Page 1


Focusing on the Alaska Marine Highway System

ESCO® Attachments

SXDP Super ExtremeDuty Plate Lip Bucket

Bucyrus Blades™ Cutting Edges


Ultralok® Tooth System


FAIRBANKS Clayton Dunn P: 907-455-9600 F: 907-455-9700

JUNEAU P: 907-780-4030 F: 907-780-4800

KETCHIKAN P: 907-247-2228 F: 907-247-2229

Copyright ©, WEIR and the WEIR Logo are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Weir Engineering Services Ltd.

Our Cold Chain Is Your Cold Chain

Refrigerated Receiving Docks, Storage, and Trailers Available Certif ied Food Quality Control Staff Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Compliant



Puerto Rico

Chilled Dry Frozen

Our temperature controlled environments ensure protected transport and freshness to any domestic offshore destination.

Get Your Quote Today! CALL (800) 642-6664







Financing options for a variety of vessels

Designing with patient and provider health in mind

Creativity is crucial when building Alaska’s runways

By Tracy Barbour

By Vanessa Orr

By Isaac Stone Simonelli

20 OIL & GAS


Removing profitability barriers with automation technology

AI, drones, and machine learning are changing the resource development landscape

Bankrolling Boats

Space to Heal

Phillips Cruises and Tours

New Methods of Tackling Old Problems By Isaac Stone Simonelli

Top-Flight Priorities

Mining for New Technology

By Tasha Anderson


Luxury—Alaska Style

Redefining extravagance off-the-grid By Vanessa Orr


Arctic Infrastructure Ingenuity

Engineering keeps old and new buildings stable and safe


The Sheldon Chalet

By Vanessa Orr


The Alaska Marine Lifeline Connecting businesses and communities along the coast By Tasha Anderson

36 R AVN

Ravn Air Picks Up PenAir Protecting PenAir jobs, service routes, and operations By Isaac Stone Simonelli

ABOUT THE COVER Sailing the open seas has always carried risk, especially in the days before accurate navigational tools. The phrase “all at sea” stems from a time when, if a vessel wasn’t in sight of land, its position was uncertain and potentially lost.


2019 Alaska Business Transportation Directory

54 FACILITIES Transforming Transportation

The art of developing transportation infrastructure By Tasha Anderson

The Alaska Marine Highway System’s future is certainly all at sea, but it doesn’t need to be. Much like ocean-travelers developed the tools to track their location and get them home safely, Alaska has all the tools it needs to point the ferry system in the right direction: managing costs, boosting efficiency, maintaining assets, and providing vital transportation services to Southeast and Southwest Alaska. Cover Design by David Geiger, Art Director | Ferry photo: ©











For Major Marine’s Tom Tougas, sharing breathtaking views of Alaska is a dream come true. At First National, delivering industry insights, fast, local approvals and custom banking services has been our strength for nearly a century. As Alaska’s community bank, our unparalleled hindsight delivers a clear, focused vision for the future. Major Marine chooses First National’s experience and expertise when navigating Alaska’s evolving visitor industry. Discover how local know-how can make a genuine difference in your business. We’re here to help you chart a course to success. Promises kept. Trust earned. Since 1922.

NMLS #640297

We believe in Alaska.


Transportation Trials and Tribulations

6 | June 2019

Published by Alaska Business Publishing Co. Anchorage, Alaska


Kathryn Mackenzie 257-2907 Associate Editor

Tasha Anderson 257-2902 Digital and Social Media Specialist


laskans talk about transportation a lot. And for good reason: getting around the state can be challenging and expensive. Ensuring all communities—small and large—have access to the goods and services they need is challenging and expensive. The good news is that there are many people and companies dedicated to transporting the goods and services needed to keep Alaska in business, in comfort, and in good health. The not-so-good news is that in recent years, Alaska’s infrastructure needs are not being met due to a lack of state funding. Perhaps most in peril at this point in time is the Alaska Marine Highway System, which is facing an uncertain future as state officials consider Governor Mike Dunleavy’s proposed $97 million in budget cuts designed to address a projected $1.6 billion shortfall, due to reduced revenue from the oil industry. There are many points of contention related to Dunleavy’s budget, but what may be being missed is a much bigger question than whether these cuts are warranted. Is it possible that Alaska’s oil industry is shouldering too much of the responsibility when it comes to paying for infrastructure and crucial programs? The recession we are crawling out of has made it all too clear that when oil production or prices decline, so does the state’s ability to pay for essential services, such as the ferry system. Like many businesses have needed to do over the past few years, it’s time for Alaska’s officials to find ways to diversify its income. While the state figures out how to reconcile income versus spending, Alaska’s transportation companies continue to do what Alaskans do best: persevere, grow, reinvent. In this issue we delve deep into the Alaska Marine Highway System through interviews with the people who rely on it for… basically everything. We also profile a number of companies and organizations investing in their own operations to better serve us and our visitors. And of course we publish our annual Transportation Directory with more than 100 company listings—all of them dedicated to moving people, things, and services to, from, and around the state via land, air, and sea. In other, totally unrelated news, we’re extremely excited about this year’s Best of Alaska Business Award winners who will be revealed next month. We are thankful for the incredible responses we received in support of the business community. And to thank you, honor the award winners, and enjoy the beautiful summer sun, we’re holding what promises to be another amazing party on July 11 on the 49th State Brewing Co. rooftop with live music, delectable food, custom cocktails, and plenty of networking opportunities. Tickets are available at We can’t wait to see you there! In the meantime, enjoy this issue of Alaska Business.

VOLUME 35, #6

Arie Henry 257-2906 Art Director

David Geiger 257-2916 Art Production

Linda Shogren 257-2912 Photo Contributor

Judy Patrick


Billie Martin VP & General Manager

Jason Martin 257-2905 VP Sales & Marketing

Charles Bell 257-2909 Senior Account Manager

Janis J. Plume

Kathryn Mackenzie Managing Editor, Alaska Business

257-2917 Advertising Account Manager

Christine Merki 257-2911 Accounting Manager

Ana Lavagnino

While the state figures out how to reconcile income versus spending, Alaska’s transportation companies continue to do what Alaskans do best: persevere, grow, reinvent.

257-2901 Customer Service Representative

Emily Olsen 257-2914 501 W. Northern Lights Boulevard,Suite 100 Anchorage, Alaska 99503-2577 Toll Free: 1-800-770-4373 (907) 276-4373 Press releases:

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; © 2019 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 $4.99 each; $5.99 for the July & October issues. Send subscription orders and address changes to To order back issues ($9.99 each including postage) visit alaska-business. AKBusinessMonth AKBusinessMonth alaska-business-monthly


When your name is Alaska, you’d better be able to deliver.

We’re proud to be the largest scheduled cargo carrier in Alaska. No one is more committed to the people of Alaska. Serving 19 communities across the state.* For more information or to book your shipment online, go to Or call us at 1-800-225-2752. *Some flights operate seasonally.


Bankrolling Boats Financing options for a variety of vessels By Tracy Barbour

8 | June 2019



hittier-based Phillips Cruises and Tours recently finished a two-year project to transform a former New York passenger ferry into a tourism excursion vessel for Alaska. The ferry had a complete retrofit: mechanics and electronics were replaced; new seating and tables were installed; and the interior cabin was opened up to give every seat a clear line of sight outside. The Bravest—named after a New York Fire Department involved in a 9/11 rescue—made its long-awaited Alaska debut this spring. “The vessel we currently use for the 26 Glacier Cruise [the Klondike Express] has a capacity of 338 passengers, and this vessel will add another 288 seats,” says Bob Neumann, owner of Phillips Cruises and Tours. “So there will be less crowding at peak season. The biggest benefit is that we now have a backup vessel in case of engine failure or other issues with the Klondike Express.” To facilitate revamping the Bravest, Neumann borrowed $7 million from First National Bank Alaska with a fixed interest rate of less than 5 percent and a twelve-year term. Half of those funds were used to pay off a higher-interestrate loan from another institution, leaving $3.5 million for the retrofit. “Much of the project was done in house, where we used our own funds,” Neumann says. Working with First National was “fantastic,” says Neumann, who has been in the Alaska tourism business since 1985. “They gave me so much leeway,” he explains. “They were not on my back asking for progress reports. Right off the bat, we had a trusting relationship, and I really appreciate that.” He adds: “It’s the first time that I had a bank that actually worked with me and sees the value in the business I am running... They’re one of the few local

The Bravest, the latest addition to Phillips Cruises and Tours’ fleet. Phillips Cruises and Tours

banks that is left, and they understand my history and I understand theirs. It’s been so nice to have a bank on my side.” Marine vessels like the Bravest are the mechanical backbone of some of the state’s key industries: tourism, fishing, and transportation. Alaska’s financial institutions have a variety of options to help business owners purchase new or used vessels to support their operations.

Financing for a Variety of Vessels First National offers financing for a wide range of commercial watercraft, from private yachts for hire, tugs, and tour/ charter boats to fishing vessels like gillnetters, long liners, and tenders. “We can find a way to finance just about any type of commercial marine vessel,” says Zac Hays, vice president and commercial lending unit manager at First National. At Wells Fargo, there are loan programs available for almost any vessel imaginable, according to Senior Vice President

and Alaska Commercial Banking Manager Sam Mazzeo. In Alaska, the bank provides marine vessel financing for everything from commercial fishing boats and barges to various tourismrelated vessels. “We do more of this type of lending in Alaska than anybody else,” Mazzeo says. “It’s something we’ve done for a very long time, and it’s an integral part of our business.” Wells Fargo has an extensive statewide presence, including in coastal communities, Mazzeo says. “We provide unique opportunities for people interested in this type of financing to talk to someone directly whether it’s my office for larger financing or for local boats in Juneau, Kodiak, and Cordova,” he says. Northrim Bank also offers a diverse range of financing options for marine vessels, with a few exceptions that include cargo ships, very large cruise ships, and most foreign vessels. Northrim is an Alaskan-run bank that is supportive of its communities, says

“We have a number of options for different types of vessels and types of borrowers. Certainly, with the lower-risk types of clients, we like to lend our own money. But as the dollars or Northrim

risk increase, we ask for a guarantee.” —Todd Greimann Southeast Regional Market Manager, Northrim

Alaska Business

June 2019 | 9

Senior Vice President and Southeast Regional Market Manager Todd Greimann. Juneau-based Greimann, who began his banking career in the mid-80s in Fairbanks, says Northrim’s Southeast team of commercial lenders has fifty to sixty years of collective experience to assist customers. “We certainly feel like we have as good of an understanding of our communities as anyone,” he says. “We want to help grow businesses and support our clients.” Greimann says Northrim mainly focuses on using its in-house loans to finance commercial ocean-going vessels. He explains: “We have a number of options for different types of vessels and types of borrowers. Certainly, with the lower-risk types of clients, we like to lend our own money. But as the dollars or risk increase, we ask for a guarantee.” Over the years, Northrim has received loan guarantees by partnering with the State of Alaska, Small Business Administration (SBA), USDA, AIDEA, and Bureau of Indian Affairs. AIDEA, for example, facilitates marine vessel financing under its Loan Participation Program. The vessel must be home-ported in Alaska and

Chris Anderson Commercial Finance Director, AIDEA

Karsten Rodvik External Affairs Officer, AIDEA



must ply Alaska waters, according to Chris Anderson, AIDEA’s commercial finance director. “To date, the ones that we have considered are related to Alaska’s tourism sector,” she says. AIDEA’s Loan Participation Program provides permanent financing, both taxable and tax-exempt, to borrowers through a qualified originator for the purpose of developing, acquiring, or enhancing Alaska business enterprises or for a qualified energy development project. “In this program, we don’t originate loans but are able to purchase up to 90 percent of a commercial loan to a maximum of $25 million

that is sponsored and originated by an eligible financial institution,” Anderson explains. “The borrower goes through the lender and is the lender’s client. Then the lender brings the loan to AIDEA and is our client.” As Alaska’s development finance authority, AIDEA’s mission is to provide a variety of financial tools that support the development of the state’s economy, promote diversity, and create job opportunities for Alaskans, says Karsten Rodvik, AIDEA’s external affairs officer. “Our Loan Participation Program is one of these valuable tools that help provide Alaska businesses access to long-term fixed or variable rate financing,” he says.  

Qualifying Factors Commercial marine vessel financing is a distinctive aspect of business lending. However, the qualification process is consistent with what happens with other types of commercial loans. The main factors that Northrim considers are the standard five “Cs” of credit: character, capacity (the ability to repay), capital (investment or down payment), collateral, and conditions. Conditions—what’s happening in

FOR SALE UGASHIK BARGE Kvichak Queen Steel Barge with square chine and welded seams Length: 80’ Beam: 33’ Depth: 5’7” Draft: 4’ Net Weight: 134 Tons Full marine survey available upon request • Hull has 8” half-round steel stiffener around entire hull, 8” half round steel tube mid hull • Stern deck pump house holds diesel engine, Vickers hydraulic pump and Lima 4kw generator, 8’ x 12’ vented storage area (not designed for living quarters) For more info please contact: • 2’ x 5’10” starboard aft workbench station Steven Alvarez • Flooring is 6” x 1” fir wood planking • Marine electronics include insulated braided wiring with safety Ugashik Traditional Village Office switches, electrical panel with breakers, amp and volt meters 907-338-7611 • Crouse-Hinds remote control cabin mounted spotlight, navigation safety lights 10 | June 2019


the borrower’s industry—is probably the most specific factor to lending in Alaska and Southeast, Greimann says. For example, with the fishing industry, king salmon runs have been poorer over the years while halibut has been steady. In the tourism industry, conditions are very favorable. “So we’re seeing a lot of demand for business investment for the tourism industry,” he says. “All the rest pretty much fall into general guidelines, with the standard lending practices.” Marine vessel loans are typically collateralized with the asset being financed. And in some cases, additional security might be required, according to Marc Guevarra, a vice president and commercial loan officer at Northrim Bank in Juneau. “If we feel there is some additional risk, we may very well look to collateralize the loan with other assets they may have such as heavy equipment or stock,” he says. “It depends on the situation and comfort level that we have.” For a commercial fishing operation, Northrim might also consider the value of the borrower’s fishing permit and what the client’s catch will be. The bank can’t take the fishing permit as collateral,

but it will look at the permit in many unique attributes, in terms of the value of that speterms of the use of the vessel, cific fishery. “We’ll review what how broadly the vessel could the industry is looking like and be marketed and reused, and what pricing is like,” Guevarra understanding the useful life says. “We will also look at the of the vessel and the trends. variety of permits that a fisherIt can work to the borrower’s man has.” advantage if the vessel being The risk and comfort that financed can be used for lenders associate with vessel broader applications. If the Guevarra, Commercial financing also have broader Marc vessel can be deployed in Loan Officer, Northrim implications. Greimann exAlaska and other places, that Northrim plains: “It gets back to our partmakes it a more marketable ners. If we have loans that are a little bit asset and stronger collateral than a riskier, we might deal with SBA or AIDEA. piece of property that can’t be moved. “A That helps us to mitigate the overall risk Bristol Bay gillnetter is a 32-foot alumiwhile still supporting our clients.” num boat with a specific purpose, and For AIDEA, the main considerations a tug that moves barges around for for loan qualifying are collateral value different purposes could be used for a obtained through a marine survey, the lot of ports around the world with a lot financial strength of the borrower, and of different economies,” Mazzeo says. the cash flow of the business. “The “There can be a greater resale value for business must have a solid track record a general-purpose utility vessel like a as an operating entity and a cash flow tug versus a fishing vessel for a specific acceptable to AIDEA for a minimum of kind of fishery.” two years,” Anderson says. Because of the importance of the useful life and effective age of a vessel, Wells Fargo has marine surveyors Important Considerations Marine vessel financing, Mazzeo says, is inspect the asset being financed. Safety a unique subsector of lending that has inspections may also be necessary,

Alaska Business

June 2019 | 11

“A Bristol Bay gillnetter is a 32-foot aluminum boat with a specific purpose, and a tug that moves barges around for different purposes could be used for a lot of ports around the world with a lot of different economies… There can be a greater resale value for a general-purpose utility vessel like a tug versus a fishing vessel for a specific kind of fishery.” —Sam Mazzeo Alaska Commercial Banking Manager, Wells Fargo

depending on the size of the vessel and the number of crew members and passengers it might carry. “We try to make sure we’re matching the loan term with the effective useful life,” he says. If a new vessel is to be constructed, considerations are made about the due diligence and analysis of the shipyard that might be building the vessel. “It becomes important for the lender to understand the nature of the shipyard’s contract and financial capacity,” Mazzeo says. Wells Fargo’s loan term for marine vessels ranges from five to twenty-five years, depending on how specialized the vessel is. If it has a narrower purpose and narrower market for reuse, the loan will have a shorter term. Likewise, longer terms are available for more diverse borrowers and more general utility type vessels. Mazzeo explains: “A tug that can be used in Alaska, Australia, or elsewhere will have a longer term. For fishing vessels, in general, we want those to amortize in ten to fifteen years, and the term of the loan might be inside of that depending on the strength of the borrower. If it’s a single-purpose fishing vessel and a single species harvester, we’d probably want

it to amortize in ten years. If it’s a larger fishing company that’s diversified and involved in multiple sectors, we’d probably have flexibility to make loans out to fifteen years.” First National uses a similar approach to handling loans for commercial marine vessels. In general, the bank considers the use of the proceeds, source of repayment, and the life of the collateral and then structures the loan accordingly. This requires understanding the use of the collateral and having a solid grasp of the industry itself, says Hays, who’s been in the commercial banking business for twenty-five years, with much of that time related to fishing vessel financing. With a commercial fishing vessel, Hays says, it’s essential to understand that the source of repayment of the loan is tied to fish. So one of the more specialized aspects of financing is knowing how to structure the loan so that repayment is linked to when the borrower is most likely to have the funds. “Sometimes that means accepting interest-only payments for a substantial period of the year, with the principle due at the end of the year,” Hays says. “And it helps to know what type of fisheries people are participating in.”

“With commercial lending in general, we often tie the length of the loan to the length of time you can FNBA

depreciate that asset on your taxes.” —Zac Hays Commercial Lending Unit Manager, FNBA

12 | June 2019

The same knowledge of industries and payment structure would be applied to assets like tug boats, barges, and boats being used to haul equipment in Prudhoe Bay. “Obviously, the boat would not be used when things are frozen solid up there, and that would need to be considered when structuring the loan payment,” he says. Like most financial institutions, First National uses the commercial vessel being financed as collateral. It also routinely asks the borrower to personally guarantee the loan—even if it’s for a corporate entity. Generally speaking, the bank’s maximum term for marine vessel financing runs up to ten years or even longer—if it’s justifiable. Of course, no two loans are the same, and there’s an exception to everything. “With commercial lending in general, we often tie the length of the loan to the length of time you can depreciate that asset on your taxes,” he says. “You also have to look at the reserves available to fix unforeseen problems. Generally, maintenance on boats can cost six figures. You have to make sure the borrower is well-versed and can take care of unforeseen issues.” Hays advises business owners who are seeking vessel financing to get a good understanding of profit and loss. It’s important for them to not only know how to make revenue but to understand the expenses associated with their line of work. He also encourages people not to be afraid to ask a lot of questions and to shop around for the most appropriate lender for their needs. He says: “We all have weaknesses, and we all have strengths. It’s important that when you deal with specialized lending, you find an institution that understands your business and goals.”


Let Your Dreams Take Flight Financially, you know where you want to be in the next ten, twenty, or thirty years. At Cornerstone, we can help you structure your wealth in a way that lets you pursue your passions and enjoy the fruits of your labor. From strategic wealth and estate planning, to more abstract ideas like planning family vacations, we simplify time-consuming tasks so you can live the life you’ve earned. Invest a little time now to get more back later by calling Cornerstone Advisors. l l (907) 770-0658 l Anchorage, AK


One of Southcentral Foundation’s Primary Care Clinics. NBBJ/©Benjamin Benschneider

14 | June 2019


Space to Heal Designing with patient and provider health in mind


By Vanessa Orr

s healthcare continues to evolve, so does the space where services are provided. While traditional visits to the doctor included seeing one practitioner in an exam room located in a stand-alone office, today’s office design may include “talking rooms,” shared space with other businesses, and an emphasis on access and convenience. In many cases, former retail or commercial spaces have been converted into medical facilities. “A lot of reasons why medical facilities are moving into retail locations revolve around convenience and access, particularly in urban areas,” explains Rich Dallam, managing partner at global architecture firm NBBJ and a leader of its health practice. “Taking time to drive back and forth to the doctor’s office is inconvenient; it’s easier for people if they can fit it into what they do in daily life, like going to the store or running errands. “While many drug stores, such as CVS and Walgreens, have responded to consumer demand by venturing into ‘primary care lite,’ traditional providers are playing catch-up,” he continues. “These drug stores already have urgent care centers in retail spaces in many cities.” According to Dallam, like most real estate transactions, location is key. “When we’re helping clients find a site, we look for places where there are already drug stores and Starbucks, because this is typically where people live and work,”

Alaska Business

June 2019 | 15

Get your life back! Our goal is to have patients regain mobility, get back to work/play, and lead healthier, more active lives while avoiding surgery if possible. Practicing state-of-the-art evidence-based medicine with multi-disciplinary personalized care by Double Board Certified Physicians. Treatments are minimally invasive and have proven to significantly decrease dependence on pain medications/opioids. Common Conditions Treated: Neck, Back, Joint, Headache and Extremity Pain and CRPS.

Don’t let your pain control your life. Call us today and take the first step to get your life back.


Interventional Pain & Spine Specialists 4001 Laurel St., Suite 202 Anchorage, AK 99508

4961 E. Mayflower Ln. Wasilla, AK 99654

907-277-PAIN (7246) in Anchorage

907-376-PAIN (7246) in Mat-Su

he explains. “And not only is location important but so is the availability of the right kind of space.” The type of space that is required depends on what type of office or clinical space is being built. “Turning a retail space into a primary care office is not particularly complicated in terms of remodeling,” says Dallam. “But the moment you start providing imaging, the remodels get more complicated. You need to consider shielding, power requirements, and hazardous materials from contrasts used. There’s also the weight of the equipment to consider.” “The existing infrastructure of a retail facility may not work,” agrees Karen Stephens, project manager at Architects Alaska. “You need to consider several factors, such as floor-to-floor height, HVAC requirements, and, if the office is located on a building’s upper level, the fact that you might need to reinforce the floor to accommodate really heavy equipment like a floor-mounted CT scanner.” “You need to protect what’s above and below, which may require radiation screening,” adds Kathleen Benoit, project manager at Architects Alaska. “And you also have to take into consideration the needs of the medical equipment itself; for example, an MRI can be affected by car traffic or by elevators, so it’s typical to put in lead-lined walls.” Mixed-use buildings are also more challenging for designers, who need to create occupancy separation through the use of firewalls. They must also consider what type of medical facilities are allowed in certain types of buildings—a wood-framed building, for example, may not be appropriate to house certain types of medical equipment or procedures. “If you’re working in a critical access facility, like a hospital, the facility has to stay open for emergencies, so it’s required to be built to a higher code and with a higher level of building materials,” says Benoit. “It needs to be able to withstand fires and earthquakes and still provide services to the community.”

Privacy and Traffic Flow Designers must also take into account the many ways that patient privacy can be protected. It can be uncomfortable to stand in front of other people in a waiting room and share medical or financial information. 16 | June 2019


Most businesses overpay for workers’ compensation insurance. Does yours? Contact us to find out.


Alaska Owned & Operated Since 1979

Southcentral Foundation’s Primary Care Clinics II and III were designed by NBBJ to support a team-based model of care. The design includes informal collaborative zones and a mix of clinical and nonclinical spaces to improve patient flow. NBBJ/©Benjamin Benschneider

“Some clinics have tried to create separate entrances for mental health patients, for example, and while this looks good on paper, it doesn’t always work well in execution,” says Stephens. “Everyone knows why a person is going to ‘that’ window. But if everyone is checking in at the same window, you don’t know the reason that they’re there.” “HIPAA does not dictate the need for separate rooms to keep information private, but staff in reception areas have to be very careful about how much information is said out loud,” adds Benoit. “Privacy is tricky, which is why we often design consultation rooms where people can go to talk about their medications, financial issues, and more.” Patient flow is also a consideration, especially in ambulatory surgical centers where patients will be leaving after medical procedures. “People don’t

ways look or feel great after surgery, so you want to provide a way for them to leave discreetly,” says Stephens.

Keeping Disruptions Down When remodeling a space, it’s important to try to keep disruptions to a minimum, especially in a mixed-use facility or within an already established healthcare facility that is treating patients. Unfortunately, this can add to construction costs. “When the whole building can be gutted in one phase, it’s much easier. When you’re remodeling just a section of an existing space, you have to be extremely careful not to disrupt the portion of the building that is occupied,” says Benoit. “When you have to do things in phases to keep the facility open and operational, costs and time go up. You have to weigh the benefits of keeping the building open with the increased cost.” Alaska Business

June 2019 | 17

Southcentral Foundation holistically addresses the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of patients. NBBJ/©Benjamin Benschneider

Benoit gives the example of the new Children’s Emergency Care department that was constructed in five different phases at Providence Alaska Medical Center last year. “It was a juggling act. The end goal was to create a new emergency department, but it affected many other medical and office spaces along the way,” she says. In addition to trying not to disturb staff and patients, the designers also had to be conscientious about infection control and the fact that the current emergency room needed to remain operational 24/7. “We spent a lot of time with the staff to get an intricate understanding of how they worked—where they took X-rays for instance, how they transported patients, 18 | June 2019

and where they got supplies, among other things,” says Stephens. “We had to design a solution that caused as little disruption as possible in their everyday roles.”

A New Way of Thinking While there are many factors to take into consideration when creating a healthcare space, one that is beginning to receive more attention is the need to holistically address the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of patients, staff, and community alike. “Southcentral Foundation has become a national leader in reconceiving how care is provided, particularly primary care,” says Dallam. “When we first started

working with them some thirty years ago, they raised the question: ‘How do we help people who want to use our resources to live a better life?’ They were not looking at healthcare as a transaction or as episodic; they wanted to find ways to help improve population health by changing the way that people think of it.” Southcentral began by establishing a longitudinal, relationship-based care model that has evolved over time. “They started simply by saying that if you call by 4 p.m. and can be at the office by 4:30, you will be seen by a care team,” says Dallam. “When Southcentral made that commitment, emergency room use dropped precipitously. When people are confident that they will be seen by their care provider in an outpatient setting almost immediately, instead of waiting for weeks for an appointment and then giving up and going to the emergency room [ER], it makes a big difference.” Dallam adds that not only is the ER the most expensive way to get care but it is also the main route for inpatient bed utilization. In addition to reducing ER use by 50 percent, this innovation also reduced patient room utilization. Customer and staff satisfaction rates top 90 percent. Family groups are seen by the same care team as a way to deal with social health issues. “If you treat a 16-year-old boy for obesity, chances are that treatment will not stick,” says Dallam. “But if you work with the whole family, you can begin to understand the root cause instead of just the symptoms.” From a space perspective, the team approach required that Southcentral clinics be designed in a different way. NBBJ designed Southcentral’s Primary Care Center I in 2002 and PCC II in 2010. “When we were considering exam rooms, we asked how many client visits required disrobing, and the answer was only 40 percent; that’s where the innovation of the talking room came in,” says Dallam. “A lot of interactions are simple verbal exchanges, so there’s no need to feel anxiety walking into a room and seeing an exam table. While it was initially an experiment, it changed the orientation between providers and the people receiving care because they were no longer sitting separately.” The teams, which include a primary care physician, nurse, case manager, one to two medical assistants, and an administrator, share a space that is divided by


“A lot of reasons why medical facilities are moving into retail locations revolve around convenience and access, particularly in urban areas. Taking time to drive back and forth to the doctor’s office is inconvenient.” —Rich Dallam Managing Partner NBBJ

glass partitions from the other teams. Space was also created so that adjunct health professionals, such as behavioral, pharmacological, and nutrition experts, could come in and join the teams. “We call it max packing—bringing all the resources to the person in one visit—which saves time and money, is more convenient, and allows the healthcare team to solve problems more completely,” says Dallam. In addition to changing the way that healthcare spaces are designed, NBBJ worked to change attitudes as well. Words like “patient” and “compliant” have been shelved since they imply that people are passive bystanders in their own health journey. And some providers

needed to be educated about the benefits of an open-plan layout that no longer included their own private spaces. “One of the biggest issues we faced concerned the sanctity of the private office; physicians thought that they needed their own offices, but when you look at medical institutions, these spaces are empty most of the day,” says Dallam, adding that they also keep the doctors insulated. “We had to work through the social process and talk to doctors about how the team format was ideal for helping them leverage their time better while keeping abreast of what was going on,” he continues. Dallam adds that the new generation

of medical professionals is more amenable to the team orientation and that medical administrators are also seeing the benefits of this type of approach. NBBJ is currently in the process of working to understand another issue that is extremely important to healthcare—staff burnout. “Emotional and mental fatigue are a major issue, so we’re working with a brain specialist to understand the science behind it so we can actively design environments to provide a counterbalance,” says Dallam. “If we continue to burn out the people who are providing care, we have no care system left. Our commitment is not just to patient health, but to everyone’s health.”




BETTER Find the tools to succeed at

Alaska Business

June 2019 | 19


Technologies like Emerson’s Rosemount 928 Wireless Gas Monitor can reliably gather data in remote locations with sub-zero temperatures and harsh environments like the Arctic. Emerson

New Methods of Tackling Old Problems Removing profitability barriers with automation technology By Isaac Stone Simonelli


ollowing the crash of oil prices in 2014, companies industrywide started looking for ways to increase their performance through digital transformation—if they weren’t doing so already. Many companies have found the answer in automation technology. “New small- to mid-cap operators are more proactive in their usage of new technology and their desire to try new ways of tackling the [Arctic] region’s challenges,” explains Chris Amstutz, vice president of oil and gas industry programs for Emerson Automation Solutions. “The more entrenched players are also adopting new technologies, but they’re forced to deal with aging facilities and infrastructure and the cost structures associated with older assets.” These barriers to the profitability of adopting newer technology are further increased for those operating in the Arctic due to harsh conditions and the remoteness of the fields.

20 | June 2019

IoT in Oil & Gas “According to US Geological Survey estimates, the Arctic may hold 90 billion barrels of undiscovered oil reserves,” Amstutz says. “As production in the easierto-access areas declines, companies are exploring new, more challenging sites for E&P [exploration and production] activity. To reduce operating risks, many of them are turning to the industrial Internet of Things [IoT] and digitization to deal with the demands of operating in difficult environments like the Arctic.” IoT is the connection of “things” with an on/off switch to the internet and each other. This includes everything from wearable tech and smart devices to coffee pots, refrigerators, or door bells, as well as devices and technology being used in oilfields. Analyst firm Gartner predicts that there will be more than 26 billion IoT devices by 2020. In the oil and gas industry, IoT platforms are designed to connect remotely, eliminating the need for workers to be onsite

for standard monitoring purposes. This technology marks an evolution in the automation sector, as it moves from a dialed-in focus on supplying hardware and aftermarket services to providing software tools to wrangle with vast amounts of data to help make important decisions about what’s happening in processing plants and on rigs. “Cloud-based remote asset monitoring gets resources where it’s safer and easier to work,” Amstutz says. “For example, monitoring of inner and outer annulus pressure on wells with wireless pressure gauges is being used to eliminate manual readings and keep personnel out of harsh environments and out of danger from potential energy release.” Other examples of such technology at work are remote testing facilities installed on trailers for onsite testing of systems and machinery, as well as remote surveillance of well and field performance, which proponents of the technology say leads to greater certainty


Welcome to a

new era in cybersecurity for business The new

The scale and power of AT&T Business now includes Alien Labs, one of the world’s largest open-access threat intelligence communities (OTX) with over 100,000 security experts. We help protect your business around the clock and from edge to edge.

Learn more at

Š 2019 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved.

All other marks used herein are the property of their respective owners.

of the producing assets and the ability to quickly detect and mitigate issues. When such cloud-based analytics are coupled with mobile predictive maintenance tools, it’s possible to identify and remedy issues with drill rigs, control valves, artificial lift pumps, pipelines, compressors, and other key assets, eliminating unnecessary trips to the field and deploying resources to work on only necessary maintenance items, Amstutz explains.

Improving Workflow There is opportunity to use automation technology in the oil and gas industry to

create efficiencies throughout the full oil and gas lifecycle. At Emerson, this includes developing technology for subsurface, workflow, and topside work. “On the subsurface side, Emerson has been a pioneer in using fit-for-purpose artificial intelligence engines to identify subsurface features from terabytes of seismic data, classify facies using seismic waveforms, predict geologic facies from well log and core data, fill in missing well data, predict key performance indicators from a diversity of subsurface data, and incorporate measured subsurface uncertainties into production forecasting and

optimization workflows,” Amstutz says. “These new AI engines can accelerate the time to higher quality results critical to exploration and drilling activities in the Arctic.” At the workflow level, Emerson has rolled out its trademarked Big Loop automated workflow system. The system starts at depth conversion to flow simulations, providing up-to-date information about a reservoir. “Emerson’s Big Loop architecture bridges exploration and production objectives by synchronizing the static and dynamic reservoir models. This workflow incorporates subsurface uncertainties from many different sources, propagating many possible subsurface models [scenarios] constrained by the production history,” Amstutz says. “Other automated workflows include synchronizing geophysical velocity model updates with subsurface geologic model updates, ensuring their consistency. Both automated workflows can have huge implications for project work in the [Arctic] region.” In terms of topside automation technology, operators are using IoT data management, analytics, and mobility platforms for enhancing safety, improving efficiency, reducing environmental risk, and leveraging the potential opportunities in the Arctic region, Amstutz explains. “The key pillars of this approach are the IoT, pervasive sensing, secure cloud computing, data analytics, AI, and machine learning,” Amstutz says. “Emerson’s Plantweb digital ecosystem integrates a broad portfolio of these technologies to provide insight into asset health and processes to facilitate better decisionmaking across the entire enterprise.”

New Tech, New Security According to global research and consulting group Frost & Sullivan, the primary challenge to IoT development is data security—any tampering with data is potentially harmful to a company’s short-term and long-term strategy or operations. However, companies are developing security measures and protocols to protect client assets. According to a press release from Rockwell Automation, which provides technology solutions for the oil and gas industry (among others), communications between industrial control devices, in general, have minimal protection. Such shortcomings leave them vulnerable to threats such as malicious tampering and 22 | June 2019


incidental system changes that can stop production or injure workers. To combat this, Rockwell Automation recently developed built-in security based on globally accepted security standards to protect control-level communications and overall system integrity. “As the world’s leading company focused on combining industrial automation with digital technology, we’re uniquely positioned to help close security gaps in connected operations,” says Megan Samford, director of product security at Rockwell Automation. “Our new offerings with built-in security deliver the industry’s best available protection of control-level traffic. This can give users confidence that the integrity of their systems and their device-to-device communications are protected from day one.” Earlier this year, the company won the “Overall IoT Company of the Year” award at the global 2019 IoT Breakthrough Awards, an event that recognizes the top companies, technologies, and products in the global IoT arena. Rockwell Automation says it set the standard for remote operation and sustainability with its integrated automation and control solution at the Pohokura natural gas fields in New Zealand. The production station is operated by Shell Exploration NZ, which uses the services of Shell Todd Oil Services. “There have been no problems with the PACs from Rockwell Automation in the five years of Pohokura operation— our objectives have been fully satisfied in terms of budget, timing, personnel safety, and environmental sustainability,” Paul Brown, operations readiness and assurance engineer for Shell and former Pohokura operations engineer, says in a case study of the project. The case study explains that the site is undergoing an expansion to create another plant using the solution provided by the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture system. “Rockwell Automation is firmly committed to helping our customers realize unprecedented levels of productivity and sustainability by combining the best of industrial automation with the latest in digital technology, bringing the connected enterprise to life,” says Blake Moret, chairman and CEO of Rockwell Automation. “We are proud to be recognized by IoT Breakthrough for our ongoing work to bring people, processes,

and technologies together and deliver smarter, more connected industrial IoT solutions to the world around us.”

‘Industry 4.0’ In early May Emerson received a Hart Energy Meritorious Award for Engineering Innovation for its rock type classification with machine learning technology that combines the latest innovations in geoscience, algorithms, and statistical models to help oil and gas operators better understand reservoir behavior. Automated machine learning produces results in minutes or hours, rather than months

or years, and is well suited for cloud implementation. Emerson was also honored at the IoT Breakthrough Awards, taking the title “Industrial IoT Company of the Year” for the second consecutive year. “As industrial IoT technologies continue to evolve, customers are relying on us more and more to help them evaluate and implement digital technologies to show business performance and value,” Lal Karsanbhai, executive president of Emerson’s Automation Solutions business, said in a news release following the awards.

Alaska’s Oil & Gas Consultants  Geoscience  Engineering  Operations  Project Management

From the North Slope to Cook Inlet, PRA’s professional and highly skilled consultants know and understand the regional geology, the unique operating conditions, and the regulatory environment, having managed exploration and development projects across Alaska since 1997. 3601 C Street, Suite 1424 Anchorage, AK 99503 Alaska Business

907-272-1232 June 2019 | 23

“It is abundantly clear that digitization is radically changing the face of entire markets, and the level of IoT innovation continues to deliver impressive results in particular for manufacturing, enterprise, and industrial customers worldwide.” —James Johnson, Managing Director, IoT Breakthrough

24 | June 2019

According to the release, a recent Emerson study of industry leaders responsible for digital transformation initiatives showed that merely 20 percent of respondents had both a vision for digital transformation and a clear, actionable roadmap to implement. Absence of this practical roadmap was cited as the number one barrier for digital transformation projects. “It is abundantly clear that digitization is radically changing the face of entire markets, and the level of IoT innovation continues to deliver impressive results in particular for manufacturing, enterprise, and industrial customers worldwide,” says James Johnson, managing director at IoT Breakthrough. “In this new world of Industry 4.0, it becomes increasingly difficult for industrial IoT suppliers to stand out in the crowded market, and Emerson has successfully demonstrated a level of innovation and success in the industrial IoT market for a second consecutive year to bring home our Industrial IoT Company of the Year designation.” Like Rockwell and Emerson, numerous other companies, including Honeywell Oil and Gas and ABB Oil, have also developed IoT platforms targeting different market niches. This year, ABB launched ABB Ability Wellhead Manager, a cloud-based system designed to scale easily and provide insights about production assets throughout the world. The new system is ideal for a company looking to acquire 100 to 1,000 wells and that wants to put a monitoring system in place, according to the company. According to Amstutz, the future for automation technology within the oil and gas industry is bright. AI algorithms and workflow not only make it possible to see results more quickly but they also generate decision-enabling deliverables that are not achievable with conventional methods. “These methods will continue to evolve and improve as the convergence of extreme usability, open-data, acceptance of AI methods, and increased availability of elasticized high-performance computing resources become more accessible,” Amstutz says. “Thanks to advances in digital oilfield technology, operators are able to connect remote assets to cloudbased platforms to rationalize data and securely generate actionable information, helping them optimize existing equipment and facilities while lowering project costs and removing employees


from harm’s way. Solutions like digital twins for reservoirs and control systems allow accurate process control modeling, remote training, and the incorporation of other systems that drive a more safe, profitable process.”

Arctic Automation The harsh, remote nature of the Arctic is not the biggest limitation to the integration of digital technology into oil and gas systems in the region: it’s making a business case that justifies a specific need, which can vary widely depending on the age of equipment and location of facilities. The industry also faces barriers with regard to workforce training. “With the new digital technologies there will be new ways of working that require upskilling of the workforce,” Amstutz says. “Often it is not about the technology but about the people and the ability of the operators to have a robust and flexible change management process. Digital has the potential to disrupt business models and organization.” Nonetheless, the potential to cut costs, which are especially high when they involve employees, monitoring, and surveying remote sites, continues to drive the market for automation technology. “This includes faster projects with better capital returns, analytics giving them actionable information from top to bottom, remote monitoring utilizing remote expertise, and access to shared information across the operator’s enterprise,” Amstutz says. “Overall the greater information provided by IoT and digitalization provides greater operational certainty and will help operators reach Top Quartile performance over the lifetime of the asset.” Going forward, it is expected that operators will be able to optimize operations with real-time information from a pervasive sensing layer, securely feed that data to robust analytics software, and arm experts with the insight to respond quickly and confidently to changing conditions, no matter where they are. “This provides oil and gas operators the diagnostic capabilities and data insight to make better decisions, become more proactive, and reduce risks—even in challenging and high-stakes operating environments like the Arctic,” Amstutz says.


Promoting environmentally safe marine transportation and oil facility operations in Cook Inlet since 1990. 8195 Kenai Spur Hwy. Kenai, AK 99611 907.283.7222

When You Need Steel Call C&R We are the steel pros Beams Plate & Sheet Channel Culvert Grating Pipe & Pile Angle

Located at 401 E. Van Horn Rd., Fairbanks

Flat Bar Decking Fittings Rebar Tubing Aluminum And More!

Call the experts at 907-456-8386 or visit Alaska Business

June 2019 | 25


The Alaska Marine Lifeline

Connecting businesses and communities along the coast By Tasha Anderson


o—the Alaska Marine Highway. Sometimes when I start researching an article, the challenge is finding good sources of information. Is there data available, and is that data public? Who’s involved, and will they talk to me? I’ve accepted the assignment, so if I’m in for weeks of begging and borrowing to get the information I need, that’s the game. And then I started making calls about the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS), and for the first time in my career as I sit down to write I am at an absolute loss: we have mountains of data, piles of studies, hundreds of voices, passionate communities, involved business leaders, apparently engaged politicians… and yet somehow the AMHS is apparently an unresolved—or unresolvable—problem. Of course, the current conversation Alaskans are having was spurred by Governor Mike Dunleavy’s initial budget proposal for 2020, which would cut funding to the AMHS by 75 percent and essentially end most operations by October. An Honest Budget Fiscal Year 2020, released by the governor’s office, states, “The AMHS is heavily subsidized by State of Alaska General Funds; its fare box recovery rate in FY2018 was 33.3 percent. Ridership is trending down; 2018 capacity was 42.6 percent and vehicle capacity was 51.6 percent. The department will work with a marine consultant to investigate options available for moving the AMHS towards privatized service or service provided by public/private partnership, with the intent of reducing the State’s financial obligation and/or liability.” To summarize: we’re

26 | June 2019




SAMSON TUG & BARGE is a full-service marine transportation company that provides door-to-door freight shipping services. Alaskan-owned, Samson specializes in shipping seafood and seafood supplies to and from Alaska's largest fishing communities.

WWW.SAMSONTUG.COM • 1-800-331-3522


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

email: Alaska Business

June 2019 | 27




28 | June 2019



losing money on a system fewer people are using. To the first point, fare box recovery rate is the portion of operating expenses that are met by the fares charged, so in 2018 only a third of the cost of operating the AMHS was directly funded by the people and organizations that utilize ferry services. According to a March article by Mollie Barnes published in the Juneau Empire, the AMHS’s recovery rate has hovered between 30 percent and 35 percent from 2007 through 2018. The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) presented in March the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) Overview, in which it is explained that the governor’s budget proposal released in February would end all ferry service from October through June, scale down services in September, and operate the system’s currently published schedule in July and August. The total expenditure authorization for the AMHS would be $45 million, and with expected generated revenue of nearly $18 million, the “net deficit” amount is reduced to approximately $27 million, putting fare box recovery at a rate of about 40 percent. Alternative scenarios would provide some service to some ports year-round to varying degrees, with recovery rates ranging from 45 percent to 50 percent and the “net deficit” peaking at $52 million. Dunleavy has directed the AMHS to hire a marine consultant to examine the ferry system and determine a plan to scale back the state’s fiscal obligation. The AMHS issued a request for proposals and received one, which it rejected because it didn’t allow sufficient time or budget for the work, AMHS Public Information Officer Aurah Landau told KHNS in March. It’s projected to cost up to $250,000, which will be paid for out of the marine highway’s budget. Why, though? Dave Kensinger, owner of Chelan Produce (a seasonal provider of fresh produce in Petersburg and Sitka), was one of twelve members of the AMHS Reform Statewide Steering Committee, which worked with Southeast Conference, the Office of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, and contractors Elliott Bay Design Group, McDowell Group, and KPFF Consulting Engineers on the AMHS Reform Project, which published its Strategic Business and Operational Plan in Alaska Business

June 2019 | 29


September 2017. Less than two years ago. “We just got finished with a two-year reform project, which is itself similar to a process from 2003, where we went through and evaluated what other places in the world do: how they’re structured and financed,” Kensinger says. “People have offered solutions many times, and we don’t need another.” That plan, which is certainly available to the governor, created a strategic plan for the AMHS “to provide financially sustainable ferry service that meets the needs of Alaskans.” Phase I of the project was to determine mission, goals, and government recommendations, while Phase II was to identify a strategic operational and business plan. In Phase I the project considered several governance models: line agency of state government, private corporation, public-private corporation, public authority, public corporation, and transportation district. It recommended transitioning the AMHS to a public corporation, which maintains the existing benefits of intradepartmental coordination, public purpose, access to federal funding, and access to shared services with DOT&PF, the Department of Administration, and the

Department of Law. It also would address the issues of frequent turnover in senior leadership, indirect labor negotiations, a short-term planning horizon, and political influence over operational decisions. “Instead of having the system run as a line agency out of the governor’s office, we came up with a seven member board because it’s small enough to work effectively,” Kensinger explains. “The idea would be to have a cross section of people who know what’s going on: business people, labor representatives, etc.” This recommendation would not eliminate state fiscal obligations. The report concluded, “[the] AMHS will always require some level of General Fund support,” also stating “governance changes are required to realize operational efficiencies; fleet standardization will have significant positive effects; and the linkage to a southern terminus in Bellingham is critical.” The plan rather optimistically outlined a timeline in which the transition and capital planning could have begun in November 2017. That didn’t happen. Instead, “every time we get a new governor, they want to do a new study,” Kensinger says. “It’s just silly. There’s so much information out there.”

Integral to Business Kensinger has used the marine highway for forty-one years. “Years ago I was on and off the ferry one hundred times a year; it was integral to our business,” he says. At one time the business used the ferry system to ship produce into Wrangell, Kake, Sitka, and Petersburg. “About ten years ago it became really hard for us to get to Wrangell and Kake and back, so we stopped going there.” Because of changes in the ferry system, Kensinger now primarily uses barges and air services to travel back and forth and ship produce among the islands. “I can make it work [financially] because I’m at a point where I don’t need as much money as I used to, so I keep on doing it because I enjoy the business and I enjoy providing a service and my customers appreciate it. If I’m only making 60 percent of what I used to, I’ll keep doing it until I can’t.” But while Kensinger can make it work, he acknowledges that it’s unlikely someone else would be able to. “Because of all the changes [to the marine highway], even though it’s a good, viable business, I can’t give it to anyone else.” Kensinger’s gradual disuse of the ferry system speaks to the governor’s assertion


As Alaska’s most trusted source for recruitment and staffing, we have been putting Alaskans to work since 1977

Our core values drive everything we do


The Alaska Railroad does more than you might expect. We ship freight to and from anywhere in North America. Even places without rail access. And we handle all the logistics along the way. So whatever it takes to get it there – barge, train, truck - you only need to deal with one point of contact and one invoice. Call for a free quote today: 800.321.6518 |

907-276-5707 30 | June 2019


and because of that there’s often disruption in service as the ferries break down. Southeast Conference’s publication The Value of Alaska’s Marine Highway in 25 Stories relates this account from Clay Koplin, CEO of Cordova Electric Cooperative: There is a small spring bottom fishery in Cordova that generally starts in February and ends in March. One spring the Aurora had to cancel service and go into layup. The threeweek cancellation of ferry service cost the processors and fishermen

$1,000,000 or roughly $1 per pound of product value… When [the] AMHS cancelled bookings on the FVF Chenega to Cordova, one business providing accommodations and visitor related activities lost 1,000 bookings for their 2015-2017 seasons in one month. Most of these visitors cancelled their Alaska visit all together.

AMHS, Tourism, and Community Ties As the executive director of Discover Kodiak, Aimee Williams is keenly aware

GO the Distance, and Win For Life!


that ridership is in decline. It’s certainly not untrue, but one contributing factor seems to be that the system is not performing optimally. It’s hard not to conclude that Alaska’s leadership has allowed or contributed to the decline of the AMHS over the years—changing leadership regularly, providing uncertain funding, delaying investment in new ferries, allowing political agendas to overshadow the needs of the AMHS—and now would like to use that as a reason to defund it further. Kensinger’s not the only one frustrated with the mismanagement of this essential service. Scott Hursey owns and operates Alaska Passages Adventure out of Petersburg and has done so for twenty-nine years. The company offers whale watching and glacier tours. He says a high percentage of his customers travel to Petersburg via the AMHS. The other option is flying on an Alaska Airlines flight, but “frankly a lot of [my customers] wouldn’t come without the highway,” Hursey says. “People come on the ferry because they can travel to [Petersburg] easily and see the sights along the way; it’s a much more pleasant experience and they can get off and spend time in each town they want to spend time in.” Recently, potential customers have communicated to Hursey that they’d like to book his services, but are unable to. One group from Australia books tours up to a year in advance; but the AMHS in recent years often doesn’t regularly publish a schedule that early, so the group either has to hope the schedule will accommodate them or move on to a vendor in an area with more reliable transportation. “They’ve taken money away and away from the ferry system, and it’s become less and less dependable,” he says. In fact, he and other local vendors have had customers that booked a tour that depended on a scheduled ferry run, paid a deposit, and then found out the ferry wouldn’t be running as planned. “Now that they’re talking about shutting it down in October—even the fact that they’re talking about it—we’ve already lost customers,” he reports. “Just this conversation [about the AMHS] has been disruptive to my business.” Hursey has lived in Southeast for fortysix years and says the ferry system was “vibrant in the days before we had oil money, so it’s just not true that we can’t support the ferry system.” He notes that today service has declined, schedules are published late, ferry maintenance is poor,

Each year, Alaska Commercial demonstrates their goal of strengthening Alaska through their values by generously supporting ASAA as a Gold Level Sponsor. The lives of thousands of student-athletes and activity participants have been enriched and energized thanks to Alaska Commercials vital support. Sportsmanship. Teamwork. Commitment. Loyalty. Respect. These are just a few of life lessons and values that help our youth grow, succeed, and

Win for Life!

Thank you, Alaska Commercial Company, You’ve made us stronger!

To join our team contact ASAA at 907-563-3723, or email:

Alaska Business ASAA ABM HP Vertical.indd 6

June 2019 | 31 4/26/19 9:03 AM


of how ferry service aids—or disrupts— tourism-related activities. “The ferry allows people to come [to Kodiak] with bikes, motorcycles, and RVs and travel how they’d be able to on mainland Alaska; it allows people to continue their adventure. Without the ferry it’s not practical to get here.” Of course, if someone is determined to get an RV to Kodiak, there are options, but those can take weeks and “I can’t imagine what the cost would be,” Williams says. Plus, on a barge, vehicles aren’t protected from the salt water like they are on one of the ferries, passengers can’t ride with

them and therefore don’t have access to them, and—unlike on a ferry—there’s no option to keep tabs on a pet or items stored in the vehicle as it travels. Barging is essential in Alaska, as is air travel—but neither is capable of replacing the services a ferry provides. Beyond that, the ferry system is part of the community. “The vessels are not just transportation, they’re community members. Every one of us has a story. They’ve become fixtures, and it doesn’t matter which ship is serving, it’s a lifeline.” In more practical terms, “once you start closing the doors on the ways to

More ways to help your business

IronPlanet Weekly online auctions helping you buy & sell equipment fast, when you need it.

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Exciting unreserved live auctions with onsite and online bidding.

Marketplace-E Daily equipment listings with flexible Buy Now, Make Offer, or Reserve Auction selling models.

Sell at our upcoming Wasilla, Alaska auction on June 15. Contact us today if you need to buy & sell equipment. Jeff Walters 1.907.203.0164

Ryan Robertson 1.360.523.3155

Learn more at

32 | June 2019

get people to Kodiak, that’s going to hurt all kinds of businesses,” Williams says. “Tourism is one of those industries that is a tide that raises all ships.” Sarah Phillips, director of community relations for the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce, has very down-to-earth figures in that regard. Every year the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce hosts the Crab Festival, which is almost a week filled with rides, food, merchandise, and activities. Phillips describes the festival as the “centerpiece of the current culture of the island,” continuing to say: The rides are contracted through Golden Wheel Amusements who, due to exposure issues, can only transport rides on the ferry system. The rides consistently provide revenue of approximately $10,000 per year. Additionally, approximately 30 percent of our vendors each year come from off island and utilize the ferry service for transportation to and from the event. While air travel is a possibility for some vendors, the most highly anticipated merchants of Crab Festival for the community are those that supply food. The remote nature of Kodiak reduces the restaurant options; Crab Festival is when the island has the greatest selection and variety of food, a real treat to Kodiak! Off island vendors add additional revenue of between $5,000 and $8,000 directly to the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce. Without ferry service, many of the tourists—and the money they spend to stimulate the Kodiak economy— will not be able to come during Crab Festival, further eroding the profits the event sees each year. Without ferry service, the Chamber of Commerce will lose between $15,000 and $20,000 in revenue, significantly reducing the ability of the Chamber to continue its core purpose of educating, supporting, and growing Kodiak and its business community. And that’s just one annual event. Phillips adds, “Without the ferry, our entire way of life is crippled and can spell economic disaster for the entire Kodiak region, reverberating throughout the Chain and state.” “But it’s costing us money,” one might continue to say.


businesses can have a shot at making a profit and people can have a shot at getting the services they need at a price they can afford,” she says. “I’m not sure that dismantling the ferry system is going to benefit anyone in the long run.” In fairness, the governor’s plan is not to completely dismantle the system. He has stated that he anticipates that the private sector will step in to fill service gaps that cutting government funding will create. Mouhcine Guettabi, economist at the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage, questioned the likelihood of that outcome during an editorial board at Northrim Bank in April. “What’s the mechanism?” he asked. “There are no incentives in place. It’s not like there is a cut to government but there is [also] a massive tax cut to a particular industry or that we are changing the rules significantly in a way that’s going to unleash this investment, or there is evidence that there was investment that was sitting on the sidelines either, considering we’ve been in recession for three years.”

Paying for a Lifeline Without incentives for private investment, cuts to the ferry system may make it even

Alaska Business

more difficult for a private entity to step in. “If there is no mechanism, and now you’re negatively influencing the quality of the workforce or quality of schools, then attraction and retention of quality workers becomes a problem, which affects the private sector,” Guettabi said. Ketchikan’s Chamber of Commerce Starkey explains, “We have to look outside of transportation to how it affects the business of the shipyard [or] the housing market if people lose their jobs and need to relocate. Particularly when you consider that the bulk of Vigor’s business has been through [the] AMHS, and that we house the AMHS administration offices, the loss of the ferry service would be felt community wide in more arenas than just transportation.” In Southeast and Southwest Alaska, the ferry system isn’t just transportation. It’s how people access medical attention or dental appointments, visit family and friends, and shop and attend community events. “The ferry affects a lot more than my business; it’s a lifeline,” Hursey says. Jaime Cabral is the dean of students and athletic director for the Petersburg School District, which uses the ferry

June 2019 | 33


Well, yes—infrastructure does that. “Highways aren’t meant to provide income to the state,” Phillips states. “At their best, highways fuel the economic development of areas by providing access to residents and tourists; this basic right should not be removed from businesses and Alaskans.” Carrie Starkey, executive director of the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce, says, “In every state, a state highway—unless designated as a toll road—does not pay for itself. They are a transportation option provided for and maintained solely by the government. It services the state’s communities, the government, private businesses, and tourism. In Alaska, the AMHS is the only highway that connects the communities of the Southeast to the larger portions of Alaska. This service is used by our state’s communities, the government, private businesses, and tourism—just like any other state.” That sentiment is echoed by Pennelope Goforth, an author and marine historian who first came to Alaska in 1979 and spent many years living in Southeast and Southwest Alaska and now resides in Anchorage. “The role of government is to provide infrastructure so that


system to transport students to and from other communities for school activities and sport competitions. “We also send school vehicles with our teams on the ferry in order to save on costs for transporting our students in other communities for the weekend,” Cabral states. Without the AMHS, the district would need to fly or charter a smaller vessel, either of which eliminates the option of transporting a vehicle. And more, losing ferry services “would be devastating to our programs as we would have to cut entire programs for students… I believe there would also be a domino effect that would result from the ferry service ceasing to exist… For example, Petersburg was host to one of the High School Cross Country meets last fall. We had 200 students from across Southeast Alaska arrive in Petersburg from Thursday through Saturday evening along with approximately 20 coaches and chaperones. Also in attendance were the families of these athletes, coming to watch their children participate. Those students and families brought an economic rush into our small community for two days. The Alaska Marine Highway System was

34 | June 2019

crucial in transporting over 70 percent of the students that came to Petersburg that weekend,” Cabral says. This story is not unique to Petersburg. The AMHS connects more than thirty ports to each other, the rest of Alaska, and the Lower 48. “A loss of [the] AMHS would affect more than just Southeast; it would reverberate through the state as a whole,” Starkey says. Cuts to the system will affect all of Alaska, and the conversation about making cuts is a reflection of a bigger, state-wide tension. The AMHS “problem” isn’t entirely about the ferry system; it’s an unfortunate reflection of Alaska’s bigger, ongoing, and deeply concerning problem that as a state we can no longer function under the premise that there will always be oil money to pay for everything. Our years of easy money are over. And maybe the continuing inability of our governing bodies to make and implement actual decisions at a state level is a reflection of the hard reality that we—we Alaskans, citizens, residents—will need to pay for government services.

Some have lauded Dunleavy for engaging in the “hard conversation” of budget concerns; but reductions to the AMHS isn’t the hard conversation, it’s the easy one. Better to just cut off the Panhandle and Aleutian Chain rather than seriously talk about how Alaska needs to leverage the permanent fund differently or the fact that Alaska is the only state in the nation that does not collect an income or sales tax of any kind (New Hampshire does not collect individual earned income or sales tax, but does tax dividends and interest) at the state level. The conversation about cutting or reducing AMHS services is easy on another level: it’s vital infrastructure for many of our Alaskan neighbors and we already have study on top of study detailing how we can make it work better for all of us. Let’s just talk about how to do that. “If government empowered the communities, the businesses in the region the marine highway serves, we can fix it and make it easier to operate. If they don’t do that, there’s no future for the system,” Kensinger says.


Fairbanks Branch


Wednesday, July 17th 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. West-Mark Service Center • 3050 Van Horn Road, Fairbanks We would like to share this special milestone with our incredible Alaska partners. THANK YOU for being part of our company’s success and being welcomed by the Fairbanks Community.


Transportation, Tank & Trailer SERVICE CENTER Phone: (907) 451-TANK (8265)

I Toll Free: (800) 692-5844



Ravn Air Picks Up PenAir Protecting PenAir jobs, service routes, and operations By Isaac Stone Simonelli


he Ravn Air Group is launching a “new” PenAir, following the acquisition of PenAir’s assets by investment affiliates of J.F. Lehman & Company (JFLCO) for $12.3 million. As the owner of Ravn Air Group, JFLCO’s acquisition of PenAir protects a substantial majority of company jobs, ensures continuity of operations and service to PenAir routes, and creates stability and better travel opportunities throughout Alaska, according to a news release announcing the acquisition. “It is a testament to the strength and fortitude of PenAir employees and the hard work and commitment of all Ravn Air Group team members that JFLCO was able to pursue the acquisition of such a storied airline, which, like Ravn, has a rich history of serving Alaska,” says 36 | June 2019

Dave Pflieger, president and CEO of Ravn Air Group. Among the key assets acquired in the purchase of PenAir are five forty-five-seat Saab 2000s and leases on several airport facilities. “This is a big win for Ravn Air Group, as well as for PenAir and all of our team members, customers, and Alaska communities,” Pflieger says. “The two companies coming together provides an incredible opportunity to better connect Alaska, with the ability to provide broader, more reliable, and more consistent service.” As a subsidiary of Ravn Air Group, PenAir will keep its current name and continue to operate as a separate company under a separate FAA certificate. With the completion of the transaction, PenAir will be a financially sound orga-

nization with a significantly enhanced ability to serve the state of Alaska, Ravn Air Group says. “The acquisition of PenAir represents another successful step in expanding Ravn’s unique service offering and enables us to better serve the residents and businesses of Alaska,” says Alex Harman, a partner at JFLCO. The purchase of PenAir by an Alaskabased airline means that about 250 jobs will remain in the state, Pflieger notes. Will Hanenberg, principal at JFLCO, points out that PenAir’s “exceptional safety culture and talented group of employees represent a strong fit” for the Ravn Air Group. “For Ravn team members, this acquisition marks the culmination of over a year of hard work and effort that has resulted



A PenAir Saab 2000 flies past Denali. Ravn Air Group

“This [acquisition] is a big win for Ravn Air Group, as well as for PenAir and all of our team members, customers, and Alaska communities.” —Dave Pflieger, President/CEO, Ravn Air Group

in a stronger, better company that is ready to expand,” Pflieger says. “Likewise, we recognize and value PenAir’s strong team, assets, and rich history of serving Alaska and are eager to welcome PenAir employees to the Ravn Air Group. We look forward to working together toward a shared goal of providing the best in safe travel throughout the great state of Alaska.”

Among the original concerns following PenAir filing for bankruptcy was how it would impact service to the about 450 people that comprise one of the Last Frontier’s farthest-flung communities: the one on St. Paul Island in the Bering Sea. “We are the only community that has so much water between us and the mainland that PenAir serves,” Amos Philemonoff, Alaska Business

June 2019 | 37



travel more!

Secure, Monitored Parking | Open 24/7 Free Shuttle | FREE Car Wash!

Need Storage? Variety of units 24 hour access See website for special offers!

Ravn continues to provide regional service for Alaskans. Ravn Air Group

president of the Aleut Community of St. Paul, told KTVA in December. “I don’t legally think that St. Paul or any com5401 Northwood Dr Anchorage, munity AK 99502on the 1979 list of Essential Air 5401 Northwood Dr Anchorage, AK 99502 | 907-677-7275 | 907-677-7275 Service communities could have a lapse (parking) | (storage) in service. It’s hard to believe.” The Essential Air Service program was put in place to guarantee that small communities—being taken care of by certificated air carriers before airline deregulation—maintain a minimal level of scheduled air service. The Department of Transportation is mandated to provide eligible communities, such as the one on St. Paul, access to the National Air Transportation System. Following negotiations, Ravn confirmed there would be no interruption in service to St. Paul. PenAir’s Saab 340B continued servicing the community through about mid-February, after which Ravn’s Dash 8 airplane took over the St. Paul operation and schedule. The delay in the handover between the aircraft was due to the need for Ravn to obtain an extended certification for over-water flight to allow its smaller Dash 8 airplane to service the area. “The addition of PenAir to the Ravn Air Group route network is an excellent fit, scan this code adding the Aleutians and St. Paul in the to learn more... Pribilof Islands to a network that already serves much of the state,” Pflieger says. “As we do regularly, we review schedules and market destinations to determine how we can best serve our cusEasy Online Ordering! tomers and the communities. If any


Your Alaskan Business Printer Since 1992.

Banners • Posters • Signs Direct Mail Marketing Brochures • Flyers Reports • Manuals 38 | June 2019


announcement was made on Ravn’s website and noted flights from Anchorage to Kodiak would be available on both Ravn and PenAir carriers and transition to a PenAir market with the Saab 2000 aircraft, “providing more capacity to the market.” Ravn Air Group, headquartered in

Anchorage, operates a fleet of about seventy aircraft with more than 400 flights per day. Ravn provides passenger, mail, freight, and charter flights and logistical services to more than 115 destinations throughout the Final Frontier, with hubs in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Bethel, Aniak, St. Mary’s, Nome,

Premier Alaska APC provider PreparedLocally,RespondingGlobally Compliance | OSRO | �me��enc� Response | ��ec� Remo�al | �a�ine Se��ices



Alaska Business

| �C������S��. COM June 2019 | 39


changes do occur, as both PenAir and Ravn have always done, we will communicate with you to make sure you are kept informed of any service changes,” Ravn says on its website. In early May, PenAir started service between Anchorage and Kodiak. The


Kotzebue, Unalakleet, Utqiaġvik, and Galena. The company expanded service in 2018 to include Dillingham, King Salmon, and McGrath. PenAir, a significantly smaller operation, serves six communities in Southwest Alaska, including Dutch Harbor, which was marketed and sold by Alaska Airlines. “With PenAir joining Ravn Air Group, customers of our two airlines will now be able to fly to more destinations in Alaska. PenAir will continue to operate under its own, separate operating certificate. Like Ravn Alaska and Ravn Connect, it is now part of Ravn Air Group,” Pflieger says. One of the most prominent changes customers are already seeing is the merger of airport operations for check-in and departures at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Pflieger says. “This was done from day one of the acquisition and this has already provided better customer experience and significant cost savings,” he says. “We have also merged our airport operations in King Salmon and Dillingham and many of the back office and commercial functions have been merged. The main flight operations remain independent.” Pflieger also notes that Ravn’s

“With PenAir joining Ravn Air Group, customers of our two airlines will now be able to fly to more destinations in Alaska. PenAir will continue to operate under its own, separate operating certificate. Like Ravn Alaska and Ravn Connect, it is now part of Ravn Air Group.” —Dave Pflieger, President/CEO, Ravn Air Group

frequent flyer program will be expanded with the inclusion of PenAir. “More importantly, we will also be offering our frequent flyer program to all our PenAir customers soon, allowing them to earn points that can be used for free flights,” Pflieger says. The announcement is a major change since the successful acquisition was originally detailed on the company’s website. Ravn hasn’t announced a timeline for when the frequent flyer program will be updated.

“Joining forces with the Ravn Air Group will enable us to reach our full potential. Together, we will offer our customers a broader network, greater resources, and more travel opportunities—all while maintaining our renowned customer service that PenAir passengers have appreciated for more than sixty years,” Brian Whilden, PenAir’s new president and COO, said in a news release. “We couldn’t be more pleased to become part of the Ravn family.”

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. 40 | June 2019


Now serving Emmonak and St. Mary’s

Twice-weekly service from Anchorage. Lynden Air Cargo is excited to announce regularly scheduled service to Emmonak and St. Mary’s. These locations will be serviced two times each week out of Anchorage. Emmonak and St. Mary’s join Lynden Air Cargo’s other scheduled service locations of Bethel, Nome and Kotzebue. For service schedules and rates please visit | 1-907-243-7248


2019 Alaska Business

Transportation Directory 40-Mile Air

Air Land Transport

Alaska Air Transit

Top Executive: Leif Wilson, O  wner Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 959/1959 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 15/15 |

Top Executive: Monique Snead, P res. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 976/1976 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 46/46

Top Executive: Daniel Owen, Pres./Owner/Operator Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 984/1984 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 22/22 |

Air charters, schedules, and hunting. PO Box 539, Tok, AK 99780 | 907-883-5191

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. 11100 Calaska Cir., Anchorage, AK 99515 | 907-248-0362

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. 2301 Merrill Field Dr., Anchorage, AK 99501 | 907-276-5422

AAA Moving & Storage Top Executive: Greg Wakefield, P res. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 983/1983 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 200-225/150 | Arrangement of transportation of freight and cargo, local delivery services, local trucking with storage, special warehousing and storage, and household goods moving and storage. Specializing in military and government relocations. 747 E. Ship Creek Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501 907-276-3506

Ace Delivery & Moving Top Executive: Hank Schaub, G  M Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 994/1994 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 9/9 | Air cargo and express-package services, air courier services, arrangement of transportation of freight, freighttransportation services, local delivery services, local trucking with storage, and third-party logistics. Residential and office moves. Hot shots and white glove residential deliveries. PO Box 221389, Anchorage, AK 99522-1389 907-522-6684

42 | June 2019

Alaska Air Cargo Top Executive: Jason Berry, M  ng. Dir. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 932/1932 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 23,000/1,825 | Goldstreak package express, Pet Connect Animal Travel, priority, and general air freight services. Our modern fleet of 737-700 freighters serves 19 Alaska communities with connections to more than 100 destinations in the Lower 48, Hawaii, and beyond with scheduled, reliable service. 4700 Old Int’l Airport Rd., Anchorage, AK 99502 800-225-2752

Alaska Air Forwarding Top Executive: Jeff Dornes, Co-Owner Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 969/1969 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 5/5 Air freight, trade shows, shipment consolidations, nationwide purchase order procurement service, and international shipping. 4000 W. 50th Ave., Suite 6, Anchorage, AK 99502 907-248-4697

Alaska Airlines Top Executive: Brad Tilden, C  hmn./CEO AK Air Group Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 932/1932 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 23,000/1,825 Alaska Airlines and regional carrier Horizon Air provide passenger and cargo service to 115 destinations in Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, and the Lower 48. 3600 Old International Airport Rd., Anchorage, AK 99502 907-266-7200

Alaska Logistics Top Executive: Allyn Long, O  wner/GM Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 003/2003 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 50/10 | 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. PO Box 604, Seward, AK 99664 | 206-767-2555


Southeast Alaska and Central Alaska, seasonal service to Western Alaska, and biweekly service to Hawaii. Charter services are also available. 660 Western Dr., Anchorage, AK 99501 | 907-339-5150

Top Executive: Brok Shafer, Owner Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 011/2011 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 10/8 | Freight hauling, dredging, rock crushing, marine excavation. 34481 N. Fork Rd., Anchor Point, AK 99603 | 907-235-7126

Alaska Marine Highway System Top Executive: John Falvey, C  aptain Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 963/1963 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: ~900/~900 |

Alaska Railroad Corporation Top Executive: Bill O’Leary, P res./CEO Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 914/1914 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 752/752 Freight rail transportation, passenger rail transportation, and real estate land leasing and permitting. Year-round employees 575585; Seasonal (summer) employees 125-135; Total employees 700-720. PO Box 107500, Anchorage, AK 99510-7500 | 907-265-2300

Provider of marine transportation for passengers and vehicles to more than thirty Alaska coastal communities. No pre-set itineraries. Amenities available include staterooms, dining, movie theaters, and viewing lounges. 7559 N. Tongass Hwy., Ketchikan, AK 99901 800-642-0066

Alaska Terminals Top Executive: Todd Halverson, O  wner/Pres. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 981/1981 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 120/70

Alaska Marine Lines Top Executive: Kevin Anderson, P res. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 980/1980 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 393/169 | | Alaska Marine Lines is a marine transportation company providing barge service between Seattle, Alaska, and Hawaii. We offer regularly scheduled service to

As the Atlas Van Lines agent for Alaska, we perform local, interstate, and international moving services for corporate, government, and private clients. 400 W. 70th Ave., Suite 3, Anchorage, AK 99518 907-349-6657

Alaska Traffic Co. Top Executive: Andrew Schwaegler, G  M/VP Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 956/1956 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 18/2

Arrangement of transportation of all types of cargo, freight-transportation services, and logistics services. Scheduled LTL, TL, and consolidation services via steamship and barge. PO Box 3837, Seattle, WA 98124 | 425-282-6610

Alaska Trucking Association Top Executive: Aves Thompson, E xec. Dir. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 958/1958 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 4/4 | The authoritative voice in trucking: the Alaska Trucking Association provides regulatory guidance, a bridge between industry and DOT, and a voice defending trucking in the State Capitol. ATA provides DMV title & registration services to its members and the public. Remember if you got it, a truck brought it. 3443 Minnesota Dr., Anchorage, AK 99503 | 907-276-1149

Alaska West Express Top Executive: Eric Badger, P res. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 978/1978 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 164/150 | | Alaska West Express provides 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 drybulk products, hazardous and non-hazardous chemicals, and petroleum products. 1048 Whitney Rd., Anchorage, AK 99501 | 907-339-5100

The fourth annual BEST OF ALASKA BUSINESS awards are coming in July! Join us for the signature business party of the summer and see who our readers have voted the Best of Alaska Business 2019 winners.

2 0 1 9 Party er


49th State Brewing Company I Thursday, July 11 I 4-7 p.m.


Tickets $ 3 5 (limite d enga gement - buy your t i cket s ea r l y ) P ur ch a s e O n l i n e at a kb iz m a g.c om /BOA B

Alaska Business

June 2019 | 43


Alaska Marine Excavation


Alison’s Relocations Top Executive: Alison McDaniel, P res. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 997/1997 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 35/35 | 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. 310 E. First Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501 | 907-345-9934

All American Marine Top Executive: Ron Wille, Bus. Dev. Mgr. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 990/1990 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 75/1 Custom aluminum boats. 1010 Hilton Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225 | 360-647-7602

All Seasons Argo & Equipment Top Executive: Deborah Bontems, O  wner Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 998/1998 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 5/5 | Argo UTV and ATV dealership, to include Argo vehicles, parts, and accessories sales, plus mechanic servicing. 1300 E. 80th Ave., Anchorage, AK 99518 | 907-277-6188

American Fast Freight Top Executive: Craig Forbes, V P Ops AK Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 984/1984 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 600/200 | Ocean freight forwarding, freight consolidation of all kinds, LTL/LCL, full loads and single shipments, temperature protected, dry vans, specialized equipment, heavy haul, project logistics, barge, steamship, intrastate trucking, warehousing, distribution, and expanded service to Prudhoe Bay. 5025 Van Buren St., Anchorage, AK 99517 | 907-248-5548

American Relocation Services Top Executive: Kristina Blackadar, C  ommercial Sales Mgr. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 988/1988 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 80/65 Commercial/residential relocation, moving and storage, temperature-controlled facilities, ocean freight forwarding, complete packing and crating services, free detailed estimates, military approved, certified moving consultants, budget service available. Also locations in Fairbanks, Soldotna, and Kodiak. 5491 Electron Dr., Unit 1, Anchorage, AK 99518 | 907-561-5166

AMS Couriers Top Executive: Jaime Fink, M  ng. Shareholder Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 964/1964 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 15/15 | 44 | June 2019 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. 5001 Arctic Blvd., Unit 2, Anchorage, AK 99503 907-278-2736

Ashbreez Boatworks Top Executive: Chad Morse, Owner Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 011/2011 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 2/2 | 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. 3705 Arctic Blvd., #106, Anchorage, AK 99503 | 907-529-1907

Bald Mountain Air Top Executive: Gary Porter, VP Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 993/1993 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 18/18 Single and multi-engine; nineteen 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+ off shore survey capability. 3758 FAA Rd., Suite B, Homer, AK 99603 | 907-235-7969

Bering Marine Corporation Top Executive: Rick Gray, Pres. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 985/1985 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 62/62 | 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. 6400 S. Airpark Pl., Anchorage, AK 99502 | 907-248-7646

Best Rate Express Transport Top Executive: Young Summers, M  ember Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 004/2004 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 4/0 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. PO Box 39193, Lakewood, WA 98496 | 253-973-7653

Big State Logistics Top Executive: Mervin Gilbertson, P res. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 983/1993 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 70/50 Trucking transportation and petroleum sales. PO Box 71540, Fairbanks, AK 99707-1540 | 907-452-8600

Black Gold Express Top Executive: Jim Huffman, Pres. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 984/1984 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 40/40 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. 1648 Cushman St., Suite 205, Fairbanks, AK 99701 907-490-3222

Bowhead Transport Company Top Executive: Don Gray, Marine/Environment Dir. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 982/1982 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 5/5 Bowhead Transport Company provides ocean-going transportation for cargo and equipment via the M/V Unalaq, a 150-foot ocean going, 5-foot shallow-draft landing craft with 5,000 square feet of deck space and accommodations for sixteen passengers. 6700 Arctic Spur Rd., Anchorage, AK 99518 800-347-0049

BoyerTowing Top Executive: Boyer Halvorsen, Pres. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 935/1959 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 100/25 | Contract charter service tugs to 5500 hp and barges to 14,000 tons, lighterage, cargo handling, stevedoring, and terminal services in Seattle and Ketchikan. 7318 Fourth Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98108 | 907-225-2090

Carlile Transportation Top Executive: Terry Howard, P res. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 980/1980 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 420/350 | Transportation and logistics company offering multi-model trucking as well as project logistics services across Alaska and North America. 1800 E. First Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501-1833 907-276-7797

Catalyst Marine Top Executive: Joe Tougas, Pres./Owner Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 008/2008 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 27/25 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 and USCG certified welders are ready to deploy anywhere in Alaska. 1806 Alameda St., Seward, AK 99664 | 907-224-2500

City of Craig Top Executive: Hans Hjort, H  arbormaster Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 922/1973


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

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


City of Craig continued: Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 4/4 | Moorage, water, electricity, grids, restroom/ showers, boat haulout, ice. PO Box #725, Craig, AK 99921 | 907-826-3404

City of Homer Port & Harbor Top Executive: Bryan Hawkins, P ort Dir. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 964/1964 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 18-27/18-27 Homer Port & Harbor has 24/7 harbor officers and includes a small boat harbor with more than 870 reserved stalls and 6,000+ linear transient moorage. Two ocean piers, a commercial barge ramp, steel and wood tidal grids, a five-lane load and launch ramp, and fish dock with eight cranes and ice delivery. 4311 Freight Dock Rd., Homer, AK 99603 907-235-3160

Coastal Helicopters Top Executive: Ethan Berto, Pres. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 988/1988 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 75/75 Helicopter on demand charter, contract, and tours. 8995 Yandukin Dr., Juneau, AK 99801 | 907-789-5600

Commodity Forwarders Top Executive: PJ Cranmer, R eg. Ops Mgr. PNW Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 003/2003 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 550/14 Transporting perishable products worldwide. Provides logistical services for perishable products worldwide by providing transportation, documentation, warehouse, and consulting services. Freezer storage in Anchorage. 4000 W. 50th, Suite 1, Anchorage, AK 99502 907-243-1144

Continental Van Lines Top Executive: Ken Wyman II, A K Mgr. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 952/1952 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 200/50 Alaska’s premier moving and storage company. Moving locally, within Alaska and worldwide. 1031 E. First Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501 | 907-279-2571

Cook Inlet Tug & Barge Top Executive: Jeff Johnson, P res. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 924/1924 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 60/60 | Cook Inlet Tug & Barge is a marine transportation company, specializing in harbor services and fuel distribution, with focus on the Port of Anchorage and Cook Inlet, Seward, Southeast Alaska, Aleutian Islands, and Western Alaska. 4510 Old International Airport Rd., Suite 101, Anchorage, AK 99502 | 907-277-7611

46 | June 2019

Crowley Fuels

Desert Air Transport

Top Executive: Rick Meidel, VP/GM Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 892/1953 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 5,300/350 |

Top Executive: Joey Benetka, C  EO Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 000/2000 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 6/6

Crowley Fuels operates fuel terminals in 19 locations in the Railbelt, Western Alaska and Southeast Alaska, providing heating oil, jet fuel, diesel, gasoline and propane. Our fuel barges make direct deliveries to more than 280 western Alaska communities. Crowley has proudly fueled Alaska’s success for more than 65 years. 201 Arctic Slope Ave., Anchorage, AK 99518 907-777-5941

Crowley Solutions Top Executive: Sean Thomas, V P Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 892/1953 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 5,300/40 | Crowley provides expertise in energy, logistics, and shipping. Additional services include offshore towing, marine engineering, naval architecture, and project management. Crowley serves government and private customers throughout Alaska, the Arctic, the Pacific Rim, and beyond. 201 Arctic Slope Ave., Anchorage, AK 99518 |907-777-5542

Cruz Marine Top Executive: Kevin Weiss, GM Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 989/1989 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 20/20

Desert Air Transport provides large haul cargo capacity (6,500 lbs) into more than 200 destinations with rural airstrips (2,800-ft min), direct from Anchorage International. 4001 Old International Airport Rd., Unit #9, Anchorage, AK 99502 | 907-243-4700

Diamond Airport Parking Top Executive: Sarah Houck, GM Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 922/1980 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 3,000/50 Airport parking and self-storage. 5401 Northwood Dr., Anchorage, AK 99502 907-677-7275

Egli Air Haul Top Executive: Sam Egli, Pres. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 979/1982 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 7/7 Helicopter and airplane charter, aviation fuel sales, aircraft maintenance, and hangar space rental. PO Box 169, King Salmon, AK 99613 | 907-246-3554

Everts Air Cargo Top Executive: Robert Everts, P res./CEO Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 995/1995 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 353/314 |

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. 7000 E. Palmer-Wasilla Hwy., Palmer, AK 99645 907-746-3144

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. PO Box 61680, Fairbanks, AK 99706 | 907-450-2300

Deadhorse Aviation Center

Top Executive: Edward Hoffman, Pres. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 977/1977 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 22/22

Top Executive: Tim Cudney, Dir. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 012/2012 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 8/7 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. 301 Calista Court, Anchorage, AK 99518 | 907-685-1700

Delta Western Top Executive: Shannon Price, Pres. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 985/1985 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 150/130 Fuel and lubricant distribution. 420 L St., Suite 101, Anchorage, AK 99501 | 800-478-2688

Express Delivery Service

Air courier services, local, and Mat-Su Valley delivery services, special warehousing and storage. Specializing in serving the medical community. Open 24/7/365. 701 W. 41st Ave., Unit D, Anchorage, AK 99503 907-562-7333

Fairchild Freight Top Executive: Jason Fairchild, Pres. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 005/2005 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 219/9 | Fairchild Freight specializes in the transportation of consumer food commodities such as fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and beverage products throughout North America. 401 E. 100th Ave., Building B200 , Anchorage, AK 99515 907-331-3251



FedEx Express Top Executive: Dale Shaw, Mng. Dir. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 973/1988 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 400,000/588

Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 135/135

Air cargo and express-package services. 6050 Rockwell Ave., Anchorage, AK 99502 800-463-3339

Statewide air ambulance services with bases in Anchorage, Bethel, Fairbanks, Juneau, Palmer, and Soldotna, and seasonally in Dutch Harbor. Anchorage-based ALS ground ambulance services. CAMTS Accredited. PO Box 190026, Anchorage, AK 99519-0026 907-563-6633

Grant Aviation

Lynden Air Cargo

Top Executive: Robert Kelley, P res./CEO Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 971/1971 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 200/200 | 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. 6520 Kulis Dr., Anchorage, AK 99502 | 888-359-4726

Guardian Flight Top Executive: Fred Buttrell, C  EO Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 000/2000 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 250/250 Guardian Flight is the state’s largest air medical provider with more aircraft in more places than all other organizations in the state combined. Guardian Flight is part of the AirMedCare Network, a national alliance of air ambulance providers–the largest of its kind in the United States. 3474 Old International Airport Rd., Anchorage, AK 99502 907-245-6230

Island Air Express Top Executive: Scott Van Valin, D  ir. Ops/Pres. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 008/2008 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 35/33 | Island Air Express operates Cessna 208 and Pilatus PC-12 aircraft throughout Southeast Alaska–providing the only scheduled IFR service between Craig/Klawock and Ketchikan, delivering the most reliable, on time service available. Exclusive amphib and wheel plane charter service is also available. PO Box 1174, Craig, AK 99921 | 888-387-8989

Lake and Peninsula Airlines Top Executive: Lyle Wilder, O  wner Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 992/1992 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 12/12 | We offer flights statewide: charters, seat fares, flight tours, freight, and medevacs. We also offer expediting in Anchorage and work with Native Corps, forestry, oil and gas, construction, and so much more. We have an excellent safety record so come see Alaska with us! #UnlockingAlaska. 1740 E. Fifth Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501 | 907-345-2228

LifeMed Alaska Top Executive: Russ Edwards, CEO Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 008/2008 48 | June 2019

Top Executive: Rick Zerkel, P res. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 996/1996 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 194/194 | Charter air cargo service in Alaska and worldwide. Scheduled Alaska air cargo and express package service. 6441 S. Airpark Pl., Anchorage, AK 99502 | 907-243-7248

Lynden International Top Executive: John Kaloper, Pres. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 980/1980 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 220/52 | Domestic and international freight forwarding and customs services. 6441 S. Airpark Pl., Anchorage, AK 99502 | 907-243-6150

Lynden Logistics Top Executive: Alex McKallor, P res. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 984/1984 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 12/4 | Arrangement of freight transportation, information management, and logistical services. 6400 S. Airpark Pl., Anchorage, AK 99502 | 907-245-1544

Lynden Oilfield Services Top Executive: Eric Badger, Pres. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 015/2015 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 30/30 | 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. 1048 Whitney Rd., Anchorage, AK 99501 | 907-339-5100

Lynden Transport Top Executive: Paul Grimaldi, Pres. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 954/1954 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 248/131 |

Full-service, multi-modal freight transportation to, from, and within Alaska. 3027 Rampart Dr., Anchorage, AK 99501 | 907-276-4800

Marine Container Solutions Top Executive: Todd Shirley, O  wner/COO Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 011/Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 1/0 Cargo container sales (new-used-customrelated equipment) and leasing. PO Box 407, Seahurst, WA 98062 | 206-499-0474

Maritime Helicopters Top Executive: Robert Fell, D  ir. Ops Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 973/1973 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 85/85 We support petroleum, construction, and marine industries as well as federal/state agencies. Our fleet includes Bell 206L, 407 and twin-engine 412HP, and BO-105 Eurocopters. Our 86-foot helipad equipped vessel supports remote marine-based operations. Bases in Homer, Fairbanks, Kenai, Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, and Valdez. 3520 FAA Rd., Homer, AK 99603 | 907-235-7771

Matson Top Executive: Bal Dreyfus, V P AK Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 882/1964 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 2,000/600 Containership cargo transportation service between Tacoma, WA, and Anchorage, Kodiak, and Dutch Harbor. Delivery services to the Alaska Railbelt. Connecting carrier service to other water, air, and land carriers. Less-than-container-load freight consolidation and forwarding services. 1717 Tidewater Rd., Anchorage, AK 99501-1036 907-274-2671

Naniq Global Logistics Top Executive: Kim Howard, VP Ops Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 005/2005 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 30/15 Worldwide logistics, including ground, air, and ocean. PO Box 240825, Anchorage, AK 99524 | 907-345-6122

Northern Air Cargo Top Executive: Gideon Garcia, GM Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 956/1956 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 449/399 | 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 and gas, mining, construction, and commercial fishing, rely on NAC’s services. 4510 Old International Airport Rd., Anchorage, AK 99502 907-249-5163

Ocean Marine Services Top Executive: Kelly McNeil, P res. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 982/1982 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 75/75 OMS operates offshore supply vessels and a


A WHOLE NEW MEANING OF DOOR-TO-DOOR SERVICE. Airlines and other business aircraft need lengthy runways that still require a long drive to your remote get-away. Stop wasting your precious time and fly to airports much closer to where you really want to go. The large-cabin, 8-passenger Pilatus PC-12 NG can easily access short and even unpaved runways, saving you hours of travel time. Never settle for halfway again. Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd • Phone +1 303 465 9099 • Western Aircraft, Inc. • Phone +1 208 385 5155 •


Ocean Marine Services continued: landing craft in Cook Inlet. In addition we provide offshore supply and research vessels for special projects from the Beaufort Sea to the California Coast. PO Box 7070, Nikiski, AK 99635 | 907-776-3685

Offshore Systems - Kenai Top Executive: Kelly McNeil, P res. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 983/1983 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 25/25 Offshore Systems-Kenai is a full service marine terminal facility supporting Cook Inlet Oil and Gas Operators. OSK provides shore-side support services for landing crafts, tug and barge operators, dive support vessels, and others. Nikiski Fuel provides diesel, lubricants, and packaged goods. PO Box 8505, Nikiski, AK 99635 | 907-776-5551

Pacific Environmental Corp. (PENCO) Top Executive: Brent Porter, A K Area Mgr. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 985/1994 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 150/100 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. 6000 A St., Anchorage, AK 99518 | 907-562-5420

Pathfinder Aviation Top Executive: Rogan Parker, D  ir. Ops Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 001/2001 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 57/26 Pathfinder Aviation supports petroleum, utility, survey, and various other industries utilizing twin-engine Bell 212/412s, an EC135 and single engine AS350 B2 and B3, Bell 206 series helicopters with OAS-approved pilots and aircraft. They operate field bases throughout the state including Deadhorse. 1936 Merrill Field Dr., Anchorage, AK 99501 | 907-226-2800

PenAir Top Executive: Dave Pflieger, C  EO Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 955/1955 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 250/150 |

mining, and retail gasoline. 1813 E. First Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501 907-562-5000

Pilot Freight Services Top Executive: Patick Allen, CEO Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 990/2017 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 150/3 As the Pilot exclusive agent for Alaska, we are a full-service global transportation and logistics company with more than 75 locations throughout North America, western European operations, and administration offices in the Netherlands and Spain, and a worldwide network of overseas partners. 6200 Boeing Ave., Suite 350, Anchorage, AK 99502 907-406-0005

Port MacKenzie Top Executive: Therese Dolan, P ort Ops Mgr. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 005/2005 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 2/2 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 fourteen square miles of uplands available in the Port District for laydown areas, storage, and manufacturing facilities. 350 E. Dahlia Ave., Palmer, AK 99645 | 907-861-7799

Port of Adak Top Executive: Ken Smith, Ops Mgr. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 997/1998 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 7/7 Deep water port for offshore oilfield supply logistics, container transshipment, emergency and oil spill response, fueling, and fish processing operations. PO Box 2021, Adak, AK 99546 | 907-592-0185

Port of Alaska Top Executive: Steve Ribuffo, Port Dir. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 961/1961 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 24/24

Passenger transportation throughout the Alaska. Operating in sync with Ravn Air Group. Also specializing in charters and freight service. 6100 Boeing Ave., Anchorage, AK 99502 | 800-446-4228

The 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’s an intermodal transport hub that links Alaska’s marine, road, rail, pipeline, and air cargo systems. It is one of 16 US Commercial Strategic Seaports. 2000 Anchorage Port Rd., Anchorage, AK 99501 907-343-6200

Petro Marine Services

Port of Bethel

Top Executive: Kurt Lindsey, P res./CEO Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 936/1936 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 230/230

Top Executive: Allen Wold, Port Dir. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 940/1959 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 8/8

Serving the unique petroleum needs of a broad range of Alaska industries including fishing, home fuel sales, power generation, tourism, timber, transportation, construction,

Operate freight dock and yard, petroleum dock and berths for mooring boats and barges, and a small boat harbor. PO Box 1388, Bethel, AK 99559 | 907-543-2310

50 | June 2019

Port of Dutch Harbor Top Executive: Peggy McLaughlin, Port Dir. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 867/1867 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 10/10 The Port of Dutch Harbor promotes the growth and health of the community of Unalaska through the planning, development, and management of marine related municipal properties and facilities to provide moorage and other marine services on a self-supporting basis. PO Box 610, Unalaska, AK 99685 | 907-581-1254

Port of Haines Top Executive: Shawn Bell, Harbormaster Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 998/1998 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 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. PO Box 1209, Haines, AK 99827 | 907-766-6450

Port of Juneau Top Executive: Carl Uchytil, P ort Dir. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 976/1976 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 41/41 | Provides maritime infrastructure, including docks and harbors, for the cruise ship industry, commercial fisheries, and recreational boating public. 155 S. Seward St., Juneau, AK 99801 | 907-586-0292

Port of King Cove Top Executive: Charles Mack, H  arbormaster Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 970/1970 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 6/5 Ports and harbors. PO Box 37, King Cove, AK 99612 | 907-497-2237

Port of Nome Top Executive: Lucas Stotts, H  arbormaster Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 985/1985 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 5/5 The Port of Nome serves as the regional shipping hub in western Alaska by providing infrastructure for handing fuel, gravel, sand and rock, general freight, and seafood. The Port of Nome also provides moorage space for fishing, cruise, research, government, and other offshore vessels in the region. PO Box 281, Nome, AK 99762 | 907-443-6619

Port of Pelican Top Executive: Walt Weller, M  ayor Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 940/1940 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 14/14 | The Pelican Harbor is operated by the City of Pelican. The city has ninety-eight berths, which include permanent berthing spaces and transient moorage. Available dock services include electric, water, trash, fuel, and lubricants. Ice is also available. The city operates a laundromat with showers. PO Box 737, Pelican, AK 99832 | 907-735-2202

Port of Sand Point Top Executive: Richard Kochuten Sr., H  arbormaster Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 988/1988


We are a fishing community that caters to a local fleet of vessels 32 to 60 feet. Sand Point Boat Harbor, Sand Point, AK 99661 907-383-2331

Port of Valdez Top Executive: Jeremy Talbott, P orts/Harbor Dir. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 901/1901 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 10/10 Port services include a container terminal with a 700 foot floating dock (1,200 feet 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 feet. PO Box 787, Valdez, AK 99686 | 907-835-4564

Power And Transmission Top Executive: Daniel Gorrod, P res. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 972/1972 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 7/7 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 and straps, tire chains, and many more misc. parts. 711 Van Horn Rd., Fairbanks, AK 99701 907-456-2230

PRL Logistics

Top Executive: Ron Hyde, Pres./CEO Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 002/2002 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 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. PO Box 222029, Anchorage, AK 99522 | 907-261-9440

Ravn Air Group Top Executive: David Pflieger, P res./CEO Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 948/1948 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 1,300/1,300 | Scheduled passenger, cargo, mail, and charter service to more than 115 communities throughout Alaska. 4700 Old International Airport Rd., Anchorage, AK 99502 907-266-8394

Reeve Air Alaska Top Executive: Michael Reeve, O  wner/Mgr. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 006/2006 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 1/1

Reeve Air specializes in chartered air service to more than forty Alaskan communities. 7511 Labrador Cir., Anchorage, AK 99502 907-250-4766

Resolve Marine Services Alaska Top Executive: Todd Duke, M  gr. AK Ops Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 980/2013 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 500/50 Marine salvage, emergency towing and vessel repair, commercial diving, oil spill response, and charter aviation for passengers and cargo. 6231 Airpark Pl., Anchorage, AK 99502 | 907-243-0069

ROTAK Helicopter Services Top Executive: Ely Woods, GM Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 016/2016 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 25/15 | ROTAK offers aerial support for external load, remote tower support, mining support, powerline construction, oil/gas support, and disaster relief. 5014 Captain Hill Ct., Anchorage, AK 99502 | 907-302-4113

Ryan Air Top Executive: Wilfred “Boyuck” Ryan, Pres. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 953/1953 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 135/135 |

Alaska Marine Lines expands Arctic barge service


In cooperation with Bowhead Transport, Alaska Marine Lines is now providing scheduled barge service to the North Slope Villages of Point Hope, Point Lay, Wainwright, Utqiagvik (Barrow), Prudhoe Bay and Kaktovik. The new stops are added to Alaska Marine Lines’ many ports of call, joining the major hubs of Naknek, Dillingham, Nome, Bethel and Kotzebue, and more than 65 villages along the coast of Western Alaska.


Point Lay Point Hope

Prudhoe Bay Kaktovik

Kotzebue Nome

Cargo receiving deadline: Seattle – July 1 Anchorage – July 11

Bethel Dillingham Naknek

Dutch Harbor

8 0 0 - 4 2 6 - 3113

w e s t e r n a kc s @ l y n d e n .c o m Alaska Business

w w w. s h i p a m l .c o m June 2019 | 51


Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 6/6


Ryan Air continued: From Platinum to Kobuk, from Gambell to Mt. Village, we know the challenges of transportation in Alaska. For more than fifty years, we’ve developed the skill, perfected the processes, and implemented the technology required to efficiently move freight across the Bush. 6400 Carl Brady Dr., Anchorage, AK 99502 | 907-562-2227

Samson Tug & Barge Co. Top Executive: George Baggen, P res./CEO Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 937/1937 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 150/105 Alaskan owned, we offer the full range of barge freight and cargo hauling services, transporting cargo to Sitka, Cordova, Valdez, Fairbanks, Prudhoe Bay, Seward, Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak, King Cove, Dutch Harbor, Juneau, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Wrangell, Prince of Wales Island, and Metlakatla. 329 Harbor Dr., Sitka, AK 99835 | 800-331-3522

Sea Wide Express Top Executive: Phil Hinkle, GM Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 015/2016 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 300/1 | We specialize in surface transportation to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam. 3400 C Industry Dr. E., Fife, WA 98424 | 253-279-4685

SeaTac Marine Top Executive: Walter Seay, P res. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 000/2000 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 10/2 | Marine transportation, marine terminal bulk logistics, cargo operations, and barge transportation. 6701 Fox Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98108 | 206-767-6000

Security Aviation Top Executive: Stephen “Joe” Kapper, Pres. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 985/1985 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 25/25 | 24/7 on-demand air charter. Approved carrier for the Corps of Engineers, state, and federal agencies. Executive travel, crew changes, HAZMAT, “HOT” cargo, and medical transports. 6121 S. Airpark Pl., Anchorage, AK 99502 | 907-248-2677

Seward Boat Harbor Top Executive: Norm Regis, Harbormaster Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 964/1964 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 10/10 We are a full service port with 50-ton and 330-ton Travelifts, a 5,000-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. PO Box 167, Seward, AK 99664 | 907-224-3138

52 | June 2019

Sitka Harbormaster Top Executive: Stan Eliason, H  arbormaster Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 000/2000 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 11/8 Harbor management, development. 617 Katlian St., Sitka, AK 99835 | 907-747-3439

Sourdough Express Top Executive: Jeff Gregory, P res./CEO Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 898/1902 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 160/160 Freight-transportation services, logistics, moving, and storage services. Steel Connex container sales/lease. 600 Driveways St., Fairbanks, AK 99701 | 907-452-1181

Span Alaska Transportation Top Executive: Tom Souply, Pres. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 978/1978 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 150/75 | 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. 2040 E. 79th Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501 | 253-395-7726

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport Top Executive: Jim Szczesniak, A irport Mgr. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 951/1951 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 358/358 World class cargo airport, largest passenger airport in Alaska, and the world’s busiest float-plane base. PO Box 196960, Anchorage, AK 99519-6960 907-266-2119

TGI Freight Top Executive: Todd Clark, Pres. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 989/1989 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 10/10 | Local freight cartage, freight consolidation, logistics, and hazardous material services. 4001 Old International Airport Rd., Unit 7, Anchorage, AK 99502 | 907-522-3088

The Northwest Seaport Alliance Top Executive: John Wolfe, CEO Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 015/Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 54/0 The Northwest Seaport Alliance brings together two of the nation’s premier harbors

(Seattle and Tacoma) to form a single integrated gateway for marine cargo. We are the primary gateway to Alaska and Hawaii; more than 80 percent of trade between Alaska and the Lower 48 states moves through our harbors. PO Box 2985, Tacoma, WA 98401 | 800-657-9808

TOTE Maritime Alaska Top Executive: Grace Greene, P res. TOTE Maritime AK Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 975/1975 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 140/35 TOTE Maritime Alaska’s Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro/Ro) cargo ship operation provides fast, on-time service between the Port of Tacoma, Washington, and the Port of Alaska. 2511 Tidewater Rd., Anchorage, AK 99501-1044 800-426-0074

TrailerCraft | Freightliner of Alaska Top Executive: Lee McKenzie, P res. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 969/1969 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 55/55 | Parts, sales, and service for trucks, tractors, trailers, sprinters, transport equipment, snow plows, and sanders. 222 W. 92nd Ave., Anchorage, AK 99515 | 907-563-3238

TransGroup Global Logistics Top Executive: Rich Wilson, S tation Mgr. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 987/2011 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 3,000/4 US owned full service freight forwarder and global logistics provider. We provide transportation, warehousing, and specialized logistics solutions, coupled with software tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual customer for every link in your supply chain. Areas served: worldwide. 5631 Silverado Way, #G-101, Anchorage, AK 99518 907-243-4345

Transmark Cartage Services Top Executive: Ken Maccabee, Ops Supervisor Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 990/2017 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 150/3 | Our fleet of more than 50 vehicles includes straight trucks, 53-foot trailers, refrigerated units, courier cars, light-duty pick-ups, and drayage trucks to ensure that no matter what your needs, Transmark Cartage Services possesses the right equipment to meet them. 6200 Boeing Ave., Suite 350, Anchorage, AK 99502 907-351-2328

United Freight & Transport Top Executive: Frank Monfrey, G M Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 985/1985 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 42/42 Freight-transportation services. 1701 E. First Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501-1831 907-272-5700


Waste Management National Services

Top Executive: Yohl Howe, GM Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 994/1994 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 2,300/150 |

Top Executive: Mike Holzschuh, S r. Territory Mgr. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 971/1971 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 43,000/2 Hazardous and nonhazardous waste disposal, project management, complete logistical oversight, complete US and Canadian manifesting, rail transportation, over-the-road transportation, marine transportation, and turnkey remedial services. 1519 Ship Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501 | 907-274-0477

Vigor is a values-driven, diversified industrial business. We repair ships and build projects in support of energy generation, our nation’s infrastructure, national defense, and the maritime industry. 3801 Tongass Ave., Ketchikan, AK 99901 | 907-228-5302

Western Peterbilt

Vitus Energy

Top Executive: Gene Mountcastle, G M Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 987/1987 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 300/33

Top Executive: Justin Charon, C  EO Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 009/2009 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 70/70 | 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. 113 W. Northern Lights Blvd., Suite 200, Anchorage, AK 99503 | 907-278-6700

Full-service Peterbilt dealership. Offer truck sales, rentals and leasing, and contract maintenance. Full parts and service department. Additional locations in Fairbanks and Prudhoe Bay. 2756 Commercial Dr., Anchorage, AK 99501 907-276-2020

Ward Air

Top Executive: Bob Shrewsbury II, P res. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 948/1958 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 200/5 |

Western Towboat Co.

Top Executive: Ed Kiesel, Pres. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 995/1995 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 22/22 Air transportation nonscheduled. 8991 Yandukin Dr., Juneau, AK 99801-8086 907-789-9150

Tug and barge operator based in Seattle

serving all of Alaska and the Pacific coast with twenty-three tugs and six barges. 617 NW 40th St., Seattle, WA 98107 206-789-9000

Wrangell Marine Service Center Top Executive: Greg Meissner, H  arbor Dir. Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 2 005/2005 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 7/7 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. Box 531, Wrangell, AK 99929 907-874-3736

YRC Freight Top Executive: Elliot Garison, O  ps Supervisor Year Founded/Established in Alaska: 1 924/1981 Worldwide/Alaska Employees: 10,000/3 YRC Freight operations in Alaska gives you an integrated solution for moving LTL and TL freight between key markets using just one carrier from beginning to end. In addition, YRC has comprehensive coverage throughout North America, including crossborder to and from Canada and Mexico. 431 E. 104th Ave., Anchorage, AK 99515 907-344-0099

We load directly

to more terminals in Central Alaska than any other carrier.

Fairbanks Wasilla Kenai Kodiak


« LO




Fast, dependable shipping to and from Auburn. Benefits from Span Alaska’s direct loading service include: ■

Minimized handling Reduced transit time Quality dunnage to protect and stabilize shipments Containers loaded with care and expertise Seamless transit to final mile delivery Local Span terminals and employees provide tailored solutions to meet needs














AUBURN Container ships bound for Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kenai, Wasilla, and Kodiak – and barges to Juneau, Ketchikan, and Sitka – depart Auburn every Wednesday and Friday.

Alaska Business

From coast to coast, the deep South to the northernmost point of the U.S., our customers count on the benefits of direct loading, Alaska-wide coverage, superior service, accurate tracking, and our expert handling — knowing Span will deliver excellent results to the very last mile. Contact us for a rate quote: or 1-800-257-7726.

Serving Alaska since 1978 June 2019 | 53


Vigor Alaska


Transforming Transportation The art of developing transportation infrastructure By Tasha Anderson


hile some Bush pilots will do their best to land a plane just about anywhere, adventurous boaters might eye any piece of shoreline as “not impossible,” and some drivers feel roads are optional, for the majority of transportation professionals, ports, airports, and terminals are pretty important. By the end of the year Span Alaska will be operating a newly constructed terminal to increase efficiency and better 54 | June 2019

serve its customers, and the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and Port of Nome are both pursuing projects that will build economic opportunity for the communities they serve.

Span Alaska’s Anchorage Service Center Span Alaska specializes in the transportation of consumer and retail goods and is the state’s largest less-than-container

load freight forwarder. “We’ll haul just about anything,” says Span Alaska Vice President of Operations Chuck Onstott. To meet that mission, Span Alaska is constructing a new freight terminal in Anchorage on Electron Drive near Minnesota Drive and International Airport Road. The new, 54,000-squarefoot cross-dock terminal is designed with eighty-eight doors and is situated on a sixteen acre parcel of land.


30+ Years Experience • Value Assessment • Consultation • Marketing • Results Call Today! 907-261-7620 or 907-244-4194 Alaska Mergers & Acquisitions is affiliated with Remax Dynamic Properties, Inc.

Span Alaska currently has approximately seventy employees at two Anchorage terminals, all of which will be located at the new terminal when it is completed later this year. Span Alaska

According to Onstott, the main drivers behind the new terminal are efficiency and capacity for long-term growth. In 2015, Span Alaska purchased Pacific Alaska Forwarders, which at the time was approximately the same size as Span Alaska. “We were able to merge all facilities together with the exception of Anchorage where neither building was large enough to handle the combined freight volume,” he says. For the last four

years, the company has been operating two terminals to serve the Anchorage area with combined capacity of approximately 25,000 square feet of warehouse space, compared to the 40,000 square feet of warehouse space at the terminal currently under construction. With an eye toward the future, “We built this facility to provide ample capacity for growth,” Onstott explains. He says that Span Alaska is optimistic about the future Alaska Business

June 2019 | 55


Time to sell your company?


Rendering of the new 54,000-square-foot Span Alaska terminal, currently under construction. Bettisworth North

of the transportation industry in Alaska: “We see a lot of prosperity and we want to be a big part of that. In order to do that, you have to have capacity.” Watterson Construction is the general contractor for the project, and Bettisworth North Architects designed the terminal. Beyond the additional capacity, another request for the design was for the warehouse to be wider than Span Alaska’s current facilities, which allows the transportation company to stage freight in a way that improves operating efficiency. “Our goal from an operational standpoint is to handle the freight as little as we can, so we want to be able to unload

freight out of one trailer and directly load it into a delivery unit,” Onstott says. The new facility will also have a covered flatbed area that can accommodate up to three flatbed trucks at a time. Generally flatbed truck staging areas are not covered, so workers are exposed to the elements and in the winter the ground may be covered in snow or ice. “Working in a covered area will provide additional safety and comfort for our employees,” Onstott says. He’s also excited that the entire site will be paved. The current Anchorage terminal that Onstott is based out of

“The TSP pulls together all of the necessary project components to address the navigation, maneuvering, and depth limitations at the port. This now enables the project team to focus on refining the elements of the design layout rather than the broad array of concepts that have been on the table thus far.” —Joy Baker Port Director, City of Nome

56 | June 2019

is only partially paved: the “upper” lot where the company parks trailers is gravel, which creates a lot of dust. “It will be a very clean environment with everything paved.” The company currently leases its two Anchorage terminals but owns the new facility. While the benefits are clear for Span Alaska, at the forefront of the company’s mind is its customers. “We have been in Anchorage for more than forty years. This substantial investment in our infrastructure underscores Span Alaska’s commitment to Alaska and to providing the most reliable, highest-quality cargo transportation services to the communities we serve,” says Span Alaska President Tom Souply. The terminal is on schedule to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Nome Deep Draft Port The US Army Corps of Engineers has been preparing for public comment the Draft Feasibility Report for the deep draft port project at Nome, which includes a Tentatively Selected Plan, or TSP, for the port. According to Joy Baker, port director and project manager for the City of Nome, “The TSP pulls together all of the necessary project components to address the navigation, maneuvering, and depth limitations at the port. This now enables the project team to focus on refining the elements of the design layout rather than the broad array of concepts that have been



Aerial view of the new Span Alaska terminal as of early May; the facility is scheduled to open in October. Span Alaska

“We built this facility to provide ample capacity for growth... We see a lot of prosperity and we want to be a big part of that.” —Chuck Onstott VP of Operations, Span Alaska

on the table thus far.” It’s an exciting milestone for a project that was initially tied to the Alaska Regional Ports Feasibility Study, which was paused in 2015 and terminated in 2018; however, the 2017 recommendation from the Corps to terminate the study was accompanied by a recommendation to initiate a follow-on investigation at the Port of Nome. According to the Corps, “The new investigation will examine a wider array of benefits than the previous study, including Nome’s role as a regional hub for surrounding communities that rely on fuel and goods.” In addition to supporting the region, the proposed deep draft port would also stimulate additional economic activity in and around Nome. Baker says, “All construction brings economic benefit to the region through additional jobs and increased revenue for local businesses in hotels, restaurants, retailers, mechanical shops, and transportation operators.

Alaska Business

June 2019 | 57

TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL SECTION | FACILITIES Tom Souply, president of Span Alaska, at one of the company’s facilities. Span Alaska

However, this project will also trigger increased long-term demand in these categories to serve the existing port traffic as well as the deep draft fleet that are currently transiting past Nome or anchoring offshore and lightering. Being dockside increases options for taking on stores and equipment, as well as conducting repairs. All of this brings long term economic benefit to the region.” At the feasibility phase, many aspects of the project are still undetermined; however, because of predominant waves coming from a south-southwesterly direction, “the causeway extension in the shape of an ‘L’ is a given in nearly all of the concept alternatives,” Baker states. In addition, the project will require the extension of utilities (such as fuel lines) 58 | June 2019

to accommodate delivery and loading to and from the deep draft vessels. After the public comment period, the next step is an Agency Decision Milestone scheduled for later this year, with a final feasibility report due in March 2020, which would potentially allow the project to move into the design phase as early as June 2020. According to Baker, it’s important the project keeps moving forward. “The City’s position that there is an increasing level of urgency and importance for the project to be constructed based on geopolitical issues, receding ice, increased traffic, and a rising need to ensure that there is a deep draft port in the Arctic to support the nation’s security fleet’s refueling and resupply needs.”

ANC Quick Cargo Warehouse The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) is working on a plan to take advantage of the unique cargo transfer rights it has been granted by the US Department of Transportation. At ANC, foreign cargo carriers can transfer cargo from one of their planes to another plane; transfer cargo from one of their aircraft to any US air carrier; or transfer cargo from their aircraft to any other foreign carrier. ANC Manager Jim Szczesniak says, “We want to maximize the use of those special air cargo transfer rights by allowing cargo airlines and freight forwarders to do cargo hub-and-spoke operations. The issue the airport has right now is, if your airplanes arrive here perfectly timed, you can do that, but if they’re not, the round trip to


Is an affordable connectivity backup service that seamlessly delivers broadband Internet when your primary Internet service fails. When human error or natural disaster knock your business offline, satellite provides a truly diverse way to STAY CONNECTED. 907-264-3474



126 W. INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT RD. ANCHORAGE AK 99518 Minimum term required. Monthly service and early termination fees apply. Visit for details. HughesNet is a registered trademark of Hughes Network Systems, LLC, an EchoStar company.

Alaska Procurement Technical Assistance

“We want to help our existing customers keep their airplanes as full as possible and also attract new business.”

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

We can help!

CONTACT PTAC TODAY Anchorage: (907) 786-7258 Fairbanks: (907) 456-7822

—Jim Szczesniak Manager Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

Alaska Business

June 2019 | 59


HughesNet® Internet Continuity


Span Alaska has operations throughout Alaska and is the state’s largest less-than-container load freight forwarder. Span Alaska

take cargo from an aircraft, move it to a warehouse, and then move back to the airport is around 3.5 miles and is not very efficient.” To solve the problem, ANC developed the idea for a quick cargo center warehouse facility—in which cargo could be stored quickly and efficiently for a short amount of time, perhaps hours or a few days—that would be constructed and operated by a non-government, private company. In October the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) issued a Request for Expression of Interest, which is essentially the process through which DOT&PF gathered feedback about the proposed quick cargo warehouse from the market. In particular, ANC was considering two different sites to house the warehouse facility, each of which had pros and cons. “The primary comments that 60 | June 2019

we got were one of the locations had what we call air side access—that means that it’s really close to the airplanes—but it didn’t have land side access—which means you couldn’t regularly service it with trucks because they’d have to be cleared through security and escorted out here. And then the other site had the opposite problem… So we’ve changed it to a new location that will have access to both the land side and the air side,” Szczesniak says. With the new site selected, work is moving forward to issue a Request for Qualifications for air cargo developers by mid-year, which will be followed by issuing a Request for Proposals to construct and operate the quick cargo facility in third quarter 2019. “We want to help our existing customers keep their airplanes as full as possible and also attract new business,” Szczesniak says. He gives the example

of perishables from Latin America traveling through ANC to Asia: With this cargo facility, instead of sending a shipment of perishables to Shanghai, for example, and then distributing them to different cities from there, carriers could sort those perishables into different planes in Anchorage and send them directly to Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, or Seoul. “We’re the number five ranked cargo airport in the world; on a typical day we’re seeing more than 150 wide-body cargo aircraft operations here. It’s a market that’s in an ideal location… In addition, you’ve got the added benefit of having great neighbors, because you’ve got UPS and FedEx that are going to be right next to this facility with their networks. Add the cargo transfer rights, and different airlines are able to get the product to where it needs to go.”


Supporting Industry and Economic Development in Alaska with Insurance, Employee Benefits, and Risk Management Consulting.



SURETY Rooted in Alaska for over 30 years


Top-Flight Priorities

Creativity is crucial when building Alaska’s runways By Isaac Stone Simonelli


bout 82 percent of Alaska communities aren’t connected to the road system and 251 are accessed exclusively by air, according to the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities. Instead, they rely on aircraft for fuel, building supplies, food, medicine, and advanced healthcare— as well as access the rest of civilization. The fundamental role airports play in Alaska is unparalleled anywhere else in the United States, making their safety and reliability absolutely essential. The rural nature of many small communities—in addition to their reliance on air transport—creates unique challenges for engineers, 62 | June 2019

contractors, and firms specializing in airport design. “So much of Alaska is inaccessible by any reliable means other than by air, so really the option to close a runway down for multiple seasons to do a runway rehabilitation project is a no-go,” says Stantec civil engineer and aviation expert Johnathan Limb. “It’s just a non-starter.” In fact, the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development’s Alaska Mapping Business plan states that 79 percent of Alaska communities, incorporated and unincorporated, are considered rural, with populations of fewer than 1,500 residents. “Over half (55 percent) of municipalities are extremely small with populations [of] less than 500 residents; 13 percent are less than 100 residents,” the report says. The primary exceptions are the City and Borough of Juneau, City of Fairbanks, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Mat-Su Borough, and Municipality of Anchorage.

North-South Runway in Anchorage The largest airport, an economic driver in Anchorage that employs about one in ten people in the municipality, is the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (the world’s fifth-busiest cargo airport) is undergoing its second year of critical infrastructure work after resurfacing and widening taxiway Romeo last year. This year, construction continues on one of the airports three runways—the North-South runway—and begins on another taxiway, repaving and widening the surfaces. “The pavement of the runway has met its useful life; it needed to be redone,” says Airport Manager Jim Szczesniak. “So, while we’re doing this project we wanted to make sure we widen the runway to meet the FAA requirements and aircraft needs.” The need to widen the runway comes with an increase in traffic of the Boeing 747-8 international freighters. The wider runway and taxiways reduce the risk of foreign object debris, caused by jet blast, ending up on the runways and taxiways—


“So much of Alaska is inaccessible by any reliable means other than by air, so really the option to close a runway down

Building Alaska From The Ground Up

for multiple seasons to do a runway rehabilitation project is a no-go.” —Johnathan Limb Civil Engineer, Stantec

A division of Fairbanks Materials Inc.

A division of Fairbanks Materials Inc.

1122 Bradway Road North Pole, AK 99705

855 Old Richardson Hwy Fairbanks, AK 99701


907-459-4800 Alaska Business

June 2019 | 63

Transforming Challenges into Solutions.

Design Build Services by PDC Engineers

“ I enjoy working

Count on PDC for your next design/build project. We work closely with owners and contractors to ensure that a well coordinated design/construction package is delivered on time and on budget.

closely with Alaskan contractors because they know how to build in our tough environment. Our close collaboration always leads to working smarter and not harder. ” Amy Mestas, PE, SE - Senior Structural Engineer and Engineer of the Year, 2018





© Kevin G. Smith Photography and Ken Graham Photography


907.780.6060 907.780.6151





BUILDING ALASKA’S RESOURCE INDUSTRIES Our innovative solutions and experience in Alaska construction and maintenance are second to none. From the Kenai Peninsula to the farthest reaches of the North Slope, CONAM has been there and built that.

potentially causing costly damage to aircraft. “Jet blast is one of those things we’re always taking into consideration because these jets are capable of producing hurricane force winds at a moment’s notice,” Szczesniak says. “Since the runway is being closed for a significant amount of time, we’re also replacing the runway lighting system with energy efficient LED fixtures and new wiring.” But a significant change at the airport with regard to ensuring aircraft and passenger safety is a slight shift in the runway’s location. “We’re just going to move it 200 feet. So there isn’t really any noticeable change from the outside-the-fence perspective, but we’ll deconflict the runway safety areas,” Szczesniak says. Runway safety areas at the airport consist of 1,000-foot sections beyond the runway that need to be cleared and graded so that, in the event of an aircraft going off the runway, there is essentially a large grass field for the plane to travel into. Deconflicting the safety areas, in some ways, is fine tuning a push in Alaska back in 2000 to update safety areas, especially at small, rural airports. “Some of these places you’d fly into in Alaska early on, they’d have almost no safety area or they’d have very little safety area,” Limb says. The move was driven by Congress after Southwest Airline Flight 1248 went off the runway at Chicago Midway International Airport, crashing into automobile traffic and killing a six-year-old boy. The changes at Ted Stevens International Airport would mean that—in the extraordinarily unlikely scenario that two planes entered their runway’s safety area at the same time—they would not collide. To accommodate construction, the runway is expected to remain shut down for the remainder of the summer.

Half-Width Construction


Commitment to Safety & Quality Anchorage | Kenai | Deadhorse | | 907-278-6600 64 | June 2019

Unlike Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, most airports in Alaska do not have the luxury of alternative runways; few even have parallel taxiways that can be converted into runways to allow contractors free reign during the construction process. “For runways specifically, especially at an airport like Kotzebue, for example, where there are no roads to the adjacent communities, you have to keep that runway


“Airports have a lot of invisible protection

SINCE 1842

areas we’ve got to look at: can’t park equipment too close, can’t have things sticking up that might hit wings.” —Johnathan Limb Civil Engineer, Stantec

open,” Limb says. “Not only do we have to keep it open, we have to keep it open to all air traffic.” Per the Federal Aviation Administration’s 150/5370-2G Operational Safety on Airports During Construction advisory circular, a runway must be closed until construction is complete or the runway is returned to a state in which aircraft can safely operate, Limb explains. Because of the additional barriers to construction often present in rural Alaska, construction could stretch on for years depending on the level of rehabilitation needed. With no secondary runways, or even taxiways or roads that could be converted into temporary landing strips for aircraft during the construction period, Stantec and other designers turn toward half-width operations. Through project phasing, a runway is split longitudinally down the middle. This allows the contractor to close half the runway during construction while the other half remains open to air traffic. However, when personnel are actively working on even the closed half, the entire runway is closed to aircraft operations to assure safety. “What we end up doing a lot of times is that any time the contractor is actually on the airport the runway is closed. That requires us to work outside the normal hours of airport operations,” Limb says. “We have the contractor working after the last jet has gone for the day and before the first jet comes in the morning.”

Customer participation subject to credit qualification and approval by CNH Industrial Capital America LLC. Only at participating dealers, see your CASE dealer for details and eligibility requirements. Offer good through June 30, 2019.


2020 E. 3rd Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 Ph: 907-277-1541 A proud subsidiary of Calista Corporation Fax: 907-276-6795

Email: Alaska Business


7587 West Parks Hwy Wasilla, AK 99654 Ph: 907-376-1541 Fax: 907-376-1557


3511 International St. Fairbanks, AK 99701 Ph: 907-457-1541 Fax: 907-457-1540 June 2019 | 65

Limb explains that in 2012, the FAA’s Office of Airport Safety and Standards released its Runway Half Width Operation Construction Guidance memo to the Alaska Airports Regions Division Office listing the requirements to allow halfwidth operations. According to the memo, if the airport has a second runway of sufficient capability, a taxiway that can be converted into a sufficient runway, or there are other viable, year-round modes of transportation to outside communities, the FAA will not allow half-width operations. On the other hand, if the complete closure of the runway will have unacceptable impacts on the community or prevent medevac flights, a strong argument can be made for half-width operations. “FAA will review all factors and make a final determination if half-width operations are warranted,” Limb says. These FAA rules and regulations, however, only apply in the public-use realm and when contractors are using federal dollars. Of course, Alaska has many places that are not “official” landing strips. “There’s a differentiation here when you talk Bush pilots versus airports in the Bush,” Limb notes. “If you’re talking

“We’re just going to move [the runway] 200 feet. So there isn’t really any noticeable change from the outside-the-fence perspective, but we’ll deconflict the runway safety areas.” —Jim Szczesniak Airport Manager, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

flying into Bush communities where they have a community there and we have a runway there, that’s one thing. However, Bush pilots pride themselves in doing what they call off-airport operations. As long as they have enough room to land and have an aircraft that can handle the terrain, they can make almost any place a landing spot.” Additionally, private airports are not regulated the same way as public airports. Most public-use airports in the state are owned by DOT, in total 239. “DOT does airport capital improvement projects using the Airport Improvement Program, funds from the FAA, and those

funds usually cover about 95 percent of the cost, but they come with strings,” Limb says. Some of these strings are attached to what are known as “imaginary surfaces,” which are meant to prevent existing or proposed manmade objects, natural objects, or terrain from extending into navigable airspace. “Unless you’re dealing with a contractor who has done a lot of airport work, they don’t know about these things,” Limb says. “Airports have a lot of invisible protection areas we’ve got to look at: can’t park equipment too close, can’t have things sticking up that might hit wings.”


• Airport Runways • Roads • Highways

• Asphalt Products • Concrete Products • Pre-Stress

Quality Asphalt Paving I 240 W. 68th Ave. I Anchorage, AK I Ph: 907-522-2211 I Fax: 907-344-5798 66 | June 2019


Aniak airport before undergoing a $38 million renovation. Stantec

Aniak Runway Establishing clear safety areas is what led to the FAA requesting a $38 million project in Aniak in which the entire 6,000-foot runway is being moved. The issue is that there are multiple penetrations into the runway’s 800-footwide object free area, including the

town’s power plant, private homes, a perimeter fence, a road, and multiple buildings onsite, Limb explains. “It’s a massive undertaking, but it’s all in the name of safety,” explains Limb, who is part of the Stantec team undertaking the project. “One of the things we hear people saying is there has never been an

accident here, so the runway is safe. But lack of an incident or accident doesn’t mean that the runway is necessarily safe. If it doesn’t meet FAA safety standards, it doesn’t meet standards—and it needs to.” Last year saw the contractors relocating the roads and primary electrical systems ahead of moving the runway

When experience meets ingenuity, you get The Solutions Company • Safe, cost effective solutions to the most challenging projects • From the Arctic to the Gulf Coast • Full facility removal, asbestos, remediation, waste management, demolition and site work

Central Environmental Inc.

CEI I The Solutions Company Locations: Anchorage I Fairbanks I Las Vegas I Los Angeles 888-876-0125 I I #centralenvironmentalinc

Alaska Business

June 2019 | 67

Ralph Wien Memorial Airport following construction. Stantec

this year. The relocation also includes building turnaround taxiways instead of the “elephant ear” turnarounds normally provided. In general, taxiways—when economically feasible—are important for airport

safety as they allow planes to position themselves for takeoff without increasing their time on the runway itself. “Once we move the runway, then the FAA is going to be rebuilding the Instrument Landing System, that includes the

localizer and glide slope antennas, and the weather station that tells pilots what the weather conditions are like out there in Aniak,” Limb says. The most recent safety push in the industry—especially for Alaska airports—






s r a e y 8 3 CONTRUCTION, INC

Experts in Resource Development and Heavy Civil Construction Cruz Construction | Alaska Interstate Construction Original 68 | June 2019

Option 1

Option 2


“One of the advantages of not having an asphalt [runway] in the community is that it’s just easier to maintain.” —Johnathan Limb Civil Engineer, Stantec

has been providing airports with instrument landing procedures to make for safer flying in inclement weather, Limb says, noting that the Last Frontier is no stranger to bad weather. To do this, Stantec and others conduct aeronautical surveys, photographing the airports. “We’ll do 3D modeling on them, and we’ll identify obstructions to give a really complete map to FAA so they can design instrument approach procedures for pilots,” Limb says. “So, if the weather does close in on them, they can get into communities safely.”

tough on pavement, gravel runways are travel possible. “Someplace like Alaska, where we easily regraded. Millions of dollars of improvements— have so many pilots, so many planes per the vast majority of which are federal capita, it’s essential we’re doing everydollars—this year alone are pushing the thing possible to get home safely,” Limb AlaskaBusiness_2019.pdf 1 4/15/19 10:41 AM state forward in providing the safest air says.

Pavement or Gravel Alaska’s weather is hard on pilots and is very hard on runways—especially asphalt runways—which is why many airports in the state aren’t paved. “Pavement is a big thing. Pavement is very expensive, especially when you’re talking about Alaska and building runways in the Bush,” Limb says. “When you get to Bush communities, many of those community runways are unpaved. They operate propeller driven aircraft into those communities. And the props can easily operate on those kinds of surfaces.” However, if an airport supports jet traffic, it’s essential for the runways and taxiways to be paved. “Ingesting a rock into an engine can cause millions of dollars of cost to the airline and possibly the state itself,” Limb says. In many remote airports, daily operations are so low that the cost justification— and type of aircraft coming in—for pavement isn’t there. However, in Alaska hub airports, such as Kotzebue, Nome, and Utqiaġvik where people catch flights into surrounding Bush communities, asphalt runways are necessary. But for most other rural communities gravel is the economic option. “One of the advantages of not having asphalt in the community is that it’s just easier to maintain,” Limb says, noting that while the freeze-thaw cycle in Alaska is C








Alaska Business

June 2019 | 69


The finished Kwethluk K-12 School was designed to protect the building from spring flooding that is common in the area. Stantec

Arctic Infrastructure Ingenuity Engineering keeps old and new buildings stable and safe


By Vanessa Orr

ompanies that specialize in Arctic construction spend years perfecting their craft under the harshest conditions. As in many cases in Alaska, logistics plays a huge part of any undertaking. “Any sort of development starts with the question, ‘How do you get there?’” says Jim Campbell, PE, principal engineer and president of PND Engineers, Inc. “Almost any project that you want to build in the Arctic requires that you build roads. While a small number of projects are roadless, most are not.” “Building roads to some of these sites is no trivial task, either,” adds PND Principal and Lead Geotechnical Engineer Torsten Mayrberger, PE. For example, on one oil and gas project a company found a considerable amount of oil, but it required a 100-mile access road over extremely rugged terrain and fourteen bridges to 70 | June 2019

reach it. “In that case, it was so expensive to get to the resource that the company had to weigh the costs to determine if it could still be profitable.” Logistics also affects where a project can be built, especially in cases where soil conditions are unknown, according to Jeremiah Holland, PE, senior geotechnical engineer at DOWL. “Much of the work in the Arctic is done in remote locations where companies may not know the subsurface conditions,” he says. “Before we can start any design, we need to go explore the area with a drill rig or other tools. This requires personnel and equipment, which drives project costs up quickly.” He gives the example of prospective projects around Nome. “On the shoreline, the soil could be thawed, while on the tundra it may be frozen five feet down,” he says. “That’s why we drill; it’s a challenge to know what we’re dealing with.”

In order to keep the ground frozen, buildings may be constructed at-grade on refrigerated gravel pads using passive thermosiphons or elevated above ground on thermopiles. Passive thermosiphons and thermopiles are long, sealed, steel pipes installed into the ground beneath the structure, with radiator fins or the top few feet of the thermopile exposed to cold air at the surface. Natural convection forms as pressurized gas exposed to cold winter air chills to liquid and drops down to the warmer permafrost.

Building on Permafrost According to Holland, designing for a building on permafrost is inherently complicated. “You’re putting a warm building on frozen ground, which gives you two options—you either protect the permafrost or you thaw it,” he says. “In most cases, we go with protecting it, especially in areas where permafrost is pervasive.”

The water storage tank for the firesuppression system at the Kwethluk K-12 School is perched atop a steel piling to keep it above any seasonal flooding. Stantec


C E L E B R A T I N G This image shows the hinge between the top of the ramp and the structure at Kwethluk K-12 School. The hinge allows for the ramp to be useful as ground elevation changes.




Y E A R S Tu d o r C r o s s i n g E s t . 1 9 9 6


DOWL recently provided geotechnical engineering design and recommendations for several projects built on permafrost including health clinics in St. Michael’s and Shishmaref, which are supported on thermopiles. A warehouse in Nome and a water treatment plant in Kotzebue will both be supported on refrigerated pads. If permafrost thaws, buildings can experience severe settlement. “It can be as subtle as a few inches all the way to catastrophic failure,” says Holland. “The general rule of thumb is if it’s frozen, keep it frozen, and if it’s thawed, keep it thawed,” says Bruce Hopper, PE, SE, associate and senior structural engineer at Stantec. “You need to consider the soil properties underneath. If it’s dry gravel, it’s not a problem. But in the southwest region, the soil is about 40 percent water, so you use the ice to make the load transfer happen.” One increasing concern is that the thaw rate has substantially increased over the years, meaning that buildings that were expected to last a certain amount of time are failing at an alarming rate. “In Nightmute, the school foundation built in the 1980s has failed as a result of the permafrost changing much more rapidly than was originally anticipated,” says Hopper. “When we were hired to build an

“The general rule of thumb is if it’s frozen, keep it frozen, and if it’s thawed, keep it thawed.” —Bruce Hopper Senior Structural Engineer, Stantec


We specialize in

Construction accounting

SO YOU CAN keep building Focus on your projects, knowing your financials are in order. With over 30 years of construction accounting, we’re familiar with the nuts and bolts of your industry to identify business challenges and boost your profits. Since 1983, we’ve helped Alaskan contractors: — Obtain and grow their surety bonding — Make the most of specialized tax breaks for contractors — Make your cost accounting system work for you Call Jim today to strengthen your construction team!

Jim Meinel CPA, P.C. Construction Accountant

237 E. Fireweed Lane, Suite 301 Anchorage, AK 99503

907-258-2727 Alaska Business June 2019 | 71

PND and its drilling partners designed and constructed a light, mobile enclosed drilling sleigh that protects personnel from the environment. It can be pulled by lighter, more efficient tractors across the tundra without disturbing underlying vegetation. PND

addition, we found that the bottom of the stairs, which were built at grade in 1984, were now three feet above the ground.” Stantec is putting the new foundation deeper into the ice to provide more freezing capacity in the thermopile. They are also putting a hinge at the top of the stairs that will allow it to transform from a bridge into a ramp as the site settles over the next thirty years. “You want to provide a design that will last for the building life, and that’s difficult with climatic conditions changing,” says Holland. “It’s a challenge to try to use the latest data to build something that will perform well in the Arctic for the next twenty to thirty years.”

Maintenance and Multiple Uses Since it’s so difficult to get materials to a building site, the last thing designers want to do is create something that requires constant upkeep.

“From the project onset, the design team needs to work with the building’s users and owners to select materials that are durable and easy to maintain,” says Giovanna Gambardella, principal and architectural services manager for Stantec. “For example, custom siding is much harder to replace than a finish that is easily restocked. It is important that materials and building systems are selected collaboratively.” “Sometimes, repairs may require highly skilled individuals that are not available in a village; flying people in to fix things is an added cost,” says Stantec Associate, Senior Architect, and Building Technology Specialist Ross Timm. “That’s why you want to make a building as simple as possible to maintain. That way, the owner may only need to bring in someone once a year from Anchorage or Fairbanks.” Using the right materials is also important.

“Much of the work in the Arctic is done in remote locations where companies may not know the subsurface conditions. Before we can start any design, we need to go explore the area with a drill rig or other tools.” —Jeremiah Holland Geotechnical Engineer, DOWL

72 | June 2019

“Yearly temperature variations can be extreme, especially in the Interior, so you have to use materials that are proven to work in these conditions like insulated metal panel siding,” says Timm. “You want to avoid more cutting-edge materials used in the Lower 48 or in Anchorage because this is not the place to test projects for the first time. You’re taking a big risk.” Not only do designers need to know what materials will work—for example, some metals and plastics turn brittle in the Arctic cold—but they also need to think of the added expense while the building is under construction. “Certain sealants can’t be installed when it’s cold and concrete can’t be poured in the extreme cold,” says Timm. “You have to seal up the building envelope and add tenting or heating to do interior finishes; these are all added costs. “A lot of contractors aren’t familiar with these issues, so you really have to have one who is experienced in true Arctic construction,” he adds. Another concern is that many buildings, especially in rural villages, have multiple uses. Schools, for example, may not only be used for educating students but also serve as community centers and emergency shelters. “You need to enhance the building to accommodate for that, increasing the structural design and taking into account safety factors to deal with wind, ice loads, earthquakes, and more,” says Hopper. “All villages in Alaska are required to have a school, and it’s usually the nicest building in town,” adds Campbell. “While a village may not have a wastewater


The timing and magnitude of spring breakup flooding on the rivers and streams in the Arctic are important considerations in the design and operation of structures in the area.

The Kuparuk bridge and roadway system, designed by PND, allows passage of annual floods and ice flows. PND


treatment system or potable water system, when you build the school, you need to provide that infrastructure, which makes it more expensive.” A lot of Arctic construction is prefabricated elsewhere so it can be assembled quickly. “In the Lower 48, material costs drive each project; in the Arctic, labor and transportation costs drive prices,” says Mayrberger. “You reduce the amount of labor, you reduce costs.” When building in the Arctic, it’s also important to respect the people—and the places—where things are built. “Up here, there’s a really high value placed on making sure that the environment is protected; we think about minimizing our footprint as well as minimizing when and how we do work so that we don’t disturb fish and animals,” says Campbell. “This affects every aspect of the project—in a good way.” PND also considers indigenous cultures in its design process. “We want to cause the least disturbance to their daily lives and also show respect for historical sites,” says Mayrberger. “In the whaling season, for example, all barges and marine construction stops. It’s a very cooperative process, and most people take it seriously even without the regulations.”

Water Issues While the first choice is to avoid areas where flooding or spring break-up takes place, it’s not always easy to know where that might occur. In many places in Alaska, flood mapping is nonexistent and there are

Alaska Business

June 2019 | 73

The water treatment plant in Kotzebue is built on a refrigerated pad to keep the permafrost beneath it frozen. DOWL

“In the Lower 48, material costs drive each project; in the Arctic, labor and transportation costs drive prices.” —Torsten Mayrberger Lead Geotechnical Engineer, PND

no stream gauges in place to provide the needed data. When PND built the Colville River Bridge two years ago, they had to take into account that for at least a couple of weeks each year, the normally serene landscape would change. “During spring break-up, the river is a nasty place,” says Mayrberger. “There are ice floes 30 feet in diameter and 7 feet thick roaring down the river. We had


20 1 9

Tickets Available starting May 28th



ROGER BROOKS President, Destination Development Association



to design the bridge with ice breakers as part of the pier foundation so that the ice could ride up on ramps. There, the weight of the floe causes it to break so it can be redirected from the bridge foundations.” PND has also designed bridges that can go underwater for a few days during peak flooding, similar to road crossings that go underwater in places vulnerable to flash flooding, like Arizona. According to Chase Nelson, PE, a DOWL project engineer, in Arctic regions keeping water and wastewater systems above freezing is a challenge, as is protecting the frozen ground around heated water and sewer systems. “Melting the frozen ground and permafrost by introduction of a heated system can have fallout for other infrastructure, like the roadway above the pipes and adjacent buildings,” he explains. Arctic water systems are designed to maintain constant circulation for freeze protection, and many systems include add-heat systems where the potable water is heated before distribution. Many communities also find ways to keep the water and sewer pipes heated, such as an electric heat trace or a glycol heat trace that accompanies the water and sewer mains. Nelson adds that all water and sewer mains in the Arctic are designed with insulation around the mainline and an external pipe jacket to keep the fluid inside above freezing while protecting the surrounding frozen ground. Bethel and many communities with significant ground movement from freeze/ thaw cycles engineer aboveground pipes, because ground movement can damage the pipes. Kotzebue, on the other hand, buries its water and sewer mains in the shallow active layer above the permafrost. “The pump station reservoirs often need to extend well into the permafrost, so the reservoir must be insulated to keep the surrounding permafrost frozen and the wastewater in the wet well above freezing,” explains Nelson, noting that a cooling system is often added to both above and below ground structures.

small window to do a lot of work,” says Campbell. “Unfortunately, the window has been getting smaller in the last few years—April 15 is usually the end of the season.” There are a lot of challenges with working at this time of year, including below freezing temperatures and darkness. “These temperatures are not good for man or machine,” says Hopper. “We’ve been delayed a month on jobs because of machines breaking. At Eielson Air Force Base we lost a month on a steel frame building because it was too cold to weld. This makes a major

impact on scheduling.” In addition, extreme wind conditions can make it impossible to keep temporary plastic sheeting in place, and lighting sites is also very difficult. Barge schedules and the availability of charter and commercial flights also limit opportunities to get materials in. Despite the challenges, those who design and construct Arctic buildings find ways to make it work. “The key word is resiliency—that’s what it’s all about,” says Gambardella. “You design it into whatever the facility is.”

Designs that take you to new destinations

Little Time to Work While construction winds down in the Lower 48 as winter approaches, it ramps up in the Arctic. “The construction season usually runs from January to mid-April, which is a very

Municipality of Anchorage 100th Avenue Extension

Alaska Business

June 2019 | 75


Alex Legrismith, mining engineer, flies one of Usibelli Coal Mine’s new drones. UCM

Mining for New Technology AI, drones, and machine learning are changing the resource development landscape By Tasha Anderson

76 | June 2019


sibelli Coal Mine (UCM) became a frontrunner in the mining industry in terms of environmental restoration when it pioneered a program to re-establish the natural landscape on previously mined land years before it was a federal requirement. The company actually begins working on a reclamation plan before mining activity starts: an inventory is taken of the variety and abundance of natural vegetation found on the site, as well as information on conditions required for the vegetation to grow. According to UCM, since 1970 it has reclaimed more than 5,500 acres and planted more than 500,000 seedlings. And throughout UCM’s seventy-six years of operations, the company has kept an eye on emerging technology

and best practices. “[New technology] has certainly changed the way we work, has helped us reduce costs, and has made us more efficient and safer,” says Lisa Herbert, vice president of public relations at UCM. Recently UCM acquired a new CAT 994K loader with a 35-cubic-yard bucket, which has more capacity than its 994D loader with a 23-cubic-yard bucket and is more fuel efficient than the company’s O&K hydraulic shovel with 27 cubic yards of capacity. In the last few years, the company has also added several 150-ton haul trucks with custom beds. “Even though the capacity of the haul trucks as purchased from CAT is 150 tons, the density of our coal prevented us from actually hauling that much coal. The modifications that have







J-LOK P™ Pumpable Resin System is an innovative resin delivery system for underground mining and tunneling applications. The system consists of a two-component, pumpable, polyester resin and a specialized pump that delivers the resin directly to the bolt hole. Developed to improve the productivity, safety and reliability of ground support installations, J-LOK P can be used for a wide range of ground support products including solid steel rebar, hollow core bolts and cable tendons.








• Fast curing and rapid strength gain. • Over 5.2 tons per inch of anchorage can be attained. • Provides full encapsulation of anchors. • Customizable gel times, seconds to hours.

Gel Time1

12” Short Encapsulation Pull Test (Time to 20 tons)1, 2

J-Lok P 10

5 - 7 Seconds

10 Seconds

J-Lok P 60

15 - 25 Seconds

60 Seconds

Hollow Core Bolt (SDA, MPA,...)

J-Lok P 120

60 - 75 Seconds

120 Seconds

J-Lok P 180

2 - 4 Minutes

3 Minutes

Long Tendons (Cables, Strand...)

J-Lok P 250

4 - 6 Minutes

10 Minutes

J-Lok P 700

15 - 30 Minutes

1-2 Hours


Solid Rebar Bolts

Typical Resin Speed for Application

Environmental Advantages: • Does not contain isocyanates. • Minimal waste. • Extended shelf-life over 1 year.

• Product does not crystallize in warm conditions or separate when frozen. No need to re-agitate. • Un-mixed material can be easily disposed of or made inert.

GLO BA L H E A D QUA R T ER S • (412) -96 3 -9 071 • PI T T SB U R GH, PA US A • W W W. J EN N M A R .CO M

“[New technology] has certainly changed the way we work, has helped us reduce costs, and has made us more efficient and safer.” —Lisa Herbert VP of Public Relations Usibelli Coal Mine

been made to the new truck beds now allow us to carry 150 tons of coal, which increases our productivity,” according to Herbert. This increase in productivity also has the result that the trucks are burning less diesel overall. As UCM brings on new equipment and technology, it does so deliberately and over a period of time. “Whether or not the new equipment is intended to replace an older piece of equipment or if it is purchased to supplement our current fleet, we always overlap a few years when possible so that we can work out any kinks,” Herbert says. “When we replace equipment, our goal has always been to replace it with something that will be cost effective, boost production, and increase fuel efficiencies.” In addition to newer and higher capacity vehicles, UCM has been implementing tech in other ways in

“When we replace equipment, our goal has always been to replace it with something that will be cost effective, boost production, and increase fuel efficiencies.” —Lisa Herbert VP of Public Relations Usibelli Coal Mine

78 | June 2019

its fleet. To aid in maintaining the fleet, several of the mine’s trucks now carry onboard tech to provide UCM with real-time data on oil levels, engine issues, and other diagnostics, allowing the maintenance department to schedule service in a way that will have the least impact on operations. In the near future, UCM plans to outfit its haul trucks with GPS that will record haulage cycles and truck drive times. “This will allow management to schedule shifts accordingly or identify opportunities to improve efficiency,” says Herbert. UCM has also been moving into having a new kind of fleet operating at the mine: a flying one. The company has introduced drones as part of its operations. “It has been a real game changer for our engineering and reclamation departments and has helped us improve efficiencies across all mining activities.” Drones have replaced much of UCM’s surveying equipment, as thousands of data points can be recorded within the thirty minute flight. Drones also improve safety, as they can be used in areas that could be hazardous to UCM personnel. Drones are also contributing to UCM’s reclamation legacy: “Large aerial photos combined with detailed topography from the drone provides our reclamation department with data to monitor regrade efforts in the pits as well as monitoring growth of vegetation in reclaimed areas,” Herbert explains. Its laboratory department acquired a portable analyzer to read the chemical compositions of the coal recently. Use of the portable analyzer replaces the mine’s current process, in which an employee goes to the mining area, collects samples, brings them back to the lab, crushes them, and then tests their composition. Testing samples onsite saves time and helps UCM manage

quality control for its customers. Also in the lab, UCM purchased a water analysis machine that allows it to test settling pond water samples in-house; water from the pond is discharged in the summer and must meet standards set by the mine’s Alaska Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. “This technology reduces our costs in external lab fees—but more importantly provides us with same-day water results as opposed to waiting several weeks,” says Herbert. It’s an ongoing concern in many industries that increased automation and advancing technology will reduce the number of positions available for human workers, but UCM has been and continues to be conscientious that adopting technology works for the mine and its employees: “The new technology that has been implemented at UCM has not displaced jobs, but it has allowed us to keep up with increased sales without adding additional workers.” UCM has maintained a workforce of approximately 100 employees for several years.

Global Market Mining is an industry of commodities, which are given to significant price and production fluctuations that require companies in the industry to remain vigilant about maintaining efficiencies. That said, production at any given mine isn’t generally tied to the current value of the commodity it is mining. According to Sara Teel in the May 2019 edition of Alaska Economic Trends published by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the relationship between production and price is complex. “Price and production don’t always track together, as the relationship is complicated. High startup and operational costs, the time it takes from discovery to start of production, and regulatory obligations mean short-term price volatility doesn’t usually affect short-term productions. Mines can’t promptly shut down when prices fall, nor can they quickly expand when prices jump,” she writes. Current or projected commodity prices can be an obstacle when mining companies are considering expansions or trying to get a mining project off the ground, though that has not been the most significant obstacle historically in Alaska, which is known for its world-class project potential. Teel reports, “According to the


“According to the Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies, Alaska ranked fifth out of ninety-one global regions for mineral potential in 2017 and tenth for overall investment attractiveness.” —Sara Teel Research and Analysis Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies, Alaska ranked fifth out of ninety-one global regions for mineral potential in 2017 and tenth for overall investment attractiveness.” Kensington Mine, Fort Knox, and Red Dog are all looking at expansion projects, and Pebble Mine, Donlin Gold Mine, and the Bokan-Dotson Ridge project are all at various stages of project development, among many others. But from a global view, the exploration picture isn’t as optimistic. According to GoldSpot Discoveries, a company that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) in mining exploration activities, “Spending on exploration remains at historically high levels. Around $54.3 billion has been spent on gold exploration over the past decade, yet the rate of discovery has declined.” The company explains that the modern era of mineral exploration was launched after WWII, and in the last seven decades nearly all of the “easy” deposits at or close to the surface have been identified and mined, which means further exploration has become “reliant on expensive deep-drilling and data-heavy surveying.” Data-heavy surveying does provide mineral explorers with lots of information, but that is part of the problem: it’s a ton of information. According to GoldSpot Discoveries, a single drill hole can provide 200 megabytes of data and for large projects hundreds of holes may be drilled—and that data might be then combined with historic, seismic, and other types of data. It takes a lot of work to turn piles of data into a plan for exploration or development. Hence the company’s specialty: using AI and machine learning to handle the significant amounts of data collected to better direct companies to potential targets, in the process hopefully reducing risk and cost. From more efficient trucks to AI

managing massive data, all levels of new tech in mining allow the industry to produce the raw materials necessary for so-

Alaska Business

ciety to pursue everything from reliable, affordable energy to advancing smart technology.

June 2019 | 79


Luxury—Alaska Style Redefining extravagance off-the-grid By Vanessa Orr


hen you think of luxury resorts, what first comes to mind? A private pool? An upscale spa? Monogrammed bathrobes and butler service? In Alaska, luxury takes on a different meaning. “There’s not a true definition for what a luxury resort in Alaska is,” says Sarah Leonard, president and CEO, Alaska Travel Industry Association. “It’s more about the experience and being one of the few people able to take part in something amazing. It’s not so much 80 | June 2019

about the structure or property, though there are high-end lodges; it’s about the unique experience.”

Tordrillo Mountain Lodge Tordrillo Mountain Lodge attracts guests from all over the world for its fishing, kayaking, waterskiing, whitewater and river rafting, hiking, heli-trekking, skiing, mountain biking, and more, including a new via ferrata climbing route. “Our clientele is broad; we’re always trying to create the vacation that we think they imagine Alaska to be,” says Mike Overcast, who co-owns the multisport lodge with Olympic gold medalist Tommy Moe. “We want them to have a number of activities to choose from and include two helicopter excursions in our day rate so they can pick and choose what they want to do, depending on the weather.”

Tordrillo is a forty minute flight from Anchorage and is located on the banks of the Talachulitna River and Judd Lake. “We’ve worked really hard to create an environment that is really different than a typical Bush Alaska property,” says Overcast of the beautifully landscaped grounds, which include raised garden beds that provide fresh produce for the guests. “The farm-to-table approach is very important to our customers; they don’t want Thai food while they’re here—they want food anchored in Alaska. In addition to the vegetables we grow and Alaska seafood, we augment our meals with elk and other wild game, which is a natural fit.” For the last twenty years, Tordrillo has offered a Kings and Corns package that combines king salmon fishing and corn snow helicopter skiing. Its newest activity,


New one-bedroom cabins imported from Scandinavia offer privacy and luxury in the Alaska backcountry.  Tordrillo

“More and more lodges

All guests arrive to the lodge by ski plane, so traffic looks a little different. Tordrillo

in Alaska are beginning to focus on the highend customer... We want people to understand that Alaska is not totally rough; we’re trying to create something luxurious that utilizes the attributes of our surroundings.” —Mike Overcast Co-owner Tordrillo Mountain Lodge

The great room offers plenty of space for guests to relax with views of the Tordrillo Mountains and Judd Lake.  Tordrillo

Alaska Business

June 2019 | 81

person per day. “We wanted to create a place that we’d be interested in visiting, so we talked to our guests to find out about their interests, and then we worked to meet or exceed their expectations,” says Overcast. “More and more lodges in Alaska are beginning to focus on the high-end customer, and we believe the more the merrier. We want people to understand that Alaska is not totally rough; we’re trying to create something luxurious that utilizes the attributes of our surroundings.”

Ultima Thule

Ultima Thule produces most of its greens and root vegetables on-site. The majority of the food at the lodge is locally harvested. ©Grace Adams

Living off the grid can be luxurious at Ultima Thule Lodge, which hosts only twelve people at a time. ©Grace Adams

set to open this month, is via ferrata climbing, a 1,200-foot fixed route that goes up a sheer rock mountain face. “The route will be fixed with cables and rings where there are not natural handholds, and climbers will be harnessed in to prevent falling. The three-hour climb starts 2,000 feet off the deck, and climbers have to cross an arête to get to the top of the mountain where the helicopter will pick them up,” explains Overcast. The lodge, which can accommodate twenty-four guests, has been completely remodeled over the last couple of years, and Finnish chalets have been added to the property. The lodge features a dining 82 | June 2019

room with massive windows overlooking the lake, as well as hot tubs and saunas. “Our guests get a hardcore mountaineering experience and then can unwind in the hot tub or sauna or get a massage before dinner,” says Overcast, adding that they can also enjoy a libation from the resort’s 500-bottle wine cellar. About 50 percent of the lodge’s clients are from the East Coast, with many of the rest coming from international financial centers such as Geneva, Zurich, London, Paris, and São Paulo, Brazil. Winter is still the resort’s biggest season, with guests paying $15,000 for a week of winter activities. The summer rate is $2,000 per

Ellie Claus, operations manager at Ultima Thule, agrees with Leonard of ATIA that what makes a resort luxurious is different for everyone. “What defines luxury is different in Alaska than what is considered the standard in the tourism industry,” she says. “We are lumped into a category that we don’t really fit into, but there’s not a better definition for what we do. It’s like the Inuit have fifty words for snow; I wish there were the same number of expressions to define luxury. “If you’re looking for a spa, butler service, or an infinity pool, you’re not going to find it here,” she adds. “But we offer things that other places can’t.” Ultima Thule is located 50 air miles from the nearest gravel road in Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, part of the largest protected landmass on earth. Guests are picked up by plane at the McCarthy airstrip and flown to the lodge, which hosts twelve people at a time. “While other resorts may have pools and room service, you’re sharing those amenities with 500 other people,” says Claus. “Here, you’re spending time with only eleven other people; it’s a relationship-style experience.” Great attention to detail is paid to creature comforts in the private cabins, all of which are positioned to have private views. Cabins include running water, full bathrooms, and hot tubs and saunas, and the furniture within them is made from local lumber sources and designed to complement the natural beauty of the surrounding wilderness. One unique amenity is a reusable water bottle in each guest’s welcome kit that encourages sustainability and can be filled with glacier water. “When you live 50 air miles from the nearest road, having electricity twentyfour hours a day is a pretty big amenity,”


Visitors fly in to stay at Ultima Thule, which is part of the adventure. The lodge is located 50 air miles from the nearest gravel road in Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. ©Arturo Polo Ena

says Claus, adding that they spend time educating guests on what it’s like to live off the grid. “Even with our high standards of ‘luxury,’ I will be the first to tell you that our property is not designed to attract everyone. Often sustainability trumps mainstream luxury, and we try to communicate that in advance so people know what to expect.” Ultima Thule is all-inclusive, so meals, activities, flights, and equipment are included in the package cost, which is $8,775 per person for a four-night package. The entire facility can also be rented for $25,000 per night with a minimum three-night stay, which can include sixteen people. While all of the resort’s activities are included, they are not planned ahead of time. “We have no itinerary; we let Mother Nature lead us,” says Claus. Depending on the weather, guests may go fishing, bear viewing, hiking or rafting, or take a flight safari to view the Wrangell Mountains and Chitina River. “Every activity revolves around flying, so we look at the weather in the morning to see what’s possible,” says Claus. “At breakfast, we present different ideas, and guests have the option to have their own guide or to join a group activity. “What we offer is based on our interactions with guests,” she adds. “Some people want to hike every mountaintop; others want leisure. No one is lumped

Ultima Thule Lodge is located in Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, part of the largest protected landmass on earth. ©Arturo Polo Ena

into an experience with others who are not on the same agenda. Activities are tailored to each group or individual.” Most of the food is locally harvested and includes salmon, halibut, and foraged, made-in-house jams and jellies. “We grow a lot of vegetables on our property and, by July, are producing most of the greens and root vegetables onsite,” says Claus. “Our focus is not on extravagant food but on foods that are representative of Alaska. Servings are hearty and familystyle, and we let the natural flavors speak for themselves.” Speaking of family, the third generation Alaska Business

of the Claus family runs the resort, which was started as a hunting camp back in the 1950s before Alaska became a state and Wrangell-St. Elias became a national park. “My grandfather, who homesteaded the property, got grandfathered in,” says Claus of the pilot and big game guide. “My parents decided to turn it into a small-scale recreational operation, offering something that wouldn’t have a huge impact on the area and would provide a unique experience in the natural world. “People ask why it’s so expensive and I explain to them that operating expenses for places off the grid in Alaska are June 2019 | 83

An outside view of The Sheldon Chalet in Denali National Park, which sits on some of the most majestic peaks in North America. ©Jeff Schultz

astronomical,” she continues. “It’s hard to comprehend that every roll of toilet paper is handled ten times before it gets here, and then there’s the expense of vehicles and airplanes. A 500-room hotel is definitely more cost-effective, but the luxury of getting out here for this experience is where the value lies.”

The Sheldon Chalet Marne Sheldon, owner and manager of The Sheldon Chalet and the Historic Mountain House in Denali Park, agrees that sometimes the experience is worth far more than the cost. “What defines luxury is a tough question,

but we don’t believe it is defined by price point,” she says. “The finer things in life cover a wide spectrum.” Sheldon says that the chalet is included in the luxury sphere because it is an extraordinarily exclusive experience. “No one can replicate this experience because no one else owns this type of property in Denali,” she explains, adding that the park expanded in 1982 to include the Sheldon homestead. “We are located on the flanks of the most majestic peaks in North America and the world.” In the 1960s, Sheldon’s father-in-law, Don Sheldon, surveyed and mapped the

The view from a bedroom in The Sheldon Chalet, located in Denali National Park. ©Jeff Schultz

84 | June 2019

Alaska Range. He decided to homestead a “piece of rock” he found, and in 1966 built the Historic Mountain House, which is still rented out today to adventurers from all over the world. “After my mother-in-law passed, we were going through some papers and uncovered historical information, photos, audio recordings, and blueprints for another structure,” says Sheldon. “We decided to create the chalet in their honor.” The Sheldon Chalet opened in February 2018 and has since appeared in top-line travel publications including The Robb Report, Travel & Leisure, and Town & Country. It was named Time magazine’s best new place in 2018. “We could have built it to be more rustic, but we already had that with the Historic Mountain House,” says Sheldon of the modern design. “We wanted something as majestic and grand as the surrounding area. “It provides a peace and a solitude that most people aren’t used to; it takes guests by surprise,” she adds. “It actually takes a lot of people several minutes to ‘come to’ because they are stunned. It’s a feeling like no other place in the world.” The Sheldons designed the resort to be turn-key, and staff cater to every guest. “When we train our staff, we tell them, ‘Look at your surroundings; the


The Sheldon Chalet’s gentle glacier trek includes a gourmet glacier picnic. The Sheldon Chalet

overall guest experience has to be at this same level,’” says Sheldon. The all-inclusive model includes all meals, tours, guides, and equipment, and guests can choose from a number of activities. “There are two certified adventure guides on the property, and they take guests out to the 35 mile Don Sheldon Amphitheater for minimountaineering courses, trekking in crevasse fields, exploring snow caverns, sledding, skiing, ice and rock climbing, and more,” says Sheldon, adding that guests who want a little more relaxation can take part in a gentle glacier trek that includes a gourmet glacier picnic. “Our activities really tease the senses; people can’t get their brains around the idea of having a gourmet meal on a glacier in Denali while drinking fine wine, or taking a hot shower in the middle of nowhere. It’s hard to believe that you’re staring at the summit of Denali from the plush comfort of your down bedding,” says Sheldon. At 5,800 feet and 63 degrees north latitude, the chalet is also perfectly positioned for Northern Light viewing. “The stratosphere is slightly thinner at this height, so the lights are crisper and more vibrant,” says Sheldon. Ten guests at a time can take advantage of the chalet’s shared experience package, which includes a minimum three-night stay at a cost of $2,300 per person per night. Exclusive three-day experiences, in which guests have the whole chalet to themselves, are available for $25,000 a night, which also includes three extra helicopter hours as well as

transportation from Anchorage. The resort is open year-round. The Historic Mountain House is also available to adventurers with backcountry glacier experience. The house sleeps four with a minimum two-night stay. Guests land on the glacier and trek one-third of a mile up to the house. “Guests pay separately for their flights and haul their own food—it’s a rustic mountaineering

Alaska Business

adventure,” says Sheldon. Approximately 90 percent of guests are from North America, with a handful from overseas. “We get a nice mix of Alaska residents, too,” says Sheldon. “Even though they know all about the beauty and grandeur of the state, they say they have still never experienced anything like this in all of Alaska.”

June 2019 | 85






On the Water


t’s hard to beat the waterfront views, access to wildlife, opportunities to fish, and over-the-top beauty of staying at an island hotel. Below are a few lodging options strategically situated on some of Alaska’s stunning islands. On St. Paul The King Eider Hotel is the only hotel on St. Paul Island, a “small, windswept island in the Bering Sea” that is rich with wildlife. In particular, at least 313 avian species have been recorded on the island, including several rare birds making their spring migration. According to St. Paul Island Tour, the island is a “birders paradise.” The King Eider Hotel (named after a large sea duck that migrates to

the Arctic to breed in the summer) offers comfortable lodging for island guests and is conveniently located next to the St. Paul Airport.

In Lake Clark Island Lodge is settled on a forty-five acre island in Lake Clark and is the only lodge located within Lake Clark National Park. According to the National Park Service, “Lake Clark National Park and Preserve

“Ideal Health changed my life!”

is a land of stunning beauty. Volcanoes steam, salmon run, bears forage, and craggy mountains reflect in shimmering turquoise lakes.” Guests stay in cabins that sleep two to four people and have access to a sauna, recreation cabin, and main lodge with a dining area.

On Kodiak The Kodiak Island Resort bills itself as “spectacular luxury in the heart of the Alaskan Wilderness.” The wilderness fishing resort is located on the shore of Larsen Bay on Kodiak Island and is open from May to October, annually. Kodiak Island is renowned for its

fishing waters and other local activities including kayaking, bear viewing, whale watching, beach combing, and endless opportunities for photography. “We’re among an elite group of Alaska fishing lodges,” the company states, “priding ourselves on providing a level of service that is refreshingly old fashioned with an emphasis on quality.” Shelikof Lodge is nestled “in the heart of Kodiak” and includes a full-service restaurant that was voted as serving the “Best Breakfast in Town” in 2017. The Lodge is centrally located in downtown Kodiak and has a free guest

SEE ALASKA THIS SPRING! Rent a 22’ to 30’ RV, for only


151 lbs. lost in 11 mos. Brian has maintained his weight loss for a year. It’s more than a diet it’s a lifestyle change.

while they last! 31’-32’ for $149/day June 2019 only reservations.

Before: After: Let science, lifestyle education and our coaching guide you for the last diet you’ll ever need.

Rent any R-POD for $99 per day during June 2019

• Customized weight loss goals • Individual coaching • Delicious foods • Improve overall health

CALL or TEXT us for more information today! 86 | June 2019

New Location! 401 E. Fireweed Lane, Suite 101, Anchorage 907- 885-3130 •



freezer available for hunters and fishers visiting the island. The island is home to Kodiak brown bears, which have a density on Kodiak of about one bear for every 1.5 square miles, though the bears naturally gather near salmon streams, tidal flats, and other preferred summer feeding areas. Best Western Kodiak Inn is conveniently located six miles from the airport and two blocks from the ferry terminal. According to the company, “Either way you travel, the sights are beautiful from mountain and glacier viewing on the hour long flight from Anchorage or wildlife viewing on the ferry trip from Homer.” In addition to a complimentary breakfast, the Kodiak Inn also provides guests access to the outdoor gazebo with a hot tub and barbeque pit.

On Prince of Wales Sunnahae Hotel is situated on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska at the southern part of the Alaska Panhandle. It’s the fourth largest island in the United States and has more than 1,000 miles of coastline. Guests can fish, visit inland lakes, explore caves, and view karst formations. Sunnahae Hotel offers rooms at the main hotel as well as cabins that can be rented by the night or week; all of the cabins overlook the water. Waterfall Resort is all about fishing, calling itself “the hub of fishermen for over a century.” Prince of Wales is ideally situated where “nutrient-rich spring runoff and a confluence of ocean currents attract millions of bait fish, which in turn feed vast populations of halibut, lingcod, and rockfish—as

well as the extraordinary annual returns of king and silver salmon,” the resort states. Waterfall Resort rents rooms within the historic lodge as well as twenty-six renovated cabins that were originally built to house cannery workers.

On Orca Island Orca Island Cabins provides yurt accommodations on a private island in Humpy Cove in Resurrection Bay approximately nine miles southeast of Seward. According to the Alaskans who own and operate the cabins, kayaking is the most popular activity for guests on the island; other activities include stand-up paddle boarding, fishing, hiking, tide-pool exploring, and bird and wildlife viewing. The yurts feature a fullyoutfitted kitchen, hot and

Alaska Business

cold running water, and a barbeque on each private deck.

On Fox Island Traveling to Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge starts with a twelve mile boat ride from Seward—“When you arrive at Fox Island, mistcovered pebble beaches and crystal-clear waters call for adventure,” the lodge’s website states. Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge is the only accommodation on Fox Island, around which guests often see Steller sea lions, otters, whales, Dall’s porpoise, eagles, puffins, cormorants, and murres. The main source of power on Fox Island for the cabins and main lodge is solar, and this eco-tourism destination is certified by Adventure Green Alaska. alaskacollection. com/lodging/kenai-fjordswilderness-lodge

June 2019 | 87







JUN Fiddlehead Festival 1-2 This festival is hosted by Alyeska Resort and 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, beer and wine garden, cooking demos, 5K Fun Run, and children’s activities. Alyeska Resort’s talented chefs host hands-on demonstrations and share techniques for cooking with fiddleheads.


JUN Three Barons 1-2 & 8-9 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.

JUN Midnight Sun 7-8 Sevens Rugby

Tournament Watch the fastest growing and newest Olympic sport in a paradiselike 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. Men and women teams represented.

JUN Anchorage 22 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 Half Marathon. The event includes a four-person marathon relay, Coastal 5K, and Buddy Half Marathon, in which teams of two split up the half marathon course.

JUN Downtown 22 Summer

Solstice Festival & Hero Games Anchorage celebrates the 88 | June 2019


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; the Children’s Rainbow Factory, which includes puppet shows, a kayak pool, and giant sandbox; and a Teen Pro Skateboarding Demo. Events take place in Downtown Anchorage on Fourth Avenue between C Street and L Street.

JUN Anchorage 22-29 PrideFest This annual event brings together local businesses, organizations, allies, and the LGBTQ community throughout the beautiful state of Alaska to celebrate diversity through more than twenty events. This year’s theme is “Breaking Boundaries.” The Equality Parade and Pride Festival take place on the Delaney Park Strip.


JUN Chickenstock 14-15 This is the best place to be for those who love both music and chicken and has been since the music festival started in 2007. In addition to live music, Chickenstock features the traditional Chicken Dance, led by four human-sized chickens, one human-sized egg, and one human-sized deviled egg. The festival takes place at Chicken Gold Camp & Outpost.

JUN Midnight Sun 21 Baseball Game This is the 114th 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.

JUN Midnight Sun 23 Festival More than 30,000 people visit the festival to enjoy live entertainment, great food, and a variety of vendors, from Noon to Midnight in Downtown Fairbanks.


JUN Great Alaskan 21-23 Foodstock Foodstock’s slogan is, “We play for food.” Entry to the rock, bluegrass, blues, folk, and funk country music festival is $5 or five cans of food; proceeds are donated to the Fairbanks Rescue Mission. Activities also include dancing, volleyball, horseshoes, arts and crafts, and food vendors, all at the Howling Dog Saloon.


JUN Colony Days 7-9 Celebration This festival is in honor of the 1935 Colonists who started the Palmer farming community. Events include a car rally, craft fairs, farmer’s market, games, bike rodeo, parade, and live entertainment in Downtown Palmer.

JUN Alaska Scottish 29 Highland Games The games feature amateur Highland Athletes; piping, drumming, and dancing competitions; and live music, vendors, food, and a Scotch tasting at the Alaska State Fairgrounds.


JUN Seldovia Summer 20-23 Music Festival 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.


JUN Seward Halibut 1-30 Tournament 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.


JUN Sitka Summer 4-30 Music Festival This annual event has grown from its inauguration in 1972; today for four weeks every June the festival includes twenty-four concerts and events across Sitka and is supported by twenty-five business and community partners, as well as nearly one hundred volunteers, in celebration of chamber music in Alaska.


JUN Duff’s Skagway 8 Marathon Billing itself as “Alaska’s toughest marathon,” Duff’s Skagway Marathon climbs multiple hills, dips into valleys, traverses a Sitka spruce forest, crosses over Taiya River trestle bridge, and passes numerous streams. In addition to the marathon, there’s a half marathon and walking half marathon.

JUN Solstice and 29 Rhubarb Fest This annual celebration of sun and rhubarb includes a rhubarb cooking contest, glassblowing demo, longest rhubarb stalk contest, live music, good food, and awesome company, all at the Jewell Gardens and Garden City Glassworks.



Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference Kenai Peninsula College, Homer: Sponsored by the Kachemak Bay Campus-Kenai Peninsula College/ UAA, this highly acclaimed, nationally-recognized conference features workshops, craft talks, public readings, and panel presentations in literary fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and the business of writing.

awesome—and space is limited.


JULY 8-12, 22-26

Ketchikan: The conference includes training, workshops, lectures, and a firefighter competition.

Alaska Business Week Alaska Business Week is a one-week summer program teaching the basic principles of private sector business to Alaskan high school students. The Anchorage program runs July 8-12 at King Tech High School and the Mat-Su program runs July 22-26 at Colony High School.


Alaska Fire Conference


IAWP 2019 Conference

conference of the Alaska Association of Harbormasters & Port Administrators. OCTOBER OCTOBER 7-10

ATIA Annual Convention & Trade Show

Dena’ina Center, Anchorage: The theme for the 2019 conference of the International Association of Women Police is “Mentoring the Next Generation.”

Centennial Hall, Juneau: The Alaska Travel Industry Association is the leading nonprofit trade organization for the state’s tourism industry. The theme for this year’s conference is “Legend of Alaska.”

JULY 12-18



Uniform Law Commission Annual Meeting

Museums Alaska Annual Conference


JUNE 17-21

9th Annual Nuka System of Care Conference 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.

Kodiak: This year’s conference theme is “Critical Conversations: Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion,” as “the museum field is currently engaging in critical conversations regarding how our institutions can evolve to become more equitable, inclusive, diverse, and accessible.”

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

AML Summer Legislative Meeting



ASA Fall Conference

Soldotna: 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.

Fairbanks: 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.

Alaska Chamber Fall Forum

Anchorage: The Uniform Law Commission provides states with non-partisan, well-conceived, and well-drafted legislation that brings clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law. AUGUST AUGUST 13-15

JUNE 18-19

National 8(a) Association Alaska Regional Conference Anchorage Marriott Downtown: The 2019 Alaska Regional Conference offers educational sessions, matchmaking, networking, and resources for all small businesses.

AUGUST 21-23


Best of Alaska Business 49th State Brewing Co., Anchorage: Alaska Business honors more than sixty companies that have been selected by our readers as leaders in their field, ranging from breweries and sushi restaurants to web designers and swag providers. The event is

APA Annual Meeting Centennial Hall, Juneau: The Alaska Power Association’s 68th Annual Meeting and ARECA Insurance Exchange Annual Meeting, hosted by Alaska Electric Light & Power and Inside Passage Electric Cooperative, brings together APA’s statewide membership for three days of association business, general sessions, speakers, and networking.


Alaska Business Top 49ers Luncheon Anchorage Marriott Downtown: Come honor the top forty-nine Alaska companies ranked by revenue at our annual luncheon. 907-276-4373 | SEPTEMBER 30–OCTOBER 4

AAHPA Annual Conference

Cordova: Open to the public, the Alaska Chamber’s Annual Conference is the state’s premier business conference. The conference draws 200 to 225 attendees and features keynote speakers, panel discussions, and breakout sessions on issues of statewide concern to Alaska business. OCTOBER 25-27

Alaska Cross Content Conference Anchorage: The mission of the Alaska State Literacy Association is to empower educators, inspire students, and encourage leaders with the resources they need to make literacy accessible for all. 

Juneau: This is the annual

Alaska Business

June 2019 | 89

INSIDE ALASKA BUSINESS SMS Equipment opened its first Alaska branch, located at 8895 King Street in Anchorage. SMS Equipment will serve as the official Alaska distributer of Komatsu heavy equipment and “strives to be the number one solutions provider to the construction, forestry, mining, and utility markets.” In addition to Komatsu, the Anchorage branch will also carry Fecon, Terramac, Takeuchi, and other equipment, as well as provide service for all the lines of equipment.

USDA Forest Service

stellar performance to strong collaborative relationships and a high level of respect that exists between the laboratory and the medical staff, nursing, surgical services, administration, SEARHC clinics, and other hospital departments.

Alaska Chamber The United States Chamber of Commerce awarded the Alaska Chamber with a rating of Accredited for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact on the community. The Alaska Chamber joins the top 3 percent of all chambers in the nation that are accredited and one of only six state chambers to hold this distinction.

USDA Forest Service

Tiny Gallery

The USDA Forest Service signed a decision to implement a fifteen-year, integrated resources management plan for federal lands on Prince of Wales Island with the goal to improve forest health while supporting local communities. The decision contains many actions, including up to 200 miles of instream restoration; up to three recreation cabins; twelve new threesided shelters; 4,500 acres per year of per-commercial and wildlife thinning treatments; and trail construction and maintenance.

SEARHC The SouthEast Alaska Regional Consortium (SEARHC) Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Laboratory recently had its biennial inspection by the College of American Pathologists (CAP). After a two-day visit from a CAP inspector, the Laboratory inspection results showed it to be in the top 1 percent of labs nationwide. SEARHC Director of Laboratories Constance Stager attributes the department’s 90 | June 2019

A new gallery opened in April: Tiny Gallery is located at 706 W. Fourth Avenue in Downtown Anchorage and sells products made by Alaskan artists and makers that are certified Made in Alaska. The gallery’s owner, Laurette Rose, is an artist who creates glass pieces, which will be available at the gallery. Other artists whose work will be available at the gallery include Nancy Nolfi Dodge (Pizzazz Fiber Art) and Carol Jones (FireBear Designs).

Chugach | ML&P One year after Anchorage voters authorized the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) to sell Municipal Light & Power (ML&P) to Chugach Electric Association, Chugach has filed an Asset Purchase and Sale Agreement with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) for its review and approval of the acquisition. As part of the filing, Chugach filed an application to expand its service territory under its Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to include ML&P’s service territory. The RCA process is expected to take six months. Following RCA approval,

Chugach expects to close the deal within 120 days, estimating the two utilities would become one around February 2020. At that time, all ML&P employees will become Chugach employees and all ML&P customers will become Chugach members. |

Surgery Center of Fairbanks Surgery Center of Fairbanks

SMS Equipment

The Surgery Center of Fairbanks was recently awarded the superior CNOR Strong designation from the Competency & Credentialing Institute. It is Alaska’s only surgery center or hospital to achieve the certification in 2019. The CNOR (Certified Nurse Operating Room) designation focuses on enhancement of quality patient care and recognizes registered nurses who demonstrate professional achievement in assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating surgical care.

Stantec Stantec has received the Governor’s Safety Award of Excellence. The award is presented to Alaska organizations—including companies, government entities, and nonprofits— that demonstrate distinction in the safety and health of their personnel, the environment, assets, and reputation that promotes superior corporate citizenship. The award criteria include the organization’s safety performance, injury/environmental investigation, commitment of both management and employees, and health, safety, and environmental programs. In the past three years, Stantec’s Alaska offices had zero recordable injury and illness cases and zero environmental incidents.


RIGHT MOVES Alaska Business  Tasha Anderson, who has been with Alaska Business for seven years, has been promoted from associate editor to Associate Editor/ Anderson Web Editor. In addition ongoing editorial responsibilities for the print magazine, she will be responsible for directing and managing content for the magazine’s newly redesigned website. Anderson earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wyoming.

Holland & Knight  Christopher J. Slottee joined Holland & Knight as a Senior Counsel in the firm’s Anchorage office. Slottee is highly experienced in matters Slottee related to Alaska Native Corporations, Alaska Native Corporation Settlement Trusts, and tribal governments. He received a juris doctorate from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College and a bachelor’s degree from The University of Utah.

Resource Data  Resource Data hired Timothy Harrelson as a Programmer/Analyst at its Anchorage office. Harrelson recently graduated with his bachelor of science in computer science from the University of Alaska Anchorage. He previously worked as a programmer/analyst intern at the Alaska Railroad Corporation.  The company also hired Jay Burns as a Project Manager/Senior Analyst. Burns

has a master’s in theatre from Michigan State University and a dual bachelor’s in industrial management and economics from Carnegie Mellon Burns University. For the past nine years he’s worked as a support manager for Schroeder Consulting Service where he worked on software deployment and support for more than one hundred clients.

Sitnasuak Financial Services  D.J. Webb has stepped up to a new leadership role as the General Manager of Sitnasuak Financial Services. Webb is a long-time employee and title-industry Webb expert: for more than fifteen years she has worked with Fidelity Title Agency, a wholly-owned Sitnasuak subsidiary, to offer trusted title and escrow services. Webb will lead the title companies and financial services from the statewide branch headquartered in Anchorage.

Northrim Bank Northrim Bank announced a new branch manager and two promotions.  William (Bill) Kurtz comes to Northrim Bank as AVP Branch Manager after working at KeyBank in Alaska for more than two years. He Kurtz has thirty years of banking experience in the retail and investment divisions. Kurtz earned an associate’s degree in finance and holds Investment Licenses Series 6 and 63 as well as State of Alaska Annuity and Life Insurance.

 Erika Bills has been promoted to Assistant VP, Business Banker III; she has been with Northrim Bank for twenty-three years Bills where she has held a variety of roles. She holds American Bankers’ Association diplomas for general banking, commercial banking, consumer banking, and small business banking.  Cindy Cheely has been promoted to Business Banker II. Cheely has been with Northrim Bank for ten years and has twentyCheely one years of experience in the financial services industry. She has worked in a variety of departments at Northrim including financial sales, lending, and retail banking.  Shauna Thornton has been promoted to AVP, Branch Manager (Sitka). Thornton has been with Northrim Bank since 2017 and has more than six years of experience within Thornton the financial industry. She holds a master’s of public administration from the University of Alaska Southeast and is completing her PhD in organizational leadership from North Central University.

ARECA Insurance Exchange  ARECA Insurance Exchange hired Don Maynor, CSP, as a Loss Control and Safety Specialist. In this role he will conduct loss control visits at various locations and focus on safety training and other matters for AIE and the Alaska Power Association. Maynor began his career in the Alaska electric utility industry in 2002 in the GVEA credit


Real Alaskans. Real cargo. 92 | June 2019



department. He earned his Certified Safety Professional designation in 2017.

Great Alaskan Holidays  Riley Simasko has recently been named as the Great Alaskan Holidays Service Writer; in his new position Simasko is directly responsible Simasko for the coordination of customer RV repair and service needs with the company’s entire sales, production, and technical teams. Prior to joining Great Alaskan Holidays, Simasko most recently held a position as an independent flooring contractor, where customer interactions were critical to his success.

Alutiiq Museum  Marlise Lee has been promoted to Alutiiq Museum’s Gallery Coordinator; her role includes developing events, stocking the store, Lee and leading advertising efforts. Lee has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Colorado and experience working around the world.

Koniag  The Koniag Board of Directors selected Ron Unger as CEO. Prior to being hired as the CEO, Unger served on the Koniag Board for fourteen years, with six years as Chairman. Twice during his time on the Board, Unger stepped in as acting CEO. In both instances, Koniag realized improved financial results and delivered increased shareholder benefits. Unger graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with an engineering degree and earned an MBA from the University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Sitnasuak  Chrystie Salesky has joined the Sitnasuak Native Corporation Shareholder Department as the Shareholder Relations Officer. Salesky Salesky started her career with Sitnasuak in 2011 as a summer intern. Later she was promoted to the Sitnasuak Foundation executive director until 2016.

SEARHC  SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) hired Elliot J. Bruhl, MD, to assume the newly-created system wide position of Vice President/ Chief Medical Officer. Bruhl will provide medical and clinical expertise and serve as a resource to SEARHC’s senior leadership, medical staff, and clinical employees. After receiving his bachelor of arts in geology from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and a master of science in hydrology from the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, Bruhl earned his doctor of medicine from the University of Colorado in Denver.

from the University of Alaska Anchorage.  Maillet joined R&M in 2011 as an accounting technician. She has twelve years of financial experience and is knowledgeable in all aspects Maillet of business accounting. Maillet’s responsibilities as project accountant include maintaining contract compliance, managing and reporting project financials and budgets, managing accounts receivable and payable, assisting with database configuration, and providing project management support for budgeting purposes.

Enterprise Engineering  Enterprise Engineering promoted Gary Cain, PE, to President. Cain has been a Principal with the company since 1998 and brings thirtyCain seven years of engineering design and construction experience to the firm. Cain is based out of the company’s Anchorage office and has contributed his leadership and strong commitment to EEI’s continued success and growth over the past twenty-three years.

R&M Consultants Linnzi Doerr was promoted to Controller and Courtney Maillet to Project Accountant in R&M Consultant’s Accounting Group.  As controller, Doerr manages R&M’s financial accounting and integrated project reporting system. She has been with R&M Doerr since 2007 in the role of accounting supervisor and has seventeen years of business management and accounting experience. Doerr has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s of business administration, both

SALT  SALT promoted Kelsi Swank to Director of Residential Design and Graphics. Swank has more than nine years of design and graphics experience and Swank has been with SALT since 2014. Recently, Swank worked on a few prominent graphics installations throughout the Anchorage area, including a new graphic and bronze sculpture installation of Senator Ted Stevens at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. 

Chainsaws. Replacement blades. Wood stoves. Whatever you need, we deliver. Connect with us / 800.727.2141 / /

Alaska Business

June 2019 | 93

AT A GLANCE What book is currently on your nightstand? A Leader’s Heart: 365-Day Devotional Journal by John C. Maxwell, which was a gift from a good friend. I find the book inspirational and it helps to keep me grounded. What movie do you recommend to everyone you know? Free Solo. I used to climb when I was younger so it’s fascinating to me. An amazing story about athleticism, mental toughness, preparation, and confidence. Of course, who in their right mind would do that? What’s the first thing you do when you get home after a long day at work? Take off my shoes at the front door, then give my wife a big hug and kiss. If you couldn’t live in Alaska, what’s your dream locale? Northern New Mexico between Raton and Taos. You’re in the middle of the high plains with a few mountains and big Ponderosa Pines. If you could domesticate a wild animal what animal would it be? Panda bear… Who doesn’t like a panda? They always seem content and playful.

94 | June 2019



Craig Morrison R

aised in Texas, Craig Morrison graduated from University of Texas Arlington with a degree in electrical engineering after paying his way through school working as a roughneck on the drilling rigs of West Texas. Roughnecking sparked Morrison’s interest in the oil and gas industry and in 1981, he and his wife Mimi moved to Alaska where Morrison began working on the North Slope. Now as president of NANA WorleyParsons and after working for thirty years with NANA WorleyParsons and its heritage companies, Morrison has the opportunity to be part of a great team of individuals who deliver engineering, design, and project management services to the oil and gas industry in Alaska. Alaska Business: What do you do in your free time? Craig Morrison: I like to be outdoors no matter the weather. Exercising, piddling in the yard, or just goofing off is a nice way to clear your mind and take in the natural beauty we see when we step outside our home. AB: Is there a skill or talent you’ve always wanted to learn or are learning? Morrison: I would love to learn how to play the violin.

arts. Need variety to keep you motivated and interested. AB: Dead or alive, who would you like to see perform live in concert? Morrison: Lindsey Stirling. I missed her last year when she performed at the state fair. Bad on me. I like the classic violin sounds adapted to modern songs. AB: What are you most superstitious about? Morrison: Friday the 13th… Early in my career I was moving a drilling rig from West Texas to the North Slope. We were making a pick with a crane when the slings broke. Did about $150,000 worth of damage to the equipment. What makes this interesting is that my supervisor asked me earlier in the day if I was superstitious. Naturally I said “no.” Well, that all changed. AB: What is your greatest extravagance? Morrison: That’s a tough question. I consider myself frugal, others may say cheap. It’s always been difficult to let go of those dollars; however I would say the fat tire bike was a nice gift to myself.

AB: What’s your go-to comfort food? Morrison: A McDonald’s apple pie and a medium Dr. Pepper. I know what you’re thinking. AB: Other than your current career, if you were a kid today, what would your dream job be? Morrison: A nuclear physicist. Sounds weird doesn’t it? My original major in college was nuclear physics. During the summer working as a roughneck I had the opportunity to participate in nuclear weapons testing while we were drilling the test holes in Nevada. There was a physicist who took me under his wing and gave me a view on how to blow up stuff. Then I discovered there was limited work opportunities and switched over to engineering.

Images © Kerry Tasker

AB: What’s your best and worst attribute? Morrison: I’ve been told that I’m a patient person. Let’s call that the good attribute. For those areas of improvement—I can be pretty stubborn and intolerant if put in a corner.

AB: What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done? Morrison: It’s a toss-up between bungee jumping or learning to sky dive while going to university. It was quite intimidating to open up your parachute, look down, and discover you’re floating above all the major highways in Dallas.

AB: What is your favorite way to get exercise? Morrison: Really anything. I enjoy riding a fat tire bike, hiking/backpacking, really long runs, and martial

Alaska Business

June 2019 | 95

ALASKA TRENDS AMHS Serves All of Alaska


ommunities, businesses, and individuals statewide take advantage of the Alaska Marine Highway System’s ports of call that span from Southeast to Southwest Alaska. To help our readers better understand the impact of the Alaska Marine Highway System, we present information from The Economic Impacts of the Alaska Marine Highway System as compiled by McDowell Group (using 2014 data) and presented to the Alaska House of Representatives in February.

Alaskan Ridership AMHS carried residents from 175 communities. Anchorage and Mat-Su residents accounted for 20,000 bookings and 15% of revenue from Alaskans.

AMHS Ports Communities Utilizing AMHS

Visitors and AMHS More than half (51%) visit Anchorage, 50% visit Juneau, 36% visit Denali, 36% visit Ketchikan, 35% visit Skagway, 32% visit Haines, 26% visit Seward, 25% visit Fairbanks, 23% visit Homer, and 22% visit Valdez.

AMHS Freight In 2014 AMHS transported... • 13,110 vehicles w/o drivers • 4,320 RVs • 3,862 container vans • 2,269 non-motorized vehicles • 115 ATVs • 18,016 pets/livestock

AMHS Traffic: Southwest System Embarking Passenger Traffic, Top 10 Southwest Ports, 2014 20,543 13,126 12,788 12,034 11,236 2,467 1,288 587 538 490

SOURCE: The Economic Impacts of the Alaska Marine Highway System by McDowell Group

Whittier Homer Valdez Cordova Kodiak Seldovia Port Lions Ouzinkie Dutch Harbor King Cove


AMERICAN MARINE • Marine Construction/Dredging • Subsea Cable Installation & Maintenance • Commercial Diving • Platform & Pipeline Construction, Installation, Repair & Decommissioning

ANCHORAGE OFFICE (907) 562-5420

• Underwater Certified Welding • Marine Salvage

DEADHORSE OFFICE (907) 659-9010 96 | June 2019

• NDT Services

Alas ka I C alifornia I Hawaii

• ROV Services • Vessel Support Services


Total Employment/ Wage Impacts

Operations: By Category Total Spending $45.6 million

Total Wages: $103.7 million Total Jobs: 1,700

Direct wages $65.0 M

Ketchikan Juneau Haines Wrangell Anchorage Homer Petersburg Sitka Cordova Kodiak

Indirect/ induced $38.7 M

Fuel/Oil $23.7 million Services $13.5 million Supplies/Equipment $4.2 million Travel/Training $1.9 million Utilities $1.6 million Other $0.7 million

Indirect/ induced 683

Direct employment 1,017

ANS Crude Oil Production 4/30/2019

01/01/2014 05/01/2011 09/01/2008 01/01/2006

Employment and Payroll


AMHS Employment by Community of Residence, Top 10, 2014



ANS Production barrel per day 499,441 Apr. 30, 2019 0




SOURCE: Alaska Department of Revenue Tax Division

297 51 39 34 34

• 95% of AMHS employees are Alaska residents • 1,017 total Alaska employees • 44 Alaska communities • Total Alaska payroll/benefits: $100.7 million

25 21 19 10

ANS West Coast Crude Oil Prices 4/30/2019



Total Spending Impacts Indirect/ induced Direct $88.3 m spending $184.7 M

• Total spending impact: $273 million • More than double the State of Alaska’s General Fund investment of $117 million

ANS West Coast $ per barrel $72.14 Apr. 30, 2019


09/01/2000 $0




$80 $100 $120 $140 $160

SOURCE: Alaska Department of Revenue Tax Division

Statewide Employment Figures 01/1976—03/2019 Seasonally Adjusted 3/01/2019

Labor Force 354,761 Mar. 2018 Employment 331,643 Mar. 2018 Unemployment 6.5% Mar. 2018


AMHS Traffic: Southeast System


Embarking Passenger Traffic, Top 10 Southeast Ports, 2014 Juneau Haines Ketchikan Skagway Annette Bay Bellingham Sitka Petersburg Prince Rupert Wrangell


70,538 36,134 33,254


20,732 15,214 13,647 13,451

05/01/1987 09/01/1981

7,961 7,209 6,835

01/01/1976 0





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

PENCO • Environmental Response, Containment • Site Support Technicians, Maintenance • Waste Management, Environmental Monitoring • Tank Cleaning, Inspection • Petroleum Facility Maintenance & Repair • Logistics Support • 24-Hour Response

ANCHORAGE OFFICE (907) 562-5420 DEADHORSE OFFICE (907) 659-9010

A la ska I Ca lifornia I Hawaii Alaska Business June 2019 | 97

ADVERTISERS INDEX ABC Motorhome Rentals......................86 Afognak Leasing LLC.............................. 73 Alaska Air Cargo - Alaska Airlines..........7 Alaska Executive Search (AES).............30 Alaska Logistics........................................40 Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority.......................................... 11

Conrad-Houston Insurance Agency.................................... 17 Construction Machinery Industrial (CMI)........................................... 2 Cook Inlet Regional Advisory Council......................................25 Cornerstone Advisors............................ 13 Crowley Alaska Inc..................................29

Alaska Mergers & Acquisitions LLC................................... 55 Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium............................................ 100

Cruz Companies......................................68

Alaska PTAC...............................................59

Diamond Airport Parking......................38

Alaska Railroad.........................................30

Fairbanks Precast & Rebar....................63

Alaska School Activities Association................................................ 31

First National Bank Alaska (FNBA).........5

Alaska Traffic Co...................................... 37 Alaska USA Federal Credit Union........ 19 ALSCO......................................................... 57 American Fast Freight................................3

Deadhorse Aviation Center..................24 Design Alaska............................................ 75

Great Originals Inc.................................. 16 JENNMAR.................................................. 77 Jim Meinel CPA P.C................................ 71 Lynden Inc..........................................41, 51 Marine Container Solutions LLC......... 33

Anchorage Economic Development Corp. (AEDC)................. 74

Matson Inc.................................................45

AT&T............................................................. 21


C & R Pipe and Steel Inc........................25

New Horizons Telecom Inc..................69

Carlile Transportation Systems.......................................................47

Parker Smith & Feek................................ 61

Central Environmental Inc.................... 67 Conam Construction Co......................64

PCE Pacific................................................22 PDC Inc. Engineers.................................64

Personnel Plus.......................................... 87 Petrotechnical Resources Alaska (PRA)...............................................23 PND Engineers Inc.................................. 71 Quality Asphalt Paving (QAP)...............66 Redpath Mining Contractors and Engineers...........................................79 Resolve Marine Group...........................39 Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers............... 32 Samson Tug & Barge.............................. 27 Seatac Marine Services.......................... 27 Span Alaska Transportation LLC......... 53 Stantec........................................................ 75 Stellar Designs Inc................................... 87 Technipress...............................................38 The Plans Room.......................................63 TOTE Maritime Alaska............................99 Turnagain Marine Construction..........34 Ugashik Traditional Village...................10 Urban Pain Institute................................ 16 Webb Chiropractic - Ideal Health......86 West-Mark Service Center.................... 35 WesternAircraft........................................49 Westmark Hotels–Princess Lodges...85 Yukon Equipment Inc.............................65




American Marine / Penco..............96, 97

Pacific Pile & Marine............................... 91

Northern Air Cargo......................... 92, 93

98 | June 2019


SINCE 1975

TOTE Maritime Alaska has been serving our customers and the people of Alaska for over four decades. Our “Built for Alaska” vessels can accommodate any over-the road trailer sizes, over-dimensional freight (up to 90 feet long), heavy equipment, and rolling stock up to 200,000 pounds. If it can move on the road, it can be loaded onto our vessels. Meeting the unique demands of Alaska is only part of our business. Meeting yours is everything else.


Northbound 800.426.0074 • TOTEMARITIME.COM • #TOTEAK Southbound 800.234.8683

Profile for Alaska Business

Alaska Business June 2019  

Alaska Business June 2019