but there are few long routes that take employees away from home for weeks, he says. A trucker can go from Anchorage to Prudhoe Bay and back in few days.

Regulation Challenges In both Alaska and across the United States, Crum believes two federal regulations on CDLs have made it hard to recruit young drivers: the marijuana drug testing requirement and the requirement that drivers be twenty-one years old before they can drive freight that comes from out of state. Both these issues hit Alaska especially hard. Despite the Alaska law that legalized marijuana for recreational use on a state level in 2015, marijuana is still illegal on a federal level, so applicants for a CDL must pass a drug test that screens for marijuana. A 2017 report on testing results from national drug testing www.akbizmag.com

lab Quest Diagnostics showed an increase in positive tests for marijuana in states—including Alaska—that have recently legalized it. The drug testing narrows the pool of potential applicants, which can be a boon for job seekers who don’t consume pot, says Crum. “It’s become job security for people who are willing to adhere to the regulations. It doesn’t mean they have to like them, they just are what they are,” he says. The age requirement is especially important because of Alaska’s geographic isolation, Crum says. “You can get a CDL in Alaska when you are nineteen, but you can’t haul anything that’s interstate freight until you’re twentyone. In Alaska, how much stuff do we actually make here?” he says. “There are limited entry points because of what I truly believe are onerous regulations.” The Alaska Trucking Association and the national American Trucking Associations both support HR 5358, a bill in Congress known as the DRIVE-Safe Act that would lower driving age requirements. “I’m not an advocate of taking an eighteen year old and putting them behind the wheel of a tractor trailer and immediately putting them down the road, while I believe there are eighteen year olds who can handle it and do it well,” Crum says. “There are a lot of vehicles like those delivery vans that FedEx and UPS drive that don’t

One company even offers Alaska drivers a deal that stands the usual Alaska outof-state worker arrangement on its head: recently recruited truck drivers at Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Schneider National can live in Alaska and be flown to the Lower 48 to work three-week shifts. require CDLs but are considered commercial motor vehicles, which mean the same rules apply that you can’t haul that [interstate] freight until you’re twenty-one.” Keeping younger drivers from driving these smaller vehicles makes it harder to recruit them to later drive larger trucks, he says. “We’re recruiting from a secondary workforce is basically what it is. We are telling our high school graduates for the next three to five years to not get in trouble, to find meaningful employment, to not do drugs, and then in three to five years to come back and join us.” The legislation to change the driving age isn’t popular across the entire trucking industry. Nationally, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association opposes the legislation and calls the labor shortage predicted by the American Trucking Associations a myth created to drive down labor costs. The independent owners argue that enough new and re-instated CDLs enter the labor market each year to cover the anticipated demand.

Getting a CDL Becoming a commercial truck driver requires a written test, a driving test, and a health exam. The training to pass those tests can come from school or on-the-job training. In Palmer at NIT, which is the largest CDL training provider in Alaska, new drivers typically take a $9,000 class that covers 240 hours and is usually taught during six 40-hour weeks, says Crum. The class curricula include learning to shift and steer large trucks, using air brakes, inspecting vehicles and cargo, and backing trucks into docking stations. Students practice on the eighty-acre Alaska State Fair parking lot before moving on to public roads. Last year NIT graduated 146 long term truck driving students (usually new drivers looking to break into the industry) and 271 students who came to the school for a refresher class or just to take the driving tests. When companies look for drivers to hire, they look for experience and critical thinking, Crum says. Critical thinking is essential because, by the nature of the job, truck drivers must be independent. “Every employer is going to take you on a road test,” Crum says. “With somebody watching you, you’re going to have to get in and drive the truck.” July 2018 | Alaska Business

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These tests are usually done “cold” without the driver getting to practice on the company’s truck. The examiners look for employees who can quickly master unfamiliar equipment, Crum says. Entry level trucking jobs often involve driving within a city, hauling freight such as produce, water, trash, or lumber, he says. More experienced drivers can typically get higher-paying jobs hauling freight longer distances or working on construction jobs. With additional training, truckers can get qualifications to drive specialized cargos such as hazardous materials and double-trailer trucks.

On-the-Job Training Although most CDL training in Alaska is done through schools like NIT, trucking companies are increasingly offering internal CDL training, Crum says. At Sourdough Express, a Fairbanks-based freight and moving business, there’s a pipeline to commercial truck driver jobs that starts with hauling furniture and boxes in and out of houses. The company employs 120 people, of which 70 have their CDLs. Most Sourdough Express drivers received CDL training outside the company, but, where possible, Sourdough Express tries to promote from within, training people as-necessary to get their CDLs, says Josh Norum, business director of operations. Generally people advance from being laborers for the moving business to moving drivers to freight drivers.

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NIT

Students at Northern Industrial Training conduct a pre-trip safety inspection.

"We kind of have a structure. We like to get the most out of guys who work for us so they don’t get bored, get burnt out,” Norum says. Employees who train to earn a CDL start by reading the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles CDL manual and a company study

guide to prepare for the written test. When they’ve passed the test and have their permit, drivers start practicing with company trucks. “We have a couple guys at each terminal who we’ve trusted and who enjoy training new people,” Norum says. “The biggest thing

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


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Instructor Gerry Graves shows a student how to properly hook up air lines to a trailer at Northern Industrial Training in Palmer. NIT

with the CDL is just having the seat time to get out and practice.” Employees usually spend about eighty hours driving by the time they’re ready to schedule a driving test with the Division of Motor Vehicles. There’s no special government requirement to drive the Dalton Highway up to Prudhoe Bay, but Sourdough requires additional

training for drivers who don’t have Dalton Highway experience. “It takes a lot of trips,” Norum says. “People don’t know how fast the road can bite you. When you’re going loaded, stuff happens faster on that road than any other road in Alaska.” Employees without experience on the highway spend at least two years driving

trucks on paved roads before starting on the Prudhoe Bay service road. To drive the road in the winter, drivers must spend a summer learning the road and make five winter trips accompanied by another driver. R Sam Friedman is a freelance writer in Fairbanks.

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Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


CONSTRUCTION

Evolving Envelopes Attractive, energy efficient masonry By Judy Mottl

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laska’s climate, specifically the long harsh winter months, isn’t ideal for mixing cement or concrete. The frigid temperatures present a massive challenge for masons tasked with creating brick or stone facades. The state’s brutal winters also contribute to sky-high heating costs for building owners and tenants alike. Ongoing innovations in construction can alleviate some of these challenges.

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A New Approach to Masonry For example, InsulStone, developed in 2007 by ICAP-USA, is a four-step insulation stone and porcelain panel exterior siding system designed to eliminate installation time and provide greater energy efficiency. Used with a foam back application, InsulStone provides what ICAP-USA calls “continuous insulation” which blocks energy loss through transference.

Mitchell Fairweather, a mason with more than forty years of experience in the industry and nearly twenty years working in Alaska, views InsulStone and its foam back as one of the best new innovations in the Alaska-based construction market. “It’s an absolutely perfect solution for Alaska's climate and really makes sense,” says Fairweather, who discovered InsulStone while at a trade show in 2009-2010. In fact,

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


Above: A close up look at InsulStone being installed on a hotel development in Anchorage. Left: InsulStone is being used instead of traditional masonry in the development of a four-story hotel in Anchorage. G2 Construction

Fairweather became so enamored with the product he quickly enlisted himself as a sales rep and has been busy introducing it to architects, engineers, and construction companies across Alaska for the past several years. The product offers an alternative to traditional masonry, says Fairweather, as it provides a very similar façade to customary brick and stone yet doesn’t require several of the many steps masonry requires. www.akbizmag.com

“With InsulStone you are gaining that nice masonry look and cutting 50 percent of labor as you’re not putting on a metal scratch coat, a cement coat, then mixing cement and putting it on the stone and putting it on the wall,” explains Fairweather. “That whole process is gone. Now you get a box of InsulStone and you’re taking pieces out and stapling them on as if it was siding.” The product also provides heating and cooling savings to building owners or operators, says Fairweather. “If you are doing an R30 wall on the inside of a building, which is what they’re doing in Alaska, and you put this on the front at zero temp that R30 wall stays an R30. If you put regular masonry on, that R30 drops to an R9,” he says.

A Hard Sell As often happens with new products, InsulStone hasn’t been an easy sell. One challenge

is convincing construction companies and masons to try something new—something that hasn’t gone through decades of testing, Fairweather says. Construction companies and masons are cautious when it comes to emerging products and approaches since many have tried new products in the past and found them to be a failing proposition. “That’s why it’s so tough to get someone to say yes. When you try something and it fails, you go back to what you know and stick with it. So it’s been hard,” Fairweather says. But Fairweather isn’t easily daunted and through repeat visits he scored a win with G2 Construction. The Fairbanks-based firm has now used InsulStone on many projects and InsulStone with the foam back application on three builds. The first was a small dental office. The second was an apartment project in North Pole. July 2018 | Alaska Business

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G2, founded in 2001 by Paul Gitschel, subcontracted installation on the dental building and the masonry team completed install in one day—a job that typically would have taken four days, says Fairweather. The third and most recent project is a fourstory Staybridge Suites Hotel being built in Anchorage. It is the largest InsulStone with foam back installation in Alaska to date.

G2 Construction

Alternatives to traditional application allow masonry work to be done during cold periods.

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Installation in Progress Construction on the 157-room hotel began in the fall of 2016 with underground and excavation work. After a winter weather break, work began again in the spring of 2017 with a projected completion date of December 2018. G2 Construction recommended InsulStone with the foam backer option for the hotel owner because of the contractor’s experience with the product on earlier projects, says project manager Gary Graves. He says InsulStone offers more pros than cons. In the past, prior to knowing about InsulStone, G2 traditionally went with dry stacked stone with masonry work. “Four Corners Dental was the first, but before we ever installed the product we could see that, because of the foam backer, it was going to add insulation and improve the install time,” says Graves. The look is also appealing, he says. “The product has a very realistic stone look and feel. The foam backing not only adds an impenetrable R11 thermal barrier but makes installation very easy using pneumatic

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


staples,” Graves says, noting that because there are no glue or mortar requirements the product can be installed in any weather at any temperature. It’s easy to learn to install as well, though Fairweather recommends hiring or contracting masons for installation given their skills handling issues such as the complications of arches and building design. G2 typically hires a mason subcontractor on big jobs and uses internal masonry workers on small projects. “The only con I can think of is a small one; if you look very closely you can see the panel lines which give it away as a panelized product. But it’s not very obvious,” Graves says.

Innovation in Construction InsulStone is representative of the emerging technologies and approaches taking place within the construction industry, according to Graves. “In many ways construction technology is similar to what my grandfather and father understood it with some important differences,” he says, noting computers have enabled the industry to be much more efficient on the business end. Administrative, estimating, and engineering software continue to evolve, as well. “Power tools [cordless and pneumatic] have added efficiencies to the job site, making buildings quicker and cheaper to complete,” adds Graves. “There are many new composite building products that are attractive and

“It’s a dying talent. It’s either young guys start doing masonry again or new products come out to cover the loss or you stop doing masonry on buildings completely. It’s starting to happen already.”

—Mitchell Fairweather Mason

extend building life, but in my view the biggest changes have occurred in the improvement of the building envelope [thermal and moisture barriers] and energy efficient designs.” Products such as these are a boon to the construction industry, given potential savings in labor and lower heating costs that are obviously welcomed by Alaska-based builders and property owners. According to Neal Fried, an economist with the state’s department of labor research division, the industry has been undergoing a “rough” patch with big job losses in 2016 and 2017 related to the continuing recession and declining capital budget spend for construction projects. “The amount of activity is relatively low, with the public and private side taking some pretty big hits,” says Fried. Yet there is a positive sign on the horizon. “The only part of construction [growing], surprisingly, though it’s still relatively small, is construction related to residential,” says the economist.

Fairweather believes InsulStone could prove to be a lifesaver of sorts for the masonry industry as well. In his experience there has been declining interest in the occupation as many young workers aren’t interested in getting into what’s viewed as a tough and messy job requiring a variety of hands-on skills. “We [masons] need something with less labor. Young guys don’t want to get into it as it’s too messy, it’s too hard,” he says, noting the average age of a mason is more than fiftyfive years. “It’s a dying talent. It’s either young guys start doing masonry again or new products come out to cover the loss or you stop doing masonry on buildings completely. It’s starting to happen already.” R

Judy Mottl writes about important issues country-wide with an affinity for Alaska.

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July 2018 | Alaska Business

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FISHERIES

Permit Migration and a Graying Fleet Rural access to fishing permits declines By Isaac Stone Simonelli

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he high cost of entry into Alaska’s limited permit commercial fishing industry appears to be fueling the graying of the fleet and the movement of licenses out of rural coastal communities to more urban locales and out of state. The ramifications of these shifts in the industry are cause for concern, says Paula Cullenberg, professor emeritus, UAF. “This is a national, an international issue when you limit access to fishing—and there are lots of good reasons to do that—it does create barriers for succession, and that’s one big root cause [of the problems in Alaska], there’s no doubt about that,” she says. In Alaska’s early statehood nearly sixty years ago, salmon stocks were dwindling due to overfishing. To combat this, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game employed management strategies designed to allow for long-term sustainability of fishery resources, says Marcus Gho, an economist at the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. However, the department’s efforts were not viewed as sufficient to ensure the sustainability of commercial fishing in Alaska. In 1972, Alaskans amended the state constitution, allowing for limited entry, which is a system that requires permits to fish; some fisheries,

“I think that the implications for the succession of the fishing industry in our state are significant. If we lose Alaska participation in fisheries, if we don’t have a strong participation, we are losing job opportunities and economic input in our state.”

—Paula Cullenberg Professor Emeritus, UAF

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The tide goes out at Bristol Bay. Flynn Photography

such as salmon, allow only a certain number of permits to ensure both sustainability of the fish population and preservation of the economic health of the fishery, Gho says. At the end of last year, there were 13,996 limited entry permits. Between 1975 and 2017, there has been a net gain of 431 permits to Alaska residents through transfers from nonresidents, Gho explains. During the same period of time, the net change of permits that accompanied people who moved outside of Alaska has been 1,148. This comes to an annual average of 16.7 permits leaving the state each year, an overall decrease of about 5 percent. “Is 5 percent substantial? For many individuals any permits leaving the state of Alaska is substantial, but for others it is not,” Gho says. However, this decrease does not account for the movement of permit holders from rural Alaska to urban areas. A total of 54.2 percent of all limited permits were issued to rural Alaskans starting in 1975. By the end of 2017, rural Alaskans held only 48.1 percent. “I think that the implications for the succession of the fishing industry in our state are significant. If we lose Alaska participation in fisheries, if we don’t have a strong participation, we are losing job opportunities and economic input in our state,” Cullenberg says. Not only does the state lose tax opportunities, it loses overall economic gains from the fishing industry if the people who are harvesting the state’s natural resource are not Alaska residents. “I don’t think there’s really anyone in the state who likes the trend of what we’re seeing in terms of loss of permits from rural communities and increasing ages,” Cullenberg says. Alarm bells have been going off about the graying of the fishing fleet for years, but in many ways changes in workforce demographics, which now comprise a higher percentage of people over the age of fifty-five, follow state and national trends across many industries. “One reason for the decline is that there are simply fewer teens in Alaska than there were ten years ago [who] often have less time due

to education demands; they tend to work in entry-level, part-time service jobs,” Mali Abrahamson, an economist at the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, wrote in an Alaska labor statistics report. Gho notes that between 1980 and 2017 the average age of permit holders increased from 40.9 to 51.1, an increase of nearly 25 percent. During those same years, the change in the median age of Alaskans increased from twenty-six to about thirty-five. “No matter how you look at it, the statistics seem to suggest that our population is aging. While there are only a few fisheries wherein the average age of permit holders has decreased, most permit fisheries have permit holders who have experienced age inflation to various degrees,” Gho says. There are numerous reasons that the average age of permit holders is changing, some a natural reflection of changes in the composition of the state’s population and others warning signs of increased barriers to entry. “A lot of it has to do with younger generations going to school more and working less than teens and young adults in the past. That, coupled with a soft labor market, is going to depress the youth participation rate,” Abrahamson says. “As an economist, the most interesting thing I find is that it’s not just economic factors that keep people in [or] out of fisheries. It’s also social. Tribal, family, and other factors weigh into workers’ decisions that we really can’t measure outside of indepth socioeconomic analyses and intensive surveys.” Such research was published by Cullenberg; Rachel Donkersloot, the working waterfronts program director at Alaska Marine Conservation Council; and University of Alaska Fairbanks associate professor Courtney Carothers in a report titled “Turning the Tide: How can Alaska address ‘graying of the fleet’ and loss of rural fisheries access.” Though Donkersloot agrees that the social barrier is huge, she says framing the question as whether or not kids from rural communities are choosing to leave the village for increased economic and educational opportunities ap-

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


proaches the issue from the wrong angle. “The question’s almost framed as: do young people even want to go fishing anymore given changing ambitions and pathways, new economies, or perceived better opportunities,” Donkersloot says. “I think that definitely plays a role, but I think the question we should be asking is if a young person in Alaska wants to go fishing—and especially a young person in rural coastal Alaska—is there a viable opportunity? Is there a pathway for them to achieve that opportunity? Can it be realistically achieved? Can it be envisioned?” For those youth who do not have direct connections to the industry, one primary barrier is the high cost of entry, similar to pursuing a career as a medical doctor or lawyer. Additionally, even if funds are found, there’s a significant financial risk to enter the industry as an operator. And, as Donkersloot notes, there are no guarantees in fishing: a bad season or two could completely ruin an independent fisher. “We have heard a lot of discussion about the lost family connection to fishing and the lack of experience and knowledge that comes with that lost connection, and that’s a barrier as well,” Donkersloot says. “I think as we see more permits leaving rural Alaska, we see how the connection to that industry and the development of that knowledge and skill becomes a little bit more precarious. That’s where we’re going to see that social barrier playing a bigger role as well.” Cullenberg points out that during interviews in coastal communities, fewer youth living in semi-urban areas, such as Kodiak, were involved or interested in pursuing fishing. However, in places where there were fewer alternatives, that number rose. Finally, in traditional Alaska Native communities that are heavily family-oriented, the percentage of interested youth increased. “When there were communities that had a really high loss of permits, the young people didn’t have much in the way of [fishing] role models in those communities,” Cullenberg says, noting that under such circumstances youth were less able to imagine entering the industry. Donkersloot also believes that the migration of permits out of rural communities impacts opportunity perceptions. “As fewer and fewer fishing rights are held by rural Alaskans, I think that changes how the opportunities are perceived in rural Alaska. So if it’s not your father or your mother or your uncle that holds that right, how do you get the experience on board? Do you get that crew job? Are you even aware that it’s an opportunity?” she asks. At the most basic level, fishing in rural regions is more than an important source of income—it also functions as a community builder, a way for families to work together as multi-generational crews. There are teaching opportunities through these community connections. Fishing also provides food security, as commercial fishing families play an integral role in the systems harvest and in sharing networks. “It provides for the development of local www.akbizmag.com

Fishers set net in Bristol Bay. Flynn Photography

skills and knowledge, and these functions are highly valued. And I think they contribute significantly to one’s identity and sense of place and sense of community, what they enjoy most about life in the community,” Donkersloot says. Cullenberg and Donkersloot both worry that permits migrating to urban areas or out of state is closing off opportunities to members of rural communities. However, Cullenberg makes it clear that “Turning the Tide,” released in December 2017, was not aimed at dismantling the current limited permit system. “The system that we have in our state is really pretty embedded. I think that our attempt is to provide some suggestions about how to go forward and recognize this problem of succession into the fishing industry,” Cullenberg says. Throughout the world, there are examples of governments finding ways to knock down barriers to entry to the seafood industry: for instance, a lobster apprenticeship program through the Maine Department of Marine Resources. The program is specifically intended to support youths entering the lobster industry, as it is difficult to get a lobster permit in the state. “There are also other countries that have used things like having a local zone around their fishery that enables local people to harvest a limited amount of fish in their region. And that, again, supports entry into the fishery without having to pay that huge price for access,” Cullenberg says. In Alaska, there are a few areas with similar restrictions through super-exclusivity regulations. “Super-exclusive registration in the Chignik state waters cod fishery was intended to help preserve the local character of the fishery, though local fishermen are then somewhat constrained in their opportunities to fish elsewhere in the state,” according to a 2009 report prepared for the Alaska Marine Conservation Council and Gulf of Alaska Coastal Communities Coalition. Another example of an attempt within the state to help youth enter the industry is the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, which is designed to provide training, infor-

mation, and networking opportunities for commercial fishermen early in their careers. The Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA) is also taking steps to lower the barrier of entry. “ALFA is committed to helping the next generation of fishermen and ensuring residents of Alaska’s coastal communities have access to our fisheries. Through a number of programs, we are helping the next generation of commercial fishermen launch and support viable commercial fishing businesses,” the association’s website states. One example of ALFA’s efforts is its Deckhand Apprenticeship Program. “There is a whole range of possibilities— and you layer on that the Alaska Constitution; we have a really strong equal access to natural resources provision in our Constitution,” Cullenberg says. However, the strongest recommendation in the “Turning the Tide” report called for the governor to put together a task force of stakeholders and experts to further investigate the graying of the fleet and movement of permits from rural communities to urban areas and out of state. Because of the many different fisheries in the state, each with its own dynamic, there won’t be a one-size-fitsall solution, Cullenberg says. “What works for Bristol Bay might not work for the Kodiak region [and] might not work for the Alaska Peninsula or the Southeast,” Cullenberg says. There are really just two questions the state must answer. “Do we, as a state, value keeping our coastal communities strong and economically healthy?” Cullenberg asks. “If you put in place a policy that prevents local people from accessing, in many cases, the only source of private income available to them, is that a smart policy for the state of Alaska to have in place?” R

Isaac Stone Simonelli is a freelance journalist and former managing editor for the Phuket Gazette. July 2018 | Alaska Business

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INSURANCE

Greg Mercer shows off a big catch.

Marine Insurance Germane to Multiple Industries 'The original insurance' By Tracy Barbour

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arine insurance is a broad term with meaning and coverage areas that have significantly evolved over the years, according to Lynne Seville, CSP, principal and account executive with Parker, Smith & Feek Inc. Headquartered in the Pacific Northwest, Parker, Smith & Feek is one of the largest insurance brokerage firms in the country. “Marine insurance is kind of the original insurance,” says Seville, who is based in Anchorage. “It is one of the oldest types of insurance, established when almost all important things were shipped in boats. It was really about protecting cargo in the beginning, and then it morphed from there.” Today, the “marine” insurance category encompasses many different types of insurance. “It includes everything from maritime insurance for vessels and cargo to builder’s risk to inland marine coverage, which is basically insurance for property that moves around, such as mobile equipment,” Seville says. Almost every kind of business can utilize some kind of marine insurance—from building contractors to manufacturers and social services agencies. “It’s really one of those coverages that almost every business needs in one shape or form,” she says.

Common Coverage Types What people think of as traditional marine insurance is a type of coverage that primarily pertains to vessels and cargo over the ocean. Commercial marine businesses typically purchase coverage for the hull (the body of the boat), the crew, and marine liability. Liability insurance provides coverage for damaging others if the owner or operator is at fault for an accident on the water. It can pay to repair or replace the property as well as any medical care, lost wages, and other cost resulting from the accident. Commercial vessels often also have cargo insurance to offer protection against the destruction of the property carried on board. Cargo coverage represents approximately half of the “true” marine insurance market, Seville says. Parker, Smith & Feek places a significant amount of ocean cargo coverage for businesses, ranging from shippers to contractors who ship materials. For example, a contractor who has a critical component for a project that needs to be shipped over ocean would place marine cargo coverage to protect against its loss. Seville explains: “You can also cover loss of business if you lose cargo. We also have ‘delay in start-up coverage’, which covers the impact to the con82

tractor’s business if a project is delayed due to something happening to the cargo.” Another essential type of insurance that is designed for boat owners is pollution liability. This insurance, which is required, provides coverage from spills or threats of spills involving entities such as shipyards, yacht dealers, fishing vessels, and marinas. Coverage includes clean-up, third-party property damage, subsistence, assessment of and damage to natural resources, loss of revenues and profits by third parties, civil penalties, and criminal fines and defense. There are also a number of coverages that people typically do not associate with marine insurance. A prime example is builder’s risk insurance, which falls under the inland marine category. Builder’s risk covers property owned by a contractor, developer, or other business owner as it moves from place to place. It covers equipment and tools that are stolen, damaged, or lost, as well as protects against unforeseen events such as vandalism, fire, and tornadoes. So what kind of insurance coverage is available to protect people engaged in marine activities? There are several federal regulations that cover workers and others injured in maritime-related situations. These laws include the Jones Act—also known as the Merchant Marine Act—and the US Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. The Jones Act allows crew members who are injured due to negligence to recover for damages caused by injury while working on a vessel. The US Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act covers similar provisions for non-crew members. Most boat insurance policies routinely provide coverage for the US Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, but that’s not the case with the Jones Act. So commercial boat owners should ensure they have the proper protection and indemnity coverage against possible liabilities from crew members and/or passengers.

Meeting Specialized Needs Obviously, marine insurance is highly technical and specialized in nature. That’s why Parker, Smith & Feek maintains a knowledgeable staff to help clients determine the best coverages for their specific situation, Seville says. “The cargo insurance, delay-in-startup, and builder’s risk insurance have many nuances that can have a severe outcome on the claims experience,” she says. “We have specialty departments for builder’s risk and marine insurance.” Marine insurance also has unique aspects that necessitate more expertise and customization. For instance, with ocean marine insurance, there are very specialized forms involved. And the insurance contract is often

Anchor Marine Underwriters

manuscripted, meaning it’s specially written for the client’s situation and needs. Seville says, “The reason marine insurance contracts are customized is because you often have different interests; you often have several underwriters coming together to layer coverage.” Anchor Marine Underwriters assists private individuals and businesses with their marine insurance needs. The company—with about thirty years in the business and several locations nationwide—provides marine insurance for everything from small boats and private yachts to charter boats and other commercial vessels. It covers boat builders, marine artisans, marina owners, dealers or brokers, and yacht club or ocean cargo carriers that handle the shipping of yachts. In Alaska, Anchor Marine Underwriters primarily serves fishing charter operators. It also assists other commercial clients and private boat owners throughout the state. The company’s Anchorage-based agent, Greg Mercer, happens to operate a charter boat business, Wild Salmon Sportfishing, out of Seward. This experience, along with his marine insurance expertise, enables him to better serve his customers, he says. “I have been a fishing guide for almost thirty years, which helps me understand the wants and needs of a charter vessel owner,” he says. One of the most common types of marine insurance Mercer sells is for fishing guides. It’s basically a passenger policy for a vessel hauling passengers for hire. He typically provides protection and indemnity insurance, which is required by the state. The state mandates a minimum of $100,000 per incident and $300,000 collectively for fishing guides, most of whom elect to carry higher coverage.

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


“The cargo insurance, delay-in-startup, and builder’s risk insurance have many nuances that can have a severe outcome on the claims experience. We have specialty departments for builder’s risk and marine insurance.”

—Lynne Seville, Principal/Account Executive, Parker, Smith & Feek

“With that policy, you will have whole coverage for an agreed value [not a cash value], medical payments to cover the customers, crew coverage for deck hands, and pollution coverage,” he says. Mercer points out that guides who drop customers off on the shore should add some type of shoreside coverage. If they don’t, it could be detrimental to their business. “If the guide just assumes that the insurance company adds that in there, there might be a rude awakening when someone slips and falls on the rocks and is injured and there is no coverage,” he says. Steve Zernia, owner of ProFish-n-Sea Charters, is adamant about ensuring he has adequate insurance for his business. The Seward-based company—which offers salmon, halibut, and lingcod charters—operates four vessels. Zernia carries hull insurance to protect the boats, along with liability insurance to cover the crew and passengers. Marine insurance, Zernia says, is indispensable to ProFish-n-Sea Charters: “It’s absolutely required [legally]. And, obviously, from a business standpoint, we want to make sure our assets, customers, and crew are covered as well.” Vessels carrying passengers for hire may also have insurance coverage requirements related to where and how they operate. For instance, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Kenai National Wildlife Refuge require certain entities that access their area to carry insurance. Some landowners will require themselves to be listed as an “additional insured” on the insurance policy. In addition, guides who use different booking agencies must list these agencies as an additional insured on their policy. As Seville indicates, marine insurance for commercial businesses involves different intricacies than auto or homeowners insurance. Crew exposure, for example, is a distinct area that charter outfits must properly cover. “The owner will have to have the crew appropriately insured because there is so much exposure there and the owner is liable,” Mercer says. Guides and charter companies need to be aware of the insured value of their vessel. Normally, such businesses will have an “agreed value” policy, which means that if their vessel is a total loss, they’ll receive the value it’s insured for—minus their deductible. With Anchorage Marine Underwriters’ charter boat policies, a marine survey is conducted on the vessel to determine its replacement value. This is the dollar value the owner will receive if a loss occurs. Generally, insurance on most private watercraft are cash value policies. However, many private boat owners are not aware that they have an actual cash value on their boat, www.akbizmag.com

Mercer says. But if a boat sinks or is stolen— and it’s insured for the cash value—the owner will receive the market value for the vessel. This amount may be significantly lower than what they originally paid for it and may not actually be enough to replace their boat. “If the boat is very expensive, it could be a terrible surprise to the owner,” he explains. Private boat owners also need a greater awareness of the navigation warranty of their insurance policy. The warranty stipulates the latitude and longitude where they can operate, and some boat operators unwittingly travel outside this area. “The owner isn’t allowed to operate outside their navigation warranty; otherwise, they will not have coverage,” Mercer says.

Industry Observations As a trend, Mercer has noticed that the marine insurance industry has started to harden somewhat lately. This could be due to a higher number of claims, he says, pointing to the damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey last fall. Whether insurance rates will increase remains to be seen. But personally speaking, Mercer says he anticipates paying more to insure his own charter boat. “I expect my premium to ratchet up a little bit.” As more of a general observation, Mercer says people tend to be underinsured. They “think with their pocketbooks for the here and now,” instead of thinking about what could happen in the future. But they should carefully consider all of the assets they have to protect and make sure they are properly insured. Mercer says, “If they have a few homes, automobiles, savings, and retirement, they may want to up their liability a little bit to protect themselves.” Seville has noticed that clients are becoming more aware of the coverage they need. And the agency is selling more of this specialized type of insurance. “I think business people are starting to truly understand their exposures,” she says. “I think the global community is changing how they look at the kind of insurance they need.” Although clients are becoming more cognizant of their marine insurance options, Seville encourages them to further enhance their knowledge. One area every client should pay more attention to is the insurance coverage related to shipping. For instance, clients who are shipping materials and goods for business should be aware that when they opt for the shipper’s coverage, it will pay much less than the full value of their goods. “They haven’t read the fine print of the shipper’s tariff. When they lose their cargo, the amount of the claim can be highly limited,” she says. Parker, Smith & Feek spends a significant

Essential Types of Marine Insurance There is a wide array of insurance available to protect maritime workers and property involved with marine-related commercial operations.  Maritime employer’s liability: Provides protection for employers’ potential liability for injury to captains and crew under applicable local laws that allow employees to bring negligence actions against employers.  Marine general liability: Combines comprehensive general liability, including products and completed operations insurance, with miscellaneous liability coverages, such as stevedore’s or marine terminal operator’s liability.  Terminal operator’s liability: Provides marine terminal operators with liability insurance for damage to cargo and the property of others while at their facilities; rigger's liability for people who move equipment with cranes.  Charterer’s liability: Designed for companies that charter or rent space on a vessel. This coverage protects the charterer against liabilities assumed under a charter party.  Wharfinger’s liability: Protects commercial wharf, dock, or pier owners against liability for damage to vessels (including cargo and other interests on board) while at their facilities.  Ship repairer’s liability: Insures vessel repairers and contractors who work on vessels and related components against liability for damage to vessels (including equipment on board) undergoing, awaiting, or proceeding to docks for repair. R amount of time educating clients about different insurance options, Seville says. As part of these efforts, the agency offers marine cargo classes to help clients understand their exposure or risk of possible loss. Seville encourages clients to maintain open communication about their business activities with their insurance broker. This way, their broker has a better understanding of the client’s potential exposure and the ability to offer advice tailored to each situation. She says: “We want to review the contracts you’re signing. We want to talk about new jobs you’re doing. When you’re bidding work, we want to look at it [the bid] so that we can help you understand what may change with your insurance. It needs to be an ongoing communication.” 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. July 2018 | Alaska Business

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ENVIRONMENTAL

Marine Salvage

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Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


Out-of-the-box thinking to preserve Alaska’s environment By Isaac Stone Simonelli

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espite what many may think, the Alaska marine salvage industry’s primary goal—outside of ensuring the safety of people—is to protect the environment. Salvaging actual cargo is a much lower priority than safeguarding Alaska’s many sensitive and important marine ecosystems. Though salvors might not prioritize recovering assets, the maritime community at large, and particularly vessel owners, operators, and their underwriters, recognize the value of highly-trained, versatile professionals who protect their interests. This recognition has led to open communication between groups through organizations such as the International Maritime Organization, the International Salvage Union (ISU), and American Salvage Association. “The most important thing salvages do that is probably misunderstood by the public is that we keep millions of gallons of pollutants out of the sea, out of the ocean, every year,” says Dan Magone, operations manager

for Resolve Marine Services. Magone was previously the owner of the renowned marine salvage business Magone Marine, which operated in Western Alaska for more than forty years until he sold it in 2013. “The [government] agencies don’t really care about the owner or the owner’s values involved or the underwriter’s values involved. They’re out representing the state and the people in terms of how might this incident damage the environment and cause harm to the waters and the state.”

Prevention and Response However, Alaska’s sprawling, remote coastline and fierce weather create a challenging landscape for salvors doing their best to protect the environment. Regulations in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which streamlined and strengthened the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to prevent and respond to catastrophic oil spills, are particularly problematic for vessels moving July 2018 | Alaska Business

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through the Aleutian Islands, which are distant from the infrastructure necessary for compliance if a ship runs aground, Resolve Marine Services Alaskan Region Director Todd Duke says. Due to this, ships must take additional precautions, such as remaining fifty or more miles offshore. “That way, if they have a mechanical difficulty or casualty, there would be time to get a vessel out there,” Duke says. Though Resolve Marine specializes in salvage and wreck removals, the company also provides emergency response measures, tracking thousands of boats to ensure that they don’t need to take a plunge and put their other skill sets to work. In fact, a lot of what Resolve Marine does is attempt to prevent incidents from occurring, or mitigating risk. “We monitor the traffic moving through there [the Aleutians] using AIS technology, make sure they are complying with routing measures and everything,” Duke says. “And then, if we see an anomaly drifting, we’ll contact that vessel, we’ll determine if she has a potential problem, and, if they do have a problem, that’s when we start launching some of our resources and our assets out of Dutch Harbor.” When there is a casualty, it’s never in a convenient place in Alaska. The incident is inevitably out near a rural village with limited resources or somewhere there are no resources at all, notes Duke. For much of the Lower 48 it’s possible to base a crew at a local hotel, but that’s rarely an option here. “Most of our job is basically logistics, especially in the Aleutians,” Duke says. Marine salvaging companies need to figure out where they are going to house the team, how they are going to feed them, and how they’re going to get personnel and equipment to the incident. “Those are all the big challenges right off the bat, getting to a casualty, getting our people there, sustaining an operation for a multitude of days,” he says.

Expertise and Planning for the Unexpected Global Diving & Salvage Director of Business Development Eric Rose concurs. “The state of Alaska, simply in terms of its sheer size, the thousands of miles of primarily remote shoreline [34,000 miles], the wide variety of sea conditions, and the physical topography of the land, presents enormous challenges with regard to logistics when deploying personnel and equipment to a casualty,” Rose says. “[The] keys to successful salvage work in the remote parts of Alaska are access to vessels of opportunity and people with intimate local knowledge of the waters and prevailing conditions.” This expertise is one of the reasons Global employs Salvage Master Kerry Walsh as part of its eight-person marine casualty group. “My job, my specific job, is that I travel wherever I am needed to be a project manager for a marine casualty event,” Walsh says. In mid-May Walsh was just returning to Oregon from an unusual job in Alaska: Global was hired through a standing contract with the US Coast Guard to recover a cannery building 86

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


Sometimes it’s necessary to use a crane to remove a badly damaged vessel from the water. Other times, it’s possible to re-float the boat. Resolve Marine

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July 2018 | Alaska Business

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A great deal of expertise and specialized equipment needs to be paired up with out-of-the-box thinking for marine salvaging efforts in Alaska. Resolve Marine

and associated debris that fell into the waters at Port William on the southern end of Shuyak Island, about fifty miles north of Kodiak. After assessing the situation with a team member, Walsh mobilized a crane barge and a material barge by tug to tackle the issue. “Once we [recovered the building], we also recovered some of the debris that was covering up some of the oil that needed to be cleaned,” Walsh explains. Officials suspect that 3,000 gallons of fuel oil were released when a fuel bladder—a rubber tank used for storing fuel—located inside the building fell into the water along with the structure, which was positioned on a dock. According to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the area is designated as a critical habitat for two marine mammals listed in the Endangered Species Act: northern sea otters and Steller sea lions. Additionally, it’s a habitat for Pacific herring, Pacific cod, Pacific halibut, and walleye pollock, as well as eagles, seabirds, and waterfowl. Once the hazardous materials were removed from the site, they were shipped out of state to a hazmat dump in Oregon, says Walsh. Establishing what pollutants are present is one of the top priorities when assessing a casualty. Once that’s established, salvors must determine the most prudent method of removal. If a vessel has run aground and the assessment team thinks it’s possible to remove it without a protracted salvage effort, they’ll often argue against removing fuel ahead of time—better left in than taken out. “It’s the safest way to get it out of risk, so we don’t want to get distracted doing oil removals,” says Magone. “Let’s get this salvage operation underway. Get the boat off the ground, off the rocks, or whatever, and get it to a port where it can get repaired.” 88

If the team can demonstrate, to everyone’s satisfaction, that floating the ship and getting it to a safe harbor immediately is the most judicious way forward, that’s what is done. “If we think that’s going to be a protracted problem, that we’re going to be there for a while, then everybody is going to want to lighter the fuel out of this thing as quickly as possible because there is always a risk that a big storm is going to come in and break it up, and we’re going to have a great big oil spill. The magnitude of those problems depends on the size of the vessel and what the location is like,” Magone says.

Handling a Spill Once there is an oil spill, “you’re not going to get much bang for all the tremendous dollars you’re going to spend to help the environment,” Magone says. Some places, such as high-energy beaches that can naturally and quickly break down some oils, are less sensitive to salvage efforts and pollutants than others, he points out. However, many other areas are incredibly fragile, in some ways setting Alaska apart from the rest of the nation. “Some of the Alaska coastline is much more environmentally sensitive, especially when you start discussing marine mammals, so that just increases some of the challenges you have to work with,” says Duke. Pollutants aren’t the only concern marine salvors need to manage when working in environmentally sensitive areas. To minimize the impact on animals, Duke says, “It’s get in, get out. Be careful how you run your boats around; be careful where you put your boom and your anchor. Make sure you aren’t disturbing their natural habitat or disturbing it as little as possible.”

Though mammals can be a primary concern, so are waterfowl, especially given Alaska’s role in the life cycle of millions of migratory birds. “Some places are way more sensitive than others. We’ve had wrecks that were full of fuel in areas like Izembek Lagoon [near Cold Bay], which is where 80 percent or more of the Pacific Flyway [a major north-south flyway for migratory birds] waterfowl are in the fall. It’s an extremely sensitive place in the fall. It would be any time of the year, but certain times of the year it would be a terrible place to have an accident, right?” Magone says. “You get something happening in that kind of environment and everybody just goes out through the roof worrying about the potential damage. So, it’s important that we’re able to respond quickly and mitigate what’s happening.” Possibly more detrimental to the state’s economy than impacts on migratory birds, however, are casualties that threaten parts of the multi-billion dollar seafood industry. With first wholesale values of about $4.2 billion in 2016 and a total economic output of $5.2 billion that year, marine hazmat issues can be detrimental. “There are all these salmon streams we have everywhere. They are very sensitive to pollution and that, especially depending on the time of the year that it happens, can really devastate a fishery. So those things are a big issue when it comes to wrecks,” Magone says. Walsh is also no stranger to protecting salmon streams, recalling a particular project in Alaska: a tugboat had fallen into disrepair and eventually sunk downstream of a salmon hatchery. “That was a mess,” Walsh says, explaining that the old-style construction of the boat with its narrow doorways prevented

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


Alaska’s Unique Challenges Hazmat issues aren’t always what you expect, says Duke, recalling an issue with frozen chickens on a flaming ship in waters beyond Alaska a number of years ago. “As the fire burned and we were extinguishing it, the heat was heating the container and the chicken was melting and the water was turning into steam. And then the containers were blowing apart once they were over-pressurized,” he says. “We had flying chicken everywhere. This is just one of those—you look at a cargo vessel and you’re like, ‘frozen chicken, no big deal.’” Another major challenge salvors in Alaska face is the weather, as it determines when it’s safe to put a team out and what sorts of efforts are even feasible. “Weather is a big deal just as far as safety is concerned. You’ve got to be able to get into these casualties with a crew and get back to shelter or whatever without getting people hurt,” Magone says. “You have to be careful; you can get your crew or yourself stuck in a position where nobody can come get you quickly.” Weather, particularly in the Aleutians, is often a contributor to many incidents. Big storms can generate eighteen- to twenty-five-foot

“As you can imagine, we have a really big toolbox with a bunch of different types of tools depending on what the situation is.”

—Todd Duke Manager Alaskan Region Resolve Marine Services

waves, which can mix up poorly maintained fuel tanks, causing debris to eventually shut the engine down, Duke says. Resolve Marine annually handles from twenty-five to thirty-five casualties worldwide, with roughly five or six of them in Alaska waters. As it turns out, there is no typical marine salvage project: from old canneries releasing pollutants as they crumble into the water to exploding containers of chicken, the marine salvaging business requires creative thinking. Especially in Alaska. “As you can imagine, we have a really big toolbox with a bunch of different types of tools depending on what the situation is,” Duke says. Among those tools are aircraft owned by Resolve Marine, a heavy lift crane barge, and a large tank barge, as well as a multitude of pumps for pumping liquids of different viscosity. Contaminated liquids and offloaded fuel are moved into containers of a wide range

Resolve Marine

surface-supplied helmet divers from safely entering the wreck. The US Coast Guard ended up giving the green light for re-floating the barge, from which nearly thirty batteries were safely removed and disposed of.

In Alaska, cold waters are the norm for marine salvage workers.

of sizes including anything from 55-gallon drums to 25,000-gallon tank barges, depending on the circumstances. He continues, “There is a whole lot of outsidethe-box thinking that goes on because you’re taking a damaged vessel and trying to make it float again. In Alaska, you don’t have a lot of the assets available that you have anywhere else in the world so therefore out-of-the-box is pretty standard operating procedure here.”R

Isaac Stone Simonelli is a freelance journalist and former managing editor for the Phuket Gazette.

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TOURISM

Alaska’s Wildlife Rehab Centers Saving lives, educating the public By Vanessa Orr

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ne of the biggest draws for tourists coming to Alaska is the chance to see wildlife in its natural setting. The only problem with this is that sometimes wildlife doesn’t want to be seen. In order to provide a way for people to learn more about the state’s animals, as well as to give orphaned or injured creatures a second chance, a number of rescue and rehabilitation centers serve the dual mission of saving wildlife while educating the public about their care.

Marine Mammals The Alaska SeaLife Center, for example, serves as both a research facility and a public aquarium. Now celebrating its twentieth anniversary, the center rescues marine mammals that are orphaned or suffer from injuries. “Our goal is to release most of the animals that we save,” says Brett Long, director of animal programs. He says that the SeaLife Center answers a couple of hundred calls a year, with about thirty of those requiring active response. “We bring about ten to fifteen animals from these calls into the center, and most of them are releasable.” The center has an agreement with the National Marine Fisheries Service to serve Southcentral and also works with a number of stranding agreement holders to transport animals to safety. While most animals can

“We would all prefer to see these animals in the wild, but due to these types of circumstances, some of them end up here. We hope that they serve as ambassadors for their species and help in future conservation efforts.” John Gomes | Alaska Zoo

Wolf pup being cuddled by Alaska Zoo Executive Director Patrick Lampi.

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—Patrick Lampi Executive Director, Alaska Zoo

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A rescued beluga whale calf being examined in ASLC’s outdoor pool.

A sea otter being released after a hook was removed from its flipper.

Chloe Rossman | Alaska SeaLife Center

Chloe Rossman | Alaska SeaLife Center

“The public aquarium portion of our facility, which is in a different area than the wildlife response portion of our mission, provides an unbelievable chance for people to see animals in a meaningful way. It also gives us a chance to educate them on how they can help these animals and what they should or shouldn’t do when they encounter a wild animal.”

—Brett Long, Director of Animal Programs, Alaska SeaLife Center

A rescued walrus calf being bottle fed. Chloe Rossman | Alaska SeaLife Center

be released after being nursed back to health, some—such as ice seals, sea otter pups less than six months old, and walrus calves less than two years old—are ineligible for release. “Sea otters and walruses have long maternal dependency periods, so while we can stabilize them, we can’t teach them how to forage or groom appropriately,” says Long. “Walruses also bond very quickly to their human caregivers because they are so social, and we can only release animals into the wild that are healthy and not dependent on humans.” When an animal arrives at the Alaska SeaLife Center, it undergoes a health assessment, and a treatment plan is created to deal with malnutrition, dehydration, or any external www.akbizmag.com

wounds. “For the first twenty-four to fortyeight hours, we work to maintain their body temperature and get them hydrated with an electrolyte solution, maybe incorporating fish formula or milk matrix,” says Long. “Most of these animals require twenty-four hour care and need to be fed every two to four hours.” If the animal is thought to be releasable, it is kept away from the public so that it does not become habituated to humans. Nonreleaseable animals can be viewed by the public in the I Sea U, which allows them to learn more about the animals and how the center cares for them while they are in a critical state. July 2018 | Alaska Business

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Claire Turner

Tuliaan arrived at Fortress of the Bear weighing seventeen pounds, and was nursed back to health by the staff.

Claire Turner

Killisnoo, a cub from Angoon, was the first bear to find a home at the Fortress of the Bear.

“We want people to understand that the bears are here as a result of human behavior. By serving as captive ambassadors for their wild counterparts, we hope that our bears will not only help to reduce these types of conflicts by teaching people the importance of following trash regulations, for example, but will also help reduce people’s paranoia and fear of the animals and help them develop a healthy respect. The lessons they teach will rescue future generations of bears.”

—Claire Turner Bear Manager, Fortress of the Bear

“The public aquarium portion of our facility, which is in a different area than the wildlife response portion of our mission, provides an unbelievable chance for people to see animals in a meaningful way,” says Long. “It also gives us a chance to educate them on how they can help these animals and what they should or shouldn’t do when they encounter a wild animal.” The SeaLife Center provides a number of different educational programs throughout 92

the year, including school programs for children in grades K-12. Its staff travels to different parts of the state to share the center’s curriculum, and fifth-graders at Tier 1 schools in Anchorage also learn about Alaska’s marine animals in the classroom and through SeaLife Center visits. As one of the northernmost coastal research facilities in the United States, the SeaLife Center provides the infrastructure needed to research coldwater species, and it established an Oil Wildlife Response program that gives staff the opportunity to travel to the site of an oil spill to help affected animals, which can then be released after receiving care.

Avian Rescue Approximately 150 to 200 birds come through the Juneau Raptor Center each year, including everything from songbirds and water birds to corvids and snowy owls. The organization works in conjunction with the Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka (which has an avian vet) to rescue and rehabilitate injured or orphaned birds. “The majority of birds we get include small songbirds that are suffering from cat bites or injuries from falling out of the nests as fledglings,” says Dale Cotton of the mostly volunteer organization. The group employs full-time naturalists who conduct presentations with their bald eagle, Lady Baltimore, at the top of the Goldbelt Tram. “What’s really neat is that most people have never seen an eagle up that close,” says Cotton of the rescued bird, which was rehabbed by the center after being shot. “We share her story and talk about what it takes to help Alaska’s birds.” The Alaska Raptor Center rescues between 100 and 200 birds annually with the goal of releasing them back into the wild. Those that

cannot be released join the Raptors-in-Residence program, which provides entertainment and education to the more than 36,000 visitors and 15,000 schoolchildren who are reached by the center each year.

Bear Care In 2002, Les and Evy Kinnear opened the Fortress of the Bear, which is dedicated to the rescue of orphaned bear cubs in Alaska. In 2007, eight days after receiving their bear permits, a cub from Angoon named Killisnoo arrived, and since then thirteen bears have been rescued by the organization with seven becoming permanent residents of the Baranof Island facility. The animals that do not stay are sent to other facilities, such as the Bronx Zoo, after being temporarily housed at the Fortress. While the goal is to release bears back into the wild in the future, right now the organization works to rescue the animals they can while educating the public about bear safety, how to interact with bears in the wild, and what happens when there are bear/human conflicts. “We want people to understand that the bears are here as a result of human behavior,” says Bear Manager Claire Turner. “By serving as captive ambassadors for their wild counterparts, we hope that our bears will not only help to reduce these types of conflicts by teaching people the importance of following trash regulations, for example, but will also help reduce people’s paranoia and fear of the animals and help them develop a healthy respect. The lessons they teach will rescue future generations of bears.” The animals are kept as naturally as possible and forage for their food, which includes live salmon in their pools and seasonally appropriate vegetation. Tourists benefit by

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


“We have seventeen species of Alaska animals here, including moose, Sitka deer, lynx, porcupine, and more. Our emphasis is on providing sanctuary to orphaned animals; we rarely release animals back into the wild. They live with us for life.”

Wood Bison, Wolves, and More Just like the Alaska Zoo, the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC) is home to a number of different animals, most notably www.akbizmag.com

the wood bison, the largest land animal in North America. “We have seventeen species of Alaska animals here, including moose, Sitka deer, lynx, porcupine, and more,” says Trish Baker, director of development. “Our emphasis is on providing sanctuary to orphaned animals; we rarely release animals back into the wild. They live with us for life.” One notable exception to this is the herd of wood bison that was released to the Innoko River in 2015. “The wood bison species was thought to be extinct until a herd was found in Canada in 1957, and that country shared some of the bison with us, which resulted in us having fifty-three of the animals at AWCC,” says Baker. “In 2015, we took part in a massive project to release a number of these animals into the wild, which was very successful. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game can see from flyovers that they are now having babies.” AWCC works with ADF&G to receive animals after it has been determined that they are orphaned and in need of a home. After being quarantined, the animals are gradually introduced into the sanctuary to make sure that they can adapt to life in human care. Visitors to the center can learn about the animals during presentations at the enclosures or take a Walk on the Wild Side 90-minute tour with a guide. “For many people, seeing animals in this setting is the only way that they’ll see Alaska wildlife,” says Baker. “It gives them a strong appreciation for the animals and for wildness, which helps in conservation efforts. “We are taking our research and education programs to a whole new level,” she adds of the addition of Bison Hall, a new education building that will house numerous educational displays. Visitors can even “adopt” an animal with a donation, which gets them a plush stuffed animal and a certificate. “It’s a chance for them to participate in helping these animals—and how cool is to say you’ve adopted a musk ox?” laughs Baker. Wild animals are always best left in the wild, but for those who are orphaned or injured, there are many organizations willing to help rescue and rehabilitate them while educating humans about how to reduce their impact on the natural world. R

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

A female wolf at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

Doug Lindstrand | AWCC

seeing bears exhibiting natural behavior, which they might never see in the wild. “People spend a lot of money on floatplane tours and wildlife tours and never see an animal,” says Turner. “Here, they are guaranteed to see the bears, and all of the money they spend goes straight back into the nonprofit, whose end goal is rehab and release.” While the sanctuary is not able to release bears into the wild yet, Turner hopes to see this happening in the near future. “It’s legal in Canada, Europe, and twenty-nine states in the Lower 48, and we’re confident we can do it here,” she says. “Unlike our current bears, who are very friendly with people, bears to be released would be raised in a secondary site closed to the public to give them the best chance of survival in the wild.” The Alaska Zoo recently had its own run of bear cubs, with eleven black and brown bear cubs coming into the rescue last year. “It’s the most we’ve ever had,” says Executive Director Patrick Lampi, “and the fact that we found homes for all of them was pretty miraculous.” The zoo, which turns fifty next year, works with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) and the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to facilitate care of injured or orphaned animals. Part of their mission is also to educate the public as to what they can do to prevent animals from ending up hurt, injured, orphaned, or too habituated to human life. “Two of the bear cubs came from Deadhorse, where a private business was not locking up their dumpsters, so the animals became habituated to hanging out behind the restaurant,” says Lampi. “The mother had to be destroyed, and the cubs came to us because they were no longer afraid of people. “We would all prefer to see these animals in the wild, but due to these types of circumstances, some of them end up here,” he adds. “We hope that they serve as ambassadors for their species and help in future conservation efforts.” In addition to bear cubs, the zoo has become home to quite a few moose over the years, taking up to a dozen orphaned calves at one time. They also rescue caribou, harbor seals, river otters, and mink and have a letter of authorization from USFWS for “activities related to the rescue (including temporary capture, possession, transport, and transfer), rehabilitation, and release of polar bears.” The organization also partners with USFWS as part of an oil spill response team.

Doug Lindstrand | AWCC

—Trish Baker Director of Development, Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Above: A wood bison at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Left: A wood bison at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. While most animals at the AWCC stay at the sanctuary forever, a herd of wood bison was successfully released into the wild in 2015.

July 2018 | Alaska Business

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WILDERNESS LODGES

SHOP

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Wildlife and Luxury A

friendly people. Wilderness Place Lodge is a deluxe, fly-in-only Alaska fishing lodge that accommodates sixteen guests hosted by eighteen staff. Comfort, courtesy, fine food, attentive guides, and great fishing combine to maximize the wilderness experience. wildernessplacelodge.com

laska’s lodging options run the gamut from free public cabins to resorts and high-end hotels. The state’s wilderness lodges provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences for those interested in experiencing the Last Frontier in luxury. Denali Backcountry Lodge In a remote valley, deep in the heart of Denali National Park, experience authentic Alaska through all-inclusive private cabins, stunning views, warm hospitality, and unmatched adventures. At Denali Backcountry Lodge, guests are treated to creature comforts in one of the world’s wildest landscapes. Located at the historic settlement of Kantishna, the lodge is a perfect base for exploring the ruggedly wondrous backcountry of Denali National Park. Return from one-of-a-kind adventures each evening to fresh, seasonal cuisine, a cozy fire, and a serene sense of wonder. alaskacollection.com/lodging/denalibackcountry-lodge/ Wilderness Place Lodge This remote Alaska river lodge offers modern deluxe private cabins, excellent Alaska river fishing, fine dining, and

Alaska’s Ridgewood Wilderness Lodge Soak up the Alaska wilderness at this intimate, timber framed lodge in the island community of Halibut Cove, adjoining the Kachemak Bay State Park. Enjoy three wonderfully prepared meals each day and highly personalized attention with majestic scenery, miles of beaches, and secluded salt water coves right out the front door. Interested guests have opportunities for fishing, glacier kayaking, wildlife viewing, bear viewing, and hiking in the mountains. ridgewoodlodge.com Kachemak Bay Wilderness Lodge Nestled in a spectacular ocean and mountain setting abundant with wildlife, birds, and sea life, Kachemak

Bay Wilderness Lodge’s remote location offers the best of Alaska. With just five cabins, the lodge generally hosts ten to twelve guests per week with ten to twelve staff, ensuring that a guest's stay is customized to his or her individual interests. The lodge’s friendly and knowledgeable Alaskan team offers personalized daily naturalist guide service. This allinclusive, world-class lodge features private, deluxe accommodations and gourmet five-star meals. alaskawildernesslodge.com Loonsong Lake Wilderness Lodge At this private wilderness destination for two couples or a larger family group, guests may choose from a generous list of hearty adventures. Guests can choose a commercial flight to Homer or opt to be picked up by a float plane pilot, which gives them access to a spectacular flight over wilderness that houses brown and black bears, moose, mountain goat and Dall sheep, and wolves. Once at the lodge, activities include hiking, fishing, and local exploration, all with the assistance of a wilderness guide/interpretive naturalist with expertise in marine biology. loonsonglakelodge.com

Ultima Thule Lodge The main lodge sits atop a hill and houses the dining room, open kitchen, and sitting room with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the mighty Chitina River and mountains to the south. The lodge offers five private cabins built using local timber and designed to maximize privacy. The main lodge features a wood-fired sauna where guests can relax after a day of hiking, skiing, fishing, or flying. Meals are prepared in-house and served familystyle using local vegetables and glaciersourced water. ultimathulelodge.com Great Alaska’s Kenai River Lodge Great Alaska Adventures' main lodge sits at the confluence of the Moose and Kenai rivers, the site of an original homestead in 1947. With a quarter-mile of the finest wade fishing on the Kenai River plus direct access to great calm water kayaking and wildlife viewing of the Moose River, Great Alaska Adventure Lodge is the premier lodge on the Kenai River. All meals are served in the main lodge, and individual cabins are spread out over nearly twenty-five acres of the Kenai’s finest riverfront. All rooms feature a breathtaking view of the surrounding river and Kenai Mountains. greatalaska.com/kenai-river-lodge R

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EVENTS CALENDAR JULY 2018

EAT

JUL

Beer & Bacon Festival

The Beer & Bacon Festival, held at the Lakefront Anchorage, features a bacon eating contest, live entertainment from reggae Hawaiian band H3, bacon creations from twenty local chefs, and libations from fifteen Alaska breweries. The beer and bacon booths are open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. the-lakefrontanchorage. ticketleap.com

Salmon Jam!

salmon 13-14 Celebrate and promote the health and sustainability of local salmon runs through art, music, road races, educational activities, and the Taste of Cordova Salmon Cook-Off, all at Mt. Eyak Ski Hill. salmonjam.org

Anchorage JUL-AUG

The Spitfire Grill

play is a heartwarming 20-18 This story based on the film Spitfire Grill, which is about a feisty parolee who follows her dreams to a small Wisconsin town to win a contest to own the town restaurant. cyranos.org

JUL

22

Alaska Aviation Museum

Head to the shores of Lake Hood for a celebration of flight in the Last Frontier that includes historic aircraft, aviation treasures, and allages fun. The festival is an Anchorage

tradition going back nearly thirty years. The event has grown into a day-long affair featuring vintage aircraft flybys, live music, and loads of family activities. alaskaairmuseum.org

provided to the Girdwood Fairgrounds located at Mile 2.2 Alyeska Highway. girdwoodforestfair.com

Eagle River

The second installment of the Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon returns to Southcentral Alaska. The race starts near Millers Landing and ends atop Mount Alyeska in Girdwood. The race is comprised of a 2.6-mile swim in Resurrection Bay, 112-mile bike ride north on the Seward Highway, and a 27-mile run culminating near the upper tram station on Mount Alyeska. akxtri.com

JUL

Bear Paw Festival

at this annual festival 11-15 Events include the Slippery Salmon Olympics, the Running of the Bears, human foosball, Teddy Bear Picnic, classic car show, parade, carnival rides, and the I-Did-A-Duck race at various locations around Eagle River. bearpawfestival.org

JUL

21

Haines

Fairbanks JUL

15-29

Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival

Sing, play, dance, paint, cook, learn, listen, relax, write, stretch, and watch at this multi-discipline study performance festival offering workshops, master classes, and performances. fsaf.org JUL

World Eskimo-Indian

18-21 Olympics Athletes compete in traditional games and celebrate through pageants, dances, and Native arts and crafts at the Carlson Center. weio.org

Girdwood JUL

6-8

Girdwood Forest Fair

The Forest Fair features hand-crafted items, exotic foods, and entertainers from all over Alaska, along with the annual Forest Fair Parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Limited parking is available at the Alyeska Resort day lodge with shuttle service 96

Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon

JUL

26-29

Southeast Alaska State Fair

The fair includes a parade, exhibits, a logging show, live music, horseshoe tournament, fun-run, kids’ stage, amusement rides, vendors, food, entertainment, live animals, and puppet shows. Some of this year’s headliners at the Southeast Alaska Fairgrounds include Stonefed, The McDades, Leche De Tigre, Anuhea, The Lacks, Ukulele Zen, and Ron Artis II & The Truth. seakfair.org

Palmer JUL

14

Palmer Garden & Art Midsummer Faire

Rain or shine, the Palmer Midsummer Garden and Art Faire is a celebration of local art, gardening, food, and music in downtown Palmer. This annual event showcases the best of what the Mat-Su Valley has to offer and continues to grow each year, including the Topihairy Challenge, a no-holds-barred styling competition among local stylists for

Alaska Business | July 2018www.akbizmag.com


JUL

JUL

4

Mount Marathon

its start as a bet 4 From between two locals in 1915, the Mount Marathon race has become iconic. Competitors race from downtown to the top of Mount Marathon and back in both open and junior divisions. This year the Junior Race is at 9 a.m., the Men’s Race begins at 11 a.m., and the Women’s Race begins at 2 p.m. mmr.seward.com

Soldotna JUL

Soldotna Progress Days

Progress Days is 28-29 Soldotna a community event that

includes a parade, family activities, Dutch oven competition, the Sawfest Chainsaw Carving Competition, food and craft vendors, live music, and a free community picnic at Soldotna Creek Park. visitsoldotna.com

Wrangell JUL

Bearfest

festival celebrating the 25-29 This bears of Alaska takes place at the James and Elsie Nolan Center and includes street games, a Salmon Bake, jam sessions, bear symposium, bear country workshops, live music, a photo contest, wildlife photography

Petersburg

Fairbanks

Seward

JUL

Golden Days

EVENTS CALENDAR JULY 2018

the best garden art themed hairstyle. palmergardenandart.org

4th of July Community Celebration

Petersburg’s old-time Independence Day celebration features food vendors under the big tent, arts and crafts booths along Nordic Drive, a great parade, carnival games, races, street games, contests, and a wonderful fireworks display at 11 p.m. when the sky is dusky but never dark. petersburg.org

Fairbanks’ 14-20 Celebrate gold rush history with a parade, historic reenactments, rubber ducky race, and more. Golden Days also includes a parade, street fair, comedy night, barbeque championships, and a river regatta which is not a river race, but a flotilla where winners are judged on creativity and integration of the Golden Day’s theme “Call me Gold Fashioned.” fairbankschamber.org/golden-days

Skagway JUL

14

Blues, Brews & BBQ

Organized by the Skagway Arts Council, this event features live music, beer garden, and heaps of barbeque at Deadman Stage. skagway.com

workshops, a golf tournament, a marathon, and community market. wrangell.com R

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Business Events JULY

Business Week JULY Alaska Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage:

14-21

Alaska Business Week is a one-week summer program teaching the basic principles of private sector business to Alaskan high school students. alaskachamber.com

Summer Leadership JULY ALASBO Fairbanks/Nenana: This event opens

20-22

with an evening reception and dinner on Friday and closes with a group activity in beautiful Sitka on Sunday afternoon. alasbo.org

AUGUST

AUG

Tech Forward Alaska Luncheon

Sheraton Anchorage Hotel: This luncheon is an opportunity to learn about Alaska’s growing high-tech industry. wtca.org

8

AUG

AML Summer Legislative Meeting

Denali Borough: The Alaska Municipal League is a voluntary, nonprofit, nonpartisan, statewide organization of 162 cities, boroughs, and unified municipalities, representing more than 97 percent of Alaska’s residents. akml.org

21-24 AUG

APA Annual Meeting

Wedgewood Resort, Fairbanks: The mission of Alaska Power Association (APA) is to assist its members accomplish their goals of delivering electric energy and other services at the best value to their customers. alaskapower.org

22-24

SEPTEMBER Arctic Ambitions VII

SEPT Sheraton Anchorage Hotel: Presenters

11-12

from major companies and organizations from across the Arctic and around the world focus on the regional challenges and opportunities they are facing as well as their vision for sustainable development of the region. In 2018, the theme of the conference is “Tradition. Technology. Transformation.” wtca.org

Association SEPT Alaska of REALTORS Convention

11-15

Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage: The annual convention includes keynote and guest speakers and opportunities for ECE credits. alaskarealtors.com

Alaska Annual Conference SEPT Museums Nome: This year’s conference theme is

12-15

“Relationships,” addressing questions such as “As museums adapt to shifting climates, audiences, and economics, how can we build and maintain resilient relationships for both immediate and long-term success? How do we stress resourcefulness, collaboration, and engagement in our museum relationships?” museumsalaska.org

State HR Conference SEPT Alaska Anchorage Hilton: The 2018 Conference

20-21

theme is “From the Class Room to the Board Room.” alaska.shrm.org/conference

Fire Conference SEPT Alaska Kenai: Includes training, workshops,

24-28

lectures, and a firefighter competition. alaskafireconference.com

Superintendents SEPT Alaska Association Fall Conference

26-29

Anchorage: The Alaska Council of School Administrators’ unifying purpose is to support educational leaders through professional forums, provide a voice that champions possibilities for all students, and purposeful advocacy for public education. alaskaacsa.org

Business SEPT Alaska Top 49ers Luncheon

28

Anchorage Marriott Downtown: Join us to honor the top forty-nine Alaska companies ranked by revenue at this annual luncheon. 907-276-4373 | akbizmag.com

OCTOBER

OCT

8-11

ATIA Annual Convention & Trade Show

The Carlson Center, Fairbanks: The Alaska Travel Industry Association is

the leading nonprofit trade organization for the state’s tourism industry. The theme for this year’s conference is “The Great Escape.” alaskatia.org

OCT

AAHPA Annual Conference

OCT

All-Alaska Medical Conference

Seward: This is the annual conference of the Alaska Association of Harbormasters & Port Administrators. alaskaharbors.org

8-12

Alaska Native Heritage Center, Anchorage: A continuing medical education conference organized by the Alaska Academy of Physicians Assistants, providing up to twenty-five CMEs. akapa.org

11-14 OCT

17-19

Alaska Forest Association Annual Convention

Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage: The Alaska Forest Association can be characterized as a high profile industry trade association. Its members hold in common general business interests in the timber industry of Alaska. This year is the 61st annual convention. akforest.org

OCT

18-20

Alaska Federation of Natives Annual Convention

Dena’ina Center, Anchorage: The Alaska Federation of Natives Convention is the largest representative annual gathering in the United States of any Native peoples. Delegates are elected on a population formula of one representative per twenty-five Native residents in the area, and delegate participation rates at the annual convention typically exceed 95 percent. nativefederation.org

OCT

Alaska Chamber Fall Forum

Westmark Fairbanks: Open to the public, the Alaska Chamber’s Annual Conference is the state’s premier business conference. The conference draws 200 to 225 attendees and features keynote speakers, panel discussions, and breakout sessions on issues of statewide concern to Alaska business. alaskachamber.com R

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Inside

Alaska Business July 2018

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CONOCOPHILLIPS

laska Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Heidi Drygas renewed approval of ConocoPhillips Kuparuk for the Alaska Occupational Safety and Health (AKOSH) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) at the “Star” level as a result of exemplary safety and health programs. The VPP recognizes and promotes effective workplace safety and health management through a cooperative program between a company’s management, employees, and AKOSH. Fewer than 2,300 US worksites have achieved VPP status out of more than 8 million worksites covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In Alaska, there are nine sites designated AKOSH VPP. As a VPP Star recipient, ConocoPhillips Kuparuk will not be subject to random enforcement inspections for a period of five years. Enforcement regulations remain in effect, however, and cases of employee complaints, accident investigations, or other

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NANA

ANA is ramping up its investment in Alaska with new business additions and a revamp of its business structure. NANA reacquired WHPacific Alaska, an engineering firm with offices in Anchorage and Utqiaġvik, which has been in operation since 1982. Under NANA, WHPacific Alaska will be rebranded as Kuna Engineering. The firm employs almost fifty Alaskans and provides transportation, facility engineering, and rural development services, among others. Kuna’s employees have deep roots and extensive experience supporting Alaska’s communities. Other changes in the Commercial Group include the addition of NANA Construction and its recent growth. Previously GIS Alaska, NANA Construction operates a fabrication facility that is strategically situated in Big Lake for easier transport of modules and supplies to the North Slope and Red Dog Mine— the largest zinc mine in the world. The company also provides onsite construction services to support customers. nana.com

significant incidents will result in an enforcement inspection. Participation in the program is voluntary. alaska.conocophillips.com

T

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

he Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development and Department of Administration finalized regulations to encourage safe workplaces and compliance with labor laws. The new regulations went into effect June 7 and ensure law-abiding state contractors are not out-bid by unscrupulous bidders who cut costs by deliberately or repeatedly depriving employees of basic rights, including minimum wage, overtime, workers’ compensation, and a safe work environment. The regulations fulfill the intent of Administrative Order 286, issued by Governor Walker

Kuna Engineering

A

AFF GLOBAL LOGISTICS

FF Global Logistics acquired Alaskan Express (AE). AFF is currently owned by The Resolute Fund II and AFF’s management team. Headquartered in Sumner, Washington, AE is a domestic freight forwarder with decades of experience serving the Alaska market. AE will merge its business operations with AFF, strengthening its presence and services in an improving Alaska economy and providing greater opportunities for its employees. AE customers can look forward to continued service by the same trusted personnel, as well as access to AFF’s global network of logistics capabilities. affgl.com

in 2017. The new regulations ensure the state of Alaska plays a positive role in the marketplace by embedding support for labor rights in the procurement process. Incentivizing labor rights compliance has beneficial ripple effects, since most state government contractors also work in other lines of business. Sustaining and strengthening labor rights enforcement also has positive economic impacts by ensuring wages stay in Alaska and recirculate in the state economy. labor.alaska.gov

T

UAF

he University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) will join a new federal initiative aimed at shaping the future of drones in America. The US Department of Transportation selected UAF as one of ten

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INSIDE ALASKA BUSINESS SPAN ALASKA

Span Alaska

participants in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program. The program allows state, local, and tribal governments to work with drone operators and manufacturers to speed up the safe entry of unmanned vehicles into the nation’s airspace. The UAF team proposed several ways to pioneer safe drone use in Alaska—to deliver medical devices to remote areas; help with search and rescue operations; survey fish and wildlife; and monitor pipelines, roads, and other infrastructure. The pilot program’s faster approvals and other benefits will allow more timely drone launches than are currently possible. The pilot program is expected to help clarify how to best balance local and national interests in unmanned aircraft usage. It also will give federal officials information about the integration of drones into the National Airspace System. uaf.edu

PICTOURS ALASKA

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ocal tour operation PicTours Alaska has been recognized by Travel & Hospitality Magazine, London, England, as Most Eco-Friendly Tour Company in Alaska for 2018. This annual publication features exotic destinations throughout the world. PicTours Alaska was nominated for its efforts during the 2017 summer tour season by an anonymous guest. pictoursalaska.com

ALASKAN BREWING

B

eer drinkers throughout the Show-Me State are now able to enjoy award-winning beer from the Last Frontier. Beer from the Alaskan Brewing Company began flowing from taps and was placed on shelves in Missouri beginning in May. Alaskan Brewing partners with distributors Grey Eagle, Krey, Lohr, and H.W. Herrell to distribute beer throughout St. Louis and the surrounding area. The move into Missouri marks Alaskan Brewing’s 21st state and its first new state this year. alaskanbeer.com

TRILOGY METALS

T

rilogy Metals announced that work has been initiated to estimate a cobalt resource for the Bornite Project. Preliminary results from the company’s ongoing geometallurgical studies demonstrate its understanding of cobalt mineralogy and distribution to the point that warrants initiating a cobalt resource estimate, which,

S

pan Alaska Transportation earned three awards from the Alaska Trucking Association (ATA) for its commitment to personal and professional safety on the highways, at its terminals, and at customer delivery locations throughout the state. The ATA/ConocoPhillips Safe Truck Fleet of the Year is the Alaska Trucking Association’s most prestigious safety award, according to Aves Thompson, executive director of the ATA. In addition to the top safety award, Span Alaska was recognized for most improved truck fleet safety and most improved industrial safety. The latter measures safety improvements at offices and facilities. spanalaska.com

when established, would be in addition to the copper resource for the Bornite deposit. The work has been focused on examining metallurgical products from both the in-pit resource area and the higher-grade below-pit copper resource area at Bornite along with classic petrographic and microprobe work. Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse, president and CEO of Trilogy Metals, said in a release, “With the market interest in finding significant cobalt sources outside of the Congo—where child labor and worker exploitation have been highlighted by Amnesty International and others as problematic for the auto and electric battery

industries—defining a large, North American cobalt resource has become a priority for the company. With cobalt currently trading over $40 per pound, we believe the cobalt potential at Bornite could be significant and is worth pursuing.” trilogymetals.com

L

LIQUID ADVENTURES

iquid Adventures, a locally-owned glacier kayaking company offering guided trips out of Seward, unveiled a new vessel, the Oceanna, in May. The Oceanna is a custom-built catamaran that will take trip-goers out to kayak at Aialik Bay or the Northwestern Fjord. The use of this private

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vessel allows Liquid Adventures to offer visitors and locals the opportunity to forego a crowded water taxi ride and enjoy a small group boat ride in search of remote glacier kayaking and standup paddle boarding experiences. The Oceanna will launch Liquid Adventures’ newest trip, the Aialik/Northwestern Explorer, the first guided, glacier kayaking day trip to the Northwestern Fjord—known by locals and experienced kayakers as one of the most scenic, pristine, and remote kayaking locations in the Kenai Fjords. The new catamaran provides the opportunity for small groups to kayak either Aialik Bay or the Northwestern Fjord, wherever the paddling is best for the day. liquid-adventures.com

Explore Fairbanks

EXPLORE FAIRBANKS

Alina Xiang, President/CEO, East West Marketing (left); Governor Bill Walker; Deb Hickok (right).

E

xplore Fairbanks President and CEO Deb Hickok signed a contract with China-based East West Marketing Corporation under which the firm will represent Explore Fairbanks in the rapidly growing China-to-Alaska outbound tourism market. The contract was finalized during Governor Bill Walker’s “Opportunity Alaska” China Trade Mission in May. East West’s services for Explore Fairbanks include conducting sales calls and developing travel trade relations in China’s major cities, as well as coordinating tourism sales missions for Explore Fairbanks and Alaska visitor industry partners, providing airline development support, assisting with planning familiarization tours for China-based travel trade and media to come to Fairbanks, and conducting marketing campaigns through Chinese social media channels. “We are thrilled to have a firm of East West

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Marketing’s caliber represent us in this important market,” said Hickok. “We’ve seen significant growth from China over the last few years, primarily due to our reputation as an aurora destination from the period of August 21 to April 21, and having this on-the-ground representation in the market will help us build on that success.” explorefairbanks.com

T

UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA

he University of Alaska (UA) initiated efforts to obtain a Domestic Maritime Center of Excellence designation, a distinction that would expand its capacity to train domestic maritime workers. President Donald Trump signed legislation authorizing designation of community and technical college Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence in December. If chosen as a designee, UA could access federal funds to use toward admitting more students, training faculty, and expanding maritime training facilities. This would provide a significant benefit to the university’s ability to increase student success and provide a skilled workforce for Alaska’s maritime industry, which supports more than 70,000 jobs and is the state’s largest private sector employer. UA says it is well qualified to receive the designation, given its history of providing maritime training and Alaska’s prominent maritime industry. UA has collaborated with maritime industry representatives, state agencies, and entities across the state since 2012 on the Fishing, Seafood, and Maritime Initiative to assess, develop, and deliver training programs; raise awareness; and increase research to prepare Alaskans to meet current and emerging workforce, economic, and scientific needs. Between 2014 and 2016, the number of maritime-related training classes in Alaska increased sharply with class completion rates growing by 171 percent. alaska.edu

T

DOWNTOWN EDGE

he developers of Downtown Edge at The Rail, a townhouse-style condominium project in downtown Anchorage, officially launched construction in May with the demolition of a large building on the site on the corner of West 2nd Avenue and Christensen Drive. Downtown Edge will consist of up to thirtyfive condos featuring a modern industrial design.

Due to the natural North facing slope of the property, all homes will feature views overlooking the historical Anchorage Tent City, the railroad, inlet waters, and Mt. Susitna. Downtown Edge is the first phase of The Rail, Anchorage’s newest mixed-use project. It is situated on more than eleven acres of Alaska Railroad land and, conceptually, will include luxury townhomes, apartment suites, retail and restaurant space, an outdoor performance venue, and park connected to the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. downtownedge.com/the-rail

A

BAMBINO’S BABY FOOD

nchorage-based Bambino’s Baby Food, an Alaska grown and made baby food distributor to families across Alaska and in all fifty states, received the 2017 Made in Alaska Manufacturer of the Year Award from the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. Bambino’s was selected from numerous Made in Alaska permit holders because of its substantial growth, extensive community outreach, and considerable use of Alaska produce and seafood. bambinosbabyfood.com

C

US COAST GUARD

aptain Phillip Thorne transferred command of Coast Guard Sector Juneau to Captain Stephen White during a change of command ceremony in May at the Alaska State Museum in Juneau. As the sector commander, White serves as the Captain of the Port, officer in charge of marine inspection, federal on-scene coordinator, search and rescue mission coordinator, and federal maritime security coordinator for all of Southeast Alaska. The Coast Guard’s 17th District also conducted a change of command ceremony: Rear Admiral Michael McAllister transferred command of the Coast Guard’s 17th District to Rear Admiral Matthew Bell. As the 17th District commander, Bell is responsible for all Coast Guard operations throughout Alaska, the North Pacific, and the Arctic, duties that include protecting life and property, enforcing federal laws and treaties, preserving living marine resources, and promoting national security. Headquartered in Juneau, the 17th District encompasses 3.8 million square miles and more than 47,300 miles of shoreline. pacificarea.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/District-17R

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RIGHT MOVES Credit Union 1

Credit Union 1 promoted Rachel Langtry to COO. Langtry was originally hired as a marketing associate in 2005 and has since been promoted to numerous leadership positions within the company. Langtry holds a bachelor’s degree in business marketing. Langtry As COO, Langtry oversees all branches and branch operations in addition to the credit union’s member service center and e-Service initiatives. The credit union also promoted Evan Mulcahy to Communications Manager. Mulcahy was hired in 2013 as a staff trainer, but was soon promoted to digital communications specialist and innovation strategist. During his time in these positions, Mulcahy Mulcahy worked to bring many e-Service related projects and initiatives to fruition. In his new position, he oversees the credit union’s in-house marketing team and is responsible for the internal and external communication of CU1’s brand, products, and services. Mulcahy is a UAA graduate with a degree in economics.

UAS Sitka

UAS Professor Leslie Gordon has been selected as Campus Director of the University of Alaska Southeast, Sitka Campus. She currently serves as professor and program director for Health Information Management and as assistant director of academic Gordon affairs. She has taught for more than ten years at the campus and built the Health Information Management program into a vibrant, rigorous, externally-accredited program. Gordon earned both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in health information management from The College of Saint Scholastica in Minnesota.

Eklutna, Inc.

Tonya Gamble is now the Chief Financial Officer for Eklutna, Inc. Gamble joined the company as controller in June 2015 and now leads the finance division supporting the growth of the corporation and its subsidiaries. Prior to joining Eklutna, Gamble was a Gamble senior tax accountant with BDO USA.

She is a licensed certified public accountant and holds a bachelor’s of science in mathematics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Alutiiq Museum

The Alutiiq Museum hired Kate Schaberg as its Special Projects Coordinator. Schaberg will manage the development of the Alutiiq Ancestors Memorial, the museum’s collaboration with the City of Kodiak to build a new public park in downtown Kodiak. Schaberg Schaberg holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Pennsylvania State University. She has previous experience working with tribal communities in Western Alaska. For more than six years, Schaberg managed projects for the Georgetown Tribal Council as environmental coordinator.

Anchorage Police Department

Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll promoted ten officers: Lieutenant Joshua Nolder and Lieutenant Michael Kerle have been promoted to Captain. Sergeant Gerard Asselin and Sergeant Shaun Henry have been promoted to Lieutenant. Officer Bryan Ranger, Officer Kelly Huston, Officer Bradley Clark, Officer Jeffery Whitworth, Officer David Noll, and Officer Cory Crane have been promoted to Sergeant. Kerle has been with APD for twenty-one years. He will serve as division commander of the Crime Suppression Division. He most recently served as Lieutenant of the Investigative Support Unit, SWAT, Explosives Ordinance Division, K9 Unit, the Technical Support Unit, and Crisis Negotiations Team. Kerle joined APD after serving as a commissioned officer with United States Army for eleven years. Nolder has been with APD for fifteen years. He will serve as division commander of the Detective Division. He most recently served as lieutenant of the Crimes Against Children Unit, Special Victims Unit, and Cyber Crimes Unit. Asselin has been with APD for twenty years. He will serve as commander of the Investigative Support Unit, SWAT, Explosives Ordinance Division, K9 Unit, the Technical Support Unit, and Crisis Negotiations Team. He joins the command staff after serving as a sergeant in the Patrol Division for almost ten years. Henry has been with APD for eleven years. He will serve as commander of the Crimes Against Children Unit, Special Victims Unit, and Cyber Crimes Unit. He joins the

command staff after serving as a sergeant in the Patrol Division for four years. Clark has been with APD for fourteen years. For the last nine years, he’s been a member of the School Resource Officer Program, working with students and staff at Service High School. He also served on the Community Action Policing team. Ranger has been with APD for thirteen years. He’s spent the majority of that time as an officer in the Patrol Division on swing shift. He’s also a member of the Crime Scene Team and a field training officer. Huston has been with APD for thirteen years. She’s a member of the Crisis Negotiation Team, a field training officer, and officer survival instructor. Whitworth has been with APD for thirteen years. He’s spent the last eight years as an officer with the Patrol Division on mid-shift and is a field training officer. Noll has been with APD for twelve years. He was most recently a member of the Impaired Driving Enforcement Unit. He’s a member of the Crime Scene Team and Major Collision Unit. Crane has been with APD for ten years. He’s served as a field training officer, crisis negotiator, and defensive tactics instructor. Prior to APD, he served four years in the United States Marine Corps, completing two combat tours.

YWCA

YWCA Alaska announced Barbara Swenson is the organization’s new CEO. Swenson joins YWCA Alaska with more than twenty years of experience leading highperformance teams in a variety of industries. Her background includes thirteen years with Hilton Hotels, where she managed teams of 25 to 150 in several US locations. Swenson’s areas of expertise include strategic planning and workforce development, employee relations, and change management.

Resource Data

Resource Data hired Chuck Heath as a Business Development and Marketing Specialist at its corporate office in Anchorage. Heath earned his bachelor’s of science from the University of Idaho. He most recently worked for CH2M Hill and previously worked with the Anchorage School District. Heath Heath is also a board member for Alaska Resource Education and the Alaska Minerals Commission. Resource Data also hired Jeremy Frank as a

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Programmer/Analyst for its Juneau branch. Frank holds a bachelor of science in computer science from the University of Illinois-Springfield, a master’s in library science and information management from Emporia State University, and bachelor of Frank science in sociology from Montana State University. Most recently Frank worked as a programmer for the State of Alaska, Department of Fish and Game in Juneau.

Alaska USA FCU

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union selected three individuals to fill executive level positions.

Scott Chertkow has been named Senior Vice President, IM Applications. Chertkow Chertkow has worked at Alaska USA for more than ten years, most recently as vice president, IM Operations.

Doug Horner has been selected for the position of Vice President, IM Operations. Horner has worked at Alaska USA for more than six years, Horner most recently as Anchorage Data Center manager.

Shannon Conley is the new Senior Vice President, Branch Administration. Conley has worked for Alaska USA for more than twelve years, most recently Conley as Dealer Loan Center manager.

Tlingit & Haida

The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska announced its Public Safety department hired Dean Cavanaugh as the Village Public Safety Officer for the community of Kake. Cavanaugh was raised in Kake where he graduated from Kake High School Cavanaugh in 2007. After living and working in Anchorage for nine years, Cavanaugh moved back to Kake, where, in his position, he will operate as a first responder to public safety emergencies to reduce loss

of life, having been trained in areas such as search and rescue, fire protection, emergency medical assistance, crime prevention, and basic law enforcement.

NANA

NANA announced John L. Hendrix will join NANA as president of its growing Commercial Group and will oversee the performance and growth of NANA’s commercial businesses. Hendrix brings almost four decades of experience in the energy industry—in Alaska, the Hendrix Lower 48, and internationally. He most recently held a position on Governor Bill Walker’s Cabinet as chief oil and gas advisor, where he successfully facilitated growth with oil and gas companies working in Alaska. His extensive energy background includes roles at industry leaders such as Apache and BP. He also consulted for energy executives, corporate boards, and government leaders. NANA Regional Corporation also recently appointed four individuals to new positions within its family of companies. Harold Hollis, PE, has been selected for the new position of Vice President, Engineering and Construction within Hollis NANA’s Commercial Group. Hollis will be accountable for Kuna Engineering in addition to NANA Construction. He is an Alaska certified professional engineer with proven experience in engineering and construction management. Jay Hermanson will lead Kuna Hermanson Engineering as the Operations Manager. Hermanson has worked within NANA companies for fourteen years in various roles including director of energy and infrastructure, energy and resources project manager, and business development manager. Fred Elvsaas has been selected Elvsaas as the General Manager for NANA Construction. Elvsaas, a lifelong Alaskan from Seldovia, has been with the company since 2009 and has eighteen years of oilfield construction and fabrication experience. Märit Carlson-Van Dort is the new Director of External and Government Carlson-Van Dort

Affairs for NANA. Carlson-Van Dort has an extensive background in external affairs including regional engagement, client relations, and engaging with legislative and regulatory bodies.

R&M Consultants

Christine White, CPSM, has been promoted to Communications Manager at R&M Consultants. White first joined R&M’s marketing department as a marketing coordinator in January 2012, and she earned her Certified Professional Services Marketer certiWhite fication in 2015. White has more than nine years of business-to-business marketing experience, including strategic planning, public communications, graphic design, website design, and proposal preparation. She has a bachelor of arts in journalism and public communications from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Peak Oilfield Service

Bristol Bay Industrial appointed Cody Gauer to President and CEO of Peak Oilfield Service Company. Gauer is a thirteen year veteran of the upstream oil and gas industry and has spent the past ten years in the heart of Alaska’s oil patch. In his new role, Gauer Gauer will have executive oversight of the company’s North American operations and will be responsible for developing and executing a strategic plan to reposition Peak in the ever-changing oil and gas market. Gauer graduated with honors from Montana Tech with a bachelor of science in petroleum engineering.

UAF

University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) announced that Anupma Prakash will serve as the university’s next provost and executive vice chancellor. Prakash joined the UAF faculty in 2002 as an associate professor of remote sensing at the UAF Geophysical Institute Prakash and College of Natural Science and Mathematics. She holds a doctorate in earth sciences, a master’s degree in geology, and a bachelor’s degree in geology, zoology, and botany. R

Lumber. Siding. Insulation. Whatever you need, we deliver. Connect with us / 800.727.2141 / www.nac.aero /

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July 2018 | Alaska Business

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ALASKA TRENDS

Workers 55+ and Wages by Occupation According to 2017 data, while senior citizens make up a smaller share of Alaska than most states, Alaska has the fastest-growing senior population in the nation. The state’s 65plus population grew by 44 percent between 2010 and 2016, and more growth is on the horizon. People are also staying in the workforce longer than in previous decades, which is a nationwide trend.

Other Management Occupations

Top Executives

2,562 workers 55 and older represent 22% of the workforce with a median wage 10.6% higher than industry workers average at $73,775

2,241 workers 55 and older represent 25% of the workforce with a median wage 14.8% higher than industry workers average at $81,815

Motor Vehicle Operators

Building Cleaning and Pest Control

2,222 workers 55 and older represent 19% of the workforce with a median wage 8.6% higher than industry workers average at $30,480

2,309 workers 55 and older represent 16% of the workforce with a median wage 71% higher than industry workers average at $23,369

Information and Record Clerks 2,181 workers 55 and older represent 14% of the workforce with a median wage 19.9% higher than industry workers average at $32,625

Other Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations 1,960 workers 55 and older represent 18% of the workforce with a median wage 15.9% higher than industry workers average at $49,237

Other Personal Care and Service 1,952 workers 55 and older represent 16% of the workforce with a median wage 15.9% higher than industry workers average at $15,294

Secretaries and Administrative Assistants 1,799 workers 55 and older represent 18% of the workforce with a median wage 18% higher than industry workers average at $39,882

Financial Clerks 1,732 workers 55 and older represent 16% of the workforce with a median wage 13% higher than industry workers average at $38,910

Other Teachers and Instructors 1,708 workers 55 and older represent 23% of the workforce with a median wage 14.4% lower than industry workers average at $9,264

Material Moving Workers 1,447 workers 55 and older represent 12% of the workforce with a median wage 55.5% higher than industry workers average at $30,857

Other Education, Training, and Library

Counselors, Social Workers, Community/Social Service

1,664 workers 55 and older represent 19% of the workforce with a median wage 23.4% higher than industry workers average at $21,812

1,433 workers 55 and older represent 18% of the workforce with a median wage 12.8% higher than industry workers average at $44,716

Preschool, Primary, Secondary, and Spec Ed Teachers

Food Processing Workers

1,617 workers 55 and older represent 16% of the workforce with a median wage 12.6% higher than industry workers average at $64,797

1,414 workers 55 and older represent 7% of the workforce with a median wage 79.6% higher than industry workers average at $18,248

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Other Office and Administrative Support

Retail Sales

2,564 workers 55 and older represent 14% of the workforce with a median wage 30.7% higher than industry workers average at $33,301

3,597 workers 55 and older represent 11% of the workforce with a median wage 54% higher than industry workers average at $20,400

Health Diagnosing and Treating

Other Transportation Workers

2,672 workers 55 and older represent 17% of the workforce with a median wage 11% higher than industry workers average at $76,913

821 workers 55 and older represent 16% of the workforce with a median wage 24.9% higher than industry workers average at $31,469

ANS Crude Oil Production 05/30/2018 05/01/2015 01/01/2014 09/01/2012 05/01/2011 01/01/2010 09/01/2008 05/01/2007

Construction Trades 3,093 workers 55 and older represent 13% of the workforce with a median wage 10.2% higher than industry workers average at $44,501

48,014

01/01/2006

Postsecondary Teachers

09/01/2004

895 workers 55 and older represent 28% of the workforce with a median wage 1.6% lower than industry workers average at $54,202

05/01/2003

ANS Production per barrel per day 525,839 May. 30, 2018

01/01/2002 09/01/2000

0

400,000

800,000

1,200,000

SOURCE: Alaska Department of Revenue Tax Division

TOTAL WORKERS 55 AND 

ANS West Coast Crude Oil Prices

Health Technologists and Technicians

05/30/2018

913 workers 55 and older represent 14% of the workforce with a median wage 20.9% higher than industry workers average at $50,717

09/01/2014 09/01/2012

Financial Specialists

09/01/2010

920 workers 55 and older represent 17% of the workforce with a median wage 15.7% higher than industry workers average at $66,243

09/01/2008

Engineers

09/01/2004

09/01/2006

941 workers 55 and older represent 17% of the workforce with a median wage 3.9% higher than industry workers average at $90,585

ANS West Coast $ per barrel $74.89 May. 30, 2018

09/01/2002 09/01/2000

Material Recording, Scheduling, Dispatch, Distributing 1,021 workers 55 and older represent 13% of the workforce with a median wage 29.4% higher than industry workers average at $36,347

Vehicle and Mobile Equip Mechanics, Installers, Repairers 1,056 workers 55 and older represent 13% of the workforce with a median wage 27.6% higher than industry workers average at $59,164

$0

1,345 workers 55 and older represent 20% of the workforce with a median wage 5.6% higher than industry workers average at $57,202

1,272 workers 55 and older represent 9% of the workforce with a median wage 79.4% higher than industry workers average at $21,467

$60

$80 $100 $120 $140 $160

04/01/2018 11/01/2012 01/01/2010

Food and Beverage Servers

05/01/2004

1,108 workers 55 and older represent 6% of the workforce with a median wage 57.4% higher than industry workers average at $16,663

09/01/1998

07/01/2001

Labor Force 362,894 Apr. 2018 Employment 336,452 Apr. 2018 Unemployment 7.3% Apr. 2018

11/01/1995 01/01/1993

Operations Specialties Managers 1,152 workers 55 and older represent 21% of the workforce with a median wage 7% higher than industry workers average at $73,719

Cooks and Food Preparation

$40

Statewide Employment Figures 10/1976—4/2018 Seasonally Adjusted

03/01/2007

Business Operations Specialists

$20

SOURCE: Alaska Department of Revenue Tax Division

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

SOURCE: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Research and Analysis Section

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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ADVERTISERS INDEX Advanced Dental Solutions...................................64 Advanced Physical Therapy of Alaska................. 9 Alaska Communications....................................3, 35 Alaska Logistics............................................................74 Alaska USA Federal Credit Union........................79 ALSCO..............................................................................22 Altman Rogers & Co..................................................26 Alyeska Pipeline Service Co....................................15 American Marine / Penco.......................104, 105 Arctic Chiropractic.....................................................94 Arctic Information Technology............................45 Arctic Office Products.............................................. 53 AT&T...................................................................................13 Bailey's Furniture........................................................49 Calista Corp....................................................................16 Carlile Transportation Systems......................... 107 CIRI....................................................................................98 Conrad-Houston Insurance Agency..................29 Construction Machinery Industrial....................... 2 Cornerstone Advisors...............................................23

Cruz Companies..........................................................65 DanTech Services........................................................25 Dianne's Wild Fork Catering..................................58 Denali Federal Credit Union..................................59 First National Bank Alaska..........................................5 GCI..................................................................................108 InsulStone.......................................................................14 Judy Patrick Photography...................................106 Landye Bennett Blumstein LLP............................20 Lynden Inc.....................................................................63 Matson Inc......................................................................11 Mechanical Contractors of Fairbanks............... 78 Medical Park Family Care, Inc...............................52 MFCP - Motion & Flow Control Products Inc......64 New Horizons Telecom Inc....................................26 North Star Behavioral Health................................... 9 Northern Air Cargo.................................... 102, 103 NU FLOW Alaska..........................................................66 Pacific Pile & Marine.........................99, 100, 101 Parker Smith & Feek.................................................. 47

PenAir............................................................................... 72 Peppercini's Deli & Catering..................................50 Personnel Plus.............................................................94 PIP Marketing Signs Print........................................29 Quintillion Networks................................................68 Resolve Marine Group..............................................89 Risq Consulting............................................................17 ROTAK Helicopter Services....................................69 Seward Fishing Club..................................................96 Span Alaska Transportation LLC.......................... 75 Stellar Designs Inc...................................................... 97 T. Rowe Price................................................................ 27 Washington Crane & Hoist..................................... 67 Webb Chiropractic - Ideal Protein...................... 97 Wells Fargo Bank Alaska.......................................... 73 WesternAircraft............................................................61 Wostmann & Associates..........................................25 Yukon Fire Protection Services............................34

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