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BUILDING ALASKA | FISH FRIENDLY ROADS | MAINTAINING PRISTINE WATERS June 2018 Digital Edition

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June 2018

Ingrid Barrentine | Alaska Airlines

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June 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: Alaska Airlines has experienced many periods of growth since its inception in 1932, but the last few years definitely stand out as the airline rebranded, acquired Virgin America, launched a new collection of frontline employee uniforms (modeled here by an Alaska Airlines pilot), and engaged in a massive—to the tune of $100 million—infrastructure development program in Alaska. Alaska Business is excited to feature Alaska Airlines (a company that has partnered with us again and again as we pursue our mission to be Alaska’s business advocate) as it both strengthens its expansive Alaska roots and soars to new heights.

7 110 112 114 115 118 120 122

Image: Ingrid Barrentine/Alaska Airlines | Design: David Geiger

Afognak

ARTICLES

8 Traditional dancers perform at the Afognak Native Corporation headquarters in Kodiak.

ALASKA NATIVE

8 | Homegrown Powerhouses Native Village Corporations create prosperity, opportunity By Julie Stricker

FINANCE

12 | Financial Institutions Expand to Pacific Northwest Mergers, partnerships, digital services grow banking presence By Tracy Barbour

4

OIL & GAS

90 | Vessel Response Protocols

Escort tugs critical to oil spill prevention By Isaac Stone Simonelli

MINING

96 | Elements of Mining Operating and potential projects by region By Isaac Stone Simonelli

HEALTHCARE

100 | Senior Services and Support

Being mindful of a growing population with increasing needs By Judy Mottl

VISITOR INDUSTRY

104 | Interior Conferences and Meetings

Small- and mid-sized venues in Fairbanks By Sam Friedman

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


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June 2018 Digital Edition TA B L E

O F

C O N T E N T S

Building Alaska Special Section CONSTRUCTION

Two different styles of Alpine Light jackets at the Apocalypse Design retail store. These jackets are designed for temperatures of 20 below and have become the company’s most popular style of jacket.

18 | 2018 Summer

Construction Round-Up New, ongoing, and planned projects By Judy Mottl

MANUFACTURING

26 | Manufacturing for Alaska Keeping North Slope workers warm and dog mushers on track By Sam Friedman

TECHNOLOGY

Sam Friedman | Alaska Business

34 | Arctic Expansion

Building communication through infrastructure By Tracy Barbour

CONTROVERSIAL ROADS

26

42 | Wrangling Roads

The labyrinth of Alaska road construction By Julie Stricker

Transportation Special Section

Jeremy Talbott

86

AVIATION

50 | Exceptional Expansion Alaska Airlines takes new employees, new assets, and a new look in stride By Tasha Anderson

HYBRID/ELECTRIC

56 | Alaska Embraces Electric Vehicles

Challenges remain but public interest piqued By Vanessa Orr

6

DIRECTORY

62 | The Alaska Business

2018 Transportation Directory

FISH-FRIENDLY

76 | Road-Stream Crossings

Wildcards for Alaska’s transportation infrastructure and fish By Katrina Liebich

New Valdez Boat Harbor commercial basin on April 5, 2018. Jeremy Talbott

ENVIRONMENTAL 86 | Pristine Waters

Environmental initiatives for Alaska’s shores, ports, and vessels By O’Hara Shipe

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


FROM THE EDITOR VOLUME 34, NUMBER 6 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 Holly Parsons 257-2910 hparsons@akbizmag.com Advertising Account Manager Christine Merki 257-2911 cmerki@akbizmag.com Accounting Manager Ana Lavagnino 257-2901 accounts@akbizmag.com Customer Service Representative Emily Olsen 257-2914 emily@akbizmag.com 501 W. Northern Lights Boulevard, Suite 100 Anchorage, Alaska 99503-2577 (907) 276-4373 | Toll Free: 1-800-770-4373 Fax: (907) 279-2900 www.akbizmag.com Editorial email: editor@akbizmag.com ALASKA BUSINESS PUBLISHING CO., INC. Alaska Business (ISSN 8756-4092) is published monthly by Alaska Business Publishing Co., Inc., 501 W. Northern Lights Boulevard, Suite 100, Anchorage, Alaska 99503-2577; Telephone: (907) 276-4373; © 2018 Alaska Business Publishing Co. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Alaska Business accepts no responsibility for unsolicited materials; they will not be returned unless accompanied by a stamped, self addressed envelope. One-year subscription is $39.95 and includes twelve issues (print + digital) and the annual Power List. Single issues of the Power List are $15 each. Single issues of Alaska Business are $3.95 each; $4.95 for the October issue. Send subscription orders and address changes to circulation@akbizmag.com. To order back issues ($8.95 each including postage) visit www.akbizmag.com/store.

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Appreciating an Alaskan Icon

W

e are always busy at Alaska Business. Whether we’re brainstorming about important issues to include in the magazine or refining nascent products such as our weekly newsletter, the Alaska Business Monitor, there is no such thing as a dull day in our midtown office. So much so that the letter from the editor, something that is deeply important to any editor—including me—often gets pushed to the very end of my list of “to-dos”. Not because I don’t care, but because each month I spend weeks agonizing over what to talk about in this space. Which of our many feature articles should we highlight? And, most importantly, what information can be included here to augment the rest of our content, adding more context to the news and issues we discuss on the website, in the newsletter, and in the Alaska Business magazine special editions, special sections, and feature stories? This month was no different. We’re deep in planning for the Best of Alaska Business awards party and special section (the results are in and there are some surprises this year, all of which will be revealed in our July issue), and, of course, we’re planning for the Top 49ers event in September, while still writing, editing, and planning for the next big issue. All to say it was a pretty typical month, yet a great month because there was one big difference—I’ve known for several weeks what I want to focus on in June: our cover story on Alaska Airlines. Featured on the Alaska Business cover this month is a pilot from Alaska Airlines, modeling one of the new uniforms the airline debuted earlier this year. She stands proud and strong, looking toward the future with a smile her on face. Her image is representative of Alaska Airlines and how it operates. For close to ninety years Alaska Airlines has been changing the aviation world through innovation, a commitment to diversity and safety, and whole lot of firsts. “As we have grown to take Alaskans where they want to fly, our heritage and our roots are with us every mile. From the smiling inspiration on every tail to the word ‘Alaska’ on the side of every airplane, we recognize and celebrate our past while always looking towards the future,” says Vice President of Marketing Sangita Woerner. Alaska Airlines was born here in 1932 and has remained a steadfast partner to the many, many residents who depend on the air carrier to get them, their loved ones, and vital cargo to and from some of the most remote locations in the world. Since the early ‘30s the company has not only grown in capacity, it has introduced decades’ worth of firsts. One first that forever changed the airline was the addition of the iconic “Eskimo tail” in 1976, a topic that even today garners much curiosity from passengers who still ask Alaska Airlines’ employees, “Who IS that guy on the tail?” Theories range from Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley to a lion and Johnny Cash, but most Alaska residents believe it is the face of Alaska. “Whether the artists were inspired by real people remains a mystery to this day—both within the company and without—as no official documentation has ever been uncovered indicating that either the Eskimo or the miner was based on a specific person,” the company explains on its website. With the addition of the Eskimo tail, Alaska Airlines really came into its own, becoming a symbol of Alaska’s community and serving as a “reflection of people and their connection to the airline they love.” We are excited to present to you this profile featuring Alaska Airlines’ growth from flying unscheduled flights in the most far flung of locations to today serving more than 44 million customers going to more than 118 destinations on 1,200 daily flights. The Alaska Airlines profile is one facet of another Alaska Business page-turner. Also in June we’re publishing the Transportation Special Section, featuring the directory designed to help you connect with Alaska’s transportation companies, and the Construction Special Section highlighting current, future, and recently completed projects statewide. Now is the ideal time to head outside, grab a spot in the sun, and delve into the June issue of Alaska Business. —Kathryn Mackenzie Managing Editor, Alaska Business

June 2018 | Alaska Business

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ALASKA NATIVE

Afognak

Homegrown Powerhouses

One of the goals of the Afognak Board of Directors is to “ensure that shareholders will have the opportunity to belong to the Alutiiq community and share a connection to our culture and history.”

Native Village Corporations create prosperity, opportunity By Julie Stricker

I

n recent years, Alaska’s Native village corporations have been making big economic waves in the state. In fiscal year 2016, 22 percent of the total revenue generated by Alaska-based businesses came from village corporations, about $2.7 billion. Add in the revenue from Alaska Native regional corporations, and the number grows to more than 70 percent of the $14.8 billion in revenue from Alaska-owned businesses. The corporations were created under the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), which granted Alaska Natives title to 44 million acres of land and $962.5 million to clear land claims. Under ANCSA, twelve Alaska-based regional corporations and more than 200 village corporations were created, with the dual mandate to make money and provide for the educational, social, and cultural well-being of the shareholders. A thirteenth corporation was later set up for Alaska Natives living outside the state, but it did not receive a land distribution and was dissolved in 2013. “We all have similar missions in terms of providing for our people and the wellbeing of our shareholders,” says Hallie Bissett, executive director of the Alaska Native Village Corporation Association. “The biggest difference between the village and the regional corporations is the land ownership. Regional 8

corporations own the subsurface estate and the village corporations will typically own the surface estate.”

Sharing Resources When regional corporations develop resources such as timber or oil and gas or zinc, they have to share those resource revenues with the villages through the 7(i) and 7(j) clauses of ANCSA, Bissett says. “Any time there’s a resource development within a Native community’s private lands, that really impacts the entire state of Alaska,” she says. “Through 7(i) or 7(j), every single village corporation gets revenue from that.” The 7(i) clause requires regional corporations to annually redistribute 70 percent of net revenues from resource development among all twelve Alaska-based regional corporations. Clause 7(j) requires the regional corporations to redistribute half of those payments to village corporations and at-large members. The clauses were included as a way to level the playing field between corporations in traditionally resource-rich areas and those in other places. According to a study released in February, “Successful resource development by one regional [Alaska Native corporation] means success for all.” The study (by the McDowell Group for ANCSA Regional Association) notes that

“We all have similar missions in terms of providing for our people and the well-being of our shareholders. The biggest difference between the village and the regional corporations is the land ownership. Regional corporations own the subsurface estate and the village corporations will typically own the surface estate.”

—Hallie Bissett Executive Director Alaska Native Village Corporation Association

between fiscal year 1982 and fiscal year 2015, approximately $3.1 billion (adjusted for inflation) has been distributed to all Alaska Native corporations under 7(i). About half of that amount was distributed to village corporations under 7(j). The overall amount has generally increased over time and totaled $234.5 million in fiscal year 2015. For many of the

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


Left: Youth at a Dig Afognak bonfire. Below: Shareholder Susie Malutin leads a cultural workshop with youth at Dig Afognak. Afognak

smallest corporations, the infusion of 7(j) revenues was a major part of their budget. “That’s basically the mechanics of the relationships between those two entities,” Bissett says. “Other than that, they’re typically the same. They’re all for-profit corporations, with specific sets of bylaws and ways of operating.” Although some village corporations focus on local activities such as the power systems and tribal duties, others have waded into the corporate world. And while the regional corporations have traditionally been the powerhouses, village corporations are increasingly right alongside them. In fiscal year 2016, three village corporations were among the ten largest Alaska-based corporations: Chenega Corporation reported revenues of $927 million, Afognak tallied $474.3 million, and Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation reported revenues of $424.3 million. Chenega Corporation has had great success in government contracting but has been working to diversify its portfolio and now owns the majority of the electrical contractors in the state, Bissett says. Its government services arm operates in multiple business lines with several companies in each. “Quite a few of the larger village corporations have significant investments in government contracting, which is true of the regional corporations, as well,” Bissett says. “Village corporations such as Chenega and Afognak started out in government contracting but in recent years have been working to diversify their revenue streams. “They’re using their 8(a) moneys to invest in ongoing businesses right here in our state,” she says. “That’s kind of become the Alaska business entrepreneur dream. That you form a company, build it up, and get bought out eventually by a Native corporation.” www.akbizmag.com

TEC Each corporation interprets its mandate to benefit shareholders in its own way. The Eyak Corporation (TEC) is the village corporation for Cordova, one of five villages in the Chugach region. Although the bulk of TEC’s operations are in government services, it is also looking at how it can directly improve life for its shareholders. In 2011, TEC acquired an ownership interest in Native American Bank, which serves Alaska Native corporations, tribes, and Native enterprises as well as Native individuals. It recently invested in Baxter Senior Living, which is building an assisted living center in Anchorage. The investment allows TEC to help create badly needed housing for elders, as well as provide more job opportunities for shareholders. TEC is actively looking for additional investments in Alaska. Locally, TEC supports community activities in Cordova, such as the Native Village of Eyak’s elder programs, a cemetery cleanup day, and a monument to recognize veterans.

“A big part of our work is to make sure our business lines and operations stay true to our Alutiiq values. Even in things like engineering services, we’ve been able to tie our Alutiiq values and traditions. We’re very effective at using the materials around us in a resourceful and respectful way. It’s so critical to what anchors us.”

—Malia Villegas Vice President of Corporate Affairs Afognak

June 2018 | Alaska Business

9


Native Village of Afognak

Shareholder Berestoff at Dig Afognak Culture Camp, which is hosted by the Native Village of Afognak for shareholders and their families each summer.

Afognak Alutiiq culture is the guiding principle for Afognak Corporation, says Malia Villegas, vice president of corporate affairs. “A big part of our work is to make sure our business lines and operations stay true to our Alutiiq values,” Villegas says. “Even in things like engineering services, we’ve been able to tie our Alutiiq values and traditions. We’re very effective at using the materials around us in a resourceful and respectful way. It’s so critical to what anchors us.” The corporation includes the Kodiak Alutiiq people of Afognak and Port Lions and it represents nearly 1,000 shareholders. Its early operations focused on timber and land management, which it invested successfully into the government services fields. Today Afognak, its wholly-owned subsidiary Alutiiq, and their subsidiaries have about 5,000 employees in nearly every state and around the world. They provide government services in a variety of fields, including a commercial leasing division with facilities on the North Slope. Another contract includes Job Corps, with “a pretty extensive youth services footprint,” Villegas says. In addition to business operations, corporations such as Afognak host a variety of community programs. This summer, Afognak will host its third annual Afognak Youth Charity Golf Tournament at the Anchorage Golf Course. Proceeds directly benefit the tribal youth education programs operated by the Native Village of Afognak and the Native Village of Port Lions. Those include Dig Afognak Camp, 10

an Alutiiq cultural camp for youth that has operated since 1998; preschool and afterschool activities; Alutiiq language lessons; and Alutiiq cultural activities. The corporation also works closely with its sister tribes in Afognak and Port Lions and helps sponsor a series of camps focused on subsistence, Alutiiq culture, and languages. The corporation also still maintains a timber business. Villegas notes one of the nearby bays is named after her grandmother.

Eklutna Eklutna Inc. focuses on opportunities within the state, Bissett says. “They have a very impressive portfolio. They do construction; they have a bunch of real estate.” As the largest private land owner in Southcentral Alaska, Eklutna owns 90,000 acres within the Municipality of Anchorage and has extensive holdings in the MatanuskaSusitna Valley—prime real estate in an increasingly crowded metropolitan area. In 2016 Eklutna Construction and Maintenance won the contract to dismantle the obsolete eighty-foot Eklutna Dam, which was built in the 1920s. The process of restoring the river is underway. The wholly-owned subsidiary also worked on an upgrade to the FBI offices in Anchorage and renovated a swimming pool at Fort Wainwright’s Melaven Fitness Center. It is also building a substance abuse recovery facility for Cook Inlet Tribal Council. The center, which will have sixteen beds, offices for twelve personnel, a commercial kitchen, dining area, group room, and carving studio, is expected to be complete in December 2018.

TKC The Kuskokwim Corporation (TKC) was created in 1977 when ten smaller village corporations along the middle part of the Kuskokwim River merged. It owns more than 950,000 acres of surface estate in Western Alaska, which includes what may become one of the largest gold mines in the world: Donlin Gold. The mine, with provable and probable reserves estimated at 33.9 million ounces of gold, is owned by subsidiaries of Novagold and Barrick Corporation. Calista Regional Corporation owns the subsurface estate. It is a region with few jobs, but that is expected to change. The mine is expected to be a huge economic driver for the region, on par with Red Dog zinc mine’s impact on Northwest Alaska. As many as 3,000 jobs are expected during construction and the mine would create about 1,400 jobs for the duration of its planned twenty-seven-year life. So far, about 90 percent of the jobs created during the early phases have been local hire, and Donlin says it’s committed to hiring residents from the region. The mine has worked closely with residents, providing information and presentations in both English and Yup’ik. TKC has partnered with Donlin to form a private foundation to support expanded educational and vocational training for shareholders interested in the mining industry. In addition, TKC has been working closely with the Kuspuk School District, EXCEL Alaska, and the Association of Village Presidents to connect shareholders with educational programs. In addition, Calista would generate royalties from the gold, 70 percent of which

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


Kymberlee Blondin, an Afognak/ Alutiiq descendant, dances.

would be distributed to other Native corporations statewide.

Sitnasuak Working in government contracting connects village corporations with organizations and people around the world. One of Sitnasuak’s subsidiaries, SNC Technical Services (SNCT), is based in Puerto Rico. The island was pummeled by hurricanes Irma and Maria, with major destruction to its infrastructure and electrical grid. Sitnasuak’s March newsletter details some of the ways its employees in Puerto Rico dealt with the storms and their aftermath. “Camping is fun,” says Enrique Denegri, COO for SNCT. “But even after camping, after three days you want to go home.” SNCT’s facilities, which employ about 700 people who manufacture uniforms and tactical gear for the US military, were largely spared from the damage, so Sitnasuak set up leadership teams to help with the larger problem of restoring electricity. It offered subsidized lunches to employees and onsite daycare for their children. In addition, Sitnasuak sent satellite phones, generators, fuel, camp stoves, water purification systems, and ice makers. According to the newsletter, ice was in especially high demand and SNCT distributed as much as it could from its own machines. Nearly 300 employees’ homes were damaged and some were totaled. The company was one of the few to start manufacturing clothing again soon after the storms, so employees were spared being out of work for weeks. “We tried to maintain some sense of normalcy and community by providing meals, supplies, and secure jobs,” says Humberto Zacapa, CEO of SNCT. SNCT shares that attitude of caring with its parent company. “Our Iñupiaq values are part of our approach to business,” writes Roberta Quintavell, president and CEO of Sitnasuak. “We are all responsible for each other, regardless of whether you’re an employee in Nome or at a subsidiary halfway around the world. As Iñupiaq, we take our responsibility to take care of one another seriously.” ‘Hitting Their Stride’ Bissett says the village corporations are just starting to hit their stride. “The interesting thing for me about village corporations is they recapitalize every single year,” Bissett says. That creates opportunity for future leaders in the Native community who have gone to Ivy League schools and have a business background to come and lead these organizations. “They’ve been in business now for fifty years, a typical time for a normal entrepreneur or business person to really learn the ropes. You don’t hear about a lot of successful twentysomethings… there are some unicorns out there, but when it comes to the maturity of these organizations, I think you’re going to hear more and more about village corporations.” R Julie Stricker is a journalist living near Fairbanks. www.akbizmag.com

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11


FINANCE

Mergers, partnerships, digital services grow banking presence

T

By Tracy Barbour

he Pacific Northwest—which is generally thought to include Washington, Oregon, Idaho and sometimes Montana, Wyoming, and California—has strong historical ties with Alaska. There are considerable similarities between Alaska and these other states, each boasting wide-open spaces, an abundance of natural resources, and a bold, independent spirit. Over the years, Alaska’s financial institutions have taken different approaches to expanding into the Pacific Northwest and tapping into its economy, which is driven by diverse industries. For example, Northrim has made brickand-mortar investments in the region. First National Bank of Alaska partners with other banks to fund loans. Denali State Bank is expanding its online presence to broaden customers’ access to banking services, particularly for those who have relocated to the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere in the Lower 48. And Denali Federal Credit Union is pursuing a merger partnership agreement to further enhance its involvement in the Pacific Northwest market.

Northrim Bank

Northrim Bank Northrim Bank, which serves 90 percent of Alaska’s population, has about 400 employees and fourteen branches in Anchorage, the

Michael Martin

12

Matanuska Valley, Juneau, Fairbanks, Ketchikan, and Sitka. The full-service, community bank has a history of Pacific Northwest expansion. In 2002, Northrim was an original investor in Elliott Cove Capital Management, a Seattle-based capital management firm and insurance agency serving individual investors and financial institutions. Elliott Cove offers investment portfolios, annuities, and other insurance products for individual investors and retirement plans for community businesses, professional firms, and nonprofit organizations. In 2004, the bank opened Northrim Funding Services as a result of an acquisition. The Bellevue, Washington-based firm provides asset-based lending and factoring (purchasing) of accounts receivable to businesses primarily in Alaska, the western United States, and Arizona. Then in 2006, Northrim Bank made another major investment in the Pacific Northwest. The company assumed a minority ownership interest in Pacific Wealth Advisors, which operates offices in Seattle. Pacific Wealth Advisors has two subsidiaries: Pacific Portfolio Consultants and Pacific Portfolio Trust Company. Pacific Portfolio is an independent wealth management and investment advisor serving high-net-worth individuals and families as well as institutions. “It has over $3.6 billion under management; a third of that is in Alaska, and two thirds is in the Pacific Northwest,” says Mike Martin, executive vice president, COO, and general counsel at Northrim Bank. “And they continue to expand.” Several years ago, Pacific Portfolio—of which Northrim owns 24 percent—opened an office in Alaska. The company maintains a team of experienced advisors to serve clients in Alaska as well as the greater Pacific Northwest. Another example of Northrim’s service expansion is Residential Mortgage, one of the largest mortgage loan originators in Alaska. Recently, Residential Mortgage—which is wholly owned by Northrim—has had the opportunity to originate mortgage loans in Washington, and it plans to expand to other states. Residential Mortgage has had some regulatory opportunities to originate loans in other states, Martin says, so it makes sense to originate mortgage loans in these additional areas. Plus, as Alaskans migrate to the Lower 48, there’s a direct nexus with originating loans in Washington and western states. The bank’s rationale for expanding into the Pacific Northwest region was primarily customer-driven, according to Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer Mike Huston. “The number one reason is we’re following our customers,” he explains. “That is the most common place for our customers to expand

Northrim Bank

Financial Institutions Expand to Pacific Northwest

Mike Huston

and invest in additional projects. There’s significant trade between the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, so it’s natural to expand there.” Northrim’s investments in the Pacific Northwest region allow the bank to diversify its portfolio, have more sources of revenue, and acquire more customers. It also brings additional expertise and value to customers in Alaska. “It’s being able to provide a full range of financial services to our customers,” Huston says. Huston says Northrim Bank has no current plans to expand into other regions of the country but will continue to conduct business in the western United States. In addition, the bank will keep concentrating on opportunities in Alaska, where it is firmly rooted. “We are bullish and optimistic about the Alaska economy,” Huston says. “We do have some issues that need to be resolved, including the budget situation, but we feel there is a lot of opportunity in Alaska, and we remain focused in this area.” From a banking perspective, Martin says, there is tremendous difference between operating in Alaska and in the Pacific Northwest. Two key areas of distinction are the geographic landscape and level of competition. For example, with Alaska’s extreme size, there is a huge distance between Northrim’s northernmost branch in Fairbanks and its most southernmost branch in Ketchikan. The lack of a road system and other infrastructure makes banking more challenging in many Alaska communities. The competition level is starkly different in both markets. There are seven banks operating in Alaska. In Washington and Oregon

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


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First National Bank Alaska

First National Alaskan-owned and-operated since 1922, First National Bank Alaska meets the financial needs of Alaskans through a network of ATMs and branches in eighteen communities statewide. First National has not expanded its physical presence into the Pacific Northwest. However, it does conduct business in the region by partnering with national and regional banks that have the same lending criteria that First National employs in Alaska, according to Stacy Tomuro, senior vice president, specialty lending director of the Corporate Lending Division. “Our ability to be responsive to a customer’s financing needs, combined with timely decision making, is something Alaskans have come to expect of us, and—by applying these same capabilities outside of Alaska—we have been able to build very good relationships with these banks,” he explains. The Pacific Northwest economy is strong and has seen tremendous growth since the Great Recession, as compared to the Alaska economy, Tomuro says. The economies of the region are

Stacy Tomuro

14

more diversified than Alaska’s and present opportunities to finance businesses in many different industries. First National intends to continue leveraging the strength of the economy in the Pacific Northwest. “Based on the strong reception we have had and growth in our loan portfolio during these recessionary times in Alaska, we will continue to expand on these relationships as long as there are high-quality loans to be made to well-established customers of those banks outside of Alaska.” First National opted to expand relationships in the Pacific Northwest several years ago because of the weaknesses that it anticipated and is seeing play out today in the Alaska economy. “But Alaska is and will always be our main focus for the bank,” Tomuro says. “First National will continue to provide Alaskans with the banking services needed in our communities throughout the state.” At this juncture, the bank has no plans to physically expand into the Pacific Northwest—although it does work with banks in several states in the Lower 48.

Denali State Bank Established in 1986, Denali State Bank operates five branches in the Interior—four in Fairbanks and one in Tok. With five of Alaska’s seven banks represented in the Fairbanks market, the full-service community bank is operating in a very competitive environment. However, Denali is not looking to open branches in the Pacific Northwest—or anywhere else in Alaska, according to President and CEO Steve Lundgren. Instead of expanding physically, the bank is focused on capitalizing on technology to obtain more loans. “We would be [considering expansion] if it were not for the digital environment that we are in that will allow us to acquire loans,” Lundgren says. “We’re not originating those loans; they are originated by banks in those areas.” With Alaska’s current economy, lending volume has been flat. Most banks in Alaska have plenty of deposits, but not enough loan activity to support their deposit base. Consequently, Denali is increasingly facilitating loans to individuals and businesses in other parts of the country. “In order to better put our capital to use, we began to participate in loans outside of Alaska,” Lundgren says. “We’ve grown our loan portfolio where about 25 percent of our loans are outside Alaska.” Lundgren says many banks are looking for ways to improve efficiency and cost structure. Traditionally, financial institutions have expanded by building additional branches, a costly endeavor. The development of digital capabilities allow banks to grow their customer base without having to increase costs as they would with brick-andmortar expansions. Denali, like many institutions, is leveraging online technology to better serve customers. “Our first step was to figure out a way to not only keep the customers we have that move or travel outside Alaska, but also to be able to capture other potential customers outside Alaska,” Lundgren says. So Denali updated its website, and now its customers can do everything online,

Denali State Bank

there are more than eighty and forty financial institutions, respectively. Northrim Bank remains focused on providing “customer first service” in Alaska. And if these customers have operations they are trying to advance in the Pacific Northwest, Northrim will find a way to help them pursue their goals, Martin says. Last May, as part of its customer first service philosophy, Northrim converted to a new core banking system. The conversion, which costs $943,000, is making it easier for customers to interact with the bank digitally—regardless of their physical location, Huston says. However, Northrim still strongly believes in fostering a relationship model through traditional interactions. “It’s difficult to establish a good relationship with someone strictly through electronic means,” Huston says. “I see this as enhancing our offerings, as opposed to being an entirely new alternative.”

Steve Lundgren

from opening an account to applying for a mortgage or installment loan. To continue with its digital expansion, the bank developed a mobile banking app that lets customers engage in online banking from their iPad or smartphone. Like many institutions, Denali also offers remote deposit capture that lets customers deposit checks electronically. However, Lundgren says, expanding Denali’s online presence has less to do with Alaska’s economy and more to do with providing services to its customers. “Fairbanks residents and all Alaskans are very mobile and travel outside Alaska, and they still need financial products available to them,” he says.

Denali FCU Denali FCU, which has about 70,000 members and $650 million in assets, recently signed

“We take great pride in our legacy of serving Alaskans for more than sixty-five years. Our proposed merger partnership with Nuvision is an important strategic step to continue this legacy and support our service goals. This partnership offers an exciting opportunity to collaborate and leverage our service, support, and technology infrastructures to improve our members’ experience and strengthen our credit union.”

—Bob Teachworth President and CEO Denali Federal Credit Union

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


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Denali FCU

Keith Fernandez

an agreement to pursue a strategic merger partnership with Nuvision Credit Union, a $1.6 billion credit union based in California. The proposed partnership will merge two independently-successful, strong, and wellcapitalized credit unions to create a significantly larger organization with increased operating efficiencies and an expanded market scope,

according to a Denali news release from midMarch. “We take great pride in our legacy of serving Alaskans for more than sixty-five years,” Denali President and CEO Bob Teachworth stated in the release. “Our proposed merger partnership with Nuvision is an important strategic step to continue this legacy and support our service goals. This partnership offers an exciting opportunity to collaborate and leverage our service, support, and technology infrastructures to improve our members’ experience and strengthen our credit union.” Under the merger agreement, Nuvision CEO Roger Ballard will become CEO of the combined $2.2 billion organization, and Teachworth will head up all Denali branch operations in the Pacific Northwest. The federally-insured credit union will operate under the Nuvision charter and name; however, current Denali branch locations will retain the Denali name, operating as a division of Nuvision. Combined, the credit unions will serve 160,000 members with approximately thirty branches in Alaska, Arizona, California, Washington, and Wyoming. According to the release, the merger process is expected to take approximately one year, as it will require review and approval of the merger by the National Credit Union Administration as well as a vote of Denali’s membership in support of the merger. Denali members will not be impacted in any way as the credit unions conduct the merger approval process.

Denali FCU, the third-largest credit union in Alaska, had been entertaining the idea of doing a merger or building into new markets since 2011, according to Denali FCU spokesperson Keith Fernandez. In 2015, Denali opened its first branch outside Alaska in Kent, Washington, and then continued looking for other possible expansion sites. “There wasn’t much more room for expansion for us in the Alaska market,” Fernandez says. “We were looking for other ways to have a strategic growth plan.” Denali knew it needed to expand beyond Alaska’s borders to grow and remain competitive. It also needed a way to combat economic cycles. “We think that this kind of geographic expansion will help counter cyclical economic times,” Fernandez says. Last year, Denali worked with a consultant who compiled a list of about thirty credit unions that would be suitable merger partners. Nuvision—which shares Denali’s focus on building member relationships—emerged as the ideal choice. Fernandez says, “We both feel really strongly that this is a positive move for both institutions.”  R

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Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


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SPECIAL SECTION

Building Alaska

2018 Summer

Construction Round-Up New, ongoing, and planned projects By Judy Mottl

A

laska’s engineers, architects, contractors, and designers provide updates on new and ongoing infrastructure projects, building developments, airport projects, and school building efforts for the upcoming summer construction season.

Road/Highway Projects Area Signal Upgrades in Fairbanks The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) is constructing signal upgrades at fifty-five intersections throughout the Fairbanks area. Lounsbury & Associates and engineering firm EDC provided traffic engineering and design for flashing yellow arrow operations, high visibility signal heads, and ADA accessibility improvements. Lounsbury also completed survey and ground penetrating radar to help DOT&PF avoid underground utility conflicts. Combining recommendations of 18

four separate Highway Safety Improvement Program nominations, the project will be completed in two stages. Construction of stage 1 started in 2017 and is expected to be substantially complete this year. HC Contractors has the $14 million contract for stage 1. Construction of stage 2 is expected to start in 2019.

100th Avenue Rehab Phase 2 of the 100th Avenue connection project in Anchorage (between Minnesota Drive and C Street), designed by Stantec, resumed in May. The project includes two roundabouts at the Minnesota Drive interchange, which were constructed last summer, and construction of the roadway between Minnesota Drive and C Street. This arterial roadway will have three lanes, five-foot shoulders, separated multiuse pathways on both sides of the road, and continuous LED lighting over its length. The estimated cost of the project

is between $5 million and $10 million. The contractor is Mass Excavation. The expected completion date is August of this year.

Sterling Highway Shoulder from MP 97 to MP 118 DOT&PF is constructing a Highway Safety Improvement Program project on Sterling Highway between Soldotna and Clam Gulch. The widened shoulders will provide a significant safety improvement and reduce single vehicle run-off-the-road, sideswipes, and head-on crashes. The project will widen the highway shoulders, construct rumble strips, incorporate a pavement safety edge, add delineators, upgrade guardrails, and improve signage. Lounsbury provided survey and engineering services to design highway widening and drainage improvements. Fish passage improvements at four stream crossings, including Crooked Creek and Coal Creek, will also be constructed.

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


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BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | SUMMER CONSTRUCTION ROUND-UP

Granite Construction Company was awarded the $29 million project and construction begins this year.

North Pole Water System Expansion Stantec is serving as engineer and Exclusive Paving is the contractor on a thirty-four mile expansion of the water main in North Pole. The $52 million project, which began in February and is slated to finish in 2019, includes 181,000 feet of insulated water mains to expand water supply to more than 650 properties in and around the city. The project includes expansion of the existing water treatment plant, a new 750,000-gallon water reservoir, and a new water system pump house.

Midtown Corridor Improvements R&M is leading the planning, public involvement, and engineering design for midtown corridor improvements in Anchorage, from the Denali Street area to Benson to Tudor Road, that will update 1.5 miles of arterial roadway in midtown Anchorage. The goal is to turn the current car-centric environment to complete streets to make living, shopping, working, and recreation more attractive. The design cost was $499,967. Under the MOA’s adopted Context Sensitive Solutions for transportation projects policy and development process, R&M analyzed road alternatives and improvements to seven major intersections. Issues identified include adding/ separating pedestrian facilities, adding bicycle lanes, and improving intersection operations.

The project is currently in the alternative analysis phase and the Draft Design Study Report is scheduled for May 2018.

Resurfacing Boniface Parkway R&M is the engineer of record for the resurfacing and restriping project on Boniface Parkway from Tudor to JBER Gate in Anchorage. The DOT&PF project, with a design cost of $618,412, includes 3.25 miles of roadway and reconstruction of curb ramps as necessary to meet ADA requirements. This project also includes work on curbs in non-curb ramp areas, localized storm drain system improvements, and replacement of guardrails and signs as needed. The design is nearly 70 percent complete with construction to begin in the summer of 2020 (the timing during which construction funding will be available). Replacement of Water Street Viaduct R&M is the civil design engineer for a $24 million state project to replace the Water Street Viaduct, a hybrid bridge structure located in Ketchikan along a steep hillside situated above Tongass Avenue. The general contractor is Dawson Construction. The project is currently in construction and scheduled for completion March 2019. Multi-Lane Roundabout in Fairbanks The Danby-Wembley multi-lane roundabout project in Fairbanks aims to reduce angle crashes and accommodate oversize and overweight truck traffic. R&M is the engineer for the $1.16 million state project and the general contractor has not yet been determined. R&M developed the design and prepared final 20

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


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The second phase of the 100th Avenue connection between Minnesota Drive and C Street, designed by Stantec, resumed in May.

bid documents. The project is scheduled for construction this summer.

Left Turn Lanes, Road Widening of Sterling Highway A $2 million state project will widen the roadway and construct north and southbound turn lanes and intersection lighting at the Jim Dahler Road/Forest Lane intersection on the Sterling Highway. The roadway was widened last summer to prepare for this year’s work. Construction began in April and will continue through summer. R&M Consultants is the engineer of record and the general contractor is Wolverine Supply. The project also includes vegetation clearing, drainage, signs, and striping. Replacement of Beaver Creek Culvert in Galena R&M is the engineer of record for a $1.22 million project to replace the Beaver Creek culvert crossing of Campion Road in Galena. Cruz Construction is the general contractor for the steel structural fish passage project which is scheduled to begin this summer. The large diameter culvert crossing at Beaver Creek was damaged in late May 2013 when the roadway was overtopped by Yukon River ice jam flooding. The new culvert is a 144-inch diameter pipe that is fish passable and a 48-inch diameter overflow pipe. A simulated stream channel with a low flow condition was designed to allow fish to pass through while maintaining a large hydraulic capacity. The design includes the www.akbizmag.com

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BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | SUMMER CONSTRUCTION ROUND-UP

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BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | SUMMER CONSTRUCTION ROUND-UP

construction of prefabricated aluminum headwalls and wingwalls, placement of riprap for erosion protection, and road reconstruction.

South Tongass Highway Revamp The $9.7 million state project will reconstruct a highly-traveled area of the South

Tongass Highway in Ketchikan locally known as Front, Mill, and Stedman Streets. R&M Consultants is the engineer and Secon is the general contractor. Pedestrian traffic is a major challenge in this corridor due to the high volume of cruise ship traffic. Improvements include increasing the capacity

of pedestrian facilities and upgrades to meet current ADA requirements. The first phase of construction began in late February and includes sidewalk work on Stedman Street. Construction will transition to roadbed construction during summer 2018 in this same area.Â

Designs that take you to new destinations stantec.com

Glacier Highway and Backloop Roundabout, Juneau

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Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | SUMMER CONSTRUCTION ROUND-UP

Bright People. Powerful Solutions. Building Alaska.

Stantec is the designer of record for the reconstruction of the Glacier Highway from the Fritz Cove Road intersection to the intersection of Seaview Avenue in Auke Bay. Stantec

Ports/Harbors New Valdez Harbor Development R&M is the design engineer of record for the multi-phase Valdez Harbor Development, a $25 million project that is slated to be completed this year. Pacific Pile and Marine is the general contractor for Phase 2, which includes the upland facilities and inner harbor facilities. The project includes a 150-slip vessel moorage float system for 40-foot to 100foot vessels; a 90-foot by 90-foot drive down float and 117-foot by 17-foot transfer bridge; and uplands facilities, including a harbor maintenance building/office and restrooms, laundry facilities, a restroom building, a bilge water treatment facility, picnic areas, pedestrian amenities, and landscaping features. The design for Phase 2 was complete in April 2017 and is currently in construction. The uplands facilities and the inner harbor facilities are slated to be complete this year. Seward Marine Industrial Center Harbor Improvements R&M is the design engineer of record for $16 million in harbor improvements associated with the Seward Marine Industrial Center. Phase 1, which is substantially completed, included a breakwater, turning dolphin, channel dredging, shoreline erosion protection, and sewer and seafood outfall relocations. Phase 2, currently under construction, includes repairs and improvements to a cellular sheet pile dock, expansion/widening of the travel lift dock, and a new heavy-duty moorage float. Phase 3 will include a new pile supported dock, berthing dolphins, and www.akbizmag.com

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Stantec

BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | SUMMER CONSTRUCTION ROUND-UP

Stantec is the designer of a $30 million, 30,000-square-foot Nightmute K-12 school that should be completed in spring 2019.

other support facilities and is estimated to be completed by mid-2018. The general contractor is Hamilton Construction.

Biorka Island Dock Replacement R&M provided design and permitting for replacement of a 1950s-era dock owned by FAA on Biorka Island near Sitka. The work included conceptual planning/alternatives analysis; wind/wave analyses; upland and bathymetric surveys; geotechnical explorations; structural, mechanical, and electrical design; and environmental permitting. Due to the remoteness of the site and lack of construction resources, the pier will be a steel pile supported structure with precast concrete deck elements. A floating dock and 80-foot-long access gangway will be provided for personnel access via small craft. A fuel header, utility building, and eight ton pedestal crane will also be provided. The submittal review, materials procurement, and prefabrications are currently underway. Onsite construction work is estimated to continue through October. The design cost was $981,202, and Turnagain Marine Construction is the general contractor. Airports Aniak Airport Runway Shift Project Stantec is the engineer on a $39.9 million project at the Aniak Airport to shift the 6,000-footlong runway 260 feet laterally to comply with FAA safety requirements. The project contrac24

tor is Knik Construction. Project construction began this spring. The project will include a new runway and new runway safety area; new taxiways; apron reconstruction; removal of obstacles and obstructions, including multiple buildings; relocation of 1,900 feet of road; a new maintenance building; design support of FAA NAVAIDS; drainage improvements; utility relocates; security fencing; and contaminated soil remediation.

Anchorage International Airport Apron Replacement, Gate Upgrades Stantec is the engineer on a $6.9 million project to reconstruct three gates (B1, B3, B5) at the Anchorage International Airport. The contractor is Roger Hickel Contracting. The Stantec-designed project includes the concrete apron replacement and utility upgrades at each gate. Additionally only one gate can be closed at a time, and all gates must be open during peak season. Only one gate can be constructed each year; gate B1 was completed in 2017, and construction started on gate B3 in March. Bethel Airport Improvements The Stantec aviation design team provided design to replace two aprons and a variety of improvements at Bethel Airport. The $6.9 million project includes replacing adjacent taxi lanes and taxiways, expanding a separate apron, improving perimeter security fencing,

access controls to various gates, and installing electric outlets at tie-downs at the main Southwest Alaska air hub. Construction field work started in May, and Knik Construction is the contractor.

Gambell Airport Pavement Rehab, Lighting Change Stantec is the engineer and design lead on a project to renovate the existing runway, taxiway, and apron at the Gambell Airport. The nearly $7 million project will replace those paved areas with four inches of hot mix asphalt. Knik Construction is the contractor. The entire airport lighting systems will be replaced with the new lighting controls moved inside of the existing airport snow removal equipment building. The airport also will receive a new segmented circle and lighted wind cone, rotating beacon, tie downs, and fencing. Runway Repair at Nome Airport R&M’s airport design group’s final design package for runway repair at Nome Airport is scheduled to be complete in mid-June. The project will be bid in summer 2018 and is slated for construction in 2019. It will reconstruct five isolated settlement areas on the main and crosswind runways of Nome Airport. The airport has a history of reoccurring dips at the Runway 10 end, and the Runway 21 extension has settled significantly since its construction in 2014. Currently, the high severity

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


Runway, Taxiway for Nanwalek-Port Graham Airport R&M is the civil design engineer for a new, shared Nanwalek and Port Graham airport that will improve air service for both communities. The project includes a new 3.5-mile access road traversing the mountainous terrain that currently acts as a barrier between the two communities. The proposed airport and access road will link Nanwalek and Port Graham to the airport and to each other. The project kicked off in January 2018 with the first community meetings taking place in March. Field investigations will start in summer 2019. Design is scheduled for completion in early 2022 with construction beginning summer 2022. Dillingham Runway Rehabilitation R&M provided engineering design services to rehabilitate the asphalt pavement surface of Runway 1/19 at Dillingham Airport. The $8 million construction project for the 6,400foot runway rehab is currently in construction and scheduled for completion during fall 2018. The general contractor is Quality Asphalt Paving. School Building, Road Improvements Nightmute K-12 School Renovation Stantec is the architect and engineer for a $30 million renovation project at Nightmute K-12 school. UIC Construction is the contractor. The project began in the spring of 2016 and is scheduled to be complete in the spring of 2019. Glacier Highway Reconstruction Near Auke Bay Elementary The Stantec-designed project will reconstruct Glacier Highway from the Fritz Cove Road intersection to the intersection of Seaview Avenue in Auke Bay. Work on the $13.8 million project will improve sightlines and reduce conflicting turning patterns while also improving the roadway’s shoulders and pedestrian crossings near Auke Bay Elementary School. The project will include roadway subbase improvement, widening, curve realignment, and surfacing. Pedestrian facilities, retaining walls, lighting, drainage, and guardrail are part of the design. Construction in 2017 included curve realignment, subbase replacement, construction of multiple retaining walls, a new waterline, and utility relocations. A second phase, from the Back Loop Road roundabout to Seaview Avenue, started this spring. Secon is the project contractor. R Judy Mottl writes about important issues country-wide with an affinity for Alaska. www.akbizmag.com

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BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | SUMMER CONSTRUCTION ROUND-UP

depressions are resulting in significant ponding and drainage issues, disrupting airport operations, and making the Runway 10 end unusable. The design will assess pavement repair areas, design repair sections based on geotechnical recommendations, and prepare complete construction documents.


SPECIAL SECTION

Building Alaska

Manufacturing for Alaska Keeping North Slope workers warm and dog mushers on track

A plasma table cuts scrap metal into a component of an Equipment Source product at the company’s headquarters and production facility in Fairbanks. Sam Friedman | Alaska Business

By Sam Friedman

T

he majority of Fairbanks manufacturers know they can’t beat their Lower 48 competitors when it comes to price. With high energy costs, a long supply chain, and a

26

small labor pool, Alaska’s Interior can be a brutal place to be in the manufacturing business. Alaska in general has never been a manufacturing powerhouse. Manufacturing jobs represent about 4 percent of the state’s job market, and almost all of these jobs are in

the seafood processing industry, according to state labor statistics. But there’s something about extreme cold temperatures that make people care strongly about the quality of their equipment and a bit less picky about cost. To put it simply: quality

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


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is valued over cost when warmth, comfort, and safety come into play. All three of the following Fairbanks manufacturers have found markets in the Lower 48 and internationally because their products are especially well suited for the cold. www.akbizmag.com

Pile foundations Telecommunications towers Bulk fuel systems Wind energy installations

TURNING THE CHALLENGES OF BUILDING IN RURAL ALASKA INTO OPPORTUNITIES.

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June 2018 | Alaska Business

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BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | MANUFACTURING

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BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | MANUFACTURING

Equipment Source There are almost 1,000 little yellow ES700 portable heaters scattered around North Slope oil fields. These Fairbanks-built machines are about the size of a closet and capable of pumping out 700,000 BTUs of heat, enough to keep multiple buildings warm in the Arctic winter. The heaters have become Equipment Source’s flagship product because they’re designed for and by people who live in the cold, says branch manager Nick Ferree. Walking up to an ES700 in the front lot of company headquarters in the south Fairbanks industrial area, Ferree points out some of the features that make it popular on the North Slope. The controls are big, so that even someone with heavy mittens can operate them. The engine doesn’t have to be shut down as often for oil changes because a special oil pan added by Equipment Source to the stock motor allows it to run continuously for as long as four months between oil changes. Business founder Terry Warnath started Equipment Source in 2000 as a repair service for oilfield heaters. But the business soon moved from repairing to building units. “There are competitors that make similar heaters. We would take them, gut them, rebuild them, put new generators in them, fix the fireboxes, and do new wiring,” says Ferree. “We learned a lot from that and started making our own heaters.” The business expanded into other portable units that house motors including generators, pumps, and ground-thawing equipment. The

Above: Two ES700 portable heaters in the front lot of Equipment Source in Fairbanks. Equipment Source has produced about 1,000 of these units for North Slope oilfields. Right: The inside of an ES700 portable heater. Sam Friedman | Alaska Business

COMPANIES

MARINE LLC

ENERGY SERVICES LLC A CIRI COMPANY

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A CIRI CompanyOption

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Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


Products:

Portable heating units, generators, and other custom machinery

Years in Business: 17 Employees:

40-45

Locations:

Headquarters in Fairbanks, storefront in Anchorage, storefront and production facility in Renton, Washington, and storefront in Williston, North Dakota

business is also a retailer for Kubota, the Japanese tractor company whose motors Equipment Source uses inside its units. Inside the Fairbanks fabrication facility, right next to the showroom, a worker aided by a computer uses a plasma table to cut sheets of metal into the wall segments and other components of Equipment Source machinery. These pieces are bent, welded together, sandblasted on site, and painted the same shade of bright yellow before final assembly. From a distance, the Equipment Source yard is a sea of shining orange Kubota equipment and yellow Equipment Source products. Ferree identifies labor, electricity, and heating costs as the biggest challenges Equipment Source faces as an Alaska-based manufacturer. Despite the fact that it is in the heater business, it’s still expensive to keep the company’s Fairbanks facilities warm in the Interior during winter. The cold also means they need an expensive air filtration system. In a warmer climate the exhaust from the plasma table could be vented outside, but venting outside makes the production facility too cold in winter, so the exhaust must be cleaned and recirculated. Shipping is expensive too, but for products headed to North Slope oil fields this doesn’t matter as much. No matter where they’re made, it’s expensive to ship items to the North Slope, and Fairbanks is on the way. However, it wasn’t cost-effective to ship materials up to Fairbanks and products back to the Lower 48, so to serve Lower 48 customers the company opened a second production facility in Renton, Washington. Last year they added a showroom in Williston, North Dakota, another oil industry hot spot. Ferree says past growth of Equipment Source’s business has been tied to the cyclical oil business. Recently they’ve tried to design new equipment and expand into markets such as remote Alaska villages and fishing lodges. “We’ve been focused in the last couple years on diversifying and broadening our customer base and our product line,” he says. “We’ve developed quite a few new products. We were addicted to oil. That was the business model.” Industrial heaters such as the ES700 remain an important part of the business. But Equipment Source’s biggest sellers are generators, especially mid-sized units about the size of the ES700 that are capable of powering a building the size of a village medical clinic for years. www.akbizmag.com

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BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | MANUFACTURING

Equipment Source


BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | MANUFACTURING

Alaska Tent & Tarp Alaska Tent & Tarp is both an oilfield equipment maker and the inventor of the Arctic Oven tent used by cold weather campers. Both products are still manufactured on the narrow residential street near downtown Fairbanks where the business has been based since the 1950s. Today the lot is crowded with a two-story production plant, a sales office, and a backyard taken up by fabric buildings that are used both as product demonstrations and for storage space. Alaska Tent & Tarp (originally Alaska Canvas Supply and Commercial Sewing) was founded in 1947 as a canvas sewing shop. The business really took off in the 1970s with the oil pipeline boom and demand for “duck ponds”— fabric structures capable of containing oil spills. A category of fabrics called geosynthetics are well suited for this job, says Alaska Tent & Tarp General Manager Dave Atchison. The Fairbanks business welds these fabrics together using heat and microwaves to create a molecular bond that keeps liquids from leaking through. “Geosynthetics are portable compared to concrete or steel. If you’re trying to do 500 feet by 500 feet, you couldn’t do that with steel. You’re not going to make a big metal thing,” says Atchison. Alaska Tent & Tarp doesn’t produce the geosynthetics, but the company worked with manufacturers in the Lower 48 to help develop Arctic versions of these products that don’t crack in the cold. Alaska Tent & Tarp’s

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Alaska Tent & Tarp Products:

Arctic Oven tents, oilfield spill containment berms, custom sewing

Years in Business: 72 Employees:

35

Locations:

Production plant and showroom in Fairbanks, showroom and custom sewing shop in Anchorage

research and development division used to operate a separate storefront in Fairbanks and conducted research for the military on biochemical warfare resistant fabrics. This part of the business and the intellectual property it produced was sold in 2009. In 1987, Alaska Tent & Tarp began developing a type of warm, sturdy tent that became known as the Arctic Oven. This tent now makes up about one-third of the company’s business. The Arctic Oven is comparable to a portable cabin. It’s designed to hold a stove and keep its occupants warm even in the depth of an Arctic winter. Arctic Ovens aren’t cheap (depending on the size they range from $1,000 to $5,500 without the stove) and they’re heavy. But they’re popular with customers who travel in extreme cold. “It has a niche for people who are willing

Sam Friedman | Alaska Business

A completed Arctic Oven in the Alaska Tent & Tarp showroom in Fairbanks. The tent is designed to keep people warm in extreme conditions.

to pay for something that really will work. So in the design of the Arctic Oven we really focused on not cutting corners,” Atchison says. A model released this year pushes the weight of the lightest Arctic Oven down to twenty pounds in order to make the tent easier to transport by small plane, snowmachine, or dog team.

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


Sam Friedman | Alaska Business

Around Alaska, the business doesn’t advertise much and relies on word of mouth to draw customers. But the company has tried to reach more hunters in Canada and the Lower 48 through a marketing deal with hunter and TV producer Jim Shockey. Even if the Arctic Oven gets much more

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popular, Atchison doesn’t envision creating a separate production facility in the Lower 48 like Equipment Source; however, he says shipping logistics and labor costs can make doing business in the Interior hard. In a community of 100,000 people, it’s difficult to find trained workers, especially the custom tailors who

create specialized products based on customer requests. “The custom sewer is a very skilled position, no different than a carpenter or something like that,” Atchison says. “If we take someone with a lot of sewing skill, it probably still takes them a year to get what we make.”

June 2018 | Alaska Business

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BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | MANUFACTURING

Alaska Tent & Tarp employee Jane Wisland sews the edge of an Arctic Oven tent at the company’s production plant in Fairbanks.


BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | MANUFACTURING

Sam Friedman | Alaska Business

Two Apocalypse Design employees sew products in the Fairbanks workshop. Apocalypse specializes in parkas and other cold weather clothing.

Apocalypse Design Apocalypse Design is a small business that would like to stay that way. The clothing company specializes in cold weather gear and gets a steady flow of word-of-mouth inquiries and purchases from outside Fairbanks and Alaska. But they don’t advertise their products Outside.

It was only five years ago the business set up its website to take clothing orders directly. Last year was their best year online so far, with most of the business coming from the Lower 48, says business manager Shawna Biesanz. While the company would like to see its online business grow, they will only do it

without compromising quality or their relationships with local customers, she says. “I can say that almost every item that walks out of this store has gone through my fingers,” Biesanz says. “I have seen it, I have felt it, I have touched it. That’s the reason that people buy from us. They know that it’s getting

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Parkas and other cold weather clothing; dog mushing and firefighter gear

Years in business: 33 Employees:

4-7 (seasonally)

Locations:

Workshop and storefront in Fairbanks

made for them by someone and it’s getting inspected.” Fairbanks mountaineer Dick Flaharty founded the business 1983 to build mountain climbing gear and still owns it. The business is named not for the Biblical end of times but for a mountain Flaharty saw on a mountaineering expedition. Biesanz takes pride in the company’s local focus. Their strong connection to the dog mushing and University of Alaska Fairbanks science research communities brings in business, she says. This spring the business produced rocket covers for the Poker Flat Research Range. When the parka zipper of a dog musher broke on the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race, the business rushed out a new one for him in time for the Iditarod. Apocalypse Design’s Expedition parka is designed for 60 below weather and is popular with dog mushers. But most customers these days prefer the Alpine Light model, which is designed for 20 below. Some customers walk in for repairs. A sign outside the building advertises that Apocalypse Design can repair zippers fast. Apocalypse Design is located in a three bedroom house a few blocks from Alaska Tent & Tarp. The retail shop looks like a dog mushing museum with a dog sled fitted with an Apocalypse bag, and the walls are covered with bibs and posters from the Yukon Quest. The workshop room behind the retail store looks like a smaller version of one of the Tent & Tarp sewing rooms. Bags with patterns line a cutting table along one wall. Workers use sewing machines to assemble garments. A large portion of production comes from custom orders, which can be as simple as a standard parka in a non-traditional color or an added pocket. The business custom-makes many items to satisfy particular customer demands. Apocalypse Design is recovering from two burglaries in 2016, so they don’t have as large an inventory of stock items as they’d like. Increasing the inventory of stock items will help both their Fairbanks and online stores boost sales. “This summer we’re really going to try to ramp up stock production so that we’re able to sell more stock items, rather than everything made custom,” Biesanz says. “Right now I don’t have a lot of stock in stock.”  R

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BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | MANUFACTURING

Apocalypse Design Products:


SPECIAL SECTION

Building Alaska

Arctic Expansion Building communication through infrastructure By Tracy Barbour

A

rctic Alaska is renowned for its abundant wildlife, mountainous terrain, formidable weather, and isolated communities. Providing technology infrastructure in the region—which encompasses the North Slope Borough, the Northwest Arctic Borough, and the Nome Census Area—can be daunting. Despite the logistical challenges, telecommunications companies Alaska Communi34

cations, Arctic Slope Telecom Association Cooperative (ASTAC), GCI, and Quintillion continue to enhance technology infrastructure in Arctic Alaska.

Alaska Communications Enhances Broadband Alaska Communications has expanded its broadband offerings significantly to benefit rural Alaskans. According to a March news release, the company is providing new Internet connec-

tivity that is allowing businesses in underserved areas to be more connected than ever before. “Many businesses in the Arctic regions have offices in Anchorage and other metropolitan communities. Having access to competitive, high-speed broadband will allow them to connect without limits,” Bill Bishop, senior vice president of Business Markets, noted in the news release. “Businesses can become more efficient and effective because they won’t be constrained by shared networks, slow connectivity, and data caps.” The company said it is proud to provide support solutions to Nome-based Kawerak, a regional nonprofit corporation, by offering competitive, high-speed broadband. This move addresses extremely high prices and substan-

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


Left: At its Oliktok Point facility, Quintillion’s land system meets the subsea cable, where switches bridge the 100G communication links from the subsea cable with Quintillion’s land system. The yellow cables are optical fiber patch cords. Quintillion

tial bandwidth constraints previously faced by the Bering Straits Native Corporation, according to the release. “This contract will have a positive impact on business, connectivity, and how Kawerak works with companies and customers outside of Nome,” Bishop said. Aside from its work in Nome, Alaska Communications is bringing new services to Utqiaġvik, Kotzebue, Point Hope, and Wainwright. Native corporations, government agencies, healthcare clinics, schools, and businesses now have access to competitive, high-speed, reliable broadband and managed IT services, the news release said. In addition, such technology is available through a fiber optic network where most new oil and gas development is occurring in Alaska’s North Slope. www.akbizmag.com

The fiber optic broadband network is now available following a multi-year effort by Quintillion to lay infrastructure and connect two undersea fiber optic cable networks. The connection increases capacity and builds redundancy on the subsea fiber optic system, which allows Alaska Communications to expand broadband and managed IT service offerings to Arctic-region businesses. Alaska Communications is, reportedly, first in making this new network available to business customers and select telecom carriers.

ASTAC Improving Wireless ASTAC is a full-service telecommunications company that provides fixed and mobile wireless solutions, including equipment sales

and service, to the North Slope region. The member-owned telephone cooperative also provides local and long-distance, Internet, and data services, catering to eight of the region’s traditional villages in Utqiaġvik, Wainwright, Atqasuk, Anaktuvuk Pass, Nuiqsut, Kaktovik, Point Hope, and Point Lay as well as the petroleum industry at the production complex at Deadhorse-Prudhoe Bay. According to Thomas Lochner, director of business development, ASTAC has connected every home and business in the villages of Point Hope, Wainwright, and Nuiqsut to its fiber optic cable infrastructure. Point Hope and Wainwright are connected to the Internet via the Quintillion subsea fiber optic cable. The village of Nuiqsut is connected to June 2018 | Alaska Business

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BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | TECHNOLOGY

Above: Power rectifiers at Quintillion’s Oliktok Point facility within the Kuparuk River Oil Field convert incoming AC power to DC power to charge the facility batteries and also power the electronic equipment.


V

oice of the Arctic Iñupiat (VOICE) is a nonprofit organization that provides direct input from the Iñupiat people regarding Arctic policy. Robust communication is vital for the organization, both in connecting the tribal councils, municipal governments, educational institutions, and Alaska Native corporations that form its membership and communicating the concerns, knowledge, and insight of those entities to the rest of the world. The nonprofit says, “With twenty member organizations spread across seven communities on the North Slope, we rely a great deal on telecommunications systems to function internally. From an external standpoint, it’s equally important: one of VOICE’s purposes is to become the local knowledge and resource center for our communities and people regarding developments in the Arctic Slope region. Accomplishing that purpose and others, as well as our goal of increasing communication and information-sharing amongst organizations of the North Slope, requires communications infrastructure.” Telecommunications infrastructure is ongoing in the Arctic region, and the potential benefits of this development are numerous: improved education, increased commerce, and additional access to healthcare, among others. “It cultivates improvements in science and research by creating better conditions for data collection, data preservation, and data transfer within, to, and from the Arctic. Also, with residents gaining access to 21st-century technologies, there’s a quality of life aspect that’s beneficial,” VOICE says. But much of that is still just potential; costs can still be prohibitive and access varies from community to community. VOICE advocates for positive development to continue: “All infrastructure improvements are the focus of VOICE—whether that’s fixing existing infrastructure that’s dated and failing or pursuing new infrastructure opportunities that could bring sustainable benefits to our communities.” VOICE will carry forward, creating platforms and opportunities of discourse for Arctic residents and improvements in telecommunications systems and accessibility support the organization’s mission. “One of our main objectives, which is a continuation of a chief priority from 2017, is to continue to strengthen unity amongst and between Arctic communities, tribes, and organizations. In addition, our members expressed their desire to create a strong, unified vision for the future of the Arctic Slope and its people. We recently launched a new campaign called ‘A Vision for the Future,’ which highlights people from different communities in the region and talks about, in their own words, what they see for the future of the Arctic.”R

ASTAC

Promoting Arctic communication technology

“The North Slope is rich in culture and art, and having high-speed broadband would allow artists to showcase their art to a larger audience, increase tourism, and allow for trained employees on the North Slope to stay and embrace their culture and lifestyle while remotely working anywhere in the world that their technologybased skills are needed.”

—Thomas Lochner, Director of Business Development, ASTAC Thomas Lochner

the Internet through a combination of fiber optic and microwave technologies. Upgrades are also in store for Utqiaġvik. While having a significant fiber presence in Utqiaġvik, ASTAC is in the process of connecting every home and business in Utqiaġvik to its fiber optic system by the end of 2018. ASTAC offers the broadest coverage of 4G and LTE wireless on the North Slope and continues to make investments to improve wireless coverage, Lochner says. These investments also will impact the village of Kotzebue. Although Kotzebue is not technically on the North Slope, ASTAC found that a significant number of its subscribers travel through Kotzebue when going to and from the villages. To meet the needs of its customers, ASTAC partnered with OTZ Telephone Cooperative to enhance coverage with a new cell site for ASTAC’s customers in Kotzebue. Currently, four of the villages in ASTAC’s

service area—Kaktovik, Anaktuvuk Pass, Atqasuk, and Point Lay—lack a terrestrial “middle-mile” infrastructure. The absence of this connectivity between the villages and an Internet connection point in a place, such as Anchorage, Seattle, or Portland, creates a technological challenge for the people who live in these communities. ASTAC is evaluating various options to provide terrestrial bandwidth to Kaktovik, Anaktuvuk Pass, Atqasuk, and Point Lay. In addition, it is working to simultaneously install fiber to every building in these villages via fiber to the home and fiber to the premise delivery. “In this, ASTAC will make sure that the villages can take full advantage of the available bandwidth,” Lochner says. The additional technology infrastructure being implemented by ASTAC will ultimately translate into more employment opportunities for Alaskans. Lochner explains:

GCI

BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | TECHNOLOGY

Voice of the Arctic Iñupiat

Jenifer Nelson

36

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


GCI Increases Data in the Arctic GCI has a great deal of technology infrastructure in the Arctic and statewide, primarily through a combination of fiber, microwave, and satellite. “We cover more than 90 percent of the Alaska population,” says Jenifer Nelson, senior manager of community relations. “We’ve really been on the cutting edge to use the technology that we need to reach the people that we do.” The company employs an assortment of technology to deliver its services in the Arctic. And it has had to use a great degree of ingenuity and innovation to build out in the region. Case in point: GCI has been busy upgrading the wireless network in some of its satellite communities to long term evolution (LTE) over satellite. So far, the company has upgraded more than twenty communities from 2G to LTE over satellite. These remote locales have gone from having zero data on their phone (only being able to make calls) to being able to access emails, send photos, and stream video. “It’s connecting them to the rest of the world and bringing the rest of the world to them,” Nelson says. The enhancement of infrastructure is allowing Alaskans in Arctic communities to enjoy activities that most people take for granted, such as online banking and Facetiming family and friends. It’s almost impossible to live without having access to connectivity in this day and age, Nelson says. “It’s not just a convenience, but a necessity,” she says. “It allows these communities in the Arctic to sustain and exist.” It’s exciting to see how connectivity is impacting the lives of people in remote parts of Alaska, says Bob Walsh, GCI’s director of rural broadband development. Rural Alaskans have been thrilled to have the new technology available for their cell phones. “To see them actually having those phones and being able to text and stream and everything else is significant,” Walsh says.

“We cover more than 90 percent of the Alaska population. We’ve really been on the cutting edge to use the technology that we need to reach the people that we do.”

—Jenifer Nelson Senior Manager of Community Relations, GCI

www.akbizmag.com

BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | TECHNOLOGY

“The North Slope is rich in culture and art, and having high-speed broadband would allow artists to showcase their art to a larger audience, increase tourism, and allow for trained employees on the North Slope to stay and embrace their culture and lifestyle while remotely working anywhere in the world that their technology-based skills are needed.” Since 2012, ASTAC has invested more than $33 million in its North Slope network. It has also given back to its membership, distributing $1.5 million in capital credits to members over that same time period.

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BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | TECHNOLOGY

“We have a tough crew of Alaskans who build this network and maintain it. We have more than 2,000 employees, and over 90 percent of them live in Alaska.”

—Bob Walsh Director of Rural Broadband Development GCI

Bob Walsh GCI

The connectivity provided by GCI is having a major effect on the Arctic as a whole, Walsh says. The scope of that impact ranges from being able to finally access Amazon Prime to having better connections for schools and healthcare facilities. The connectivity also equates to better employees retention. “If I have good connectivity in a village, I can stay connected to my friends in the Lower 48 and elsewhere a lot easier than before,” Walsh explains. “That was a big thing at the Red Dog Mine.” GCI’s technology investments have translated into numerous employment opportunities. “We have a tough crew of Alaskans who build this network and maintain it,” Nelson says. “We have more than 2,000 employees, and over 90 percent of them live in Alaska.” In rural Alaska alone, there’s a crew of more than 200 employees who maintain GCI’s net-

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Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


Quintillion Deploys the Latest Technology Headquartered in Anchorage, Quintillion is bringing lower-cost, high-speed broadband service options to rural Alaska. Together with its partners, Quintillion is changing Alaska’s middle-mile capabilities with the construction of new fiber optic cable systems that went live in December 2017. Quintillion maintains expansive technology infrastructure in the Arctic. Its new 400-mile terrestrial fiber optic infrastructure goes from Fairbanks to Deadhorse, connecting to the in-field fiber network owned in a joint venture with Alaska Communications, from Deadhorse to Oliktok Point (ninetyplus miles). It has been in service for about a year. At Oliktok Point, the terrestrial systems link with Quintillion’s 1,200 mile subsea fiber system, the first-ever submarine cable system in the North American Arctic. As a whole, the system serves 20,000 residents and businesses in those communities. “Quintillion is deploying the very latest technology capable of meeting total aggregate demand on our system up to 30 terabits,” says Quintillion CEO George Tronsrue III. “We have the ability to triple that capacity over time as demand grows.” The company’s subsea system was built and installed by Alcatel Submarine Networks, a global leader in the submarine cable industry. It utilizes state-of-the-art lightwave technology from Lucent Technologies and the latest and most advanced Ethernet technology provided by telecommunications networking equipment, software, and services provider Ciena Corporation. Quintillion also has telecommunication points of presence (POPs) in Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Deadhorse serving greater Alaska markets and cable landing station POPs in each of the five markets. Two of the POPs are co-located with the local exchange carrier in Kotzebue and Nome. Building the subsea system over the last three years was a challenging and unique undertaking, according to Tronsrue. An obvious major challenge was severe winter conditions that inhibited what could be done in the Arctic Ocean and over land. Tronsrue points out that before Quintillion’s network switched on in December 2017, the existing technology in the affected markets was satellite and microwave, which have limited bandwidth, are expensive to maintain and operate, and are not diversified systems. www.akbizmag.com

BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | TECHNOLOGY

work. This is mutually beneficial for the workers and GCI. Nelson explains: “It’s provided an opportunity for people living in their rural community to stay there. And it works for us because they are close to the infrastructure and can respond quickly.” In fact, GCI is trying to “grow its own” workers in the region by maintaining an active workforce development program. It also works with universities and school districts to nurture local workers. “If we can get them close to their community, there is less turnover,” Walsh says. “GCI’s best success is by having employees who either come from the region they’re working in or at least understand the region.”

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BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | TECHNOLOGY

“The Arctic environment provides natural cooling, low cost sources of energy, abundant land that is readily available and at a reasonable price, [and] physical security derived from the remoteness of various Arctic locations… which adds a positive security aspect. In addition, there are geopolitical benefits to the North American Arctic. It is a significant advantage not to have to store data in potentially unstable or unfriendly locations or land-based systems through lesser secured networks.”

—George Tronsrue III CEO Quintillion

“To some extent, our system provides diversity for those other land-based systems of the past, but what the markets will most benefit from in the future is incremental fiber optic distribution that moves from the coast inland to markets served only by satellite or microwave/wireless today,” he says. “This is something we’re interested in doing if we can get appropriate technology infrastructure funding at the federal and state level.” The Alaska portion of the Quintillion Subsea Cable System is the first phase of a planned multi-phase international subsea cable system designed to connect Europe to Asia along the Lower Northwest Passage, providing a diverse and shorter route between the two continents. Quintillion’s future plans are to build to both the west and the east, ultimately terminating in Europe and Asia. Once this infrastructure is in place, the next obvious demand is for an Arctic data center(s). Tronsrue says there has been a great deal of discussion about Arctic data centers, as the public/private cloud business has grown and become increasingly important to both commercial and government clients. He adds: “The Arctic environment provides natural cooling, low cost sources of energy, abundant land that is readily available and at a reasonable price, [and] physical security derived from the remoteness of various Arctic locations… which adds a positive security aspect. In addition, there are geopolitical benefits to the North American Arctic. It is a significant advantage not to have to store data in potentially unstable or unfriendly locations or land-based systems through lesser secured networks.” Data centers are large consumers of highspeed bandwidth. The opportunity is perfectly primed for development of an Arctic data center initiative for Alaska on Quintillion’s technology/infrastructure footprint, Tronsrue says. Preliminarily, Deadhorse looks like the best option because transportation in and out by truck or air is favorable compared to other options in current Quintillion markets. This initiative would serve both government and commercial clients and provide critical infrastructure for public and private entities. “We are actively working with leading players in the cloud industry to partner with us in this endeavor and expect to be successful,” he says. “Additionally, we are also discussing this with other infrastructure providers and government to develop a technically and economically viable initiative to build and operate the first Arctic data center in the US and North America.” An Arctic data center could bring extensive economic and employment opportunities to Alaska. This would be a multi-year project and a significant undertaking. Quintillion’s operational timeline would be late 2019 or early 2020, depending on how quickly development unfolds.  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.

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Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


A Vision For The Future

“The Arctic Slope region may have world-class deposits of natural resources, but our communities still struggle with second-rate infrastructure. From housing and communications deficiencies to a lack of roads and affordable transportation – it’s time we invest in the next generation of Arctic infrastructure for the next generation of Arctic people. My vision for the future of the Arctic is a region where new development drives down the cost of goods and transportation while also promoting economic growth and creating jobs. A region where we leverage the opportunities in front of us today to improve the health, safety and economic well-being of Arctic residents tomorrow.”

– John Hopson, Jr. M AY O R , C I T Y O F WA I N W R I G H T

OUR VOICE. OUR VISION. voiceofthearcticinupiat.org @VOICE_Arctic


SPECIAL SECTION

Building Alaska

Wrangling Roads The labyrinth of Alaska road construction By Julie Stricker

E

very summer, scores of tourists and fishermen flock to the Kenai Peninsula, home to world-class salmon fisheries, spectacular scenery, and abundant wildlife. For most of the year, it’s about a two-hour leisurely drive south from Anchorage, but during the height of the summer tourist season, caravans of motorhomes and SUVs run into a fifteen-mile bottleneck on the Sterling Highway. At Milepost 45, the road narrows to two lanes with sharp corners, no shoulders, and limited visibility. It runs through the community of Cooper Landing, crossing hidden driveways and side roads with speed limits of 45 miles-per-hour or less. This stretch of Sterling Highway was built in the 1940s and ‘50s to serve the level of traffic being seen at that time. Originally gravel, it is the only road that links the western Kenai Peninsula communities of Homer, Kenai, and Soldotna to the rest of the state. Today, it’s clearly overburdened. 42

Alaska Business | June 2018

www.akbizmag.com


BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | CONTROVERSIAL ROADS The Road to Tanana is a wholly-state-funded project, completed in 2016. DOT&PF

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June 2018 | Alaska Business

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BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | CONTROVERSIAL ROADS

As far back as 1978, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities noted the need for improved safety and traffic flow and started environmental impact studies to figure out the best way to improve [a section of the Sterling Highway]. Forty years later that stretch of road remains unchanged. It is the longest EIS on the federal books. For those fifteen miles, Sterling Highway is a slow-moving parking lot until the road widens once more to four lanes at Mile 60. Along with being incredibly congested, it also has a high rate of accidents. As far back as 1978, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) noted the need for improved safety and traffic flow and started environmental impact studies (EIS) to determine the best way to improve that stretch of road. Forty years later it remains unchanged. It is the longest EIS on the federal books. What has taken so long? In short, it’s a case of too many cooks in 44

the kitchen. Because the Sterling Highway corridor is bounded by federal land, it falls under an EIS process that typically can take anywhere from eight to ten years, according to Marc Luiken, commissioner for DOT&PF. And every agency involved has its own National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). “You have to follow that process,” Luiken says. “It’s not just the Federal Highway Administration. Every federal agency gets involved and has input.” In the case of Sterling Highway, the US Forest Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, an Alaska Native corporation, and the

community of Cooper Landing would be affected by a potential realignment. “Everybody gets input,” Luiken says. “Not that that’s a bad thing, necessarily—it just takes time.” The land adjacent to the highway is largely developed. Steep mountains rise on both sides and most of the land is managed by the Chugach National Forest and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Several state recreation sites line the Kenai River. “Any change to the highway likely would impact wildlife corridors and habitat, recreation areas, and cultural sites,” according to

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | CONTROVERSIAL ROADS

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PROVIDING PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FOR ALASKA’S NORTH SLOPE FOR OVER 30 YEARS The Sterling Highway between Mile 45 and 60 is the subject of the longest EIS process in the nation, dating back forty years. DOT&PF

the DOT&PF website on the Sterling Highway. In the early 1980s, DOT&PF facilities identified several possible routes between Miles 37 and 60 and went through the NEPA process to determine the environmental impacts of the proposals. All were rejected for environmental, engineering, financial, and traffic constraint reasons. A second draft was released in 1994, but the project again stalled. www.akbizmag.com

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BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | CONTROVERSIAL ROADS

DOT&PF

In the summer tourism season, caravans of motorhomes and SUVs run into a fifteen-mile bottleneck on the Sterling Highway.

Eventually, the project was divided and the portion of Sterling Highway from Mile 37 to Mile 45 was upgraded. That left the fifteen mile stretch of road between Miles 45 and 60, which is wall-to-wall motorhomes in the summer. One major issue was how alternate routes would affect federal wilderness land. Approving a transportation corridor through designated wilderness requires presidential review and congressional approval. In 2002, President George W. Bush signed the Russian River Land Act, allowing Alaska Native Corporation Cook Inlet Regional, Inc. and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge to exchange lands. There’s another complication when a proposed road corridor goes through public recreational land, Luiken says. Under the Section 4(f) clause of the US DOT Act of 1966, federal agencies are prohibited from using

Between 2002 and 2017, there have been approximately fifty-three agency meetings on topics such as wildlife, impacts to trails and other recreational activities, and land issues. An additional twenty-three meetings were held with tribal entities, according to DOT&PF. By 2014, five alternatives had been scoped for the Sterling Highway project, including a “no build” alternative. One alternative was chosen, but discarded after the EIS process was completed in 2015 and the hundreds of comments were evaluated. It looked like another huge delay, but the state reached out to the congressional delegation for help. They took another look at the analysis, collected comments, and identified a different route, called the Juneau Creek Alternative. The final EIS was signed in March and, at press time, Luiken expected a record of decision to have been made in May, “which is fantastic.” Under the Juneau Creek Alternative, about ten miles of highway would be rerouted higher on the mountain shoulders north of Cooper Landing, reconnecting with the existing road at Mile 55.5. A new bridge spanning Juneau Creek Canyon would be the longest single-span bridge in Alaska. Total cost is estimated to be about $280 million. “What it reflects are some of the changes this [Trump] administration are trying to poke through. Where all of a sudden agencies are bound to a timeline,” Luiken says. “They’ve got a set amount of time where they have to get the process done. Before that, it was work it out until you work it out.” Another change is that Alaska is now one

has an all-season airport. The only possible route, however, transects Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, which was created by Congress in 1980 under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. A land swap between an Alaska Native corporation and Izembek that would facilitate the one-lane gravel road has been turned down repeatedly by previous federal administrations over environmental concerns. Residents didn’t give up. Della Trumble, a vocal advocate of the road, wrote in an editorial printed by The Wall Street Journal, “Protecting nature isn’t an either-or proposition. Yes, birds and bears should have a safe home—but so should my daughter.” In January, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed off on the land swap, saying it was a priority for President Donald Trump. Nine environmental groups immediately sued the US government, saying Zinke lacked authority for the swap, which they said could set a dangerous precedent for development in other US refuges. The US Justice Department is reviewing the lawsuit. DOT&PF spokeswoman Meadow Bailey says environmental studies for the road have not started and adds, “We do not anticipate that the King Cove to Cold Bay Road project will be challenging from an engineering or construction perspective.”

Roads to Resources Not all roads in Alaska must go through a lengthy federal process. Alaska’s rich mineral

Under the Juneau Creek Alternative, about ten miles of highway would be rerouted higher on the mountain shoulders north of Cooper Landing, reconnecting with the existing road at Mile 55.5. A new bridge spanning Juneau Creek Canyon would be the longest single-span bridge in Alaska. Total cost is estimated to be about $280 million. land in publicly owned parks, recreation areas, wildlife and waterfowl refuges, and historic properties unless they have no feasible and prudent alternative. In the case of the proposed Juneau access road, for example, Luiken says the state had identified a preferred alternative route that would have linked Juneau directly to the road system in Canada. But a ruling in 2005 noted that the preferred access route would disturb a portion of the National Park Service’s Klondike Park south of Skagway. Instead, the state was forced to go with an alternative route that ends with a ferry terminal at the Katzehin River. “That’s the kind of thing that can happen with these federal agencies,” Luiken says. “Since we had another alternative that didn’t include a road all the way to Skagway, we had to select that as a preferred alternative.” In the case of the Sterling Highway realignment, however, every alternative had a 4(f) issue, he says. “And that just complicated it that much more,” he says. “That’s what has driven the time it’s taken to get to a final EIS.” 46

of a handful of states that can take over as the lead agency on environmental documents. “Every last one of them have seen huge time savings by being that lead agency,” he says. “Giving the states a little more authority and a little more power has actually proven to be hugely efficient. States are just betterequipped to do this because we’re just focused on our state, whereas a federal agency has fifty states to focus on.” If all goes to plan, the agency will have the final design of the new route and acquired land sometime in 2021, with construction completed by 2025, almost fifty years after the process began.

King Cove to Cold Bay Politics also plays a role. The community of King Cove, population 900, lies near the end of the Alaska Peninsula, wedged between the mountains and the ocean. The community is accessible only by water and air, but flights frequently are canceled due to the region’s extreme weather. Residents have for decades asked for a road to the nearby community of Cold Bay, which

resources are a catalyst for development. Without road access, they’re stranded and unmarketable. In some cases, state and private funding, which have fewer regulations, are the answer. After oil was discovered at Prudhoe Bay, the oil companies needed a way to haul construction and oilfield materials to the North Slope, and then to serve the operations after production started. The Bureau of Land Management set aside a utility corridor to protect the route of the trans-Alaska pipeline. The Haul Road, as it was called, followed this corridor for 414 miles, from 73.1 Elliott Highway near Livengood to its northern terminus in Deadhorse. Contractors working for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company started building the road on April 29, 1974, and completed it five months later. Although DOT&PF took over maintenance in 1978, it was largely restricted to commercial traffic. In 1994, Alaska Governor Walter Hickel opened the road, now called the Dalton Highway, to the general public. After a rich lode of zinc was discovered in Northwest Alaska in 1980, the mine developer

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


BUILDING ALASKA SPECIAL SECTION | CONTROVERSIAL ROADS

“Protecting nature isn’t an either-or proposition. Yes, birds and bears should have a safe home—but so should my daughter.”

—Della Trumble Cold Bay to King Cove Road Advocate

and NANA Regional Corporation needed a way to get the zinc to a shallow harbor on the Chukchi Sea, fifty-two miles to the west. The state’s investment arm, the Alaska Industrial

Development and Export Authority (AIDEA), financed and built the DeLong Mountain Transportation System, which includes the road and port facilities. In return, Teck Cominco pays a fee for using the road. A similar strategy is being envisioned for a proposed road to rich mineral deposits in the Ambler area. The 211-mile corridor is currently in the EIS process and is years from any possible construction. However, AIDEA spokesman Karsten Rodvik notes that Congress recognized the mineral potential of the Ambler Mining District, which could streamline permitting efforts. Rodvik says that Congress wrote into ANILCA, Section 201 (4)(b): “Congress finds that there is a need for access for surface trans-

Alaska Procurement Technical Assistance

portation purposes across the Western (Kobuk River) unit of the Gates of the Arctic National Preserve (from the Ambler Mining District to the Alaska Pipeline Haul Road) and the Secretary shall permit such access in accordance with the provisions of this subsection.” And Alaska has another option to build roads: state funding. “There’s a big difference in federally funded projects and state-funded or privately-funded projects,” Luiken says. NEPA requirements aren’t as stringent for non-federal projects, although the state often works with the US Army Corps of Engineers. “That cuts out huge chunks of time that are usually included in the preconstruction side of federal projects,” he says. One example is the fifty-mile road to Tanana, which begins at Manley Hot Springs and ends on the south bank of the Yukon River about six miles from the village of Tanana. Planning for the road began in 2012 and a single-lane, sixteen-foot-wide gravel road was completed in 2016 for a total cost of about $13.7 million, all from the state. All the land the road traverses is either state land or privately-owned, so federal NEPA requirements weren’t triggered.

“Giving the states a little more authority and a little more power has actually proven to be hugely efficient. States are just better-equipped to do this because we’re just focused on our state, whereas a federal agency has fifty states to focus on.”

—Marc Luiken Commissioner, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities

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

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While the road doesn’t meet federal highway standards, it meets the needs of the community to date, says Meadows. Tanana residents have already seen significant savings in the costs of materials. It’s an example of what can be done without burdensome regulations, says Luiken. “It really speaks to what the governor has been trying to do for the last three years,” he says. “Get a stable balanced budget that includes other revenue so that we can go back to funding some of our own projects. We haven’t done that for years. “If you want to get projects done in the state in a timely manner, you’ve got to have state money involved and we could do that if we had a stable fiscal plan.” R Julie Stricker is a journalist living near Fairbanks.

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


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Photo: Jeff Schultz

Employees Drive Community Support at Matson

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mployees at ocean shipping company Matson take their key role in sustaining life in Alaska seriously. The company’s twice weekly containership arrivals from Tacoma at Anchorage and Kodiak with weekly service to Dutch Harbor deliver the necessities of everyday life in The Last Frontier, and Matson employees’ sole focus is keeping those deliveries on schedule. For many years, employees and the company have also been active in the community, supporting nonprofit organizations and projects that provide resources for those in need. In 2017, they gave more than ever— more than $1 million in cash, services, and equipment given in support of 68 organizations in Alaska. That support was directed by a committee of employees—chaired by Kenny Gill, Matson’s vice president, Alaska—representing teams in each of the company’s port cities.

“For all of us at Matson, this is one of our highest honors. To see that we’re helping Alaskans, to watch the responses when we donate, whether it’s a small amount or delivering the massive check for photos, it is an incredible feeling for us and instills a sense of pride as we give back to our communities,” Gill said.

wildlife, promote heart and lung health, fight cancer, prevent domestic violence and suicide, and provide support to military families, as well as meal programs, food banks, and activities for the developmentally disabled. Last year, Matson Giving notably shipped more than 400 containers of recycled materials out of Alaska, supported the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the WWII bombing of Dutch Harbor, transported an historically significant traditional canoe to the Alutiiq Museum in Kodiak, and started a coffee bar with Kaladi Brothers to train homeless youth residing at Covenant House to become baristas.

Kenny Gill Vice President Alaska, Matson

The Alaska Committee prioritizes support for effective organizations that work to protect the environment and

Matson is a shipping company whose employees firmly believe that our state is better served by giving not receiving. Photo courtesy: Lindsey Whitt

– PA I D A D V E R T I S E M E N T –

For more information about the Matson Giving program, visit Matson.com/Community.


SPECIAL SECTION

Transportation

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines honors those currently in military service and veterans with the livery of this Boeing 737; the plane is often used for Honor Flights, whereby veterans are flown, free of charge, to visit memorials in DC.

Exceptional Expansion Alaska Airlines takes new employees, new assets, and a new look in stride By Tasha Anderson

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was sitting with Alaska Airlines Manager of External Affairs Tim Thompson when Alaska Airlines Regional Vice President– Alaska Marilyn Romano walked into our May 1 interview, offering me a cookie and a smile. The recorder happened to already be running, capturing just one of the thou-

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sands of small interactions that have built the airline’s service-oriented reputation. “It’s friendly, genuine service, even when we don’t know we’re on the record,” Romano laughs.

‘Red to Blue’ Thompson was updating me on Alaska Airlines’ newest milestone in the ongoing integration of its acquired Virgin America assets. On the night of April 24, Thompson was at LAX and Romano was at SeaTac, lending their aid as spokespersons as Alaska Airlines officially transitioned from two systems to one. “Everything that passengers see now is Alaska Airlines: at twenty-nine airports it was an overnight changeover, transitioning from Virgin America red to Alaska Airlines 1950

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blue,” Thompson says. All flights are now official Alaska Airlines flights, booked through the company’s website and app, and operated by Alaska Airlines personnel. “It was great in that it was just a regular day in our operation,” Thompson says, “and that’s the way it should have been.” Romano adds, “You want [the transition] to be a non-event… It’s just seamless. Their system kind of goes away, and everything that was being done on the Virgin America side just automatically flows as Alaska Airlines. It was a great non-event for everybody.” The command center organized for the transition was officially shut down on April 30, after several days (including a busy weekend) of smooth operations and non-issues.

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Alaska Airlines

“I give a lot of credit to our people,” she continues. “Tim and I really played small roles at the last minute… but we’re talking months and months of a core team going through every possible scenario—what happens if the computer system malfunctions, what happens if a boarding pass doesn’t show up on someone’s phone—and slowly drawing down the Virgin America system over time so that people didn’t even know it was happening.” Thompson says this switchover puts the airline at about 75 percent integration. While all branding at the airports has switched “from red to blue,” the majority of Virgin America planes still need rebranded exteriors and refurbished interiors to match the rest of Alaska Airlines’ fleet. This process is scheduled to take place over the next eighteen months as planes are pulled from service as part of their regular maintenance cycle. In addition, Alaska Airlines is refurbishing a number of their Boeing planes to have the same interior package, which features satellite WiFi, seats with power, overhead bins that provide more stowage and make the cabin feel larger, and comfortable lighting. Romano says, “The first [Boeing] planes that

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“I believe we continue to succeed as an airline here and everywhere we fly because of our values that are deeply rooted in the pioneering Alaska spirit—always striving to do the right thing for our employees and the communities where they live and work.”

—Brad Tilden CEO, Alaska Airlines

are going to be done with the interior packages will be the 737-700 aircraft, which you see flying a lot in the state of Alaska,” news that is exciting to Romano and Thompson.

The People Factor Combining two airlines is a massive undertaking, and untold amounts of work have been going on, largely behind the scenes, since the acquisition was finalized in December 2016. Notably, in January Alaska Airlines received a single operating certificate (SOC) from the FAA. According to a company release, more than 110 employees “logged approximately 2010

70,000 hours; reviewed 346 different operational topics across 136 manuals; analyzed more than 39,000 pages of material; and instituted roughly 1,500 changes to policies and procedures throughout 68 various manuals” to obtain the SOC. Also in January, Alaska Airlines announced that the Virgin America loyalty program had been integrated with the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, and the company transitioned to a single payroll and benefits program. As one sign of unity, the airline’s employees will soon all sport the same line of uniforms. Earlier this year Alaska Airlines unveiled a

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June 2018 | Alaska Business

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TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | AVIATION

Alaska Airlines routes as of May 2018, after the acquisition of Virgin America.


TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | AVIATION

Alaska Airlines

“The company has spent a lot of time looking at best practices from other big airlines that have merged… looking at what worked and what didn’t work. We found out right away that if we got the culture right and we set our people up for success, everything else would be a lot smoother.”

—Marilyn Romano Regional Vice President–Alaska Alaska Airlines

A rendering of the new $50 million, 100,000-square-foot Alaska Airlines hangar slated for completion this year.

new uniform collection by Seattle designer Luly Yang. Alaska Airlines Vice President of Marketing Sangita Woerner says, “The inspiration for our new uniforms came through our brand work and in close collaboration with our employees. We aimed to add signature brand elements, [and] at the same time be comfortable, professional, and practical. The smallest details were considered; employees wanted multiple pockets with zippers and we incorporated those, and we made the shirts longer so they don’t get untucked [while] performing on-the-job duties.” The many pieces in the new line have been

wear-tested by airline employees, and in 2019 nearly one hundred garments will be made available to 19,000 of Alaska Airlines’ 23,000 employees, those that are “forward facing in the company, which would be customer service agents, ramp workers, pilots, and flight attendants,” Thompson says. Romano adds, “The company has spent a lot of time looking at best practices from other big airlines that have merged… looking at what worked and what didn’t work. We found out right away that if we got the culture right and we set our people up for success, everything else would be a lot smoother.”

Virgin America was a relatively young airline, logging ten years of operations at the time of the acquisition, so Alaska Airlines was particularly sensitive of the fact that many Virgin America employees built the company from the ground up. “There were employees there from day one, before they ever flew an airplane. So there is a very personal connection,” she explains. Alaska Airlines organized a group called Culture Champions from each airline that would meet and share cultures, ideas, and

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TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | AVIATION

concerns. Romano explains that, for example, Virgin America emphasized taking care of their customers, whom they called guests, a nomenclature Alaska Airlines has now adopted. The group came to Alaska to learn a little more about the airline’s namesake and roots, as the airline has a deep and persistent relationship with its eponymous birthplace. Alaska is a land of aviation, with planes serving as taxis, school busses, and commuter vehicles. “Flying in the state of Alaska is personal,” Romano says, since flying is often a community’s only connection to work, healthcare, or family.

Home in Alaska It’s been eighty-six years since a group of Alaskan pilots offered up their flight servic-

es, kicking off what would become an airline with decades of experience that—with the Virgin America acquisition—is now the fifth largest domestic airline in the United States. Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden says, “We’ve been calling Alaska home for over eighty-six years, and the investments we are making, in both people and infrastructure, deepen our commitment to our guests.” Alaska Airlines has developed a $100 million “2020 Great Land Investment Plan,” which includes rebranding or renovating the eleven passenger terminals it owns in-state, constructing a $50 million hangar in Anchorage, and adding three 737-700 cargo jets, replacing its iconic “combi” cargo and passenger planes, all expected to launch by 2020. The combis have already been phased out, and Romano

reports that work at the Kodiak, Cordova, and Yakutat terminals is substantially complete, and renovations at Kotzebue, which needed to be expanded, will wrap up this summer. She expects that the new 100,000-squarefoot hangar in Anchorage on the east side of the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport will be completed in the third quarter of this year. In addition to the excitement of a new maintenance facility that can accommodate two 737-900 aircraft, Romano is excited to share that this hangar will also include the company’s Alaska regional headquarters. Its current facility was built to accommodate a reservation center that seated more than one hundred employees, back in the day when plane reservations were made by phone. Today the building houses seventeen employees who work in public affairs, sales and community marketing, human resources, operations, and IT, in addition to a ground service department. “We’ve got a beautiful facility down there… We’re excited about the opportunity to work [in the midst of] our maintenance and engineering operation, which is an important part of running a great airline,” Romano says. Thompson adds, “That hangar is a commitment to Alaska. It’s a $50 million facility that signifies we’re here for the long-term.”

Nearly one hundred pieces were created for Alaska Airlines’ new uniform collection for frontline employees, which include ramp workers, customer service agents, flight attendants, and pilots. Alaska Airlines

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Alaska Airlines

In the Community The commitment to Alaska isn’t just through the infrastructure itself but contributing to Alaska’s economy through the privately-funded project at a time when every construction project matters. “Between the hangar project and the remodel and updates of the eleven terminals we own around the state… by the time all are finished, well over 500 people will have worked on these projects,” Romano says. “From a business and economic standpoint, we feel very proud of that. Alaskans are working on these buildings.” Alaska Airlines contracted with architecture firm McCool Carlson Green and general contractor Kiewit to construct the hangar. Outside of direct economic contributions such as infrastructure development and providing more than 1,800 jobs, Alaska Airlines invests heavily in Alaska’s communities. Thompson says the airline gave nearly $4 million in in-kind and cash donations last year in Alaska. He says, “It’s important that not only the business community but the communities that we’re in understand that we’re there to help partner with them for the causes that matter.” Alaska Airlines focuses much of its philanthropic efforts on youth and education, Romano says, though one project near and dear to both Romano and Thompson is the Honor Flight program. The Honor Flight concept was started by a Lower 48 carrier, which developed a program through which WWII veterans would be flown for free to Washington DC to see the memorials. In 2012, Romano received a call regarding Robert Ingram, a WWII veteran in his early nineties living in Fairbanks. “His one wish was that he could see the memorials before he died… It’s probably one of my favorite days working for Alaska Airlines… when I got to hand him two airline tickets and said we’re going to get you to Washington DC,” she says. Thompson now organizes two Honor Flights a year for the Last Frontier Honor Flight program, transporting about fifty veterans annually at no cost and providing reduced airfare for the veterans’ companions. The five-day trip is a logistical challenge that Thompson is happy to take on. “[The Honor Flight] program fits with Alaska Airlines… we have a lot of military members and reservists that work for Alaska Airlines.” Alaska Airlines operates a plane that has been painted to honor the US Armed Forces, which whenever possible is used for the Honor Flights. New Heights Alaska Airlines hasn’t always flown to DC; in fact, eleven years ago Alaska Airlines didn’t fly to Hawaii, and now the airline boasts more departures from the West Coast to Hawww.akbizmag.com

boardings,” ranked Alaska Airlines Number 1 for the second consecutive year. Romano says, “At this particular time in our company’s history, with everything going on… it’s a testament to our front line employees who are running the operation day-to-day that they deliver the way that they are.” Tilden says, “I believe we continue to succeed as an airline here and everywhere we fly because of our values that are deeply rooted in the pioneering Alaska spirit—always striving to do the right thing for our employees and the communities where they live and work.” R Tasha Anderson is the Associate Editor for Alaska Business.

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In January Alaska Airlines debuted a new uniform collection designed by Seattle-based Luly Yang.

waii than any other US domestic airline. The company has been experiencing significant growth, and the Virgin America merger was a deliberate step to aid that growth. Thompson says that Alaska Airlines’ new combined revenue is $7.9 billion, and in 2017 the airline flew 44 million passengers to various destinations; the company operates 307 airplanes with 1,200 daily departures serving 118 destinations. Even amidst all this growth, the company continues to focus on running “a safe airline on time” and was recognized for these efforts in April when Airline Quality Rating, a “multifactor examination of airlines based on mishandled baggage, consumer complaints, ontime performance, and involuntary denied


SPECIAL SECTION

Transportation

Alaska Embraces Electric Vehicles Challenges remain but public interest piqued By Vanessa Orr

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n the face of it, it would seem that driving an electric vehicle (EV) in Alaska—either all-electric or a plugin hybrid—would be challenging. There are a lot of miles between major cities with the likelihood of charging stations few and far between. And many believe that the state’s harsh winters will wreak havoc on the life of the vehicle. And while EVs are still relatively new to the state, there are some places in Alaska where EVs are not only growing in popularity but are proving to be an impressive asset. In Juneau, for example, there are almost 300 EV owners, and the borough has already placed an order to add an electric bus to its fleet. The Anchorage Public Transportation Depart-

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ment has spent the last several months testing a fully electric bus—the first such experiment in Alaska—and plans to expand its fleet with more electric vehicles in the future. “There is a lot of skepticism regarding electric vehicles in Alaska, and we wanted to create an opportunity to diffuse any misperceptions,” says Abul Hassan, director of public transportation for the Municipality of Anchorage. “The technology is here to stay, and we need to move with the times or get left behind.”

Southeast Drives Interest in EVs While some of the more remote areas of Alaska may not lend themselves to the use of EVs, Southeast Alaska seems to be tailormade for the vehicles.

“When we started the Juneau Electric Vehicle Association [JEVA] three years ago, I owned the sixth electric car here—we’re close to 300 now,” says JEVA co-founder Duff Mitchell. “There are certain places in the world where electric vehicles make a lot of sense, and Southeast Alaska is one of them. “At first, I was leery—would it run in the snow, would it make it up hills, and of course, there are range anxiety issues,” he adds. “That’s one of the reasons we started the association— not only to share information and ideas but to help each other out if one of us got stranded.” Happily, no one ever needed these services, and as EV technology has evolved so has the range that they can travel. Mitchell says that about 90 percent of the electric ve-

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


—Abul Hassan Director of Public Transportation Municipality of Anchorage

A Proterra 40-foot Catalyst E2 bus, an electric mode of public transportation. Proterra

hicles in Juneau are Nissan Leafs, with the later models getting approximately 150 miles to a charge. Considering that there is only 30 miles of road in the capital city, the chance of becoming stranded isn’t very likely, especially since there are now a number of charging stations both downtown and “out the road.” “At the beginning, it was hard to promote electric vehicle use without the security blanket of being able to charge it when you were outside your home,” says Mitchell, who estimates that 85 percent of EV owners charge their cars at home overnight. “The Juneau Economic Development Commission got together with the Juneau Community Foundation and private businesses in town and put together a grant proposal that raised $50,000 www.akbizmag.com

to install twelve chargers around Juneau.” The chargers are located in both public and private facilities that allow public use. JEVA also recently received a donation of eleven fast chargers from EVgo, the nation’s largest public EV fast charging network, and is working on raising public funds to install a few of them around town in the near future. So how do EVs handle Alaska roads, and more importantly, Alaska winters? “It turns out that here in Southeast, we have a great climate for batteries—we’re in the ‘Goldilocks Zone’ where it’s not too hot and not too cold,” laughs Mitchell. “In places where it’s very hot or often freezing, it really messes with battery life, but we have the perfect climate here.”

Mitchell shares the story of a Nissan technician who flew up to Juneau and, while conducting a computerized diagnostic on a Nissan Leaf battery, was amazed that there was no degradation. “The gentleman who owned the Leaf had 67,000 miles on it; in Southern California, usually by 50,000 miles EVs have lost a significant chunk of battery life because of the weather,” he explains. There are other benefits to driving an EV in Juneau. Because the city runs on hydropower, electricity is relatively cheap, and— depending on the cost of gas—hybrids have about half the operational costs of vehicles with traditional internal combustion engines. “It’s a slightly tougher sell in diesel generation communities, though Gustavus has quite a few vehicles, and there’s a growing number in Ketchikan and Sitka,” says Mitchell, adding that Cordova Electric just bought a Nissan Leaf. “But Juneau’s really leading the pack—it’s become sort of a Southeast thing.” As for the cars’ ability to handle Alaska roads, Mitchell says that since he bought his Leaf in October 2013 he’s never had a problem making it up the steep hill on which he lives or had difficulty on snow. “It has front wheel drive and a low center of gravity. It’s really good at grabbing the road,” he says. “It’s also virtually maintenance free. Since I’ve had it, I’ve only changed the brakes, put on winter tires, and replaced the windshield wipers.”

Sales and Service Even with growing public interest in electric vehicles, it hasn’t always been easy to get these types of autos to the 49th State. “When Chevrolet first came out with the Chevy Bolt, we thought it would provide an extraordinary opportunity for Juneau since the city runs on 100 percent hydroelectric power,” says Steve Allwine, president of Mendenhall Auto Center. “Drivers could live in the Valley, commute downtown, and pay nothing in fuel consumption while also leaving no carbon footprint. The vehicle is truly hydro as far as emission standards go.” Ready to invest the roughly $25,000 in tools and training that it would take to carry the new car line, Allwine was surprised to find that GM would only provide two of the cars in the next three years, hardly making June 2018 | Alaska Business

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TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | HYBRID/ELECTRIC

“There is a lot of skepticism regarding electric vehicles in Alaska, and we wanted to create an opportunity to diffuse any misperceptions. The technology is here to stay, and we need to move with the times or get left behind.”


TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | HYBRID/ELECTRIC

it worth the risk. It took a call from Senator Lisa Murkowski to the president of GM to convince them that Southeast needed more. “The next thing you know, we got a call from the factory saying that they could get us five a month,” says Allwine. “Unfortunately, we’ve only gotten three and have one coming now, and it has taken six months for that.” Customers can order new hybrids through Mendenhall Auto, as well as get maintenance for any Chevy, Toyota, Subaru, Honda, and Chrysler product. Anchorage and Fairbanks both have Nissan dealers, and there are also Chevrolet dealers in those two cities. A new Chevy Bolt, which has a range of 235 miles on one charge, can cost between $37,000 and $40,000, though the federal government is currently providing a tax credit of between $2,500 and $7,500 (depending on the size of the battery) for those buying new plug-in vehicles. Used or off-lease EV vehicles cost much less. “A lot of people down south lease for two or three years and then trade up to newer technology,” says Mitchell. “They might have had a Leaf that got 85 miles per charge, and that number is now up to 150 miles. But an 85-mile charge car works fine for Juneau, so people here snap them up. If you shop around, you can get a used vehicle for $10,000 to $15,000.” 58

Allwine sees a future for EVs in Alaska and expects their growth to continue. “If the price of oil goes back up to $80 or $90 a barrel, I believe the sell rate will go significantly higher; it will also increase as batteries continue to evolve, taking the range to over 300 miles,” he says. “The downside is that if EVs really take off, the oil that supports Alaska’s economy and our communities will take a hit,” he adds. “If we swing toward a lot of vehicles not using internal combustion engines, it will have a big impact. It’s kind of a double-edged sword.”

Commercial Vehicles and Public Transportation In January 2018, Anchorage’s Public Transportation Department, in conjunction with Solid Waste Services, began a fourmonth pilot program using a forty-foot Proterra Catalyst E2 electric/battery powered bus to run three of its routes. “Public transportation is declining in ridership nationwide, and we have to do something radical to shift services; we have to come up with innovative concepts to generate excitement about the benefits of public transportation,” Hassan explains. “An electric bus creates excitement—people bring their kids to see it, and that’s our future target audience. If they learn about reliance and sustainability now, it

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | HYBRID/ELECTRIC

Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council Studying, monitoring, and protecting Cook Inlet since 1990.

www.circac.org

BUSINESS. MEDICAL. ENVELOPE. PACKAGE. ANYWHERE.

Juneau conducts an EV Round Up every September as part of National Drive Electric Week. JEVA

www.akbizmag.com

AMS

URIER

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will create a better society later.” The bus is 100 percent electric, emitting zero tailpipe emissions or pollutants and reducing CO2 emissions by 243,980 pounds annually per diesel vehicle replaced. It also substantially reduces noise pollution. Because the bus has a similar drive train to a garbage truck, it is being used to help the municipality research the possibility of electrifying garbage trucks in the future. It is also creating quite a buzz among the general public. “People think that it’s cool, and it’s funny to see cars pull up beside it to hear the sound it’s not emitting,” says Hassan of this much quieter mode of transportation. Now that the pilot project is over, information will be compiled, though it will come with some caveats. “You can only lease a specific prototype that has half the battery size of a bus that would normally be in the fleet,” says Hassan. “While a bus would typically have eight battery packs and a range of 300 miles on a single charge, the prototype has four battery packs and can go up to 150 miles on a single charge.” A purchased bus would also have a cold weather package, which includes a stand-alone

WE DELIVER AND STORE IT ALL. (907) 278-2736 WWW.AMSCOURIERS.COM June 2018 | Alaska Business

59


TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | HYBRID/ELECTRIC

“It turns out that here in Southeast, we have a great climate for batteries—we’re in the ‘Goldilocks Zone’ where it’s not too hot and not too cold. In places where it’s very hot or often freezing, it really messes with battery life, but we have the perfect climate here.” —Duff Mitchell Co-Founder Juneau Electric Vehicle Association

JEVA

JEVA’s Round Up, part of National Drive Electric Week, has grown from 2 cars in 2014 to more than 150 at the 2016 event, which was held at the Sandy Beach Recreation Center in Douglas, Alaska.

diesel heater that does not come with the prototype. “This way, you’re not tapping into the batteries to provide interior heating,” says Hassan. “The leased version doesn’t come with this, so we have been drawing off the battery to heat the cabin, which impacts electrical consumption.” While the cost of a new E-2 bus is $950,000, about twice the cost of its diesel equivalent, Hassan says that the reduction in maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle make up the difference. He plans to order six buses during the next replacement cycle, creating a mixed fleet. In the meantime, he’s targeting “low hanging fruit” by updating infrastructure in the warm storage facility to meet the demands of the future fleet. The municipality is already using hybrid four-door sedans to shuttle employees back and forth and plans to go fully electric when replacing these relief vehicles as well. The City and Borough of Juneau has been exploring electric bus technology since 2015, and when they received a low/no emission federal grant that would pay for half the cost, they decided to add a Proterra electric bus 60

to their fleet, which will arrive in late 2019. The borough already uses electric vehicles in their Streets and Fleet Division. “The main reason we want to do this is that it’s zero emissions; it’s quieter and cleaner,” explains Ed Foster, Streets and Fleet superintendent. “We won’t have to buy fuel for it, though we will need to buy electricity. Studies show that the maintenance requirements are also lower.” Once the bus arrives, it will be used on all of the routes to see how it performs. “We think with its range, we can probably get away with just having one charger at the bus barn to recharge it every evening, but that has yet to be seen,” says Foster. “We’ll know better once we get it on the road; we may need to do a quick charge halfway through the day.” The bus manufacturer will provide training for maintenance staff and operators because the buses get more mileage if they are driven correctly. “Really, the only concern we have is how running the heaters during the winter will affect the charging system,” says Foster. “We’re

going to utilize auxiliary heaters, which we hope will get us around any problems.” While electric cars and buses seem to have come a long way since their inception, the technology is lagging behind when it comes to mid-sized passenger vehicles, such as those used to transport tourists around the city. “There are small fourteen-passenger vans available, but those can’t meet tour companies’ needs,” explains Bob Janes, owner of Gastineau Guiding. “There are also large coaches being built, but they cost a halfmillion-plus, which certainly won’t work for most tour operators in Alaska who work for a solid five months of the year.” Three years ago, Janes started scouring the market for an electric twenty-to-thirty passenger bus, and when he couldn’t find one, he bought a new bus and electrified it with a hybrid system. “Because it’s still new technology, there are a lot of R&D issues to deal with,” he says. “You have to be committed because it’s an expensive endeavor to get into. We’re doing it because we believe in the future of electric power and clean energy.” Janes adds that there are other hurdles to overcome, including the fact that archaic Department of Transportation laws do not allow certain types of low-speed electric vehicles on the highway. He is currently working with Senator Dennis Egan on legislation to allow these types of vehicles, which could be used to transport tourists from the Mendenhall Glacier parking lot to the visitors’ center, for example. Janes is also working on the idea of using electric boats as water taxis in downtown Juneau. “The technology in Europe is working its way to the US, but it’s not here yet,” he explains. “These types of boats would be challenging for whale watching because they only go eight knots, but the outboard and inboard engines are improving every day. It would also require changing certain Coast Guard regulations to accommodate these new types of boats. I believe we’ll see it happening, but it will still be a few years before it becomes commercially viable.”  R Vanessa Orr is a freelance writer and former editor of the Capital City Weekly in Juneau.

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


Lee Fisher POSITION: Manager, Gatehouse & Equipment Control LOCATION: Anchorage, Alaska DATE HIRED: May 21, 2003 NOTES: Deep experience, familiar with all Alaska ports. Goes the extra mile to get the job done. A hard core road and fat bike racer that can be found on two wheels more often than two feet. Rides for fun and local charities, logging more than 3,500 miles last year.

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


SPECIAL SECTION

Transportation The Alaska Business

2018 Transportation Directory

AIR COMPANY TOP EXECUTIVE

YEAR FOUNDED / ESTABLISHED IN ALASKA

WORLDWIDE / ALASKA EMPLOYEES

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

40-Mile Air, Ltd. PO Box 539 Tok, AK 99780 Phone: 907-883-5191

Leif Wilson, Owner

1959 1959

10 10

40-mileair.com | fortymi@aptalaska.net Air charters, schedules and hunting.

ACE Air Cargo 5901 Lockheed Ave. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-334-5100

Mike Bergt, Pres.

1988 1988

135 135

On demand passenger charters throughout the State of Alaska. Cargo transportation provider offering scheduled cargo service to 21 locations in Alaska. ACE Logistics freightforwarding and logistics provider.

Ace Delivery & Moving PO Box 221389 Anchorage, AK 99522-1389 Phone: 907-522-6684

Hank Schaub, GM

1994 1994

9 9

alaskanace.com | alaskanace@gci.net Air cargo and express-package services, air courier services, arrangement of transportation of freight, freight-transportation services, local delivery services, local trucking with storage and third-party logistics. Residential and office moves. Hot shots and white glove residential deliveries.

Air Land Transport 11100 Calaska Cir. Anchorage, AK 99515 Phone: 907-248-0362 airlandak.com

Monique Snead, Pres.

1976 1976

77 77

Air Land Transport has been serving Alaska’s transportation needs since 1976. We provide LTL and Full Load trucking services to many destinations within the state. We have the knowledge, fleet, and personnel to deliver your freight efficiently and economically.

AirSide Solutions 2222 W. Valley Hwy. N., Suite 140 Auburn, WA 98001 Phone: 253-833-6434

Rick Lafferty, VP/Region Mgr.

1978 1988

10 0

AirSide Solutions is a full line provider of Airfield and Heliport Lighted Navigation systems, technical services, and logistics support to the aviation market in Alaska.

Alaska Air Cargo 4700 Old Int’l Airport Rd. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 800-225-2752

Jason Berry, Mng. Dir.

alaskacargo.com | cargo@alaskaair.com Goldstreak package express, Pet Connect Animal Travel, priority and general air freight 1932 22,000 services. Our modern fleet of 737-700 Freighters serve 19 Alaska communities with con1932 2,000 nections to 100+ destinations in the Lower 48, Hawaii and beyond with scheduled, reliable service.

Alaska Air Forwarding 4000 W. 50th Ave., Suite 6 Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-248-4697

Jeff Dornes, Co-Owner

1969 1969

30 4

Air freight, trade shows, shipment consolidations, nationwide purchase order procurement service and international shipping.

Alaska Air Transit 2301 Merrill Field Dr. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-276-5422

Daniel Owen, Pres./Owner/Operator

1984 1984

20 20

FlyAAT.com| Charters@FlyAAT.com Anchorage based air charters, serving Alaska, Canada and the Lower 48. Fleet includes fast, pressurized, increased weight capacity Pilatus PC-12/47 and a Pilatus PC-12 NG, as well as two factory new Grand Caravan EX aircraft featuring increased power and an advanced ice protection system.

Alaska Airlines 4750 Old Int’l Airport Rd. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-266-7200

Brad Tilden, Chmn./CEO AK Air Group

alaskaair.com 1932 22,000 Alaska Airlines, Virgin America, and regional carrier Horizon Air provide passenger and 1932 1,800 cargo service to 118 destinations in Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, and the Lower 48.

Alison McDaniel, Pres.

1997 1997

Alison’s Relocations 310 E. First Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-345-9934

62

30 30

alisonsrelo.com | alisonsrelo@gci.net Full service household goods moving and storage company. Providing customized moving packages: residential, commercial and industrial offices, national and corporate accounts. Via ocean and over the road to all cities and states. Palletized shipments to full trailer loads. Worldwide service.

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


YEAR FOUNDED / ESTABLISHED IN ALASKA

WORLDWIDE / ALASKA EMPLOYEES

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

AMS Couriers 5001 Arctic Blvd., Unit 2 Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-278-2736

Jaime Fink, Mng. Shareholder

1964 1964

12 12

amscouriers.com | info@amscouriers.com | amscouriers Specializes in route, on-demand, and same-day deliveries in Alaska. Provides transportation, warehousing, and logistics solutions for the medical, legal, telecommunications, and financial industries. Open 24/7/365.

Arctic Prism Helicopters 1415 N. Local 302 Rd., Suite A Palmer, AK 99645 Phone: 907-745-5775

David King, Pres.

1998 1998

8 8

Helicopter charter, survey, oil & gas support, government contracting.

Bald Mountain Air 3758 FAA Rd., Suite B Homer, AK 99603 Phone: 907-235-7969

Gary Porter, VP

1993 1993

18 18

Single and multi-engine; 19 passenger, cargo, and fuel delivery; VFR and IFR capable; turbine fleet for reliability; off-airport and arctic operations; flight safety trained crews; services on wheels, floats, and skis; aerial scientific platforms; 100NM+ offshore survey capability.

Best Rate Express Transport PO Box 39193 Lakewood, WA 98496 Phone: 253-973-7653

Young Summers, Member

2004 2004

4 0

bestrateexpress.com | yksummers@qwestoffice.net Best Rate Express Transport: flat, step, vans, reefers and heavy haul. Rail: containers and flat cars. Air: next-day, two-day and deferred service. Marine: steamship and barge service.

Clearwater Air 1100 Merrill Field Dr. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-274-1705

Andrew Harcombe, Pres.

2010 2010

20 20

clearwaterair.com | info@clearwaterair.com Clearwater Air provides aerial observation, imaging and remote sensing in support of research, emergency response, and development projects.

Columbia Helicopters 14452 Arndt Rd. NE Aurora, OR 97002 Phone: 503-678-1222

David Horrax, Ops Mgr.

1957 1982

700 25

colheli.com Helicopter heavy lift services.

Commodity Forwarders 4000 W. 50th, Suite 1 Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-243-1144

PJ Cranmer, Reg. Ops Mgr. Pac. NW

2003 2003

450 20

cfiperishables.com Transporting perishable products worldwide. Provides logistical services for perishable products worldwide by providing transportation, documentation, warehouse and consulting services. Freezer storage in Anchorage.

Tim Cudney, Dir.

2012 2012

8 8

Deadhorse Aviation Center PO Box 34006 Prudhoe Bay, AK 99734 Phone: 907-685-1700

deadhorseaviation.com | DeadhorseAviation The Deadhorse Aviation Center is Fairweather’s multi-modal aviation facility designed to meet the needs of onshore and offshore oil and gas development on the North Slope. The DAC has two large hangars, laydown yard for storage rental, office space, terminal, bedrooms, and a full dining facility.

Book your summer travel now, to your favorite ďŹ sh hole!

PenAir.com www.akbizmag.com

June 2018 | Alaska Business

63

TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | DIRECTORY

COMPANY TOP EXECUTIVE


TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | DIRECTORY

COMPANY TOP EXECUTIVE

Desert Air Transport 4001 Old Int’l Airport Rd., Unit #9 Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-243-4700

YEAR FOUNDED / ESTABLISHED IN ALASKA

WORLDWIDE / ALASKA EMPLOYEES

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

Dennis Gladwin, Owner/Pres.

2000 2000

10 10

desertairalaska.com | desertair@alaskan.com Desert Air Transport Inc. provides large haul cargo capacity (6500 lbs) into over 200 destinations with rural airstrips (2800 ft min), direct from Anchorage International.

Era Helicopters 6160 Carl Brady Dr., Hangar 2 Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-550-8600

Mandy Nelson, Global Account Mgr.

1948 1948

800 5-10

erahelicopters.com | anelson@erahelicopters.com Era is one of the largest helicopter operators in the world and the longest serving helicopter transport operator in the US. Services include oil and gas support, firefighting, search & rescue, utility and VIP transport. Era also provides operating lease solutions and technical fleet support.

Everts Air Cargo PO Box 61680 Fairbanks, AK 99706 Phone: 907-450-2300

Robert Everts, Pres./CEO

1995 1995

309 287

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

Express Delivery Service 701 W. 41st Ave., Unit D Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-562-7333

Ed Hoffman, Pres.

1977 1977

22 22

e.hoffman@expressdeliveryak.com Air courier services, local and Valley delivery services, special warehousing and storage. Specializing in serving the medical community. Open 24/7/365.

FedEx Express 6050 Rockwell Ave. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 800-463-3339

Dale Shaw, Mng. Dir.

1973 400,000 fedex.com 1988 740 Air cargo and express-package services.

Grant Aviation 6520 Kulis Dr. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 888-359-4726

Robert Kelley, Pres./CEO

1971 1971

200 200

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

Great Circle Flight Services 6121 S. Airpark Pl. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-245-1232

Laura Charon, GM

2005 2005

35 35

rossaviation.com GCFS provides personal and attentive concierge style FBO services to private and charter aircraft traveling to, from, and throughout Alaska. Open 24/7/365.

Island Air Service 1420 Airport Way Kodiak, AK 99615 Phone: 907-487-4596

Adam Lutz, DOM

1984 1984

60 60

flyadq.com | admin@flyadq.com Part 135 Air carrier offering passenger and freight services to the Kodiak Archipelago.

Last Frontier Air Ventures Ltd. 1415 N. Local 302 Rd., Suite C Palmer, AK 99645 Phone: 907-745-5701

David King, Pres.

1997 1997

8 8

Mineral exploration, survey, research and development, slung cargo, video and film projects, aerial photography, tours, crew transport, heli skiing, short and long term contracts.

LifeMed Alaska PO Box 190026 Anchorage, AK 99519-0026 Phone: 907-563-6633

Scott Kirby, CEO

2008 2008

120 120

lifemedalaska.com Statewide air ambulance services with bases in Anchorage, Bethel, Fairbanks, Juneau, Palmer and Soldotna. Anchorage-based ALS ground ambulance services. CAMTS accredited.

Lynden Air Cargo 6441 S. Airpark Pl. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-243-7248

Rick Zerkel, Pres.

1996 1996

180 180

lynden.com/lac| information@lynden.com | LyndenInc LyndenInc | company/lynden-incorporated Charter air cargo service in Alaska and worldwide. Scheduled Alaska air cargo and express package service.

Lynden International 6441 S. Airpark Pl. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-243-6150

John Kaloper, Pres.

1980 1980

217 45

lynden.com/lint | information@lynden.com | LyndenInc LyndenInc| company/lynden-incorporated Domestic and international freight forwarding and customs services.

Lynden Logistics 6400 S. Airpark Pl. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-245-154

Alex McKallor, Pres.

1984 1984

14 5

lynden.com/llog | information@lynden.com | LyndenInc LyndenInc| company/lynden-incorporated Arrangement of freight transportation, information management and logistical services.

Maritime Helicopters 3520 FAA Rd. Homer, AK 99603 Phone: 907-235-7771

Robert Fell, Dir. Ops

1973 1973

46 46

We support petroleum, construction & marine industries as well as federal/state agencies. Our fleet includes Bell 206L, 407 and twin-engine 412HP & BO-105 Eurocopters. Our 86’ helipad equipped vessel supports remote marine-based operations. Bases in Homer, Fairbanks, Kenai, Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, and Valdez.

David Karp, Pres./CEO

1956 1956

395 395

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

Charles Constant, CEO

2001 2001

64 40

pathfinderaviation.com | info@pathfinderaviation.com Pathfinder Aviation, LLC supports petroleum, utility, survey and various other industries utilizing twin-engine Bell 212/412s, a EC135 & single engine AS350 B2 & B3, Bell 206 series helicopters with OAS-approved pilots and aircraft. They operate field bases throughout the state.

Northern Air Cargo 3900 Old International Airport Rd. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-243-3331 Pathfinder Aviation 1936 Merrill Field Dr. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-226-2800

64

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


YEAR FOUNDED / ESTABLISHED IN ALASKA

WORLDWIDE / ALASKA EMPLOYEES

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

Ravn Alaska 4700 Old International Airport Rd. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-266-8394

David Pflieger, Pres./CEO

1948 1948

Reeve Air Alaska 7511 Labrador Cir. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-250-4766

Michael Reeve, Owner/Mgr.

2006 2006

1 1

Resolve Marine Services Alaska 6231 Airpark Place Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-243-0069

Todd Duke, Mgr. AK Ops

1980 2013

750 50

resolvemarine.com | tduke@resolvemarine.com Marine salvage, emergency towing and vessel repair, commercial diving, oil spill response, charter aviation for passengers and cargo.

Ryan Air 6400 Carl Brady Dr. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-562-2227

Wilfred “Boyuck” Ryan, Pres.

1953 1953

135 135

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

Security Aviation 6121 S. Airpark Pl. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-248-2677

Stephen “Joe” Kapper, Pres.

1985 1985

25 25

securityaviation.biz| sales@securityaviation.biz | flysmarterthinkcharter 24/7 on-demand air charter. Approved carrier for Corps of Engineers, state and federal agencies. Executive travel, crew changes, HAZMAT, “hot” cargo and medical transports.

TGI Freight 4001 Old International Airport Rd., Unit 7 Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-522-3088

Todd Clark, Pres.

1989 1989

8 8

tgifreight.com | toddc@tgifreight.com Local freight cartage, freight consolidation, logistics and hazardous material services.

TransGroup Global Logistics 5631 Silverado Way, #G-101 Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-243-4345

Rich Wilson, Station Mgr.

1987 2011

United States Postal Service 3720 Barrow St. Anchorage, AK 99599 Phone: 800-ASK-USPS

Ron Haberman, District Mgr.

1775 600,000 usps.com 1915 2,000 Mailing and delivery of letters, magazines and parcels weighing up to 70 pounds.

www.akbizmag.com

1,000 flyravn.com| sales@flyravn.com | RavnAlaska RavnAlaska| company/ravn-alaska 1,000 Scheduled passenger, cargo, mail and charter service.

reeveairalaska.com| mreeve@reevecorp.com | reeveairalaska Reeve Air specializes in chartered air service to more than 40 Alaskan communities.

transgroup.com | richw.anc@transgroup.com US owned full service freight forwarder and global logistics provider. We provide transpor3,000 tation, warehousing and specialized logistics solutions, coupled with software tailored to 4 meet the specific needs of each individual customers—for every link in your supply chain. Areas served: worldwide.

June 2018 | Alaska Business

65

TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | DIRECTORY

COMPANY TOP EXECUTIVE


TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | DIRECTORY

COMPANY TOP EXECUTIVE

YEAR FOUNDED / WORLDWIDE / ESTABLISHED IN ALASKA ALASKA EMPLOYEES

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

UPS Forwarding 4000 W. 50th Ave., Suite 5 Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-243-3302

Duane Kujala, Supervisor

2004 454,000 Worldwide air freight-transportation, brokerage and logistic services. 2004 3

Ward Air 8991 Yandukin Dr. Juneau, AK 99801-8086 Phone: 907-789-9150

Ed Kiesel, Pres.

1995 1995

Elliot Garison, Ops Supervisor

yrc.com YRC Freight operations in Alaska give you an integrated solution for moving LTL and TL 1924 32,000 freight between key markets using just one carrier from beginning to end. In addition, YRC 1981 3 has comprehensive coverage throughout North America, including cross-border to and from Canada and Mexico.

YRC Freight 431 E. 104th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99515 Phone: 907-344-0099

21 21

Air transportation nonscheduled.

LAND COMPANY TOP EXECUTIVE

YEAR FOUNDED / ESTABLISHED IN ALASKA

WORLDWIDE / ALASKA EMPLOYEES

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

Ace Delivery & Moving PO Box 221389 Anchorage, AK 99522-1389 Phone: 907-522-6684

Hank Schaub, GM

1994 1994

9 9

alaskanace.com | alaskanace@gci.net Air cargo and express-package services, air courier services, arrangement of transportation of freight, freight-transportation services, local delivery services, local trucking with storage and third-party logistics. Residential and office moves. Hot shots and white glove residential deliveries.

AFF Distribution Services 5491 Electron Dr., #8 Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-563-7094

Jared Lastufka, Ops Mgr.

1988 1988

600 80

Third-party warehousing & distribution company; short- & long-term storage; order processing, deliveries, & inventory reports; cold storage, chill to freeze; pick & pack individual orders; through bill of lading & single invoice; bypass mail service. A division of American Fast Freight, Inc.

Air Land Transport 11100 Calaska Cir. Anchorage, AK 99515 Phone: 907-248-0362

Monique Snead, Pres.

1976 1976

77 77

airlandak.com Air Land Transport has been serving Alaska’s transportation needs since 1976. We provide LTL and Full Load trucking services to many destinations within the state. We have the knowledge, fleet, and personnel to deliver your freight efficiently and economically.

Alaska Air Forwarding 4000 W. 50th Ave., Suite 6 Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-248-4697

Jeff Dornes, Co-Owner

1969 1969

30 4

Air freight, trade shows, shipment consolidations, nationwide purchase order procurement service and international shipping.

Alaska Park 5000 Spenard Rd. Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-222-4002

Andy Brinkman, GM

2013 2013

28 28

alaskapark.com Alaska Park is a full service valet airport parking facility, serving Ted Stevens International Airport and the Coast International Inn Hotel. During the winter, come back to a warm, running car and a cool one in the summer. We take the stress out of airport parking.

Alaska Railroad Corporation PO Box 107500 Anchorage, AK 99510-7500 Phone: 907-265-2300

Bill O’Leary, Pres./CEO

1914 1914

700 700

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

Alaska Terminals 400 W. 70th Ave., Suite 3 Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-349-6657

Todd Halverson, Owner/Pres.

1981 1981

85 35

www.akterminals.com As the Atlas Van Lines agent for Alaska, we perform local, interstate and international moving services for corporate, government and private clients.

Aves Thompson, Exec. Dir.

1958 1958

4 4

aktrucks.org | info@aktrucks.org | aktrucks907 An authoritative voice in trucking; the Alaska Trucking Association provides regulatory guidance, a bridge between industry and DOT, as well as a voice in Juneau via our registered lobbyist. ATA provides DMV services to both members companies and the general public.

Eric Badger, Pres.

1978 1978

175 165

lynden.com/awe | information@lynden.com | LyndenInc LyndenInc| company/lynden-incorporated Providing oversized and bulk truckload transportation throughout the United States and Canada, specializing in shipments to and from Alaska, where we are the leader in transporting liquid- and dry-bulk products, hazardous and non-hazardous chemicals and petroleum products.

Alison’s Relocations 310 E. First Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-345-9934

Alison McDaniel, Pres.

1997 1997

30 30

alisonsrelo.com | alisonsrelo@gci.net Full service household goods moving and storage company. Providing customized moving packages-residential, commercial and industrial offices, national and corporate accounts. Via ocean and over the road to all cities and states. Palletized shipments to full trailer loads. Worldwide service.

All Seasons Argo & Equipment 1300 E. 80th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-277-6188

Deborah Bontems, Owner

1998 1998

5 5

allseasonsargo.com | argoak@alaska.net Argo UTV and ATV dealership.

Craig Forbes, VP Ops AK

1984 1984

500 100

Alaska Trucking Association 3443 Minnesota Dr. Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-276-1149 Alaska West Express 1048 Whitney Rd. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-339-5100

American Fast Freight 5025 Van Buren St. Anchorage, AK 99517 Phone: 907-248-5548

66

americanfast.com | info@americanfast.com business. AmericanFastFreight| company/374485 Ocean freight forwarding, freight consolidation of all kinds, LTL/LCL, full loads & single shipments, temperature protected, dry vans, specialized equipment, heavy haul, project logistics, barge, steamship, intra-state trucking, warehousing, distribution, household goods, military shipments & more.

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


POWERED BY COMMITMENT TOTE MARITIME HONORED AS TOP GLOBAL OCEAN CARRIER BY LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT 34TH ANNUAL QUEST FOR QUALITY AWARDS

TOTE Maritime Alaska is honored to be awarded the Top Ocean Carrier in the 2017 Quest for Quality Awards Ocean Carrier category. Many thanks to our customers and partners for their continued support.

TOTE Maritime Alaska I Learn more at totemaritime.com


TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | DIRECTORY

COMPANY TOP EXECUTIVE

YEAR FOUNDED / ESTABLISHED IN ALASKA

WORLDWIDE / ALASKA EMPLOYEES

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

AMS Couriers 5001 Arctic Blvd., Unit 2 Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-278-2736

Jaime Fink, Mng. Shareholder

1964 1964

12 12

amscouriers.com | info@amscouriers.com | amscouriers Specializes in route, on-demand, and same-day deliveries in Alaska. Provides transportation, warehousing, and logistics solutions for the medical, legal, telecommunications, and financial industries. Open 24/7/365.

Best Rate Express Transport PO Box 39193 Lakewood, WA 98496 Phone: 253-973-7653

Young Summers, Member

2004 2004

4 0

bestrateexpress.com | yksummers@qwestoffice.net Best Rate Express Transport: flat, step, vans, reefers and heavy haul. Rail: containers and flat cars. Air: next-day, two-day and deferred service. Marine: steamship and barge service.

Black Gold Express 1648 Cushman St., Suite 205 Fairbanks , AK 99701 Phone: 907-490-3222

Jeremy Huffman, CEO

1984 1984

45 45

blackgoldexpress.com | blackgoldexpress From civil work to oilfields services, from interstate moves to heavy hauls, Black Gold Express has the experience and knowledge to handle all of your transportation needs. In the most extreme conditions or in the most remote locations, Black Gold Express does all your heavy lifting.

Commodity Forwarders 4000 W. 50th, Suite 1 Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-243-1144

PJ Cranmer, Reg. Ops Mgr. Pac. NW

2003 2003

450 20

cfiperishables.com Transporting perishable products worldwide. Provides logistical services for perishable products worldwide by providing transportation, documentation, warehouse and consulting services. Freezer storage in Anchorage.

Continental Van Lines 1031 E. First Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-279-2571

Ken Wyman II, AK Mgr.

1952 1952

400 50

continentalvan.com Alaska’s premier moving and storage company. Moving locally, within Alaska and worldwide.

Rick Meidel, VP

1892 1953

115 115

crowley.com Crowley Fuel operates fuel terminals in 22 locations in the Railbelt, Western AK and SE AK, providing home heating oil, jet fuel, diesel, gasoline and propane. Our fuel barges make direct deliveries to over 200 Western Alaska communities. Crowley proudly celebrates over 60 years of service to Alaska.

Deadhorse Aviation Center PO Box 34006 Prudhoe Bay, AK 99734 Phone: 907-685-1700

Tim Cudney, Dir.

2012 2012

8 8

deadhorseaviation.com | DeadhorseAviation The Deadhorse Aviation Center is Fairweather’s multi-modal aviation facility designed to meet the needs of onshore and offshore oil and gas development on the North Slope. The DAC has two large hangars, laydown yard for storage rental, office space, terminal, bedrooms, and a full dining facility.

Express Delivery Service 701 W. 41st Ave., Unit D Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-562-7333

Ed Hoffman, Pres.

1977 1977

22 22

e.hoffman@expressdeliveryak.com Air courier services, local and Valley delivery services, special warehousing and storage. Specializing in serving the medical community. Open 24/7/365.

Lynden International 6441 S. Airpark Pl. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-243-6150

John Kaloper, Pres.

1980 1980

217 45

lynden.com/lint | information@lynden.com | LyndenInc LyndenInc | company/lynden-incorporated Domestic and international freight forwarding and customs services.

Lynden Logistics 6400 S. Airpark Pl. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-245-1544

Alex McKallor, Pres.

1984 1984

14 5

lynden.com/llog | information@lynden.com | LyndenInc LyndenInc | company/lynden-incorporated Arrangement of freight transportation, information management and logistical services.

Lynden Oilfield Services 1048 Whitney Rd. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-339-5100

Eric Badger, Pres.

2015 2015

30 30

lynden.com/loil | information@lynden.com | LyndenInc LyndenInc | company/lynden-incorporated Lynden Oilfield Services, a division of Alaska West Express, provides support for exploration, production, and service companies on the North Slope working to develop Alaska’s oil and gas resources.

Lynden Transport 3027 Rampart Dr. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-276-4800

Paul Grimaldi, Pres.

1954 1954

250 120

lynden.com/ltia | information@lynden.com | LyndenInc LyndenInc | company/lynden-incorporated Full-service, multi-modal freight transportation to, from and within Alaska.

Minn-Alaska Transport PO Box 2409 Palmer, AK 99645 Phone: 907-746-3950

John Corcoran, Mng. Member

2007 2007

30 17

minn-ak.com | dispatch@minn-ak.com Services include reefers, vans, flatbeds, stepdecks, and lowboys. Minn-Alaska Transport is committed to meeting all of your over-the-road needs with excellence.

North Star Terminal & Stevedore Co. 790 Ocean Dock Rd. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-263-0120

Jeff Bentz, Pres.

1950 1950

19 19

northstarak.com | sales@northstarak.com | nsts.nses Stevedore, Marine logistics, specializing in providing crane and equipment solutions. We have state of the art ABI Mobilram machines, for large diameter drilling, with vibratory and hammer attachments, built for driving pile. We are DOT approved for bridge foundation.

Power And Transmission 711 Van Horn Rd. Fairbanks, AK 99701 Phone: 907-456-2230

Daniel Gorrod, Pres.

1972 1972

7 7

powerandtransmission.com We sell bearings, seals, filters, air valves, compressors, brakes, exhaust, suspension, lights, fittings, wheel studs and nuts for semi-trucks and trailers. We make hydraulic control cables. We sell cargo tie down chains & straps, tire chains and many more misc. parts.

PRL Logistics PO Box 222029 Anchorage, AK 99522 Phone: 907-261-9440

Ron Hyde, Pres./CEO

2002 2002

50 50

PRL is Alaska-owned and operated with a high commitment to safety. From expediting to your most complex, remote logistics challenges, PRL provides scalable logistics solutions worldwide to meet your logistics needs and ensure project success. We specialize in Alaska, the Lower 48, and beyond.

Crowley Fuels 201 Arctic Slope Ave. Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-777-5505

68

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


YEAR FOUNDED / ESTABLISHED IN ALASKA

WORLDWIDE / ALASKA EMPLOYEES

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

Sea Wide Express 3400 C Industry Dr. E. Fife, WA 98424 Phone: 253-279-4685

Phil Hinkle, GM

2015 2016

11 3

seawideexpress.com | quotes@seawideexpress.com | seawideexpress seawideexpress | company/seawide-express We specialize in surface transportation to Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico and Guam.

Sourdough Express 600 Driveways St. Fairbanks, AK 99701 Phone: 907-452-1181

Jeff Gregory, Pres./CEO

1898 1902

145 145

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

Span Alaska Transportation 2040 E. 79th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 253-395-7726

Tom Souply, Pres.

1978 1978

210 125

spanalaska.com | billm@spanalaska.com Freight transportation services to and from Alaska, less-than-truckload and truckload. Steamship and barge service to Railbelt area of Alaska. Barge service to Juneau and Southeast Alaska. Overnight service from Anchorage to Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula.

TrailerCraft | Freightliner of Alaska 222 W. 92nd Ave. Anchorage, AK 99515 Phone: 907-563-3238

Lee McKenzie, Pres./Owner

1969 1969

50 50

trailercraft.com | daphnel@trailercraft.com Parts, sales and service for trucks, tractors, trailers, Sprinters, transport equipment, snow plows and sanders.

TransGroup Global Logistics 5631 Silverado Way, #G-101 Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-243-4345

Rich Wilson, Station Mgr.

1987 2011

United Freight & Transport 1701 E. First Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501-1831 Phone: 907-272-5700

Frank Monfrey, GM

1985 1985

United States Postal Service 3720 Barrow St. Anchorage, AK 99599 Phone: 800-ASK-USPS

Ron Haberman, District Mgr.

1775 600,000 usps.com 1915 2,000 Mailing and delivery of letters, magazines and parcels weighing up to 70 pounds.

UPS Forwarding 4000 W. 50th Ave., Suite 5 Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-243-3302

Duane Kujala, Supervisor

2004 454,000 Worldwide air freight-transportation, brokerage and logistic services. 2004 3

www.akbizmag.com

transgroup.com | richw.anc@transgroup.com US owned full service freight forwarder and global logistics provider. We provide transpor3,000 tation, warehousing and specialized logistics solutions, coupled with software tailored to 4 meet the specific needs of each individual customer—for every link in your supply chain. Areas served: worldwide. 41 41

Freight-transportation services.

June 2018 | Alaska Business

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TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | DIRECTORY

COMPANY TOP EXECUTIVE


TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | DIRECTORY

COMPANY TOP EXECUTIVE

Waste Management National Services 1519 Ship Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-274-0477 YRC Freight 431 E. 104th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99515 Phone: 907-344-0099

YEAR FOUNDED / WORLDWIDE / ESTABLISHED IN ALASKA ALASKA EMPLOYEES

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

Mike Holzschuh, Sr. Territory Mgr.

Hazardous and nonhazardous waste disposal, project management, complete logistical 1971 ~43,000 oversight, complete US and Canadian manifesting, rail transportation, over-the-road 1971 7 transportation, marine transportation, and turnkey remedial services.

Elliot Garison, Ops Supervisor

yrc.com YRC Freight operations in Alaska gives you an integrated solution for moving LTL and TL 1924 32,000 freight between key markets using just one carrier from beginning to end. In addition, YRC 1981 3 has comprehensive coverage throughout North America, including cross-border to and from Canada and Mexico.

PORTS COMPANY TOP EXECUTIVE

YEAR FOUNDED / ESTABLISHED IN ALASKA

WORLDWIDE / ALASKA EMPLOYEES

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

City of Craig PO Box #725 Craig, AK 99921 Phone: 907-826-3404

Hans Hjort, Harbormaster

1922 1973

4 4

Moorage, water, electricity, grids, restroom/showers, boat haulout, ice.

City of Homer Port & Harbor 4311 Freight Dock Rd. Homer, AK 99603 Phone: 907-235-3160

Bryan Hawkins, Port Dir.

1964 1964

17 17

Homer Port & Harbor has 24/7 harbor officers, and includes a small boat harbor with over 800 reserved stalls and 600+ linear transient moorage, two deep water ports, a commercial barge ramp, steel & wood tidal grids, a 5-lane load & launch ramp, & fish dock with eight cranes & ice delivery.

Port MacKenzie 350 E. Dahlia Ave. Palmer, AK 99645 Phone: 907-861-7799

Therese Dolan, Port Ops Mgr.

2005 2005

2 2

matsugov.us/Port | therese.dolan@matsugov.us Port MacKenzie is a premiere deep-water port capable of safely and efficiently transporting bulk commodities and project cargoes into and out of South-central Alaska. We have 14 square miles of uplands available in the Port District for laydown areas, storage and manufacturing facilities.

Port of Adak PO Box 2021 Adak, AK 99546 Phone: 907-592-0185 portofadak.com

James Huffman, Ops Mgr.

1997 1998

5 5

Deep water port for offshore oilfield supply logistics, container transshipment, emergency and oil spill response, fueling and fish processing operations.

Port of Alaska 2000 Anchorage Port Rd. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-343-6200

Steve Ribuffo, Port Dir.

1961 1961

25 25

PortOfAlaska.com | PortOfAlaska@muni.org Port is Alaska’s main in-bound cargo terminal. It handles 4 million tons of fuel and cargo annually that reaches 85 percent of all Alaskans. It is an intermodal transport hub that links state’s marine, road, rail, pipeline and air cargo systems. It is one of 16 US Commercial Strategic Seaports.

Port of Bellingham PO Box 1677 Bellingham, WA 98227 Phone: 360-676-2500

Rob Fix, Exec. Dir.

1920 1988

100 0

portofbellingham.com We are the southern terminus for the Alaska Marine Highway System at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal.

Port of Bethel PO Box 1388 Bethel, AK 99559 Phone: 907-543-2310

Allen Wold, Port Dir.

1940 1959

8 8

cityofbethel.net | awold@cityofbethel.net Operate freight dock and yard, petroleum dock and berths for mooring boats and barges and a small boat harbor.

Port of Haines PO Box 1209 Haines, AK 99827 Phone: 907-766-6450

Shawn Bell, Harbormaster

1998 1998

5 5

Barge, roll-on/roll-off ramp, 700 feet of alongside moorage, panamax cruise ship dock, ice delivery by the ton, fuel services and moorage for all size vessels and deep draft.

Port of Juneau 155 S. Seward St. Juneau, AK 99801 Phone: 907-586-0292

Carl Uchytil, Port Dir.

1976 1976

39 39

Provides maritime infrastructure, including docks and harbors, for the cruise ship industry, commercial fisheries and recreational boating public.

Port of King Cove PO Box 37 King Cove, AK 99612 Phone: 907-497-2237

Charles Mack, Harbormaster

1970 1970

4 4

Ports and harbors.

Port of Kodiak and Shipyard 403 Marine Way Kodiak, AK 99615 Phone: 907-486-8080

Lon White, Port Dir.

1958 1958

17 17

city.kodiak.ak.us/ph | lwhite@city.kodiak.ak.us Kodiak Shipyard is state of the art and fully environmentally compliant with the largest Marine Travelift in Alaska (660 Tons). Port facilities: 3 deep draft piers: Pier 3 Container Terminal 900ft, Pier 2 Fishermans termainal 1025ft, Pier 1 230ft. 30,000 LF of moorage for vessels up to 250ft.

Port of Nome PO Box 281 Nome, AK 99762 Phone: 907-443-6619

Lucas Stotts, Harbormaster

1985 1985

5 5

Nome is a new staging point for an Emergency Towing System (ETS) for use in the region.

Port of Ouzinkie PO Box 109 Ouzinkie, AK 99644 Phone: 907-680-2209

Daniel Rich, Mayor

1967 1967

12 12

cityclerk@ouzinkie.org Piped water, piped sewer, electric, refuse collection, landfill, hydroelectric, health clinic, airport state contract, volunteer fire, library through tribal, roads, boat harbor. Municipal dock for ferry and larger vessels.

70

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


YEAR FOUNDED / ESTABLISHED IN ALASKA

WORLDWIDE / ALASKA EMPLOYEES

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

Port of Pelican PO Box 737 Pelican, AK 99832 Phone: 907-735-2202

Walt Weller, Mayor

1940 1940

12 12

pelican.net The Pelican Harbor is operated by the City of Pelican. The City has 98 berths, which includes permanent berthing spaces and transient moorage. Available dock services include electric, water, trash, fuel and lubricants. Ice is also available. The city operates a laundry mat with showers.

Port of Sand Point Sant Point Boat Harbor Sand Point, AK 99661 Phone: 907-383-2331

Richard Kochuten Sr., Harbormaster

1988 1988

6 6

We are a fishing community that caters to a local fleet of vessels 32 to 60 feet.

Port of Skagway PO Box 415 Skagway, AK 99840 Phone: 907-983-2628

Matthew O’Boyle, Harbormaster

1898 1898

2 2

The Skagway Small Boat Harbor is a full service marina with moorage for pleasure and commercial vessels up to 150 ft. Transient moorage is on a space available, first come, first served basis. There is a waiting list for annual moorage.

Port of Valdez PO Box 307 Valdez, AK 99686 Phone: 907-835-4564

Jeremy Talbott, Ports/Harbor Dir.

1901 1901

5 5

ci.valdez.ak.us/index.aspx?nid=151 | jables@ci.valdez.ak.us Port services include a Container Terminal with a 700 ft. floating dock (1,200 ft. with dolphins), 21-acre storage yard, electricity for reefer units, water, and garbage service. The Port has Foreign-Trade Zone #108 with industrial land available for development. Wharf at the Kelsey Dock is 600 ft.

Port of Wrangell PO Box 531 Wrangell, AK 99929 Phone: 907-874-3736

Greg Meissner, Harbormaster

2008 2008

5 5

wrangell.com | harbor@wrangell.com Ports and harbors.

Seward Boat Harbor PO Box 167 Seward, AK 99664 Phone: 907-224-3138

Norm Regis, Harbormaster

1964 1964

11 11

harbormaster@cityofseward.net We are a full service port with 50-ton and 330-ton Travelifts, a 5000-ton syncrolift, boat repair yards, potable water and power utilities, hardware stores, grocery stores, art galleries, restaurants, hotels and many other amenities to meet every need.

SEA COMPANY TOP EXECUTIVE

Alaska Logistics PO Box 604 Seward, AK 99664 Phone: 206-767-2555

FUN

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YEAR FOUNDED / ESTABLISHED IN ALASKA

Allyn Long, Owner/GM

2003 2003

WORLDWIDE / ALASKA EMPLOYEES

50 5

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

alaska-logistics.com | julie@alaska-logistics.com Scheduled barge service from Seattle to Western and Central Alaska. Provides services to receive customers’ freight, consolidate, manifest and track from origin to final destination. We also provide charters.

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June 2018 | Alaska Business

71

TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | DIRECTORY

COMPANY TOP EXECUTIVE


TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | DIRECTORY

COMPANY TOP EXECUTIVE

YEAR FOUNDED / ESTABLISHED IN ALASKA

WORLDWIDE / ALASKA EMPLOYEES

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

Alaska Marine Lines 100 Mt. Roberts St. Juneau, AK 99801 Phone: 907-586-3790

Kevin Anderson, Pres.

1980 1980

350 115

lynden.com/aml | information@lynden.com | LyndenInc LyndenInc | company/lynden-incorporated Marine transportation company providing barge service to and from Alaska and Hawaii. We offer twice weekly service to Southeast Alaska and Central Alaska, seasonal service to Western Alaska, and bi-weekly service to Hawaii. Charter services are also available.

Alaska Terminals 400 W. 70th Ave., Suite 3 Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-349-6657

Todd Halverson, Owner/Pres.

1981 1981

85 35

www.akterminals.com. As the Atlas Van Lines agent for Alaska, we perform local, interstate and international moving services for corporate, government and private clients.

Alaska Traffic Co. PO Box 3837 Seattle, WA 98124 Phone: 425-282-6610

Andrew Schwaegler, GM/VP

1956 1956

20 2

Arrangement of transportation of all types of cargo, freight-transportation services and logistics services. Scheduled LTL, TL and consolidation services via steamship and barge.

Alison’s Relocations 310 E. First Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-345-9934

Alison McDaniel, Pres.

1997 1997

30 30

alisonsrelo.com | alisonsrelo@gci.net Full service household goods moving and storage company. Providing customized moving packages-residential, commercial and industrial offices, national and corporate accounts. Via ocean and over the road to all cities and states. Palletized shipments to full trailer loads. Worldwide service.

Ashbreez Boatworks 3705 Arctic Blvd., #106 Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-529-1907

Chad Morse, Owner

2011 2011

2 2

ashbreezboatworks.com | ashbreez@alaska.net | Ashbreez-Boatworks-LLC Services include major boat repair, new aluminum boat construction, fiberglass repair, systems installation, electrical work, outboard repowers, repainting and refinishing and bottom painting. See our website for full details.

Bering Marine Corporation 6400 S. Airpark Pl. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-248-7646

Rick Gray, Pres.

1985 1985

60 60

lynden.com/bmc | information@lynden.com | LyndenInc LyndenInc | company/lynden-incorporated Bering Marine Corporation provides highly specialized, contracted marine services to reach water-locked villages and other remote Alaska locations. Our fleet of shallow-draft equipment supports construction of docks, roads and airstrips in Alaska communities.

Best Rate Express Transport PO Box 39193 Lakewood, WA 98496 Phone: 253-973-7653

Young Summers, Member

2004 2004

4 0

bestrateexpress.com | yksummers@qwestoffice.net Best Rate Express Transport: flat, step, vans, reefers and heavy haul. Rail: containers and flat cars. Air: next-day, two-day and deferred service. Marine: steamship and barge service.

Luther Bartholomew, GM

1982 1982

35 30

bowheadtransport.com | info@bowhead.com Bowhead transports cargo between Seattle, Western Alaska, Arctic waters and the North Slope with ocean, coastal, ocean going tug & barge, shallow draft vessels for remote operations. Bowhead provides terminal services, vessel and crew support, vessel chartering, and marine and cargo logistics.

Bowhead Transport Company 4025 Delridge Way SW, Suite 160 Seattle, WA 98106 Phone: 800-347-0049

16th Season Providing Scheduled Marine Transportation Services

The right choice for marine transportation to Western Alaska!

— Seattle to Seward — Alaskan Peninsula — Western Alaska villages Dillingham/Naknek Bethel/Nome/Kotzebue

Call us today to schedule a delivery or get a quote! 1-866-585-3281

www. Alaska-Logistics.com 72

Sales@Alaska-Logistics.com

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


YEAR FOUNDED / ESTABLISHED IN ALASKA

WORLDWIDE / ALASKA EMPLOYEES

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

Catalyst Marine 1806 Alameda St. Seward, AK 99664 Phone: 907-224-2500

Joe Tougas, Pres./Owner

2008 2008

25 25

Since 2008 Catalyst Marine has provided project management and vessel/fleet support services for clients in all marine industries. Along with staged equipment in Prudhoe Bay, Kodiak, and Valdez our team of ABS & USCG certified welders are ready to deploy anywhere in Alaska.

Commodity Forwarders 4000 W. 50th, Suite 1 Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-243-1144

PJ Cranmer, Reg. Ops Mgr. Pac. NW

2003 2003

450 20

cfiperishables.com Transporting perishable products worldwide. Provides logistical services for perishable products worldwide by providing transportation, documentation, warehouse and consulting services. Freezer storage in Anchorage.

Rick Meidel, VP

1892 1953

115 115

crowley.com Crowley Fuel operates fuel terminals in 22 locations in the Railbelt, Western AK and SE AK, providing home heating oil, jet fuel, diesel, gasoline and propane. Our fuel barges make direct deliveries to over 200 Western Alaska communities. Crowley proudly celebrates over 60 years of service to Alaska.

Crowley Marine Solutions 201 Arctic Slope Ave. Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-777-5505

Bruce Harland, VP

1892 1953

25 2

crowley.com Crowley Marine Solutions provides the oil and gas industry with expertise in offshore engineering, project management, ocean towing, module transportation, project logistics, port development, spill prevention and response services. Crowley Marine Solutions specializes in Arctic operations.

Cruz Marine 7000 E. Palmer-Wasilla Hwy. Palmer, AK 99645 Phone: 907-746-3144

Kevin Weiss, GM

1989 1989

22 22

Shallow draft marine support for heavy civil construction and resource development based in Cook Inlet with services extending to the western and arctic coast of Alaska. Eco friendly tugs and ramp barges that have double hull fuel tanks and hospital grade silencers.

Edison Chouest Offshore 301 Calista Ct. Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-562-2111

Gary Chouest, Pres./CEO

1960 2007

chouest.com Founded in Galliano, Louisiana in 1960, the Edison Chouest Offshore companies (ECO) are 9,000 recognized today as the most diverse and dynamic marine transportation solution provid75 ers in the world. ECO operates a growing fleet of over 200 vessels, serving an expanding global customer base.

Foss Maritime Company 188 W. Northern Lights Blvd., Suite 1020 Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-782-4950

John Parrott, Pres./CEO

1889 1922

Foss Maritime offers marine services without equal across the globe, in remote ports & in 1,600 extreme environments. Our experienced crews specialize in pioneering cargo transport 75 and project services using cutting edge technology, with a steadfast commitment to quality, safety & the environment.

Harley Marine Services 910 SW Spokane St. Seattle, WA 98134 Phone: 206-628-0051

Matthew Godden, SVP/COO

1987 1987

Crowley Fuels 201 Arctic Slope Ave. Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-777-5505

Advertise

206-209-4370

786 24

Harley Marine Services, Inc. is a leading provider of marine transportation services in the United States, providing the transportation and storage of petroleum products, ship assist and tanker escort, the transportation of general cargo and rescue towing.

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ALASKA June 2018 | Alaska Business

73

TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | DIRECTORY

COMPANY TOP EXECUTIVE


TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | DIRECTORY

COMPANY TOP EXECUTIVE

YEAR FOUNDED / ESTABLISHED IN ALASKA

WORLDWIDE / ALASKA EMPLOYEES

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

Lynden International 6441 S. Airpark Pl. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-243-6150

John Kaloper, Pres.

1980 1980

217 45

lynden.com/lint | information@lynden.com | LyndenInc LyndenInc | company/lynden-incorporated Domestic and international freight forwarding and customs services.

Lynden Logistics 6400 S. Airpark Pl. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-245-1544

Alex McKallor, Pres.

1984 1984

14 5

lynden.com/llog | information@lynden.com | LyndenInc LyndenInc | company/lynden-incorporated Arrangement of freight transportation, information management and logistical services.

Lynden Transport 3027 Rampart Dr. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-276-4800

Paul Grimaldi, Pres.

1954 1954

250 120

lynden.com/ltia | information@lynden.com | LyndenInc LyndenInc | company/lynden-incorporated Full-service, multi-modal freight transportation to, from and within Alaska.

Matson 1717 Tidewater Rd. Anchorage, AK 99501-1036 Phone: 907-274-2671

Kenny Gill, VP AK

1882 1964

North Star Terminal & Stevedore Co. 790 Ocean Dock Rd. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-263-0120

Jeff Bentz, Pres.

1950 1950

19 19

northstarak.com | sales@northstarak.com | nsts.nses Stevedore, Marine logistics, specializing in providing crane and equipment solutions. We have state of the art ABI Mobilram machines, for large diameter drilling, with vibratory and hammer attachments, built for driving pile. We are DOT approved for bridge foundation.

Olympic Tug and Barge 910 SW Spokane St. Seattle, WA 98134 Phone: 206-628-0051

Sven Christensen, GM

1987 1987

786 4

Olympic Tug & Barge is a subsidiary company of Harley Marine Services and provides petroleum transportation, rescue and general towing and energy support services.

Pacific Coast Maritime PO Box 920086 Dutch Harbor, AK 99692 Phone: 206-628-0051

Chris Iszler, Captain/Ops Mgr.

1975 1975

786 20

Pacific Coast Maritime, subsidiary of Harley Marine Services, operates out of Dutch Harbor, with a state of the art, 4,000 HP tractor tug and a 240’ x 60’ deck barge equipped with a Manitowoc 4100 Vicon Crane. Primary business functions include ship assist, general towing and deck cargo transport.

Pacific Environmental Corp. (PENCO) 6000 A St. Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-562-5420

Brent Porter, AK Area Mgr.

1985 1994

110 80

penco.org Pacific Environmental Corporation (PENCO) specializes in land and marine spill response, environmental cleanup and remediation, and marine vessel remediation. PENCO’s array of environmental services includes supplying teams of highly skilled spill response technicians for emergency response.

Petro Marine 1813 First Ave. Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-562-5000

Kurt Lindsey, Pres./CEO

1959 1959

250 250

petromarineservices.com | lexh@petro49.com Serving the unique petroleum needs of a broad range of Alaska industries, including fishing, home fuel sales, power generation, tourism, timber, transportation, construction, mining, and retail gasoline.

Resolve Marine Services Alaska 6231 Airpark Place Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-243-0069

Todd Duke, Mgr. AK Ops

1980 2013

750 50

resolvemarine.com | tduke@resolvemarine.com Marine salvage, emergency towing and vessel repair, commercial diving, oil spill response, charter aviation for passengers and cargo.

Sea Wide Express 3400 C Industry Dr. E. Fife, WA 98424 Phone: 253-279-4685

Phil Hinkle, GM

2015 2016

11 3

seawideexpress.com | quotes@seawideexpress.com | seawideexpress seawideexpress | company/seawide-express We specialize in surface transportation to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

SeaTac Marine 6701 Fox Ave. S. Seattle, WA 98108 Phone: 206-767-6000

Walter Seay, Pres.

2000 2000

10 1

seatacmarine.com | eric@seatacmarine.com Marine transportation, marine terminal bulk logistics, cargo operations and barge transportation.

Sourdough Express 600 Driveways St. Fairbanks, AK 99701 Phone: 907-452-1181

Jeff Gregory, Pres./CEO

1898 1902

145 145

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

Span Alaska Transportation 2040 E. 79th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 253-395-7726

Tom Souply, Pres.

1978 1978

210 125

spanalaska.com | billm@spanalaska.com Freight transportation services to and from Alaska, less-than-truckload and truckload. Steamship and barge service to Railbelt area of Alaska. Barge service to Juneau and Southeast Alaska. Overnight service from Anchorage to Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula.

TOTE Maritime Alaska 2511 Tidewater Rd. Anchorage, AK 99501-1044 Phone: 800-426-0074

Grace Greene, VP/AK GM

1975 1975

125 35

totemaritime.com | astella@totemaritime.com TOTE Maritime Alaska’s Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro/Ro) cargo ship operation provides fast, ontime service between the Port of Tacoma, Washington and the Port of Anchorage, Alaska.

Rich Wilson, Station Mgr.

1987 2011

TransGroup Global Logistics 5631 Silverado Way, #G-101 Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-243-4345

74

Matson.com | @MatsonInc 1,947 Containership cargo transportation service between Tacoma, WA, and Anchorage, Kodiak, 400 and Dutch Harbor. Delivery services to the Alaska Railbelt. Connecting carrier service to other water, air, and land carriers. Less-than-container-load freight consolidation and forwarding services.

transgroup.com | richw.anc@transgroup.com US owned full service freight forwarder and global logistics provider. We provide transpor3,000 tation, warehousing and specialized logistics solutions, coupled with software tailored to 4 meet the specific needs of each individual customers-for every link in your supply chain. Areas served: worldwide.

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


UIC Bowhead-Crowley 4025 Delridge Way SW, Suite 160 Seattle, DC 98106 Phone: 206-957-5300

YEAR FOUNDED / ESTABLISHED IN ALASKA

WORLDWIDE / ALASKA EMPLOYEES

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

Bruce Harland, VP Contract Services

2013 2013

4 2

Marine cargo transportation and logistics support, vessel operations, chartering, project management, ocean and coastal barge and lighterage services, terminal services, oilfield services and logistics.

Luther Bartholomew, GM

1995 1995

8 5

info@bowhead.com Qayaq Marine Transportation (QMT) is a UIC Marine Services (UICMS) wholly owned company, which in turn is a holding company owned by Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation (UIC). QMT operates specialized vessels and barges for shallow draft remote site lighterage operations in Western and Arctic Alaska.

Vigor Alaska 3801 Tongass Ave. Ketchikan, AK 99901 Phone: 907-228-5302

Yohl Howe, GM

1994 1994

Vitus Energy 113 W. Northern Lights Blvd., Suite 200 Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-278-6700

Mark Smith, CEO

2009 2009

Waste Management National Services 1519 Ship Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-274-0477

Mike Holzschuh, Sr. Territory Mgr.

Hazardous and nonhazardous waste disposal, project management, complete logistical 1971 ~43,000 oversight, complete US and Canadian manifesting, rail transportation, over-the-road 1971 7 transportation, marine transportation, and turnkey remedial services.

Western Towboat Co. 617 NW 40th St. Seattle, WA 98107 Phone: 206-789-9000

Bob Shrewsbury II, Pres.

1948 1958

150 15

westerntowboat.com | wtb@westerntowboat.com | westerntowboatco company/western-towboat-company Tug and barge operator based in Seattle serving all of Alaska and the Pacific coast with 23 tugs and 6 barges.

Wrangell Marine Service Center Box 531 Wrangell, AK 99929 Phone: 907-874-3736

Greg Meissner, Harbor Dir.

2005 2005

9 9

Wrangell Marine Service Center is a full service boat yard and storage area. It is comprised of a haul out dock and washdown area, three lifts (300 and 150 ton lifts, and 40 ton trailer), boat storage areas, self work areas, and contractor facilities. Services are provided by permitted vendors.

Elliot Garison, Ops Supervisor

yrc.com YRC Freight operations in Alaska, gives you an integrated solution for moving LTL and TL 1924 32,000 freight between key markets using just one carrier from beginning to end. In addition, YRC 1981 3 has comprehensive coverage throughout North America, including cross-border to and from Canada and Mexico.

UIC Qayaq Marine 8(a) 4025 Delridge Way SW, Suite 160 Seattle, WA 98106 Phone: 206-957-5260

YRC Freight 431 E. 104th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99515 Phone: 907-344-0099

vigor.net | VigorIndustrial | VigorIndustrial 2,300 With eight locations and approximately 2,300 workers Vigor is the leading provider of 260 shipbuilding, ship repair and conversion and complex industrial fabrication in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Vigor employs 220 Alaskans in the Ketchikan shipyard able to travel to the most remote locations. 70 70

vitus-energy.com | sales@vitusmarine.com Vitus Marine specializes in meeting the marine transportation and fuel distribution needs of Western Alaska maritime communities. Vitus currently provides fuel and freight delivery services across Western Alaska.

SEATAC MARINE SERVICES

MARINE TERMINAL ď Š BARGE TRANSPORTATION BULK LOGISTICS ď Š CARGO OPERATIONS 6701 Fox Avenue, South Seattle, WA 98108 Tel: 206-767-6000 Fax: 206-767-6015

email: susie@seatacmarine.com www.akbizmag.com

June 2018 | Alaska Business

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COMPANY TOP EXECUTIVE


Road-Stream Crossings Wildcards for Alaska’s transportation infrastructure and fish

Ash Adams

Stream simulation culvert in Tyonek.

P

By Katrina Liebich

utting a road across a stream in Alaska is a lot like going on an adventure. Survival of road and traveler alike hinges upon careful planning and weighing the risks.

Plan for the 1 Percent Rivers and streams are powerful and everchanging. They carry rocks and logs and heavy loads of silt and debris. They flood. They carve out canyons. And when they encounter a road crossing not custom-built to their unique characteristics, they find a way around it. To avoid floods that overwhelm roads, it’s necessary to design crossings that give rivers and streams room to be their dynamic selves — from their variable flows down to their moving streambeds. Case in point: in September 2012 a weeklong storm generated severe flooding that overwhelmed the Matanuska-Susitna Borough’s road system. Willow Creek rose three feet and swelled to roughly ten times the volume it carried the previous week. Montana Creek ate away at Yoder Road and commandeered 76

Christy Cincotta | Tyonek Tribal Conservation District

SPECIAL SECTION

Transportation

This site in Tyonek experienced washouts on an almost yearly basis. After this 3-foot diameter culvert washed out in spring of 2012, it was finally replaced with an 8-foot embedded culvert and hasn’t washed out since.

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


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TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | FISH-FRIENDLY

US Fish and Wildlife Service

Stream simulation culvert on Colter Creek.

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Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


or for those operating or traveling through flood-prone areas.

Pay Now or Pay Later Many have seen it, especially in the harderto-access areas of remote Alaska: the culvert graveyard. They tend to be similar, often including some mangled 12-inch diameter pipes, a couple 18-inchers, maybe a 4-footer. Sometimes they’re still buried, filled with debris, unearthed only when the excavator comes in to make way for a new pipe. Damaged or blown-out culverts often result from a failure to provide sufficient space for a stream to carry flood flows, sediment (from silt to large boulders), and debris. An undersized culvert can quickly become overwhelmed as the volume of water increases and cannot physically drain through it fast enough. The situation

Stream simulation culverts benefit all fish species, including weaker swimmers like juvenile Arctic Grayling. US Fish and Wildlife Service

A stream’s natural bed can include boulders, cobble, gravel, sand, or silt. It moves. It creates roughness that breaks up the flow. Water moves much slower here than just a few inches higher in the stream’s main flow and this is where small fish (like these trout and salmon) like to be. Ideally these same conditions exist within the culvert itself. US Fish and Wildlife Service

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June 2018 | Alaska Business

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its roadbed. Oil Well Road, West Kenny Boulevard, Burrows Road, and others washed out. People were stranded. The governor declared a federal disaster and FEMA stepped in. Each year, there is a 1 percent chance that a flood of this magnitude (the so-called “100year” flood) will occur. It’s a common mistake to think a 100-year flood will only happen once every century. Although statistically unlikely, it is possible that it will occur many years in a row or many times in a decade. In fact, Southcentral Alaska has seen multiple flood events of this magnitude in the past twenty years that caused localized and widespread road failures on the Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak Island, and the Mat-Su. Planning for the 1 percent should be a major consideration for those businesses that need to reliably transport goods over land


US Fish and Wildlife Service

TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | FISH-FRIENDLY

worsens when the culvert inlet becomes clogged with trees or other debris that have become dislodged and carried downstream. As the water backs up, a reservoir forms upstream and puts pressure on the road. Roads are not designed to be dams and can be overtopped and washed away under the strain of floodwaters. Even if the road or culverts are not washed away, they are often damaged and can pose a hazard to drivers. Let’s consider the other end of the culvert spectrum where structures placed at roadstream intersections are designed to retain the characteristics of the natural channel under the road. This can be achieved using a technique called “stream simulation” (first developed by the US Forest Service). Unlike traditional designs that focus solely on moving water under a road, stream simulation design considers the movement of water, sediment, and debris and also maintains natural conditions for normal fish movement. Bill Rice, a fish passage engineer with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, remembers one project at North Sitze Road at Colter Creek in Mat-Su: “A year after construction I noticed a twenty-foot log in the middle of the ten-foot wide pipe sitting on the streambed. That fall it was gone, moved downstream. If the previous five-foot pipe had still been there, Borough maintenance would have likely had to come out and remove it.” So where on this spectrum of upfront investment versus back-end cost is best for business? Looking at the performance of different culvert designs during flood events provides insight. Prior to the 2012 floods, the Mat-Su Borough had already been working with partners to install wider, embedded stream simulation culverts (at eighty-one road-stream crossings,

The US Fish and Wildlife Service’s stream simulation design approach for Alaska. The goal of this type of crossing is to recreate the natural stream channel (top) through the road crossing (bottom). An engineered streambed mimics what’s in the reference reach and the crossing accommodates natural movement of floods, fish, and debris.

to be exact) for another reason: salmon. All stream simulation design culverts held fast during the 2012 flood event, while culverts previously installed under lesser design standards did not fare so well. Vermont had a similar outcome in 2011 following Tropical Storm Irene. Where nearly 1,000 traditional culverts were damaged or destroyed, stream simulation culverts in the

Green Mountain National Forest that had been upgraded to improve fish passage for Brook Trout and reduce risk for debris plugging and failure during large storm events incurred no maintenance or replacement costs. It turns out that designing culverts to accommodate natural stream processes is good for the bottom line, and as of the fall of 2017, 108 crossings in Alaska featured stream simu-

Evolution of a roadstream crossing in Mat-Su’s Susitna River drainage from toosmall/now defunct culverts to a channel spanning bridge. Alaska Department of Fish and Game

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Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Conditions

Jump

excessive distance between the culvert outlet and water surface or excessive jump height to pool depth ratios

Velocity

constricted and/or high flows or lack of roughness through the crossing

Depth

insufficient water depth in the crossing or subsurface flows in the vicinity of the crossing

Turbulence

excessive aeration at the culvert outlet

Behavioral

inadequate/excessive attraction flows at the culvert outlet/inlet or lack of light

These are the types of barriers resident or anadromous fish that spend all or part of their life cycle in freshwater tend to encounter at roads.

lation culverts. Evolving design standards and engineering techniques are demonstrating that it is possible to improve flood resilience, decrease maintenance costs, and extend the lifespan of a culvert, all while concurrently providing increased benefits to fish, people, and industries that depend on stable infrastructure. Communities in Alaska are beginning to recognize the multiple benefits of upfront investments in flood/fish-friendly designs. This is corroborated by the Mat-Su and Kenai Peninsula Boroughs and Municipality of Anchorage adopting proactive, preventative ordinances that include fish-friendly standards and designing new crossings to accommodate at least the 100-year flood. Jim Jenson, the operations and maintenance manager for the Mat-Su Borough, has been responsible for the maintenance of roads, facilities, utilities, and vehicles since 2009 and has experienced the cost saving benefits of stream simulation design culverts first hand. “The 2012 flood cost us millions of dollars in road damages where we still had low capacity culverts. Now when we put crossings in we make them bigger and put rocks in them for the fish. A big benefit is they pass the floods.” Per Borough code, culverts on “anadromous” streams where migratory species like salmon are present must meet fish passage criteria and pass a 100-year flood event. The Native Village of Tyonek is another Southcentral community that’s had enough with their roads blowing out and impeding access to their lands for both people and fish. It shares in common with Mat-Su and the western Kenai Peninsula a large land base with extensive intersections of salmon streams and roads but is only accessible by air or barge, so infrastructure installation and repair costs are www.akbizmag.com

TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | FISH-FRIENDLY

Type of Barrier

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TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | FISH-FRIENDLY

Examples of inadequate culverts in Alaska. Alaska Department of Fish and Game

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Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | FISH-FRIENDLY

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To us, you’re much more than numbers on a piece of paper. higher, making each decision more important. A number of Tyonek’s road-stream crossings are located on “flashy” river systems that rise and fall quickly during or after storms and have a history of being replaced every year; also, more than thirty of these crossings are impassible to juvenile fish. Tyonek has worked with partners to install five stream simulation culverts on their road system since 2012 and removed several undersized traditional culverts where roads have been decommissioned. And more upgrades are planned. “The reason we really like these projects is they’re a win-win. Developers need to be able to get places on the roads out there, and if they’re washed out, projects can get delayed. www.akbizmag.com

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TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | FISH-FRIENDLY

In 2012 and 2013 the only roads that didn’t wash out had been replaced with fish-friendly culverts. Everyone’s on board,” says Christy Cincotta, Tyonek Tribal Conservation District executive director. Despite costing more upfront, the stream simulation approach is proving to increase infrastructure durability and lower (and sometimes even eliminate) costly maintenance. What’s more, the return on higher upfront investments in stream simulation crossings may become even more pronounced in the future. Published in 2016, “Climate Change Damages to Alaska Public Infrastructure and the Economics of Proactive Adaptation” by Melvin et al. predicts that climate changerelated expenses to Alaska’s public road, building, airport, rail, and pipeline infra-

structure will increase through the end of this century. The largest total damages they predicted involved roads, with 75 percent of road damages caused by flooding. Proactive measures such as planning and building higher capacity road drainage systems could reduce predicted flood damage by an order of magnitude and result in a significant reduction in the cost to maintain Alaska’s road network.

Life-time Costs Let’s break down these costs over the life of a crossing.  Design: The engineering design cost for all stream crossings depends on project complexity. Added nominal costs for stream simulation designs can include more extensive

stream assessments and streambed stability analyses, contrasted to the conventional hydraulically-based designs. One area in which Alaska is lacking design information compared to other states is in its long-term and widespread hydrological data that can help predict the magnitude and frequency of flows. Specifically, the state needs more and better stream gage data. Gages are instruments placed on a river or stream that measure the volume of water flowing past a given point over a period of time (discharge). A stream’s width and depth varies day-to-day with how much water it’s carrying, so gages provide great insight into the stream’s range of flows. Gage data that captures extreme flood events is useful to properly design culverts. Without local gage data, hydrologists must rely on regression equations that use regional weather statistics and the type of land cover to predict flows in a stream. These estimates have wide margins of error and have profound effects on the stability of culverts and their ability to pass water and fish. Stream simulation provides the antidote to this unpredictability by looking to the form and function of streams and their interaction with the adjacent landscape. By using fluvial geomorphology principles, it’s possible to use channel shape and substrate characteristics to add a higher level of confidence to the flow predictions. In Alaska, engineers designing fish passage culverts are doing just that and ending up with culverts that will pass the 100-year flood flows without failing.  Installation/Construction: Stream-simulation culvert installation in Alaska requires several extra steps including a deeper excavation compared to traditional culverts and adding a nature-like streambed and streambanks within the culvert to make a seamless transition between the simulated and natural channels. The highest cost tends to be the larger capacity culvert itself with additional costs for the deeper excavation and equipment/labor to move the streambed and streambank materials to site and into the crossing structure. To do it right the first time in Alaska, it typically costs around 5 percent to 20 percent more to install a stream simulation versus a traditional round culvert, but the longterm savings can far exceed these costs. In a published study highlighting culvert designs in Vermont titled “Flood Effects on RoadStream Crossing Infrastructure: Economic and Ecological Benefits of Stream Simulation Designs” by Gillespie et al., similar cost comparisons for traditional and stream simulation designs found the latter increased construction costs between 9 percent and 22 percent but were shown to be more economical when compared to costs exceeding more than four times that for repairs after Tropical Storm Irene.  Operation, Maintenance, Flood Damage: Road-stream crossings are a long-term infrastructure liability. Mobilizing heavy equipment and materials to conduct routine or emergency repairs is costly and can directly impact drivers (delays and safety). Other maintenance factors to consider include beavers, which tend to be attracted to constrictions at too-small crossings, and debris clogs. This is where stream simulation culverts outperform other designs; operation and

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Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


Other Key Considerations Given their expense and long-term liability, it’s worthwhile to consider if crossings can be avoided completely, and if not where along the continuum of the stream or river they’re least likely to fail. Developers in Mat-Su are now finding ways to plan their developments to minimize the number of crossings or avoid them altogether to save costs. If a crossing is unavoidable, crossing a stream higher in its watershed is generally better because it’s usually more entrenched, meaning less floodplain and less volume of flowing water. Costs to Alaska’s Fisheries Externalities that aren’t reflected in the initial price tag are potential impacts to subsistence ways of living that depend on healthy fish populations and the cost to Alaska’s multi-billion dollar commercial and sport fishing industries. Since 2001, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has assessed 3,099 crossings on state and local roads and roughly 40 percent are considered partial or full barriers to weak-swimming fish such as juvenile salmon and Arctic Grayling. On federal roads maintained by the US Forest Service Tongass National Forest, there are similar patterns with 2,019 fish stream crossings, of which 34 percent have documented passage concerns. According to Gillian O’Doherty, a habitat biologist with ADF&G, “We’ve assessed over 90 percent of culverts in the state for impacts to fish passage. We also look at the condition and age of structures and collect data to help develop initial cost estimates for replacement. That data is publicly available in ADF&G’s interactive online mapper. The initial investment in assessment and ongoing prioritization efforts means we can be strategic and work over large areas and time frames to restore fish passage in an organized and cost-effective manner.” Alaska can be a pretty harsh place for fish to eke out a living. Fish need to constantly move to access feeding areas, ice-free areas for overwintering, and cooler areas during the summer. They also need to be able to quickly find refuge during seasonally high and low flows and temperatures. Some species move short distances, but many Alaska species are migratory and need to swim long distances to complete their life cycle. It’s generally known that salmon return from the sea to spawn, a behavior called anadromy, but few people know that there are twenty anadromous species of fish in Alaska ranging from lamprey to whitefish. Even species that spend their whole lives in freshwater may complete long migrations. Migration maximizes growth and reproductive potential, but it can quickly become a disadvantage when barriers, such as culverts, delay or prevent movement and migration among key habitats. This has happened in the Northeast United States and Pacific Northwest where roads rank second only to main stem dams as the most significant impediment to salmon recovery, according to Perrin and Jhaveri. Decades-long research by the University www.akbizmag.com

of Washington in the Bristol Bay region has shown that the stability of salmon fisheries hinges on the availability of a wide array of intact freshwater habitats, as published in “Population Diversity and the Portfolio Effect in an Exploited Species” by Schindler et al. Analogous to asset diversity on the stability of financial portfolios, access to diverse habitats throughout the year, and from year to year, gives fish populations the flexibility and resiliency they need to thrive over the long term. With roads and fish, Alaska can have its cake and eat it too. Design approaches that maximize the life and safety of transportation networks (new and existing) and the sustainability of Alaska’s fisheries are being adopted and are establishing a track record of success.

Learn More The ADF&G Fish Passage Improvement Program and USFWS Fish Passage Program jointly offer free training workshops to practitioners including engineers, resource managers, road owners, and permitting staff. For specific information on topics including fisheries biology, regulatory questions, design methods, Alaska hydrology, and construction techniques, contact the nearest agency office in your area.  R

Katrina Liebich is Fisheries Outreach Coordinator for the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska.

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TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | FISH-FRIENDLY

maintenance needs are often minimal, resulting in long-term cost savings, according to Perrin and Jhaveri’s “The Economic Costs of Culvert Failures” report published in 2004.


SPECIAL SECTION

Transportation

Pristine Waters

Jeremy Talbott

Valdez Small Boat Harbor, summer 2017.

Environmental initiatives for Alaska’s shores, ports, and vessels By O’Hara Shipe

W

ith roughly 6,640 miles of ocean coastline, Alaskans enjoy the economic benefits of its many marine-based industries such as commercial fishing and tourism. According to the September 2017 report “The Economic Value of Alaska’s Seafood Industry” compiled by the McDowell Group, approximately 56,800 workers are directly employed by Alaska’s seafood industry which accounted for $5.2 billion dollars of economic output in 2016. Of those employed, roughly 36,800 are full-time equivalent and 26,800 are Alaska residents. Additionally, the seafood processing sector includes an astonishing 169 shore-based plants, 73 catcher processors, and more than

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a dozen floating processors across Alaska’s fifty-eight ports. With regard to marine tourism, the impact of cruise ships and ferries is evident by the sheer volume of tourists traveling to Alaska via its waterways. In 2014–2015, nearly 1 million visitors made their way to the Last Frontier on large cruise ships and an additional 90,000 took advantage of the ferry system. A major piece of Alaska’s marine transportation picture is the Alaska Marine Highway System, which serves thirty-three Alaska communities from Metlakatla to the Aleutian chain with their eleven vessel fleet. In 2014, the Alaska Marine Highway System reported $273 million in total economic impact after toting 319,000 passengers, 108,000 vehicles, and almost 4,000 container vans. With a bustling marine industry, maintaining the safety and cleanliness of Alaska’s waterways is tantamount to continued success. This ongoing effort in the Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, Bering Sea, and Gulf of Alaska is a tremendous task that requires the statewide cooperation of dedicated individuals and a whole host of programs and initiatives.

Valdez Harbor In early 2017, Washington state native Jeremy Talbott assumed the helm as Valdez Ports and Harbor director after serving as the harbormaster for three years under former director Diane Kinney. Talbott, who came to Valdez with ten years of experience as the assistant harbormaster at Friday Harbor in Washington, brought with him a passion for marine safety and cleanliness education. “My staff and myself take the 24-hour HAZWOPER [Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response] class, which is an operational-level class, and then our seasonal staff will take an eight-hour awareness-level class,” says Talbott. HAZWOPER classes are operated through OSHA and cover a variety of topics including hazardous materials recognition, decontamination, hazardous waste sampling methods, and spill management and containment. Although the certifications Talbott and his team receive do not allow them to perform high level decontamination, they do give them the ability to spot a problem early. “If there was a problem, we could immediately address it until the owners of the vessel

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


Jeremy Talbott

could get there and take over or contract out for help. The big thing is that we don’t wait. Sometimes when we get a sheen in the harbor we use our UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] to locate the fuel spill and we can pretty much figure out exactly which vessel it is,” says Talbott. With a 511-slip harbor that frequently operates at 150 percent over capacity, as well as a commercial port to oversee, early detection is crucial. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, which is why Talbott is excited to welcome a new addition to Valdez—a state-of-the-art upland facility and harbor basin. According to Talbott, the extension will add another 140 commercial slips to the harbor which will aid with the overcrowding. But the crown jewel of the project is the upland facility that will be home to a bilge water treatment facility. As Valdez’s aging fleet continues to take on wear and tear, the need for an onsite bilge water processing facility is

becoming ever more important. “The new harbor is going to be sort of the tip of the sword when it comes to marine environmental stewardship,” says Talbott. “We will have a bilge water treatment facility onsite that will process 10,000 gallons of bilge water a day. So a vessel will be able to pull up and clean out their engine compartment completely and have it a vacuumed right out of their bilge into our treatment facility. “They’ll also be able to take on water, recycle their oil, and take on supplies and fuel and get back out on fishing grounds that much faster.” With very few points of reference for handling bilge water, the city of Valdez hasn’t yet determined where their water will go after being treated, but it is likely that it will get recycled by the sewer department. The facilities aren’t the only thing Talbott is looking forward to. In June 2018, Valdez will receive its first Clean Harbor Certification. Talbott takes great effort to ensure that his aquatic

domain follows best management practices, so receiving an official Clean Harbor Flag is something he is particularly proud of. “It just tells everybody—all the harbor users—that we care about the environment and not only do we say it, we do it. But really, it’s not about the certification. We have salmon in our harbor—they spawn on the side of the walls of our harbor so we are pretty cautious about trying to keep as many pollutants out of the water as we can because it’s just the right thing to do,” Talbott says.

Cruise Ships The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Water Cruise Ship Program was established in 2001 in response to concerns about sewage and air emissions from large cruise ships. Gradually, the program expanded to cover smaller cruise ships and wastewater sampling, but the program was drastically revamped by Ballot Measure 2

“What the [Ocean Rangers] do is ride on the cruise ships, and then, for example in Juneau, they might get off one ship and immediately board another either for an import inspection or to travel part of the voyage… During the summer season, they will do something like 1,500 observations and daily reports. So if you look at the number of days that cruise ships are in Alaska, 60 percent of the time there will be a Ranger on board.”

—Ed White Cruise Ship Program Director, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

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June 2018 | Alaska Business

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TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | ENVIRONMENTAL

Hotel Hill overlooking the new commercial boat harbor in Valdez on July 12, 2017.


Jeremy Talbott

in 2006. Known as the Alaska Cruise Ship Tax Initiative, Measure 2 included provisions that would impose a $46 per person, per voyage tax on large cruise ships as well as a $4 per passenger fee to employ state-employed marine engineers. Department of Environmental Conservation marine engineers, or Ocean Rangers as they are more commonly called, are responsible for monitoring cruise ship wastewater treatment systems as well as safety sanitation both while the ships are docked and at sail in Alaska waters. According to Cruise Ship Program Director Ed White, Alaska is the only state that actively puts environmental vanguards physically on the vessels to monitor environmental compliance issues in real time. Although White’s seventeen Rangers are based in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway, one is more likely to see them on the water than dry land. “What the [Ocean Rangers] do is ride on the cruise ships, and then, for example in Juneau, they might get off one ship and immediately board another either for an import inspection or to travel part of the voyage… During the summer season, they will do something like 1,500 observations and daily reports. So if you look at the number of days that cruise ships are in Alaska, 60 percent of the time there will be a Ranger on board,” explains White. Despite their reach, the Rangers do not have the legal power to write citations for environmental violations. As White puts it, 88

Jeremy Talbott

TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | ENVIRONMENTAL

Fish cleaning station at the Valdez Small Boat Harbor.

John Thomas Kelsey Municipal Dock as of May 2016.

their main focus is on reporting violations to either the State of Alaska or the US Coast Guard. “Many issues [the Rangers] find are minor or are safety violations that are more of interest to the Coast Guard because the state doesn’t regulate the safety on cruise ships. But we are required to share all of our reports with the Coast Guard and other federal agencies, so if they do find something, often it gets corrected immediately,” says White.

TOTE Maritime Cruise ships and Alaska harbors are not the only entities working toward a cleaner marine

environment. In 2015, TOTE Maritime announced its intention to produce the world’s first natural-gas powered containerships. The original Marlin-class vessels were constructed at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego and operated between Jacksonville, Florida, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. In the last three years, TOTE Maritime’s vessels have successfully transferred more than 18 million gallons of LNG (liquefied natural gas) through their patented truck-to-ship bunkering process. Now in their second phase of operations, TOTE Maritime’s Alaska partner has completed the first of four planned conversion periods

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


Jeremy Talbott

that will enable their Orca-class vessels to use LNG as fuel. The transition to cleaner burning fuels means a drastic reduction in air emissions, virtually eradicating sulfur oxides and limiting both nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide. During the winter months over the next four years, TOTE Maritime Alaska plans

to finalize its transition to an all LNG fleet. “We are excited to be the first shipping company in the United States to undertake this important environmental effort. And we are appreciative of our customers and partners who support our ongoing effort to innovate in ways that reflect our commitment to

the environment and communities we serve,” said President of TOTE Maritime Alaska Mike Noone in a February release. R O’Hara Shipe is a freelance writer in Anchorage.

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June 2018 | Alaska Business

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TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | ENVIRONMENTAL

The cruise ship Europa at the John Thomas Kelsey Municipal Dock in May 2017.


OIL & GAS

Vessel Response Protocols Escort tugs critical to oil spill prevention

B

By Isaac Stone Simonelli

ecause of the state’s fierce weather and remote areas, multilayer systems are integrated into comprehensive vessel response protocols for tankers and nontankers operating in Alaska’s waters, ensuring the health of both the environment and the state’s economy.

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“There are fifteen elements of a vessel response plan that the Coast Guard [USCG] evaluates. One of those is salvaging... If they ground or drift—drifting without power— they activate this plan and all of these things kind of fall in place,” explains Matt Melton, the general manager of oil spill removal organization Alaska Chadux Corporation. The response resource categories USCG evaluates include qualified individuals (shore-based representatives who can activate or contract response resources among other responsibilities), spill management team,

aerial tracking, logistical support, sustainment, on-water recovery AMPD (average most probable discharge), on-water recovery MMPD (maximum most probable discharge), on-water recovery WCD (worst case discharge), shoreline protection, shoreline cleanup, dispersants, salvage assess and survey, salvage stabilization, salvage special ops, and marine firefighting. Federal response planning standards for oil spill response are designed around two main factors: equipment and time. However, when National Planning criteria may be inappropriate for where a vessel intends

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


to operate, the owner/operator may request acceptance of alternative planning criteria. “Chadux has enough equipment, but the problem is that we don’t have enough time to meet the planning standards because of the size and remote locations in Western Alaska. For a non-tank vessel, carrying non-persistent product for fuel, they can run aground… and within twenty-four hours we’re supposed to have, in most cases, 30,000 feet of boom, 12,500 EDRC [effective daily recovery capacity]—those are your skimmers… and then 25,000 barrel temporary storage. “The problem in Alaska is you don’t have twenty-four hours; sometimes you need more time because of weather and distance. There are areas that are to be avoided, and there all these things that are part of the alternative plan that are risk mitigation measures, prevention measures, vessel tracking—all these things that happen as you’re trying to administratively reduce the frequency of responses, because it’s going to take us time to get there.”

‘Prevention Is Primary’ In addition to federal and state regulations, there are also geographic specific appendices. One of those is Western Alaska, in which an operator must have specific endorsement. In the Pollution Act of 1990, Prince William Sound has its own designation with specific requirements and regulations that go above and beyond other state and federal regulations. The Great Lakes is another area with a special planning standard.

Crowley Alaska Tankers completes the acquisition of three tankers from SeaRiver Maritime Inc., renaming SR American Progress as Oregon. Crowley Alaska Tankers

“If we’re looking at Prince William Sound and it’s a Polar Tanker or Crowley, which owns a couple of the SeaRiver tankers, they’re going to have a plan for coming in and out of Prince William Sound that falls under the Alyeska SERVS [ship escort/response vessel system] plan,” Melton says. Though many of these regulations detail what must be in the theatre in case there is a leak or spill, prevention continues to be the highest priority for all involved. “Prevention is primary: First, we established the Road to Zero—a goal of doing zero harm to people, property, or the environment. We give every employee the ability to stop work if they saw anything they perceived to be unsafe,” says Crowley Vice President Paul Manzi, who leads Crowley Alaska Tankers, a

“The current fleet of five tankers were designed with two separate engine rooms, two propellers, and two rudders to provide extra layers of redundancy beyond regulatory requirements. The space between the inner and outer hulls of our double hull tankers are twice the width required by regulation. The vessels were designed specifically for the transport of Alaskan crude oil in partnership with some of the world’s leading naval architecture and marine engineering firms.”

—Daren Beaudo Director of Media Relations and Crisis Communications ConocoPhillips

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Crowley Alaska Tankers

“A vessel that becomes disabled and adrift can pose a serious risk for an oil spill if it drifts to shore. Being able to dispatch a tug vessel to render assistance to the distressed vessel and then take it in tow before it runs aground prevents a potential catastrophic oil spill incident.”

—Buddy Custard President and CEO Alaska Maritime Prevention & Response Network

Crowley Alaska Tankers completes the acquisition of three tankers from SeaRiver Maritime Inc., renaming Liberty Bay as Washington.

Crowley subsidiary that operates tankers in Alaska waters. “We introduced rigorous navigational assessments via simulator training and testing for all vessel operators. We provided additional safety training and a whole host of other briefings and safeguards. The program has been so successful in reducing injuries and incidents that the Secretary of the Navy is now consulting with Crowley to try to help him deal with recent deadly naval ship collisions. When you combine all the safety measures that have been put in place with the fact that highly regulated tanker transit routes keep vessels a comfortable distance from navigational hazards, we are very confident in our ability to safeguard the environment.” In April, Crowley Alaska Tankers announced the acquisition of three tankers from SeaRiver Maritime. Tankers Washington (previously Liberty Bay) and California (previously Eagle Bay) each have a capacity of 760,000 barrels

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and transport crude oil from Alaska to West Coast refineries. The tanker Oregon (previously American Progress) has a capacity of 342,000 barrels and transports refined petroleum between the US Gulf and East Coast ports. Crowley operates and manages the largest US-flag petroleum and chemical tank vessel fleet in the country. With the acquisition of these three tankers, the company now operates forty Jones Act-qualified large petroleum transportation vessels in the United States. “With the regulatory approvals in place and the sale officially complete, we are now focused on operating these tankers in the safest, most reliable manner possible,” said Tom Crowley, chairman and CEO of Crowley Maritime Corporation in a press release about the acquisition. Regulatory approvals are required for oil spill prevention and response plans. Additionally, all vessels are required to have a state and federally approved oil spill contingency plan.

The process includes involvement from not only regulators and vessel owners but also from contractors providing oil spill response services, including Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. Crowley is currently conducting extensive training as part of a handover to Louisianabased Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) as ECO prepares to take over a contract with Alyeska; the pipeline operator decided to move forward with ECO and its brand new fleet of fourteen custom ships. The new fleet— comprising four general purpose tugs; five escort tugs; one utility tug (already in the ECO fleet); and four oil spill response barges—is expected to fully take charge by late summer. “Alyeska and Edison Chouest Offshore have developed a rigorous training program for incoming masters, which includes classroom and simulator training, observing Crowley operations, and performing several exercises and demonstrations onsite once they arrive.

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


In their first month in Valdez, they performed more than forty-five tether and towing exercises between six captains,” Alyeska’s Valdez Communications Manager Kate Dugan says.

Crowley Alaska Tankers completes the acquisition of three tankers from SeaRiver Maritime Inc., renaming Eagle Bay as California.

Escort Tugs Critical to Oil Spill Prevention “A vessel that becomes disabled and adrift can pose a serious risk for an oil spill if it drifts to shore,” says Buddy Custard, president and CEO of Alaska Maritime Prevention & Response Network, a nonprofit and member of Chadux that is focused on reducing the risk of marine casualties and oil spills. “Being able to dispatch a tug vessel to render assistance to the distressed vessel and then take it in tow before it runs aground prevents a potential catastrophic oil spill incident.” In July, the M/V Laura Maersk became disabled and adrift in Unimak Pass. However, because of early detection of the situation by the Network monitoring center, USCG was able to work with the vessel owner/ operator in dispatching a couple of tug vessels that were located in Dutch Harbor. They rendered assistance by placing the vessel in tow before the ship ran aground, preventing more than 2 million gallons of oil from being spilled into the environment, Custard says. “We believe there are three critical components of an effective oil spill risk mitigation and response strategy—information, time, and capabilities. Timely and accurate information is essential to confirm compliance with safe routing measures we established and detect potential incidents,” Custard says. “Early detection of a marine casualty or distress is critical in minimizing the loss of life, the consequences of an oil spill, and the loss of a vessel and its cargo.” The Network was created by Alaskans working in the maritime industry who shared a common goal of reducing the risk of oil spills while meeting federal vessel response plan compliance requirements. The Network provides regulatory compliance for non-tank vessels operating in Western Alaska. It funds a 24/7 monitoring center to track and monitor vessels, which is operated by the Marine Exchange of Alaska, Custard says. “We also have teaming agreements with tug companies and salvage and marine firefighting providers, as well as qualified individuals,” Custard adds. Recognizing the essential role tugs play in safeguarding tankers and the environment, every laden tanker transiting Prince William Sound is accompanied by two tugs until the tanker reaches the Gulf of Alaska. “They can quickly take action if a problem were to occur with the tanker, and one tug is tethered to a tanker for rapid response where tankers are particularly close to shore. The new tugs feature increased horsepower, modern winches, and technology that improves the system from today,” Dugan says.

Crowley Alaska Tankers

Tug Capabilities Tugs designed as tanker escorts operating in Prince William Sound have firefighting, emergency, and oil spill response capabilities. “Along with Alyeska, Crowley has been the guardian of Prince William Sound for the www.akbizmag.com

past forty years, and there is nothing more important to Crowley than the continued flawless operation of these tankers as environmental stewards,” Manzi says. Also operating out of Valdez is Polar Tank-

ers, owned by ConocoPhillips. “The current fleet of five tankers were designed with two separate engine rooms, two propellers, and two rudders to provide extra layers of redundancy beyond regulatory

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requirements. The space between the inner and outer hulls of our double hull tankers are twice the width required by regulation,” says Daren Beaudo, ConocoPhillips’ director of media relations and crisis communications, noting that ConocoPhillips itself does not operate any vessels in Alaska waters. “The vessels were designed specifically for the transport of Alaskan crude oil in partnership with some of the world’s leading naval architecture and marine engineering firms.” The tankers are part of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System trade, loading crude oil in the Port of Valdez and most often delivering to terminals within Puget Sound, Washington; San Francisco and Los Angeles/Long Beach, California; and Hawaii. Spill response equipment and training programs in Alaska are designed specifically to operate up to the maximum weather conditions outlined in the contingency plan, Beaudo explains. Larger response vessels, such as tugs and barges, are built specifically for Alaska waters with crews trained to safely operate in a wide range of conditions. Nonetheless, USCG occasionally closes the entrance/exit to Prince William Sound due to severe weather conditions. “While our tankers are designed to operate in far worse conditions, tugs and other support vessels needed during a response could have a more difficult time safely maneuvering around the tanker in certain conditions. As a precaution, tanker traffic is restricted during these specific times,” Beaudo says.

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Weathering Alaska’s Weather Everyone operating in Alaska, from oil spill response organizations to marine shipping companies, understands the unique and difficult challenges the state’s weather presents. “Most of the vessels and personnel on the water during drill or spill are Alaskan fishing vessels and fisherman who deal with Alaska’s weather every day. The larger response vessels such as tugs and barges are built specifically for Alaskan waters with crews who are trained to safely operate in a wide range of conditions,” Beaudo says. Dugan points out that, because weather can have such an adverse effect on responses, there is heavy investment in preventative measures. “Wind and waves can slow vessel speeds and impact recovery operations, so crews are trained and equipped to respond in the various conditions found in Prince William Sound and can adjust tactics if necessary. Fog or darkness, for example, may hinder helicopter overflights of a spill, so the new tugs have onboard FLIR [forward looking infrared] cameras that can work in hours of darkness and oil detection radar, which isn’t as impacted by weather,” Dugan says. “We can have all the response equipment in the world, but we never want to have to use it. We want to prevent an oil spill.” Since the rollback of an export ban in 2016 on crude oil from the United States, including restrictions for Alaska crude oil (which was one of the few domestic varieties exempt from the ban), there has been a small increase in tankers using the Valdez Port.

“Prevention is primary: first, we established the Road to Zero—a goal of doing zero harm to people, property, or the environment. We give every employee the ability to stop work if they see anything they perceived to be unsafe.”

—Paul Manzi, Vice President, Crowley

“The federal export ban was lifted recently and we’ve seen two or three new tankers in the system since then,” Dugan says. Prior to the rollback, exporters were required under the Jones Act to use vessels from a small fleet of US-flagged tankers. However, changes in the restrictions now allow outside markets, such as the Asian market, to book sales on foreign-flagged tankers. Of course, these foreign-flagged tankers are still required to abide by the stringent rules and regulations that ensure the safety of Alaska’s environment. R

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

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


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


MINING

Elements of Mining Active APMAs in Mining Year 2017

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North Slope hen people in the Lower 48—and Western even plenty of those! here in the ! . Southcentral ! . . ! . ! . ! . ! . Southeast ! Last Frontier—think ! about . ! . .min.! Interior ! .With ing in Alaska, they think gold.! the state ! . ! ! . . ! .! ! . . . ! . ! . ! . ! . ! . producing 14 percent of the nation’s gold in ! . ! . ! . 2014, they think gold for a good reason. From . . ! ! . .! the Southeast to the Interior, mining opera- ! ! . ! . ! . ! ! . .! . ! . .! ! . ! .! ! . tions and continued exploration efforts, both .!.! ! .! ! . ! . ! . ! ! . . . . ! . ! . ! . ! ! . ! .!. . ! .! . large and small, reveal glimmering prospects ! . ! . ! . ! . for those hunting the precious metal. ! . . ! . ! .! ! ..! ! ! .! . . . .. ! . !! ! .! However, the vast geological diversity in . ! ! ! . ! . ! . . ! . the state provides numerous mineral oppor! . ! . ! . ! . . tunities beyond gold, many of which are ! ei! . ! . ! ! . ! . ther already being tapped by active mines . or ! . ! . .! ! ! ! .! . . ! . . ! . ! . in exploration stages. Perhaps the most stra! . ! . 0 140 70 140 280 420 560 ! . tegic mining developments revolve ! around 1:10,000,000 . Miles Date: 4/11/2018 rare earth elements (REEs), which ! . can be found in everything from TVs and camera This map highlights all of the active APMAs (Applications for Permits to Mine in Alaska) that the lenses to cancer treatment drugs and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Mining, Land, and Water received for the 2017 ! . technology that makes it possible to harvest Mining Season. energy from renewable sources. “So we just turned the rig, drilling a shal“Nationally, identification of areas with the life of the property. I see our Arctic Heap critical-mineral potential is important for Leach as a testament to our commitment to lower hole coming across,” Pogo Exploration ensuring secure domestic supplies ! of REEs innovation as a company. My thanks goes out Superintendent Gabe Graf told a crowd at the . and other elements critical for technologito the many folks, throughout the entire com- Alaska Miners Association Biennial Confer! . cal and industrial uses,” says Melanie Wer- pany, that have helped achieve this milestone,” ence held in Fairbanks in March. “And this hole, we hit 17.5 feet of 1.739 ounces per ton. don,140 chief 70 of the0Mineral Resources Section says420 Eric Hill, vice 140 280 560president and general manVery good—very excited about that.” of the Division of Geological & Geophysical ager of Fort Knox.Miles Date: If the test hole drilled in 4/11/2018 Delta Junction Surveys, Alaska Department of Natural RePart of Kinross’ commitment to the mine sources. “For Alaska, development of REEs and the community, which depends on Fort near the current mine is a fair sample, ore would provide jobs, economic-development Knox jobs, is continued exploration. In De- extracted from that area would produce opportunities, and increased revenue to state cember, Kinross gained the mineral rights to 1.7 ounces of gold per ton—well above the and local governments, and, depending on a 709-acre parcel of land known as Gilmore, amount needed to turn a healthy profit. “The early information that we’re getting land status, to Native corporations as well.” located immediately west of the Fort Knox In addition to REE exploration, 2017 saw mine. Kinross expects to initiate the permit- back from exploration between last year and continued mining of coal, zinc, lead, silver, ting process for mining at Gilmore by year of course some information this year shows that there’s a lot of potential north of the and gold at established mines—while millions end. of dollars were poured into various regions of “As a result, Kinross added 2.1 million gold property,” Pogo General Manager Chris Kenthe state as companies looked to extend the ounces in estimated measured and indicated nedy told UAF-operated KUAC in a March lives of their mines as well as develop new ar- resources and 300 gold ounces in estimated interview. “The Fun Zone shows a lot of poeas with significant economic potential. inferred resources at Fort Knox,” says Anna tential. The West Goodpaster shows a huge In Alaska there are twenty active mineral Atchison, a Fort Knox spokeswoman. “We amount of potential.” exploration projects, six large-scale mines, also converted approximately 260 gold ounces This year, Sumitomo plans to spend $21 and hundreds of smaller placer gold opera- of mineral resources, which was mainly from million on exploration to gain a better grasp tions in every region of the state except for the East wall of the Fort Knox pit, to proven of the potential of Fun Zone, Goodpaster, the North Slope. and probable reserves. The conversion offset and other prospects closer to the mine. some of the reserve depletion in 2017 and reHowever, it’s not all gold driving the sulted in an increase to Fort Knox’s estimated mining industry in the Interior. The region is Interior Operations also home to the family-owned, all-Alaskan Fort Knox, operated by Toronto-based Kinross mine life by approximately one year.” On pace to pour its 4 millionth ounce Usibelli coal mine established in 1943 by Gold, produced 285,933 ounces of gold by the third quarter of 2017, hitting a milestone of gold in 2019, Sumitomo Metal Mining’s Emil Usibelli. Coal from the mine is transported to as it poured its 1 millionth ounce from the underground Pogo Mine, which passed its Walter Creek Arctic Heap Leach on January 24. ten-year milestone in 2016, produced about six Interior Alaska electrical power plants, where it produces 29 percent of the power for The mine is the largest and longest-running 271,000 ounces of gold last year. The company has been investing more the region. (operating for more than twenty years) of the than $10 million a year on exploration and “The mine produces approximately 1.4 miltwo hardrock operations in the state. “This is a great milestone for Fort Knox and struck gold—literally—with some of its most lion tons of coal per year—a huge jump from the 10,000 tons produced in 1943,” Usibelli has been an instrumental part of extending recent results.

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Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com

DNR-Mining Section

Operating and potential projects by region

Active APMAs in Mining Year 2017


Coal Mine stated in a news release last year. This year, the mine prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary.

Southcentral, Southeast Operations Hecla’s Greens Creek mine gushed with silver last year as it produced 8.4 million ounces of the precious metal and 50,854 ounces of gold, according to the company. “Our mines are performing well due to the strength of our operating teams and consistent and disciplined capital programs that have improved these long-lived mines,” Phillips S. Baker Jr., Hecla’s president and CEO, said in a news release. “Greens Creek continues growing throughput, primarily due to increased efficiency at shift change as we utilize new technologies like remote monitoring systems and automated use of the LHD.” The company, which operates the mine on Admiralty Island, had a strong first quarter this year with 1.9 million ounces of silver, though gold production, at 13,118 ounces, was down. “Lower gold production, when compared to the first quarter of 2017, was due to lower ore grades as a result of mine sequencing, partially offset by higher mill throughput,” the company explains. Also producing in Southeast is Coeur Mining Inc., which announced year-end production results from its Kensington Mine: 115,094 ounces of gold. The results demonstrate a significant year-over-year decrease due primarily to lower than expected grades during the first nine months of the year. However, fourth quarter production increased by 27 percent, resulting in the highest fourth quarter since 2013. The US Army Corps of Engineers Alaska District extended the public scoping period for Pebble Mine, located in the Bristol Bay region, from April 30 to June 29 to allow for further stakeholder comments. The mineral exploration project by Northern Dynasty, which is investigating a worldclass porphyry copper, gold, and molybdenum deposit, has seen major swings in support from the Environmental Protection Agency. First when EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt moved to withdraw the Obama administration’s proposal to block the mine under the Clean Water Act and then when Pruitt later reversed his decision to allow for further public comment. Though further stakeholder comments are being sought, the wheels are still rolling forward with the Pebble project. “We’ve filed our application; it’s been accepted as complete by the [US Army Corps of Engineers],” Tom Collier, CEO of the Pebble Limited Partnership, has said. “That process is moving along, and it’s moving along efficiently and effectively.” Though Pebble Mine has caught headlines around the world, the race to secure REEs makes Ucore’s Bokan Mountain exploration on Prince of Wales Island increasingly important. The project was advanced nearly to the permitting stage by 2014 but has been largely dormant in recent years. A total of fifteen rare earth elements are present at Bokan, with the top dogs being dysprosium, terbium, and yttrium. www.akbizmag.com

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U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey

Open-File Report 2016–1191

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Boston Ridge

Indian Mountain

(Zane Hills) Kokrines Yu k o n - K o y u k u k Hills b a s i n (Vulcan) Big Creek N. Fork Clear Cr. Hot Springs Cr. Mount

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Mount Estelle

Arkose Peak

KW IM

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Anchorage

Revelation Mountains

ntains Mou

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SE

Valdez

K AS A L

54°

A

P

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58°

Juneau

Chichagof Island

E

N

IN

GUL

U

L

Chilkat Peninsula

Yakutat

LA SU N IN PE

AY

S

TA INS

PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND

A BRI ST

62°

Yukon-Tanana

Northern Alaska Range

RANGE

Limestone Mountain

K US KO

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NG

R

Yu ko n -Ta na n a up la n ds

Fairbanks

Western Alaska Range

RI

Rapid River

r

Hot Springs Cr.

Roughtop Mountain

Tofty

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Bethel

BE

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Sischu Mountain

Kuskokwim-White Mountains

58°

rcu

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Itliaruk

N O R TO N SOU N D

Saint Lawrence Island

62°

YU

Zane Hills

Darby Mountains

Po

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Hogatza River

Uranium 3

Darby-Hogatza

Porcupine

Spike Mountain

BRO OKS

F

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SO UTH E A S T AL A S K A

Alexander

ALASKA

Salmon Bay

I F I C PA C 175°

Prince of Wales Dora Bay Island

O C E A N

Bokan Mountain

54°

180°

175°

53°

S ALEUTIAN ISLAND

52°

52° 51°

51° 175°

165°

Alaska Albers Equal Area Conic projection North American Datum of 1983

180°

135°

SCALE 1:10 500 000 100

0

100

100

0

200

100

200

300

300

400

400

500 Miles

500 Kilometers

NORTH AMERICAN VERTICAL DATUM OF 1988

This map or plate is offered as an online-only, digital publication. Users should be aware that, because of differences in rendering processes and pixel resolution, some slight distortion of scale may occur when viewing it on a computer screen or when printing it on an electronic plotter, even when it is viewed or printed at its intended publication scale Digital files available at http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161191

[Darker shades indicate areas of potential within named mineralization belts; lighter shades show areas of potential outside of these belts] MEDIUM POTENTIAL

Any use of trade, product, or firm names in this publication is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government

Manuscript approved for publication November 3, 2016

EXPLANATION OF MAP SYMBOLS

HIGH POTENTIAL

175°

150°

LOW POTENTIAL

High certainty

High certainty

High certainty

Unknown

Medium certainty

Medium certainty

Medium certainty

Belt boundary

Low certainty

Low certainty

Low certainty

Physiographic boundary Deposit location

Suggested citation: Karl, S.M., Jones, J.V., III, and Hayes, T.S., eds., 2016, Annotated mineral resource potential for REE-Th-Y-Nb(-U-Zr) deposits associated with peralkaline to carbonatitic intrusive rocks, plate 2 in GIS-based identification of areas that have resource potential for critical minerals in six selected groups of deposit types in Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1191, 99 p., 5 appendixes, 12 plates, scale 1:10,500,000, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161191.

Map of areas of Alaska with REE potential. USGS

“China’s dominant position as the pro- ance for REE increased to 100 percent, with The company stated earlier this year that Annotated Mineral Resource Potential for REE-Th-Y-Nb(-U-Zr) Deposits AIDEA received authority from the Alaska ducer of over 95 percent of the world output the major import source being China, followed by Estonia, minerals rapid increases inIntrusive Legislature for a $145 million finance packAssociated withof rare-earth Peralkaline toand Carbonatitic RocksFrance, and Japan. Though the Ucore project at Bokan Mounage for the future development of the Bokan the consumption of rare earths owing to the GIS-Based Identification of Areas that have Resource Potential Critical tain isfor perhaps the closest REE mine to come of new clean-energy and defenseMine and processing facilities, a portion of emergence fruition in Alaska, USGS has identified technologies, combined with China’s which is intended to develop a proximal REE inrelated Minerals Six Selected Groups of Deposit Types intoAlaska separation facility. Ucore selected Ketchikan, decisions to restrict exports of rare earths, large swaths of Alaska with various levels of Edited by concerns about potential for the ever-increasingly important which is thirty-two miles northeast of Bokan have resulted in heightened 1 1 minerals. the future availability of rare As a reand allows for marine transportation ofSusan the M. Karl, James V. Jones, III,1 earths. and Timothy S. Hayes such as1 Japan, the mined materials, as an ideal site for this sult, industrial countries 1 1 WithComplex. contributions from Matthew Granitto, Timothy S. Hayes, V. Jones, III, Susan M. Karl,1 Operations United States, and countries of the1James European cutting-edge Strategic Metals Western 1 1 1 1 A. and Labay, Union Jeffrey L. Mauk, Jeanine M. Schmidt, Noraprices B. Shew,The Erin ball Todd,continues to roll for the Donlin face tighter supplies and higher The race to develop both REE Keith mines 1 2 1 Bronwen MelaniePui-Kwan B. Werdon,Tse andwrote Douglas for Wang, rare earths,” in B. theYagerGold Mine as the US Army Corps of Engiprocessing facilities, which have to wrestle with the tightly interlocked elements, comes abstract of a 2011 USGS neers has completed and published the final 2016report titled “China’s U.S. Geological Survey; (online) as ISSN the2331-1258 United States maintains staggering de- Rare-Earth Industry.” Donlin Gold EIS. goldSurveys projAlaskaThe Divisionworld-class of Geological & Geophysical http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161191 As of January 2018, the US net import reli- ect is expected to mill 53,500 tonnes per day, pendence on the Chinese REE market. 1 2

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Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


producing an average of 1.1 million ounces of gold every year for the first twenty-seven years. The project, equally owned by Barrick Gold Corporation and NOVAGOLD Resources, spent $8 million on a drill program last year, drilling twenty-four holes for projecteconomics optimization. According to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, the proven and probable reserve sits at 34 million ounces of gold. NOVAGOLD Resources and Barrick Gold have not yet committed to developing the site but are now waiting on a Record of Decision as to whether or not the project will be issued a wetlands permit. Other major state and federal permits are also required. The combined silver production from Greens Creek mine and Red Dog Mine, near Kotzebue, account for more than half of all the silver mined in the United States. However, Red Dog Mine (operated by Teck Alaska) is primarily a zinc mine—one of the largest in the world. “We are pleased with the significant improvements in recovery at our Red Dog operations in the last few months, and consequently production will now exceed previous guidance for the year by approximately 50,000 tonnes,” Don Lindsay, Teck president and CEO, said in a news release. “As well, our exploration results at our nearby Aktigiruq deposit show its potential to be one of the best undeveloped zinc deposits in the world.” The project, a partnership between NANA and Teck Alaska, estimates that production of contained metal in 2018 will be in the range of 525,000 to 545,000 tonnes of zinc and 95,000 to 100,000 tonnes of lead. According to a February release, “From 2019 to 2021, Red Dog’s production of contained metal is expected to be in the range of 475,000 to 525,000 tonnes of zinc and 85,000 to 100,000 tonnes of lead.”

Mineral Resources Offer Economic Boost With the vast geological diversity and growing need for the United States to wean itself off foreign supplies of essential mineral resources, from REEs to copper, mining potential in Alaska cannot be underestimated. “Alaska is comparable in size to much of the western USA. Alaska has significant potential for hosting many mineral-deposit types due to its diverse geology and large area of under-explored land. Alaska has many REE geochemical anomalies and occurrences, and the Bokan Mountain REE deposit, but much more exploration work needs to be conducted in order to know Alaska’s true REE potential,” Werdon says. With mining companies spending millions in local communities through exploration projects, mineral separation research and development, and extraction, the industry continues to bolster Alaska’s economy.R Isaac Stone Simonelli is a freelance journalist and former managing editor for the Phuket Gazette. www.akbizmag.com

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HEALTHCARE

Senior Services and Support

Tracy Bradshaw participates in a Paint Night fundraiser at the Denali Center. Denali Center

100

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


Being mindful of a growing population with increasing needs By Judy Mottl

B

y the year 2034 Alaska’s overall population is expected to grow by nearly 25 percent, and the senior demographic is predicted to more than double in size as the state’s Baby Boomer generation ages, hitting the 65-year-old mark. As of 2009, according to the Alaska Department of Labor, seniors represented 7.5 percent of the state’s population, but that number will likely hit 14.5 percent by 2034. Currently, according to the US Census Bureau, 10.4 percent of the state’s population is more than 65 years old. But it’s unlikely today’s range and depth of services for the state’s growing senior population will double in size and keep pace given government funding cutbacks, a declining healthcare workforce, shaky economic tailwinds, and an increasing need for housing and additional support care services.

State, Federal Grant Funding in Play The state of Alaska, at present, services more than 11,000 seniors (age 60 or older) via community based, senior focused grant programs. The grants are extensions of national Title III funding via the Older American’s Act, which is provided to all US states.

Denali Center

Denali Center resident Bernadette King dances with volunteer Tony Karl at Denali Center’s annual prom.

The funding pays for a slew of needs, from meals, transportation, case management, respite support, information, and assistance and adult day care to education and training for caregivers regarding Alzheimer’s disease. The state provides a sliding scale fee for some services, but for most clients the lone eligibility requirement is being least sixty years old. “These programs provide assistance to seniors and their care givers so they can remain

The state of Alaska, at present, services more than 11,000 seniors (age 60 or older) via grant programs that are community based and senior focused. Local Loving, In-Home Care for Seniors in Alaska

Keeping the Comforts of Home We offer a full range of services Whether it’s for a short 6 hour respite, coming home from the hospital, a vacation or for long term companionship. You can count on them to be there for you. Comfort Keepers helps make their clients lives brighter, safer and more enjoyable. Keeping the Comforts of Home.

907.334.3000 anchorage-401.comfortkeepers.com www.akbizmag.com

June 2018 | Alaska Business

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Midnight Sun Home Care staff plan care with a client. Saggio

independent and in their homes longer,” says Lisa Morley, Grants Unit manager at Senior and Disability Services of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. “Sometimes a senior needs a meal or someone to help them with chores; without this help they might have to move into an assisted living home, which is very expensive and causes them to use up their resources, and eventually they have to go on Medicaid, even if they weren’t before.” State and federal grants support many local nonprofit agency programs providing care to Alaska seniors who do not meet level of care or income eligibility for the Medicaid Waiver program. The most commonly supported programs,

with 14 percent (1,945) age 65 or older. The senior segment grew to that figure, from a starting point of 10 percent, between 2010 and 2016. A big trend in play regarding the demand for senior services, according to Mischa Chernick, manager of communication and engagement at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, is that more seniors want to remain local than move away or retire south. “More people are remaining in the community through the end of their lives and more Baby Boomers become seniors each and every day,” says Chernick. The center provides several direct services for seniors, including a twenty-nine-bed long-term care unit offering skilled nursing care and home health services and stabilizing

through the end of their lives, our communities must begin thoughtfully and diligently expanding the care and support care services available for both elders and at end-of-life,” she says. “We must begin having conversations with families in our communities to help them make fully-informed plans of care for elders well in advance of their later years,” she adds. Chernick believes communities need to start inventorying the types and availability of care and ramping up to accommodate these evergrowing needs so seniors receive the level of care they require when they require it. Another challenge in the senior services equation, Chernick says, is a looming shortage of healthcare workers within the state. “Our communities need to be actively ‘growing our own’ by preparing young people in our community for careers in healthcare with the hope that they will return home to provide that care.”

Senior Healthcare Needs Are Diverse Boosting the workforce, especially within the long-term care facility environment, is one challenge Fran Hradecky puts on her long list of challenges related to providing senior care. Hradecky is center administrator at the Denali Center, based in Fairbanks, which provides an Eden Alternative skilled nursing facility as well as long- and short-term care for those needing skilled and dementia care. Clients have access to services ranging from nursing to therapy to meals and activities.

“There is difficulty finding appropriate placement for residents with challenging conditions that require more specialized care, resources, and equipment, such as those that require one-to-one care, have behavioral health needs, or are morbidly obese.”

—Fran Hradecky, Administrator, Denali Center

according to state officials, are nutrition, transportation and support for senior in-home care and family caregivers, and Medicare counseling and outreach, as well as legal assistance, meal delivery, and nutrition education. Thirtysix state grantees are providing all or some of these services, often through senior centers. Grant funding also supports in-home senior services, ranging from case management to respite, provided by fifteen grantees. In addition, nine grantees are providing family caregiver support services. A dozen grantee funded programs are providing adult day services. Grant funding also supports rural assisted living homes in three communities: Dillingham, Galena, Tanana. Yet while state and federal funded services are robust, local senior care facility operators, care homes, and medical centers providing senior support programs say the increasing client population and need for services presents a real challenge.

Community Level Senior Services The community of Ketchikan is one such example. According to state data, Ketchikan’s population as of mid-July 2016 was 13,746— 102

or improving a short-term or chronic health condition. It also offers primary, internal medicine, and surgical care as well as a palliative care program for patients diagnosed with life-changing medical issues and a volunteer hospice program. At critical access hospitals, patient stays are limited to four days or fewer; otherwise patients need to be transferred to an off-island acute care hospital, long-term care, or assisted living facility, explains Chernick. “If the patient can be released from the hospital, but still needs care that is beyond what the family is able or willing to provide, the patient’s options locally are limited to PeaceHealth Ketchikan’s long-term care unit or the Pioneer Home, both of which are operating at capacity with long waiting lists,” she says. In many cases home healthcare or additional in-home supportive care from community organizations or volunteers become the only answer for many older, local residents. That scenario, says Chernick, often leaves family caregivers in the position of providing care they do not feel prepared or equipped to provide; they are often worn out and feel unsupported. “As more seniors decide to stay in Alaska

The center opened in 1994 as a ninety-bed comprehensive short- and long-term care facility and is located next to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. Its nursing facility services all ages and typically cares for 70 patients daily. Most recently the oldest was 97 years old and the youngest was 21—and the mean population client age is about 74 years old, explains Hradecky. “The current trends show the demand for nursing home level of care is shared across the generations,” she says, adding the demand for services for those dealing with dementia is on the rise. When it comes to listing out the challenges in providing needed senior services, Hradecky’s list is long. In addition to citing a high staff turnover rate for long-term care facilities, obstacles include everything from beds for specific care needs, finding appropriate placement for assisted living versus a nursing facility, and complex funding sources. There is also expanding need for options as seniors get well and are eligible for discharge planning, says Hradecky. Hradecky also cites government funding cuts that are creating shortages in federal and state resources, which is increasing the time

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


Kevin Turkington (left) stands with Sharon Ameline, a caregiver with thirteen years of service, as she is honored for her decade-plus of work at Midnight Sun Home Care.

for placement and funding approvals. “There is difficulty finding appropriate placement for residents with challenging conditions that require more specialized care, resources, and equipment, such as those that require one-to-one care, have behavioral health needs, or are morbidly obese,” she notes.

Senior Support Workforce on Decline Kevin Turkington, founder and CEO of Midnight Sun Home Care in Anchorage, agrees the declining number of healthcare workers and care professionals present a huge challenge when it comes to providing senior services in the next decades. “I think the biggest challenge to providing services is the increasing lack of a willing and qualified workforce,” he says, citing a declining economy, unscrupulous care providers, and crime as other issues presenting challenges. Anchorage, according to state data, is home to nearly 48,000 seniors over the age of 60. Midnight Sun Care, founded in 2002, provides a bevy of in-home services from personal and hygienic care to laundry, shopping meal prep, medication management, and post-surgical care. Its motto is dual focused that clients and loved ones “feel listened to, advocated for, educated about choices, relieved of stress, and served in the most personalized and collaborative way.” Midnight Sun Care client services are paid either by patients, insurance, or via the US Department of Veterans Affairs and are fo-

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cused on helping adults remain safe in their home for as long as possible. The facility, available to residents living in Anchorage, Eagle River, Chugiak, Peters Creek, and the Mat-Su Valley and surrounding area, currently serves about 105 clients, and the client list has been on a continual upward trajectory. “With aging of the Boomers, more seniors moving to Alaska to live with and support or be supported by other family, and the quality of senior services in Alaska, I expect the trend to continue for at least another five to ten years,” says Turkington.

Yet despite all the challenges and hurdles ahead in meeting the needs of the elderly and aging in Alaska, Turkington, a fifty-year Alaskan who may one day need such senior services, isn’t about to move anywhere at any point. “I think it’s best to age in the place of your choosing, and from my experience most choose home. I know I do,” he says. R

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

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VISITOR INDUSTRY

Sam Friedman | Alaska Business

Carlson Center Operations Manager Adam Powell talks about the Carlson Center Alaska Room during a March 28 Explore Fairbanks tour of meeting and hotel facilities.

Interior Conferences and Meetings Small- and mid-sized venues in Fairbanks By Sam Friedman

F

airbanks has enough meeting venues that it takes more than a day just to walk through all the ballrooms, reception areas, and board rooms. Fairbanks-area meeting planners know this because they spent nine hours on a bus tour in March getting a feel for a sample of the region’s venues; tourism and meeting promotion organization Explore Fairbanks holds at least one of these tours every year. This year, along the way, the bus stopped at twelve meeting venues. That’s by no means a comprehensive tour, says Helen Renfrew, director of meetings and conventions at Explore Fairbanks. “It’s kind of like the top-of-mind places for accommodating and/or meeting and convention space, because we can’t see everything Fairbanks has to offer over one full day,” she says. For those who want their own look at the 104

venues, Explore Fairbanks sets up customized meeting venue walkthroughs for prospective meeting planners, usually at no or little cost to the meeting planner. About ten of these adhoc tours take place each year. The organization also helps meeting planners comparison shop between venues by inviting venues to bid on requests for proposals created by meeting planners with help from Explore Fairbanks. Fairbanks lacks a large convention center like Anchorage’s Dena’ina Center, so it’s hard for the city to host large conventions of more than 450 attendees, Renfrew says. But the city hosts a few large conventions and hundreds of small-tomedium meetings each year. Over the last five years, Fairbanks hosted an average of 313 meetings per year. Each year, these meetings used an average of 27,480 hotel room nights and directly contributed $9.2 million to the local economy, according to Explore Fairbanks numbers.

Here’s a look at a few meeting venues featured in the March tour. For more information about these and other venues, see the Explore Fairbanks forty-page meeting guide at explorefairbanks.com

Westmark Hotel Meeting space: More than 11,800 square feet of meeting space year-round; more than 17,000 square feet in winter Guest rooms: 400 Food:

Onsite catering

Past events:

State Republican Party convention, Alaska Library Association conference, Alaska Peony Growers Association conference

The Westmark Hotel boasts both the largest hotel ballroom in Fairbanks and one of

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


the largest inventories of smaller rooms. The downtown hotel conference space occupies an entire wing of the hotel and can be accessed through the lobby or directly from the hotel’s back parking lot. The Gold Room is a 5,400-square-foot ballroom that can be rented in its entirety or broken down into thirds. Around it are eight smaller rooms ranging in size from 2,080 to 263 square feet. Unlike Holland America Cruise Line’s other Fairbanks hotel—the Princess Riverside Lodge—the Westmark is open year-round. In the winter the Westmark’s meeting space inventory grows to include the 3,300-squarefoot Northern Latitudes restaurant and the 1,884-square-foot Tanana Trade Center.

Carlson Center Meeting space: 13,028 square feet in meeting rooms in addition to a 34,018-square-foot arena floor Guest rooms: None; however, Best Western Plus Pioneer Park is across the Chena River over a foot bridge Food:

Onsite catering

Past events:

Alaska Miners Association Biennial Conference, Alaska Federation of Natives Convention, weekly Rotary and Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce luncheons

It’s not just a hockey arena. The big green building on the Chena River near downtown

Sam Friedman | Alaska Business

The Binkley Room at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge, set up for a Salvation Army banquet.

Fairbanks offers facilities for events from medium-sized meetings to some of Alaska’s largest conventions. During the Explore Fairbanks tour, the Carlson Center was set up both for a trade show and a lunch banquet for the Alaska Miners Association. In addition to the arena, the event used other spaces including the Pioneer and North Star rooms, which total 6,200 square feet when combined. The Carlson Center routinely hosts stand-

alone events in smaller facilities, says operations manager Adam Powell. In all there are ten rooms available for rent in the arena, including four small multipurpose rooms and the 480-square-foot Alaska Boardroom, which has audio visual equipment built into a mural of Denali and an overhead light fixture designed to look like a glacier. The University of Fairbanks hockey team locker room can be rented when it’s not in use during the hockey season. The room,

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

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June 2018 | Alaska Business

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Antique clothing and cars are displayed at the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum on the Wedgewood Resort property. Sam Friedman | Alaska Business

with it its large decorative UAF Nanooks logo on the carpet, was used as a VIP holding room when former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson came to Alaska in 2017 for the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting.

Wedgewood Resort Meeting space: More than 9,200 square feet of meeting space, plus access to the 25,500-square-foot auto museum for parties

106

Guest rooms: 462 rooms available during the summer; events can be scheduled year-round Food:

Onsite catering

Recent events: University of Alaska Fairbanks Arctic Innovation Competition, fundraisers for the League of Women Voters, the Breast Cancer Detection Center of Alaska

The Wedgewood Resort is a 110-acre hotel and apartment complex located near downtown Fairbanks. Is has a secluded feel because of its location tucked away alongside Creamer’s Field Migratory Bird Refuge. Most of the meeting venues are located in the conference center, a standalone building that includes the 2,726-square-foot Borealis Room. Guests can also rent any combination of smaller rooms within the conference room. The 1,365-foot Garden Room works

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


well as a reception room or as vendor space, says Wedgewood Catering Manager Cherie Minakais. The 667-square-foot Board Room at the opposite end of the Borealis Room can house a buffet line. The 1,833-square-foot Gazebo Room is popular with wedding receptions because it overlooks the flowering grounds of the Wedgewood property and a gazebo often used for wedding services. Elsewhere on the Wedgewood property is the Taiga Center, a 2,640-squarefoot building located at the trailhead of the Wedgewood’s nature trails, which adjoin the Creamer’s Field trail network. It’s a great place to hold a retreat, Minakais says. The Wedgewood also owns one of Fairbanks’ premiere visitor attractions: the 25,500-squarefoot Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum features dozens of cars built between 1898 and 1938, displayed with historical clothing from the same period. The museum can be rented for three-hour private parties, offering a bar, a heavy hors d’oeuvre station, and a dance floor positioned around the museum exhibits. “There are a lot of things for your guests to do. Even if they are not car buffs, they are going to love this space,” Minakais says. “It’s a great icebreaker because it gets guests talking and interacting instead of sitting at a table.”

The Alyeska Boardroom on the third floor of Pike’s Waterfront Lodge; the room can only be used as a board room because the table is too large to be moved out the doors. Sam Friedman | Alaska Business

Pike’s Waterfront Lodge Meeting Space: More than 6,300 square feet among three rooms and reception areas Guest rooms: 208 Food:

Onsite catering

Past events:

Iditarod start events, Alaska Board of Game meetings, Alaska Food Policy Council conference

At 2,800 square feet, the Binkley Room is the second-largest hotel ballroom in Fairbanks, but it’s not a typical hotel ballroom space. The entire room is 80 feet long by 35 feet wide. Large windows on three sides overlook the Chena River. The entire back of the hotel’s first floor can be rented as a unit called Pikes Waterfront. That rental includes the Binkley Room and the fireside, lounge, and piano areas. This lounge space on the way into the Binkley Room can be used for a bar or buffet line or vendor space. It was turned into a farmer’s market at a food conference last year. Pikes also has the 1,210-square-foot Fireweed Room on the second floor and the Alyeska Boardroom on the third floor. The latter cannot be reconfigured for non-boardroom seating arrangements because the heavy wooden table doesn’t fit through the doors— it had to be brought in through the window, Renfrew says. Pike’s is locally owned and has some quirky attractions not commonly associated with hotels and conference centers. These perks include aromatherapy, a three-hole mini golf course, and a collection of pet ducks that live in the lobby as chicks in the spring before moving outside to the “Lucky Duck Hotel,” on the hotel grounds: attractions advertised by 1950s style drawings displayed throughout the hotel. www.akbizmag.com

June 2018 | Alaska Business

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Guests at the Alaska Miners Association Biennial Conference watch a presentation at the Carlson Center Pioneer Room in March 2018. Sam Friedman | Alaska Business

“There are a lot of fun complimentary activities that you don’t even have to leave the property to enjoy,” says assistant manager Erin Krawczyk.

Raven Landing Center Meeting space: More than 5,300 square feet among five rooms Guest rooms: None Food:

Onsite catering

Past events:

Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival lunch bites programs, Fairbanks Children’s Museum Fundraiser, Fairbanks Symphony Fundraiser

The Raven Landing Center is a retirement community that opened in 2014. Many of its large community rooms were designed with private party and convention space rental in mind. The centerpiece space is the 3,075-squarefoot Raven Hall, which features large windows, 31-foot ceilings, a grand piano, and a stage. When not being rented, this space is the main dining room for residents and community guests. When rented for private events it can be used for theater productions, fashion shows, film screenings, and banquets. The Raven Hall recently added a bar, which is staffed by a Smartender automated cocktail dispenser. Event planners can also

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bring in a human bartender. Raven Landing has four other rental spaces onsite ranging in size from the 910-squarefoot Fireplace Lounge to the 210-square-foot Meditation Room. The Fireplace Room is quasi-private. A curtain on two sides separates it from a residential hallway. For meeting planners on a tight budget, four community rooms can be rented for $25 to $35 an hour. These 910-square-foot rooms are also quasi-private because they’re part of the residential section of Raven Landing. The community rooms offer kitchens and, unlike the other rental spaces at Raven Landing, can serve food not provided by the onsite caterer.

Fairbanks Curling Club Meeting space: 3,700-square-foot trophy room Guest rooms:

None

Food:

Commercial kitchen available

Past recent events: Lynden Transport company party, team-building activity for the 16th Aggressor Squadron (F-16 fighter jet pilots) Located next to the Carlson Center, the Fairbanks Curling Club offers a unique amenity: a view over the largest curling facility in Alaska and an opportunity for event guests to get out on the ice and try curling themselves. The nonprofit organization that owns the club rents its trophy room space year-round, but curling only happens between October and March. When the ice isn’t reserved for leagues or tournaments, the club can provide basic “learn to curl” lessons for event guests. “It’s a fun atmosphere. We’re kind of out of the mainstream,” says Ken Hall, a curling club volunteer and former board member. The narrow (93-foot by 32-foot) trophy room is on the second floor of the club and looks down on the six curling sheets. The space has a commercial kitchen, deck, fireplace, and full bar. It’s decorated with curling trophies, photos, and memorabilia.  R Sam Friedman is a freelance writer in Fairbanks.

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


The University of Alaska Fairbanks hockey team locker room at the Carlson Center, under special circumstances and with permission from the university, is available for rent.

O

ther small venues are also available in Fairbanks for a variety of meetings and events:

La Quinta Inns & Suites Meeting space: 2,800-square-foot Glacier Room and 1,400-squarefoot Finish Line Restaurant Guest rooms: 113 Food:

Open to on- or off-site catering

Past events:

Alaska Board of Fisheries meeting, Yukon Quest “meet the mushers” event, military family readiness meeting

Sam Friedman | Alaska Business

Regency Fairbanks Hotel Meeting space: Two meeting rooms with a total of 1,928 square feet of space; Tubby’s Alaska BBQ, the 2,015-square-foot hotel restaurant, can also be rented

make your next meeting

stress free

Guest rooms: 128 Food:

Onsite catering

Past events:

Lions Clubs and American Legion meetings, Explore Fairbanks staff retreat

Guest rooms: 140 Food:

Hotel recommends onsite, independently owned restaurant

Recent events: Statewide Independent Living Council of Alaska, Alaska Recreation and Park Association, League of Women Voters

Sophie Station Suites Meeting space: 595-square-foot boardroom, 1,944-squarefoot lounge and 920-square-foot restaurant can also be rented Guest rooms: 148, all suites Food:

Onsite catering

PHOTO: ANNA HOKE

Springhill Suites by Marriott Meeting space: Three rooms totaling more than 1,200 square feet

Meet in Juneau, Alaska

Recent events: Headquarters hotel (but not meeting venue) for Alaska Miners Association and Rural Providers Conference

Hampton Inn & Suites Meeting space: 625-square-foot meeting room Guest rooms: 101 at Hampton Inn; nearby Candlewood Suites is owned by same company Food:

Outside food allowed

Recent events: Hockey team meetings, Cannon photography workshop R www.akbizmag.com

Call today for details on planning your meeting in Juneau

907.586.1749 1.800.857.2201

June 2018 | Alaska Business

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ZIPPING AROUND ALASKA

EAT

SHOP

PLAY 

Ziplines

T

here’s not a whole lot that needs to be said about the joys of ziplining—the rush of adrenaline when zipping along at sixty-five miles per hour while taking in Alaska’s stunning views simply can’t be beat. Ziplining is an exciting, one-of-a-kind experience for all ages and levels of experience.

Alaska Canopy Adventures Locally owned Alaska Canopy Adventures has received national recognition, including being named “Tour of the Year” by Princess Cruises since 2006, receiving the coveted “Excellence in Tourism Award,” and being honored with the “Chuck West Award” for tour innovation and showing guests the true beauty of Alaska. In addition to the highest standards of quality, the company is also one of the largest zipline operations in Alaska. Guests experience a mountain climb in a Unimog, ziplines more than 600 feet long, breathtaking sky bridges, and rappels. The company states, “Safety, guest enjoyment, and employee satisfaction

drive ARS and ACA operations. We are committed to delivering experiences that will make your Alaska visit the vacation of a lifetime.” Alaska Canopy Adventures offers zipline excursions in Southeast Alaska in Ketchikan and Juneau. alaskacanopy.com Denali Zipline Tours Denali Zipline Tours operates two locations: one in Denali and the other in Seward. The tours are approximately three hours door-to-door and include nine ziplines, three suspension bridges, one rappel, and one spiral staircase. Groups are comprised of eight guests or fewer. The pace and excitement of the tour varies as it progresses, with

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opportunities to gaze out from viewing platforms or long aerial bridges at lush boreal forests in Seward or over the Alaska Range in Denali. Employing as many locals as possible, the company, owned by Mark Wildermuth and Laura Caillet, states, “[Our] main goal for Denali Zipline Tours is to create a permanent and positive recreation facility for the community and to preserve [our] property in one piece well into the future.” denaliziplinetours.com Glacier View Adventures A two-hour drive north of Anchorage, Glacier View Adventures boasts the fastest zipline in the state. There are two zipline options, the Nitro and the G2. For the Nitro, after a short hike and ascending a three-story tower (on a hill 150 feet above Matanuska River), guests leap off, traveling thirty to forty miles per hour along 1,500 feet of zipline. A shuttle takes guests to the top of a 250-foot cliff for the G2; for this ride, zipliners travel as fast as forty-five to sixty miles per hour for 2,200 feet. Both ziplines provide stunning views of the Matanuska River, which is fed by Matanuska Glacier. Zipline adventures can be bundled with Glacier View’s other offerings, including an ATV tour, helicopter tour, luxury camping, or glacier trips. glacierviewadventures.com Denali Park Zipline The Denali Park Zipline adventure begins with a three mile trail ride through the scenic Alaska wilderness. After gearing up, certified guides lead participants along six sky bridges and seven thrilling ziplines. The ziplines feature a built-in, hands-free braking system, allowing guests to relax and take in views of the mountains, tundra, and boreal forest. The tour is approximately three hours long, and groups are maxed out with eight participants. The ziplines are different heights, and the highest is fifty feet off the ground. Denali Park Zipline began running zipline tours in 2016; the company states: “The zip tour is built so you can experience and enjoy the views without the worry of hand braking or getting stuck on the lines—let your guides do the work. The course is challenging in some aspects, but also inviting for first timers.” denalizipline.com Alaska Mountain Guides Adventures & Chilkat Guides Locally-owned and -operated for twenty-five years, Alaska Mountain Guides Adventures & Chilkat Guides offers a variety of tours and adventures in Skagway and Haines, including a

STAY rock climbing, rappelling, and ziplining active tour. After climbing up and then rappelling down the smooth granite walls of the White Pass, guests then take a turn on five ziplines through a coastal, temperate rainforest. Climbing routes range from easy to very challenging, so experience is not necessary for this adventure, and every climb culminates with views of the Skagway River, The White Pass and Yukon Route Railway, and surrounding wilderness. The company states, “Our double cable system has a hands-free, guide-controlled braking system which allows you to focus on having fun… As you zip from platform to platform, fellow participants cheer you on.” skagwayexcursion.com Alaska Zipline Adventures Juneau-based Alaska Zipline Adventures is owned and operated by locals Gin and Davy Anderson, “who are dedicated to providing a quality tour experience to their guests, creating a positive work environment for their staff, and finding ways to give back to their community and hometown,” the company says. Alaska Zipline Adventures offers three zipline packages: Alpine Zipline Adventure, Zip & Glacier Combo Tour, and Group Adventures. The Alpine Zipline tour starts at the lodge at the Eaglecrest Ski Area in the Tongass National Forest. After a safety briefing and practice run, guests take off from and land on unique, fully-enclosed treehouse platforms where they can pause to take in the scenery and snap pictures. The tour also includes a suspension bridge and an opportunity to try out axe throwing. alaskazip.com Icy Strait Point Located in Hoonah, Icy Strait Point lays claim to the world’s longest zipline ride: the ZipRider. The ZipRider is 5,485 feet long and boasts a vertical drop of 1,320 feet with an average grade of 25 percent. There are six cables side by side, and guests can reach maximum speeds of sixty-five miles per hour. On an average day the zipline sees 180 to 200 riders, but once accommodated 502 riders in one day. The company states, “Unlike anything you’ve seen before, the ZipRider zipline ride at Icy Strait Point is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience… When the gates open, riders accelerate out and over a cliff and come as close to a pure flying experience as humanly possible. In front of you lies the panoramic view of Port Frederick and surrounding islands [and] racing 300 feet beneath you is the dense forest canopy… The typical ride takes 1.5 minutes and concludes on the beach at Icy Strait.” icystraitpoint.com R

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


EVENTS CALENDAR JUNE 2018

EAT

SHOP

Anchorage

PLAY 

and newest Olympic sport in a paradise-like setting overlooking all of Anchorage. Elite teams from around the world play in fifteen minute increments throughout the day until one is deemed champion at the Alaska Mountain Rugby Grounds. Male and female teams represented. alaskarugbyunion.org JUN

This king salmon derby is an annual fundraiser for the Downtown Soup Kitchen. Tickets to participate are free. Derby headquarters are located across from the Ulu Factory at 211 West Ship Creek Avenue. downtownhopecenter.org/ slamnsalmnderby JUN

2-3 & 9-10

Three Barons Renaissance Fair

This annual renaissance fair offers entertainment, live music, local vendors, and great food at the Tozier Sled Dog Track at 3400 Tudor Road. 3barons.org R

Anchorage JUN

8-9

112

Midnight Sun Sevens Rugby Tournament Watch the fastest growing

Alaska PrideFest

This annual event brings together local businesses, organizations, allies, and the LGBT community throughout the beautiful state of Alaska to celebrate diversity through more than twenty events. The Equality Parade and PrideFestival take place on the Delaney Park Strip. alaskapride.org

9-16

JUN

23

Anchorage

Slam’n Salm’n Derby

9-16

JUN

STAY

Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon & Half Marathon

Nearly 4,000 runners and walkers will travel to run the scenic trails of Anchorage at the annual summertime Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon and

JUN

Downtown Summer Solstice Festival & Hero Games

Anchorage celebrates the solstice with several events, including the Hero Games, a friendly competition between Alaska’s first responders charging through obstacle courses, bucket brigades, and different relays (law enforcement, each military branch, and the fire department participate); the Children’s Rainbow Factory, which includes puppet shows, a kayak pool, and giant sandbox; and a Teen Pro Skateboarding Demo, showcasing skateboarding skills from professional skateboarders and local team members. Events take place in Downtown Anchorage on Fourth Avenue between C Street and L Street. anchoragedowntown.org R

23

Half Marathon. The event is timed to coincide with the summer solstice, when the longest day of the year brings twenty-two hours of functional daylight to the city. The event also features a four-person marathon relay, Coastal 5K, and Buddy Half Marathon, in which teams of two split up the half marathon course. mayorsmarathon.com

JUN-JUL

30-1

Arctic Thunder Air Show & JBER Open House

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson opens its doors for the biannual Arctic Thunder Open House, which provides an opportunity to share the aspects of military life and operations with Anchorage and the greater Alaska community. This year’s Arctic Thunder is special, with the anticipated

Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


Seward

Great Alaskan Foodstock

JUN

Foodstock’s slogan is, “We play for food.” Entry to the rock, bluegrass, blues, folk, funk, and country music festival is $5 or five cans of food; proceeds are donated to the Fairbanks Rescue Mission. Activities include dancing, volleyball, horseshoes, arts and crafts, and food vendors, all at the Howling Dog Saloon in Fox. greatalaskanfoodstock.com R

22-24

participation of aircraft from allied air forces. There are more than forty static displays and seven hours of flying activities, including six military demonstrations, the joint forces demonstration, and eight civilian and warbird demonstrations. No tickets are required and parking is free. alaskaairshow.org/2018-arctic-thunder

Fairbanks JUN

21

Midnight Sun Baseball Game

This is the 113th Midnight Sun Game, which takes place on the summer solstice and is played entirely without lights. Gates open at 8 p.m. and First Pitch is at 10 p.m. goldpanners.com JUN

a variety of vendors, from Noon to Midnight in Downtown Fairbanks. downtownfairbanks.com

Girdwood JUN

This festival, hosted by Alyeska Resort, is a celebration of the fiddlehead fern season and summer music in the mountains; the family-oriented, outdoor event features live music, local arts and crafts booths, a beer and wine garden, cooking demos, 5K Fun Run, and kids’ activities. Alyeska Resort’s talented chefs host hands-on demonstrations and share techniques for cooking with fiddleheads. alyeskaresort.com

2-3

Palmer

Midnight Sun Festival

More than 30,000 people visit the festival to enjoy live entertainment, great food, and

24

www.akbizmag.com

Fiddlehead Festival

JUN

8-10

Colony Days Celebration

This festival is in honor of the

JUN

1935 Colonists who started the Palmer farming community. Events include a car rally, craft fairs, farmer’s market, kids’ games, bike rodeo, parade, and live entertainment in Downtown Palmer. palmerchamber.org JUN

Taikai Con

This is the second annual Taikai Con, a convention to celebrate pop-culture, art, cinema, music, and literature, organized by nonprofit Taikai Corporation. The convention takes place at the Glenn Massay Theater. glennmassaytheater.com/events

23

JUN

Alaska Scottish Highland Games

30 The games feature amateur Highland Athletes, piping, drumming, and dancing competitions, as well as live music, vendors, food, and a Scotch tasting at the Alaska State Fairgrounds. alaskascottish.org

Seward Halibut Tournament

1-30 The Seward Halibut Tournament runs for the entire month of June and highlights the halibut fishery, attracting early season visitors and anglers from throughout Alaska. Because the tournament takes place early in the season, anglers will find it is easier to reserve a seat on one of the many charter vessels, and ramp space and trailer parking are plentiful for those wanting to launch their own boats. seward.com R Seldovia JUN

Seldovia Summer Music Festival

21-24 Seldovia’s annual music festival is hosted by the Seldovia Arts Council and includes live music, outdoor art, workshops, and song circles, all in celebration of the summer solstice. seldoviaartscouncil.net R

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EVENTS CALENDAR JUNE 2018

Fairbanks


Business Events JUNE

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

8-12

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

IEEE ICCA Conference

JUNE Sheraton Anchorage Hotel: The event

12-15

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

Annual Nuka System of Care JUNE 8th Conference

18-22

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

8(a) Association 2018 JUNE National Small Business Conference

20-21

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

Conference JUNE IHEA-USA Hilton Anchorage: This conference is

25-28

a fun-filled week of networking, learning, and exploring the world of hunter education. ihea-usa.org

JULY Business Week JULY Alaska Alaska Pacific University,

14-21

Anchorage: 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 will open

20-22

with an evening reception and dinner on Friday and close 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 members in accomplishing their goals of delivering electric energy and other services at the best value to their customers. alaskapower.org

22-24

SEPTEMBER Ambitions SEPT Arctic Sheraton Anchorage Hotel:

11-12

Presenters from major companies and organizations from across the Arctic and around the world focus on the 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 of REALTORS SEPT Alaska 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 Top 49ers Luncheon SEPT Alaska Anchorage Marriott Downtown: Join

28

us to honor the top forty-nine Alaska companies ranked by revenue at our annual luncheon. 907-276-4373|akbizmag.com

OCTOBER

OCT

ATIA Annual Convention & Trade Show

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 R is “The Great Escape.” alaskatia.org

8-11

BUSINESS EVENTS IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY CIRI

YOU HAVE EVENTS. WE HAVE SPACE. LET’S MEET. FIREWEEDCENTER.COM/CONFERENCE 725 East Fireweed Lane, Anchorage, Alaska 99503 | 907.263.5502 | corporateservicesbooking@ciri.com

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Alaska Business | June 2018www.akbizmag.com


Inside

Alaska Business June 2018 APD

hours of training. Mozart is trained in tracking, building searching, evidence searching, and apprehension. He has been partnered with Officer Breager. Breager and Mozart are the seventh team in APD’s K9 unit. muni.org

APD

A

Breager & Mozart

L

ocal listeners of KLEF, the classical music radio station, purchased a K9 for the Anchorage Police Department via Dollars for Dogs. Mozart is a four-year-old Belgian Malinois who was born in the Netherlands. He was purchased at Adlerhorst Kennels, a California-based, family-owned provider of security and police dogs as well as training classes and certifications. Mozart is a Certified Police Canine—an honor he earned after completing more than 600

ASRC

rctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) acquired F.D. Thomas (FDT) and FDT’s whollyowned subsidiary D. Zelinsky & Sons through its wholly-owned subsidiary ASRC Industrial Services (AIS). Headquartered in Medford, Oregon, with satellite offices in Kent, Washington, and Oakland and Sacramento, California, FDT is nationally recognized as a premier provider of waterproofing, roofing, infrastructure restoration, specialty painting, and coatings services. FDT will become part of AIS’s construction, maintenance, and repair operating group. D. Zelinsky & Sons was founded in 1884 and is headquartered in Oakland, California, and provides commercial painting, wallcovering, faux finishes, waterproofing, fireproofing, high performance coatings, and SoftWalls upholstered wall and ceiling systems. D. Zelinsky & Sons will also join AIS’s construction, maintenance, and repair operating group. asrc.com

UA INNOVATION CHALLENGE

T

hree teams comprised of University of Alaska Anchorage students and Anchorage community partners presented to a panel of judges their innovative ideas to address top-of-mind community issues in the final phase of an innovation challenge sponsored by the University of Alaska. University and business leaders judged the competition, evaluating the solutions based on

innovation, implementation, and relevance. The $5,000 first place award went to Team Early Childhood and members Ann Broberg, Vanessa Hughes, Colleen McCowan, and Nigel Sharp, who pitched a kid-friendly cafe, bringing together a unique play area with healthy food options. With an idea for a new app, Team Trails took home second place and $2,000. As proposed, the trails app would combine user-generated data and trail maps to keep people up to date on trail safety issues, general trail tips, and current trail conditions. Team members included Cassandra Maurer, Cy Two Elk, Faith Kolean, John McManamin, Michel Ramirez, and Joel Wieman. Team Neighborhood took home the third place $1,000 award for its solution to clean up a neighborhood based on creating art from the trash collected. Team members included: Emma Kelly, Lyndea Kelleher, Garrison Theroux, Nolan Klouda, Randy Moore, Katrina Chertkow, and Zack Archuletta. alaska.edu

SALMON SCIENCE NETWORK

A

new international Salmon Science Network recently launched an online portal to help improve access to salmon research and tackle emerging challenges in salmon conservation. “The challenges facing salmon in the 21st century are complex. This demands creative solutions informed by the best available science generated through collaborations and shared ideas. It is time to make it easier to share those ideas and level the playing field for access to important salmon science for everyone,” said Peter Westley, a researcher at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. The network launched Salmon-Net, an online portal for sharing information ranging from

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INSIDE ALASKA BUSINESS

Alyeska Resort | @HagePhoto

ALYESKA RESORT

A

lyeska Resort developed a new app that promises to streamline and condense information users search for most frequently on the Alyeska website. The information highlighted on the new app ranges from hotel bookings and food and beverage options to snow reporting, web cams, and Sitzmark concerts and events. High volume areas of the Alyeska website such as trail maps, events calendar, and links to Alyeska’s social media channels are also highlighted in the app for searching and access ease. The app is available for free download on iTunes for users with iPhone and Google Play for Android users. alyeskaresort.com

G

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

overnor Bill Walker announced the delegation for Opportunity Alaska: China Trade Mission, which includes fisheries, tourism, and investment businesses, as well as a baby food maker, an architecture firm, and a university. The delegation, including Walker, traveled to China from May 19 through May 30 to meet with economic partners, engage with key decision makers, expand Alaska markets, and meet potential customers and in-

dustry and government officials. The delegation was comprised of twenty-six entities:  A2A Railway Development Corporation  Alaska Pacific University  Alaska Skylar Travel  Alyeska Resort & Hotel Alyeska  Anchorage Economic Development Corporation  Bambino’s Baby Food  Bering Straits Native Corporation  Borealis Basecamp  Chena Hot Springs Resort and Holdings  Copper River Seafoods  Denali Visions 3000 (49th State Brewing Co.)  Explore Fairbanks  Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation  Golden Harvest Alaska Seafood  Icicle Seafoods  Kachemak Bay Seafoods  Matson  Mat-Su Borough  Mat-Su Economic Development Corporation  Nana Regional Corporation  PT Capital  RIM Architects & Design  Sealaska Corporation  Trident Seafoods  Trilogy Metals US Inc.  Visit Anchorage gov.alaska.gov

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US COAST GUARD

he Coast Guard will station six fast response cutters in Alaska communities. Coast Guard Commandant Paul Zukunft in a letter said two fast response cutters are already stationed in Ketchikan. Two will be assigned to Kodiak and one each will be home-ported in Sitka and Seward. The Coast Guard plans to build fifty-eight of the 154-foot cutters. They are replacing 110-foot vessels. The agency says the new vessels are capable of deploying independently to conduct missions that include coastal security, fishery patrols, search and rescue, and national defense. Their maximum speed is 28 knots with a range of 2,500 nautical miles and a crew of twenty-four. The Coast Guard also will homeport a coastal patrol boat in Petersburg and Juneau. uscg.mil

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ALASKA AIRLINES

laska Airlines received the top ranking in the 2018 Airline Quality Report for the second year in a row. Airline Quality Rating is calculated based on the performance of US-based airlines using four factors measured by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) including percentage of bags mishandled, on-time arrivals, denied boardings, and complaints to the DOT. The overall industry AQR score improved for 2017. Taking all twelve rated airlines together, the AQR score for the industry improved from a level of -0.95 in 2016 to -0.79 in 2017. The 2017 score is the best AQR score in the twenty-seven year history of the rating. The industry AQR score has improved each year for the past three years (2015, 2016, 2017). airlinequalityrating.com

PND ENGINEERS

PND

published journal articles on salmon science to photos of salmon and their ecosystems. The portal will publish Science Spotlights that highlight new research findings on topics such as the lack of contamination seen in wild Pacific salmon following the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster and marine mammal proliferation and predation on chinook salmon. The ultimate goal of Salmon-Net is to make this information as accessible as possible to any user looking for information on salmon. salmon-net.org

Moose Run Golf Course Bridge

P

ND Engineers received recognition from the National Steel Bridge Alliance, a division of the American Institute of Steel Construction, for two separate bridge projects in the 2018 Prize Bridge Awards competition: a National Award for the Colville River Nigliq Bridge in Nuiqsut, and a Merit Award for the Moose Run Golf Course Bridge in Anchorage. The Colville River Nigliq Bridge, which PND designed for ConocoPhillips Alaska, won the National Award in the Medium Span category (longest span equal to or greater than 140 feet but less than 250 feet). PND’s Moose Run Golf Course Bridge, designed as a Strand Bridge, earned a Merit Award in the Special Purpose category (including pedestrian, pipeline, and airplane bridges).

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KUAC-FM

ore than 120 hours of archival recordings from KUAC-FM, the public radio station in Fairbanks, are now available for listening online. The KUAC-FM Audiotapes Collection consists of nearly 950 open-reel audiotapes containing original local KUAC-FM programs from the late 1970s through the 1990s. It is held at the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Elmer E. Rasmuson Library. Technicians at the Northeast Document Conservation Center digitized 126 hours of recordings with grant funding provided by the Council on Library and Information Resources. The digital recordings are now available for listening online through the UAF library catalog. Topics include Arctic policy, climate change, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, whaling, dog mushing, gardening, and the arts. Programs contain interviews with Alaska Native leaders as well as Alaska authors, politicians, and students. http://library.uaf.edu/finding-aid-kuac-fm-audiotapes-collection

O

OIL SEARCH

il Search completed in March a $400 million transaction to acquire a 25.5 percent interest in the Pikka Unit and adjacent exploration acreage as well as 37.5 percent interest in the Horseshoe Block from Armstrong Energy and GMT Exploration. The acquisition also included operational rights to Pikka and an option for Oil Search to double its interest in the assets for an additional $450 million. Oil Search officially took over Armstrong Energy’s Alaska headquarters in Anchorage in early April. oilsearch.com

C

COEUR MINING

oeur Mining filed a NI 43-101 Technical Report for its Kensington gold mine in Alaska, which reflects a 25 percent increase in proven and probable reserves to 620,700 ounces and a 10 percent increase in average reserve grade

www.akbizmag.com

to 0.21 ounces per ton, or 7.2 grams per tonne, compared to year-end 2016 reserves. Contained in this reserve is an initial reserve estimate for the high-grade Jualin deposit of 74,100 contained ounces of gold based on 157,600 tons of ore at an average grade of 0.47 ounces per ton, or 16.1 grams per tonne. Other highlights of the report include a 13 percent increase in expected average annual payable production; a 17 percent increase in anticipated life-of-mine head grade; an extension of mine life from 2020 to 2022; and the addition of 713,000 ounces of measured and indicated resources and 305,000 ounces of inferred resources. coeur.com

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DONLIN GOLD

PATH TO INDEPENDENCE

he Municipality of Anchorage, along with Cook Inlet Housing Authority, Weidner Apartment Homes, Rasmuson Foundation, and several other local foundations, businesses, and community organizations, announced a publicprivate partnership to provide housing assistance for people experiencing homelessness. Path to Independence will place forty homeless individuals in apartment homes owned by Weidner Apartment Homes and Cook Inlet Housing Authority. The goal of this new pilot program is to quickly house individuals and families experiencing homelessness and to help them remain housed permanently. Program participants will receive financial assistance for up to six months and case management for up to one year. The program will focus on immediate housing stabilization, followed by employment preparedness and connectivity to community support organizations. More than $650,000 in program funding is being provided by partnering agencies. The program is expected to launch next month. muni.org

A

the College of Engineering and Mines over the years,” said Pogo Mine general manager Chris Kennedy. “We’re working together to educate the future workforce in Alaska and this scholarship endowment will help make that happen for years to come.” pogominealaska.com

SUMITOMO METAL MINING POGO

new $300,000 gift from Sumitomo Pogo JV will support scholarships for future engineering students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The company operates the Pogo Mine near Delta Junction. The donation will create the Sumitomo Pogo JV Scholarship Endowment, which will provide annual scholarships to students seeking engineering degrees. “We’ve had a great partnership with UAF and

Donlin Gold

The Prize Bridge Awards competition is conducted every other year and honors significant and innovative steel bridges constructed in the United States. Winners are chosen based on their significant innovation in US steel bridge design and engineering. pndengineers.com

T

he US Army Corps of Engineers released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the proposed Donlin Gold mine project, a major step forward in the project’s effort to secure the permits it needs to construct and operate the mine located in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region of Southwestern Alaska. The Final EIS is a technical evaluation conducted in collaboration with numerous agencies and tribes of the potential impacts related to the proposed mine. This extensive review took nearly six years to complete. The EIS will now guide state and federal agencies as they consider issuing permits for the project. A Record of Decision (ROD) from the US Army Corps of Engineers, the next step in the extensive and thorough regulatory process, is expected later this year. The ROD will describe appropriate mitigation measures required to minimize potential project impacts. Decisions on most federal and state permit applications are anticipated by early 2019. The Donlin Gold project will need more than one hundred permits before it can begin construction and operations, in addition to investment approval from the project owners. donlingold.com R

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RIGHT MOVES Providence

Providence Health & Services Alaska named Ella Goss, MSN, RN, as CEO of Providence Alaska Medical Center. As CEO, Goss will oversee operations of Alaska’s largest hospital; she brings to the role more than twenty-five years of Goss clinical and administrative experience, including twenty years at Providence. Goss has a BS and MS in nursing from Chamberlain University. She is also certified as a professional in healthcare risk management and healthcare quality.

Volunteers of America Alaska

Volunteers of America Alaska named Sherrie Wilson Hinshaw as its new president and CEO. Her background includes extensive experience in business management, affordable housing, and behavioral health services. Hinshaw holds a MS in clinical psychology, a BA in psychology, and a BBA in management and marketing.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska

Heather Harris was hired as CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska. She has dedicated two decades to the state’s most vulnerable children and youth. Harris is an alumna of the University of Alaska Anchorage and earned a master’s degree in public administration Harris from the University of Washington.

Alaska USA

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union has selected two individuals to fill executive level positions. June Gardner has been selected as the new Vice President of Operations. Gardner has more than seventeen years of industry experience and has worked for Alaska Gardner USA for the last three years. She was a recipient of the Alaska Journal Top Forty Under 40 award for demonstrating professional excellence. Elizabeth Rense Pavlas has been selected to fill the position of Senior Vice President, Operations. Pavlas has worked for Alaska USA for nine years in positions of increasing responsibility. Most recently she served as vice president of electronic services.

Pavlas

Forest Service Alaska Region

The USDA Forest Service appointed Jerry Ingersoll as the new Deputy Regional Forester for the Forest Service’s Alaska Region. As deputy regional forester, Ingersoll will help oversee management of more than 22 million acres of National Forest System lands in Southcentral and Ingersoll Southeast Alaska. Ingersoll graduated with honors from the University of California, Berkeley with a BS in forestry. After obtaining his masters, he served as a senior executive fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

McDowell Group

McDowell Group augmented the firm’s healthcare and economics expertise with the recent hiring of Rachael DeMarce, Sylvia Craig, and Paul Strickler. DeMarce previously worked at SouthEast Regional Health Consortium, enhancing financial performance and operational alignment. She holds a master of public health from Columbia University. Her professional experience also includes impleDeMarce menting Sealaska Heritage Institute’s education programs. Craig worked for the Alaska Injury Prevention Center, leading the design, implementation, and evaluation of local and statewide injury prevention efforts. She holds a master of public health from San Diego State University. She previously worked as a research Craig assistant at the Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health in San Diego. Strickler’s recent experience with the State of Alaska includes forecasting non-petroleum revenue sources, maintaining the Alaska Community Database, and contributing to the Fuel Price Report and Revenue Sources Book. He holds a BS in economics and Strickler business from University of Utah.

Key Private Bank

Spencer Wilson joined Key Private Bank as a relationship manager with the Alaska team. In this role, Wilson brings seasoned expertise to deliver exceptional value and customized solutions to high-net worth individuals, families,

and nonprofit organizations. Wilson served in the Navy for more than five years, developing his leadership acumen and building an extensive background in flight instruction and engineering. He holds a BS in systems engineering from the United States Naval Academy.

Wilson

Resource Data

Resource Data hired Andrew Boulton as Senior Systems Engineer at its Anchorage branch. Boulton has his AA Degree from Grossmont College and his CCNA Certificate and CompTIA Network+ Certificate. He recently relocated to Anchorage from Atlanta. Most recently he worked with IT Infrastructure for Source One Direct/Gemalto.

Boulton

Northrim

Northrim Bank Chairman, President, and CEO Joe Schierhorn announced the hiring of Todd K. Greimann, SVP Regional Market Manager for Southeast Alaska; Mike Dye, VP Lending Branch Manager in Soldotna; and Gary Finch, VP Commercial Loan Officer V in Wasilla. The bank also promoted Jason Criqui, SVP Commercial Loan Manager; Adam Baxter, VP Commercial Loan Officer V; and Kelly McCormack, VP Commercial Loan Officer V. Greimann joins Northrim Bank with thirty-three years of experience in banking and the financial industry. He is a third generation Alaskan and holds a BBA in finance from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He began his banking career in the management training program at FNBA, eventually becoming a VP and manager of its Homer location. Dye joins Northrim Bank with fifteen years of experience in the financial industry in Alaska. He was most recently the CEO and CFO at Land’s End Acquisition Corporation in Homer. Dye holds a BS in international business administration from Missouri State University. Finch comes to Northrim Bank with thirty years of experience in the financial industry in North Carolina. He has been in Alaska for the past seven years as the CFO at Mat-Su Plastic Surgery in Palmer. Finch holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Criqui has been with Northrim Bank since 2014 and has nearly twenty years of experience in banking throughout Alaska and the Lower 48. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Emporia State University in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis in biology and business.

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Baxter has been with Northrim Bank since 2014 when he started as a credit analyst. Baxter has a BS in chemistry/ biochemistry from UAF and a MBA from UAF. McCormack has been with Northrim for more than ten years. A lifelong Alaskan, he holds a BA from the University of Washington.

First National

Seven experienced and knowledgeable First National Bank Alaska bankers have been appointed as Senior Vice Presidents. Combined Regional B ranch Manager Karl Heinz is proud to be a main character in a home-grown Alaska success story. Heinz’s deep understanding of Alaska, how it works, and the people in it help make him a valued member of First Heinz National’s senior management team. Heinz joined the bank in 2003. Today, the graduate of the respected Pacific Coast Banking School sees to it that customers’ needs are met at the Glennallen, Kenai, Kodiak, Soldotna, and Valdez branches. IT Systems and Support Director Dustin Hofeling joined the bank in 2011. In charge of the bank’s core processing systems and technical support, Hofeling has played an integral role in the development of the bank’s online banking solutions. He has earned a Hofeling bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master in business administration degree. Controller Brent Kimball owns more than thirty years of banking experience and vast knowledge of bank operations, financial management, and regulatory requirements. Kimball is responsible for the accurate reporting of the bank’s financial information to Kimball the Board of Directors, shareholders, managers, and the public. He also oversees financial forecasting, strategic planning, and vendor and insurance management. Human Resources Director Patty Miller arrived at the bank with more than twenty-seven years of experience working in human resources. Miller guides and manages the overall provision of talent management, training, employee relations, compensation and Miller benefits, policies, and programs for

the bank’s 600-plus Alaska-based employees. Miller helps build the bank’s culture of engagement, agility, and innovation by attracting and developing top talent throughout the organization. Corporate Lending Direc tor Chad Steadman possesses a great appreciation for everything the bank and its customers accomplish. His increased leadership role includes more involvement assisting the bank’s executive management team all while expertly specializing in commercial Steadman underwriting and lending. Steadman understands that meeting the financial needs of Alaskans is a group effort and he’s proud to be part of the successful team. Since 1984, Regional Branch Manager Craig Thorn has played an integral role meeting the banking needs of Alaskans in the MatanuskaSusitna Valley, the fastest-growing community in the state. Based at the Wasilla Branch, Thorn oversees Thorn branch and lending operations and relationship building there as well at the bank’s branches in Eagle River and Palmer. Specialty Lending Director Stacy Tomuro began working in the financial industry nearly thirty-two years ago and joined First National in 2001. Tomuro earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Washington and graduated from Tomuro the renowned Pacific Coast Banking School. Based at the Dimond Branch in Anchorage, Tomuro is responsible for leading and coaching the branch’s lending team and expanding the bank’s loan portfolio with Alaska-based commercial customers and through participation, whole, and SBA-guaranteed loans.

Alutiiq Museum

The Alutiiq Museum hired Maggie Christofferson to staff its reception desk. Christofferson will greet visitors, answer phones, work in the museum store, and provide administrative support to the museum’s staff of eleven. She earned her GED through the Kawerak Adult Christofferson Education program and has previous experience as an administrative assistant in Kodiak and Teller. Daily management of the Alutiiq Museum store is now the responsibility of Christina Thompson, who has been

promoted to the position of Public Outreach Coordinator. In addition to overseeing programs and advertising, Thomson will support the many artists who sell their work through the museum and also develop new products. She is a graduate of Kodiak High School and Thomson a graduate of Central Washington University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a minor in museum studies.

Mat-Su Health Foundation

The Mat-Su Health Foundation welcomed Andrew Romano to the role of Building Superintendent. Romano is responsible for management of the 46,000-squarefoot, multi-tenant facility being built by the Mat-Su Health Foundation in Wasilla. In addition to overseeing dayto-day management and maintenance of the building, Romano is responsible for establishing building policies and procedures and managing the safety and security of the facility and its tenants. He will also prepare, execute, and administer tenant leases. Romano is a veteran of the United States Air Force.

Tlingit & Haida

Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska announced the hire of Emily Edenshaw as Business & Economic Development Director. As director, Edenshaw will lead efforts that promote business and economic opportunities for the Tribe, its tribal Edenshaw business enterprises and citizens, and Southeast Alaska communities. Edenshaw holds an executive MBA in strategic leadership from Alaska Pacific University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public communications from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Alaska Public Media

Alaska Public Media (AKPM) welcomed Shelly Wozniak back to the organization as the Director of FM Programming & On-Air Promotions. Wozniak previously worked at AKPM as the original host and co-producer of the awardwinning program AK. In her current role, Wozniak Wozniak serves as the KSKA 91.1 FM local morning host and is responsible for on-air program schedule, digital audio development, and FM promotions and events. R

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June 2018 | Alaska Business

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ALASKA TRENDS

Building Boats

Commercial Fishing Vessels in Alaska by State of Manufacture

Number of Companies 1,865 23

All Others

370 269

AK 146

FL MN

111

OR

102

CA

91 79

BC

Number of Employees 132,740 371

58

NC

43

TN 0

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

Skills in Demand for Boat and Ship Building

Skill in demand: Welding (aluminum in particular) Fabrication skills Basic technical skills/general labor skills Computer literate, software skills, such as CAD-prints/3D-prints Rigging skills Work ethic, reliability, and hard workers Designing skills/creative thinking/an ability to “think outside the box” Carpentry Fitting skills Mechanical skills (knowledge about propulsion system, and different engines) Upholstery Electrical skills Mechanical engineers Electrical engineers Estimating time and costs for projects

Number of Companies Identifying the Skill in Demand 8 6 4 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

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Source: Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission

Number of Establishments and Employees in the Ship Building Industry (September 2016) Region United States Alaska

714

WA

For a state with a limited manufacturing base, Alaska is home to a longstanding boat and ship building industry. The importance of marine transportation, commercial fisheries, subsistence, and the visitor industry ensures that ships and boats are heavily used in Alaska. This data is from the first study in the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development’s Emerging Sector Series, “Boat and Ship Building,” which attempts to assess and define the growth potential of the industry, along with strategies to support this growth.


Ship Building Industry Barriers to Growth

ANS Crude Oil Production

Identified Barriers Labor—access to skilled, reliable workers Financing—access to the capital needed, including work capital Facilities—the need for larger space Cost of doing business in Alaska including: rent, workman’s comp, and freight costs Geographic location (distance from suppliers and support services) Risky investments-have to pre-commit and pre-buy materials in the winter/fall Dealer/Distribution Small market (recreational)

Number of Companies Identifying Barriers 12 6 3 2 2 1 1 1

Note: Two companies are not included in this table.

05/01/2015 01/01/2014 09/01/2012 05/01/2011 01/01/2010 09/01/2008 05/01/2007 01/01/2006 05/01/2003 01/01/2002

400,000

800,000

1,200,000

ANS West Coast Crude Oil Prices 04/30/2018 09/01/2014 09/01/2012 09/01/2010

Number of Companies Producing

09/01/2008 09/01/2006

2 2 2 1

ANS West Coast $ per barrel $73.44 Apr. 30, 2018

09/01/2004 09/01/2002 09/01/2000 $0

$20

$40

$60

$80 $100 $120 $140 $160

SOURCE: Alaska Department of Revenue Tax Division

1 1 1 1

Statewide Employment Figures 10/1976—11/2017 Seasonally Adjusted 03/01/2018 11/01/2012 01/01/2010

1 1 1

03/01/2007 05/01/2004 07/01/2001

Vigor Industrial

09/01/1998

1 1

1

0

SOURCE: Alaska Department of Revenue Tax Division

Types of Watercraft Produced in Alaska

1 1 1

ANS Production per barrel per day 521,756 Apr. 30, 2018

09/01/2004

09/01/2000

Alaska is home to roughly thirty active boat and ship building businesses. Type of Watercraft Custom aluminum boats Fiberglass boats Sport utility boat Freighter canoes Welded plastic tough duty boats Bowpickers Gillnetters Set netters Offshore landing crafts Hovercrafts River boats Close to shore open-water boats Patrol vessels Passenger charter boats Hull inflatable boats Various ships Commercial/ utility skiffs

04/30/2018

The longliner Arctic Prowler is the first large commercial fishing vessel ever built in Alaska. Data source: Emerging Sector Series: Boat & Ship Building by the UA Center for Economic Development

Labor Force 362,953 Mar. 2018 Employment 336,536 Mar. 2018 Unemployment 7.3% Mar. 2018

11/01/1995 01/01/1993 03/01/1990 05/01/1987 07/01/1984 09/01/1981 11/01/1978 01/01/1976 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 49th State Brewing Company........................112 Advanced Dental Solutions................................45 Advanced Physical Therapy of Alaska.......101 Afognak Leasing LLC.............................................20 Ahtna Inc.....................................................................95 Alaska Air Cargo - Alaska Airlines...................19 Alaska Crane Ltd......................................................38 Alaska Dreams Inc.................................................. 31 Alaska Logistics........................................................72 Alaska Mergers & Acquisitions LLC.................89 Alaska PTAC...............................................................48 Alaska Railroad.........................................................81 Alaska Railroad – Real Estate Division..........33 Alaska Traffic Company.......................................58 Alaska USA Federal Credit Union....................16 ALSCO...........................................................................84 Altman Rogers & Co...............................................27 American Fast Freight..............................................3 American Marine / Penco....................120, 121 AMS Couriers.............................................................59 Anchorage Sand & Gravel...................................29 Arctic Catering & Support Services................97

Arctic Chiropractic..............................................110 AT&T...............................................................................13 Bowhead Transport Company LLC.................69 Business Insurance Associates Inc.................22 Calista Corp...............................................................27 Carlile Transportation Systems........................47 CBI Media Group..................................................113 CIRI..............................................................................114 Comfort Keepers..................................................101 Conam Construction Co......................................37 Conrad-Houston Insurance Agency..............38 Construction Machinery Industrial...................2 Cook Inlet Regional Advisory Council..............................................59 Cornerstone Advisors...........................................15 Crowley Petroleum Distribution......................99 Cruz Companies......................................................28 CRW Engineering Group LLC............................23 Explore Fairbanks.................................................105 First National Bank Alaska.....................................5 Fountainhead Hotels..........................................108 GCI...............................................................................124 Great Originals Inc.................................................89 ICE Services................................................................45 James & Elsie Nolan Center............................106

Jim Meinel CPA P.C................................................25 Judy Patrick Photography...............................122 Lynden Inc..................................................................77 Matson Inc........................................................ 49, 61 Mechanical Contractors of Fairbanks...........30 Nature Conservancy..............................................39 New Horizons Telecom, Inc...............................40 Nortech – ARCTOS Alaska..................................32 Northern Air Cargo.................................118, 119 Northrim Bank..........................................................83 NU FLOW Alaska......................................................92 Olympic Tug & Barge............................................73 Pacific Coast Maritime..........................................73 Pacific Northwest Regional Council Carpenters.........................................33 Pacific Pile & Marine...................115, 116, 117 Painting with Words...............................................48 Parker Smith & Feek.............................................111 PenAir...........................................................................63 PIP Marketing Signs Print....................................21 PND Engineers Inc..................................................81 Port of Alaska............................................................53 Port of Valdez...........................................................78 Princess Lodges........................................................71 Quality Asphalt Paving (QAP)............................21

Redpath Mining Contractors and Engineers....................................................97 Resolve Marine Group..........................................91 Risq Consulting........................................................85 Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers............................93 Samson Tug & Barge..............................................78 Seatac Marine Service...........................................75 Security Aviation.....................................................65 Sitnasuak Native Corp...........................................11 Span Alaska Transportation LLC......................52 Stantec ........................................................................22 Stellar Designs Inc...............................................113 The Megan Room.................................................107 The Plans Room.......................................................37 TOTE Maritime Alaska...........................................67 Travel Juneau.........................................................109 Tutka LLC.....................................................................29 United Way of Anchorage.......................17, 103 Vigor Alaska...............................................................55 Voice of the Arctic Inupiat..................................41 Washington Crane & Hoist..................................94 Wells Fargo Bank Alaska...................................123 Yukon Equipment Inc............................................25

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Profile for Alaska Business

Alaska Business June 2018  

Alaska Airlines has experienced many periods of growth since its inception in 1932, but the last few years definitely stand out as the airli...

Alaska Business June 2018  

Alaska Airlines has experienced many periods of growth since its inception in 1932, but the last few years definitely stand out as the airli...