Page 1

Corporate 100 Special Section: Top Citizens of Industry

APRIL 2012


Atlas Copco ROC D3 drill in Ketchikan, AK

Wrangell, AK

CMI full page

Construction Machinery Industrial is proud to be your Atlas Copco and Secoroc drill bits and steel dealer. IN THE WORLD

Atlas Copco, the best in drilling equipment technology.


CMI, the best sales and product support lineup.

IN YOUR CORNER The Winning Team.

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

John Cole

Equipment Sales Rep. Fairbanks Branch

Kirk Currey

Equipment Sales Rep. Anchorage Branch

No Surprises

Surprises are great, except when they are hidden in fine print or extra fees. The HomeChoice™ class at Alaska Housing Finance Corporation taught us how to compare home loans and figure out what it would actually cost us. Now, thanks to a great rate through the First-Time Homebuyer Program at AHFC, we moved into our new house.

-Jen & Matt First-time homebuyers

Sign up for a HomeChoice™ class @

Toll-Free 1-800-478-2432 | 907-338-6100 |




Alaska Business Monthly’s 2012 Corporate 100 annual special section begins on page 86. Top citizens of industry are highlighted in this annual listing. Cover art © Robert Duckett, specially commissioned by Alaska Business Monthly.

From the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Inside Alaska Business . . . . . . . . 8 Right Moves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Market Squares . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Alaska This Month . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Events Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 Alaska Trends . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 Ad Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138


View from the Top 12 | Starla Heim, Owner Dooley’s Tuxedo and Costumes Compiled by Peg Stomierowski Regional Focus 14 | City and Borough of Juneau Spectacular capital city in Southeast By Tracy Barbour



Health & Medicine 22 | Preventive Care and Wellness Adding years to your life and life to your years By Jody Ellis-Knapp Telecom & Technology 26 | Smartphones and Tablets What makes a phone smart? By Kent L. Colby

28 Telecom & Technology 28 | Technical Terminology Finding new meaning in acronyms and idioms By Kent L. Colby Transportation 32 | Heavy Haul Trucking in Alaska Unique challenges call for uniquely conscientious drivers By Paula Cottrell

Legal Speak 54 | Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rates Alaska businesses pay one of highest rates By Jeff Waller HR Matters 76 | Intransigent Consequences Indiana case illustrates losing situation By Richard Birdsall


Resource Management 36 | Alaska Mental Health Trust Putting resources back into the community By Tracy Kalytiak

62 Oil & Gas 62 | Hillcorp Alaska LLC Entering the Alaska oil and gas industry By Vanessa Orr Oil & Gas 66 | ANWR & NPR-A Guessing at reserves By Mike Bradner Oil & Gas OP-ED 70 | Are Alaskans Misinterpreting Alaska’s Constitution? Commentary by Dave Harbour


Small Business 52 | Niche Industry: Pet Services Fido and Fluffy worth every penny By Susan Sommer

Native Business 78 | NANA Diversifies with Piksik Growing an industry out of frozen ground By Molly Dischner

Military Construction 56 | Walden Point Road Increasing access for Metlakatla By Nicole A. Bonham Colby

Financial Services 134 | Use Credit Strategically as the Recovery Gains Strength By Lori McCaffrey (continued on page 6)

4 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

2012Top ForTyy Under 40

Initiative and commitment never grow old. Karl Heinz Vice President Haines Branch Manager

Alaska’s business community was just starting to blossom when First National Bank Alaska first opened its doors in 1922. Since then, the bank has helped Alaskans grow their businesses, their families and their communities. We’re honored to have played a role in that prosperity. Business leaders in our state have demonstrated initiative, imagination and enthusiasm for decades. Those leaders include the 2012 Top Forty Under 40 award recipients.

Teri Simmons Healy Branch Manager

Louis Ulmer Senior Business Development Officer

As First National celebrates its 90th anniversary, the bank congratulates its three employees and a new generation of Alaska business leaders. Thanks for the energy you provide the state, 2012 Top Forty Under 40 award winners.

First National Bank ALASKA



Alask 012 1 years in

922 – 2 {

a Shar




Sha • a ry







special section

special section ALTERNATIVE ENERGY

CORPORATE 100 130 | Girdwood’s Famous Alyeska Resort Embracing local values creates universal appeal By Zaz Hollander

40 | Susitna Watana Dam By Tracy Kalytiak 46 | Solar, Wind and Hydro Renewable energy gaining strength By Paula Cottrell


86 | ABM’s 2012 Corporate 100 Top Citizens of Industry 119 | Corporate 100 by Category 120 | Leadership Succession for Business Growth and Continuity By Sara LaForest and Tony Kubica 122 | Alaska Airlines Staying connected and giving back By Rindi White 126 | Alaska Housing Finance Corp. Helping Alaskans with their homes By Susan Sommer


CORRECTIONS In the “Gold Prospects Shine” article in the March issue, page 85, Fire River Gold Corp. currently produces approximately 1,800-2,000 ounces of gold a month at Nixon Fork gold mine, not 2,000 ounces as the article stated. The article further stated the company would soon release data about the 2010 and 2011 drilling results, but it was instead a 2010 and 2011 resource update, which has since been released. On page 70 in the February issue, a Horizon Lines ship was incorrectly identified. • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

FROM THE EDITOR Follow us on and

Volume 28, Number 4 Published by Alaska Business Publishing Co. Anchorage, Alaska Vern C. McCorkle, Publisher 1991~2009


Managing Editor Associate Editor Art Director Art Production

Photo Consultant Photo Contributor

Susan Harrington Mari Gallion Candy Johnson Linda Shogren Karen Copley Justin Ritter Chris Arend Judy Patrick

BUSINESS STAFF President VP Sales & Mktg. Account Mgr. Account Mgr. Traffic Coordinator Accountant

Jim Martin Charles Bell Anne Campbell Bill Morris Ann Doss Mary Schreckenghost

501 W. Northern Lights Boulevard, Suite 100 Anchorage, Alaska 99503 (907) 276-4373 Outside Anchorage: 1-800-770-4373 Fax: (907) 279-2900 Editorial e-mail: Advertising e-mail: Pacific Northwest Advertising Sales 1-800-770-4373


ALASKA BUSINESS MONTHLY (ISSN 8756-4092) is published monthly by Alaska Business Publishing Co., Inc., PO Box 241288, Anchorage, Alaska 99524; Telephone: (907) 276-4373; Fax: (907) 279-2900, ©2012, Alaska Business Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Subscription Rates: $39.95 a year. Single issues of the Power List are $15 each. Single issues of Alaska Business Monthly are $3.95 each; $4.95 for October, and back issues are $5 each. Send subscription orders and address changes to the Circulation Department, Alaska Business Monthly, PO Box 241288, Anchorage, AK 99524. Please supply both old and new addresses and allow six weeks for change, or update online at Manuscripts: Send query letter to the Editor. Alaska Business Monthly is not responsible for unsolicited materials. Photocopies: Where necessary, permission is granted by the copyright owner for libraries and others registered with Copyright Clearance Center to photocopy any article herein for $1.35 per copy. Send payments to CCC, 27 Congress Street, Salem, MA 01970. Copying done for other than personal or internal reference use without the expressed permission of Alaska Business Publishing Co., Inc. is prohibited. Address requests for specific permission to Managing Editor, Alaska Business Publishing. Online: Alaska Business Monthly is available at, Alaska+Business+Monthly-p2643 and from Thomson Gale. Microfilm: Alaska Business Monthly is available on microfilm from University Microfilms International, 300 North Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48106.

Spring Brings New Growth in More Ways Than One


e don’t need apple blossoms to tell us it is spring. The longer daylight hours let us know winter is over, even though it might be Independence Day before all the snow is melted and everyone can put away their sump pumps and big fans, and use their skiffs for fishing instead of side-street navigation. We’d like our readers to navigate to the two special sections we’ve put together this month—the annual Corporate 100 and Alternative Energy—as well as the rest of the magazine. Corporate 100: Top Citizens of Industry is by far the largest special section of the two. We congratulate these 100 companies for being driving forces in the Alaska economy—some do business nationally and internationally as well. In addition to the listing, we’ve included a leadership article speaking to the importance of having a succession plan, not just for top leadership, but for all key employees—sound principles for business growth. Plus there are features on three of the Corporate 100, focusing on these companies’ leaders and corporate contributions to Alaska’s economy and communities: Alaska Airlines, Alaska Housing Finance Corp., and Alyeska Resort. The other special section, Alternative Energy, might be small, but provides an enormous amount of information on a sector of the economy that is growing. We are working on expanding coverage and plan to include an Alternative Energy Directory of firms doing business in Alaska in a future monthly issue as well as the next Power List.

For now, we’ve included information about some high profile hydro, wind and solar projects. One article features the Susitna Watana Dam. This appears to be a poster child for Alaska to meet one of the legislative intents of the socalled state energy policy passed in 2010 (HB306) with one project. This particular intent is that “the state receive 50 percent of its electric generation from renewable and alternative energy sources by 2025.” If all goes as planned (it may not, you’ll have to read the article to find out why), the multi-billion dollar Susitna Watana hydro project will be under construction by 2017 and completed by 2023, supplying 2.6 million megawatts of electricity annually. Susitna Watana production could bring the total electricity generated in Alaska by renewable means to well over 50 percent, since 25 percent is already being produced through alternative means. A lofty accomplishment, and perhaps by then more of rural Alaska will be connected by some sort of grid as well, so our most energychallenged communities can share in economies of scale such as the Railbelt enjoys. Also examined this month are wind and solar energy production, with a look at some of the off-grid and on-grid projects for renewable power generation across Alaska. We’ve put together another really great issue, full of interesting and informative articles about Alaska business and the people who make it happen.

—Susan Harrington, Managing Editor • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012



Kendall Auto Supports Big Brothers Big Sisters


endall Auto Alaska in Fairbanks donated $10,700 to the area Big Brother Big Sisters organization. The money was raised through the Kendall Cares program, which pledged to donate $100 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fairbanks for every car sold during December. A formal presentation was held in January at Kendall Toyota Fairbanks. “Big Brothers Big Sisters Fairbanks works hard to strengthen our community,” said Dave Shuttleworth, general manager of Kendall Auto Fairbanks. “We believe in giving back to the community, and it is our pleasure to support BBBS in changing the lives of children in the Interior.”

Public Relations Group Presents Awards


he Public Relations Society of America Alaska Chapter awarded Doyon Emerald and Solstice Advertising with the Marketing Communications Aurora Award. Doyon Emerald, an engineering and consulting firm, is a Doyon Oil Field Services company. The award was presented at the PRSA annual Aurora Awards Banquet in January. The honor commends Doyon Emerald and Solstice’s efforts to rebrand the engineering firm. Solstice clients also received other awards. Awardwinning clients are Calista Corp. (which owns Solstice), Donlin Gold, Girl Scouts of Alaska, La Bodega, Sitnasuak Native Corp., the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the state Department of Natural Resources’ Alaska Grown program, Tikigaq Native Corp. and the U.S. Forest Service. Two different types of awards were presented:


Aurora Awards for campaigns and Awards of Excellence for single campaign elements.

ColorTyme Franchisee Earns Honor


ark and Tracy Childers, owners of an Anchorage ColorTyme franchise, received the Franchisee of the Year Eagle Award, the highest honor bestowed by the chain. Officials from ColorTyme, a rent-toown franchise operation, presented the award at the 2012 national convention. The Childers own and operate six ColorTyme stores in the Pacific Northwest. They have been with the chain since 1985. ColorTyme franchises operate 196 rent-to-own stores in 33 states.

Providence Health & Services Earns U.S. Industry Ranking


rovidence Health & Services was listed in the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals: Health System Benchmarks among the top 20 percent of best-performing systems nationwide. Providence was recognized for highranking statistics on saving lives, long-term outcomes, patient-satisfaction scores and other factors. The Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals list is an annual, quantitative study from objective, independent research using public data sources. The study recognized the 15 health systems setting the highest benchmarks and the best-performing 64 health systems of the 321 researched. Providence Health & Services Alaska is part of Providence Health & Services.

Imaging Associates of Providence Lands Award


he American College of Radiology has honored Imaging Associates of Providence’s Mat-Su Trunk Road location as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. Imaging Associates received the award after an industry review of personnel, equipment, quality assurance and quality-control procedures. Less than 10 percent of certified breastimaging centers nationwide have earned this distinction, according to Imaging Associates officials. Company officials say Imaging Associates is one of only two imaging centers in the state with this designation and is the only one in the Matanuska Susitna Valley. Imaging Associates is staffed by Alaska Radiology Associates in partnership with Providence Healthcare.

Alaska Regional Earns Best Hospital Listing


.S. News & Worlds Report recognized Alaska Regional Hospital as a top U.S. regional hospital for 2011-2012. The annual rankings appear in the publication’s “Best Hospitals” report, which recognizes 247 hospitals outside major metropolitan areas. About 5,000 hospitals are evaluated in 16 different medical specialties. In addition to analysis statistics, physician responses to a national survey are also considered.

UIC Firms Land Renewed Contract


kpeaġvik Iñupiat Corp. companies will continue to provide services for the Bar- • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

INSIDE ALASKA BUSINESS row Environmental Observatory and other Barrow-based scientific research properties it owns, including several facilities at the former Naval Arctic Research Laboratory. UIC subsidiary UMIAQ, CH2M HILL Constructors Inc., Polar Field Services and SRI International provide logistical support for Barrow research activities. The companies received an eight-year contract renewal in support of arctic research funded by the National Science Foundation. UIC is the Alaska Native village corporation for Barrow.

Company Reorganizes as TOTE Inc.


merican Shipping Group has rebranded its companies under the new moniker TOTE Inc. The company reorganized its five independently managed businesses in to three groups: maritime, logistics and ship management. They are TOTE Maritime: Totem Ocean Trailer Express and Sea Star Line; TOTE Ship Management: Interocean American Shipping and TOTE Logistics: Alta Logistics and Spectrum Logistics. Totem Ocean Trailer Express was founded in 1975 and offers twice-weekly cargo ship operations between the Port of Tacoma and the Port of Anchorage. Earlier this year, James Armstrong was hired as president for TOTE Logistics. He previously served as senior vice president, general manager for warehousing at Yusen Logistics (Americas) Inc. Kevin Kendrick was chosen chief commercial officer for TOTE Inc.


Icicle Seafoods Supports UA

cicle Seafoods donated $300,000 to the University of Alaska Foundation for scholarships, student aid, research and technology programs

throughout the UA System. Gunnar Knapp, a fisheries professor at the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage, noted a share of Icicle’s donation goes to support fisheries economics research at UAA’s Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER). The recent donation supports several specific programs, including ISER, UAA: Icicle Fisheries Fund, created to strengthen ISER’s capacity to engage in research and instruction regarding Alaska’s fishing industry and seafood markets; Kenai Peninsula College’s Kachemak Bay Campus: Learning Resource Center; Kachemak Bay Campus: part-time technology staff, for eLearning classroom technology; scholarships at Kenai Peninsula College, Kodiak College, University of Alaska Fairbanks Bristol Bay Campus, University of Alaska Southeast (Juneau); UAS (Juneau): undergraduate Icicle Seafoods fisheries and Marine Science Research Endowment; and UAS (Ketchikan): Fish Tech Program, for expansion of fisheries education opportunities to secondary and post-secondary students in Craig, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Kake, Juneau, Sitka, Valdez, Kodiak and Dillingham.

DVD Promotes Baby Basics


est Beginnings created a 14-minute DVD called “Babies on Track” to help parents support their children’s early learning and healthy brain development. Best Beginnings is a nonprofit advocate for early learning in Alaska. The DVD shows how interactions with babies during everyday activities help them learn language, sounds and social skills. The DVD comes with two companion baby board books, “Let’s Talk Alaska!” and “Our Alaska Family.” The basic message of Babies on Track is that the more parents talk with their babies

and young children – the more conversation and positive interaction that occur – the easier it is for them to pick up language when they’re ready to start talking themselves. Babies raised with more interaction have larger vocabularies, and they’re ready for kindergarten by age 5. The Babies on Track books were produced with support from the Alaska Children’s Trust, the CIRI Foundation and ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. The DVD was produced with contributions from the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development and Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. Affinityfilms Inc. developed the books and DVD. For more information, visit

Seafood Recipes Garner Top Honors The Alaska Symphony of Seafood honored grand-prize winner Tustumena Smokehouse for its Kylee’s Alaskan Salmon Bacon. Winners of the 19th annual New Products Contest judging event held in Seattle were announced in February at the Gala Soiree in Anchorage. Chefs and industry experts in Seattle pick the best new seafood products each year in the competition. This year’s first-place winners included Sweet Potato Crunch Alaska Pollock Sticks by American Pride Seafoods in the foodservice category, AquaCuisine Naturally Smoked Salmon Frank by AquaCuisine in the retail category and Kylee’s Alaskan Salmon Bacon by Tustumena Smokehouse in the smoked category. The grand prize, awarded to the product that received the most overall votes, also went to Kylee’s Alaskan Salmon Bacon by Tustumena Smokehouse. The first-place winners from each category, and the grand-prize winner, received booth space and roundtrip airfare for the International Boston Seafood Show in March.

Pacific Pile & Marine, LP (PPM) is seasoned in projects containing complicated logistics, specialized equipment, environmental constraints and long lead time materials. I (907) 276-3873 276-3878

Working in the Alaska market for over a decade, our team is dedicated to the preplanning schedule control and logistical support required to deliver projects in this environment. 620B East Whitney Road I Anchorage, AK 99501 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


INSIDE ALASKA BUSINESS The Anchorage People’s Choice winner was Tracy’s Alaskan King Crab Bisque, based on the Gala Soiree attendees’ votes.

APU Inaugurates New Student Center


laska Pacific University opened its new 1,800-square-foot Robert B. McMillen Student Center in February. It is located on the second floor of APU’s Atwood Center. Saltchuk Resources donated $250,000 to the project. Cornerstone Construction and RIM Architects also contributed to the project. The center features a gas fireplace, a stage for bands and performances, and Wi-Fi compatible TVs. The interior design includes wood laminate floors and large windows offering views the mountains. The center is close to food services and the bookstore. “The new student center is trendy urbanhome-meets-rustic-cabin-in-the-woods,” said Kelly Smith, Alaska Pacific University dean of students. “Students can enjoy the perks of cutting edge technology with the feel of an authentic Alaska environment. It’s the perfect balance of convenience and comfort.”

Alaska Ocean Leadership Awards


he Alaska Ocean Leadership Awards were presented earlier this year at the annual Alaska Marine Gala in Anchorage. Kurt Byers and the Alaska Sea Grant Education Services staff received the award for Ocean Literacy. Byers has led the national award-winning Alaska Sea Grant Education Services team since 1988. Deborah Mercy received the Ocean Media Award for excellence in journalism that has raised public awareness of Alaska’s

oceans. Jan Straley, an associate professor at the University of Alaska Southeast, received the Marine Research Award. Straley has studied the behavior of large whales of the North Pacific Ocean for more than 30 years. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council earned the Ocean Stewardship and Sustainability Award. The group was honored for its leadership supervising Alaska’s federally managed fisheries. The Walter J. and Ermalee Hickel Lifetime Achievement Award was posthumously awarded to Caleb Pungowiyi, and accepted by his wife, Gladys Pungowiyi. Originally from the village of Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island, Caleb spent much of his life working for Alaska Native groups and other organizations on the management and science of marine resources, including work on subsistence, Native issues, ecosystem health, climate change and education. He was the former president and chief executive of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, president of Kawerak Inc. and a director of the Eskimo Walrus Commission.

Yukom-Kuskokwim Energy Plan


uvista Light and Electric Cooperative signed a contract with Hatch Engineering for Chikuminuk Lake hydropower. Hatch has 80 years of experience with projects large and small in more than 150 countries. The agreement includes numerous subcontractor companies from throughout Alaska, including Anchorage, Fairbanks, Wasilla and Bethel. The Chikuminuk Lake hydropower project is one of the most significant energy infrastructure projects in rural Alaska. Located at the northern end of Wood Tikchik State Park, it has the potential to supply electrical power to Bethel and 14 or more other communities in

an economically depressed region dependent on diesel. “Finding a regional alternative to diesel fuel for electricity would displace over five million gallons of diesel per year barged into Bethel alone, and reduce 55,000 tons of carbon dioxide,” said Nuvista Executive Director Elaine “Chicky” Brown. “Our Coop has made great strides toward a comprehensive regional energy plan for the Yukon-Kuskokwim region.” The Chikuminuk Lake Hydropower Project was approved and authorized in 2011 based on a $10 million appropriation by the Alaska State Legislature. The funding allows Nuvista to perform detailed field work in geotechnical, environmental, preliminary engineering, licensing, and public meetings related to a hydropower project that could be the first of its kind anywhere in Southwest Alaska.

UAF Receives Software Gift


$1.6 million software donation to the University of Alaska Fairbanks petroleum engineering department will allow students to learn on the same programs they will use in the workplace. The gift from Petroleum Experts, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, includes 10 copies of a suite of six programs, along with the network license required to run the programs at UAF. The software allows the oil and gas industry to model oil reservoirs, wells and pipeline networks in an integrated way, according to Shirish Patil, professor of petroleum engineering at UAF. This practice is known as “integrated production modeling, or IPM, within the oil and gas industry. Petroleum Experts is a petroleum engineering company with offices in Texas, Scotland and China. The company developed the IPM software to improve the efficiency of oil and gas fields. The software is used by more than 350 oil and gas companies. q

Pacific Pile & Marine, LP (PPM) is seasoned in projects containing complicated logistics, specialized equipment, environmental constraints and long lead time materials. I (907) 276-3873 276-3878


Working in the Alaska market for over a decade, our team is dedicated to the preplanning, schedule control and logistical support required to deliver projects in this environment. 620B East Whitney Road I Anchorage, AK 99501 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


from the


Compiled By Peg Stomierowski

Starla Heim, Owner

Dooley’s Tuxedo & Costumes


tore operator Starla Heim, who recently lost her mother and business partner Rose Heim, viewed her as the backbone of their family business. In 1968, Starla’s parents came from Colorado to Alaska, where Starla, the youngest of four, was born. Rose and daughter Sheryl bought Dooley’s in 1980 from Doris Dooley, who started the business in 1971 in Fairbanks. According to Starla, Sheryl remains a silent partner and serves as a sounding board when needed. And just about everyone in the family, she adds, can be found behind the counter at fun times like Halloween. Starla also is a community volunteer. VIEW FROM THE TOP: Around here, we are a team. We take pride in being a family owned and operated sales and rental business, and want to keep it personal, in close communication with our customers and employees. I like having a team that works together and am always trying to work with our handful of employees as a team leader. Meeting all of our commitments takes a lot of communication. LOOSENING UP: For a few years now people have been going much less formal in weddings—it seems to be a national trend. Fewer people are getting married, there are fewer big weddings, and you’re seeing more suits and ties rather than formalwear, so we have had to transition to accommodate that. We have plenty of costume business to make up for the slackened tuxedo demand. THEME PARTIES: Since the economy plunged, people are having more parties in their homes instead of going out; there is some form of theme costume party in this town every weekend—from 1920s to ‘70s, vampires to renaissance, superheroes and many more. We pay attention to movies that are coming out for most of our costume trends, and stay tuned in with the entertainment industry for most of our formal trends. ALWAYS IN SEASON: There is always a season to cater to. In formalwear, for instance, we tend to stay busy in February and March for the charity ball season, then right into April and May for proms, then into the summer months for weddings. Then comes Halloween, and following that, Christmas for our Santas, and then it starts again. NAIL BITERS: Shipping costs. We ship statewide for weddings, proms and other formal events. The shipping charges have gone through the roof; customers may pay more in shipping than for the rental itself. When we ship a tuxedo, we are never really sure it will be coming back on time because of weather and the shipping time frame, so counting on having it in stock or reserved for the next weekend is tough. Bush orders to certain remote corners may ship by air, truck or even dogsled. I’m always chewing my nails on that next weekend’s events. ©2012 Chris Arend

Starla Heim


KEEPING IT FUN: We have an amazing staff that always maintains a fun and happy atmosphere; it’s not too hard, though, because we are almost always dealing with happy people and happy situations. We have had some very eccentric and interesting customers through the years. Around here, no question is too strange. This business keeps me young. q • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


THE ULTIMATE TEAM PLAYER When others say “We can’t,” Carlile asks “Why not?” Our logistics experts lead the industry with custom shipping solutions that exceed expectations. When you need to ship it out, Team Carlile is ready to assist.

solutions finder.

Logistics Manager Christen Van Treeck-Dwiggins leads the oil-field industry in assists. ROAD - RAIL - SEA - AIR l 1.800.478.1853 ALASKA I HAWAII I UNITED STATES I CANADA

Regional Focus

By Tracy Barbour

City and Borough of Juneau Spectacular capital city in Southeast

©2012 Christopher S. Miller /

A hiker takes in the view of Gastineau Channel, Douglas Island and Downtown Juneau from the top of Mount Juneau in Southeast during summer.


ocated about 600 air miles south of Anchorage, the City and Borough of Juneau is known for its relatively mild weather, spectacular vistas and rich culture. The CBJ is a unified municipality surrounded by the lush, green Tongass National Forest, the largest in the country. Situated at the base of Mount Juneau in the Alaska Panhandle, Juneau sits on the Gastineau Channel with majestic fjords and Mendenhall Glacier nearby. Boasting slightly more than 31,000 residents, Juneau is the third-largest city in Alaska. It is also the state’s capital city and the reigning hub of the Southeast. Juneau offers a unique blend of modern amenities in a charming pastoral setting, making it one of the most vibrant and appealing cities in the state.


The City and Borough of Juneau’s economy is dominated by one sector: government. In fact, local, state and federal government employment make up 41 percent of the city’s jobs, according to Alaska Department of La-


bor (ADOL) economist Mali Abrahamson. Based on preliminary estimates, the 2011 annual average employment in the city and borough was around 18,000, with roughly 7,400 of those being government jobs. The most stable piece of Juneau’s government employment pie is state government. The local government is facing uncertainty in its funding and budget-related woes. “Our school district is looking at budget shortfalls and has announced 66 job cuts for the next year,” Abrahamson said. The city also can expect to be impacted by budget cuts with the federal government in the coming years.

Other Key Sectors

Beyond government, Juneau has a variety of other industries that fuel the local economy, including fishing, tourism, health care, mining, education and construction. In the past few years, Juneau has had a big “bump” in the health care and mining indus©2012 Chris Arend tries, according to Abrahamson. “We haven’t gotten back to 2008 levels

quite yet, but we’re on a three-year upward trend,” she said. Part of the boost in the mining industry is coming from the Kensington gold mine, located about 50 miles north of Juneau. The underground mine, which opened in 2010, hired between 300 and 400 people during development. It expects to employ 200 full-time workers during its anticipated 10-plus-year life span. Another growth industry for the CBJ is professional services. The increase, though slight, is a nice trend because these are generally higher-paying, fulltime jobs. However, other sectors aren’t faring as well. The CBJ is still losing jobs in construction and some of the recreation industries, Abrahamson says. As a positive, Juneau has a considerable number of high-salary, permanent jobs, compared to the state of Alaska. “You can grow all the jobs you want, but you want to grow year-round, highpaying jobs,” Abrahamson said. “We’re fortunate to have ballast here with government employment.” • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Economic Development

Juneau’s economy is stable and doing well, according to Brian Holst, executive director of the Juneau Economic Development Council. The city’s supply of steady jobs and low unemployment are an important part of what

makes the city an attractive place to live, work and do business, he says. Many businesses are drawn to the area because of its very pro-business tax structure, Holst says. They’re also attracted by something less tangible: lifestyle. When business leaders are surveyed about the benefits of operating in Juneau, their top responses are cultural and recreational opportunities. “That says that our business leadership’s primary motivation has to do with the high quality of life that Juneau represents,” Holst said. Juneau—which has been nationally recognized as one of the best places to live, work and retire—has a high concentration of businesses in the arts, as well as a wide variety of leisure activities for residents and visitors to enjoy. For instance, the 640-acre Eagle Crest Ski Area offers world-class skiing with four chairlifts and 36 runs for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities.

Tourism and Seafood Industries Doing Well

The recent increase in Juneau’s population is positively impacting the city in


©2012 John Hyde /


Juneau’s top private employers include Hecla Greens Creek Mining Co., Reach Inc., Fred Meyer Stores, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium and Wal-Mart. Major organizations like these typically generate most of the job growth within the community, Abrahamson says. For instance, when Wal-Mart came to town, there was a spike in retail employment. But sustaining growth is another story. It’s hard to tell what will happen after an initial spike in employment. “It depends on how people are doing, if they have money to spend, and if they are willing to spend it. If they are out of work or working low-income jobs, that’s going to show up in the demand they create for goods and services,” Abrahamson says.

King crab at Juneau harbor.

subtle ways. For example, Juneau is seeing more year-round retail in the downtown area and increased demand for services. An important part of the retail sector in Juneau is related to tourism. Each year, more than 1 million people visit Juneau. But the national economic downturn has put a damper on the local tourism industry. However, Holst is looking for-

Celebrating 60 years of providing Alaska communities with building materials and services. From our first location in Anchorage, which opened with just three employees, to our 21 locations across the state today, our goal has always been to provide you with the building materials, services and local expertise needed to get the job done right.

21 statewide locations • • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


ward to a more vibrant tourism season in the coming years. Disney Cruise Line began offering Alaska cruises for the first time last year. Starting May 2013, the 1,936-passenger Norwegian Sun cruise ship will be making stops in Ketchikan, Skagway and Juneau. “We anticipate the number of visitors to increase by more than 10 percent this year,” he said. “By 2013, we expect to be back to our 2009 levels.” Holst is also optimistic about what’s happening in the seafood industry. Employing more than 770 fishermen and crewmembers, the industry continues to be very vibrant in Southeast Alaska, he says. “We’ve enjoyed high prices, and we’re seeing new investments in the processing capacity,” he added. “We are very confident the fishing industry will continue to be a strong element for our local economy.”

Strong Need for Housing

The demand for housing in Juneau is strong, and Holst views this as an opportunity for further development. He’s seeing an increase in the number of residential building permits for new units,

but the housing market continues to be a challenging area in the local economy. Juneau has long been plagued by a shortage of affordable housing. Much of the problem boils down to the local geography and high development costs. Holst said: “Our terrain makes it expensive to put in water, sewer and other basic infrastructure needed to build housing units. Buildable land is a challenge. The land is so constrained in Juneau, that there’s no such thing as inexpensive.” There’s strong demand for housing in almost every category, but the greatest need is for single-family homes with one to three bedrooms. Two-bedroom apartments are also in short supply. “Our calculations suggest that Juneau could use as many as 360 new units,” Holst said. That’s a large number to fill, given that many local builders construct 10 units or less each year. The cost of housing is the main driver in Juneau’s higher cost of living, and addressing the housing issue is critical. Holst said, “We need to bring more affordable units into the market in areas where there’s the highest demand.”

Fostering Entrepreneurship in the Area and Region

Entrepreneurs who are looking for opportunities in the CBJ can find support through Haa Aani LLC, a subsidiary of Sealaska Corp. Haa Aani is dedicated to improving the economic conditions in Southeast Alaska communities through innovation, sustainability and collaboration. The company—essentially an incubator of business development—is particularly interested in promoting new and sustainable industries in rural areas. “If we can shore up things in our rural communities, it will help boost the regional economy as well,” said Russell Dick, Haa Aani’s president and chief executive officer. Haa Aani engages in a variety of initiatives throughout Southeast. In Juneau, the company has a sand, rock and gravel operation, as well as renewable energy projects. In its efforts to stimulate entrepreneurship, Haa Aani is also addressing impediments to economic development. Since access to affordable capital is a major obstacle to starting a business, the company is creating a community devel-

Anchorage Chrysler

16 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

opment financial institution (CDFI). The entity will provide capital, mentoring, technical expertise and other assistance to entrepreneurs in underserved markets. “This is a real lending institution; it’s not a grant program,” Dick said. “We’re going to help build real businesses in the community.”

Hold your next meeting in picturesque Juneau, Alaska and receive 25,000 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles*.


Juneau is an isolated community with no connection to the state road system. Even within the municipality, there are only about 40 miles of roads. The only way to reach Juneau and its surrounding communities is by air and water. The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) is a vital part of Juneau’s transportation infrastructure. The state-operated ferry service—which is celebrating its 50th anniversary next year—currently visits 33 ports from Skagway to Washington state. It operates a fleet of 11 ships covering 3,500 miles. In 2010, AMHS transported a total of 326,000 passengers and 110,000 vehicles, according to In 2010, AMHS transported a total of 326,000 passengers and 110,000 vehicles, according to Captain Michael Neussl, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Deputy Commissioner for Marine Operations. Juneau residents rely on the state ferry to move throughout the region and down to the Lower 48. Likewise, people who live in the surrounding communities use the ferry to travel to Juneau for shopping, medical services, entertainment and other needs. The ferry is also an important mode of transportation for tourists wanting to visit smaller communities that are often overlooked by the large cruise ships. Neussl says AMHS is essential to the many area businesses, residents and tourists who depend on ferry service for travel and the delivery of supplies. “People rely on the system,” Neussl says. “When we miss sailings or have outages for dock replacements and ship maintenance, I hear about it.”

• Daily jet service on Alaska Airlines • Top-notch dining and catering services • 20,000 sq. ft. Centennial Hall Convention Center • Comfortable and affordable lodging and meeting facilities for up to 600 attendees

Not only will you enjoy all of the GLACIERS, WHALES and WILDERNESS Juneau has to offer, but you will also be rewarded with enough Mileage Plan Miles to come back and visit again!

*Call today for mileage program details and your FREE Juneau Meeting Planner Guide

Juneau Convention & Visitors Bureau • 1-800-587-2201 •

Ferry Provides Quick Access to Scheduling Information

AMHS is doing a number of things to make it easier for businesses and individuals to take better advantage of its services. It strives to publish a schedule • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


early in the season so people can plan their travel activities in advance. For example, the summer schedule—which starts in May—normally gets completed around the beginning of October of the previous year. The ferry system also provides quick access to information about changes to the schedule. If there’s a mechanical problem, a breakdown with one of the docks or other complications, travelers have several ways to receive updates. They can visit the AMHS website, contact a reservation center, call the ADOT’s 511 phone system, or sign up for free email notifications. Neussl says the ferry provides reasonably-priced transportation over a vast area, making it a dependable option for travelers. “The ferry system has been pretty stable, and it hasn’t gone up in the past several years,” he said. “We do not have a fuel surcharge that many other operators have implemented to offset the higher fuel costs.”

Juneau Ports and Harbors

With no roads leading into Juneau, the local port is fundamental to the city’s infrastructure. “We need the port to be open year round to bring goods into Juneau,” said Port Director Carl Uchytil. “We don’t have a rail system; all we have are tugs, barges and the airport to bring goods in.” The Port of Juneau serves a more diverse user group than many other ports, according to Uchytil. It operates four major harbors—Aurora, Harris, Douglas and Statter—with 14 slips to serve recreational boaters and commercial fishermen. The port also has two cruise

Photo courtesy of DOT&PF/AMHS

Captain Michael Neussl, Deputy Commissioner for Marine Operations, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Alaska Marine Highway System

ship docks (four cruise ship berths) that can accommodate up to five large vessels and a considerable number of passengers. “In 2011, we had 875,000 cruise ship passengers that came into Juneau,” Uchytil said. “That’s down from 1.03 million in 2008.” Uchytil attributes the decrease, in part, to the global recession. This year, he expects the number of cruise ship passengers to be back up to 930,000.

Improvement Projects

Juneau is working on a number of projects to improve its system of aging harbors and docks, most of which were built in the ‘50s and ‘70s. As a major undertaking, the city is building two new floating berths to accommodate larger ships. “One complaint we’ve heard is that

we have to block off a portion of the wharf now with temporary fencing when we have ships in town,” Uchytil said. “By moving the cruise ships off the wharf with these floating docks, we’ll be able to return some of the wharf to pedestrians. It will greatly improve accessibility to downtown.” The port is also revamping the terminal staging area where cruise ships come ashore. When ships dock and unload now, it presents a challenge because of the large number of people disembarking at one time. Revamping the terminal staging area will improve the efficiency and safety for unloading passengers. Juneau is also renovating some of its harbors. Permits are being sought to complete improvements on Douglas Harbor. And Statter Harbor has a three-phase improvement project under way. The antiquated harbor, which is used by about 25 percent of Juneau’s boaters, desperately needs to be updated and expanded. Uchytil explained: “This day and age, we have light aluminum or fiberglass vessels and trucks with trailer capability. It’s a different boating public, so the need for parking and launch facilities is at an alltime high.”

Commercial Real Estate

Activity in the CBJ commercial real estate market has been minimal, according to Errol Champion, president of the Southeast Alaska Board of Realtors. In the last three years, the area has had only about a dozen commercial transactions on the Alaska Multiple Listing Service. That doesn’t include private deals, so the total count for all commercial transactions was much higher.

A floatplane takes off in Gastineau Channel with a view of three cruise ships docked in downtown Juneau.

©2012 Christopher S. Miller /

18 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

“We have no way of accounting for all the transactions because Alaska is not a public-disclosure state,” said Champion, who works for Coldwell Banker Race Realty. “I don’t know that even building permits would be a good indicator of total transactions.” Regardless, Champion feels that the demand for and inventory of commercial property are pretty well in balance. The properties that are available primarily fall into two main categories: retail buildings and warehouses. In terms of the climate for commercial real estate, there hasn’t been a big shift in the area’s requirements for codes and zoning over the last few decades, Champion says. Recently, the CBJ has seen the opening of several national chain stores. In January, a new Petco opened in Nugget Mall. Soon after that, OfficeMax moved in next door to Petco. These mega stores are a positive addition to the retail community because they provide steady, year-round jobs for local residents. Last year, a quasi-commercial project went up near the airport in “the Valley.” The property creatively combines commercial and living spaces to cater to a broader market. The first floor features a storefront, while the second floor has trendy 1,200-square-foot condos. Tenants have easy access to commercial services and the convenience of living within walking distance of trails, parks, elementary schools and other amenities.

Tikchik Lodge

Residential Market

The CBJ residential real estate market is doing well, reports Mimi Rothchild, a Realtor with Re/Max of Juneau. Home sales are picking up, she says. As of Jan. 26, there were 71 singlefamily properties, townhouses and condos on the market, according to Rothchild, who served as the 2011 president of the Southeast Alaska Board of Realtors. Those properties were priced from $199,000 to $1.5 million, with 13 of them being more than $500,000. About 50 of the 71 listings were for stand-alone, single-family homes. The demand for houses in Juneau seems to be running greater than the supply, according to Rothchild. “This year, we have more buyers who are looking, but we don’t’ have a whole lot of property on the market,” she said. “Maybe people are waiting to put their • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


Juneau City and Borough Demographics People QuickFacts Juneau City and Borough Alaska Population, 2011 estimate NA 722,718 Population definition and source info Population, 2010 31,275 710,231 Population, percent change, 2000 to 2010 1.8% 13.3% Population, 2000 30,711 626,932 Persons under 5 years, percent, 2010 6.3% 7.6% Persons under 18 years, percent, 2010 23.5% 26.4% Persons 65 years and over, percent, 2010 8.4% 7.7% Female persons, percent, 2010 49.0% 48.0% White persons, percent, 2010 (a) 69.7% 66.7% Black persons, percent, 2010 (a) 0.9% 3.3% American Indian and Alaska Native persons, percent, 2010 (a) 11.8% 14.8% Asian persons, percent, 2010 (a) 6.1% 5.4% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, percent, 2010 (a) 0.7% 1.0% Persons reporting two or more races, percent, 2010 9.5% 7.3% Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, percent, 2010 (b) 5.1% 5.5% White persons not Hispanic, percent, 2010 67.4% 64.1% Living in same house 1 year & over, 2006-2010 78.7% 78.6% Foreign born persons, percent, 2006-2010 6.9% 7.2% Language other than English spoken at home, pct age 5+, 2006-2010 10.9% 16.5% High school graduates, percent of persons age 25+, 2006-2010 95.3% 90.7% Bachelor’s degree or higher, pct of persons age 25+, 2006-2010 34.7% 27.0% Veterans, 2006-2010 2,564 71,798 Mean travel time to work (minutes), workers age 16+, 2006-2010 15.3 18.1 Housing units, 2010 13,055 306,967 Homeownership rate, 2006-2010 64.0% 64.7% Housing units in multi-unit structures, percent, 2006-2010 32.2% 24.6% Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2006-2010 $291,600 $229,100 Households, 2006-2010 12,005 248,248 Persons per household, 2006-2010 2.52 2.68 Per capita money income in past 12 months (2010 dollars) 2006-2010 $34,923 $30,726 Median household income 2006-2010 $75,517 $66,521 Persons below poverty level, percent, 2006-2010 6.5% 9.5% Business QuickFacts Juneau City and Borough Alaska Private nonfarm establishments, 2009 1,107 19,9012 Private nonfarm employment, 2009 10,800 252,8822 Private nonfarm employment, percent change 2000-2009 7.6% 23.4%2 Nonemployer establishments, 2009 2,459 51,137 Total number of firms, 2007 3,500 68,728 Black-owned firms, percent, 2007 1.0% 1.5% American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms, percent, 2007 5.2% 10.0% Asian-owned firms, percent, 2007 3.6% 3.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms, percent, 2007 F 0.3% Hispanic-owned firms, percent, 2007 S S Women-owned firms, percent, 2007 26.5% 25.9% Manufacturers shipments, 2007 ($1000) 01 8,204,030 Merchant wholesaler sales, 2007 ($1000) D 4,563,605 Retail sales, 2007 ($1000) 465,334 9,303,387 Retail sales per capita, 2007 $15,235 $13,635 Accommodation and food services sales, 2007 ($1000) 86,874 1,851,293 Building permits, 2010 53 9042 Federal spending, 2009 1,175,633 11,922,3412 Geography QuickFacts Juneau City and Borough Alaska Land area in square miles, 2010 2,701.93 570,640.95 Persons per square mile, 2010 11.6 1.2 FIPS Code 110 02 Metropolitan or Micropolitan Statistical Area Juneau, AK Micro Area 1: Counties with 500 employees or less are excluded. 2: Includes data not distributed by county. Population estimates for counties will be available in April, 2012 and for cities in June, 2012. (a) Includes persons reporting only one race. (b) Hispanics may be of any race, so also are included in applicable race categories. D: Suppressed to avoid disclosure of confidential information F: Fewer than 100 firms FN: Footnote on this item for this area in place of data NA: Not available S: Suppressed; does not meet publication standards X: Not applicable Z: Value greater than zero but less than half unit of measure shown SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau


house on the market in the spring, or maybe government workers just aren’t moving yet.” Rothchild says she expects to see an increase of inventory in the spring. With the current inventory level, houses aren’t languishing on the market. In the last six months, homes have spent an average of 90 days on the market. That’s a pretty typical length, and the number should decrease to about 60 days during the summer season, Rothchild says. Homes in Juneau are selling fairly close to their listing price. In the past six months, the average list price was $360,000; the average sales price was $351,000. “I think we have a lot more people who are getting a market analysis done,” Rothchild said. “It sets more realistic expectations.”

Dire Need for Affordable Housing

©2012 Patrick Endres/ With its shortage of buildable land, the CBJ has traditionally had a problem with affordable housing. “Affordable housing” is now in the $250,000 to $300,000 price range, according to Rothchild. Juneau has pockets of development predominately driven by the availability of water and sewer services. Many local residents still rely on septic tanks, cisterns and filtered creek water. To address the problem, Juneau needs to open up land, increase density or both, Rothchild says. The city is pushing for the concept of cottage-style homes that would be constructed on smaller lots. But cottage houses typically don’t have garages, and that’s been an issue in Juneau. “The problem is that we live in this crazy rainforest, and the weather is so nasty that many people want a garage,” Rothchild says. “The general population hasn’t bought in on that. We’re not seeing a whole lot of density changes now.” However, she is seeing some of the older subdivisions branching out into new phases. They’re building homes on smaller lots that have easy access to walking trails and green spaces nearby. Rothchild considers the CBJ housing market to be overall healthy. Home values are on the upswing, reflecting slow, but steady appreciation. “We’re not seeing losses,” she said. “We’re seeing slow increase and stability, which is nice.” q • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


Preventive Care and Wellness

Adding years to your life and life to your years By Jody Ellis-Knapp

Photo © Ken Graham

Avante Medical Center exam room incorporates the provider’s holistic and integrated approach to wellness.


hen you’re feeling “fine,” it is easy to ignore getting regular checkups and investing in preventive care. Taking the time and effort required to make screening appointments can get pushed to the back burner for months, or even years, beyond the recommended timeframes. But no matter your age or medical history, preventive care and screenings are an important part of continuing to feel “fine” and can, in the long run, save you both time and money, as well as potentially keeping you from having major medical issues.

Integrated Prevention

Avante Medical Center is one of Anchorage’s top facilities for what is known as integrated medicine, combining traditional primary care with naturopathic


methods. Built by Dr. Jason Harmon in 2002, Avante offers patients a wide range of services. Preventive care is a major focus, as the staff at Avante believes that engaging in prevention and screening is one of the most important things people can do for themselves. Dr. Deborah Kiley, DNP, FNP, FAANP with Avante, says part of Avante’s initial intake process with patients includes a lengthy review of their medical history, family history and environmental influences. “After a physical examination is completed, individualized screening recommendations are made based on these findings, and in compliance with national guidelines. In addition to screening tests, recommendations regarding lifestyle changes, including nutrition and activity are made,” she says.

Avante generally recommends that all adults get screened for vitamin D deficiency (most Alaskans are lacking), as well as blood pressure, blood sugar and lipids, and body mass index. Kiley says the best prevention is a “healthy diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and having a practice for stress management. Running, walking and skiing are some great ways to burn off stress, but it is equally important to have tools to use when you are quiet, which include mindfulnessbased stress reduction, biofeedback, and progressive relaxation.” Nurse practioner LeeAnne Hellesto, also with Avante, says the company offers a variety of specialized treatments that are considered preventive. “Our focus is centered on utilizing a team approach,” she says. “The patient is an • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

important member of the team. The time and attention to detail spent with the providers allows for personalization of the treatment plan. This team can then find the areas of concern that often are the basis for symptoms and begin work to correct the problems before they become larger issues. Creating a good foundation of health is really the very best prevention.”

New Options for Older Alaskans

Patients nearing age 65 and older have the relatively new option of getting quick and convenient health screenings from the Alaska Medicare Clinic, amongst the first of its kind in the country. According to Clinic Manager Kirsten Gurley, Medicare patients are given a comprehensive health screening upon first signing on to Medicare, and are eligible for routine annual screenings every year thereafter. Gurley is excited to announce a new collaboration the clinic made. “Alaska Medicare Clinic has partnered with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority to implement a program that offers depression screening as a part of the initial patient intake,” she says. “Patients will have the option of having an on-site depression case manager who will help them manage their mental health as well as their physical health, as we know the two to be very intertwined.” In the event health screenings performed at Alaska Medicare Clinic yield results that must be followed up on, Gurley says patients can depend on the clinic to utilize its extensive referral network to connect with a qualified specialist without the patient referral runaround many seniors have grown to dread. Gurley’s advice for preventing disease and staying healthy goes beyond standard screenings. While Gurley adds bone density testing to the list of highly recommended screenings, she says, “Most importantly, educate yourself as a consumer. Fresh fruits and vegetables are recommended, but most people can enjoy all things in moderation. Exercise, eat well and know that we are here if you need us.”


#1 Spine Surgery 2012 #1 Overall Orthopedic Services 2009-2012 #1 Joint Replacements 2007-2012

Alaska Regional Hospital is No. 1 in the state for spine surgery, as rated by HealthGrades, an independent company that annually rates the quality of hospital care nationwide. Our orthopedics team also took top honors for overall orthopedic services for the fourth year in a row, and for joint replacements six years in a row. U.S. News & World Report also recognized Alaska Regional as one of the nation’s best regional hospitals in the country and in areas of specialization commended us in orthopedics, neurology and neurosurgery. Congratulations to our physicians and everyone at the hospital who made this outstanding achievement possible!

Changing the Focus

Prevention is also a focus at Providence • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


Myhealthfinder Helps Consumers Stay Healthy If you don’t smoke, do you need to be screened for lung cancer? A visit to Myhealthfinder, a special feature of the website, can help you find out. Developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Myhealthfinder helps patients take action on recommendations from the US Preventive Services Task Force.

4.6x4.8 MPFC AKbusmo AD.pdf



The free interactive tool provides personalized health recommendations based on age, sex, and, for women, pregnancy status. Users can find out what preventive services or screening tests they or their loved ones might need to stay healthy.

1:40 PM



2211 E. Northern Lights Blvd.


• General Medicine • Immediate Care • Aesthetic Services • Women’s Health • Men’s Health






• Children’s Health • Occupational Health • On-Site Lab • Digital Radiology • Insurance Billing

Our patients always see a doctor Same Day and Walk In Appointments Available

(907) 279-8486 • 1(888) 382-8486 Proud to be Alaska’s Medical Home for over 40 Years




Myhealthfinder also provides concrete, specific steps users can take to put the recommendations into action. Each personalized list of recommendations can be printed or emailed and discussed with their doctor. The application can be accessed through mobile phones or added to any website or Blog using the Myhealthfinder widget. For more information on the US Preventive Services Task Force, visit usprevent The website is sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services. • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Alaska Medical Center. Kimberly Thomas, MD, MSPH, faculty physician at the Alaska Family Medicine Residency program within Providence, says “Preventive medicine is a remarkably important aspect of health and health care. As health care providers, we hope that by focusing on prevention and wellness, we can change our health care system from a focus on sickness to a focus on health. The current Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD, hopes that our country can ‘weave prevention into the fabric of our everyday lives,’ thus helping people live longer, healthier lives and keeping health care costs down.’ I agree with her. Every day I help my patients think about what they can do to improve their health.” Thomas says preventive services do actually save money for patients over time. “There are a number of examples of the economic benefits of preventing disease,” she says. Citing the National Prevention Strategy website, she notes that things such as reducing weight, blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol by as little as one percent in the general public can mean a savings of over $100

annually in medical costs per person. And medical costs are reduced by approximately $3.27 for every dollar spent on workplace wellness programs. Thomas also mentions that the site shows annual healthcare costs are $2,000 higher for smokers, $1,400 higher for people who are obese, and $6,600 higher for those who have diabetes when compared to those who do not have any of these conditions. “There is definitely room for more research on what measures are cost-saving and cost-effective, to help guide our future public health efforts,” Thomas says.

Saving at Health Fairs

Many insurance policies cover screenings, some at 100 percent. However, according to a 2009 report by Families USA, approximately 33 percent of Alaskans are uninsured, and many more may have plans that are inadequate or have a high deductible. However, all Alaskans can get low-cost blood tests through Alaska Health Fair Inc., which hosts several health fairs throughout the state each month, at varying times and locations: from a Saturday afternoon

at your local elementary school, to a Tuesday morning at the Hotel Captain Cook on your way to work. Some of Alaska Health Fair Inc.’s health fairs are focused on a particular group or subject, but the vast majority are community events that offer a wide range of affordable tests, including vitamin D testing, 27 tests panel chemistry hematology profile, thyroid testing and more. If you are interested in attending one of these health fairs, be sure to drink lots of water and, unless you are a diabetic, fast for eight to 12 hours before taking the chemistry hematology profile. For the month of April, health fairs are currently scheduled in Anchorage, Willow, Eagle River, Big Lake, Salcha, Glennallen, Fairbanks, Skagway and Yakutat. Visit for a complete list of locations and dates. In addition, many health care facilities co-sponsor health fairs throughout the year with a variety of organizations, such as the recent Heart Health Fairs held across the state in partnership with the American Heart Association. Not only will you save money by going to a health fair, you could save your own life. q • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012



Smartphones and Tablets By Kent L. Colby


here is no accepted single definition of what qualifies or makes a mobile phone “smart.” Multitasking devices have been around for some time with the merger of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and the cellular phone. One of the most notable advances moving the phone into the smart category came from Research in Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry and the advent of omnipresent email. Add to the mix: cameras, browsers, texting, the functionality of a day-planner, portable media players, GPS navigation, highresolution screens, gigabytes of document and entertainment storage, most all components of an office suite, Wi-Fi, and the functionality of a phone. Now, that little quarter pounder is truly smart. In the business world, RIM’s BlackBerry was the phone of choice for the past decade or more; and was smart, but not as smart as today’s generation phone. The packaging and marketing of the iPhone perhaps did more than any other innovation to revolutionize the concept of the smartphone. The iPhone’s multi-touch interface, styling and cost were instantaneously accepted as the new performance baseline for smartphones. For a time, the iPhone operating system (iOS) took over the marketplace. Not to be outdone, other manufacturers have perfected phone operating systems (OS) to compete with RIM and Apple. Google jumped into


the race with its Android OS in 2007 and, according to many reports, is now the best-selling smartphone platform worldwide. The competition between the two operating systems is, however, as close as the recent Ohio Republican primary election. A couple of years ago, Microsoft entered the smartphone race with Windows Phone 7, offering a more business-focused outlook and superior integration with Microsoft’s range of office products. The reviews are generally favorable, but the market share has yet to break 5 percent.


Bigger than a phone, smaller than a computer, as powerful as a computer, more portable, and a flat touch-screen all meld together in the form of a tablet computer or simply, tablet. The Apple iPad may or may not have been the first tablet. But again, marketing and packaging with an operating system that paralleled its iPhone, Apple immediately rocketed the device into a worldwide commercial success. Pound for pound, a tablet probably costs more than a notebook; but the lighter weight, longer battery life, and functionality have made it a favorite for consumers. The quality of the screen enables movie viewing, MS PowerPoint presentations, e-book reading, business applications, and game playing avail-

What makes a phone smart? able ubiquitously. Connect using Wi-Fi or a cellular connection, and the world is at your fingertips.

Are They Really Smart?

National Instruments (NI), a leader in test and measurement, identifies the smartphone and tablet as one of the major five trends it believes will significantly influence the automated market. In the company’s Automated Test Outlook 2012, NI suggests, “The smartphone in every pocket and tablet in every bag are changing how you can control and monitor your test systems.” According to the report, “the introduction of the Apple iPhone and subsequent iPad, along with similar devices powered by software from Google, Microsoft and others, has ushered in a new era of mobile computing, with hundreds of millions of smartphones and tens of millions of tablets sold to consumers and businesses.” Consumers surveyed by the Nielsen Co. give credit to user experience, portability, longer battery life and faster startup times for the increased usage of tablets and smartphones over the more traditional PC.

Smartphones and Tablets Smart? Yes! And, they are habit forming. q • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012



Integrated Logic, LLC Providing Turnkey Network Solutions for Companies in Alaska

The Integrated Logic Advantage “Success at Integrated Logic begins with the client” says Sr. Account Executive, Lynette Largent. “Analyzing and meeting the client’s needs and providing efficient, cost-effective solutions that


2012 Chris Arend Photography


ntegrated Logic, LLC is the rare company that has the experience and expertise to provide fully integrated technology solutions. Powered by several of the best engineering minds in the state, Integrated Logic has the technical depth to address the most complex technological challenges. Advanced engineering skills, combined with a strong consulting and support team, provides a solid foundation for the company, bringing advanced IT services to Alaska. Founded by Allen Chadwick and Chris Johnson, Integrated Logic (IL) established itself in the IT market by providing efficient, effective networking solutions to clients in urban and Western Alaska. IL has worked extensively with remote clients to provide service levels that rival those based in metropolitan areas. The company now provides services to all areas of the Alaskan market. In 2011, GCI bought a substantial interest in IL, making the company a valued Performance Partner. While IL works independently of GCI, they also leverage their partnership for strategic advantage in the marketplace. IL is a single provider for end-toend, managed IT solutions offering consulting, design and implementation, technical staffing, an Alaska-based help desk, private and public cloud solutions, converged networking, server and storage virtualization, and physical cabling infrastructure. IL utilizes industry best practices, best in class technologies, and professional project management to ensure successful projects and services, which makes them the go-to partner in Alaska.

Chris Johnson, CEO and Allen Chadwick, COO leverage our extensive, local technical talent, is what puts our company above the rest in Alaska.” Johnson says, “We can provide a wide range of solutions to companies because we are not tied to any one product line. We offer system customization to meet client needs. Because we focus on engineering with best-of-breed products, Integrated Logic can present true, vendor-agnostic solutions to our clients. Our company continually assesses new and emerging technologies and adds them to our product portfolio to meet client demand.” The methodology IL uses allows them to tailor solutions for each individual client, which aids their clients in driving their business goals forward and supports new organizational practices. Some of Integrated Logic’s current product lines include Aruba, Avaya, Bluecoat, Brocade, Cisco, Dell, EMC, Google, HP, Iomega, IPitomy, Juniper, Microsoft, McAfee, Meraki, Palo Alto, Shoretel, Silver Peak, SolarWinds and VMware. Recent Projects of Note Integrated Logic successfully designed and deployed a high availability, multi-tenant, next-generation firewall PAID


implementation. They architected and installed several new network and cable infrastructure designs, as well as multiple security, and wireless projects for rural school districts across Alaska. The company, end-to-end, successfully completed multiple turnkey network upgrade projects that included Cisco VoIP, complete unified networks, wireless and PoE. Definitely a leader in the Alaskan information technology market, Integrated Logic continues to expand in the field of turnkey network solutions and consults with companies large and small to meet their individual needs.

For more information contact:

Integrated Logic LLC

E-mail us: Main Office: 907.745.5115 Anchorage Office: 907.433.7200 Toll-Free: 855.745.5515 or visit our new website:


Technical Terminology

Finding new meaning in acronyms and idioms By Kent L. Colby


any technical terms or idioms of today’s technology have evolved from acronyms, abbreviations and even brand names to occupy every part of speech and sometimes even evoke a totally different meaning. FAX, short for facsimile is now used as a noun, verb and adjective. Originally a fax was just that, a facsimile of the original document, received electronically. Now the abbreviation refers to the facsimile machine, the transmission and the message or document. It was about 1979, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, when it was first used as a verb, as in to send a message or document. RADAR is or was an acronym of sorts for radio detecting and ranging. We currently use radar as awareness, as in under the radar. Other common terms probably do not require updated definitions as they have worked their way into our everyday conversation. Terms and words like Internet, the ether of today’s connectivity; Wi-Fi, that cloud of connectivity we all search for in every coffee shop, airport and office; LAN, local area network; WAN, a wide area network; and WLAN, a wireless local area network. If you think an Argument is a disagreement with a family member over the remote, ATM means automatic


teller machine, or a Bug is something crawling around the house to eliminate with a pesticide you need to read on. You’ll also find out that Bus Speed is not a mass transit term, why DLL is somewhat of a “trust me” situation, and what makes the Trojan Horse as welcome in your computer as in the ancient city of Troy. Let’s start with SSID, it’s not a slurred punk rock name. Our friends Down Under at explain it best.

The list of technical terms and definitions that appeared in the print edition are omitted from the digital edition in accordance with the licensing agreement. Technical terms are easily found online.

SSID (Service Set Identifier)

A name that identifies a particular 802.11 wireless LAN. A client device receives beacon messages from all access points within range advertising their SSIDs. The client device can then either manually or automatically “based on configuration” select the network with which to associate. The SSID can be up to 32 characters long. As the SSID displays to users, it normally consists of human-readable characters. However, the standard does not require this. The SSID is defined as a sequence of 2-32 octets each of which may take any value. © 2012 Secure WiFi All rights reserved. Used with permission.

q • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012




Bell Tech Inc. specializes in spill response and eco-recovery. Our services include the response, recovery and restoration as it relates to marine and land based oil spill decontamination. With over 24 years of experience ranging from the Exxon Valdez to the Deepwater Horizon Incidents Bell Tech has cleaned more contaminated vessels than anyone in the world. The patented Bell-Vac System that is used to facilitate the decontamination is unlike any other process as it is capable of 100% contaminant capture and recovery.


Consulting and Contracting Phase I and II Environmental Assement On-site Marine, HAZMAT and OSHA Training Arctic Ice and Frozen Tundra Recovery River & Stream Spill Recovery and Restoration









Bell Tech received the Green award in 2009, 2010 and 2011 for designing environmentally safe procedures for use during all phases of oil spill cleanup. 1-800-537-6949 Bell Tech Inc.

537 Egan St.

P.O. Box 3467

Valdez, AK 99686


GCI Announces Plan To Deploy Terrestrial Broadband Internet Service In 65 Remote Rural Communities Deployment in Southwest Alaska One Year Ahead of Schedule


NCHORAGE, AK – General Communication, Inc. (GCI) (NASDAQ:GNCMA) and its wholly owned subsidiary, United Utilities, Inc. (UUI), announced April 16 their plan to provide terrestrial broadband Internet service to the residents of 65 remote, rural communities in Bristol Bay and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. At the end of 2011, a year ahead of schedule, UUI completed the construction of TERRA-Southwest, the first terrestrial broadband transport network to link Anchorage and the 65


communities. At the beginning of 2012, TERRA-Southwest began providing terrestrial broadband service to critical community serviceproviders such as schools, hospitals, and health clinics. As a result of the early completion of TERRA-Southwest, GCI and UUI have accelerated their plans to deploy terrestrial broadband Internet service in the 65 TERRA-Southwest communities. The first phase of deployment will begin in June and should be completed by mid-October of 2012, a year ahead of schedule.

GCI and UUI will offer a range of new Internet service plans starting as low as $24.99 per month. In communities currently served by the satellitebased WISP system, download speeds will be eight to 16 times faster than what is available today on similarly priced plans. Customers also willexperience a substantial increase in service quality because TERRA-Southwest eliminates satellite-related latency. For more information about the communities to be served, new service plans and technical terms, go to • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

“We’re proud to be able to provide terrestrial broadband Internet service for the first time to the residents of Bristol Bay and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta,” said Ron Duncan, GCI president and CEO. “TERRA-Southwest is bringing 21st century telecommunications to southwest Alaska, and GCI has already started work to extend the network and its benefits to northwest Alaska.” The new Internet service plans will be delivered over different networks depending on the community. In TERRA-Southwest communities other than Bethel and Dillingham, the plans will be delivered over newly deployed WiFi wireless networks and possibly over wireline DSL (digital subscriber line) networks in some UUI communities. Both GCI and UUI will provide the plans in all UUI communities. Since Wi-Fi coverage is affected by many factors, including the unique topographic features of each community, the first phase of the Wi-Fi deployment may not achieve full availability of the service plansthroughout a given community. After the first phase is complete, GCI and UUI will evaluate the resulting coverage and determine whether additional steps are needed to achieve additional coverage. In Bethel, the plans will be delivered over GCI’s existing video network and UUI’s DSL network. GCI is still working on a service delivery solution in Dillingham, as GCI does not own a local telephone or video network and Dillingham’s geographic layout is not ideal for the installation of Wi-Fi service. GCI will also make wholesale service plans available to other local carriers in the TERRA-Southwest service area, which will enable those carriers to sell Internet service to their customers. GCI will post updates on www.gci. com about service dates and ordering procedures as the deployment progresses. GCI (NASDAQ:GNCMA) is an Alaska-based integrated communications provider and the second largest wireless provider in Alaska. As a pioneer in bundled services, GCI provides local, long distance and wireless telephone, video services, Internet and data communication services throughout Alaska. For more information, visit q • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012



Heavy Haul Trucking in Alaska Unique challenges call for uniquely conscientious drivers By Paula Cottrell

Once Through Steam Generators (ORSG’s) being unloaded onto a Carlile Transportation Systems truck at the Port of Valdez.


eavy haul trucking in Alaska is not for the weak at heart. While Hollywood and Ice Road Truckers have painted Alaskan truckers as wild renegades, the truth is that it takes a special kind of person and company to manage the enormity of some of the loads that travel Alaska’s road systems. Heavy haul loads are classified as any truck carrying a load that is in excess of normal weight and measurement standards set by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), the


agency responsible for highway safety oversight. Any load exceeding these limitations is considered a heavy haul load and is required to have special permitting that addresses all possible safety and logistical concerns regarding each individual load. The freight being delivered around Alaska can be anything from a drilling rig that is being relocated from Cook Inlet to a site on the North Slope to large heavy equipment necessary to complete infrastructure projects along the road system. The thousands of items

Photos courtesy of Carlile Transportation Systems

that have been freighted across Alaska are as diverse as the companies that haul them. There are several companies that perform heavy hauling operations in Alaska. DOT statistical permitting records show that some of the most active heavy hauling companies are Carlile Transportation Systems, Alaska West Express, Northland Services, Ace Transport, H&H Equipment, Southeast Road Builders, Lynden Transport, Northstar Trucking and Granite Construction, although there are many • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

smaller companies that also conduct heavy haul operations in the state. Most heavy haul trucking supports construction, mining and infrastructure projects as well as oil and gas exploration and production operations across Alaska. The specialized industry of heavy haul trucking took an upswing in the mid-1990s when oil support companies began constructing truckable oil field modules within the state of Alaska. Other heavy haul freight is shipped into Alaska and offloaded by experienced Longshoremen in Anchorage or Valdez.

DOT and Heavy Haul Trucking

With the increase in heavy haul traffic, DOT’s role as an industry safety regulator has increased. A permit is required for every heavy haul load and this permitting process can be quite extensive depending on the magnitude of the project. According to Aves Thompson, executive director of the Alaska Trucking Association (ATA), the DOT supervised permitting program is necessary is ensuring that additional safety precautions are taken and enforced. “Companies with unsafe records will

generally be flagged and it will be increasingly harder for them to obtain a permit to operate in Alaska,” Thompson says. “There is a greater presence by DOT which does cut down on illegal operations, although I’m sure there are a small amount of bootleg loads that sneak through the system.” According to Thompson, one of the greatest efficiencies DOT instituted was the automated permitting process that began about five years ago. “This system has greatly improved the efficiency of heavy haul permit processing across Alaska. When you submit your permit requests online, to a large extent, most of the routine permits are issued within a short time—perhaps within an hour or two, sometimes less. Complex permits requiring additional analysis have historically taken up to 15 days to issue prior to the automated process; now that can take as few as two to three days.” It is increased efficiencies like these that allow the heavy haul industry to operate around the state of Alaska without much notice. “For the amount of freight that is being moved around our state, there are relatively few complaints,”

Thompson says. This can be greatly attributed to the good working relationship between DOT and the heavy haul operators. This relationship has been fostered by the Alaska Trucking Association (ATA), an organization that dedicates itself to promoting and protecting the interests of the transportation industry. Serving the needs of Alaska’s trucking industry for over 50 years, the ATA has advocated on trucking regulations before the Legislature, administrative agencies and courts. “DOT sets the rules, but, occasionally, those rules do not make sense for Alaskan operators,” Thompson says. “It’s our job to advocate on behalf of our members to ensure the best possible information is available so common sense solutions may be implemented.” While transportation operators may not always agree with DOT rules such as road restrictions and weight limits, these policies have been put in place to protect Alaska’s roads, according to Thompson. “The road restrictions against freight hauling in April and May do have an impact on the construction

Our Commitment to Customers Starts Early. The Shoreside family is committed to delivering quality fuels and exceptional service. It’s what we do – our customers deserve nothing less. Biodiesel Now Available. Anchorage • Cordova 344.4571


Seward • Whittier 224.8040


Quality Fuels and Lubricants • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


industry in Alaska because the necessary equipment and supplies cannot be delivered during the most opportune weather time. This can put a contractor up to a month-and-a-half behind on any given project. It’s just something Alaskan contractors have learned to live with.”

Safety on the Road

Highway and transportation safety has always been a driving force behind DOT operations. Gene Carlson, vice president of special projects at Carlile Transportation Systems says their company is a stickler for safety. At Carlile, every heavy haul load begins its journey with a planning meeting that includes the driver, load supervisor and often times an official from DOT. “We like to establish a moving plan that covers who is doing what, when they are going to do it, and how it will be hauled,” Carlson says. Safety concerns can range anywhere from road conditions, weather, proper rigging, vehicle maintenance and driver experience. “It’s important to lay out all expectation about operations and


safety ahead of time,” he added. In Alaska, every winter is different. Sometimes it is heavy snowfalls, blowing snow, slick roads, or soft conditions that can challenge a driver attached to a heavy haul load. An experienced driver will know how to drive in most any weather condition. Sometimes it is a matter of slowing down or even pulling over until a storm passes. According to Carlson, you might lose time, but there is no job worth risking anyone’s life or the equipment over. Equipment and technology improvements over the years have had a positive impact on the safety of heavy haul operations, according to Thompson. Better hydraulics systems assist in the balancing of loads and specialized equipment is often used to move large freight through the tight turns of the Dalton Highway, also known as the Haul Road. Load rigging is a critical safety concern when tying down a large heavy haul load. On some massive loads, simple tie downs won’t get the job done safely and welders are brought in to secure unstable loads for the long

haul. “Well secured, balanced loads are extremely important in ensuring your freight delivery makes it down the road safely,” Carlson says. Push trucks are used to help move freight over the mountainous regions of the Haul Road. These well-choreographed operations often use three to four push trucks to assist in giving the heavy haul load enough momentum to crest the difficult terrain in areas like Coldfoot and Atigun Pass. “It takes a highly skilled driver to be able to handle the pressure of being a push-truck operator. With so many vehicles operating simultaneously to push an extraordinarily heavy load over a pass leaves a high probability that something could go wrong,” Thompson says. “Accidents do happen out on the road,” Carlson says. “Trucks slide off of icy roadways or are forced to ditch themselves to avoid collisions with other motorists. Any number of things could happen out there, but given the diverse driving terrain and the danger involved in hauling these heavy loads, the accident rates are very low.” • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

According to the Alaska Trucking Association, Alaska’s heavy haul safety record is better than the national average—a tribute to the professionalism of the companies and especially the drivers. “Our industry is proud of our safety record. We may not be hauling the biggest loads in the country, but we are in the big leagues for sure,” Thompson says.

One-of-a-Kind Drivers

About those truck driving renegades? Carlson says his best drivers know how to operate their equipment smoothly and safely. “A good driver has a natural knack and feel for the equipment and respects their rig—they understand the importance of maintenance and keeping their trucking running well.” And the truth of the matter is unsafe drivers don’t last long as heavy haul drivers, especially on the Haul Road, according to Thompson. “The unsafe drivers are weeded out quickly.” “We are proud of our heavy haul drivers,” Carlson says. “They are hard workers that know how to get the job done safely and efficiently.” According to Carlson, 99 percent of all of their drivers are local community hires. “It just doesn’t work as well to bring drivers up to work in Alaska,” he says. “You have to know Alaska to drive in Alaska. We have many requests for people who want to come up and drive our trucks, but we’ve been most successful counting on our local work force to get the job done right.” Unlike truck drivers in the Lower 48, Alaskan line drivers are almost never away from home for more than two days at a time. “This makes for a happier, stable work force,” Carlson says. Camaraderie and the ability to respect your trade is an important factor in being a successful heavy haul driver. It’s a dangerous job that comes with many hazards. A sometimes lonely occupation, when trouble arises out on the roads in remote Alaska, the next truck driver coming down the road could be a lifesaver. “Once you get headed north on the Dalton, all of the signs on the doors seem to blur,” Thompson says. “It doesn’t matter who you work for, you’re all in it together out there on the Haul Road and everyone helps everybody.” q

Securing over-sized loads is critical to ensuring freight arrives safely and undamaged to its final destination. • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012



Alaska Mental Health Trust

Putting resources back into the community The Fort Knox gold mine pays royalties for gold it extracts from Alaska Mental Health Trust land.

By Tracy Kalytiak


atelyn Schnell’s life hasn’t been an easy one. Incidents of abuse scarred her childhood from the age of 8, but no one seemed to notice, no one offered help. Her own mother didn’t believe her. Schnell, at 13, found solace in a drink of Jack Daniel’s whiskey someone offered her, and drank alcohol or used drugs just about every day of the following 22 years. “I found it took my sadness away,” she said. “I self-medicated the emotional pain I was suffering through. I believe I was born with this disease. It was on full-force from the moment I took my first drink. I would drink until I blacked out and it didn’t stop until I went to treatment.” Alcohol, crystal meth and cocaine propelled Schnell’s life. She desperately wanted help but thought she couldn’t afford it. The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority provided the lifeline Schnell needed, funding programs that


helped her build a life free of alcohol and drugs. “Back then I didn’t know it was Trust money, didn’t know where the money came from,” Schnell said. I would have gone to treatment sooner. I didn’t know there was money allotted for people like me.” The Alaska Mental Health Trust is a perpetual trust originally formed in 1956, before Alaska became a state, when the United States Congress set aside 1 million acres of land with the purpose of using income from it to pay for mental health services. About 65 percent of the land ended up in the hands of municipalities and individuals until the mid 1990s, when a 1982 lawsuit reconstituted the 1 million acres and created the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, a state corporation that has since administered and used income from the land. Income from the land is only a portion of Trust income. The greatest portion comes from the Trust’s invest-

Photos courtesy of the Alaska Mental Health Trust unless otherwise noted

ments in the Alaska Permanent Fund. The seed money for this fund was $200 million in cash from the settlement of the 1982 lawsuit. Since inception, the Trust fund at the permanent fund has grown to about $450 million, including deposits from the Trust’s land management efforts.

Private Foundation

Similar to private foundations, the Trust uses a payout system based on prior years’ income that determines how much is available to spend each year. Annually, the Trust’s operating budget is approximately $26 million to financially infuse programs helping people who are mentally ill, homeless or addicted to alcohol and other drugs. Trust funding also supports people with developmental disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia, and traumatic brain injury. The Trust operates like a private foundation: The governor appoints members of the Trust’s board of trustees • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Bring the Kids Home

Bring the Kids Home began in 2004 in an effort to bring home Alaska youth who were being treated in out-of-state residential psychiatric treatment centers, where they were separated from their families, cultures and communities. From FY04 to FY11, the number of youth admitted to RPTC decreased from 749 to 96 adolescents. The decrease in children going Outside for more costly residential treatment was possible because the Trust helped fund the buildup of home and communitybased services throughout Alaska. Home- and community-based grants served 1,463 youths in FY11. The recidivism rate within a year of leaving a residential psychiatric treatment center dropped from 20 percent in FY04 to 7 percent for FY11.

Affordable Appropriate Housing

Affordable Appropriate Housing grows housing options for Trust beneficiaries. Approximately 6,460 Alaska residents reported being homeless in the Alaska Housing Finance Corp.’s January 2011 Alaska Total Homeless Count. The number of homeless families with children rose from 822 households in 2010 to 1,223 households in 2011. The program aims to put funding into the AHFC’s homeless assistance program, as well as the special-needs housing program, Department of Corrections discharge incentive grants, Bridge Home project expansion, assisted living home staff training and long-term care strategic planning. “Our poster child project is the Bridge Home project,” Jessee says. “It takes people who are coming out of

Corrections or (Alaska Psychiatric Institute) and works with them to get them supported housing.” Thanks to supported housing, Jessee says, the number of “admits” from DOC fell from about 20 a year to about 13. API admits fell from 27 to 16. “These are folks who tend to cycle through the system on a regular basis, “Jessee says. “They tend to get caught up regularly in low-level misdemeanor offenses, get let out and cycle right back through. This is to stop that cycle, get them into a more stable environment.” Karluk Manor is a housing endeavor aimed at helping chronic inebriates and reducing the cost of their care. “They get their health care at the ER, which is our most expensive type of service,” Jessee says. “They have compromised health, so they use the ER a lot. Every time 911 is called for a person down, the police and fire department respond, all of these costs add up. It’s obviously not a good quality of life for these folks. It makes way more sense to house them than keep chasing them around.”

Disability Justice

Disability Justice aims to keep Trust beneficiaries out of the criminal-justice system or keep them from re-offending. Incarcerated beneficiaries usually are mentally ill, developmentally disabled or suffering from alcoholism or other substance-abuse problems. They spend a disproportionate amount of time in custody. Hundreds are incarcerated

each year because detoxification services are not available, and beneficiaries can be vulnerable prey for people who want to victimize them financially or physically. The program hopes to grow its capacity for offender-reentry programs, expand therapeutic courts to targeted communities, increase Corrections’ mental health clinical capacity, and increase community treatment options statewide for therapeutic court participants.

Beneficiary Projects Initiative

Beneficiary Projects Initiative supports grassroots, peer-to-peer programs for beneficiaries. “Peer-based service models of care are based on the principle of mutual support, have been tested in multiple environments and are grounded in the values of community and relationship,” according to the Trust.

Workforce Development

Workforce Development creates an available, competent work force for beneficiaries and social service providers. The health-care industry is growing rapidly in Alaska, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, but job vacancies in this field remain a critical issue. Alaska has one of the lowest health services jobs-to-population ratios in the U.S., ranking 45 out of 50 states and Puerto Rico, a strong indicator of a shortage of health care services in the state.

Photo courtesy of Judge Stephanie Rhoades

to five-year terms and the Trust Land Office, a unit within the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, manages the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority’s land and natural resources. “If we weren’t here, then those expenses would fall to the State of Alaska,” says Vivian Hamilton, spokeswoman for the Trust. Jeff Jessee, chief executive officer for the Trust, says it concentrates funding on five program areas, with the intention of making long-term improvements in services for beneficiaries.

Judge Stephanie Rhoades is a participant in the Anchorage Mental Health Court. • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


Principal or Spendable

Trust land generates two types of revenue. The Trust Land Office reinvests royalties it takes in from resources such as oil, gold, coal and timber, and other assets that are not replaceable and it invests in real estate projects that generate income that can be spent on programs for the Mental Health Trust. Revenue-generating uses of Trust land include land leasing and sales; real estate investment and development; commercial timber sales; mineral ex-

The Fort Knox gold mine pays royalties for gold it extracts from Trust land it leases. It has produced 6 million ounces of gold and an estimated 2 million ounces of gold in the ground awaits recovery. The Trust also leases 22,000 acres to International Tower Hill for its prospective Livengood gold mine. “They’re estimating 13 to 15 million ounces of recoverable gold are there,”

In Southeast, Alcan Timber Inc. is wrapping up a five-year timber harvest on 5,000 Trust acres east of Ketchikan at Leask Lake. “Timber provided most of (the Trust’s) revenue since the late ‘90s-almost $40 million total,” Jones says. “Since the settlement, it’s averaged $2.5 million a year. It’s by far the single largest source of principal revenue of all of our resources. The bulk of the timber has gone to Asia. It’s been very profitable for the Trust.”

Tower Hill’s Livengood gold prospect.

Logs at Viking Lumber Co. sawmill in Southeast.

ploration and production; coal, oil and gas exploration and development; sand, gravel and rock sales, and other general land uses. Rents, fees and 15 percent of timber revenue from Trust land uses are considered “spendable income” and are available to the Trust for use in the following fiscal year. The Trust Land Office is also involved in commercial real estate. In Anchorage, it owns a Midtown office building and is developing a medical office in the University Medical District, also known as U-Med. “It grows the asset base and also generates income,” said Greg Jones, executive director of the Trust Land Office. “Our target is to generate an 8-percent-range income. If we invest $20 million in real estate, our goal would be to generate $1.5 million to $2 million a year to go into The Trust.” Land sale revenue, hydrocarbon and mineral royalties, and 85 percent of timber revenue are considered “principal” and are deposited in the Trust corpus, which is held and managed by the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. “We’re busy on all fronts,” Jones said. “We’ve ramped up activities on virtually all activities we manage.”

The Leask Lake timber is the last Trust source of so-called “noncontroversial” timber, Jones says. It has 20,000 acres of remaining timberbearing land situated in places like Douglas Island, Ketchikan, Meyers Chuck, Haines, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell. The Trust is working toward a 20,000-acre Prince of Wales Island land trade, because, “In most cases, most of those communities don’t want us to harvest that timber because it’s the viewshed of their community. They hunt, they fish, they hike on Trust land. It’s beautiful old-growth forest.” Jones says after the Trust was reconstituted in the mid 1990s, it spent 10 years generating income from “lowhanging fruit.” “We logged the easy timber, went after the stuff that was easy to get to,” he says. “Now there’s no more lowhanging fruit. Some of our current projects are controversial, technically harder to get out of the ground—underground coal gasification—there are regulatory challenges. But the value of Trust assets is huge. It’s billions of dollars. We’re focusing on developing information on resources, working closer with oil and gas, mining, forestry industries. We’re open for business.” q


Rig at Buccaneer Energy Kenai Loop No. 1.

Jones says. “They’ve drilled (more than 600) holes in the process of trying to find the edges of the resource.” The Trust has also leased 230 acres in Salcha to placer miners who, with the current high price of gold, are using modern techniques to try to pull gold from tailings mined in the past. The Chuitna coal resource is located on Trust land and there is also coal in the ground on Trust land in the Chickaloon area, Jones says. Natural gas is yet another resource that promises royalty income for the Trust. Buccaneer hit one well last summer near Wal-Mart in Kenai and is producing gas from that well. Seismic work was under way earlier this year by Buccaneer to determine the size and shape of the field. Apache is also seeking oil and gas in Trust acreage in the Cook Inlet region. • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

We opened smokefree in order to preserve our historic building. It cuts down on maintenance costs, and you don’t have to smell the lingering stale tobacco. It’s always fresh and clean. — Janet Kincaid Colony Inn, Palmer

Good for health. Great for business. Smokefree policies have been shown to not only improve the health and productivity of employees, but also decrease business costs for insurance, cleaning and maintenance. Research shows that smokefree laws are routinely positive or neutral in their economic impact.*


*Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Tobacco Prevention and Control in Alaska FY08 Report







special section ALTERNATIVE ENERGY

MAP: State of Alaska, AEA

Susitna Watana Dam By Tracy Kalytiak


t’s possible that in just 11 years, a $4.3-billion hydroelectric plant will be operating in a steep-sided valley of the Susitna River below Watana Creek, according to the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA). The Susitna-Watana dam, when built, will rise 700 feet high, hold a reservoir 39 miles long and 2 miles wide, and is expected to generate an average of 2,600 gigawatt hours annually. The project—a revival of a project first studied in the 1980s—carries with it many questions that for now can’t be definitively answered: Will it provide enough affordable electricity to the Railbelt consumers who need it? Will it be possible for the dam to go online as quickly as AEA claims, in light of the thousands of studies that will need to be either performed or updated, and possible court challenges? Most importantly, how will the dam affect fish and water quality in the region? AEA’s Wayne Dyok, who began working as project manager in November, says the plant will meet about half of the Railbelt energy consumers’ electrical power needs. “This is a Level 4 engineering estimate that includes a margin of error of 30 percent below and 50 percent above—meaning a low estimate places the project at $3 billion and a high es-


timate places the project at a little more than $6 billion,” Dyok says. Dyok says the number will continue to be refined as the project is further defined. “Factors like methods of construction, design and materials all drive project costs,” he says. “As more is understood about the project, the cost estimates become more refined. Previous estimates were based on modeling from the 1980s’ project information.” Dyok says the AEA is working with world-class experts on the design, engineering and construction of the SusitnaWatana hydroelectric project.

Project Analysis

MWH Global will conduct an analysis of the project and AEA will solicit an independent cost estimate and work with a board of consultants to ensure the project is designed and built responsibly and on budget. “The state will need to make an investment in the Susitna-Watana hydroelectric project and come to an agreement with Railbelt utilities for the project to be successful,” Dyok says. Future funding for the project is subject to legislative appropriation. Similar to the Bradley Lake project, AEA expects to issue debt payable by project service agreements with utilities or other power purchasers.

Dyok says when it’s built, the hydroelectric facility will provide long-term and stable rates to the Railbelt. “There are many variables and unknowns that need to be determined, making it difficult to define a rate structure at this time,” he said. “AEA is working on defining the final project size and design, state investment and financing, all factors to determining wholesale utility rates.” On Dec. 29, the AEA filed a 500page pre-application document with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Now AEA is focusing on taking steps laid out in the FERC’s integrated licensing process.

Land Acquisitions

The first thing AEA did, in January and early February, was convene initial meetings with Alaska Native groups that either own or use land in the area near the proposed dam site. The estimated $4.3 billion project cost includes money for acquiring land. Ethan Schutt, Cook Inlet Region Inc.’s senior vice president for land and energy development, in a previous published account, said the road could bring potential trespass problems from recreational users crowding into land that is now remote and relatively inaccessible. • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

“It is an important relationship to work out. That’s very clear,” Schutt said in the published account. “I think the AEA understands that. We certainly hold that view.” CIRI has not yet taken a position on the hydro project, Schutt said. CIRI owns subsurface rights to land in the project area. CIRI also serves as de facto trustee for its village corporations’ surface entitlements there until those corporations finalize their Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act entitlement land selections in the area. Tyonek Native Corp. already holds title to some land at the proposed dam site—but title is clouded for other acreage: to land that would be flooded once the dam goes online, land where construction crews will be gathering gravel, rock and sand for the project, and land where a route is planned for an access road and power lines. Title for those lands can’t legally be resolved and conveyed because of a pending U.S. District Court lawsuit between CIRI and Ninilchik Natives Association Inc. over ANCSA land selections that have not yet been made.

Judge John Sedwick is hearing that case, which NNA filed in 2010 and is now in arbitration. Bruce Oskolkoff, NNA’s director of land and resources, said Ninilchik, Tyonek, Chickaloon, Seldovia, Salamatof and Knikatnu had to make so-called 12(a) land selections on the west side of Cook Inlet before being allowed to make their 12(b) selections from land in the Talkeetna Mountains. All the villages except Ninilchik were able to fulfill their 12(a) selections—in rounds similar to a players’ draft in professional sports—before the Dec. 18, 1974, cutoff date. CIRI was not able to fulfill Ninilchik’s initial 12(a) selections in the 1970s because the U.S. Department of the Interior—contrary to CIRI’s expectation—did not convey lands known as “Appendix C” lands to CIRI. It had only conveyed “Appendix A” lands. “The fact that Interior did not convey Appendix C land to CIRI had a material adverse effect on CIRI’s ability to fulfill Ninilchik’s 12(a) entitlement,” court documents stated. Interior later notified CIRI that

CIRI was not entitled to conveyance of Appendix C lands because some Appendix A land remained available. “Ninilchik had made extensive selections of lands early in the process that were later designated as Appendix C lands,” the document stated. The other villages were able to fulfill their 12(a) selections because they had made sufficient selections from Appendix A lands. CIRI protested Interior’s decision not to convey the Appendix C land. Interior’s position was upheld by a 1994 Solicitor opinion. CIRI and the villages sued, but the district court rejected their claims. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court’s decision and addressed Ninilchik’s dilemma, requiring it to fulfill its 12(a) entitlement from Appendix A land not subject to other villages’ 12(a) selections.

Pebble Conflict

The conflict originated in 2008, when Ninilchik selected a 20-acre peninsula near Iniskin Bay, on the west side of Cook Inlet, to satisfy its 12(a) entitlement. • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


“In its § 12(a) selections, Ninilchik requested lands that have been identified as potential sites for a port and road for the Pebble Mine, which Ninilchik acknowledges might be financially advantageous for the village, depending on future development,” the lawsuit stated. The other villages opposed Ninilchik’s move to acquire those lands outside the original “rounds” process and CIRI notified Ninilchik it would not convey those lands without a release of liability from the other villages. The five village corporations came up with a plan: CIRI would convey certain 12(a) lands to each village until their 12(a) deficiency entitlements were satisfied. Then, all the villages would engage in a rounds-like process to fulfill their 12(b) entitlements and Ninilchik’s outstanding 12(a) deficiency entitlement. “The tracts of land requested by Ninilchik are among the same lands that under the five village corporations’ proposal envision would be available for selection by all village corporations in the new rounds-like


process,” the court document stated. Action on the villages’ 12(b) land selections—involving that land near the proposed dam—can’t take place until Ninilchik concludes its 12(a) land selection. “(Ninilchik’s) 12(a) (selection) has to come first,” Oskolkoff said. “Until that happens, the federal government isn’t allowed to start the 12(b) process. People ask why don’t we just let it go,” Oskolkoff said. “We can’t. We’re kind of stuck. We can’t move without having that taken care of.” Oskolkoff says the other villages received their 12(a) entitlement land long ago, with Ninilchik being the only village without its entitlement settled. “It’s not like everyone’s on an equal footing,” he said. “The whole crux of the issue is there wouldn’t even be a case if Ninilchik had its original ANCSA 12(a) entitlement fulfilled. We’d be on to 12(b) and everyone would be happy. They’re saying Ninilchik didn’t get all of theirs and now we want the right to say what they’re going to get.” Land in that Iniskin Bay area wasn’t at issue until 2008. “Pebble didn’t ex-

ist in those days,” Oskolkoff said, referring to the earlier 12(a) selection rounds. “Everyone thought the port access would be on the Bristol Bay side. When (the Iniskin Bay land) had value, that’s when the whole thing changed. We don’t even get to have a choice. It’s become an issue of what do CIRI and the other villages think is right for Ninilchik. If their theory is upheld, we’re going to be in this forever.” CIRI spokesman Jim Jager declined to discuss the lawsuit, saying the judge would decide the fate of the Iniskin Bay land. “Our position as it exists is part of the public record,” Jager said. “We know we’re going to have to give away the surface (rights). We’re basically waiting for the six villages to decide how it’s going to be divvied up.” CIRI, in one of its court filings, emphasized that it has no claims to the disputed Iniskin Bay land Ninilchik wants. “If Ninilchik prevails here, the lands in question will go to Ninilchik,” the court pleading stated. “If CIRI prevails, the lands will be equally available for • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

selection by all six village corporations, in accordance with their Section 12(b) Agreement. … As was the case when section 12(a) selections were made in 1974, all six villages will have a fair opportunity to select some of these potentially valuable lands, at the same time, with equal information available to judge their desirability.”

Compiling Data

In the meantime, AEA convened public meetings in February and early March, covering topics like socioeconomics, transportation, recreation, aesthetics, cultural resources, subsistence, terrestrial resources, fisheries and aquatics and instream flow, geomorphology, water quality and ice processes. Dyok says a wealth of information from the 1980s effort to get a Susitna River dam built provides a baseline of data. “In fact, more than 3,000 individual reports were compiled at that time. This past year has been spent identifying data gaps and developing study plans to determine what additional information is needed.”

Various state agencies, like the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, have continued studies and the AEA is forming agreements to use that information. “In addition, AEA is committed to gathering three more years of data to be able to build models to predict future trends and potential impacts” from the facility and develop necessary protection, mitigation and enhancement measures, Dyok says. FERC scoping meetings held in late March in Anchorage, Wasilla, Sunshine, Fairbanks and Glennallen also explored those issues. “The [AEA] is committed to an open, honest and transparent process and is working with all stakeholders to provide them with the information needed to keep involved, address their concerns and incorporate their comments during the planning process,” Dyok says. Comments on the pre-application document and requests for studies are due April 27. A proposed study plan will be filed June 11, with study plan meetings scheduled July 9-11. Once study plans are determined at the end of November, studies will

take place in 2013-2014. A preliminary licensing proposal and comments on the proposal are tentatively scheduled for submission in 2015. “Our goal anticipates receiving the license at the end of 2016 or in 2017,” Dyok says, “and have construction starting in 2017, completing it by the end of 2023.”

Revisiting Former Plans

The history of events leading to the recent revival of interest in a Susitna River dam extends back to the early 1950s, when the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation first studied the Susitna River’s hydroelectric potential. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted a subsequent review in the 1970s and then in 1980, the Alaska Power Authority—the AEA’s predecessor agency—commissioned a comprehensive analysis to determine whether hydroelectric development on the Susitna River was viable. Based on those studies, the APA submitted a license application to FERC in 1983 for the Watana/Devil Canyon project on the Susitna River (commonly known as the Susitna Hydroelectric • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


Project). The license application was amended in 1985 for construction at an estimated cost of $5.4 billion, in 1985 dollars. From 1978 to 1986, the State of Alaska spent $145 million of $227 million appropriated on extensive fieldwork, biological studies and activities to support the FERC license application. Financing difficulties, along with the relatively low cost of gas-fired electricity in the Railbelt region, the declining price of oil throughout the 1980s, and the financial burden on the state budget, prompted the APA to terminate the project. Though the APA concluded that project impacts were manageable, the license application was withdrawn in March 1986. In 2008, the Alaska State Legislature, in its FY2009 capital budget, authorized the AEA to re-evaluate the Susitna Hydroelectric Project as it was conceived in 1985. The authorization also included funding a Railbelt Integrated Resource Plan to evaluate various sources of electrical power to satisfy the area’s long-term energy needs. “Future demand predictions, and options to meet the demand, such as from renewables, demand-side management, and energy efficiency, were evaluated,” the AEA website stated. “The latter two options were recommended regardless of the new electrical generation option selected.” In 2010, legislation directed the state to receive 50 percent of its electrical power from renewable and alternative energy sources by 2025. Hydropower currently provides approximately 24 percent of the electrical energy used in Alaska. The RIRP concluded that the only way to supply 50 percent of Alaska’s electricity from renewable and alternative sources was from a large hydroelectric project in the Railbelt region. “The Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project is one piece of Alaska’s energy portfolio, and a diverse mix of energy sources is essential to the state’s energy future,” Dyok says. “This includes a mix of renewable sources like wind, hydroelectric and geothermal, as well as fossil fuels like natural gas and coal.” q


You can turn rising energy costs into spendable dollars.

Ameresco is a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company providing facilities with self-funding energy savings solutions. Ameresco utilizes innovative strategies, systems, and technologies for renewable and sustainable energy generation and infrastructure renewal, thereby reducing operating expenses, increasing energy reliability and enhancing the environment. Ameresco provides comprehensive services for: • Energy & Operational Efficiency Improvements • Renewable Energy Generation • Deferred Maintenance • Guaranteed Savings • Design & Implementation • Facility Renewal & Upgrade • Project Funding Development • Health & Safety

To discuss how your budget could go further through smarter energy and facility solutions, please visit or call 907.278.1880.

©2012 Ameresco, Inc. Ameresco and the Ameresco logo, the orb symbol and the tagline “Green. Clean. Sustainable.” are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. All rights reserved.

44 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


4th Annual

April 28th and 29th at the Dena’ina Civic & Convention Center, Anchorage Alaska

april 19-20, 2012 dena’ina Convention Center anchorage, alaska

AlAskA is home to vAst supplies of energy, yet Alaskans pay some of the highest energy prices in the country. the Business of Clean Energy in Alaska Conference is about identifying economic opportunities and finding solutions to create a more independent and resilient energy future for our state. this 4th annual event brings together business, civic, labor and government leaders from across Alaska along with leading industry experts from around the nation and world to offer attendees an unmatched opportunity for networking and learning about the latest in the $250 billion-a-year clean energy industry. feAtureD topiCs & events renewable energy energy efficiency emerging energy technologies

Clean power markets & investing regulatory & legal issues

free exhibit hall open to the public Alaska Clean energy Development poster session 2012 keynote speAkers: Jon Wellinghoff Chair, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) retired vice Admiral Dennis v. mcginn President, American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE)

RegisteR to day:


special section ALTERNATIVE ENERGY

Solar, Wind and Hydro

Renewable energy gaining strength By Paula Cottrell Photos courtesy of Renewable Energy Systems

Steve Zelener’s solar retrofit on a Fifth Avenue building in Anchorage is the first of its kind in Anchorage.


enewable energy is defined as energy that is derived from natural resources such as wind, solar, hydroelectric, wave, tidal, geothermal and biomass. These naturally replenishing energy sources are becoming increasingly significant as fossil fuel prices continue to rise at unpredictable rates.



Real estate developer Steve Zelener brought the first solar powered office complex to Anchorage when he retrofitted his office building located at 441 West Fifth Avenue next to the Egan Convention Center. One of the older buildings in Anchorage, the siding on the south side of the building was in need of replacement. Always concerned with reducing operating costs and increasing efficiency, Zelener chose to go solar. The 96 180-watt monocrystalline panels cost about three times as much to install as a regular siding refurbishment, but Zelener had the vision of making this building more energy efficient overall. “I wanted to reduce the cost of operating the entire building,” Zelener says. “The solar panels produce anywhere from 6 to 9 percent of the energy needed to operate the building, but to further reduce our footprint, we installed more efficient boilers, toilets and lighting systems.” Although these efforts may seem small, it is a study in how solar power and energy efficiency can be used to solve Alaska’s energy needs in the future. Zelener realizes solar power is not an ideal energy solution for Alaska. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) ranks Alaska as a low light level state due to the minimal amounts of sunlight in the winter months. While sun is plentiful during Alaska’s long summer days, this is the time of year when energy consumption is at its lowest. • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Renewable Energy Systems specializes in alternative energy power systems.

“Because this is the first commercial solar office building of its kind in Anchorage, we wanted to keep data on the energy being produced by our solar panels,” Zelener says. To that end, a website ( was designed so observers could analyze how much energy is being produced by the solar panels on a daily, monthly or yearly basis. Since the building began producing solar energy

in June 2011, it has generated more than 7,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh). Solar energy will most likely never be a big player as a renewable energy solution in Alaska, but it does fulfill an important role in off-grid power generation. Marvin Kuentzel, owner of Renewable Energy Systems in Anchorage is a leader in providing solar energy solutions to Alaskans, especially in off-grid applications.

“It is usually out of necessity that people look toward solar for their energy solutions. We have provided systems for many recreational cabins across the rural parts of Alaska that are not on the power grid,” says Kuentzel. Solar panels combined with inverters, battery banks and generators are the most common hybrid approach to providing renewable energy in remote areas of Alaska.



Energy for Alaska's Future We're finding answers and taking action. Golden Valley Electric Association is committed to finding solutions while meeting Healy Power Plants climate change goals, keeping costs down and maintaining reliable electric service. We're taking action today to find short and long-term solutions for the energy needs of Alaskans.

“The energy is collected from the solar panels and stored in battery banks to be used when necessary. When the batteries run low, the generator will kick in and provide power,” Kuentzel says. “This is where people see the cost savings. If you only have to run your generator for a few hours a day—as opposed to 24 hours a day—you are consuming a lot less fuel and the cost savings can be significant, especially in rural areas where fuel costs are so high.” While not always commercially viable, some companies in Alaska are making solar energy work for them. Kenai Fjords Tours on Fox Island installed a solar power system that includes solar panels, batteries and inverters to offset their diesel generator usage. During the company’s busy summer months when they used to run the diesel generator 24 hours a day, Kuentzel, who helped Kenai Fjords Tours design their system, says they were able to reduce their diesel generation usage by at least two-thirds. “The cost benefit payback for that company was less than a year.” It has only been since June 2010 that individuals with wind and solar energy systems have been able to connect to the electrical grid in Alaska under what is known as “net metering.” Approved in October 2009 by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, net metering regulations only apply to electric utilities that are economically regulated and sell more than 5 million kWh a year, of which Alaska has 10. According to Kuentzel, connecting to the grid is not only a great safety mechanism to ensure stable energy flow to the power box, but it provides an outlet for extra energy being generated by private parties to be purchased by the local electric company to supplement the energy needs of a community. “From a grid-tie perspective, the utilities have expended a lot of effort to arrive at guidelines and criteria that will permit safe and functional connection to the grid at each of the distributed generator renewable energy sites,” says Robert Seitz, PE, an electrical engineer based in Anchorage.


PO Box 71249, Fairbanks AK 99707 • (907) 452-1151 •


A leader in providing wind energy technology to Alaska, Kirk Garoutte, owner of Susitna Energy Systems, has • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

overseen the installation of wind systems across Alaska. According to Garoutte, wind energy has had some great success stories here in Alaska. In November 2007, Susitna Energy Systems worked with the village of Perryville to install 10 wind turbines. The goal of this pilot project was to supplement the village’s diesel usage with wind energy. The system, which was installed, operated and maintained by the local Native people of Perryville has paid for itself in less than three years, according to Groutte. “Interest in renewable energy seems to soar as energy prices increase,” says Garoutte. “Renewable energy is a onetime investment that lasts a lifetime. Sure, there are some significant upfront costs to installing a solar or wind energy system, but that investment will pay for itself in the long run and you will have the advantage of knowing exactly how much your energy will cost you instead of being at the mercy of increasing fuel prices. As fossil fuel prices increase across the state, people will start beating down our doors.” Chris Rose, executive director of Renewable Energy Alaska Project stated that wind energy is very viable in certain areas of Alaska. According to Rose, six to seven years ago there were only two Native villages using wind power to support their diesel generation systems. Since then, that number has grown to 20 Alaska Native villages using wind power. While wind certainly will not work in all areas of the state, according to Kuentzel, the farther you go west in Alaska, the more wind you will find. “Alaska has many micro climates that are suitable for wind and solar energy options.” An extremely successful large scale wind project in Alaska has been the Pillar Mountain Wind Farm located on Kodiak Island. Kodiak Electric Association (KEA) added three 1.5 megawatt wind turbines to their isolated electrical grid system in July 2009. The estimated number of gallons of diesel saved with this additional wind power from July 2009 to January 2012 is 2.3 million gallons or just over $9 million dollars, according to KEA. These large-sized turbines manufactured by General Electric are the first of their size to be installed in the state and are part of • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


FAA’s Lake Clark Pass communications station is powered by a hybrid solar and wind energy system.

KEA’s ambitious goals to generate 95 percent of Kodiak’s power with renewable energy sources by the year 2020. The Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) unanimously voted in June 2011 to move forward with the Eva Creek Wind Project, which is expected to be the largest wind project in Alaska and the first by any utility on the Railbelt system. Upon completion, the Eva Creek Wind Project will have a total of 12 wind turbines capable

of producing 24 MW of power. This will meet GVEA’s goal of having 20 percent of their power generated by renewable resources by 2014. According to GVEA, the $90 million project will be completely owned and operated by GVEA and will have no impact to rates and will help “kick the oil habit” by displacing 76.7 million kWh of oil with renewable energy annually. The Eva Creek Wind Project is scheduled to be operational by fall 2012.

The Delta Wind Farm, located near Delta Junction, is also committed to providing cheaper and cleaner energy to the Interior, according to Mike Craft, president. He says his company’s wind energy project was constructed to assist in furthering the goal of supplying 20 percent of the Interior’s electricity with wind. Currently the Delta Wind Farm supplies 2 MW to the GVEA. Cook Inlet Regional Inc. (CIRI) is constructing the Fire Island Wind project on CIRI land in Cook Inlet, just west of Anchorage. The first phase of the project is expected to produce 17.6 MW of electricity—enough power for more than 6,000 homes. Construction of the transmission line from Fire Island to the Railbelt grid is under way. CIRI expects to begin commercial production by late 2012 in order to supply electricity to Chugach Electric Association under a power purchase agreement.

Hydroelectric Power

The Alaska Center for Energy and Power estimates 27 percent of Alaska’s energy comes from 37 hydroelectric power projects, the largest being the


• Diversified energy projects for Alaska and beyond • Traditional and renewable energy resources, technologies and services • Fire Island wind power coming fall 2012


fireislandwind.COM 50 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Project. Located on the Kenai Peninsula near Homer, this project was constructed by the Alaska Power Authority and began commercial operation in 1991. The system currently transmits power to the state’s main grid via two parallel 20-mile transmission lines, and provides electrical power to Chugach Electric Association, Anchorage Municipal Light and Power, Homer Electric Association, Matanuska Electric Association, Seward Electric Utility and Golden Valley Electric Association. The City & Borough of Sitka owns two hydroelectric projects called the Blue Lake Project and the Green Lake Project which supply virtually all of the electrical power to Sitka and the nearby communities. The escalation of fuel costs has driven an unforeseen rise in electrical demand as residents are finding it cheaper to heat with electrical energy as opposed to heating oil. This combined with the new fish processing businesses in Sitka have significantly increased the community’s electrical demand. These load increases have prompted the City and Borough of Sitka to propose the Blue Lake Expansion project, which will consist of adding a third generating turbine and raising the existing project dam by as much as 83 feet. Construction on this project could start as early as spring 2012, and these improvements are estimated to provide an additional 33 gigawatt hours of electricity every year—a 50 percent increase over the existing project output.

In 2011, Valley Recycling Center installed solar panels to offset energy costs.

Capital Investments

With all of the advancements in renewable energy, fossil fuels are still the most widely used energy source in Alaska. As fossil fuel prices increase and supplies decrease, Alaskans will be faced with some tough decisions. “The initial outlay of capital investment is the leading reason many people do not invest in renewable energy sources,” Kuentzel says. “These systems are investments in our future and yet it is nearly impossible to get financing from a lending institution to offset the initial expense of renewable energy technology. Microsystems empower people to be their own energy manager. At the very least, we should offer some affordable options.” q • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012



Niche Industry:

Pet Services

©2012 Mike Criss /

By Susan Sommer

Fido and Fluffy worth every penny


o you know how much you spend each year on your pets? Expenses for Fluffy and Fido might seem like a small portion of your budget, but add together all the money Alaskans spend on veterinary care, boarding, grooming, food, training, toys and gear, and it’s no drop in the economic bucket. No entity keeps track of the pet services industry in Alaska. An estimate published by the American Pet Products Association shows total expenditures for 2011 in the United States topped $50 billion. And, in fact, many pet owners act downright sheepish when asked to reveal the cost of keeping critters. With a grin and a shrug they say things like, “I don’t want to know,” and “way too much.” A common tongue-in-cheek refrain is that their pet needs to get a job. With all the specialized food, fancy haircuts and doggy daycare, pets are more part of the family now than ever before. A 2007 study by the American Veterinary Medical Association says Americans own more than 72 million dogs and more than 81 million cats. The American Pet Products Association’s numbers for 2011-2012 are


slightly higher. AVMA’s online pet ownership calculator estimates that a population the size of Alaska (about 710,000) has about 180,000 dogs, 202,000 cats, almost 28,000 birds and nearly 18,000 horses. The formulas don’t take into account such factors as climate or income.

Helping Animals



There are an estimated 73,800 dogs and 83,200 cats in Anchorage, says DeeAnn Fetko, who oversees grants and contracts for the municipality’s Department of Health and Human Services. The city’s Animal Care and Control Center is part of that department, and in 2011 employed 25 full-time people and collected about $589,000 in animal licensing fees. Fetko says the fees help pay for enforcing animal laws, returning lost pets to their owners, adopting pets out to new families, and resources that provide volunteer and educational opportunities in the community. Chava Lee, executive director of the Gastineau Humane Society in Juneau, says her organization provides reduced-cost spay and neuter services for pets to income-qualified individu-

als, and that more people have been taking advantage of those since GHS opened its clinic a few years ago. Lee says they’ve also seen an increase in the number of individuals that have had to release animals to the shelter because they could not afford the vet bills or food. Depending on what type of pet you own and how many, keeping and caring for them responsibly requires commitment and a flexible budget. Besides providing rescue, adoption, education, and low-cost spay and neuter services, some shelters offer retail shopping as an additional way to support their missions. The Alaska SPCA (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) thrift store sells everything from used clothing, to books, to pet toys. The Alaska Humane Society, a no-kill and nonprofit cat shelter, maintains an online store with shirts, aprons, totes and more.

Thriving Retail

Pet service suppliers in Alaska include the national retail chains Petco and Pet Smart, as well as VCA Animal Hospitals. Grocery stores also carry pet supplies. Otherwise, it’s up to Alaskan- • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

owned small businesses to provide all the pet paraphernalia, food, health care, training, treats and more with which we spoil our furry friends. Alaska’s retail pet scene is holding its own. One of the best-known products made right here in the state is Yummy Chummies, by Arctic Paws LLC. Produced originally in Brett and Kelly Gibson’s kitchen, the salmonbased tasty treats are now formulated in a 12,000-square-foot plant in Anchorage by nine full-time employees. Another high profile dog treat maker is Doggy Decadents, whose entrepreneur Chelsey Homan was just starting college when she started the business; a number of locations around Alaska carry her products. PetZoo, an Alaskan-owned company, has been serving pet lovers since 1986. With stores in Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer and Wasilla, they carry pet food and supplies for creatures from dogs and cats to horses, chickens, ferrets, fish and rabbits. PetZoo teams up with local adoption agencies and has helped find homes for hundreds of animals in Southcentral. Other locally-owned companies have also established their footprints on Alaska’s pet industry. There is Paw Prince, an Anchorage store that offers all kinds of things to pamper pets (and invited four-legged friends to visit); Alaska Feed Co., a supplier since 1959 in Fairbanks that proudly carries numerous Alaska-made products for pets and their humans; and Alaska Mill Feed & Garden Center, which stocks a dizzying array of cat and dog foods, including grain-free, organic and raw.

Boarding and Training

Typical doggy daycare costs anywhere from $18 to nearly $30 a day; owners who are gone all day and want their pooch to have a social life on a regular schedule take advantage of daycare package rates. Boarding horses can cost anywhere from $150 per month for basic space rental to $500 per month including all care and feeding. The average Alaskan spends $300 to $400 a year on dog training services, says Liz Williams, an instructor at Alaska Dog Sports. She’s seen an increase in recent years of dog owners enrolling in classes that create a stron-

ger bond between human and canine, as well as in private consultation for serious behavioral issues. People are “taking the time to try and work through the problems rather than rehoming or euthanizing the dogs,” Williams says.

Critter Health Care

Numerous veterinary clinics serve Alaska’s pet owners. VCA Animal Hospitals, a national company, has five locations in Alaska. Their services include preventative care as well as behavior modification, dentistry and oncology. Pet Emergency Treatment is Anchorage’s largest 24-hour, 365-day clinic for unforeseen medical or surgical issues. It also offers pet cremations that range in price from $105 for a small animal to more than $1,700 for a horse. These are private cremations in which the owner keeps the cremains. Urns run $65 to $200. Pet Emergency treatment has grown since it opened in 1978 from two veterinarians and a couple of vet techs and administrative people to its current staff of 29 employees. The average client spends $550 per visit. Vicki Smith, executive director of the Alaska Veterinary Medical Association, says she’s never seen a state or national estimate of how much pet owners typically spend annually on their pets. For many, though, it can run into the thousands. Ron Davis, head of outreach for the Tanana Valley Kennel Club in Fairbanks, says in 2010 he and his wife spent more than $6,000 on their dogs. More than $1,000 of that went for dog shows, about $3,300 was for food, $1,500 was for veterinary care and the rest was spent on grooming and miscellaneous expenses. Southcentral resident Terry Puhr speaks for many pet lovers when she reveals her cost for keeping pets: “Considering my oldest was diagnosed with cancer this past summer, quite a lot this year! Probably $5,000 to $8,000 considering there’s a horse, two dogs, one cat, one parakeet and a few fish. No human kids, so these furred, feathered and finned critters are our kids.” From shows that bring tourist dollars to a community, to portrait photography, to medical insurance, one thing is clear in all this devotion to our zoological companions: We Alaskans are willing to spend top dollar to keep our pets happy and healthy. q • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


Legal Speak

By Jeff Waller

Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rates Alaska businesses pay one of highest rates


usinesses in Alaska face one of the highest insurance rates for workers’ compensation coverage of any state. In 2012, Alaska is expected to take over the No. 1 position for the most expensive insurance rate charged for workers’ compensation insurance. And it appears that this cost will increase even more. Every Alaska business with employees is required to have workers’ compensation insurance, with the exception of the very few businesses that are large enough to be self-insured. As a result, practically every Alaska business must incur this substantial business expense.

Medical Overshadows Indemnity

Workers’ compensation benefits are divided into two categories: medical and indemnity benefits. Medical benefits cover the medical treatment and travel related costs needed to treat the work injury. These benefits are typically paid directly to the medical provider, not to the injured worker (the worker is reimbursed for travel expense if needed). For the most part, medical benefits are paid according to a set fee schedule. Indemnity benefits cover a variety of areas, including lost wages benefits, which includes temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent total disability; as well as permanent partial impairment and reemployment training benefits that may include a weekly stipend paid during the retraining process. These benefits are typically paid to the injured worker and are based upon the employee’s spendable weekly wage. In Alaska, 76 percent of every dollar paid for workers’ compensation benefits goes toward medical benefits, not for lost wages or retraining benefits, despite the fact that Alaska’s median household income is usually in the top five in the nation. According to the 2011 Alaska State Advisory Forum, the national average for workers’ compensation medical benefits was 59 percent of every dollar. That means that in Alaska, regardless of


the higher wages paid, medical benefits consume approximate 30 percent more of workers’ compensation benefits than the national average.

New Fee Schedule

Additionally, the Alaska Legislature recently issued a new fee schedule for medical services, which substantially increased the amount payable for certain medical treatments under the Workers’ Compensation Act. For example, the allowable amount chargeable by hospitals or ambulatory surgery centers doubled, and the amount allowable for radiology increased by 120 percent. It does not take a financial genius to determine that if certain costs for medical benefits will be substantially higher, and three-quarters of the cost for workers’ compensation is already paid toward medical benefits, then there will no doubt be a further increase in insurance premiums. In this situation, the critical point is not that medical costs are rising—after all, these costs are rising everywhere. Rather, the concern is that increases in medical costs will hit Alaska businesses harder regarding workers’ compensation insurance premiums because $3 out of every $4 in workers’ compensation costs already are spent on medical benefits.

Strategies to Lower Costs

Most employers want the best medical care for their injured employees, and presumably rely upon workers’ compensation insurance to ensure this occurs. However, spending more money does not always result in better coverage for employee or employer. The issue then becomes, what can an Alaska business do to assure these costs do not rise ever higher without justification? First, a business could contact its insurance carrier for guidance on methods to reduce insurance premiums. Your local agent might be able to point out ways to reduce these costs. Second, a business could di-

©Chris Arend

Jeff Waller

rectly contact their legislative representative to express concerns about the increasing insurance costs and the seemingly disproportionate amount attributable to medical benefits. State legislators have previously addressed tough issues like tort reform to deal with medical malpractice suits and the increasing cost of malpractice insurance for doctors. The same could be accomplished with workers’ compensation medical benefits. However, contacting your representative would probably require a substantial investment in the time and effort required to write letters, make telephone calls and speak to your representative. Third, a business could become a member of any number of associations that have been formed to assist businesses with seeking to influence legislation and regulations affecting issues like workers’ compensation coverage. One such organization is the Workers’ Compensation Committee of Alaska (WCCA). The WCCA is a nonprofit organization that seeks to present and represent employers’ issues addressing a wide range of concerns, including bills pending before the Alaska Legislature, or changes to regulations affecting workers’ compensation benefits. The fact remains that if Alaska businesses do nothing to address and inhibit the unfounded rise of insurance premiums, the cost will continue to rise while the benefit remains ambiguous at best. q About the Author Jeff Waller is a senior associate attorney at Holmes Weddle & Barcott P.C. in Anchorage. His practice includes litigation, construction law, employment law, insurance defense and real estate matters. Prior to becoming an attorney, Waller owned and operated several businesses. • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

a healthcare “ Managing enterprise as diverse as ours in bush Alaska can be quite a challenge. Thanks to our team at Parker, Smith & Feek who provide exceptional expertise supportive of our unique business model.

Coryee Hamons, Director of Risk Management Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Bethel, Alaska

Parker, Smith & Feek combines a collaborative team approach to client service with 75 years of experience to create lasting value for businesses like Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation. That’s why over 96% of our clients retain our firm year after year.

Parker, Smith & Feek is proud to be National Underwriter’s Agency of the Year.

Different by choice. Unique by tradition. I N S U R A N C E

S U R E T Y 2233 112th Ave. NE, Bellevue, WA 98004 425.709.3600 | 800.457.0220 4000 Old Seward Hwy., Suite 200, Anchorage, AK 99503 907.562.2225




Walden Point Road Increasing access for Metlakatla

Photos by Kurtis R. Morin

By Nicole A. Bonham Colby

Alaska Marine Highway System’s M/V Lituya in Ketchikan after transiting from Metlakatla. The Walden Point Road and corresponding shortened ferry route will provide Annette Island with expanded access to health services, education and commerce opportunities.


t’s been well more than a decade since Metlakatla community members first envisioned the benefits they could yield from a road project that would shorten their ferry link to nearby Ketchikan. Today, they are poised to realize those benefits: reliable access to health care, convenient secondary-educational opportunities for community youth, and expanded shopping and reciprocal commercial impact. All are on the immediate horizon, as the final touches occur to the ambitious Walden Point Road project on Annette Island in southern Southeast.

A Long Road

For former two-term Metlakatla Indian Community Mayor Sol Atkinson, who recently retired after a 30-year history of support to the tribal council, the road has been an ever-present project for much of the community’s latter history. “I’ve been with it for 14 years,” he says. “It’s great to see it completed. We worked with the (U.S. Department of Defense) to have an innovative train-


ing program. They built the road as they were learning how to construct roads. From the military and federal highway (perspective), it was a massive coordination project. But it worked.” Atkinson speaks to the road’s parallel function as a training project for U.S. soldiers. Under the direction of the U.S. Department of Defense, the 15-mile road connects the town of Metlakatla, pop. 1,405 according to 2010 U.S. Census, to more eastern Annette Bay, a sheltered area on the northern tip of the island offering a calmer and shorter crossing to adjacent Revillagigedeo Island and the larger commerce center of Ketchikan. Metlakatla is located on the central western side of the Annette Island and the corresponding federal reserve, the only Native reservation in Alaska. “As far as I am concerned, it is completed,” Atkinson says. All 15 miles are paved, signs are installed and railing complete. Crews are currently working to relocate the present Alaska Marine Highway ferry terminal from its Metlakatla location to a new facility at

the road’s Annette Bay terminus. The result will be a much shorter, shuttlestyle run for the ferry from Annette Bay to Ketchikan, offering five runs per day instead of the current two, he says.

Military-Sized Contribution

Since the project initiated back in the late 1990s, an estimated 360 military personnel were present on-the-ground in Metlakatla from April 1 to Sept. 30 each year. Much of the financial impact from that annual infusion of personnel and support requirements, however, went to nearby Ketchikan and its array of merchants, hoteliers, restaurants and equipment vendors. “We estimated $6 million per year was going into the Ketchikan economy for 14 years, just for (items like) heavy equipment rentals and the troops,” Atkinson says. In addition to the procurement of project supplies in Ketchikan, the project also included that soldiers transited in and out of Ketchikan en route to the construction site on Annette Island, and personnel also spent their days off in the First City. “The • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

majority of the contribution was in Ketchikan,” affirms Atkinson. That said, the benefit for Metlakatla going forward is considerable, according to Atkinson and Metlakatla Indian Community Councilman Byron Hayward. “It will be a big boost to ‘Met,’” Atkinson says. “We foresaw this happening.” Currently, the M/V Lituya already carries a typically full load of vehicles and people back and forth between Metlakatla and Ketchikan on its limited schedule. Following completion of the new ferry terminal at Annette Island, the anticipated increase in daily transits and transit days will make a dramatic difference to the residents of Annette Island and visitors alike. The ferry terminal is expected to open in September or October. “With the weather improving, it will move along very fast,” Atkinson says. “Then, if students wanted to commute to the University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan campus they could do that.” Residents from Metlakatla working in Ketchikan could similarly commute back and forth to work. “It opens up all the doors,”

The Walden Point Road, visible on the ridge behind the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Anthony Petit seen working on the Potter Rock bell buoy, was declared an Alaska Scenic Byway last year and will connect Metlakatla residents to a new ferry terminal, scheduled for completion this fall.

he says. People who wish to shop in Ketchikan for the day can take their vehicle and return home the same day. Beyond the lifestyle and convenience factors, the road and corresponding shorter ferry run offer considerable health and safety improvements. “In the winter months, we’re usually iso-

lated for three or four or five days at a time” due to rough water or storms, Atkinson says. “With that short ferry run, it will be no problem.” Councilman Byron Hayward agrees, describing how, by positioning the community’s rescue boat at the new facility, patient transport will constitute

Relax, recline, and rest assured –

SPAN ALASKA DELIVERS. ..... Partnering with Span Alaska has saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last 10 years – and helped us grow into Alaska’s #1 furniture retailer.

– Ron Bailey, Owner, Bailey's Furniture

SHIPPING TO ALASKA? CALL. 1.800.257.7726

promises made, promises delivered

Buddy Bailey, Creative Director, Bailey's Furniture • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


a shorter run across calmer water and requiring a fraction of the time. “We’re having a launch pad on that side for our rescue boat,” working in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard, Hayward says. “It’s more protected and will take 15 minutes to get over there (to Ketchikan),” he says. Altogether it will take the rescue boat approximately 30 minutes from dock to dock—a considerable improvement from the traditional method that was more subject to weather conditions and required longer transport. As an example of the hazards of ex-

posed transport in winter conditions, the 180-foot M/V Lituya broke loose from its moorings at the ferry pier in Metlakatla during the early morning hours of Jan. 30, 2009, and grounded on Scrub Island about one mile north. Winds overnight were reported at 50 to 80 knots.

Sea Change

Though a tertiary result—with military training and improved transportation access being first and second, respectively—the Walden Point Road will

likely serve to open up what has been a relatively isolated island community to increased public exposure. Whether by means of its very make-up as a federal reserve, or its limited ferry and air access, Annette Island has existed on its own, off to the side. Traditionally, locals have traveled off the island to Ketchikan and cities south; rather than the reverse. However, the road may change that trend. Designation by the State of Alaska as a state scenic byway itself likely will attract a number of Alas-


Architects · Engineers · Surveyors Meet all your design needs in one place.

800.668.8919 w w


WHO: Joint venture among U.S. Department of Defense, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Federal Highway Administration, State of Alaska, Metlakatla Indian Community. WHAT: “Operation Alaska Road;” U.S. Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Program, as a joint training for all branches of service (active, reserve and National Guard). WHEN: Spanned 11 years, from 1997 to 2008. HOW MANY: 13,000 soldiers, sailors, marines total over the project lifespan. HOW MUCH: Military portion of the project totaled $75 million, with an estimated 18 percent spent locally in southern Southeast for supplies, fuel, and maintenance parts. Additionally, the project contracted locally for equipment lease and many servicemen and women spent their leave time in Ketchikan. CURIOUS FACTS: Included an Internet café. Soldiers transited via landing craft to/from Ketchikan. “The base camp was like a small town that opened in March/April and closed in September,” recalled Dave Bich, Chief Program Division, Alaskan Command. Also, “the fact that everything was transported via boat to the island and the Army was running the boats and not the Navy!” • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Increasing Our Scope on The Slope! Prudhoe Bay

True North Slope One-Stop Rental Shopping… …and Industry-Leading Customer Service


N C The Cat Rental Juneau Store is pleased to announce the opening of our newest rental facility Wasilla Anchorage in PRUDHOE BAY. Now more than ever, N C can offer you the true one-stop rental shopping you want, and the industry-leading customer service you need! Dutch Harbor

• We have TRIPLED our dedicated rental fleet size on The Slope, based out of our new Prudhoe Bay Rental facility. • We have assembled the MOST EXPERIENCED local staff: Gary Montague Prudhoe Bay Branch Manager (Rotating) 34 years industry experience

Jim Hollowood Prudhoe Bay Rental Coordinator (Rotating) 27 years industry experience

John Luick Prudhoe Bay Rental Coordinator (Rotating) 6 years management experience

• We have increased our RENTAL FLEET SUPPORT with 2 dedicated Prudhoe Bay Rental Store technicians. • We provide true one-stop shopping featuring the BROADEST RENTAL PRODUCT LINE on The Slope. As well as our N C The Cat Rental Store rental products, larger Cat heavy equipment rentals (through our

N C Machinery division) and larger generator and air compressor rentals (through our N C Power Systems division) are ALL COORDINATED FROM OUR PRUDHOE BAY FACILITY. All three of our divisions have significant fleet on The Slope, so the new bottom-line is that none of our competitors can touch the breadth of our total rental line: • Cat heavy equipment • Ground heaters • Air heaters

• Mobile generators to 2,000 kW • Air compressors to 1,600 cfm • Light towers

• Scissor and boom lifts • Industrial forklifts • YOU NAME IT!

• We have Rental Sales Representatives YOU CAN TRUST…experienced, knowledgeable, and highly responsive: For N C The Cat Rental Store, call Levi Hogan: 907-715-9365

For N C Machinery, call Jeremiah Johnson: 907-748-1159

For N C Power Systems, call Erick Pomrenke: 907-632-6700

Call us today to discuss how our increased scope on The Slope can mean increased dollars on your bottom-line!

Prudhoe Bay Direct Line:

907-659-9600 Other Alaska Inquiries:


Passengers and vehicles prepare to disembark the Alaska Marine Highway System’s M/V Lituya in Ketchikan after transiting from Metlakatla. A new ferry terminal at the Annette Bay end of the Walden Point Road will shorten the trip and allow passage across protected waters.


kan and Outside visitors. The road earned the honor last year from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOTP&F), with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in August. The department released a statement at the time suggesting the “Walden Point Road has a realistic potential for being an outdoor enthusiast’s utopia, particularly for hikers,” and poses the potential to attract tourists and new jobs, and to incubate small businesses within the Metlakatla Indian Community. “This region is full of rich history and culture,” said DOT&PF Commissioner Marc Luiken at the time. “It also showcases the only Native reservation in Alaska. The history, natural abundance and recreational opportunities set this corridor apart and make it a unique place.” According to DOT&PF, such designation as an Alaska Scenic Byway provides resources to the local community to “create unique travel expe-

riences and enhance local quality of life through efforts to preserve, protect, interpret and promote the qualities of the designated scenic byway.” Atkinson describes some of the attributes future visitors can enjoy along the road: “We’ve done the official set aside, and we do have turnouts… we will put in picnic grounds, a small boat launch and campgrounds,” he says. Currently, the road is still closed off for public driving as crews complete the final touches—the terminal facility, related lighting and wiring, and the like. However, while many Metlakatla community members have lived with the road construction for a significant portion of their lives, the opportunity to use the road in everyday life is just around the bend. “The blacktop and the rails are all in—it’s drivable,” says Hayward. The project has “been ongoing for about 10 years. It took a long time. It’s a real nice road. It’s nice to take long walks on.” q • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


Hilcorp Alaska LLC Entering the Alaska oil and gas industry By Vanessa Orr

Some of the Cook Inlet assets aquired by Hilcorp. Photo by Judy Patrick


ver since the discovery of oil and natural gas in Alaska, companies have come to the 49th state to try to take advantage of these natural resources. Hilcorp Alaska LLC, now based in Anchorage and with operations on the Kenai Peninsula, has recently made its first foray into the state through its acquisition of Cook Inlet oil and gas assets. 62 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

In July 2011, Hilcorp Alaska LLC and Chevron’s wholly owned indirect subsidiary, Union Oil Co. of California, began the process of transferring Union’s oil and gas assets located in Cook Inlet to Hilcorp, with Hilcorp assuming operation of these assets on Jan. 1. The amount of the sale was not disclosed. Hilcorp Energy Co., which is the parent company of Hilcorp Alaska LLC, was founded in 1989 by Jeffery D. Hildebrand and a partner whom he later bought out. It is now the third largest privately held oil and gas company in the United States. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, the company has operations in Texas, Louisiana, the Gulf of Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado, Mississippi, Alabama and now Alaska. According to the company’s website, its mission is “to efficiently develop energy that would otherwise be lost while providing an enjoyable and challenging work environment where long-term personal wealth can be created for all.”

Acquired Assets

Assets in the sale include Union Oil contracts and interests in the Swanson River, Granite Point, Middle Ground Shoals, Trading Bay and MacArthur River fields; interests in 10 offshore platforms; interests in onshore gas fields including the Beluga River Unit and the Ninilchik Unit, which will still be operated by Conoco Phillips and Marathon Oil, respectively; and two gas storage facilities. Current net production from these assets is roughly 6,400 barrels of

oil and 74 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. The sale also includes interests in the Cook Inlet Pipe Line Co. and Kenai Kachemak Pipeline LLC. According to Barnes, Hilcorp has added 235 new Alaska employees in Anchorage and Kenai to its rosters, in addition to the 735 employees that it employs in the Lower 48. “We’ve hired a lot of great employees, as well as retained a significant portion of Chevron staff with the goal of building a great team,” Barnes said.

Expanding Footprint

Hilcorp continues to grow by actively acquiring and developing conventional assets while expanding its footprint into a number of new resource plays. In recent rankings of privately held US producers by IHS Herold Inc., in 2010 year-to-date production ranked by barrels of oil equivalent (BOE), Hilcorp was third with 28.8 million BOE and 1,788 wells. The company prides itself on excelling in the core competencies of engineering, geological expertise and operational excellence. “While this is our first foray into Alaska, the purchase of the Cook Inlet assets fits our business model very well,” said John A. Barnes, senior vice president of exploration and production in Alaska at Hilcorp Alaska LLC. “Our success has been built on the acquisition and development of mature legacy oil and gas fields; areas where we know that the oil is in place, and we are able to produce the remaining oil. This is our bread and butter.” • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


Photo courtesy of Hilcorp

Swanson River produces approximately 200,000 barrels of oil and 1.2 billion standard cubic feet of gas per year.

Where the road ends…

Our Work Begins

We are proud to announce the launch of our latest division, Cruz Marine LLC. Our ABS Loadline Class tugs are the only double-hulled shallow draft tugs in Alaska and the Northwest. We can transport equipment, materials, and supplies to sites along the Arctic Ocean and Beaufort Sea, the west coast of Alaska or up inland waterways. Whether by land or water, we can deliver what you need, when and where you need it.

64 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

MARINE LLC Main Office (907) 746-3144 North Slope (907) 659-2866

In a recent press release, Hilcorp also acknowledged the effort put forth by Chevron employees as well as the state and federal agencies that assisted in the regulatory approval process for making the sale successful.

Short-Term Focus

In the short term, Barnes said that the company will focus on continuing to develop and produce Cook Inlet resources in a safe and environmentally sound manner. “We’re currently working to establish good relationship with vendors, stakeholders, regulators and members of the communities in which we operate,” he said. “In the long-term, we will be reviewing every well and field and looking at ways to increase production and recovery and to create reliable gas producing operations.

not tomorrow), ownership (work like you own the company), alignment (when Hilcorp wins, we all win) and improvement (get better every day). “We know that this culture has driven us to the success we’ve achieved to date,” he said. These values also determine how the company treats its employees and the communities in which it operates. For example, when hired, each employee is given $2,500 to donate to a US-based 501(c)3 charitable organization of his or her choice. Each subsequent year, Hilcorp will match any employee contribution up to $2,000 annually. To date, in excess of $3 million has been given to charities through this program. Another example is the Hilcorp Future Leaders of America Scholarship Program, which gives $10,000 schol-

Looking to Another 50 Years

©The Valdez Museum and Historical Archive

“Our goal is to develop these assets to their full potential and to provide reliable energy to Southcentral Alaska, as well as to create value for our employees and the communities in which we’re operating.” John A. Barnes Senior Vice President, Exploration & Production Hilcorp Alaska LLC

“Our goal is to develop these assets to their full potential and to provide reliable energy to Southcentral Alaska, as well as to create value for our employees and the communities in which we’re operating,” he added. While the company’s short-term focus is on managing the assets in Cook Inlet, Hilcorp will also begin building an inventory of exploration and development opportunities for the future. “We will act on opportunities for growth if it complements our company culture and objectives,” said Barnes, adding that it was inappropriate to identify any investment plans at the current time.

Core Values

According to Barnes, every aspect of the business is determined through its five core values: integrity (do the right thing), urgency (act today,

arships to outstanding high school students in the communities where Hilcorp operates. Students can receive up to $2,500 per year, which is renewable on an annual basis. “We’ve recently expanded this program to include five schools on the Kenai Peninsula: Kenai Central High School, Soldotna High School, Skyview, Ninilchik School and Nikiski High School,” Barnes said. “Materials have gone out to these schools, and we will be awarding the first scholarships to graduating seniors this May.” Despite being a new entry into Alaska’s oil and gas industry, it looks like Hilcorp has big plans for doing business on the Last Frontier. “The main thing to know is that we’re happy to be here,” Barnes said. “We’re here to stay, grow and produce, because that is what makes our company successful.” q

Our clients helped make us who we are today. • Asset Based • Complete Lower 48 Coverage • Intra-State Alaska Service • Professional Drivers • Dedicated Customer Service • Comprehensive Web Services

Delivering Customized Solutions

Anchorage 336-2567 • Fairbanks 452-7971 Kenai 262-6137 • Kodiak 486-8501

1-800-426-9940 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012



Guessing at reserves

By Mike Bradner


n far northern Alaska, the Brooks Range, with its jagged and craggy ridges, seems to end abruptly on its northern side. Looking down from the air one thinks of an ancient coastline, which, actually, it is. Steep ridges give way to gently rolling tundra hills that flatten gradually to a level plain stretching miles to the north to the shore of the Beaufort Sea, pockmarked with tundra lakes. This is the North Slope, famous for being oil country, as well as for its pristine wilderness, wildlife and even austere beauty. Most Alaskans don’t see a conflict between oil and wilderness but others do, mostly people living outside Alaska. Geographically the North Slope is really that, a gradual slope of terrain from the northern edge of the mountains to sea level. In eons past the seabed lifted, forming the landform where drillers now work. Microscopic ancient plant life settled on the seabed and, buried


Directly above: Aerial view of the village of Kaktovik, situated in what is now ANWR. (PHOTO: ©2012 Scott Dickerson / Top of page: The Alaska Native Village of Nuiqsut along the Colville River, situated in NPR-A. (PHOTO: ©2012 Jeff Schultz / Small inset: Scenic view of melting shorefast ice along the Beaufort Sea coastline in the 1002 area of the coastal plain of ANWR. (PHOTO: ©2012 Steven Kazlowski /

over time, formed vast pools of oil and gas that now constitute the large oil fields that help anchor Alaska’s economy. The tale of how the oil fields were found has been often told and it is a story of good science, pluck and perseverance, and luck. It all started a century ago, when government geologists first came to the Arctic and were shown oil seeps by Inupiat people of the region. In what is now the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) the Inupiats were the first oil explorers, seeking out tundra soil that was soaked with oil from the seeps. Cut into wedges of soil and

hauled home with dog teams, it proved a good fuel. Maybe the Inupiats should have kept the seeps a secret. What happened next was the first step in the carving up of the North Slope by outsiders. Following their investigations, the government geologists went home and recommended that a good portion of northern Alaska—23 million acres—be set aside as an oil reserve for the U.S. Navy, which was then converting its ships from coal to oil. In 1923, President Warren Harding created the Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 4 (NPR-4), now NPR-A. • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Limited Discoveries

It was a good thing, however, that the Navy’s fleet never had to really depend on NPR-4 for fuel, because no oil worth developing was ever found, despite great efforts. Now, almost 90 years after the reserve was created, private companies are finally on the cusp of developing and producing oil. This, however, is no Prudhoe Bay. The Inupiats did get some benefits in the end because the Navy’s explorers did find natural gas near Barrow, which is within the petroleum reserve. The discovery was modest in size, not big enough to be commercially exploited in that remote location. But the find has provided fuel for the community for both power generation and space heating. Ironically, it took an act of Congress for the Barrow community to be able to actually get the gas found at its doorstep. For years the gas was used by the local federal installations and gas pipes went right by the village, leaving local people to heat with fuel oil and driftwood scrounged from the beach. That was eventually changed, and now the North Slope Borough, the regional municipal government, owns the gas fields and is currently investing in their further development. Meanwhile the carving up of northern Alaska continued. The state of Alaska selected lands from federal lands in the central North Slope under land entitlements given in the Alaska Statehood Act. Leases were sold to oil companies and exploration began. Ultimately giant oil fields were discovered. Conservationists interested in the Arctic, and including many in Alaska had become concerned. The feeling grew that at least part of northern Alaska should be protected. The western part was already taken up in the Naval reserve, the assumption being this area would be exploited. The central part of the North Slope was state-owned and the new state government was busy courting oil explorers. The northeastern Arctic Slope, near the Canadian border, was still pristine. Efforts to protect this area, which would eventually become the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR, had genuinely started in the

1950s. National Park Service planners and biologists recruited noted conservationists and Wilderness Society president Olaus Murie and his wife, Margaret Murie, to join an effort to permanently protect this region.

Access Deadlock

The Alaska Conservation Society, and particularly its Fairbanks chapter led by Celia Hunter, led a lobbying effort by Alaskans. In the closing months of the Eisenhower administration, just after the state of Alaska had been created, outgoing Interior Secretary Fred Seaton created the Arctic National Wildlife Range as an administrative unit. It was a wildlife range because creating an actual refuge requires an act of Congress. That would come eventually, when Congress made the range a refuge in the Alaska National Interest Lands and Conservation Act of 1980, or ANILCA. ANILCA expanded the wildlife range into a 19.3 million acre refuge, the largest in the nation, with 8 million acres set aside as wilderness and most of the rest designated for “minimal management,” or management as wild lands for all practical purposes. That could have been the end of the story, except that Alaska’s congressional delegation persuaded Congress to hold a 1.5 million acre enclave out of the wilderness and restrictive designations given most of what was now ANWR. This so-called “1002 area” (the section of ANILCA that provides for its reservation and study) is on the northern coastal plain, and has potential to yield both oil and gas. The Alaskans persuaded Congress that its potential should be investigated before development was permanently foreclosed. However, the act also required Congressional authorization before any development is allowed in the 1002 area. This, however, was to have unforeseen consequences for the Arctic Slope’s Inupiat people. In the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which preceded ANILCA (passed in 1980), the Inupiat people were allowed to select lands they traditionally used for subsistence. Kaktovik, a village on Barter Island at the northern edge of what is now ANWR, obtained rights to 91,000 acres of surface lands in ANWR. Under


CALL ENGINEERED FIRE & SAFETY – Your Total Protection Team For: Complete specialty project fire protection Detection Suppression Explosion protection Extensive North Slope field experience Extensive off-shore and marine systems experience S Capital projects group experienced in working with Engineering, Procurement, & Construction (EPC) companies, end-users, and contractors S Local fabrication and project management support S S S S S S

3138 Commercial Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Ph: (907) 274-7973 Fax: (907) 274-6265

Contact General Manager Matt Atkins @ 907-263-7115 or Sales Manager Don Hopkins @ 907-263-7112 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


terms of the Native claims act Arctic Slope Regional Corp., the regional Native corporation, also obtained the subsurface mineral rights. ASRC, with Kaktovik’s cooperation, arranged for two oil companies, BP and Chevron, to drill an exploration well on the acreage in the early 1980s. The well was drilled—it is the KIC No. 1—and the results have been a tightly guarded secret ever since. The problem is that if there were a discovery, ASRC and Kaktovik could not develop it until Congress votes to open the area. The Inupiats regard this as underhanded— the government awarding lands under terms of the 1971 settlement but then denying the right to develop natural resources. Since then, Alaskans have made strenuous efforts to get Congress to approve the opening of ANWR’s coastal plain. Several times success was close. The U.S. House of Representatives has almost always supported ANWR exploration, with legislation passing the House 17 times over the years. The U.S. Senate is where the problem has been, and where environmental

groups focused their lobbying. Often the bills went down in defeat with votes being very close. One time a bill actually passed both the House and Senate, only to be vetoed by then-president Bill Clinton.


in the


ANWR is now in the news again, having been attached to a bill with other energy provisions that was passed in the House by a vote of 237-187. It must now go to the Senate, where it awaits an uncertain fate. Meanwhile, though they were less noisy, similar fights were playing out far to the west the Colville River, which forms the eastern boundary of NPR-A (Congress changed its name in 1975 and transferred management from the Navy to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management). Unlike ANWR, the petroleum reserve has seen a lot of exploration over the years, though not that much, considering its sheer size. Most of the drilling was directed by the government and, arguably, wasn’t managed well. The Navy itself sponsored drill-

ing in the years following World War II, some of it by Navy Seabees. Operations weren’t particularly tidy. Exploration crews left old equipment parts, partly-filled fuel barrels and debris scattered across the tundra. Embarrassed, the government came in later with cleanup crews. However, some old petroleum reserve wells are still leaking fluids, a continuing problem for the BLM. Things changed when the reserve was finally opened to leasing by private companies. ARCO Alaska was an early explorer and drilled some costly dry holes. TOTAL, the French company, BP and other companies took a fling at explorations, all with no results. Drilling in the reserve was extremely expensive because of its remoteness and the difficulties of longdistant support by ice- and snow-roads, and by air. As the industry learned more about the geology, however, exploration became focused on the reserve’s more prospective northeast region. A series of small, but encouraging discoveries were made by ConocoPhillips,

Transportation Solutions For Your Business!

Interior Alaska’s Fleet Headquarters SERVING ALASKA BUSINESS FOR 35 YEARS! Complete Line of Ford Vehicles in Stock

1625 Seekins Ford Dr. Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 (907) 459-4055

68 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

1000 Lake Colleen Rd. Prudhoe Bay, Alaska 99734 (907) 659-2770

successor to ARCO, which was also working with a partner, Anadarko Petroleum. FEX LLC, a subsidiary of Talisman Energy, also drilled and made discoveries, but then backed away from the region partly because of stifling regulation. For example, Talisman found oil but never got permission to do flow-tests of its discoveries. A replay of the ANWR script has happened in the NPR-A. Much of the huge reserve is now considered to have natural gas potential and low oil potential except for the coastal region in the northeast, north of where ConocoPhillips, Anadarko and FEX have made modest discoveries. However, this area is also prime waterfowl habitat, particularly the marshy area around Teshekpuk Lake, a very large lake near the coast. This area had been proposed for leasing, but national environmental groups organized a furious lobbying campaign in Washington, D.C., and succeeded in getting the Interior Department to delete these most prospective tracts in recent NPR-A lease sales held by the BLM. Now the reserve had

two strikes against it: A long history of small to modest oil and gas finds (uneconomic given the location), and now the government taking the most prospective acreage out of the picture. Despite that, companies are being persistent. ConocoPhillips and Anadarko finally succeeded in getting government permission to build a bridge across the Colville River to develop a drill site with known reserves on the west side, which will be the first commercial oil production from the reserve. Surface access to the area will also allow roads to be extended west and for the small discoveries made earlier to be developed. Also, a 2011 BLM lease sale brought bids for leases from independent companies that have shown themselves to be aggressive explorers, such as Armstrong Oil and Gas, of Colorado, which has already found fields on the slope that are now producing. Geologists don’t expect a giant oil discovery in NPR-A, no Prudhoe Bay or even Kuparuk River fields. Smaller discoveries are being made, however, and the incremental, step-by-step ex-

pansion of infrastructure into the area will make many of these economic to produce. How much oil and gas might be in the petroleum reserve, or for that matter, ANWR? It’s just an educated guess at this point. The U.S. Geological Survey has made estimates that ANWR could hold from 5 billion to 15 billion barrels of technically-recoverable oil, of which a lesser amount would be economically recoverable. The USGS estimate for the NPR-A is much lower, about 896 million barrels of oil but a huge amount of gas, 61 trillion cubic feet. Some private industry geologists familiar with NPR-A feel the latest USGS estimate is too conservative on oil because some data from recent wells drilled was not considered by the agency because the information was not public at the time. Still, all the numbers are big, but in the end no one will really know about ANWR, or the NPR-A, until more exploratory drilling is done. Until then, guessing at reserves is really just conjecture. q

a MeMber of the ukpeagvik iÑupiat corporation faMily of coMpanies • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012



Are Alaskans Misinterpreting Alaska’s Constitution? Commentary by Dave Harbour

©2012 Christopher S. Miller /

Any opinions expressed herein are the author’s own.


lected leaders engaged in the great energy debates of 2012 often quote from Alaska’s Constitution and we examine here why that rhetoric may be misleading. Maybe Alaska is turning into a high oil and gas taxing, entitlement state because that is what Alaskans want. Is it really? Let’s explore what we really want—and what the Constitution says—as the Alaska Legislature journeys toward adjournment and makes many life-changing decisions.

Entitlement State

There should be little question that we are, in fact, one of America’s most lucrative entitlement states for those who seek entitlements. While recent studies ranking states by entitlement generosity are sparse, a 2004 study for the federal government by the Lewin Group and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government put Alaska in the top quartile of not only per capita personal income but also per capita spending on welfare and non-welfare functions.


Since then, we’ve had the national economic meltdown. That’s resulted in a tightening of many other state budgets—but a growth of our own state budget, which the Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development notes is almost 90 percent dependent on the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) throughput, which is declining by 7 percent annually. This phenomenon, however unsustainable, must mean migration to Alaska by both job- and entitlement-seekers is more attractive than ever. Meanwhile, oil and gas taxes are the hot issue du jour. The dramatic oil tax increase in 2007 is what is fueling the avalanche of dollars into Alaska’s coffers even as oil production declines. It also fuels the continuation and growth of Alaska’s entitlement culture and solidifies the base of constituencies depending upon and demanding high taxes on industry to feed their own special interests.

Too Many Tax Breaks?

It is difficult for those taxed to argue

taxes are too high when the multitude of beneficiaries receiving taxpayer largess outnumber the givers. Recently the President of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, Rachael Petro, wrote an Op-Ed piece for the Juneau Empire. In it, she noted that, “Alaska ranks near the bottom in two recent surveys of places to do business,” naming the annual CNBC survey of “America’s Top States for Business,” and another report issued by Canada’s Fraser Institute noting Alaska’s low scores when compared with competitive oil and gas provinces around the world. Yet, in the Empire’s comment section a reader criticized Petro’s observations, ignoring that Alaskans pay no personal income tax while petroleum pays 90 percent of the freight for the rest of us—all as production declines. “RV in Alaska” said, “How come many of those Lower 48 states that are such good business climates are going broke? Is it because they are giving business too many tax breaks and not requiring that they pay their way along with the rest of the population?” • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Obviously the business community is fighting an uphill battle with many citizens who believe they are entitled to pay nothing for state government while someone else does.

Doomed Democracy?

The 19th Century French tourist, Alexis de Tocqueville was rumored to have said, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing.” While there is evidence the quote came from an editor in 1951 and not de Tocqueville, the principle rings real to current-day students of American and Alaskan government. The difference is that our national government can print money to satisfy constituent demands— even if it debases monetary value for the next generation. Our state government leaders can vote to satisfy their demanding masses too. They can’t print money but the majority seems to have become expert at overtaxing investors, in avoiding responsibility for unfunded liabilities, and in debasing the value of Alaska’s investment climate for young people who will populate the next generations.

The Decline

A few weeks ago the Alaska Dispatch ran a series entitled, “Myth-busting claims in Alaska’s oil tax debate.” In it, the authors suggested that, 1) oil companies are untrustworthy business partners, 2) that Alaska oil taxes are not as bad as some critics claim, and 3) that North Dakota’s tax/regulatory burden is not that much better than Alaska’s. While the authors worked hard on the series and made some valid points they failed to keep their eyes on the ball for readers: 1) Alaska is a much more expensive place to operate than North Dakota; 2) North Dakota does not have a reputation as being hostile to the industry (i.e., including retroactive taxation accompanied by huge increases after investments have been made); and 3) the most important

Fueling the Trident Cannery in Akutan, the City of King Cove and warming the home of Tom and Annie Hume. As Alaska residents, we know what it takes to keep the home fires burning, no matter how far away they are. So we developed a barge distribution network that allows us to provide reliable, costeffective fuel and freight delivery to homes and businesses even when rivers are running low. Now folks like the Humes can count on having the fuel they need, when they need it. And knowing that Delta Western will do whatever it takes to keep Fueling Alaska Safely.

For all of your quality fuel needs, call us toll-free at 800.478.2688 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


point: for a variety of reasons industry production is massively increasing in North Dakota and massively declining in Alaska. In carefully calculating a way forward, therefore, one is drawn to the logic of simplifying this very complex social and economic challenge: let’s just focus on the declining TAPS throughput. Declining throughput is reflective of declining production and declining investment in production. Let’s also consider that declining throughput produces two major risks: 1) low throughput could endanger the life of the 35-year-old TAPS for many technical reasons we won’t repeat here, and 2) as throughput decreases, a world oil price decrease could plunge the 90 percent TAPS-dependent government budget into chaos.

Long-Term Economics

We conclude that Alaska has evolved into a state so blinded by its own greed and constrained by entitlement constituencies that rational, political decisionmaking is nearly impossible. However, rational outcomes are still within grasp if enough citizens can more objectively set a sustainable course for Alaska’s long-term best interests. There are some ways we might approach that challenge. First, let’s begin to think a little more positively about the oil industry. Why? It is capital intensive, as opposed to labor intensive. The oil companies produce about 90 percent of our state government’s operating budget and fire over a third of Alaska’s economy, with relatively few, highly paid, year-around employees. Isn’t that what we want, an industry that produces a lot of money but impacts our state services minimally? On the other hand, consider the seasonal tourism and commercial fishing industries. While I’m not about to argue these seasonal, labor intensive industries are not good, I will observe that they bring hundreds of thousands of people to Alaska, do not pay for the many state services they receive, and would be attacked by state government vampires overnight if the oil industry were not here to pay the bills.

72 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Second, let’s look at the Alaska Constitution a little differently. The Congress and the founders believed Alaska’s economic prosperity was based on natural resource development and that resources should be developed for the “maximum benefit of its people.” No rational person would interpret that phrase as benefitting only the “people” of this generation. Surely, all reasonable adults would support author Cindy Roberts’ view that the “maximum benefit” of natural resource extraction should apply to “current and future Alaskans.” No adult could therefore conclude that the Alaska Constitution advocates taxing every cent possible from extractive industries for the selfish benefit of today’s citizens when a more competitive policy could incentivize continuing investment for our children’s generation. Lastly, we might begin placing more focus on our attitude and our competitiveness as an oil industry state. We could stubbornly continue to proclaim: “our taxes are not too high and you can’t

trust industry” as production continues to decline. Or, we could amend or repeal the ill-considered 2007 ACES tax legislation in a way that reverses Alaska’s production decline.

Act Fast & Start Talking

If readers agree that these factors merit further thought, they might want to act fast and talk right away with their elected officials. The Alaska Legislature this year is considering oil and gas tax modification in response to declining oil production. its heels and issued a list of “must have” demands to include “fair sharing” of oil profits, government dictates as to how private companies spend any tax savings that could result from tax legislation, and co-opting private companies to assure they make employee hiring decisions as government officials wish. We should question whether this sort of government attitude is the best way to provide “maximum benefit” to both this and future generations of Alaskans. q

About the Author Dave Harbour is a former chairman of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska and director of government affairs for Arco and the Arctic Gas Project. He is the former chairman of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and Alaska Council on Economic Education, and served on the energy transition team task forces for both Governor Sean Parnell and Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan. Harbour is publisher of • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


RIGHT MOVES Compiled by Nancy Pounds ASRC Energy Services Inc.


Shanna Davidson was chosen supply chain manager for ASRC Energy Services Inc. She has more than 20 years experience in contracting, procurement and supplychain management. She most recently worked for BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. in supplychain management.



moted to secretary/treasurer. Dave Hall was hired as chief operating officer. Hall previously worked as general manager of Signature Flight Support in Anchorage. PenAir officials also promoted other staff members: Bryan Carricaburu, vice president of operations; Al Orot, vice president of services; Melissa Anderson, vice president of sales and marketing; Mike Cerkovnik vice president of finance; Mike Bradley, vice president of engineering and maintenance, and Brian Whilden, vice president of safety.

Mt. McKinley Bank

David Durham was promoted to senior vice president and manager of Mt. McKinley Bank’s commercial/consumer lending departments. Melissa Kohler was promoted to vice president, commercial lending. Patrick Pletnikoff was promoted to vice president, commercial lending. Amy Richards was promoted to senior vice president, operations. Michelle Bunch, Pablo Martinez, Donna McNeely and Cyndia Miller were promoted to vice president, operations.



AES promoted Erick Schmidt to the position of HSET Loss Prevention Manager. He will oversee all loss issues and case management. Schmidt has over 17 years of construction experience, with 11 in the oil and gas industry. AES promoted Joireen Cohen to the position of HSET Director. She will oversee the development, implementation, and administration of organization-wide HSET programs and manage the Anchorage HSET staff. For the past 18 months, Cohen was the HSET Loss Prevention Manager. She is a certified Occupational Health and Safety Technologist with over 20 years of experience handling workers’ compensation claims in the oil and gas and health care industries.


Wells Fargo


Danny Seybert was appointed chairman and chief executive of PenAir. Scott Bloomquist was promoted to president, replacing founder Orin Seybert, who resigned recently. Lloyd Seybert was pro-

Janae Sorenson was hired as director of sales, integrated benefits for Premera. Sorenson most recently served as president of Regence Life and Health Insurance Co. in Portland, Ore.


Benjamin Burgener wa s c h o s e n We l l s Fargo Soldotna branch manager. He has five years of experience as a Wells Fargo branch m a n a g e r, s e r v i c e manager, personal banker and teller in Wyoming and Utah.

Steve Manley was chosen as a business relationship manager in Soldotna. Manley is a lifelong Kenai Peninsula resident with eight years of experience in accounting and financial management, including six years as an accountant and controller for Central Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association.

Senator Murkowski’s Office

Senator Lisa Murkowski named Miles Baker her U.S. Senate legislative assistant for tourism. Baker is a former Alaska Legislature aide and a current member of her Washington, D.C. staff. Raised in Alaska, Baker will now assist Murkowski on tourismrelated matters, in addition to his current responsibilities on economic policy.

Coldwell Banker Commercial

Elisha Mar tin was appointed director of Coldwell Banker Commercial’s operations-assets services division in Alaska. The division is part of Coldwell Banker Commercial’s Utah western regional office Martin based in Salt Lake City. Martin, an associate broker, has more than 15 years of commercial real estate experience. Martin specializes in property management, leasing and construction management.




Erika Van Flein was promoted to director of benefits for the University of Alaska. She previously served as benefits administrator for UA Human Resources. She first joined the university in 1990, working in university relations for the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Brandi Berg was promoted to Board of Regents’ executive officer. She joined UA in 2002, working for the UA Foundation.




74 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


Sponsored by Northern Air Cargo

Doyon Ltd.


Pa t r i ck D u k e wa s chosen senior vice president and chief financial officer for Doyon Ltd. of Fairbanks. Duke previously served as CFO for Cook Inlet Region Inc., where he had worked since 2006.

SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium

Arctic Slope Regional Corp.

Eddie Ahyakak was appointed to an at-large seat on the Arctic Slope Regional Corp.’s board of directors. He works as an operator at Petro Star Inc.’s North Pole refinery. Petro Star is an ASRC subsidiary. Patsy Aamodt was chosen corporate treasurer. She also serves as first vice president, and was first elected to the board in 1998. Klassert

Totem Ocean Trailer Express

Bill Pryor was hired as sales manager for Totem Ocean Trailer Express. He previously worked as executive vice president of retail for Cinram, a media distribution company he helped found in 2001.

Federal Government




Dr. David McCandless joined SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium’s Haines Health Center. Barbara Searls was appointed chief financial officer for SEARHC in Juneau. Matthew Ione was promoted to chief administrative officer for SEARHC. Michele Susie was hired as an advanced registered nurse practitioner at the SEARHC Klukwan Health Center and SEARHC Haines Health Center, and will also serve Tenakee Springs.



Bart Dean joined AT&T as a member of the Signature Accounts Te a m b a s e d i n Anchorage. Dean began his telecommunications career more than 30 years ago selling phone systems in the Pacific Northwest.

Swan Employer Services

Allan Skinner received a cer tificate for 50 years of federal service. He has worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for 38 of those years. His federal gover nment work began with roles as a federal ranger for the Skinner National Park Service and work for the Corps in the Lower 48. He joined the Alaska District’s permitting section as an environmental protection specialist in 1974.

Alaska Native Arts Foundation

Trina Landlord was chosen executive director for the Alaska Native Arts Foundation. Landlord previously worked as a liaison with the Alaska Humanities Forum.

Lynn Klassert joined Swan Employer Services as director of sales. Klassert has worked for KeyBank, serving most recently as a vice president in business banking.

Granite Construction

Jonathan Eker was appointed chief estimator for Granite Construction’s Alaska region. He has more than 20 years of field and estimating experience. He joined the company in 2004 and has served as a dispatcher, project superintendent and project manager. Josh Hart was chosen quality control manager for the company. He joined Granite Construction in 2005 and has handled many projects statewide as a project engineer.

Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies

Beth Trowbridge was appointed executive director for Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. She first worked for the center in 2000 as a parttime educator, and has also worked as manager and program director for the Wynn Nature Center.

Clapp Peterson Tiemessen Thorsness & Johnson LLC

Chester D. Gilmore, David A. Monroe and Devin W. Quackenbush have joined the law firm of Clapp Peterson Tiemessen Thorsness & Johnson LLC. Scott Hendricks Leuning is also rejoining the firm. Gilmore, Leuning and Quackenbush practice in the Anchorage office. Monroe works at the Fairbanks office. q


W W W. N AC . A E R O • ( 8 0 0 ) 7 27 - 214 1 • • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


HR M at t e r s

By Richard Birdsall

Intransigent Consequences Indiana case illustrates losing situation


nflexibility in the human condition can breed unnecessary conflict. Strict adherence to tightly written policies, which cannot possibly address all workplace eventualities, can box you in. Have you, as a union member, ever been caught between your union and your management… and lost? Or have you, as an employee ever been the shrimp caught between two manager whales in a power struggle? Employer/union relationships are often adversarial, at best. This adversarial relationship results in tightly written collective bargaining agreements reducing flexibility in its application by both sides. Unions and employers ultimately insist on adherence to the letter of the agreement because exceptions made for a single employee’s benefit would constitute a waiver that, once granted, suggests a permanent amendment to the agreement. Much like collective bargaining agreements, the strict interpretation and adherence to employer policies can be similarly problematic.

A Conventional Scenario

When an unexpected event backs an employee into a corner, management, unions and employees need to work together. If they fight over the literal language of the collective bargaining agreement, or employer policies, they can ultimately harm all concerned. This story happens in many companies—and may have happened to you, just with different facts. An employee caught between his company’s management and his union or between two dueling managers applying different rules. In this story, which has a fix we could all learn from, is a long-haul truck driver with a pregnant wife. He wanted to stay close to home. So he asked for, and received, a transfer to a local route


hauling freight around the city. A month into his new work shift, he ran into a reality wall. The local hauls greatly increased his frequency of loading and unloading freight thereby aggravating his back. He tried to tough it out but couldn’t. A month after his transfer, he asked to return back to the long-haul route. This would seem to be a reasonable request with a simple solution. Instead, he ignited the perfect storm— because management and union hadn’t worked out how to work together for the benefit of the employee.

Who won here, and why?

No one won. The company lost time and money fighting a legal battle and lost a good long-haul trucker. The trucker lost work and sustained the rigors of a legal battle. The union failed to bring an effective result for its member. The lesson learned is that a little flexibility on the front-end, allowing a re-transfer within 12 months, would have been an ounce of prevention. q

A No-Win Situation

Because the union agreement restricted transfers to a maximum of one per year, management didn’t change his route, leaving the driver with an aggravated back driving an aggravating route. He continued but worked slower, earning a reprimand for his slow pace. Faced with progressive discipline, the driver took unpaid medical leave. After a lengthy leave, the driver tried to return to work. He gave his management a doctor’s note describing physical limitations, hoping to force his management to place him back on his long-haul route. The employer refused and insisted the driver couldn’t return to work until he could report without medical restrictions. The driver sued, citing the employer for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by not accommodating him. In Keith Powers v. USF Holland Inc., U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, Dec. 15, 2011, the appellate court sided with the company and ruled that because the driver was able to handle long-haul trucking, he was “not substantially limited in the major life activity of working.”

©2012 Chris Arend

Richard Birdsall

About the Author

Richard Birdsall, B.A., J.D., is a senior consultant for The Growth Company. Birdsall uses his broad experience conducting training in legal compliance, investigation, risk assessment, team building, mediation and alternative dispute resolution. He is particularly adept at ferreting out troublesome HR problems ©2012 Chris Arend and then finding creative ways to solve them. If you have an HR question you would like addressed in a future column, send it in a pithy e-mail to Richard@the growth • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Green Star welcomes our newest member, Lime Solar!

We look forward to your Green Star Award process!

Courier Service for Your Every Need

Alaska’s Premier Photobooth Rental Company

Alaskan Owned & Operated No Job Too Big or Too Small One-time or Regular Service Anchorage or Anywhere!

color or

Please contact our office and one of our family member representatives will be happy to assist you with questions or to arrange courier service.

Since 1971

(907) 345-4980

black +white photos Real Classic Photobooths Customized for corporate holiday parties, events, meetings, or charity sponsorships



N o. 907.865.9141 • 907.479.0010 Anchorage • Fairbanks • Girdwood • �e Valley • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012



NANA Diversifies with Piksik Growing an industry out of

frozen ground

By Molly Dischner


Photo by Bob Crockett


rom “The Frozen Ground” to Super Bowl commercials, Alaska is capturing an increasing amount of screen time throughout America. “There’s a lot of interest in Alaska,” says Robin Kornfield, NANA Development Corp.’s vice president of communications and marketing. Piksik is a subsidiary of NANA, an Alaska Native corporation that has found a business opportunity helping foster Alaska’s national exposure through supporting the film industry. Since its beginnings, NANA has learned to recognize and exploit opportunities in Alaska’s long-standing anchor industries, such as fishing and tourism, to benefit its shareholders. “Film is something new,” Kornfield says, “and it’s probably the first something new we’ve had in quite some time.” Advancing the film industry’s presence in Alaska offers young Alaskans another option to stay and work in-state. A recent Piksik project got national attention when it ran in some markets— but not Alaska—during the Super Bowl. The commercial was for Suzuki. It was filmed in Canada, but the actors were from Alaska. “It featured a man and a woman who lived in an igloo,” Kornfield says. “The people involved were just thrilled to get that chance.” Giving Alaskans an opportunity to participate in the film industry was NANA’s fundamental motivation to get into the business. NANA first got involved through a company called Evergreen Films, an independent film production studio headquartered in Anchorage. Evergreen had approached NANA to see if it was interested in supporting crews filming in Alaska. NANA signed on as a partner to Evergreen in 2010.

IMAX shoot at Hubbard glacier.

But the corporation didn’t want to be just a silent investor: NANA quickly recognized that many of the services they provide for other industries were also needed for films, including catering, security, housing and logistics. “Our board saw an opportunity to build a whole new line of business,” Kornfield says, “We’re basically working to build a business that ties into NANA.” Piksik’s business is to help find people with expertise in every aspect of filmmaking for visiting productions, from providing the services NANA has long provided to identifying and devel-

© 2012 Chris Arend Photography

Robin Kornfield

oping or contracting qualified support divisions outside of NANA’s current areas of mastery. At its core, Piksik is an adaptable entity that addresses all needs of the film industry in order to increase Alaska’s appeal as a filming location. Like many of NANA’s decisions, the choice to pursue film business was meant to serve shareholders. The corporation’s shareholders are young and old; they live north of the Arctic Circle, and in Alaska’s urban centers. The expansion into the film industry provides “one more outlet for our shareholders,” Kornfield says. Films employ more than just theatrically inclined Alaskans. “They all need food and they all need security,” Kornfield says; but beyond the basics, every production Piksik works on requires a little something different. “Sometimes its casting, sometimes its casting and location,” Kornfield says. Films and commercials often have specific individual needs, while always needing the basics of catering and security. Commercial producers typically spend about a week in Alaska. They might use Piksik to help find a lighting crew, local cast members and coordi- • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

nate the whole effort. Making a movie is a longer process, often requiring additional services and more time in the state. Last year, the company helped with a short animated film about dinosaurs. Piksik also provided services for “The Frozen Ground,” a thriller based on actual events starting Nicholas Cage, Vanessa Hudgens and John Cusack; which is set to be released in December of 2012. For that film, the company worked on casting, location scouting and logistics. With the differing requirements for various productions, flexibility is essential. Piksik contracts and expands depending on the scopes of the projects. As of February of 2012, Piksik has three employees and one intern working on various projects. The company is bidding on several national commercials that could involve Alaska. At the time of this writing, Piksik has provided services for about 10 commercials, including an American Eagle shoot, and has worked on two films.

Photo by Deborah Schildt

Bob Crockett

Employing Alaskans

Together, Piksik’s three permanent employees have a combined total of more than 60 years of film industry experience. General Manager Bob Crockett’s biggest contribution to the team is his vast experience as a location scout. Production manager Deborah Schildt is the state’s only certified casting director. Schildt has cast 26 feature films, and worked in Los Angeles for eight years. She has built a database of talent by visiting every major town in the state to find people who are interested in

acting, and people interested in other aspects of film production. Recently, she cast both “Big Miracle” and “The Frozen Ground.” According to Schildt, approximately 5,000 Alaskans were interested in working on “The Frozen Ground,” which isn’t unusual, and Alaska’s geographic diversity—as talent comes from every region—is one of the key components to the industry’s success. “We run out of time before we run out of people that are excited and enthusiastic. We found talent all across the map,” Schildt says. There’s diversity in the needed skills, too. Movies employ more than just actors, although a number of Alaskans have earned a paycheck from their work on screen. “They need carpenters to build sets, they need electricians to light those sets. They need a whole bunch of services that someone needs to provide,” Kornfield says. On any given day, 200 people were involved in the production of Big Miracle. That included prop makers, painters, seamstresses and others. In total, more than 1,000 Alaskans were employed as a result of the film, accord-

Advertise directly to upper-level managers

Bill Morris Advertising Account Manager

Eighty-two percent of our 100,000+ monthly readers are Alaska business owners, CEOs or upper-level decision-makers. Give Bill a call to see how he can help your marketing plans be golden.

Partner with ASTAC and save. ASTAC makes it more affordable than ever to stay connected to your business customers. • New reduced monthly business line charges

• Brand new customized plans will help you save

• Call 1-800-478-6409 for a sales executive who will create a plan tailored for your company

(907) 276-4373 or cell (907) 268-0052 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


ing to a study done by the McDowell Group. When working on films, NANA deploys some of its core business lines, including catering, hospitality, and transportation, to address the needs of the production team. Piksik also works to find the best available providers to supply those services NANA cannot address in-house, such as lighting and sound. The company wants to engage more than just its own pre-existing businesses in the new field. “It’s utilizing the whole community of support services,” Kornfield says.

Homegrown industry

Piksik is still a new company. “Learning about what the requirements are in the industry has been part of the learning curve in this first year,” Kornfield says. One of the lessons has been about the pace and focus of the work. Each task has to be addressed with full effort until it’s time for the next one, much like an army moving in to perform a task, and then moving to a new task. “It is a very interesting, intense experience to work on a film,” Kornfield says. Next, Piksik is working to expand into post production services. Ideally, the company would like to be in a position to offer jobs to people interested in film, graphic design and other computer expertise. Those jobs would help keep the younger generation, and the generations to follow, in Alaska.

Photo by Murray Bartholomew

Deborah Schildt

Photo by Bob Crockett

her the most. “I want to see them do it again,” she says. “I want to help them do it again.” However, providing continued opportunities for youth requires more than just an internal decision. Piksik sees the state tax credit as crucial to keeping cameras rolling in state. “Alaska has become a high interest for producers because of the tax incentive that is in place,” Kornfield says. The incentive is called the Alaska Film Production Incentive Program. It offers certain productions a tax credit of up to 44 percent, which Schildt said seeing young Alas- they can then sell to businesses kans interested in the industry, within Alaska that pay a state corparticularly kids, is what excites porate income tax. The credit has

Fashion shoot at the Matanuska Glacier.


an extra incentive for work in rural Alaska for productions that employ Alaskans and work done in the winter. Productions must spend at least $100,000 in Alaska. Piksik sees more than the tax incentive as good reason to film in Alaska. Location and a general interest in the state are also helping propel the industry. In order to facilitate their vision of a growing film industry in Alaska, they must work cooperatively with various Alaska film support service companies outside of Piksik. “We all work together to produce a film,” Kornfield says. Despite the cooperative effort of many companies, and even while exploiting every other film resource in town, there are only enough service providers to make one film at a time. In order for the film industry to grow, those support industries need to grow. Ideally, the local service providers will expand in order to accommodate more than one film or commercial production crew at a time. Although Alaska has long been the subject or setting in several movies, most have been filmed elsewhere. “If we have a tax incentive in place it causes the producer to take a look at what we have to offer,” Kornfield says. Piksik hopes that when producers pause to consider Alaska, the advantage of qualified support in combination with the tax incentive and authentic setting will convince them to produce in the state. In a way, the company’s mission, style and purpose are all wrapped up in its name: “Piksik is a word that means quick response,” Kornfield says. The name has been well-received by shareholders and the film industry alike, who see NANA’s creation as a quick response to a need and opportunity for local business and community. And if anyone is able to personify such a name, it’s a company that has helped a new and lucrative industry bloom from what production crews used to regard as frozen ground. “We wanted to create this mentality of being quick to respond,” Kornfield says, “because that’s the nature of the film business.” q • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


As an air taxi pilot

in Bristol Bay,

sometimes you can’t believe you’re getting paid...

to see this.

— Norm Coupchiak,

Coupchiak Air Owner & BBNC Shareholder


ALASKA THIS MONTH Compiled By Nancy Pounds


Photo courtesy of UAA

Experience the Future of Cuisine Scene



ucy’s, the University of Alaska Anchorage fine dining training field, concludes its spring semester offerings this month. The current menu, which includes wasabi-lime crab salad and cedar-wrapped grilled salmon, will be served through April 27. The program begins fine dining service again in late September, said Lynette Peplow, academic assistant at the hospitality/dietetics and nutrition division of the UAA Culinary Arts & Hospitality Program Lucy’s is located at Lucy Cuddy Hall on the UAA campus. The bakery, kitchen and dining room serve as proving grounds for young Alaskans preparing to serve as the next generation of inspired cuisine artists and hospitality gurus. The 65-seat dining room is open Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Guests are seated every 15 minutes, with the last seating at 12:30 p.m. Four to five student-servers work at Lucy’s as part of a hospitality service class, and up to 20 students work in the kitchen and bakery classes, Peplow says. The current menu is available at and features seared Alaska sea scallops, grilled romaine salad, crispy Thai pork and an open-faced ostrich meatloaf sandwich. Reservations are available online at or by phone: 907-786-1122. ••• • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012



Photo courtesy of Anchorage Concert Association

Jazz Musician Heralds Springtime


nchorage jazz fans have marked their calendars for Chris Botti in concert set for April 21. The Grammy Award-winner and trumpeter will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts Atwood Concert Hall. Botti previously performed in Anchorage Nov. 15, 2008, to a sold-out crowd, said Jason Grenn, marketing director for the Anchorage Concert Association. The success of that show prompted concert promoters to book Botti for another Anchorage performance. Botti, one of America’s top-selling jazz instrumentalists, has performed with symphonies around the world and with icons such as Sting, Andrea Bocelli, Paul Simon and Steven Tyler. Botti has worked with PBS to produce special performances and subsequent CDs, and has performed at illustrious events, including the World Series and the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. Botti, as well as less renowned jazz musicians, always seem to hit the right note with Alaskan audiences. “People really appreciate it when we bring top jazz groups up,” Grenn said. “People are pretty in tune to jazz up here.” For more information, visit or to purchase tickets, visit ••• • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


ALASKA THIS MONTH Compiled By Nancy Pounds


Photo by Amy Quesenberry/Alyeska Resort

Alyeska’s Spring Carnival Heralds End of Season


laskans ready for spring skiing and light-spirited antics will head for Alyeska Resort’s longtime Spring Carnival this month. This year’s Spring Carnival is set for April 20-22. The weekend includes the Slush Cup, an event requiring costumed skiers to ski or snowboard down a short run to skim the length of a 90-foot-long pond. The winner will receive an Alyeska Resort season pass. The competition is limited to 50 participants. Last year KWHL radio personalities Bob Lester and Mark Colavecchio judged a costume contest to choose 20 of the Slush Cup participants, said Amy Quesenberry, Alyeska’s marketing manager. The costume contest, popular in its debut, will return this year. The costume contest is on Friday, a prelude to the Saturday Slush Cup. On Sunday, participants launch their decorated mannequins down the Tanaka trail for the Dummy Downhill. The Tug of War, also on Sunday, features five-person teams facing off across the Alyeska Resort pond. Other Spring Carnival events include live music Friday and Saturday evenings at the Sitzmark. “We are really excited about Spring Carnival this year and looking for it to be the best one yet,” said event organizer Jen Davies. Due to Southcentral Alaska’s abundant snowfall this winter, crews were pushing snow toward the slush pond area by mid-February, she noted. For more information, visit •••

84 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


13-14 Solos and Arias

A sophisticated evening showcasing a unique collaboration between Anchorage Opera and Alaska Dance Theatre Company that will unfold into an inspiring, haunting blend of choreography, opera and music. Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. 13-22 A Raisin in the Sun

In one of the greatest domestic dramas about the American Dream, four generations face the cost of dreams deferred and struggle with the decision to move out of a Chicago ghetto. Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. 14-15 Spring Fling for Women

Enjoy savvy shopping, beauty tips, health screenings and a day filled with fun. Spoil yourself with gourmet treats or a makeover. Egan Center. 27-29 Native Youth Olympics

More than 500 athletes from communities across the state will demonstrate their strength, agility and skill in traditional games including the Alaskan high kick, seal hop and more at the 2012 NYO Games Alaska. Dena’ina Center.



Arctic Man Ski & Sno-Go Classic A race for teams of two skilled competitors that tests the strength of an athlete and the horsepower of a snowmobile, the Arctic Man is one of the world’s toughest downhill ski races, and an exciting snowmobile race, all in one.

Eagle River

21-22 Celebrating 25 Seasons in Song

The Alaska Chamber Singers recognize 25 seasons of exceptional choral singing, featuring two highly esteemed artists: renowned choral conductor Anton Armstrong and celebrated composer Libby Larsen. Larsen’s newest work was commissioned for this very concert, don’t miss the debut. Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (Anchorage) Saturday, 8 p.m.; Saint Andrew Catholic Church Sunday, 4 p.m.



Le Vent du Nord Fairbanks Concert Association presents one of the most-loved Quebec folk outfits in the world. Enjoy songs from traditional folk repertoire to original compositions. On stage, these four friends achieve peaks of happiness they eagerly share with any and all audiences. Hering Auditorium. 20-22 Fairbanks Outdoor Show

Find everything you’ll need for summer fun: fishing charters, hunting expeditions, boat and ATV trailers, rafting, kayaking, outdoor gear and wear, fishing and hunting supplies, camping supplies, taxidermists and much more. Carlson Center.



Thodos Dance Chicago This ensemble of well-rounded artists delivers contemporary dance with an appealing style and innovative flair. Juneau-Douglas High School Auditorium, 7:30 p.m. 9-15

Alaska Folk Festival Join the largest annual gathering of musicians from Alaska (and beyond) for a week of performances, workshops and dances. All evening concerts are free and open to the public at Centennial Hall.


13-15 A Homer Alaska Weekend to Kill For!

Enjoy lots of laughs and lots of suspense at Land’s End. The Murder Mystery Weekend includes: three-day, two-night interactive weekend adventure. Lands End Resort at the end of the spit. 20


Skagway International Folk Festival The festival, now in its 26th year, is a fundraiser for the Skagway Arts Council drawing from donations at the door. Each musician or group will be allotted 15 minutes performance time. First Presbyterian Church. Potluck, 5 p.m.; concert, 7 p.m. 20-21 Spring Show of Winter Work Art Show

Come celebrate Skagway’s abundant creativity and view the projects created by the budding artists who attended the stained glass, leather mask, drawing and painting classes sponsored by the Arts Council this winter. Presbyterian Fellowship Hall. 14


Second Saturday See the many talented and art-loving folks in Talkeetna every second Saturday of the month throughout the year. Festivities include concerts, art openings and other great events. Various locations throughout Talkeetna. 1-12


Tailgate Alaska A 12-day festival with snow-science and survival education, sled-riding and sled-maintenance clinics, side events, live concerts, vendors, beer garden and parties throughout the duration. Thompson Pass.



Alaska Home, Garden & Outdoor Living Show See the latest in home, garden and Alaskan style outdoor living products and services. Free admission and parking. Menard Sports Complex. 20-21 5th Annual Today’s Woman Show

The event features jewelry and handbags, make-up tips and tricks, gourmet treat samples, runway fashion shows, cooking classes, health screenings, everything for your wedding, and more. Free admission. • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


special section 2012 CORPORATE 100

Alaska Business Monthly’s

2012 CORPORATE 100 Top Citizens of Industry


ongratulations to this year’s Corporate 100. Help us salute and honor these top

citizens of industry that we’ve highlighted in this annual special section of companies doing business in our great state. These 100 companies employ 63,782 in Alaska, and, taking into account parent company and global presence data, the number of jobs rises to more than 1.48 million—not to mention the billions of dollars in revenues generated. In addition to all the goods and services supplied and the hard work performed to keep the economic engine running, these companies and their employees all contribute to the common good through community involvement. Whether it is dollars, volunteers or the way they do business, the Corporate 100 exemplify corporate citizenship.

Afognak Native Corp./Alutiiq 215 Mission Rd., Ste. 212 Kodiak, AK 99503

Business Activities: Government contracting. Corporate Citizenship: Alutiiq Museum, Native Village of Afognak, Junior Achievement of Alaska, Port Lions School, Special Olympics, Alaska Native Justice Center and more.

907-762-9457 Top Executive Richard Hobbs, Pres./CEO |

Year Founded: 1977 Estab. in Alaska: 1977 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 165 Worldwide: 5,000

Native Organization

Alaska Airlines 4750 Old Int'l Airport Rd. Anchorage, AK 99502

Alaska Air Group Inc.

907-266-7230 Top Executive Marilyn Romano, Regional VP, Alaska

Seattle, WA ALK

Business Activities: Alaska Airlines and its sister carrier, Horizon Air, together provide passenger and cargo service to more than 90 cities in Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii and the Lower 48.

Year Founded: 1932 Estab. in Alaska: 1932

Corporate Citizenship: Company leaders serve on boards of a variety of organizations, including the University of Alaska Foundation, Commonwealth North, the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum, Alaska State Chamber and more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 1,700 Worldwide: 9,640


Alaska Commercial Co. 550 W. 64th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99518

Business Activities: Largest rural retailer of merchandise and groceries in Alaska, including a wholesale division that sells groceries to more than 150 rural stores, and a meat-packing plant.

The North West Co.


Winnipeg, MB Canada

Top Executive Rex Wilhelm, Pres./COO


Corporate Citizenship: Major sponsor of Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, ASAA, Junior Achievement, Special Olympics, Idit by Two, the Food Bank of Alaska, American Diabetes Association, and many other regional and local events.

Year Founded: 1867 Estab. in Alaska: 1867 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 850 Worldwide: 5,500

Retail & Wholesale Trade |

Alaska: $200.00M Global: $1.50B

Alaska Communications 600 Telephone Ave. Anchorage, AK 99503

Business Activities: Alaska Communications is a leading provider of high-speed wireless, mobile broadband, Internet, local, longdistance and advanced data solutions to consumers and businesses across Alaska.

Year Founded: 1999 Estab. in Alaska: 1999


Corporate Citizenship: Through corporate donations and employee volunteer work, we give back to help build a better Alaska. Programs include Employee Volunteer Grants, Summer of Heroes Youth Awards and United Way Campaign.

Top Executive Anand Vadapalli, President and CEO Telecommunications


ALSK | • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 832 Worldwide: 855 Alaska: $341.52M • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


special section 2012 CORPORATE 100

Alaska Housing Finance Corp. PO Box 101020 Anchorage, AK 99510 907-330-8447

State of Alaska, Department of Revenue

Top Executive Daniel Fauske, CEO/Exec. Dir.

Juneau, AK

Business Activities: Statewide self-supporting public corp. providing single- and multi-family financing, energy and weatherization programs, and low-income rental assistance.

Year Founded: 1971 Estab. in Alaska: 1971

Corporate Citizenship: Big Brothers/Big Sisters, United Way, Chamber of Commerce, Clean-up Day, Project Homeless Connect, StandDown, Paint the Town, Resource Development Council, Bean's Cafe, Campfire USA.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 300 Worldwide: 300

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate |

Alaska Industrial Hardware Inc. 2192 Viking Dr. Anchorage, AK 99501

Business Activities: Retail, tools, hardware and construction supplies.

Year Founded: 1959 Estab. in Alaska: 1959

Top Executive Mike Kangas, Pres./Gen. Mgr.

Corporate Citizenship: United Way, Bean's Cafe, Food Bank of AK, Boys & Girls Club, Iron Dog, Willow Jr. 100, STAR, AKEELAHouse, AWAIC, Bird Treatment Center, AFD Search & Rescue, AK Peace Officers, APD and more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 182 Worldwide: 182

Retail & Wholesale Trade |

Alaska: $52.50M Global: $52.50M

Business Activities: AIC provides all forms of heavy civil & arctic construction including ice & snow roads, earthworks, gravel & ice islands, bridges & culverts, structural foundations, dock facilities, dredging & more.

Year Founded: 1987 Estab. in Alaska: 1987


Alaska Interstate Construction LLC 301 W. Northern Lights Blvd., Ste. 600 Anchorage, AK 99503 907-562-2792

Nabors Industries Ltd. Cook Inlet Region Inc.

Top Executive Steve Percy, Pres.

Hamilton Bermuda

Corporate Citizenship: AIC supports Boys and Girls Club of Alaska, Shriners Hospitals, Boy Scouts of America, Special Olympics, Scotty Gomez Foundation, United Way, Challenge Alaska, ANSEP and more.



Alaska Railroad Corp. PO Box 107500 Anchorage, AK 99510-7500 907-265-2300

State of Alaska, Department of Revenue

Top Executive Christopher Aadnesen, Pres./CEO

Juneau, AK

907-276-1131 Top Executive Annie Holt, CEO

HCA Nashville, TN HCA

Alaska: $75.00M Global: $75.00M

Business Activities: Freight, passenger and real estate services.

Year Founded: 1914 Estab. in Alaska: 1914

Corporate Citizenship: School Business Partnerships, Anchorage Downtown Partnership, member of all Railbelt chambers of commerce, member of Resource Development Council.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 685 Worldwide: 685 |

Alaska: $179.00M

Business Activities: 24-hour ER dept, maternity center, LifeFlight Air Ambulance, cancer care center, neuroscience center, heart center & cardiac rehabilitation, diagnostic imaging, orthopedic & spine center, and more.

Year Founded: 1963 Estab. in Alaska: 1963

Corporate Citizenship: Blood Bank of Alaska, Red Cross, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, free immunization clinics, free community health fairs, and more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 900 Worldwide: 900


Alaska Regional Hospital 2801 DeBarr Rd. Anchorage, AK 99508

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 300 Worldwide: 350

Health Care

Alaska Sales & Service 1300 E. Fifth Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501

Business Activities: Commercial and fleet, GM commercial vehicles, new and used vehicle sales, service and parts.

Year Founded: 1944 Estab. in Alaska: 68

Corporate Citizenship: United Way Food Drive, United Way Giving, Alaska Child Passenger Safety Partnership.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 220 Worldwide: 220

907-265-7535 Top Executive Diana Pfeiffer, Pres. |

Retail & Wholesale Trade

88 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

special section 2012 CORPORATE 100

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union PO Box 196613 Anchorage, AK 99519-6613

Business Activities: Financial servicesÑsavings, checking, loans; investment & trust services; mortgage & real estate services; title & escrow services; insuranceÑpersonal & business.

907-563-4567 Top Executive William Eckhardt, Pres.

Corporate Citizenship: Donated to more than 200 community/ service organizations statewide. Helps raise money for the Alaska USA Foundation, providing funds for services for children, veterans, active duty military/families.

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate

Alaska: $205.87M Global: $316.06M

Aleut Corporation 4000 Old Seward Hwy., Ste. 300 Anchorage, AK 99503

Business Activities: Government contracting, oil and fuel storage, commercial and residential real estate, gravel operations, oil well testing and instrumentation, mechanical contracting.

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972

907-561-4300 Top Executive David Gillespie, CEO

Corporate Citizenship: Aleut Foundation, scholarships, burial assistance, culture camps, language, environmental protection, economic development, housing, vocational rehab and more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 125 Worldwide: 450

Native Organization |

Global: $143.05M

Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. PO Box 196660, MS 542 Anchorage, AK 99519-6660

Business Activities: Designed, built, operates and maintains the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), pump stations and Valdez Marine Terminal on behalf of five owner companies.

Year Founded: 1970 Estab. in Alaska: 1970

907-787-8700 Top Executive Thomas Barrett, President

Corporate Citizenship: Contributes to nonprofit organizations and causes that support children and families. The company offers employee matching, volunteer gifts and more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 790 Worldwide: 790

Oil & Gas |

Alyeska Resort PO Box 249 Girdwood, AK 99587 907-754-1111

Business Activities: Alaska's premier year-round destination featuring the luxurious Hotel Alyeska. Just 40 miles from Anchorage, Alyeska is your base camp for your Alaskan adventures.

Top Executive Mark Weakland, VP, Hotel GM

Corporate Citizenship: ATIA, ACVB, ABA, NTA, Four Valleys Community School, Blueberry Festival, Spring Carnival & concerts.

Travel &Tourism |

American Fast Freight Inc. 7400 45th St. Ct. E. Fife, WA 98424

Business Activities: Ocean/air freight, household moving and storage, project logistics, warehousing and distribution, cold storage, Alaska intrastate and Alcan trucking.

Year Founded: 1988 Estab. in Alaska: 1988

253-926-5000 Top Executive Tim Jacobson, CEO

Corporate Citizenship: Great Alaska Shootout 2011 sponsor, Irondog 2012 sponsor, donated trailers to Food Bank of Alaska, Red Cross supporter, Alaska General Contractors sponsor.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 160 Worldwide: 365

Transportation |

American Seafoods Group LLC 2025 First Ave., Ste. 900 Seattle, WA 98121

Business Activities: Catches and processes Bering Sea pollock, Pacific cod, and yellow-fin sole. Global seafood distribution network. $150 million dock and cold storage facility in Dutch Harbor.


American Seafoods Group LLC

Top Executive Bernt Bodal, CEO, Chairman

Seattle, WA



Corporate Citizenship: University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska Pacific University, The American Seafoods' Community Advisory Board and Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center. | • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Year Founded: 1948 Estab. in Alaska: 1948 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 1,325 Worldwide: 1,648

Year Founded: 1959 Estab. in Alaska: 1959 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 550 Worldwide: 550

Year Founded: 1988 Estab. in Alaska: 1988 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 70 Worldwide: 1,562 Alaska: $260.00M Global: $490.00M

Fort Knox First things first. At Fort Knox, our priorities are simple. Our people. Our community. Our environment. We invest in our people, so they are trained to do the best job possible. We support our community with charitable s First g in h T t s ir F donations, volunteer hours and local purchases. We adhere to the toughest standards to protect water and air quality. These are our priorities. Because at Fort Knox, it’s about putting first things first.

Fairbanks Gold Mining Inc. A Kinross company are simple. r top priorities t. Our environmen

At Fort Knox, ou

special section 2012 CORPORATE 100

Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Center 2601 E. Fifth Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501

Business Activities: New and used auto sales, service and parts sales.

Year Founded: 1963 Estab. in Alaska: 1963

Corporate Citizenship: Boys & Girls Club, Iditarod Race, Fur Rendezvous, Aces, Intervention Help Line, Alaska Raceway Park, Downtown Partnership, Boy Scouts of America and more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 95 Worldwide: 95 |

Alaska: $64.55M Global: $64.55M

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972


Business Activities: Energy services, petroleum refining & marketing, engineering, construction, government services, resource development, commercial lending, tourism and communications.

Top Executive Rex A. Rock Sr., Pres./CEO

Corporate Citizenship: North Slope specific and statewide nonprofit organizations.

Native Organization

Alaska: $1.70B Global: $2.50B

ASRC Energy Services Inc. 3900 C Street, Suite 701 Anchorage, AK 99503

Business Activities: AES offers expertise from the earliest regulatory stage to exploration, drilling support, engineering, fabrication, construction, project management, operations and maintenance and field abandonment.

Year Founded: 1985 Estab. in Alaska: 1985

907-276-1331 Top Executive Rodney Udd, Pres./CEO Retail & Wholesale Trade

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation PO Box 129 Barrow, AK 99723


Arctic Slope Regional Corporation

Top Executive Jeff Kinneeveauk, Pres./CEO

Barrow, AK

Corporate Citizenship: Supporting and focusing on activities that promote a healthy community, AES volunteers, fundraises, and offers sponsorship to charitable, youth, educational, and cultural organizations.

Industrial Services |

AT&T 505 E. Bluff Dr. Anchorage, AK 99501

Business Activities: Connecting people with their world everywhere they live & work, and doing it better than anyone else. Solutions include mobility, data, voice, cloud services, application management & managed security



Top Executive Shawn Uschmann, Director of Business Sales

Dallas, TX T

Corporate Citizenship: AT&T invests significant resources to advance education, strengthen communities & improve lives. In 2010, we contributed more than $148 million through corporate, employee & Foundation giving programs

Telecommunications | @ATTCustomerCare

Bering Straits Native Corporation 4600 Debarr Rd. Ste., 200 Anchorage, AK 99508

Business Activities: Government service contracts, construction, property management, IT, aerospace services, logistics, green energy, mining support and facilities O & M.

907-563-3788 Top Executive Gail Schubert, Pres./CEO

Corporate Citizenship: Supports Bering Straits Foundation, Alaska Federation of Natives, Inuit Circumpolar Council-AK, NACTEC, Scotty Gomez Foundation and local organizations including law enforcement.

Native Organization |

Bethel Native Corporation PO Box 719 Bethel, AK 99559

Business Activities: BNC delivers a broad range of services including project management, construction, real estate investment, telecom, environmental design, demolition/abatement and logistics support services.

907-543-2124 Top Executive Anastasia Hoffman, Pres./CEO

Corporate Citizenship: Bethel Native Corporation, through vendor and employment opportunities, actively fosters an environment of inclusion and participation in the many communities in which we perform our services.

Native Organization |

92 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 4,380 Worldwide: 10,630

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 3,175 Worldwide: 4,625 Alaska: $462 Global: $638

Year Founded: 1876 Estab. in Alaska: 1971 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 530 Worldwide: 256,000

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 588 Worldwide: 1,186 Global: $197.71M

Year Founded: 1973 Estab. in Alaska: 1973 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 25 Worldwide: 40 Alaska: $35.00M Global: $35.00M

special section 2012 CORPORATE 100

BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. PO Box 196612 Anchorage, AK 99515-6612



London England

Top Executive John MingŽ, President


Business Activities: BP operates 15 North Slope oil fields, four North Slope pipelines, and owns a significant interest in six other producing fields.

Year Founded: 1959 Estab. in Alaska: 1959

Corporate Citizenship: BPÕs Alaskan workforce includes 2,100 employees and more than 6,000 contractor jobs in Alaska. Our employees support community organizations in 49 Alaska communities.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 2,100 Worldwide: 23,000

Oil & Gas

Bristol Bay Native Corporation 111 W. 16th Ave., Ste. 400 Anchorage, AK 99501

Business Activities: Petroleum distribution, construction, government services, oilfield and industrial services.

Year Founded: 1971 Estab. in Alaska: 1972

Top Executive Jason Metrokin, Pres./CEO

Corporate Citizenship: Alaska Federation of Natives, Alaska Village Initiatives, BLM Resource Advisory Council, Resource Development Council, Alaska Wilderness and Tourism Association, SWAMC, BBNC Education Foundation.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 375 Worldwide: 3,855

Native Organization |

Alaska: $357.05M Global: $1.67B

Calista Corporation 301 Calista Ct., Ste. A Anchorage, AK 99518-3028

Business Activities: Government contracting, remote and camp services, resource development, construction and engineering, real estate, publishing, advertising and media, heavy equipment salesrental-service.

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972

907-279-5516 Top Executive Andrew Guy, President/CEO

Corporate Citizenship: Involvement with Resource Development Council, AK Mining Association, KYUK radio, AK Native Heritage Center, Rotary, Boys and Girls Club & Girl Scouts, Cama'i Festival, scholarships, internships.

Native Organization |

Carlile Transportation Systems 1800 E. First Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501-1833

Business Activities: Full-service transportation company.

Year Founded: 1980 Estab. in Alaska: 1980

Corporate Citizenship: AWCC, Alaska Aces, Fairbanks Ice Dogs, Anchorage Opera and Symphony, Food Bank, AK Sealife Center, Homer Food Pantry, BBBS, Mountain View Elementary

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 500 Worldwide: 675 |

Alaska: $146.00M

Business Activities: CH2M HILL offers consulting, engineering, procurement, logistics, fabrication, construction, construction management, operations and maintenance services that will support entire project life cycles.

Year Founded: 1946 Estab. in Alaska: 1962


907-276-7797 Top Executive Linda Leary, Pres. Transportation

CH2M HILL 949 E. 36th Ave., Ste. 500 Anchorage, AK 99508 907-762-1500


Top Executive Mark Lasswell, President and Alaska Regional General Manager

Englewood, CO

Corporate Citizenship: Through volunteer programs including Habitat for Humanity and United Way, as well as various local business-education partnerships, our employees help better the place where we live, work, and play.

Industrial Services |

Chenega Corporation 3000 C St., Ste. 301 Anchorage, AK 99503-3975

Business Activities: GovÕt contracting: military, intelligence & operations support, environmental and healthcare solutions, technical & installation services, security services, construction and electrical contracting.

907-277-5706 Top Executive Charles W. Totemoff, CEO/Pres.

Corporate Citizenship: AK Fed. of Natives, AK Russian Orthodox Church, Chenega Heritage Inc., Chenega Future, Inc., Wounded Warrior Project AK, AK Vocational Technical Center, Chugach School Dist.

Native Organization |

94 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 385 Worldwide: 1,265 Alaska: $114.50M Global: $301.33M

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 3,100 Worldwide: 28,500

Year Founded: 1974 Estab. in Alaska: 1974 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 320 Worldwide: 5,200 Global: $1.10B

Doyon, Limited provides high-quality • oil field services • security • engineering management • construction • facility management • tourism

Doyon Values • financially responsible • pride and respect in Native ownership • socially and culturally responsible • commitment to the long-term • honesty and integrity • commitment to excellence • respect for employees

Celebrating 40 Years of

LEADING in All We Do














special section 2012 CORPORATE 100 Chugach Alaska Corporation 3800 Centerpoint Drive Anchorage, AK 99503-4396 907-563-8866

Business Activities: Chugach is a premier provider of base operations and facilities maintenance, construction, civil engineering, oil and gas, manufacturing, education, environmental/ oil spill response, IT, etc.

Top Executive Sheri Buretta, Chairman

Corporate Citizenship: United Way, Alaska Food Bank, American Heart Association, Special Olympics, March of Dimes and KNBA.

Native Organization |

Chugach Electric Association Inc. 5601 Electron Dr. Anchorage, AK 99518

Business Activities: Retail and wholesale electric service within the Railbelt.

Year Founded: 1948 Estab. in Alaska: 1948

Corporate Citizenship: Various state chambers, AEDC, United Way, Resource Development Council, Commonwealth, BOMA and Association of General Contractors.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 305 Worldwide: 305

907-563-7494 Top Executive Bradley Evans, CEO

907-523-3300 Top Executive Wayne Zigarlick, General Manager

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 707 Worldwide: 5,426 |


Coeur Alaska Inc. 3031 Clinton Dr., Ste. 202 Juneau, AK 99801

Year Founded: 1971 Estab. in Alaska: 1971

Business Activities: Mining company. Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. Coeur d'Alene, ID

Corporate Citizenship: Juneau and Alaska State Chambers of Commerce, Haines Chamber of Commerce, Alaska Miners Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Juneau Economic Development Council, Southeast Conference.



Year Founded: 1987 Estab. in Alaska: 1987 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 250 Worldwide: 250

Smooth. Since 1986, Inlet Petroleum Company has been keeping work flowing smoothly across Alaska – from Prudhoe Bay to Bristol Bay, and all the places in between. The state’s largest lubricant supplier also offers a variety of other high-quality products and services, ranging from fuels, and automotive and industrial glycol to spill response products and detailing supplies.

“Pu tt i n g Se rvice Into Sales Fo r A l l A l as kans”



Lubricants • Fuels • Antifreeze • Additives • Cleaners • Lighting • Wiper Blades • Oil Analysis • Spill Response Supplies • Automotive Detailing Supplies • Lubrication & Site Surveys

96 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

2012 CORPORATE 100 special section ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. PO Box 100360 Anchorage, AK 99510

Business Activities: Largest producer of oil and gas in Alaska, with major operations on Alaska's North Slope and in Cook Inlet.

Year Founded: 1952 Estab. in Alaska: 1952

Corporate Citizenship: Provides statewide support to almost every nonprofit sector, including education, environment, arts, health and social services, youth programs and public broadcasting.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 1,100 Worldwide: 29,800

Oil & Gas |

Global: $245.00B

Construction Machinery Industrial 5400 Homer Dr. Anchorage, AK 99518

Business Activities: CMI sells, rents and services heavy equipment.

Year Founded: 1985 Estab. in Alaska: 1985

Corporate Citizenship: Sponsors schools sports teams all over Alaska, involved in numerous fundraisers.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 102 Worldwide: 102

ConocoPhillips Inc.


Houston, TX

Top Executive Trond-Erik Johansen, Pres.


907-563-3822 Top Executive Ken Gerondale, Pres./CEO |

Industrial Services

Cook Inlet Region Inc. P.O. Box 93330 Anchorage, AK 99509-3330 907-274-8638 Top Executive Margaret Brown, Pres./CEO

Business Activities: CIRI is an Alaska Native regional corporation.

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972

Corporate Citizenship: CIRI has a strong commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen and is a major supporter of various nonprofit organizations and fundraising events.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 90 Worldwide: 90 |

Native Organization

Alaska USA Better for your business Take advantage of customized solutions, fewer fees, and local service. n n n n n n

Checking, loans, and depository services Online account management Business Visa® Check Card Insurance, bonds, and employee benefits Retirement services Investment management*

Find out what Alaska USA can do for your business. 563-4567 | (800) 525-9094 | Member funds insured by the NCUA. * Investment services provided by Alaska USA Trust Company. Alaska USA Trust Company products are not federally insured and are not obligations of, or guaranteed by, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union or any other affiliated entity. These products involve investment risks that include possible loss of principal. • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


special section 2012 CORPORATE 100

Credit Union 1 1941 Abbott Road Anchorage, AK 99507

Business Activities: Full-service financial institution focused on providing excellent service, products and value. Specialized loan departments and real estate lending.

Year Founded: 1952 Estab. in Alaska: 1952

907-339-9485 Top Executive Leslie Ellis, President/CEO

Corporate Citizenship: CU1 embraces the credit union spirit of "people helping people" by volunteering, donating, educating and encouraging financial well-being.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 295 Worldwide: 295

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate |

Alaska: $47.63M

Crowley 201 Arctic Slope Ave. Anchorage, AK 99518

Business Activities: Fuel sales and distribution, marine services, tanker escort and spill response throughout Alaska.


Crowley Maritme Corporation

Top Executive Bob Cox, Vice President

Jacksonville, FL

Corporate Citizenship: Crowley supports statewide events like the Iron Dog and AFN. In addition, we support youth and healthy lifestyle oriented activities in the communities where we do business.

Transportation |

CRW Engineering Group, LLC 3940 Arctic Blvd., Ste. 300 Anchorage, AK 99503

Business Activities: Civil engineering, surveying, electrical engineering, planning, environmental permitting, and construction management.

907-562-3252 Top Executive D. Michael Rabe, Managing Principal

Corporate Citizenship: Trail cleanup, Day of Caring, Annual Engineering Scholarship (Engineers Week), Anchorage Park Foundation, 50 bikes for 50 kids.

Industrial Services |

98 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Year Founded: 1892 Estab. in Alaska: 1953 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 550 Worldwide: 4,000

Year Founded: 1981 Estab. in Alaska: 1981 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 51 Worldwide: 51 Alaska: $11.17M Global: $11.17M

2012 CORPORATE 100 special section Davis Constructors & Engineers Inc. 740 Bonanza Ave. Anchorage, AK 99518 907-562-2336 Top Executive Josh Pepperd, Pres. Construction

Delta Western, Inc. 420 L Street, Ste 101 Anchorage, AK 99501

Business Activities: Commercial construction and design-build.

Year Founded: 1976 Estab. in Alaska: 1976

Corporate Citizenship: Employee Team Davis: American Cancer Society Relay for Life Nationwide Top 10 Fund Raiser. Providence AK Foundations. Employee Fund donations: Safe Harbor, Food Banks, Boys & Girls Clubs & others.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 210 Worldwide: 210 |

Alaska: $119.00M Global: $119.00M

Business Activities: Fueling Alaska safely for over 25 years Corporate Citizenship: We currently target 1-2% of our operating income for charitable contributions in the communities in which we operate. We have a scholarship program for Alaska's youth to continue higher education.

800-478-2688 Top Executive Amy Humphreys, President

Year Founded: 1985 Estab. in Alaska: 1985 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 105 Worldwide: 110


Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union 440 E. 36th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99503

Business Activities: Complete financial services center for Alaskans. On-line or in-person, we provide Above & Beyond service for your financial needs.

907-257-7200 Top Executive Robert Teachworth, Pres./CEO

Corporate Citizenship: Financial education presentations to local groups & schools. Donations committee supports more than 40 groups throughout Alaska.

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate | • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Year Founded: 1948 Estab. in Alaska: 1948 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 307 Worldwide: 307 Alaska: $45.41M Global: $45.41M


special section 2012 CORPORATE 100 Doyon, Limited 1 Doyon Place, Ste. 300 Fairbanks, AK 99701-2941 907-459-2000 Top Executive Aaron Schutt, Pres. & CEO

Business Activities: For-profit regional Native corporation

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972

Corporate Citizenship: Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau, Alaska Federation of Natives and various civic and charitable groups.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 1,120 Worldwide: 2,596 |

Alaska: $312.00M Global: $468.00M

Business Activities: Alaska's largest energy utility with 132,000 meters serving over 350,000 Alaskans. Transmission and distribution gas system.

Year Founded: 1961 Estab. in Alaska: 1961

Corporate Citizenship: United Way, Habitat for Humanity, AWAIC, local chamber.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 180 Worldwide: 180

Native Organization

ENSTAR Natural Gas Co. PO Box 190288 Anchorage, AK 99519 907-277-5551

Continental Energy Systems

Top Executive Colleen Starring, Pres.

Troy, MI |


Everts Air Cargo PO Box 61680 Fairbanks, AK 99706

Business Activities: Freight and passenger transportation in Alaska with aircraft based in Deadhorse, Fairbanks and Anchorage, providing scheduled, flag-stop and charter flights.

Year Founded: 1995 Estab. in Alaska: 1995

907-450-2300 Top Executive Robert Everts, Owner/Pres.

Corporate Citizenship: Everts Air Cargo supports a variety of community events including Iron Dog, Paul Johnson Memorial 450 Race, Tundra Womens Coalition, World-Eskimo Indian Olympics, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, etc.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 287 Worldwide: 293

Transportation |

Congratulations Dr. Travis Rector – Visit Anchorage Me

eting Champion!

Dr. Travis Rector THE MEETING: American Astronomical Society Summer Meeting June 10-14, 2012 1,200 delegates Estimated Economic Impact: $1.4 Million

STAR POWER As a Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Dr. Travis Rector’s lens is often pointed skyward. But as a member of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), he also knew that Alaska could be as breathtaking as any view of deep space. So when the group started looking for a summer meeting location, Professor Rector made sure a meeting in Anchorage was in the stars. Now AAS members will have an Alaska adventure that’s simply out of this world!

Are you a member of a national or international association? Bring your group to Anchorage. Contact Visit Anchorage: | 907-257-2341

100 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

2012 CORPORATE 100 special section Exxon Mobil Production Co. PO Box 196601 Anchorage, AK 99519 907-561-5331 Top Executive Dale Pittman, AK Production Mgr.

Exxon Mobil Corp. Irving, TX XOM

Business Activities: Conducting business in Alaska for 50 years, investing billions into local economics. As one of the largest oil producers in Alaska, Exxon Mobil has explored most major Alaska basins over the years. Corporate Citizenship: Providing funding to more than 40 nonprofits. Organizations also receive ExxonMobil support in the form of various employee involvement efforts, including Junior Achievement and Habitat for Humanity.

Year Founded: 1870 Estab. in Alaska: 1954 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 99 Worldwide: 83,000

Oil & Gas

Fairbanks Memorial Hospital 1650 Cowles St. Fairbanks, AK 99701

Business Activities: General medical and surgical hospital, home care, mental health, cancer center, pain clinic, imaging center, sleep disorders lab, diabetes center, rehabilitation, long-term care and cardiology.

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972

Corporate Citizenship: Partners with United Way and American Heart Association. Works with community groups to better address alcohol and drug abuse issues.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 1,400 Worldwide: 1,400


Banner Health Systems

Top Executive Mike Powers, CEO

Phoenix, AZ

Health Care |

FedEx Express 6050 Rockwell Ave. Anchorage, AK 99502

Business Activities: Air cargo and express-package services.

800-463-3339 Top Executive Dale Shaw, Managing Director Transportation

FedEx Corp. Memphis, TN FDX

Corporate Citizenship: Anchorage Chamber of Commerce member, United Way, March of Dimes, MS 150 corporate sponsor. Anchorage School Business Partnership, Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, World Trade Center AK.

Year Founded: 1973 Estab. in Alaska: 1988 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 1,148 Worldwide: 290,000 Global: $39.30B

Serving Alaska with pride and environmental stewardship for more than 50 years.

Our strength comes from our people. Experience. Trust. Dedication. Commitment. These continue to be our most important assets.

877.678.7447 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


special section 2012 CORPORATE 100 First National Bank Alaska PO Box 100720 Anchorage, AK 99510-0720

Business Activities: First National Bank Alaska is a full-service commercial bank serving Alaskans with a broad range of deposit and lending services, trust and investment management services and Internet banking.

907-777-3409 Top Executive DH Cuddy, Chairman/Pres.


Corporate Citizenship: More than $1.5 million in contributions, including donations, sponsorships, low income housing investments and in-kind donations were given in Alaska.

Year Founded: 1922 Estab. in Alaska: 1922 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 688 Worldwide: 688

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate |

Alaska: $143.40M Global: $143.40M

Flint Hills Resources Alaska LLC 1100 H&H Ln. North Pole, AK 99705

Business Activities: Refiner and distributor of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and asphalt.

Year Founded: 1977 Estab. in Alaska: 2004

Corporate Citizenship: University of Alaska, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, school and business partnership and The Museum of the North.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 175 Worldwide: 50,000 |

Global: $110.00B

Business Activities: Integrated communications provider offering facilities-based local and long distance telephone services, Internet and video services, statewide wireless service, data, tele-health and more.

Year Founded: 1979 Estab. in Alaska: 1979

Corporate Citizenship: Iditarod, Alaska Academic Decathlon, Greater Anchorage, Inc., United Way, Providence Cancer Center and more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 1,709 Worldwide: 1,709


Koch Industries Inc.

Top Executive Mike Brose, VP

Wichita, KS

Oil & Gas

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


GNCMA • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

2012 CORPORATE 100 special section Golden Valley Electric Association PO Box 71249 Fairbanks, AK 99707-1249

Business Activities: Owns and operates 5 power plants providing power to 100,000 Interior residents. The co-op is constructing Eva Creek Wind, the largest wind farm in the Railbelt, to be online Sept. 2012.


Year Founded: 1946 Estab. in Alaska: 1946 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 258 Worldwide: 258

Top Executive Brian Newton, Pres./CEO

Corporate Citizenship: $21,000 in academic scholarships awarded, United Way contributions exceeding $51,000. Cell Phones for Soldiers program participant.

Utility |

Alaska: $220.02M Global: $220.02M

Business Activities: Providing luxury cruises and cruise tours throughout Alaska for guests aboard Holland America Line and Princess Cruises.

Year Founded: 1965 Estab. in Alaska: 1972

Holland America - Princess 601 W Fifth Ave., Ste. 501 Anchorage, AK 99501 206-336-6000

Carnival Corp.

Top Executive Bruce Bustamante, Vice President, Community & Public Affairs

Miami, FL CCL

Corporate Citizenship: Social responsibility is at the core of how we do business. We have a history of being a contributor to Alaska. We support nearly 180 charitable/civic groups and use more than 1,000 vendors in Alaska.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 3,300 Worldwide: 91,300 Global: $15.79B

Travel & Tourism

Homer Electric Association Inc. 3977 Lake St. Homer, AK 99603

Business Activities: Member owned electric cooperative serving the western Kenai Peninsula. Current activities include the construction of the Nikiski Combined Cylce Conversion Project.

Year Founded: 1945 Estab. in Alaska: 1945

907-235-8551 Top Executive Brad Janorschke, Gen. Mgr.

Corporate Citizenship: Leader in community involvement on the Kenai Peninsula. HEA employees are on the boards of nonprofit groups. Employees have taken on leadership roles in United Way, Relay for Life, Rotary and more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 130 Worldwide: 130

Utility • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


special section 2012 CORPORATE 100 Horizon Lines 1717 Tidewater Road Anchorage, AK 99501-1036 907-274-2671

Horizon Lines Inc.

Top Executive Marion Davis, VP & General Manager, AK Division

Charlotte, NC


Hotel Captain Cook 939 W. Fifth Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501-2019 907-276-6000 Top Executive Walter Hickel Jr., Pres. Travel & Tourism

HoTH Inc. dba Era Alaska 4700 Old Int'l Airport Rd. Anchorage, AK 99502 907-266-8394 Top Executive Bob Hajdukovich, Pres./CEO


Business Activities: Containership service between Tacoma, WA, and Anchorage, Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, AK. Feeder barge service to Bristol Bay and the Pribilofs. Connecting carrier service to other water, air, land carriers. Corporate Citizenship: Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, AK State Chamber of Commerce, Food Bank of AK, United Way, Covenant House, Armed Services YMCA of Alaska, Iditarod, Special Olympics AK.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 262 Worldwide: 1,890 Global: $1.16B

Business Activities: Private athletic club, four restaurants, 10,000-bottle wine cellar, four-diamond dining, 547 rooms including 96 suites.

Year Founded: 1964 Estab. in Alaska: 1965

Corporate Citizenship: United Way, United States Coast Guard Foundation and Special Olympics Alaska.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 350 Worldwide: 350 |

Business Activities: Scheduled passenger/cargo services. Air charter services.

Year Founded: 1948 Estab. in Alaska: 1950

Corporate Citizenship: The success of Frontier Alaska is dependent upon the communities served.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 832 Worldwide: 837 |

Alaska: $136.00M Global: $136.00M



Year Founded: 1956 Estab. in Alaska: 1964 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

2012 CORPORATE 100 special section Icicle Seafoods Inc. 4019 21st Ave. W Seattle, WA 98199

Business Activities: Founded in Petersburg, Icicle is one of Alaskaテ不 largest seafood processors. Operations in Petersburg, Seward, Homer, Egegik, Larsen Bay and Adak; plus a fleet of floating processors around the state.

206-282-0988 Top Executive Dennis Guhlke, Pres./CEO

Corporate Citizenship: Contributes to University of Alaska programs, research and scholarships; participates in High School Business Week and various nonprofit organizations in communities throughout Alaska.


Inlet Petroleum Co. 459 W. Bluff Dr. Anchorage, AK 99501

Business Activities: For 25 years, Inlet Petroleum Company has supplied fuels, lubricants and related petroleum products to a wide array of industries and businesses.


Saltchuk Resources, Inc.

Top Executive Rocky Brew, Pres.

Seattle, WA

Corporate Citizenship: IPC is proud to support several organizations such as the Arc of Anchorage, March of Dimes and the United Way Food Drive.

Year Founded: 1965 Estab. in Alaska: 1965 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 2,500 Worldwide: 2,610 Alaska: $475.00M Global: $475.00M

Year Founded: 1986 Estab. in Alaska: 1986 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 37 Worldwide: 37

Oil & Gas |

Alaska: $106.00M Global: $106.00M

Jacobs 4300 B St., Ste. 600 Anchorage, AK 99503

Business Activities: Professional services provider for environmental permitting, compliance, investigation, remediation and emergency response; HVAC retro-commissioning; engineering design; and construction management.

Year Founded: 1947 Estab. in Alaska: 1993



Top Executive Terry Heikkila, Director - Pacific Rim Federal Operations

Pasadena, CA

Industrial Services


Corporate Citizenship: In 2011, employees participated in the AWAIC benefit Ski 4 Women, donated to the Food Bank, and shared gifts through the Angel Tree Program. 窶「 Alaska Business Monthly 窶「 April 2012

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 75 Worldwide: 60,000 Alaska: $42.00M Global: $10.00B


special section 2012 CORPORATE 100 KeyBank 101 W. Benson Blvd., Ste. 400 Anchorage, AK 99503 907-562-6100 Top Executive Brian Nerland, President, Alaska

Business Activities: Lending and deposit services for consumers and businesses of all sizes, mortgage services, investment services, wealth management.

Year Founded: 1825 Estab. in Alaska: 1985

Corporate Citizenship: Significant investment in our communities through charitable organizations and economic development initiatives.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 140 Worldwide: 15,000

Global: $4.10B

Kinross Gold Corp.

Business Activities: Fairbanks Gold Mining. Gold producer.

Year Founded: 1992 Estab. in Alaska: 1995

Toronto, ON Canada

Corporate Citizenship: Donations, volunteer time, electric rate reduction.


Employees & Revenue Alaska: 560 Worldwide: 5,000

Business Activities: Alaska Regional Native Corporation

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972

Corporate Citizenship: Koniag Education Foundation, Alutiiq Museum, Gulf of Alaska Coastal Communications Coalition, Alaska Federation of Natives, Alaska Native Arts Foundation and more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 82 Worldwide: 634

Alaska: $19.27M Global: $165.03M

KeyCorp Cleveland, OH KEY

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate

Kinross Fort Knox PO Box 73726 Fairbanks, AK 99707 907-488-4653 Top Executive Dan Snodgress, VP/Gen. Mgr. Mining

Koniag Inc. 194 Alimaq Dr. Kodiak, AK 99615 907-486-2530 Top Executive William Anderson Jr. , Pres./CEO Native Organization

106 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

2012 CORPORATE 100 special section Lounsbury & Associates 5300 A St. Anchorage, AK 99518

Business Activities: Civil engineering, land surveying, planning, construction management. Servicing local and state government, oil and gas industry and more.

Year Founded: 1949 Estab. in Alaska: 1949

Top Executive Jim Sawhill, President

Corporate Citizenship: We sponsor local youth sporting teams, scholarships at UAA School of Engineering, and support other civic and nonprofit agencies.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 79 Worldwide: 79

Industrial Services |

Lynden Inc. 6641 S. Airpark Pl. Anchorage, AK 99502

Business Activities: Multi-modal Transportation and Logistics.


Corporate Citizenship: Red Cross of Alaska, Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum,Jr. Iditarod, Armed Services YMCA, Food Bank of Alaska, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Alzheimers Resource of Alaska and United Way of Alaska.

907-245-1544 Top Executive Jim Jansen, Chairman Transportation

Mat Su Regional Hospital PO Box 1687 Palmer, AK 99645

Top Executive John Lee, CEO

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 710 Worldwide: 2,200 |

Global: $850.00M

Business Activities: 74-bed Hospital/Medical Office Buildings

Year Founded: 1935 Estab. in Alaska: 1935

Corporate Citizenship: Several community health fairs, sponsorships, all within the facility, and for the people of the MatSu Valley.


Year Founded: 1954 Estab. in Alaska: 1954 |

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 705 Worldwide: 705

Health Care

OUR HISTORY Aerospace & Technology Services


Yulista Management Services, Inc. Y-Tech Services, Inc. Yulista Aviation, Inc.

Alaska Telecom, Inc. Sequestered Solutions

Construction & Engineering Brice Companies Tunista Services, LLC Tunista, Inc. Tunista Construction, LLC Yukon Equipment, Inc.

Environmental Services Brice Environmental

Hospitality & Support Services Chiulista Services, Inc

Marketing & Communications


Solstice Advertising

Real Estate Calista Real Estate

Nonprofit Calista Heritage Foundation

Our family of companies has both the resources and the experience to provide the services you need. We deliver excellence in the projects we build, the services we offer and the jobs we provide.

Calista Corporation, 301 Calista Court, Ste. A, Anchorage, AK 99518 ★ t: (907) 279-5516 ★ f: (907) 272-5060 ★ • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


special section 2012 CORPORATE 100 Matanuska Electric Association Inc. 163 E. Industrial Way Palmer, AK 99645

Business Activities: Rural Electric Cooperative

Year Founded: 1941 Estab. in Alaska: 1941

Corporate Citizenship: New roundup program with members rounding up their bills to the next dollar - money goes to those in need of financial assistance in our communities. Scholarships to members and their dependents.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 145 Worldwide: 145 |

Alaska: $105.00M Global: $105.00M

Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union 1020 S. Bailey St. Palmer, AK 99645-6924

Business Activities: A local not-for-profit financial cooperative serving members living, working or who worship in the Mat-Su Borough or Chugiak/Eagle River, Alaska; or Waipahu, Hawaii.

Year Founded: 1948 Estab. in Alaska: 1948

907-745-4891 Top Executive Al Strawn, CEO

Corporate Citizenship: "Building Better Financial Futures through community financial literacy outreach and the credit union philosophy of People Helping People".

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 133 Worldwide: 137

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate |

Mikunda Cottrell & Co. Inc. 3601 C St., Ste. 600 Anchorage, AK 99503

Business Activities: Tax planning and prep, auditing, compliance audits, financial statement preparation, business valuation, litigation support, personal financial planning, estate planning, fraud and forensic acctg.

907-278-8878 Top Executive James Hasle, Pres.

Corporate Citizenship: Beans Cafe, Abused Women's Aid in Crisis, Downtown Soup Kitchen, Beans Cafe, Habitat for Humanity, Adopt a Highway, Friday Dress Down For Charity donations to various local charities.

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate |

907-745-3231 Top Executive Joe Griffith, Gen. Mgr. Utility

Year Founded: 1977 Estab. in Alaska: 1977 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 95 Worldwide: 95 Alaska: $15.00M Global: $15.00M

What Can Do For Civil Construction Demolition & Surveying Environmental Remediation Facilities Management Facilities Support Services Food Service Contractors Fuels Management Government Contracting Healthcare Environment Services Hospital Aseptic Maintenance Janitorial Services Medical Augmentation Oil & Gas Pipeline Records Management Security Guard Services Simulations Support Operations Staff Augmentation Training Range Operations Vertical Construction

Ahtna Shareholder & Employee Dale John

As one of 13 Alaska Native Regional Corporations, we’ve provided for our Ahtna Athabascan shareholders for more than 40 years. And for just as long, we’ve extended that same peace of mind to our customers and partners. So, if you’re looking for a company with deeper values than the average business and the know-how to back it up, look no further. Simply ask yourself - What can Ahtna do for you? Our newest company, Ahtna Netiye’, is now responsible for managing all of our subsidiary operations. For more information, please visit:


Ahtna, Incorporated


406 W FIREWEED LANE, SUITE 101 ANCHORAGE, AK 99503 PH: (907) 868-8250 | FAX: (907) 868-8285 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

2012 CORPORATE 100 special section Business Activities: Communications cooperative offering 3G wireless, high-def. TV w/ video-on-demand, high-speed Internet, local and long-distance, IT business support, directory and TV advertising and community content.

MTA Inc. 1740 S. Chugach Street Palmer, AK 99645 907-745-3211 Top Executive Greg Berberich, CEO

Corporate Citizenship: A member-owned cooperative that supports the communities we serve by collaborating with various non-profit organizations through sponsorships, donations and providing volunteers throughout Alaska.


N C Machinery 6450 Arctic Blvd. Anchorage, AK 99519

Business Activities: Caterpillar machine sales, parts, service and rental. Caterpillar engines for marine, power generation, truck petroleum and industrial applications. Also, N C The Cat Rental Store.


Harnish Group Inc.

Top Executive John Harnish, President/CEO

Tukwilla, WA

Corporate Citizenship: NC Machinery is active throughout the state in associations including Associated General Contractors of America, Alaska Miners Association, Alaska Resource Education, Petroleum Club, and much more.

Year Founded: 1953 Estab. in Alaska: 1953 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 300 Worldwide: 300 Alaska: $100.00M Global: $100.00M

Year Founded: 1776 Estab. in Alaska: 1776 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 222 Worldwide: 945

Industrial Services |

NANA Regional Corporation PO Box 49 Kotzebue, AK 99503

Business Activities: NANA manages the surface and subsurface rights to more than 2.2 million acres of land in Northwest Alaska to the benefit of more than 12,900 Inupiat shareholders.

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972

907-442-3301 Top Executive Marie N. Greene, President/CEO

Corporate Citizenship: NANA is a sponsor of the ANSEP program, the Aqqaluk Trust, WEIO, ASAA basketball tournament, United Way, and numerous other statewide and local events.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 4,700 Worldwide: 13,453

Native Organization |

Global: $1.80B • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


special section 2012 CORPORATE 100 Neeser Construction Inc. 2501 Blueberry Rd., Ste.100 Anchorage, AK 99503 907-276-1058 Top Executive Jerry Neeser, Pres. Construction

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

Universal Health Services Inc. King of Prussia, PA UHS

Business Activities: General contracting firm.

Year Founded: 1974 Estab. in Alaska: 1974

Corporate Citizenship: Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation, American Cancer Society, AWAIC, Food Bank of Alaska, Catholic Social Services, Armed Services, YMCA, Asian Alaskan Cultural Center, Salvation Army, United Way and many others.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 274 Worldwide: 277 |

Alaska: $156.43M Global: $157.71M

Business Activities: NSBH is the largest inpatient and residential behavioral health provider in Alaska, serving youth ages 4 through 17.

Year Founded: 1984 Estab. in Alaska: 1984

Corporate Citizenship: Providing free CEU opportunities to professionals in the field, donates to many non-profit programs in the state, charity walks, etc.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 408 Worldwide: 408

Health Care |

Northern Air Cargo 3900 Old International Airport Rd. Anchorage, AK 99502

Business Activities: The Northern Air Cargo family of companies offer scheduled and charter cargo services throughout Alaska, the Lower 48 and North America as well as aircraft maintenance and ground handling services.

Year Founded: 1956 Estab. in Alaska: 1956

Corporate Citizenship: Northern Air Cargo is committed to supporting the Alaska communities with which we do business through the donation of time, money and resources

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 325 Worldwide: 350


Saltchuk Resources

Top Executive David Karp, Pres./CEO

Seattle, WA


110 | • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

2012 CORPORATE 100 special section Northland Services Inc. PO Box 24527 Seattle, WA 98124

Business Activities: Marine transportation services to and from Alaska.

Top Executive Larry Stauffer, Pres./CEO

Corporate Citizenship: Sponsorship of Iditarod, Nome; the Golden North Salmon Derby, Southeast; Sockeye Classic, Western Alaska; Boys & Girls Club, Anchorage; Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; Multiple Sclerosis Society and more.

Transportation |

Northrim Bank PO Box 241489 Anchorage, AK 99524

Business Activities: Northrim Bank is a commercial bank, headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska, committed to providing Customer First Service. We specialize in serving businesses, professionals, and individual Alaskans who a


907-562-0062 Top Executive Joseph Beedle, Pres./CEO

Northrim Bancorp Inc. Anchorage, AK NRIM

Corporate Citizenship: Northrim bank is dedicated to the communities where we do business through our active lending programs, commercial investments, and our ongoing commitment to supporting local programs.

Year Founded: 1977 Estab. in Alaska: 1977 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 150 Worldwide: 380

Year Founded: 1990 Estab. in Alaska: 1990 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 253 Worldwide: 260

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate |

Olgoonik Corporation 3201 C Street, Suite 700 Anchorage, AK 99503

Business Activities: ANC - Government/Commercial Contracting

Year Founded: 1973 Estab. in Alaska: 1973

Corporate Citizenship: Olgoonik Corporation and its subsidiaries support community activities, promote continuing education and provide shareholder jobs and scholarships.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 91 Worldwide: 564 |

Global: $133.00M

907-562-8728 Top Executive June Childress, Pres. Native Organization • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


special section 2012 CORPORATE 100 Osborne Construction Co. PO Box 97010 Kirkland, WA 98083

Business Activities: General contractor focusing on design-build, housing, civil, military, commercial and industrial. Selective work in private market. Alaska and worldwide employees include full and part time employees.

425-827-4221 Top Executive George Osborne Jr., Pres.

Corporate Citizenship: ABC, AGC, youth hockey programs in Anchorage, Boys & Girls Club of Tanana Valley, Have a Heart Auction-Fairbanks, YMCA, AK Peace Officers, American Cancer Society-Relay for Life and others.

Construction |

Pacific Alaska Freightways Inc. 431 E. 104th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99515

Business Activities: Transports freight between the Lower 48 and Alaska. Trucking services in Alaska.

Top Executive Ed Fitzgerald, CEO

Corporate Citizenship: Rotary, chambers of commerce, American Cancer Society, Special Olympics, youth sports programs, YMCA, Alaska food banks, Boy Scouts of America, youth scholarship funds, Boys & Girls Club and more.


PND Engineers Inc. 1506 W. 36th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99503

Business Activities: PND provides general civil, structural, geotechnical, arctic, marine, coastal engineering, surveying, hydrology, inspection, permitting, cost administration, and more.

907-561-1011 Top Executive David Pierce, PE, Pres.

Corporate Citizenship: Engineering (UAA), Boy Scouts of America, Boys and Girls Clubs, Catholic Social Services, Citywide Cleanup, Society of Women Engineers, United Way.

Industrial Services


112 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Year Founded: 1987 Estab. in Alaska: 1988 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 273 Worldwide: 300 Alaska: $118.70M Global: $118.70M

Year Founded: 1961 Estab. in Alaska: 1961 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 62 Worldwide: 115

Year Founded: 1979 Estab. in Alaska: 1979 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 75 Worldwide: 110 Alaska: $25.00M Global: $29.00M

2012 CORPORATE 100 special section Providence Health & Services Alaska 3760 Piper St., Ste. 2021 Anchorage, AK 99508 907-212-3145

Providence Health & Services

Top Executive Bruce Lamoureux , Chief Executive

Seattle, WA

Business Activities: The Sisters of Providence first brought health care to Nome in 1902 during the Gold Rush. Today, Providence serves Alaskans in five communities: Anchorage, MatSu, Kodiak, Seward and Valdez. Corporate Citizenship: At the heart of who we are is a deep commitment to the poor and vulnerable in our communities, from providing hot dinners for the homeless to advocating for better health care for the uninsured.

Health Care |

Prudential Jack White/Vista R. E. 3801 Centerpoint Dr., Ste 200 Anchorage, AK 99503

Business Activities: Residential sales & leasing, multi unit/ income property sales, land sales, corporate relocation.


Vista Real Estate Inc.

Top Executive Naomi Louvier, Owner

Anchorage, AK

907-279-1400 Top Executive Mike Shaw, Pres. Construction

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 4,400 Worldwide: 55,000

Year Founded: 1977 Estab. in Alaska: 1977

Corporate Citizenship: Charity fundraisers for Sunshine Kids, Beans Cafe and United Way.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 33 Worldwide: 33 |

Alaska: $703.39M Global: $703.39M

Business Activities: General contractor - commercial and road work.

Year Founded: 1995 Estab. in Alaska: 1995

Corporate Citizenship: YMCA board member, AGC of Alaska board member, United Way, Tocqueville Society, and financial support to many nonprofit organizations.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 45 Worldwide: 45 |

Alaska: $50.00M Global: $50.00M

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate

Roger Hickel Contracting Inc. 11001 Calaska Cir. Anchorage, AK 99515

Year Founded: 1902 Estab. in Alaska: 1902

inspired meetings


in your own backyard

Alyeska Resort is Alaska’s favorite place to meet. Just 40 miles south of Anchorage, Alyeska offers an unmatched meeting experience without leaving home. With a 304-room luxury hotel, over 13,000 square feet of function space and dedicated catering and conference services team, Alyeska Resort will leave you inspired.

Special Invitation

Alyeska invites corporate meeting planners for a personal property site tour. Please contact the Sales team at 907-754-2213 for details. 800-880-3880 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


special section 2012 CORPORATE 100 Ryan Air Inc. 6400 Carl Brady Dr. Anchorage, AK 99502 907-562-2227 Top Executive Wilfred "Boyuck" Ryan, President Transportation

Sealaska Corporation One Sealaska Plaza, Ste. 400 Juneau, AK 99801-1276

Business Activities: Air cargo, scheduled and charter operations, contract ground services and support.

Year Founded: 1953 Estab. in Alaska: 1953

Corporate Citizenship: We sponsor sports teams at the community level; dog-mushing event sponsors; we provide fundraising events in villages and volunteers.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 100 Worldwide: 100 |

Business Activities: Natural resources, manufacturing, services, diversity solutions, and investment funds. Sealaska is committed to sustaining Southesast regional economies and looking for new business opportunities.

Year Founded: 1972 Estab. in Alaska: 1972

Top Executive Chris McNeil, Pres./CEO

Corporate Citizenship: Celebration, culture and heritage, education, leadership development, nonprofits in the region, scholarships.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 580 Worldwide: 1,816

Native Organization |

Seekins Ford Lincoln Inc. 1625 Seekins Ford Dr. Fairbanks, AK 99701

Business Activities: Auto dealership.

Year Founded: 1977 Estab. in Alaska: 1977

Corporate Citizenship: Fbks Cham of Comm, AK St Cham of Comm, United Way/Tanana Valley, UAF Athl/Nanooks, Am Heart Assoc, Local Military Supp, Youth Sports, Ice Dogs, AQHA, Drive One For UR School, Fbks Arts & more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 123 Worldwide: 123 |

Alaska: $63.99M Global: $63.99M


907-459-4000 Top Executive Ralph Seekins, President Retail & Wholesale Trade

114 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

2012 CORPORATE 100 special section Shell Exploration & Production Co. 3601 C St., Suite 1000 Anchorage, AK 99503

Business Activities: Integrated oil and gas company, international.


Shell Oil Company

Top Executive Pete Slaiby, VP Alaska Exploration & Appraisal

Houston, TX RDS


Span-Alaska Transportation Inc.

Business Activities: Freight transportation from all Lower 48 points to Alaska, less than truckload (LTL) and truckload. In-state overnight services from Anchorage to Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula.

Top Executive Mike Landry, President

Auburn, WA

Corporate Citizenship: Annual supporter of Alaska food banks, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, AWAIC and Covenant House.


ProBuild Holdings Inc.

Top Executive Ed Waite, Exec. VP Local Markets

Denver, CO

Retail & Wholesale Trade

Year Founded: 1978 Estab. in Alaska: 1978 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 70 Worldwide: 115 |


Spenard Builders Supply Inc. 810 K St., Ste. 200 Anchorage, AK 99501

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 90 Worldwide: 101,000 |

Oil & Gas

Span-Alaska Transportation Inc. 2040 E. 79th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99507

Corporate Citizenship: Shell makes contributions to local social and environmental programs in selected organizations and groups for projects that enhance the quality of life in the Alaska communities in which we operate.

Year Founded: 2005 Estab. in Alaska: 2005

Business Activities: Provides a full line of building materials and home-improvement products to fill the needs of residential and commercial contractors.

Year Founded: 1952 Estab. in Alaska: 1952

Corporate Citizenship: Numerous community groups and events, including Habitat for Humanity.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 700 Worldwide: 10,000 | • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


special section 2012 CORPORATE 100 TelAlaska 201 E. 56th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99518 907-563-2003

American Broadband Communications

Top Executive Brenda Shepard, Pres./CEO

Charlotte, NC

The Kuskokwim Corporation 4300 B St. Anchorage, AK 99503 907-243-2944 Top Executive Maver Carey, CEO/President


The Odom Corporation

Top Executive John Odom, CEO/Chair

Bellevue, WA


Corporate Citizenship: Alaska Zoo, Armed Services YMCA, Unalaska Fire Fighters Ball, Seward Senior Center, Nome Arts Council, Cooper Landing Museum, and many more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 100 Worldwide: 100

Business Activities: Aerospace, land management, real estate property management, civil engineering/construction, initial outfitting/transition management.

Year Founded: 1977 Estab. in Alaska: 1977

Corporate Citizenship: Kuskokwim Educational Foundation. Alaska Native Village CEO Association

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 40 Worldwide: 144

Native Organization

Retail & Wholesale Trade

Year Founded: 1968 Estab. in Alaska: 1968 |


The Odom Corp. 240 W. First Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501

Business Activities: TelAlaska is a full service telecommunications company serving 25 rural communities and providing advanced network services to urban markets.

Business Activities: Licensed wholesale alcoholic beverage distributor, franchised soft drink distributor.

Year Founded: 1933 Estab. in Alaska: 1933

Corporate Citizenship: AK Aviation Museum, AK Zoo, ALPAR, American Cancer Society, Rotary, Boys & Girls Club, Junior Achievement, Anchorage School Athletics, Armed Services, YMCA, ASYMCA, AHA, ADA, Beans Cafe and more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 386 Worldwide: 1,727 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Alaska: $233.00M Global: $687.00M

2012 CORPORATE 100 special section Three Bears Alaska Inc. 445 N. Pittman Rd., Ste. B Wasilla, AK 99654

Business Activities: Retail grocery, general merchandise, sporting goods, pharmacy, and fuel.

907-357-4311 Top Executive David Weisz, President/CEO

Corporate Citizenship: Involved in all local communities surrounding our stores and offices.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 295 Worldwide: 337 |

Alaska: $85.75M Global: $99.97M

Retail & Wholesale Trade

Totem Ocean Trailer Express 2511 Tidewater Rd. Anchorage, AK 99501-1044 907-276-5868

Totem Ocean Trailer Express

Top Executive George Lowery, Alaska Dir.

Federal Way, WA

Year Founded: 1980 Estab. in Alaska: 31

Business Activities: A privately held Alaska corporation and vessel-operating common carrier. Runs a fleet of roll-on/roll-off trailer ships between the ports of Tacoma, Wash., and Anchorage.

Year Founded: 1975 Estab. in Alaska: 1975

Corporate Citizenship: AK Food Bank, ALPAR, United Way, Seward Polar Bear Fest, UAF, Providence Children's Hospital, Anchorage Concert Association, Imaginarium, Alaska SeaLife Center, Anchorage Museum, Bean's Cafe and more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 35 Worldwide: 160


Udelhoven Oilfield System Service 184 E. 53rd Ave. Anchorage, AK 99518-1222

Business Activities: Oilfield services, construction management, electrical and mechanical system installation.

Year Founded: 1970 Estab. in Alaska: 1970

Corporate Citizenship: American Diabetes, American Heart Association annual Heart Walk, Junior Achievement, Green Star, United Way and much more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 819 Worldwide: 865 |

Alaska: $188.00M Global: $200.00M

907-344-1577 Top Executive Jim Udelhoven, CEO Industrial Services • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


special section 2012 CORPORATE 100

Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation P.O. Box 890 Barrow, AK 99723

Business Activities: Native Village Corporation for Barrow, AK Corporate Citizenship: Educational funding through scholarship program, Barrow radio station KBRW, Barrow Whaling Captains Association, Barrow Whalers Athletic Foundation and more.

907-852-4460 Top Executive Anthony E. Edwardsen, Pres./CEO |

Year Founded: 1973 Estab. in Alaska: 1973 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 327 Worldwide: 1,945

Native Organization

Unisea P.O. Box 97019 Redmond, WA 98073 425-881-8181

Nippon Suisan Kaisha

Top Executive Terry Shaff, President

Tokyo Japan

Business Activities: The largest of the company's Alaska operations consist of the state of the art processing facilities in Dutch Harbor. We process surimi and fillets from pollock we also do crab, cod and halibut. Corporate Citizenship: Provide seafood to Seashare in order to feed the hungry. Do a yearly fund raiser for the United Way, Ronald McDonald House, Red Cross, The Salvation Army and the YWCA.

Year Founded: 1974 Estab. in Alaska: 1975 Employees & Revenue Alaska: 1,250 Worldwide: 1,450 Alaska: $113.00M Global: $170.00M


UNIT COMPANY 620 E. Whitney Rd. Anchorage, AK 99501

Business Activities: Commercial general contractor.

Year Founded: 1977 Estab. in Alaska: 1977

Corporate Citizenship: Various community involvement with kids sporting organizations, Covenant House, CFMA scholarship involvement.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 75 Worldwide: 75 |

Alaska: $32.00M Global: $32.00M

Business Activities: Coal mining and coal marketing.

Year Founded: 1942 Estab. in Alaska: 1942

Corporate Citizenship: UAF, United Way, Denali School District, ELC Daycare, Kids in Motion, Tri-Valley Com. Library, Healy Hockey, Morris Thompson Cultural Center, Tri-Valley VFD, Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Club & more.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 143 Worldwide: 143 |

Alaska: $82.58M Global: $82.58M

Business Activities: Jim Watterson, Executive Vice President | General building contractor. ANTHC Office Building; American Fast Freight; Fort Wainwright Hangar - Design Build Construction. Ft. Rich - COF

Year Founded: 1981 Estab. in Alaska: 1981

907-349-6666 Top Executive Michael Fall, President Construction

Usibelli Coal Mine Inc. PO Box 1000 Healy, AK 99743 907-683-2226 Top Executive Joseph E. Usibelli Jr., President Mining

Watterson Construction Co. 6500 Interstate Cir. Anchorage, AK 99518 907-563-7441

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 90 Worldwide: 91

Top Executive Bill Watterson, Pres.

Corporate Citizenship: ABC of Alaska, Alaska Zoo, YMCA, S.A.M.E., Catholic Social Services, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Junior Achievement, YWCA and Habitat for Humanity.

Construction |

Alaska: $63.00M Global: $63.00M

Business Activities: Wells Fargo team members provide Alaskans with banking, insurance, investments and mortgage solutions from 56 offices across The Great Land.

Year Founded: 1852 Estab. in Alaska: 1916

Corporate Citizenship: Each year, Wells Fargo invests $1.5 million in more than 300 nonprofits and schools in Alaska. Alaska team members volunteered 9,000 hours in 2011.

Employees & Revenue Alaska: 950 Worldwide: 272,000

Wells Fargo 301 W. Northern Lights Blvd. Anchorage, AK 99503 907-265-2730 Top Executive Richard Strutz, Alaska Regional President Finance, Insurance, Real Estate


Wells Fargo & Company San Francisco, CA WFC •• Alaska Alaska Business Business Monthly Monthly •• April April 2012 2012

2012 CORPORATE 100 special section


Alaska Interstate Construction LLC Davis Constructors & Engineers Inc. Neeser Construction Inc. Osborne Construction Co. Roger Hickel Contracting Inc. UNIT Company Watterson Construction Co.


Alaska Housing Finance Corp. Alaska USA Federal Credit Union Credit Union 1 Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union First National Bank Alaska KeyBank Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union Mikunda Cottrell & Co. Inc. Northrim Bank Prudential Jack White/Vista R. E. Wells Fargo


Alaska Regional Hospital Fairbanks Memorial Hospital Mat Su Regional Hospital North Star Behavioral Health Providence Health & Services Alaska


ASRC Energy Services Inc. CH2M HILL CRW Engineering Group, LLC Construction Machinery Industrial Jacobs Lounsbury & Associates N C Machinery PND Engineers Inc. Udelhoven Oilfield System Service



Coeur Alaska Inc. Kinross Fort Knox Usibelli Coal Mine Inc.

American Seafoods Group LLC Icicle Seafoods Inc. Unisea



Afognak Native Corp./Alutiiq Aleut Corporation Arctic Slope Regional Corporation Bering Straits Native Corporation Bethel Native Corporation Bristol Bay Native Corporation Calista Corporation Chenega Corporation Chugach Alaska Corporation Cook Inlet Region Inc. Doyon, Limited Koniag Inc. NANA Regional Corporation Olgoonik Corporation Sealaska Corporation The Kuskokwim Corporation Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation


Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. Exxon Mobil Production Co. Flint Hills Resources Alaska LLC Inlet Petroleum Co. Shell Exploration & Production Co.

RETAIL & WHOLESALE TRADE Alaska Commercial Co. Alaska Industrial Hardware Inc. Alaska Sales & Service Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Center Seekins Ford Lincoln Inc. Spenard Builders Supply Inc. The Odom Corp. Three Bears Alaska Inc.

Alaska Communications AT&T GCI MTA Inc. TelAlaska


Alaska Airlines Alaska Railroad Corp. American Fast Freight Inc. Carlile Transportation Systems Crowley Delta Western, Inc. Everts Air Cargo FedEx Express Horizon Lines HoTH Inc. dba Era Alaska Lynden Inc. Northern Air Cargo Northland Services Inc. Pacific Alaska Freightways Inc. Ryan Air Inc. Span-Alaska Transportation Inc. Totem Ocean Trailer Express

TRAVEL & TOURISM Holland America - Princess Hotel Captain Cook Alyeska Resort


Chugach Electric Association Inc. ENSTAR Natural Gas Co. Golden Valley Electric Association Homer Electric Association Inc. Matanuska Electric Association Inc. • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


special section 2012 CORPORATE 100

Leadership Succession for Business Growth and Continuity By Sara LaForest and Tony Kubica


oes your business have a leadership succession program in place to secure its continuity and growth? Unless no one gets sick, quits, or dies, a plan is in order. Too many small businesses default to the practice of reactionary assignment of a successor amid a now glaringly vacant position, or embark on a rushed external hire that often ends up as a high cost disappointment from a ”hiring misfire.” The consequences are not only expensive but are also a missed opportunity, due to lack of focus and the inability to support fast growth. A succession strategy is about having an identified plan to fill key positions within your organization. A succession program is the implemented process of identifying, developing and transitioning potential successors for the company’s present and future key roles, aligned with the talent and ambition of its current employees.

Reality is Dynamic, Not Static

A common error that we see in succession planning is to target only the key executive roles (CEO, COO, CFO). We see this as a significant risk unless you are a micro business. For example, if you are in the construction or transportation industry, a logistics manager may be critical for the success of your business. Having a vacancy in this position could quickly result in a decrease in service and an increase in customer complaints, and possibly a decrease in customer retention; which is why critical positions across the business need to be identified and replacement processes planned. In our work with companies we hear some common arguments and justifications. We repeatedly see that the president or key executive doesn’t believe there is an immediate need for a succession plan. Their stated arguments are, “we’re too small,” “we’re too new,” “we already have good people in place,” or “I’m not going anywhere soon!” In an unlikely static environment where no one leaves, no one gets ill (in-


cluding the owner, president or senior managers), growth isn’t that important, and performance is exceptional—these arguments hold true. But, the reality is that we don’t live in a static business environment. People do leave, they do get sick, the executives need to focus on growing the business versus operating it, the employees are not all good performers, and some roles are hard to fill! There is also a tendency to hold on to marginal performers because there is no clear plan on how to replace them. The impact: the business suffers, the executives suffer, employee morale and productivity decreases, the customers become less than satisfied with their service, and new candidates are not attracted to your company. When businesses do not have a succession program in place, consequences include: • Knee jerk replacements—either unsuitable hires or “not ready for prime time” promotions that end poorly due to lack of suitability, development and transition support • Retention challenges—the best talent leaves to pursue growth and other opportunities as they do not sense an opportunity at your company to advance in alignment with their career aspirations • Unnecessary costs in crisis or perpetual recruiting and training • Disruption to the work culture/environment, meaning that a sense of stress, discord, competition and posturing for position will manifest in employees and could embed (negatively) in your culture • No or poor bench strength to deliver (let alone to grow) To help you deduce your business’s succession readiness, we advise you start with these four questions: • Do you have a people-related plan to support the growth initiatives?

• Do you have current and relevant job descriptions to establish expectations, role clarity and accountability of your workforce/talent? • Do you have an identified talent pipeline (candidates by talent areas and for the key positions)? • Do you have a process or structure in place for identifying and developing those high-potential, “promising” employees who fill the talent pipeline? Building a succession program is like any other business initiative; it has two components: strategy and implementation.

First: Building Your Strategy

1. The first step in succession readiness is to recognize and accept that responsibility for it must sit with the top executive, as part of their job description and performance review. Many organizations with effective succession programs include this metric for all their key executives. 2. The executive team or designated committee needs to explicitly identify current and future key roles and core talent areas that are needed to run the company and to support growth initiatives. This includes identifying an interim process if there is an emergency absence of a key position; and anticipating future growth and the required talent needed to support it. This will also help you align your recruiting efforts by focusing on interviewing candidates for growth potential and adaptability to address and support the future growth needs of the organization.

Second: Implementing Your Plan

1. Management needs to gather information and track high potential employees. This includes not only their performance in their current role but also their commitment to the organization and their career growth ambition. There is a risk that high-potential employees will leave, as they are the quickest to explore and pursue something better. They are • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

also very attractive to your competitors. While seemingly obvious, but unfortunately frequently overlooked, management must practice quality employee performance reviews in order to learn, gather and track information on the potential successor candidates (a.k.a., maintaining the talent pool or pipeline). 2. The organization will need to either develop or adopt existing methods, tools and techniques to identify employee competencies and aspirations, such as using talent management systems, talent assessments or business personality and performance indicators, as a means to further assess and develop candidates. This can be done quite efficiently and accurately through candidate feedback and electronic assessments. 3. After assessing and capturing employee capabilities, competencies and aspirations, you need to implement a structure and process for developing potential successors. Progressive organizations have formal Emerging Leaders programs. 4. At the point your internal candidates are promoted, we recommend a three to six month (minimum) active mentoring and/or coaching process to best transition successors into their new role. 5. Lastly, it is important to review and evaluate your succession program’s effectiveness annually and update it as required. Consider measurements like number of promotions, employee retention and reduced recruiting costs in reviewing the effectiveness of your succession program.

ment Delegation above Micro-Management. Make sure to give assignments that require demonstration of skills (enable the candidate to learn new skills) to develop and apply skills that will be required by managers in your company. (It is important for the candidate to have an opportunity to make and “live” with their recommendations.) 4. Make sure your performance review and appraisal system is more than a once-a-year monologue. Conduct at least semi-annual reviews to stay in touch with the candidate’s performance. This can also include selective 360-degree reviews to focus on skills learned, skills demonstrated, skills to be learned, what went well, what can be done better, professional and career goals, and how the colleagues see the candidates performance and behavior, derived from the 360-degree review.

Have a Plan

While often overlooked or misunderstood in small businesses, succession planning is an important component for business continuity, sustainability and growth. Whether your business has a formal plan or an informal plan is less important than that it has a plan, which is worked on throughout the year. Business growth needs a people strategy to support it. Understanding and helping your business refine whom you need now and in the future, and who will replace key positions, is an important and necessary growth strategy. q

Four Tips to Help You Identify and Develop Your Talent Pool and Potential Successors

1. Keep a pulse on the talent network in your industry. They may be enticed to join your organization based on the opportunity it provides to grow and advance. 2. Develop and maintain a learning organization by integrating regular formal and informal training and skill development to promote a growth mindset among employees (i.e., targeted courses, seminars, workshops, conferences, professional association sponsored programs, e-learning, in-house brown bag lunch knowledge meetings, peer group exchanges, etc.). 3. Entrench the practice of Manage-

Sara LaForest

Tony Kubica

About the Authors

Sara LaForest and Tony Kubica are founding partners of Kubica LaForest Consulting LLC. They are management consultants, executive coaches and business improvement specialists serving clients nationwide. Find them online at • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


special section 2012 CORPORATE 100

Alaska Airlines

Staying connected and giving back By Rindi White

Marilyn Romano, regional vice president for Alaska Airlines Photos courtesy of Alaska Airlines


laska Airlines was founded in 1932 as an in-state airline, carrying cargo and passengers in and out of Anchorage in a three-passenger Stinson airplane under the name “McGee Airways.” Eighty years later, the airline has routes crisscrossing North America and is preparing for further growth. Although it is now considered a major carrier and is the seventh largest airline in the United States in terms of passenger traffic, Alaska Airlines remains rooted in its home state. The company’s corporate headquar-


ters are in Seattle, Wash., and workers are stationed all over the nation, but a significant portion of its operations are based in and focused on Alaska. The Alaska Department of Labor reported that in 2010, Alaska Airlines was the state’s 11th largest private-sector employer. It is the largest transportation employer in the state, ahead of FedEx and the United Parcel Service. With 1,700 employees in Alaska and 104 daily departures from 20 cities across the state, Alaska Airlines is one of the busiest airlines operating in the state. And while some companies sac-

rifice customer satisfaction for growth, the airline is a four-time winner of the “Highest in Customer Satisfaction” award among traditional air carriers from J.D. Powers and Associates.

Staying Connected

Alaska Airlines is unusual among the large air carriers in that it routinely asks for input on everything from flight schedules to customer rewards programs from members of the Alaska communities it serves. Marilyn Romano, regional vice president of Alaska for Alaska Airlines, • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

said the company recognizes the airline is a primary mode of transportation for many of the Alaska communities it flies to. “Only three of the communities we fly into have road access,” Romano said. “We are the lifeline for people in Barrow and Nome or Wrangell. It’s important that we hear from them. Are we meeting your needs? Can we do better?” Prior to becoming the regional vice president, Romano served on the Alaska Airlines Advisory Board based in Fairbanks. It’s one of four regional advisory boards across the state and is a vital way for communities to effectively communicate their needs to airline leaders. The advisory boards meet three times each year. Making donations to local community groups on behalf of Alaska Airlines is a primary directive of the boards, but they also share community concerns or needs with Alaska Airlines leadership. “There were some points when (board members would say) ‘We don’t have enough well-timed flights,’” Romano said. “That’s great feedback for Alaska Airlines.” The frequency and timing of flights can be crucial for local communities— and not just because customers want to visit Grandma in Anchorage over a weekend. Alaska Airlines ships thousands of pounds of halibut and salmon from Alaska to the Lower 48, moves injured birds to treatment centers, ships sleds and dogs from Nome back to Anchorage when the Iditarod is over. Its services are critical to businesses and community groups across the state. “There are a lot of things that we do that (are) so non-traditional for an airline,” Romano said.

Fast Facts about Alaska Airlines • 1,700 employees in Alaska

• 20 cities served in Alaska • 104 daily departures in Alaska • 432,000 Alaska Airlines mileage plan members in Alaska • 206,000 Club 49 members within four months of announcing the program • More than half of all cash and in-kind contributions the airline makes are made in Alaska

Giving Back

Alaska Airlines’ commitment to Alaska and Alaska customers makes the company one of the state’s most well-respected corporate citizens. And the company works hard to keep that respect. Last year, Alaska Airlines gave $2.6 million through its Alaska Airlines Corporate Giving Program in monetary and in-kind donations to a number of Alaska groups, including the Spirit of Youth Foundation, March of Dimes, • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


Challenge Alaska, Anchorage Museum, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, Food Bank Alaska and others. “How many fundraisers have you been to that there weren’t two tickets on Alaska Airlines up for a drawing? Or cargo shipping discounts?” Romano asked. Leo Bustad, an Anchorage cardiologist, has served on the Southcentral Alaska advisory board for about five years. The board he serves on distributes smaller amounts of money— mostly around $500, he said—in

“I know they’re committed to Alaska as a corporate entity. Many of the things they do in the long run make sense because, if Alaska does well, they do well.” — Leo Bustad response to requests from organizations such as food banks, Girl Scouts or Little League. “I think it demonstrates their generosity, he said. “I know they’re committed to Alaska as a corporate entity. Many of the things they do in the long run make sense because, if Alaska does well, they do well.” The airline also donates money through its Alaska Airlines Foundation. Each year, a small number of cash grants between $5,000 and $15,000 are given to charitable organizations in Alaska and Washington state. Those grants focus on educational efforts that address a unique need or value to a community. The Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum, Sitka Summer Music Festival and the Yuut Yaqungviat Flight School in Bethel have all received Foundation grants. “I think (Alaska Airlines) appreciates the level of community support and ‘ownership’ of the airline, and they do everything they can to promote that feeling,” Bustad said.

Thanking Alaskans


Perhaps one of the most visible ways • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Alaska Airlines has demonstrated its roots in Alaska has been through the recently introduced Club 49 program for Alaska residents who are Alaska Airlines mileage plan members. It allows members up to two free checked bags if flying from or to Alaska. Travel discounts of up to 30 percent, each way, are also available on a yearly basis and each Club 49 member receives weekly emails announcing discounted fares for travel within, and out of, Alaska. Introduced Oct. 18, 2011, Romano said more than 206,000 Alaskans had

“One of our goals or focus areas for the next five years is making things as hassle-free as possible for our customers.” — Marilyn Romano signed up for the program by mid-February. She said she’s not aware of any other airline that has offered a similar benefit program to residents of a specific state. Romano said Club 49 helps the airline address one aspect of flying in, and from Alaska—it costs more. “That was really the thinking behind Club 49, that people could plan and take advantage of last minute fares,” she said. “Between offering two free bags and discount travel, Club 49 is our way to say ‘Thanks’ and help Alaskans reduce travel costs.” Romano said Alaska Airlines’ operations within Alaska will likely stay stable in the near future; no big changes are on the horizon. And while the company is continuing to grow outside of Alaska—new flights to Fort Lauderdale and Philadelphia were recently announced—she said the company remains committed to growing carefully, with an eye on safety and customer satisfaction. “One of our goals or focus areas for the next five years is making things as hassle-free as possible for our customers,” she said. q • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


special section 2012 CORPORATE 100

Alaska Housing Finance Corp. Helping Alaskans with their homes

Photo courtesy of AHFC

By Susan Sommer

Dan Fauske CEO and Executive Director Alaska Housing Finance Corp.


ot much is free these days, especially when it comes to owning or renting a home. That’s why Alaska Housing Finance Corp.’s free seminars on everything from energyefficient homes to how to buy a home are such a great value and why more than 45,000 prospective home buyers have attended. Everything AHFC does as part of its mission, in fact, supports sound communities across the state. “We’re everywhere—from Barrow to Ketchikan,” said AHFC’s CEO and executive director Dan Fauske, who spent several years in Barrow and has a deep respect for rural life. The Alaska State Legislature created AHFC in 1971, but the agency’s roots reach back to territorial days. As Alaska’s official housing authority, its mission is simple: “To provide Alaskans access to safe, quality, affordable


housing.” AHFC has about 320 employees, owns nearly 1,700 public housing units, and manages more than 4,000 public housing vouchers. Since 1986, it has contributed nearly $2 billion to the state’s general fund. An expert financial department ensures that AHFC lives up to its financial commitment to the State of Alaska. Besides educating Alaskans about the home buying process, AHFC provides weatherization and energy-efficiency grants, partners with other Alaska agencies such as the Cold Climate Housing Research Center, heads programs for Alaska’s growing senior population, assists with home loans and tackles homelessness issues across the state. It also fosters solutions to challenges associated with housing in Alaska. For example, nurses and teachers are typically in short supply; to entice more

people from these professions to live here long-term, the corporation offers them no-down-payment loans. AHFC is “the people’s organization,” Fauske said. “I believe in Alaska’s people.” Fauske has been with AHFC since 1995. He also is president of the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., an AHFC subsidiary, and serves on many boards, including as chair of the Alaska Council on Homelessness. His master’s degree in business administration serves him well in all of his leadership positions. He previously worked for the North Slope Borough as chief financial officer and chief administrative officer. AHFC’s recently improved credit rating on bonds by Standard & Poor, from AA to AA+, is a credit to Fauske’s efforts and his strong and stable management team. The new rating makes borrowing • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

money easier and less expensive for AHFC.

Affordable Housing

The statewide average cost to buy a single-family home in 2011 was more than $282,000. That was for existing construction; new single-family homes cost an average of more than $320,000. AHFC helps educate prospective home buyers and assists with various types of loans. Options are key to the loan programs, which range from single-family and multi-family loans to other programs in urban and rural areas. Singlefamily loan programs include categories such as first-time homebuyer, veteran, rural and refinance. Multi-family loans include those for special needs housing and senior housing units. Homeowners’ associations can apply for loans to improve common areas of a complex. And sponsors of affordable housing, such as nonprofits, regional housing authorities, municipalities or state agencies, can get AHFC loans to assist lowincome borrowers in rural Alaska. Alaskan renters paid an average of

Loussac Place is an AHFC-financed, $35 million, 120-unit mixed-income housing project in Anchorage where construction has been ongoing since 2011. The first units will be leased this June, with project completion expected next year.

Photo courtesy of AHFC

almost $1,700 a month for a three-bedroom apartment. AHFC helps eligible low-income renters by funding affordable rental housing development and by providing rental assistance vouchers. Most of the rental development projects

AHFC finances and/or owns contain community space and recreational areas that help define a complex as a “community” and give children a place to play within easy supervision of their parents.

– where i belong – PEOPLE FIRST › “I came up to Fairbanks for a one week vacation — 13 years ago. Today, I work as a MRI technologist at the FMH Imaging Center. I feel lucky to be surrounded by such amazing technology and a medical team that makes a difference in people’s lives. My life may not be glitzy and glamorous, but I’ll take it.”


Amy / MRI Technologist • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


Participating landlords of privately owned rental units work with AHFC to offer reasonable rent and quality apartments; the federal housing agency HUD sets standards and limits. Renters must apply to AHFC for the program, and once accepted, pay about 30 percent of their adjusted income for rent. Via the voucher program, AHFC pays the rest directly to the landlord. Families living in public housing can participate in AHFC’s voluntary Family Self-Sufficiency program that includes education, job training and support services to help residents find full-time employment. At AHFC’s Gateway Learning Center, Alaskans can get help looking for work, take computer classes, learn to budget their money, and more.

Low Cost Energy

DenaliAlaskan INSURANCE a division of Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union

Serving Alaska’s Businesses Since 1983

General Liability • Worker’s Compensation • Surety Bonds

440 E. 36th Avenue, Ste. 300 • Anchorage, AK 99503 1981 E. Palmer -Wasilla Hwy., Ste. 220 • Wasilla, AK 99654 907-257-1625 • Within Alaska toll-free: 800-770-1825 •




Since its inception a few years ago, AHFC’s home energy rebate program has helped thousands of Alaskans make their homes more affordable and comfortable to live in. Homeowners have their homes rated before and after improvements and pay upfront for upgrades to windows, furnaces, water heaters, etc. AHFC’s average reimbursement per applicant that completes the program based on increased energy efficiency and eligible receipts is just over $6,300. On top of that, these homeowners experience a 32 percent average reduction in the cost of their utilities. Besides offering home energy rebate programs and weatherization projects, AHFC is also involved in providing low-cost energy to homes across Alaska. Its subsidiary, Alaska Gasline Development Corp., is developing a project dubbed the Alaska Stand Alone Gas Pipeline, or ASAP, which will provide natural gas from the North Slope to Fairbanks and Southcentral. AHFC expects the project to create thousands of jobs and provide a long-term supply of natural gas for Fairbanks, the Cook Inlet area and Railbelt communities. Led by AHFC, ASAP is the product of a move by the Alaska Legislature that a group of industry professionals to develop, refine and produce an instate natural gas pipeline project plan. • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

Tackling Homelessness

As chair of the Alaska Council on Homelessness, Fauske has seen the problems of the state’s homeless populations firsthand. But he’s also led enough efforts to help people find long-term homes that he’s been on the receiving end of their gratitude, too. “People come up and give you a big hug,” he said. “That feels really good.” Good relationships with AHFC’s partners, such as Catholic Social Services, regional housing authorities and Bean’s Café in Anchorage, help get the word out about the company’s services to a demographic that might not seek help on their own. “Dan knows everybody,” said Stacy Schubert, AHFC’s director of governmental relations and public affairs. Alaska’s legislators are key players in supporting the corporation’s mission. Members of the Council on Homelessness include AHFC; the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority; the Alaska State Departments of Education, Public Safety, Corrections and Health and Social Services; and six public members from the homeless provider community, rural housing authorities, local government and the real estate industry.

Beyond AHFC’s Mission

Being a good corporate citizen means extending support outside a company’s daily business activities; AHFC is proactive in several ways. Besides helping Alaskans live better as part of its mission, AHFC goes the extra mile to ensure its employees’ wellbeing. The company offers a reimbursement plan for health club membership and an alternative work week for more days off. Staff members are encouraged to volunteer in the community and can receive paid administrative leave to do so. Alaska’s youth benefit from AHFC’s numerous summer camp scholarships for everything from science camp to martial arts training to learning about farm life. AHFC is known as a “get it done” corporation, one that welcomes new challenges. Fauske openly praised his hard-working, knowledgeable staff, and when asked about the challenges AHFC has tackled he said, “I believe everything is solvable.” q

Good people make great lawyers. Phil Blumstein Alaska Native and Business Law

To be a great lawyer in Alaska, you first need to understand Alaska. We’re part of this state, and the business and public entities that work for its people. Whether it’s mergers and acquisitions, real estate, government, Native Corporations or finance, business is our business. ■ We have the talent you’re looking for in an attorney, and the experience you need to succeed. Simply put, we know Alaska.

Anchorage 907.276.5152 Simply Great Lawyers.

Alaska • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012



special section 2012 CORPORATE 100

Girdwood’s Famous Alyeska Resort

Embracing local values creates universal appeal By Zaz Hollander

Photo by Caitlin Mitchell

Alyeska Resort owner John Byrne.


f Alyeska is successful, then Girdwood is successful—that’s the gospel among business-minded residents of this low-key ski town 40 miles south of Anchorage. Alyeska Resort owner John Byrne holds that the reverse is also true: What’s good for Girdwood— and Alaskans in general—is good for Alyeska. The resort is far and away the biggest corporate resident of Girdwood. Mount Alyeska is a ski destination known for its expert terrain and down-home setting, with stunning views and a 304room luxury hotel. In recent years, however, Alaska’s largest ski area languished under the


ownership of a Japanese resort company. Byrne, an avid skier and Utah real estate investor, bought Alyeska at a distress auction in 2006. The prior owner, Seibu Corp., ran the ski area to attract international destination travelers and relied on cruise traffic to fill beds in summer. Byrne runs Alyeska more with instate clientele and families in mind. He looks to the hotel to bring in income and says he reinvests any profit on the ski area side. His working theory: Become Alaska’s favorite place to vacation and people will come from all over the world. “Somewhere in my first winter, the

light that came on for me was that nobody wanted to go to Alaska to have a Japanese ski-area experience. People wanted to come to Alaska for an authentic Alaskan experience,” Byrne said in an interview from his office near Salt Lake City. “For me, that starts with embracing Alaskans as your customer.”

Think Locally

Since purchasing Alyeska, Byrne has built up the resort and made it more family friendly and less dependent on cruise ship traffic. The resort’s six lifts were joined by two “magic carpet” lifts: moving sidewalks that ferry young skiers up the mountain without putting • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

them up in the air on a traditional chair lift. A new beginner chair was added as well. There’s also talk of a small motor inn, maybe 100 rooms, near the Alyeska Daylodge. Alyeska offers more jobs than before. Resort employment peaks at 700, up from 500, according to Byrne. Year-round employees number 250 to 300, also a significant increase. The company built employee housing in Girdwood; nearly 100 people sleep there. Most of the positions are filled by Alaskans, though the company recently hired an assistant food and beverage director from the Hilton Paris. Byrne says he likes to encourage local businesses. Turnagain Arm Pit, a local barbecue joint, leased space in the Daylodge after Byrne got some take-out from their Seward Highway stand. A family-owned Girdwood coffee shop, the Java Haus, transformed the lodge with colorful paintings and comfy couches. The resort has created numerous summer and shoulder-season festivals, including the Blueberry Festival, which last year drew more than 2,000 people and featured Alyeska food booths as well as about a dozen outside food vendors. There is also the Fungus Fair held in partnership with Chugach National Forest—a weekend’s worth of all things mushroom—and the popular Spring Carnival and Slush Cup. Where cruise passengers used to take up every room in the hotel for several nights a week in summer, the hotel now seldom sells more than 200 of its 304 rooms to group businesses on any given night, Byrne said. Byrne sold the resort’s lease-hold interest in the Anchorage Golf Course to a group of local business owners which “really helped concentrate our efforts in Girdwood.” Alyeska is active in the Alaska Travel Industry Association, Visit Anchorage, American Bus Association, National Tour Association and Girdwood’s Four Valleys Community School.

Ski Side

Meanwhile, Alyeska is also improving the ski area and recreational side of things. Byrne said the resort is continuing efforts to make its steep north face more

accessible by creating more glades in an effort to push grooming higher up the mountain. The resort has also made adjustments to Chair 6—the lift that accesses the upper bowl—so that it can operate more frequently and consistently than before. Byrne has supported the efforts of the Girdwood Nordic Ski Club as it campaigns to finish the 5-kilometer loop first started last winter, which he said tops the list of improvements appreciated by the locals. While the previous owners banned summer biking on the mountain and

Authorized Dealer

discouraged hiking, visitors to the mountain in summer these days are greeted by a mountain-bike trail system and a new hiking trail up the north face with 23 switchbacks from the tram to the mountain station to take some of the acclivity out of the trip. The fun to be had in Girdwood recently got some national attention, thanks in large part to Alyeska’s presence. “National Geographic Adventure” named Girdwood one of the “World’s Best 25 Ski Towns” in February. Girdwood’s laid-back vibe and

Local Offices in Anchorage, Palmer, Fairbanks, and Juneau 877-696-3474

Microcom has been serving Alaska since 1984. Over 27 Years in Satellite Communications. *Speeds are up to and not guaranteed. Actual speeds will vary. Not available in all areas. Check for availability. Minimum 24 month term. One-time set up fee of $149.99 and $9.99/month lease fee applies. Use of the Exede service is subject to monthly data transmission limit. For all details and the Data Allowance Policy, visit Exede is a service mark of ViaSat, Inc. • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012


A New Era in Remote Site Access

gorgeous scenery got the magazine’s attention, but the resort’s attributes garnered plenty of praise too, including the 60-person tram that climbs the mountain’s steep north face with views to Turnagain Arm, and a low treeline that makes for ample expert terrain and wide-open alpine skiing on the upper half of the mountain. The Hotel Alyeska also got props for great dining, and offering guests the option of requesting a wake-up call in the event that the Northern Lights come out. “I’m super-proud of this award,” Byrne said. “It really is reflective of the great partnership we have with the community, muni and state.”

“I’m super-proud of this award. It really is reflective of the great partnership we have with the community, muni and state.”

­—John Byrne

Flying is our passion, Safety is our mission 907 550 8600 •

What’s Next

“Commitment to Quality Through Pride of Employee Ownership.” The Superior Group is committed to becoming the best mechanical and electrical contractor in Alaska... to do this we pledge to meet and exceed our customers’ requirements every time by providing services of the highest quality.

Superior Plumbing and Heating 349.6572 Alaska Sheet Metal 279.6009 Haakenson Electric 346.3043 Superior Mechanical Service 349.6550 Support Services of Alaska 278.8212 ©Ken Graham Photography

907.344.5011 • P.O. Box 230387 • Anchorage, Alaska 99523


Alyeska has invested $60 million in Alaska, a corporate officer told the Alaska Legislature last year. Byrne didn’t want to talk details about spending during his tenure, but said he’s already invested more than he paid for the resort in 2006—and one of the biggest renovations is yet to come. Alyeska is replacing Chair 4, the main lift out of the Daylodge. Instead of a nearly 20-minute ride up the mountain with frequent stops, skiers will experience a seven- to eight-minute ride without starts and stops, Byrne said. Right now, skiers tend to ride Chair 4 to Chair 6 and ski the top of the mountain all day. Resort managers hope an improved ride on Chair 4 will reduce crowding by encouraging skiers to spread out across more terrain. The hardware for the new lift, made by Austria’s Doppelmayr but fabricated in the United States, costs $4 million. Byrne expects installation to cost more than $1 million and plans to spend nearly $1 million on summer excavation work for trails fed by Chair 4. His decision to invest in a new lift was conditional upon the decision by Chugach Electric Association to build • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

a second feeder line into Girdwood. Right now, just one line serves the community. If heavy snow or ice topples a pole, the town—and the ski area—can go dark. To build the second line, Chugach is spending $1 million in capital program funds, but the state Legislature also approved $1 million in state capital funds for the project. If he’d had to pay for these electrical improvements, Byrne said, he would have been less likely to commit the capital to the chairlift upgrade this summer.

Ski Bum

There’s cold. And there’s Alaska cold. they don’t call it the Great Land for nothing. everything is greater here: the temperature drops, the storms, the winds, the ice, the tidal changes. that’s why our orca class vessels are specially built to withstand the worst that nature can throw at us between tacoma and anchorage. meeting the unique demands of alaska is only part of our business. meeting yours is everything else.

Photo Credit: Frank Flavin

Media reports of Byrne’s Alyeska acquisition sometimes refer to him as a “ski bum” who bought a resort. Avid skier, yes—Byrne tries to spend at least two or three hours a day on the slopes, though a knee injury last December at Alyeska has sidelined him temporarily. Deadhead, yes—he still listens to the Grateful Dead in his car, or whenever he’s playing foosball. Byrne did work as a ski instructor while on “the fiveyear-plan” at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. He was, however, hardly a bum. Raised on the East Coast, Byrne said his father was credited with saving the insurance company Geico, and in the 1970s became friends and then business partners with legendary investor Warren Buffett. Byrne himself spent four years on Wall Street with Salomon Brothers before he quit and bought a motel in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and began to build his real estate business. Alyeska is owned through Byrne’s Utah real-estate investment company, Cirque Property. Byrne lives at Alta, Utah, a single parent of two daughters, Noelle and Kaelee, ages 15 and 12. Byrne said he hopes to keep the resort in the family. The girls already are making plans: “Kay wants to run the ski area with Di (the current ski area general manager), and Noelle has great ideas for the hotel.” Buying the resort gave Byrne an opportunity to give back to a sport “that’s meant a great deal to me,” he said. “To perpetuate Alyeska was really my primary mission. I’m sure this won’t be the all-time most successful deal as it relates to an internal rate of return. But that’s not why I’m here. I’m here for the long-term.” q 800.426.0074 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012



Use Credit Strategically as the Recovery Gains Strength By Lori McCaffrey

Analyze Leverage Ratio

Very importantly, analyze your leverage ratio before and after borrowing as preparation for possible additional borrowing, should contingencies or unexpected opportunities arise. This last consideration deserves underscoring, and some perspective. When business credit tightened initially, many companies found they were overleveraged and had no financial cushion to ride out deteriorating conditions. When sales and cash flow faltered, their debt service became unsustainable. That said, it is wise to ensure that your company has sufficient liquid reserves to bridge temporary short-falls. Also, before borrowing, plan out your exit strategy, which means more than just the simple suggestion to borrow only what your


company can pay back. Be clear about how your company will pay back the new debt, taking into account possibilities such as appreciation in your collateral value or in cash flow, or the possible availability of a strategic take-out loan at better terms than currently apply. If your company has multiple credit facilities in place, be thoughtful about allocating resources to pay them down. Paying early may deprive your company of needed strategic reserves.

Match Credit to Needs

Next, strategically match new credit to new needs. Review the initial purposes for which you obtained term loans or lines of credit, and reassess how suitable your existing credit exposure remains in light of current needs and plans. Then choose the form of credit that best fits current conditions, your exposure and your business objectives. Work with an experienced business banker to engineer the most appropriate financing for your company’s current cash position and future plans; and to determine whether debt or equity is most advisable, given your ownership structure, management and business type. Your company may have internal financial resources available for powering growth. Identifying and using those resources can extend the effectiveness of such external financing as debt. Specifically, consider the following approaches: Use profits strategically. Allocate them to those product lines, services and investments that bring the greatest return. This may sound overly conservative, and to some it may seem to preclude taking prudent risks in new product development and other initiatives. But these are times when careful resource allocation pays off. Enhance cash flow. Accelerate income by tightening your payment policy with customers, demanding deposits or cash up front, or offering discounts for prompt payments. Consider raising prices or increasing fees—but do so carefully, to preserve customer loyalty.

Craft strategic alliances. Similar companies can form marketing alliances to highlight the value of their products and services, and companies can cross-sell one another’s products, enhancing the attractiveness of both to new customers. Explore non-debt and non-equity financing. You can use accounts receivable funding/factoring, equipment leasing or purchase-order funding to raise capital; retailers can obtain cash advances against future credit card purchases. The best advice I can offer, given the uncertain times we live in, is to rely heavily on trusted financial and business advisors who can supply the expertise your company may lack, providing guidance on expansion opportunities as the economy recovers, and how to finance it. q

Photo courtesy of KeyBank


he tightened business credit brought on by the recession has begun to lift. Recently, one independent analysis of FDIC data reported five straight quarters of increasing overall commercial and industrial lending by banks. But as the credit squeeze eases, lenders remain cautious in their underwriting, even as interest rates remain at near-record lows. Consequently, Alaska companies seeking to ride the recovery, as uncertain and erratic as it can seem in the short term, must be strategic in their use of credit. Steering a company effectively and growing strategically as you shift from defense to offense may depend on the quality of credit you can access more than on any other single factor. This often comes down to how you manage your creditworthiness before reaching out to potential lenders to finance an expansion of facilities, capabilities, equipment, inventory or staff. Once you have actualized an expansion plan to achieve any of these growth measures, take an honest inventory of internal resources needed to take on any additional debt. Review your staff resources to administer and pay back a lender, including the expertise to fulfill covenants consistently and reliably. Realistically assess the cash flow your company has available to serve both existing debt and the new debt.

About the Author Lori McCaffrey is senior vice president for Commercial Banking in KeyBank’s Alaska District, based in Anchorage. Contact her at 907-564-0340 or This document is designed to provide general information only and is not legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. KeyBank does not make any warranties regarding the results obtained from the use of this information, nor does Alaska Business Monthly. • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

ALASKA TRENDS By Paul Davidson Alaska Trends, an outline of significant statewide statistics, is provided by the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development.

Petroleum Refineries


An outlook at Alaska operations

ix petroleum refineries operate in Alaska, most of which are “topping” plants that take lighter petroleum products from crude oil and inject the rest back into the trans-Alaska oil pipeline. Alaskan refineries produce jet fuel, gasoline, heating oil, diesel, gas oil and asphalt. Most motor gasoline consumed instate is refined in Nikiski and North Pole, and most jet fuel consumed in-state is produced in these and three other in-state refineries. According to ConocoPhillips, Kenai’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, which exports to Japan, is the only exporting LNG terminal in North America. The United States Energy Information Administration records Alaska as one of six states in the West Coast data recording district known as PADD 5. The chart shows changes in the capacity of PADD 5 and utilization of that capacity from 1985 to 2011 (preliminary data is used for 2011). Capacity peaks in 2009

with 3,222 thousand barrels, then declines to a 12-year low of 2,910 thousand barrels in 2011. Utilization drops by 234 thousand barrels in 2009, and again by 209 barrels in 2011, the highest yearly changes in production in this 26-year data set.  q

SOURCE: State of Alaska Division of Oil and Gas, United States Energy Information Agency

Alaska Trends has been brought to you this month courtesy of American Marine/Penco • • Alaska Alaska Business Business Monthly Monthly • • April April 2012 2012




GENERAL Personal Income—Alaska Personal Income—United States Consumer Prices—Anchorage Consumer Prices—United States Bankruptcies Alaska Total Anchorage Total Fairbanks Total EMPLOYMENT Alaska Anchorage & Mat-Su Fairbanks Southeast Gulf Coast Sectorial Distribution—Alaska Total Nonfarm Goods Producing Services Providing Mining and Logging Mining Oil & Gas Construction Manufacturing Seafood Processing Trade/Transportation/Utilities Wholesale Trade Retail Trade Food & Beverage Stores General Merchandise Stores Trans/Warehouse/Utilities Air Transportation Truck Transportation Information Telecommunications Financial Activities Professional & Business Services Educational & Health Services Health Care Leisure & Hospitality Accommodation Food Services & Drinking Places Other Services Government Federal Government State Government State Education Local Government Local Education Tribal Government Labor Force Alaska Anchorage & Mat-Su Fairbanks Southeast Gulf Coast Unemployment Rate Alaska Anchorage & Mat-Su


Previous Report Period (revised)

Year Ago Period

Year Over Year Change



Latest Report Period

US $ US $ 1982-1984 = 100 1982-1984 = 100

3rd Q11 3rd Q11 2nd H11 2nd H11

32,574 12,953,429 202.58 226.28

32,564 12,934,733 200.28 223.60

31,751 12,441,541 195.455 218.576

2.59% 4.11% 3.64% 3.52%

Number Filed Number Filed Number Filed

December December December

72 53 15

72 51 11

92 64 14

-21.74% -17.19% 7.14%

Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands

December December December December December

337.29 189.78 44.81 35.79 34.36

339.61 189.92 44.66 36.02 35.28

330.59 188.15 43.46 34.56 32.89

2.03% 0.87% 3.10% 3.56% 4.48%

Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands

December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December December

313.1 34.6 278.5 16.3 16.0 13.4 13.1 5.2 2.0 62.2 6.0 35.5 6.2 10.5 20.7 5.7 3.5 6.5 4.3 14.7 25.7 43.8 32.1 29.2 5.5 19.5 11.2 85.2 16.2 26.2 8.6 42.8 25.3 3.7

317.4 38.2 279.2 16.6 16.1 13.6 14.4 7.2 3.6 62.4 6.1 35.8 6.1 10.7 20.5 5.5 3.5 6.5 4.4 14.9 26.3 43.7 31.9 29.3 5.1 20.0 11.0 85.1 15.9 26.3 8.7 42.9 25.1 3.8

313.4 35.8 277.6 15.7 15.4 13.1 13.4 6.7 3.1 61.8 6.0 35.0 6.1 9.9 20.8 5.6 3.1 6.4 4.3 15.4 25.5 42.4 30.4 29.0 6.8 17.1 11.2 85.9 16.5 26.0 8.4 43.4 25.1 3.8

-0.10% -3.35% 0.32% 3.82% 3.90% 2.29% -2.24% -22.39% -35.48% 0.65% 0.00% 1.43% 1.64% 6.06% -0.48% 1.79% 12.90% 1.56% 0.00% -4.55% 0.78% 3.30% 5.59% 0.69% -19.12% 14.04% 0.00% -0.81% -1.82% 0.77% 2.38% -1.38% 0.80% -2.63%

Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands

December December December December December

365.30 202.68 48.02 38.90 38.30

365.89 202.32 47.69 38.86 38.81

359.65 202.32 46.77 37.81 36.88

1.57% 0.18% 2.66% 2.87% 3.86%

Percent Percent

December December

7.7 6.4

7.1 6.1

8.1 7

-4.94% -8.57% • • Alaska Business Monthly • • April April 2012 2012



Fairbanks Southeast Gulf Coast United States



Percent Percent Percent Percent

December December December December

PETROLEUM/MINING Crude Oil Production—Alaska Millions of Barrels Natural Gas Field Production—Alaska Billions of Cubic Ft. ANS West Cost Average Spot Price $ per Barrel Hughes Rig Count Alaska Active Rigs United States Active Rigs Gold Prices $ Per Troy Oz. Silver Prices $ Per Troy Oz. Zinc Prices Per Pound

Latest Report Period

6.7 8 10.3 8.3

Previous Report Period (revised)

6.3 7.3 9 8.2

Year Ago Period

7.1 8.6 10.8 9.1

Year Over Year Change

-5.63% -6.98% -4.63% -8.79%

December 18.34 17.79 18.97 -3.29% December 9.59 9.64 12.79 -25.01% December 106.55 115.58 89.75 18.72% December       December 8 7 7 14.29% December 2002 2011 1711 17.01% December 1,652.52 1,737.48 1,392.03 18.71% December 30.41 33.08 29.35 3.62% December 0.96 0.96 1.14 -16.24%

REAL ESTATE Anchorage Building Permit Valuations Total Residential Commercial Deeds of Trust Recorded Anchorage--Recording District

Millions of $ December 8.21 20.92 15.80 -48.02% Millions of $ December 2.65 3.42 3.56 -25.46% Millions of $ December 5.56 17.50 12.25 -54.57%         Total Deeds December 1093 1044 1,149 -4.87%

VISITOR INDUSTRY Total Air Passenger Traffic—Anchorage Total Air Passenger Traffic—Fairbanks

Thousands Thousands

December December

NO DATA 66.68

NO DATA 60.93

368.74 74.58

NO DATA -10.60%

ALASKA PERMANENT FUND Equity Assets Net Income Net Income—Year to Date Marketable Debt Securities Real Estate Investments Preferred and Common Stock

Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $

December December December December December December December

38,646.70 39,007.80 193.4 (5.8) 61.9 1.10 (209.8)

38,566.00 39,069.30 105.2 (517.7) (108.3) (5.60) (462.9)

38,425.10 38,768.60 176.9 $1,347.1 -61.3 13.4 1,221.8

0.58% 0.62% 9.33% -100.43% 200.98% -91.79% -117.17%

BANKING (excludes interstate branches) Total Bank Assets—Alaska Cash & Balances Due Securities Net Loans and Leases Other Real Estate Owned Total Liabilities Total Bank Deposits—Alaska Noninterest-bearing deposits Interest- bearing deposits

Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $

3rd Q11 3rd Q11 3rd Q11 3rd Q11 3rd Q11 3rd Q11 3rd Q11 3rd Q11 3rd Q11

2,105.62 49.64 156.23 1,097.05 7.05 1,847.06 1,800.05 543.72 1,256.33

2,050.03 51.85 158.58 1,098.51 6.21 1,796.24 1,756.69 643.96 1,114.74

2,068.99 37.35 131.40 1,110.96 15.76 1,823.80 1,785.53 479.89 1,305.64

1.77% 32.91% 18.90% -1.25% -55.26% 1.28% 0.81% 13.30% -3.78%

FOREIGN TRADE Value of the Dollar In Japanese Yen In Canadian Dollars In British Pounds In European Monetary Unit In Chinese Yuan

Yen Canadian $ Pounds Euro Yuan

December December December December December

77.84 1.02 0.64 0.76 6.36

77.52 1.02 0.63 0.74 6.36

83.37 1.01 0.64 0.76 6.65

-6.63% 1.43% 0.05% 0.23% -4.36%

Data compiled by University of Alaska Center for Economic Development. • April April 2012 2012 • • Alaska Business Monthly •


Advertisers Index Able Body Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Alaska Airlines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Alaska Air Transit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 Alaska Executive Search . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 Alaska Housing Finance Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Ahtna Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 Alaska Media Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority . . . . . 43 Alaska Regional Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Alaska Rubber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 Alaska State Chamber of Commerce . . . . 102 Alaska Tobacco Prevention and Control . . . 39 Alaska USA Federal Credit Union . . . . . . . 97 Allen Marine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 Alyeska Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 Ameresco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 American Fast Freight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 American Marine/PENCO . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 Anchorage Chrysler Dodge . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Arctic Controls Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 Arctic Office Products (Machines) . . . . . . 125 Arctic Slope Telephone Association Co. . . . 79 AT&T Alaska . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Azimuth Adventure Photography . . . . . . . . 19 Bell Tech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Bering Straits Native Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 Body Renew Alaska . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Bowhead Transport Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Bristol Bay Native Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Calista Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 Canadian Mat Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Capture The Fun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77


Carlile Transportation Systems . . . . . . . . . . 13 Central Environmental Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Central Recycling Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Chris Arend Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 Cook Inlet Region Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 City Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Clarion Suites Downtown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Construction Machinery Industrial LLC . . . . 2 Cruz Construction Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Delta Western . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Denali Alaskan Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 David Frazier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Davis Constructors & Engineers Inc. . . . . . 99 Delta Western . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Denali Alaskan Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 Design Alaska . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Donlin Gold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Dowland-Bach Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Doyon Limited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 EDC Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 Eklutna Native Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Engineered Fire & Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 ERA Helicopters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 ESS Support Services/ESS Labor Services . . . 71 Fairbanks Memorial Hospital . . . . . . . . . . 127 Fairweather LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 First National Bank Alaska . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Flint Hills Resources Alaska LLC . . . . . . . . 98 GCI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 Golden Valley Electric Association . . . . . . . 48 Granite Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Great Originals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Green Star Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Haight & Associates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Hawk Consultants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Horizon Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 Hotel Captain Cook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 Inlet Petroleum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 Integrated Logic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Judy Patrick Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 Juneau Convention & Visitors Bureau . . . . 17 Junior Achievement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 Kendall Ford Wasilla . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 Kinross Fort Knox . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Koniag Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112 Lands End . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Landye Bennett Blumstein LLP . . . . . . . . 129 Lounsbury & Associates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 Lynden Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 Medical Park Family Care Inc. . . . . . . . . . . 24 Microcom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131 Millennium Hotel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Municipal Light & Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 NANA Regional Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 N C Machinery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 New York Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Northern Air Cargo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74, 75 Northrim Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 North Star Behavioral Health . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Oloognik Development Corp. . . . . . . . . . . 111 Pacific Alaska Freightways . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Pacific Pile & Marine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8, 9,10 Paramount Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Parker Smith & Feek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Pen Air . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 Personnel Plus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 Procomm Alaska . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Quality Suites near Convention Center . . . 84 Renewable Energy Alaska Project . . . . . . . 45 Rodeway Inn Voyager Hotel . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Rosie’s Delivery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Rotary District 5010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Ryan Air . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 Seekins Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Shoreside Petroleum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Society for Marketing Professional Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Span Alaska Consolidators . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Spenard Builders Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Stellar Designs Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Susitna Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 The Growth Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 The Kuskokwim Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 The Superior Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 Tikchik Lodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Totem Ocean Trailer Express . . . . . . . . . . 133 Udelhoven Oilfield Systems . . . . . . . . . . . 110 Unisea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 Usibelli Coal Mine Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 Visit Anchorage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Washington Crane & Hoist . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Waste Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Wells Fargo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140 Workers’ Compensation Commission of Alaska Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012 • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012



Business Platinum Credit Card

introductory rate

Get a new business platinum credit card today and receive 0% introductory rate for 9 months

The Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card is an essential tool for all small businesses to help better manage business expenses, while getting rewarded for everyday purchases. The Business Platinum Credit Card offers: • 0% introductory rate for 9 months1 on purchases and balance transfers • Best-in-class rewards — Enroll in the Business Card Rewards program and get the first year rewards free2 — Earn more valuable rewards for everyday business purchases • No annual card fee • Credit lines up to $50,000

Talk to your banker today!

Offer valid from January ,  to June , . New Business Platinum Credit Card accounts submitted and approved during the promotional period will receive the introductory rate of % for the first nine billing cycles. The % introductory rate applies to purchases and balance transfers for the first nine cycles as long as the customer does not default under the Customer Agreement. Each Balance Transfer transaction will be assessed a % fee ($ minimum and $ maximum).  Enroll in the Wells Fargo Business Card Rewards® program when you open a new Business Platinum Credit Card account and get the annual rewards program fee of $ waived for the first year only. ©  Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. () 

April - 2012 - Alaska Business Monthly  

Alaska Business Monthly’s 2012 Corporate 100 annual special section begins on page 86. Top citizens of industry are highlighted in this annu...

April - 2012 - Alaska Business Monthly  

Alaska Business Monthly’s 2012 Corporate 100 annual special section begins on page 86. Top citizens of industry are highlighted in this annu...