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TOP 49 ALASKA COMPANIES BASED ON GROSS REVENUE

October 2016

Digital Edition


October 2016 Digital Edition TA BLE OF CONTENTS 7 156 158 161 162 166 167 170

ARTICLES ALASKA ECONOMY OP-ED

8 | For Alaska to Survive and Thrive, Our Fiscal Policy Needs an Overhaul By Joe Beedle and Joe Schierhorn

CONSTRUCTION

10 | Careers in Construction

Shaping history, bettering Alaska By Rindi White

TELECOM & TECHNOLOGY

ABOUT THE COVER: Visons for the Arctic is the theme for the 2016 Top 49ers, Alaska Business Monthly’s annual tribute to the Top 49 businesses owned and operated by Alaskans and ranked by gross income (special section begins on page 84). We’re using that Arctic theme in another special section as well: Arctic Oil & Gas (begins on page 34). Cover design: David Geiger, Art Director

Arctic Oil & Gas Special Section 34 | AOGA Panel: Arctic Opportunities The vision for a favorable place to do business Compiled by Tasha Anderson

40 | Shell Pulling Up Stakes in the Chukchi Contractors retrieve anchor systems By Julie Stricker

46 | A Regulatory Shellacking

Photo courtesy of GSE

BOEM finalizes rules for Arctic OCS operators By R. Isaak Hurst

52 | Alaska’s Arctic Fleet

Vessels and barges have short season By Julie Stricker

GSatTrack display on various devices.

16 | GPS Fleet Tracking Solutions Helping businesses improve operational efficiencies, decrease costs, and increase customer satisfaction By Tracy Barbour

20 | Quintillion Arctic Cable Expedition A Photo Essay by Judy Patrick

MARKETING

24 | Local Alaska Printers

Producing tangible marketing materials By Tasha Anderson

REAL ESTATE

28 | Marketing Luxury Homes

More work, more time needed By Rindi White

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40

Photo courtesy of Edison Chouest Offshore Alaska

DEPARTMENTS

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

56 | North Slope-Based Corporations Look for Opportunities Close to Home

Arctic drilling and logistics translate into jobs and benefits for shareholders By Julie Stricker

Nanuq pulling up an anchor on her back deck.

60 | Alyeska TAPS Maintenance

New technology, same level of care By Tasha Anderson

62 | Arctic Transportation Infrastructure Needs Ports and roads from Barrow to Anchorage By Julie Stricker

70 | Regulators Continue Review of LNG Project Reports By Larry Persily

CORRECTION In the September 2016 article “Revisiting ANCSA: Mike Gravel, Former Alaskan statesman reminisces” we got the caption wrong on page 34 of the Nixon photo. The caption should read: “President Richard M. Nixon signing the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act on November 16, 1973.”

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


October 2016 Digital Edition TA B L E

O F

C O N T E N T S

2016 Top 49ers Special Section 84 | Top 49ers Executive Summary

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Visions for the Arctic By Tasha Anderson

86 | 2016 Top 49ers Employment Figures, Gross Revenues & Industry Distribution 88 | 2016 Top 49ers Directory 136 | 2016 Top 49ers 5 Year Rank & Revenue 137 | 2016 Top 49ers by Industry Classification 138 | Business Opportunities in the Arctic Top 49ers comment on business opportunities they see in the Arctic for their companies

FEATURED 49ERS

144 | Gail Schubert and Bering Straits Native Corporation Providing for shareholders and their descendants By Shehla Anjum

148 | Lynden

‘Employees are everything’ By Tasha Anderson

150 | Three Bears Alaska

ARTICLES REAL ESTATE

32 | Commercial Tenants with Phantom Space

Beware of landlords with 13-inch rulers By Jeff Grandfield and Dale Willerton

LEGAL SPEAK

73 | 1031 Exchange An essential tool for the business owner By Ben Spiess

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‘Still growing strong’ By Tasha Anderson

INSURANCE

74 | Managing Employee Benefits

Rewarding workers and complying with requirements By Tracy Barbour

HEALTHCARE

80 | Health Fairs and Preventive Screenings

152 | Homer Electric Association

Helping employees be successful By Tasha Anderson

154 | Great Northwest, Inc. ‘Success is respect’ By Tasha Anderson

Saving Alaskans one test at time By Tom Anderson

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


FROM THE EDITOR VOLUME 32, NUMBER 10 Published by Alaska Business Publishing Co. Anchorage, Alaska

EDITORIAL STAFF

Managing Editor Susan Harrington 257-2907 editor@akbizmag.com Associate Editor Tasha Anderson 257-2902 tanderson@akbizmag.com Art Director David Geiger 257-2916 design@akbizmag.com Art Production Linda Shogren 257-2912 production@akbizmag.com Photo Contributor Judy Patrick

BUSINESS STAFF

President Billie Martin VP & General Manager Jason Martin 257-2905 jason@akbizmag.com VP Sales & Marketing Charles Bell 257-2909 cbell@akbizmag.com Account Mgr. Janis J. Plume 257-2917 janis@akbizmag.com Account Mgr. Holly Parsons 257-2910 hparsons@akbizmag.com Accountant Ana Lavagnino 257-2901 accounts@akbizmag.com Customer Service Representative Emily Olsen 257-2914 emily@akbizmag.com 501 W. Northern Lights Boulevard, Suite 100 Anchorage, Alaska 99503-2577 (907) 276-4373 | Outside Anchorage: 1-800-770-4373 Fax: (907) 279-2900 www.akbizmag.com | Editorial email: editor@akbizmag.com

ALASKA BUSINESS PUBLISHING CO., INC.

ALASKA BUSINESS MONTHLY (ISSN 8756-4092) is published monthly by Alaska Business Publishing Co., Inc., 501 W. Northern Lights Boulevard, Suite 100, Anchorage, Alaska 99503-2577; Telephone: (907) 276-4373; Fax: (907) 279-2900, ©2016, 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 www.akbizmag.com. Manuscripts: Email query letter to editor@akbizmag.com. 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. Email specific requests to editor@akbizmag.com. Online: Alaska Business Monthly is available at www.akbizmag.com/Digital-Archives, www.thefreelibrary.com/ 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.

Best Places to Work in Alaska H

ands down I would say this issue lists forty-nine of the best places to work in Alaska—our 2016 Top 49ers. Although, I should point out that we originally intended to expound on the First Annual Best of Alaska Business Awards winners of the Best Place to Work category, it just so happens that two of the three happen to be Top 49ers: First National Bank Alaska and Bristol Bay Native Corporation. Anchorage Fracture and Orthopedic Clinic is the other Best Place to Work winner, so there you have fifty great employers. Fifty-one: I have to include Alaska Business Monthly, which really is a great place to work. Although most votes determined the Best Place to Work winners, we also asked: “Why?” Survey responders could select one of three responses to seven different workplace characteristics: mostly, somewhat, or not so much. For example, of all the survey responses to the Best Place to Work question, Positive Culture ranked highest at 93%; it was followed by Great Coworkers 90%, Supportive Environment 89%, Effective Leadership 85%, Meaningful Work 82%, Challenging Work 75%, and Professional Development 73%. All the responders for the third place Foraker Award recipient Bristol Bay Native Corporation selected “mostly,” which garnered the company 100% in every one of the seven categories. Responses for the second place St. Elias Award winner Anchorage Fracture and Orthopedic Clinic were: Great Coworkers, Meaningful Work, and Supportive Environment 92%; Professional Development 85%; Challenging Work 77%; and Positive Culture and Effective Leadership 69%. First National Bank Alaska, voted the Best Place to Work in Alaska, and thus the winner of the Denali Award, also had a variety of responses: Great Coworkers topped the list at 93%, followed closely by Supportive Environment 90%, Positive Culture and Effective Leadership 88%, Meaningful Work 85%, Professional Development 78%, and Challenging Work 70%. We hope the information is helpful and revealing. And we hope you find the October issue helpful and revealing—two great special sections: Arctic Oil & Gas and our famous Top 49ers—Visions for the Arctic. The team has put together another really great issue—enjoy!

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Susan Harrington, Managing Editor

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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ALASKA ECONOMY OP-ED

For Alaska to Survive and Thrive, Our Fiscal Policy Needs an Overhaul By Joe Beedle and Joe Schierhorn

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At Northrim Bank, we are very proud of our Alaska roots and work tirelessly to engage with our customers and the community to build the best Alaska we can. As the Chairman of the Board and the President/ CEO of the Bank, the two of us have more than seventy years of experience in the financial industry and have lived in Alaska for more than one hundred years, collectively. We have a deep, caring, passion for Alaska and our company and so do our employees. We work every day to maintain discipline and grow Alaska business, and we engage to keep Alaska strong. The past couple of years have been very disturbing to witness as the state of Alaska has accepted repeated annual budget shortfalls of $4 billion, rapidly diminished our savings accounts, and not made any meaningful progress on systemic or sustainable programmatic fiscal policy improvements. The state has become more divisive and dysfunctional and lost considerable confidence of many stakeholders, including credit markets, private sector investors, and developers of our base industries. Many groups and individuals urged the Legislature to adopt a plan that would provide sustainable relief for the budget short8

Photo by Chris Arend / Courtesy of Northrim Bank

rexit is an abbreviation for “British exit,” referring to the June 23, 2016, referendum whereby British citizens voted to exit the European Union. We would argue that Alaska’s exit or avoidance to deal with fiscal discipline amounts to Alaska’s exit from economic and fiscal reality, a dysfunctional end to prosperity, an “AK-IT” scenario. We need legislative action to reform our fiscal discipline so that we stabilize our fiscal and economic future and attract investment capital and viable business to the state.

Northrim Bank President, CEO, and COO Joe Schierhorn and Northrim Bank Chairman Joe Beedle at the corporation offices recently.

fall and create a long-term solution to the state’s fiscal problems. Unfortunately, this has not happened and as a result, the state’s liquid financial reserves will drop below healthy levels next year. We do not have time to delay action further! The lack of a sustainable plan has lowered the state’s credit rating and caused turmoil throughout state agencies and the public and private sectors. We are extremely disappointed that even with all the discussion and public engagement that there is still no workable plan being considered by the Legislature. We know the Legislators are concerned about the upcoming election; but also, we want them to know that we, here at Northrim, stand for election everyday with our customers and investors. It is through our discipline and accountability that we win the votes of our customers. Investment dollars are fungible and mobile, and Alaska

is losing opportunities while we wait for legislative action. Again, we urge the Legislature to take action and remember that their job is to maintain stability and create a constructive plan, which sometimes means making difficult, unpopular decisions. It is time for all Alaskans to realize that we need to do what is best for Alaska as a whole, and not just for ourselves as individuals. There is opportunity in times of struggle. Northrim Bank was born out of the ashes of the recession of the mid-1980s and the two of us do not want to revisit those times again. Through discipline and hard work, we created not only a thriving financial institution but also one that is a resource for our customers and the community. The state’s budget woes do not make up the entire story of the Alaska economy and it is important for businesses to remember that

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


there is opportunity in difficult times; efficiencies can be enhanced, bargain purchases made, and new markets explored. While the oil and gas industry is facing challenges in the current environment, other sectors might enjoy relative strength. We are fortunate to have healthy fishing, mining, transportation, tourism, hospitality, retail, healthcare, and military complex industries. However, the headlines only read that our state can’t balance its budget. Previously, the governor said the state just has a cash flow problem and had time to correct the “glide path.” To a banker the most important “C” of credit is “cash flow,” and thus we believe a systemic income statement overhaul of state government finances needs to occur to keep from crashing.

Visioning the problem as if Alaska’s state budget was an airplane: Many things are required to keep the budget on track or the plane in the air; the state has a large plane but it is only one-tenth of the planes in the air; businesses and industries have their own planes and must work together to ensure safe travel for all. As with any flight, planning and coordination is needed to ensure a safe trip; pilots must remain calm and disciplined in the face of an emergency; the Administration and the Legislature are like the pilots of the state’s budget—collectively they must bring discipline back to the planning and execution of the budget. The state’s reserves are on empty and they are not checking the boxes on the checklist to keep the plane in the air. The Administration has created a plan that has merit and would be successful in maintaining a safe flight. Community partners, such as the Institute of Social and Economic Research, Commonwealth North, Plan4Alaska, and Alaska’s Future

have worked throughout the past year to brief the public and Legislature on the importance of a plan that creates a sustainable budget, or safe flight plan. The state’s plane is in a tailspin and we need to work quickly to recover. We no longer have the fuel reserves to keep the state’s plane in the air. Like many throughout Alaska, we are concerned about the lack of action taken by the Legislature to course correct for the loss of revenue fuel or uncontrollable cost drag on the plane of the state. This past year was the time to plot a strategic flight plan that would keep Alaska flying in the future. As we are all aware, there is no single solution to solve the budget crisis. The comprehensive budget plan must include all of the following items:  Cuts to the state budget  New revenue to include, but not limited to, broad-based taxes  Use of Permanent Fund earnings As an aside, Northrim as a corporation pays an Alaska state income tax at the marginal rate of 9.4 percent, one of the highest in the country. We both, as individuals, are willing to pay a personal income tax and/ or a state sales tax, and we are willing to give up part or all of our Permanent Fund Dividend to help balance our state’s budget. It is time to reset the expectations of the Legislature. They must lead by doing what is best for Alaska. Discipline over desire is needed to correct the course of the state budget. As noted earlier, we, the Bank, stand for election every day with our customers and our customers remain loyal to the Bank because we have the discipline to maintain a steady flight plan. Customers (or constituents) appreciate discipline over desire and understand that difficult decisions must be made to keep a plane in the air.

Joe Beedle is Chairman of Northrim Bank. Beedle assumed the role as Chairman of Northrim Bank on January 1, 2016, when founder Marc Langland retired. He has been with Northrim Bank for ten years, holding positions as Chief Lending Officer, President, and CEO. Beedle has more than forty years in the financial industry and has spent his career in Alaska. He grew up in Juneau and holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is also a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School. Beedle has worked with groups throughout the state for sound fiscal policies. These groups include Commonwealth North, the Institute of Social and Economic Research, and Small Business Development Center. www.akbizmag.com

Northrim Bank built its own plane out of the wreckage of a bad economy and we are resolute not to allow our reserves or capital to be depleted or let our systems deteriorate. The realization of getting the Northrim plane off the ground took resolve and alignment just as staying credit diligent and capital strong is required today. We not only have the tools and discipline to keep our own plane in the air safe and sound but also the tools to help other businesses maintain a steady flight path themselves and avoid potential disasters. In the past year, we have created a program called SurThrival. A program that helps Alaska businesses not only survive, but also thrive during times of economic hardship. It started as a response to the fiscal crisis with the state’s budget and grew in response to a slowing economy and is applicable through many types of adversity. Businesses receive tips that will help them SurThrive in a down economy and Bank officers are available to create a plan for the business to help navigate the turbulence of economic difficulties. We continue to be cautiously optimistic that the state will solve its budget deficit. This will occur through further decreases in government spending, use of Permanent Fund earnings, and generating new revenue through broad-based taxes. At Northrim, we will continue to advocate for a balanced approach to the state budget issues. There are many tools available to deal with the issue. We also believe that there will be opportunities to SurThrive in the current economic environment. We ask the Alaska Legislature to vote for a disciplined and sustainable fiscal solution that provides opportunities for all Alaskans to SurThrive. R

Joe Schierhorn is President, CEO, and COO of Northrim Bank. Schierhorn is a charter employee of Northrim Bank and assumed his current role on January 1, 2016, when Joe Beedle took over as Chairman of Northrim Bank. A longtime Alaskan, Schierhorn has worked in banking for nearly thirty years. He has a Juris Doctorate from Willamette University and is a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School. Schierhorn is a member of the Anchorage Downtown Rotary, a Board Member of the Resource Development Council for Alaska, and is the Vice President of the Alaska Bankers Association.

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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CONSTRUCTION

Careers in Construction

Photo by Austin Nickerson / Courtesy of Cruz Construction

Dalton MP386—installed culverts will be covered with gravel at mile 386.2 of the Dalton Highway during the 2016 summer construction season. Cruz Construction is improving the Dalton Highway between MP 379 and 397 near Deadhorse.

Shaping history, bettering Alaska By Rindi White

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onstruction is one of the largest industries in Alaska, and the work is varied. Workers might be called on to build new subdivisions or sewer treatment plants, erect power generating plants, or lay a new railroad spur. For many in the industry, that’s what makes the field fulfilling. “The challenges are dynamic, and the days are pretty dynamic. There is some routine, but you never really know what kind of challenges you’ll face to get a certain job out of the ground,” says Josh Peppard, president of Davis Constructors & Engineers, Inc. The challenges mean you need to be able to think on your feet, Peppard says. “There’s not a formula to do it one sort of way; out of the box thinking normally wins out,” he says.

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The chance to shape history is also a draw. Seeing a building emerge from a former grassy field or helping build an airport that will provide a small rural village with a better link to the rest of the state are rewarding. The challenge of building a good reputation—and keeping it—is gratifying, says Bill Watterson, owner of Watterson Construction. “In our industry, it’s easy to get a bad reputation. And you can spend thirty years getting, maintaining, and making sure you have a good reputation, and one thing comes up and it might be destroyed,” Watterson says. “The challenge of bringing it all together, with our crews and subcontractors, getting them all there with the right

products and materials, the right people, to have a smooth project, sometimes it’s hugely challenging.” But hiring good people—and trusting them to do excellent work—has led to thirty-five years of success, even in times when other companies struggled. “We had positive growth every year during the 1980s,” Watterson says, speaking of the post-pipeline construction recession. Watterson Construction worked on a lot of military construction projects during the 80s, as it does today. While commercial and residential construction in Alaska slowed during that decade, military construction projects provided pretty steady work. Dave Cruz, chairman and CEO of Cruz Construction, says for him, part of the

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Davis Constructors and Engineers at work building the University of Alaska Fairbanks Power Plant. © Ken Graham Photography.com

draw was being able to be his own boss. He began his career as a commercial driver during pipeline days, fresh out of high school, having just graduated his training from the Alaska Teamsters. He drove in the “heavy construction” field until the pipeline was finished in 1977 and then focused his jobs on oilfield work, building ice roads.

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By 1981 he started out on his own, with Cruz Construction, doing mostly US Forest Service work and projects for the State of Alaska, as well as some private commercial development. Today, Cruz Companies oversees six different businesses engaged in oilfield services, heavy civil contracting, mining support and mining construc-

tion contracts, a tug and barge business, a company that does crane work and oil rig moving in North Dakota, and a taxi-crane business that operates in Washington state and Oregon. Cruz also operates a civil construction arm in Fort McMurray, Alberta, and partners with Specialized Transport and Rigging LLC.

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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Roger Hickel Contracting, Inc. built the cement dome at the Port of Anchorage for ABI. © Ken Graham Photography.com

Thirty-five years later, all that diversification makes Cruz a strong competitor in the tough Alaska construction market. “It de-risks the owner, because of the resources you are able to bring to the table,” Cruz says.

Family Footsteps

Pipeline experience is a common theme among those who currently manage construction companies in Alaska. But a new generation of manager is on the way—those too young to have worked on the pipeline. Peppard is part of that up-and-coming group, having worked with Davis Constructors since 1994, when he started as a summer break laborer and, later, an intern while he was attending college. Peppard’s link with Davis goes back even farther; his father was a superintendent for Davis when he was a boy, and Peppard was a familiar face at the office. Today, Peppard is updating some of the same projects his grandfather worked on fifty years ago. Davis Constructors is rebuilding part of the Anchorage Museum, a project his grandfather originally worked on in the 1960s. His grandfather was also superintendent on the CIRI building several decades ago, and Davis recently completed CIRI’s new building. Choosing the same career as his father— and grandfather—before him seems a no12

brainer, but Peppard says it wasn’t an automatic choice. He wanted to be a teacher but switched after working construction in the summers. He says it’s not a career without challenges. “On the downside, it’s pretty demanding. It’s tough to be a contractor and have a good life/work balance and still have enough time for your wife and your kids,” he says. When the chance to move into the presidential role came up, Peppard says he had to set boundaries in order to keep his life balanced. “I came home and told my wife and … her response was, ‘I like that idea, but tell me you’re going to be home for dinner.’ I had to set a hard line. It doesn’t always work, but I had to decide fundamentally which was more important—am I going to live to work, or work to live? By God’s grace, that’s worked out,” he says. Mike Shaw, president of Roger Hickel Contracting, Inc., also followed his family into the construction field. His stepfather was a project manager, he says, and Shaw worked as a laborer, all the while watching and learning in hopes of moving into a management role. “I watched and kind of followed people, and said ‘Hey, I want to do that someday.’ I wanted to be that guy on the job that kind of ruled the world, so to speak,” he says. “I never dreamed I’d be a president.”

Having held various roles on the job site, Shaw says each has benefits and challenges. When he was a superintendent, he enjoyed working outdoors every day, witnessing the progress of the project. Then his boss said he was going to step into project management, a job that would keep him in the office more. “You want to chase the first concrete truck you see,” he says. But soon the benefits became apparent and new challenges emerged.

The Future (of Management) Looks Bright Every construction manager reached for this story had positive things to say about the next generation of superintendents and project managers—people who will likely one day be managing the construction companies working in Alaska. “I see opportunities for people who want to work,” says Cruz. “Like anything, you go out on the job and, if you want to stand out, you work hard and keep your nose clean.” Cruz says project managers come in two ways—those who work their way up from apprentice to journeyman to superintendent and project manager and those who go to school for a construction management degree and supplement the classroom work with internships in the field. “Both of those make very good project managers,” he says. “It takes good communication skills, and both are building a

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Š Ken Graham Photography.com

Girdwood School K-8 was completed by Watterson Construction.

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October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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reputation based on their ethics.” Combined with a track record of loyalty— staying with a company for more than five years, rather than job-hopping, he says— workers from either approach are welcome. “The last thing you want to do as an employer is spend all this money to train [a project manager] … and then you lose them,” Cruz says. Training tomorrow’s managers can be challenging, Peppard says. Good future leaders need to show both skill and effort, and they need time to develop experience. “Then we have character—a person’s personally and their ethics and their morals and how they see others,” he says. “You may have someone who, skill-wise, is amazing, but they don’t look at the world through the same view as other people. It all has to come together,” he says. Peppard says he’s been lucky enough to find good project managers when they’re needed, and noted the company has had more success recruiting in-state managers than transplanting managers from out-of-state.

The Work Outlook Is Not as Bright Construction work is largely dependent on the health of the local economy, and with the state in the middle of a budget crisis, the economic outlook is cloudy.

Watterson predicts more mega-jobs (jobs with big project budgets) but fewer smaller jobs. That means more competition for less work, ultimately. His company already depends largely on federal contracts, so its fate rests more on national than local politics. “We’re hoping things shake out,” he says. “I think we’ll be dependent on the military in the next few years.” Although the political outlook is muddy, Watterson says he still counts himself lucky. He jokes that he “couldn’t build a dog house” himself, but he’s made a good life managing construction projects. “My brother and I were raised on a family dairy and we kind of believe that anybody who complains about the construction industry didn’t grow up on a family dairy,” he says. “I never worked as hard a day in my life as they [my parents] worked every day of their lives.” Shaw says Roger Hickel Contracting just got licensed to work in Washington state, a backup plan if local competition ramps up. Hickel does both vertical and horizontal construction—buildings and roads—and he foresees more competition for both in the near future. “There are a lot of civil contractors that focused on building work and … now that

you’re seeing building work slow down, you’ll see more competition for road work,” he says. “I think it’s going to be a tight market for a couple of years.” He noted that a recent job his company bid had seven bidders—nearly twice the number it would have had a year or more ago. Even if Legislators get the state budget back on track, he says, it will take time for the effects to translate to money to fund projects. Cruz says he believes state leaders need to get off the ball and build a gas pipeline. “What does Alaska do very well, better than other states? Energy export,” he says. “We need to invest in ourselves and get the project complete; that allows so many other things to move forward.” Even with the uncertainty in the near future, these construction leaders say they would recommend the career to others. “I think it’s a great field for kids in Alaska,” Shaw says. “They probably grow up faster, they get responsibility quicker. If you succeed, you can make a good living.” “I wouldn’t do it any different,” Watterson agrees.  R Freelance journalist Rindi White writes from Palmer.

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TELECOM & TECHNOLOGY

Image courtesy of Axiom

The connected work site is an example of how heavy equipment outfitted with Axiom’s GPS system can track a blade or bucket to within a half an inch of depth to survey the target surface. This gives an off-site manager the ability to manage their equipment and projected material needs on the fly more efficiently.

GPS Fleet Tracking Solutions Helping businesses improve operational efficiencies, decrease costs, and increase customer satisfaction By Tracy Barbour

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hred Alaska specializes in providing safe, secure document destruction services for companies throughout Southcentral Alaska. When the Anchorage company wanted to enhance the performance of its mobile shedding trucks, it turned to Verizon’s Networkfleet’s patented GPS (global positioning system) tracking solution. Specifically, Shred Alaska wanted to improve routing efficiencies to reduce fuel costs and speed up customer service. As a test, the company had Verizon’s wireless fleet management system installed on one of its shredder trucks. And the results were impressive: “Right away, we could see the advantage of having Networkfleet because 16

it tells us everything we want to know about where our trucks are and what they’re doing,” says company owner Robyn Forbes. Now Networkfleet is installed on all of the company’s shredder trucks. This enables Shred Alaska to determine the exact location of each truck and how long it idles, which has increased fleet productivity. The system’s mapping and routing capabilities have also enhanced customer service by helping the firm’s trucks reach destinations faster. “Seeing where all our trucks are in relation to each other and to customers enables us to respond more quickly,” says Forbes. “The ability to instantly identify and route the closest truck saves time and money.”

Shred Alaska has also netted some unexpected benefits: engine diagnostic alerts, online vehicle maintenance histories, and other features that facilitate proactive maintenance and minimize roadside breakdowns. The Networkfleet tracking solution has also helped improve driver safety by providing alerts for speeding, hard braking, and other unsafe driving incidents. “Networkfleet is a low-cost, high-return-on-investment product,” Forbes says. “It has allowed us to take on more work and grow the company without adding new equipment or overhead.” Fleet tracking via GPS—which works by coordinating signals between receivers on earth and orbital satellites—makes it possible

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for companies like Shred Alaska to increase their performance, efficiency, and productivity. GPS tracking can be used to monitor a wide variety of assets, including cars, trucks, vans, boats, planes, trains, freight, and personnel. Providers like Verizon, Axiom, and AT&T offer a range of solutions to meet the needs of Alaska companies in all types of industries.

Verizon’s Networkfleet

Verizon Networkfleet offers cost-effective, comprehensive fleet management solutions for government agencies, small to mediumsized businesses, and enterprise fleets. The system includes vehicle tracking hardware, asset tracking, and even emergency roadside assistance to all vehicle classes. It also provides optional satellite solutions where cellular is not available to provide safety and security across the state of Alaska. “In a world where everyone must do more with less, Networkfleet’s proprietary GPS vehicle tracking and engine diagnostic technologies provide the accurate, timely data that organizations need to manage their fleets more efficiently and effectively,” says Pepsi LaMar, Verizon’s Anchoragebased Manager-Solutions Architects. “With Networkfleet’s fleet tracking system, organizations can lower costs, boost productivity, improve driver safety, enhance customer service, and compete more effectively.” Networkfleet allows companies to locate vehicles in near real-time; monitor vehicle data such as mileage, speed, and fuel consumption; and track engine diagnostic trouble codes. It contains Garmin integration to communicate directly with drivers and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. In addition to tracking the location and maintenance of vehicles, Networkfleet also monitors the behavior of drivers behind the wheel. And the system is designed to easily integrate with other vehicle management applications such as GIS (geographic information system), fleet management, and dispatching/scheduling software. “Verizon’s Networkfleet solution offers industry-leading fleet management services that can improve operational efficiency by reducing fuel consumption, maintenance expenses, and vehicle emissions,” LaMar says. “With the insight-packed data provided by Networkfleet, fleet managers are better equipped to monitor driver productivity and vehicle performance. They can also optimize route planning while better controlling costs, reducing operating risks, and addressing regulatory requirements.” Commercial applications for Verizon Networkfleet extend beyond simply tracking vehicles. For example, Alaska companies are also using it to track cargo on land to gain insight into location and unauthorized movement. The system also provides www.akbizmag.com

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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aerial route verification coverage based on latitude and longitude to validate the scope of work being completed. Optional satellite coverage is also available to observe vessels outside of normal network coverage to ensure safety and remote locations. Additionally, Verizon offers Asset Guard to help companies track fixed and moveable fleets such as trailers, yellow iron machines, and generators. With Asset Guard, a small piece of hardware with a built-in wireless antenna is attached to each of the assets customers want to track. Asset Guard, which is designed to fit seamlessly on Verizon’s existing Networkfleet vehicle tracking solution, includes a long-lasting battery that allows for reliable location tracking over multiple years. “Asset Guard combines Networkfleet’s patented GPS technology with the Verizon wireless network to provide reliable round-the-clock asset tracking and communications. … Within Networkfleet’s online application, each of your assets appears on the map for easy visual identification,” LaMar says. “Managers can track assets alongside fleet vehicles, view reports and alerts to determine the exact GPS location, identify when an asset has been moved, and access data to optimize how assets are used.” Companies want information they can use to enhance their business and bottom line, LaMar says. And they need the data and a way to analyze it, so they can make better decisions. “Going forward, companies looking to grow their revenue will leverage the information they collect via ‘things’ to better understand and serve customers, improve products, and create customized solutions for individual customers,” she says. “Verizon Networkfleet is a solution that can help businesses operate more efficiently.”

AT&T Fleet Management

AT&T Fleet Management offers a family of GPS-based solutions to help businesses track and manage vehicle fleets and other assets. AT&T’s fleet portfolio provides a cloud-based portal and various hardware options to support a range of customer needs, including self-install units and hardwired, professional installations for mixed fleets and/or winter operations. “AT&T Fleet Management solutions has a broad portfolio of capabilities to meet the diverse needs of small business to midenterprise customers, as well as local, state, and federal agencies,” says Igor Glubochansky, executive director of product marketing for AT&T. “Our Fleet Management solutions are also extending their value and better meeting business needs by integrating with complementary solutions.” For example, AT&T Fleet Management can help customers manage mobile workers, as well as vehicles and assets. They also 18

offer mobile voice dispatch to allow near real-time communications between a business and its mobile workers via AT&T’s Enhanced Push to Talk solution. “AT&T Fleet Management solutions provide an all-inone fleet, asset, workforce, and dispatching system,” Glubochansky says. “And it lets customers communicate quickly and easily with teams in the field.” The fleet management solution from AT&T uses tracking devices to collect and transport data over the AT&T network to a web-based portal where business customers can track and manage vehicles and assets. Sensors and diagnostics give businesses insight into unauthorized activity, battery status, and vehicle data for preventative maintenance. A portal dashboard shows performance and key features from dispatching to reporting. And the Hours of Service app automatically logs hours of service for drivers, simplifying unnecessary paperwork and meeting with federal standards that will require vehicles to use electronic logs. Many businesses in Alaska and nationwide are focusing on meeting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate. This requires all vehicles to use electronic logs by December 2017. The new regulation will have a far-reaching impact on fleet operators. “Small business customers [fleets with twenty or fewer vehicles] in particular make up 80 percent of the market affected by the ELD mandate,” Glubochansky says. “Companies in Alaska are adopting fleet management solutions to meet the new standards to more effectively capture Hours of Service.” Implementing AT&T’s fleet tracking solution can positively impact customers’ bottom line in a number of ways, Glubochansky says. For example, fleet management can improve operational efficiencies with better line of sight to fleet and driver locations. It can help customers respond to work order changes in real time while choosing an optimal route, as well as detect and prevent maintenance issues before they occur with reporting. AT&T Fleet Management solutions can also help companies increase revenues and better manage costs such as labor, fuel, and other expenses. “Simply reducing idle time can reduce costs and fuel consumption,” Glubochansky says. “Businesses can accomplish more by leveraging the most efficient routes, increasing the number of deliveries/completed work orders, and decreasing unnecessary overtime.” Customer service is another area that fleet management can enhance. It can provide customers with more accurate and reliable delivery and service times. “AT&T Fleet Management solutions provide job status tracking with barcode scan, proof

of delivery, task completion, and signature capture,” Glubochansky says. “Businesses can improve customer response time by identifying the closest, available vehicle.”

Solutions from Axiom

Axiom, a division of Accupoint, Inc., offers a web-based, integrated, satellite, and GSM (global system for mobile) tracking solution that is compatible with any device capable of reaching a web browser. “It works on a multilingual platform that brings together all the telematics information of every manufactured tracking product under one location,” says Anchorage-based Technician Dave Easton. “Axiom’s solution not only provides asset locations and movements but truly allows its users to understand the behavior of their assets and how the world around these assets is affecting them.” So exactly how does Axiom’s technology work? It allows users to merge all types of tracking equipment into a single platform. The tracking equipment determines its location by triangulating a position using GPS and then transmits this information via GSM, satellite, or VHF (very high frequency) to a central server for processing. From there, any operator can view and control any number of real-time assets simultaneously. The data collected from assets in the field can include almost any type of measurable information, such as the location, altitude, heading, speed, fuel levels, machine statuses, and temperature. Advanced features like reports, alerts, events, and geofences allow platform users to interact and manage the data. To Axiom, a fleet means more than just a few trucks on the road. It can equate to everything from people, avionics, and cargo to important energy products like oil and gas. Therefore, Axiom’s tracking solution has a myriad of applications. For instance, Axiom has an advanced GPS solution for surveying and construction. Heavy equipment outfitted with this GPS system— which is accurate to about a half an inch— can map where a blade or bucket has been moving the ground to effectively “survey” the target surface and track the volumes of the material in near-real-time. “This allows you to manage your equipment and projected material quantities on the fly more efficiently,” says Technician Nelson Hays. “This same system gives you machine health and utilization rates and more.” Axiom also provides lone worker support to notify companies whenever personnel need assistance. The technology, which can help reduce insurance costs, is also used with firefighting crews, aircraft, the marine industry, trucks, and equipment in remote areas. The small, but powerful GsatMicro tracker, for instance, can trans-

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


mit position, SOS alerts, and other specialized user-defined information via satellite. “Not only is it water-resistant and dustproof but it is also capable of handling the vibration of an in-flight helicopter,” Easton says. “It is programmable and able to meet the many different needs and applications of companies throughout Alaska.” Vehicle monitoring is another popular application of Axiom’s solution. Companies can use the system to keep track of driver behavior, vehicle maintenance and service logs, and even fuel consumption, all of which reduce cost while increasing efficiency. “We even monitor energy products like oil moving through a pipe for providing telematics and in some cases the ability to remotely shut down these pipes,” Easton says. Axiom can interface with any device capable of transmitting data over the air via a cellular or satellite connection and has GPS. “This allows us the freedom to truly build a solution around our client’s needs, whether those needs include notifying persons on the ground when aircraft experience a drastic drop in altitude or its projected path; a trawler in the Bering Sea in need of assistance; or trucks, trailers, and loads traveling the Dalton Highway. We can monitor anything, providing the information that is most important to our clients.” Easton points out that Axoim’s solution is not limited to or dedicated to a particular device, which allows the company to build customizable solutions around customers’ needs. Customers can test drive many of its devices and full-featured portal at no cost. “This allows the customer the chance to evaluate both the devices and portal for their needs without laying out cash,” he says. He adds: “Axiom’s product line has been specifically selected to reduce power consumption while significantly improving field reliability. In our demanding location and environment, our devices are durable and have sufficient battery capabilities for Alaska’s harsh climate, with maximum performance.” For many companies, the benefits of GPS fleet tracking boils down to safety and efficiency, Easton says. “When you keep workers safe you reduce the need for additional insurance while increasing worker moral,” he explains. “If you can monitor how these workers are performing in the field you can spot inefficiencies and analyze ways to improve worker productivity and equipment utilization while increasing growth. Combine all these factors, and you provide a way for clients to not just react to situations affecting their business, but control them.” R Freelance writer Tracy Barbour is a former Alaskan. www.akbizmag.com

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TELECOM & TECHNOLOGY

Quintillion Arctic Cable Expedition Photos Š 2016 Judy Patrick Photography

The Alcatel-Lucent Ile De Sein is one of two French ships contracted to lay and bury fiber optic cable for Quintillion this summer and fall. The ship made a stop in Dutch Harbor in early August to refuel before heading to Prudhoe Bay to work its way south around the Arctic coastline of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas and meet in the Bering Sea with its sister ship the Alcatel-Lucent Ile De Brehat, which began in Nome in July, working north. Quintillion is connecting Prudhoe Bay, Barrow, Wainwright, Point Hope, Kotzebue, and Nome to high speed Internet capability. It is expected to revolutionize Arctic communications. 20

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Visitors were able to board the ship, see the plough, which looks like something from Star Wars. It threads the cable through and is sunk to the seafloor, where it is guided precisely for depth and placement of the fiber optic cable. Below decks are several tanks with coiled cable that are threaded through the ship to the plough.

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October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Clockwise from upper left Quintillion CEO Elizabeth Pierce (right) and one of the ship’s officers. Guests and crew mingle on the bridge of the Alcatel-Lucent Ile De Sein in Dutch Harbor on a refueling stop. Ship’s captain shows the map of the Quintillion subsea cable. A coil of fiber optic cable being threaded through the ship. Photos © 2016 Judy Patrick Photography

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October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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MARKETING

Photo courtesy of Alaska Litho

The staff of Alaska Litho, located in Juneau. Front row left to right: Galen Wyatt, Jessica Thomson, Kristie Ely, Jenny Fremlin, Myrna Gonzales, and Joeley Gonzales. Back row left to right: Rachel Ramsey, Josh Hadden, Andy Romanoff, Rich Dudas, and Travis McCain, owner.

Local Alaska Printers Producing tangible marketing materials By Tasha Anderson

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very business in Alaska has some kind of printing needs. While simple printing can generally be handled inhouse, when it comes to marketing and PR materials, going to a professional shop is mandatory for high quality, big quantity, or large format printing, whether it’s a trade show display, an annual report, a car wrap, or a public art installation. Alaska has many local printing options, all of which are eager to aid their clients in finding the right printed solution.

Alaska Litho

Alaska Litho (aklitho.com) has a unique history, having been founded in 1948 by Pastor H.E. Buyer as an offshoot to print 24

his church bulletins, according to current Alaska Litho Owner Travis McCain. “In 2000 Rich Stone started an employee ownership plan and ever since the employees have owned a portion of the business,” McCain says. McCain and Rich Dudas purchased Rich Stone’s ownership interest in 2014. The company now has fourteen employees in two locations, Copy Works in the Jordan Creek mall and Alaska Litho at 8420 Airport Boulevard in Juneau. Jenny Fremlin, PhD, Alaska Litho’s media psychology specialist, says, “We offer business cards, rack cards, newsletters, magazines, direct mail, and forms, plus large format printing which covers things like yard signs, banners, posters, and car

decals. Everything we do is custom, so there’s really no limit to the products we provide other than imagination.” Alaska Litho is setting up to offer more “retail type print jobs,” Fremlin says, such as canvas photo prints. In addition to printing and installation, they offer marketing through media services and their pre-press team offers design services. “Our marketing services are pretty unique to fit our customers’ needs. A lot of what we do is consulting and training to make sure small businesses are using their marketing budgets efficiently and carrying their message across print and digital consistently,” Fremlin says. Alaska Litho currently primarily provides

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


services to local and regional tourism companies, Alaska Native Corporations, small businesses, city and state government, and individuals. Fremlin says, “Print is a huge piece of effective communication. From mailers and business cards to giveaway items with your logo, you get to tell your own story with print materials and then carry that across into your digital outreach.” Fremlin says it’s vital for businesses to have a consistent message across all of their print, online, or social media materials. She says that in a recent project for Taku Store, a local smokehouse, “we noticed discrepancies in the wording across the existing print and digital materials. We worked with them to edit and refine the content of the print catalog and their website so that when we started connecting it all together with the social outreach every space had the same information about their products.” McCain says that Alaska Litho offers print consulting at no charge, “as a way of investing in the potential customer.” He continues, “We may not get one project, but next time we hope that customer will call on us again.” Alaska Litho’s local customer service is what sets the company apart, Fremlin says. “We’re involved in our local community, we’ve been around a long time, and we’re dedicated to helping our customers sell more of their products and services with effective communication. … Our entire team is part of the quality control checks, from the person who takes the job in to the delivery driver. If anyone on our team spots something that doesn’t look quite right, we tell you.”

projects. With their ability to upload large files through their FTP site on their website, they’re able to do jobs from anywhere in Alaska and the Lower 48, such as an order Alaska Digital Printing completed for a legal firm in Philadelphia in September. Clymer says, “The majority of our work is for return clients that have been with us for many, many years—many of them for decades. Service and speed are my two main priorities, after quality, for all of my customers.” In fact, Alaska Digital Printing’s policy is for all jobs to go out the door same-day, “preferably within an hour or two, unless the volume makes it impos-

sible,” she says, adding that the biggest complaint Alaska Digital Printing receives from clients, “mostly laughing as they complain,” is that the company is too fast. A client may call in to put a hold on a project because they need to make modifications, and Alaska Digital Printing, “already has the project started, if not completed.” And sometimes Alaska Digital Printing gets it done even if it is nearly impossible. Clymer recounts a recent project that was large and labor intensive, and with a tight timeline, for a large architectural firm in Fairbanks. “These were plans for a new facility being built in one of the villages. Each

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Alaska Digital Printing, Inc.

Alaska Digital Printing, Inc. (akdigiprint. com) was established in 1972 as McCauley’s Reprographics, which was sold in 1997 to a local accounting firm. It was purchased in July of 2001 by current majority shareholder and President Stephanie Clymer, who renamed it Alaska Digital Printing due to the approaching “digital age” and following the purchase of their first KIP 5000 Laser Digital Plotter in 2003 to indicate their way of changing with the industry, Clymer says. Originally the company provided mainly blueprints and copy production of specification books for architects, engineers, surveyors, and contractors, plus standard black and white or color copies. Today Alaska Digital Printing, which is located at 3510 International Street in Fairbanks, offers the gamut of printing services, including brochures, business cards, NCR forms, vinyl signs and banners, full-color wide-format prints and/or enlargements, lamination, banner stands, and perforation www.akbizmag.com

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set of drawings were 30 inches by 42 inches and had three volumes per set totaling 330 pages. They needed fifteen sets of drawings, or a total of forty-five rolls of drawings. Additionally there were three volumes of specifications in 2-inch three-ring binders for the project and they needed fifteen sets of each, or forty-five total binders in both black and white and color. Two of the three binders had to have between eight and eleven printed tabs. We started this project at 8 a.m. and didn’t leave the shop until after 6 p.m. that evening. It was almost an impossible task, but we got it to them by their client’s deadline at 8 a.m. the next business day.” To complicate the job further, the architectural firm was making changes to the originals throughout the day, with some of the originals not arriving until after 1:30 p.m.

PIP Printing and Marketing Services PIP Marketing, Signs, Print (pipalaska. com), established in Alaska in 1979, is a locally owned and operated franchise by Jan and John Tatham and Shelley Bramsteadt. Sales Manager Debbie Hahn, who has been with the company for twenty-seven years, says, “The business model was to provide high quality printing services quickly and at a reasonable cost.” She continues that advances in technology have really enhanced PIP’s capabilities. “It’s amazing what we can do now compared to twenty years ago. Projects that used to take days can now be turned around in hours. Our customers expect fast service, and we’ve positioned ourselves to provide it.” General Manager and Sales Representative Mike Vania, with PIP for thirty-two years, says that for PIP, deadlines really are set by the client. “The customer has the final say on what they need. We have a great production crew and a great sales crew, and we’re all one team. The attitude of our entire staff is to meet our clients’ needs when at all possible.” PIP provides the full range of printing services, from business cards and annual reports to car wraps and direct mailing services. Hahn says one of their growth areas has been working with nonprofit organizations. One service they provide to nonprofits is donor profiling, where PIP will review a nonprofit’s donor list, get a good idea of what kind of donors that organization already has, and then find potential donors that match that profile. “We’re coming up on the season now towards the end of the year where everybody’s looking for donations. With the drop in oil prices, everyone is tightening up on their donations, and our nonprofits are looking for new resources. So we help them with that,” Hahn says. 26

In recent years PIP has expanded its large format printing services, including banners, car wraps, indoor and outdoor signage, wall vinyl, and even three-dimensional signs. Vania says the sign shop “takes up a lot of floor space.” Two years ago PIP built a new 6,000-square-foot building adjacent and connected to their current building located at 833 E. Fourth Avenue in Anchorage. They filled the space with their large-format printing operations: “We’ve added a flat-bed printer, flat-bed cutter, a new printer for vinyl, and a large garage bay for wrapping everything from cars and delivery vans to buses and even boats,” Vania says. PIP’s four full time sales staff are on hand to assist small and mid-sized companies promote and market their business. Hahn says, “PIP is not an advertising agency and doesn’t try to be, but we want to help those customers for whom an advertising agency may not be a viable solution.” PIP’s graphic department staff also provides prepress services and creative solutions for companies that don’t have that capability in house. “We act not as an agency, but as a full service printer that can complete customer projects from beginning to end,” she says. Hahn and Vania say that PIP relies on its forty-two quality employees to get everything done well and on deadline. “You can imagine the sheer volume that comes through here, and they’re all unique jobs, so each one has to be right,” Vania says. “Our production staff is like a well oiled machine, always willing to go the extra mile to get the job done. As a sales person, it’s so important to know I can count on my crew to have my back. They care that the customer is happy, and that’s huge.”

GraphicWorks Inc.

GraphicWorks Inc. (graphicworks.net), owned by Bonnie Moore and Victor Alexander, opened its doors in December of 1994. Located at 5611 Silverado Way in Anchorage, GraphicWorks prints and installs large-format products, including tradeshow displays, vehicle graphics, posters and banners, exhibits, and architectural graphics. Instead of offering every kind of printing service, it has always been important to Moore to focus only on large format. Moore and Alexander met while working for a company in Anchorage that had a large format printer. At the time it was the only printer of its kind on the West Coast. When the owner decided to move the focus of the business away from large-format printing, Moore and Alexander decided to start their own company as the technol-

ogy was cutting-edge and the “possibilities were endless,” Moore says. On a “wing and a prayer” they were able to get financing from both Xerox and 3M which allowed them to purchase the equipment needed to start up GraphicWorks. Moore says that over the last five or six years, vehicle wraps have really taken off for GraphicWorks. Where once wraps were produced and installed primarily for corporate fleets, Moore says they’ve now become mainstream as “everyone wants graphics installed on their carpet cleaning van or food truck, for example, or someone just wants to put a decal on the back of their truck that looks cool.” While GraphicWorks may print all of their signage locally in Anchorage, they install graphics across the state and occasionally in the Lower 48. Alexander has installed graphics as far north a Prudhoe Bay for corporate fleets and oil tanks and has traveled to rural locations to install murals and exhibits that often portray the history of the people in the villages he’s visiting.  GraphicWorks is capable of both quickturn jobs and long-term projects that can span several weeks or even months. One positive aspect of long-term projects is that it allows the company to work with clients in the early stages of the project to help determine the right solution for that particular situation. One such collaboration was when NANA Development consolidated their operations into their current downtown location. “Working with local designers, we printed and installed artwork on seven floors; it was incredible to be involved from the beginning of the project and see it all the way through to completion,” Moore says.   GraphicWorks is the only 3M Certified Graphics Installation Company in Southcentral Alaska. This certification allows them to offers warranties on all of their installation products and has led to opportunities that bring work to Alaska. Outof-state-clients doing in-state work utilize GraphicWorks for local installations yearround. GraphicWorks has six employees, and Moore says the entire staff works as a team on every project. Employees are crosstrained to ensure every aspect of every project is completed with a high standard of excellence. Moore is thrilled with her team, her company, and the industry she’s in. “After twenty-two years, I still really like going to work.” R

Tasha Anderson is an Associate Editor for Alaska Business Monthly.

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


THOMAS CENTER

Anchorage Seniors Embrace Apartment Living and Each Other at Thomas Center

W

Resident Nancy Sydnam enjoying the patio.

hen Thomas Center resident Nancy Sydnam returned home from a brief stay at the hospital this summer, she was greeted by friends, invited to dinner that evening and asked how she was doing. That’s a very different situation than it would have been had she been returning to her Sand Lake home where she had been living alone the last 25 years. Community and having friends is one of the main reasons Sydnam says she moved into an apartment at Thomas Center. “I just love being able to spend more time walking, canoeing and doing all of the activities I want to do,” says the 87-year-old retired family physician. “It was hard to leave my home, but I was lonely living in a big house. Now, I have lots of people to talk to, and I’m trying new things like painting and pottery.” Thomas Center is a 14-unit apartment building for seniors age 60 and over, located in a picturesque, woodsy setting near Lake Otis Parkway and Tudor Road in Anchorage. The –

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three-story building’s design encourages socializing among residents, with common areas, outdoor gardens, a crafts room and exercise facility. Residents lease efficiency oneand two-bedroom apartments. Indoor garages are available. An on-site manager and resident advisor offer 24-hour assistance. Residents also have the option of having some meals provided, or they can cook in their own apartment. Many years ago, members of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, which is just up the hill from Thomas Center, envisioned a place where active seniors could age in place together. The idea became a reality in 2014, when ground was broken for the building, supported by $5 million in start-up funding from Lowell Jr. and Tay Thomas. The Rasmuson Foundation followed with a $170,000 grant to build a commercial kitchen and purchase common area furniture. Thomas Center officially opened in December 2015. “We know there are elder Alaskans who are thinking about downsizing, yet they want to stay connected to the community,” says Rev. Michael Burke, who often walks down the hill from the church to visit with Thomas Center residents. “They come for a tour and immediately their next question is when can they move in.” Caregivers can live on-site, as well, and the idea behind Thomas Center is that residents will be able to age in place, even if their care needs grow. The Center is not an assisted living facility, so residents do have to be able to live independently. But the Center’s concept allows for residents to help each other and for personal care assistants, physical therapists and others to come and go for support, as needed. A handful of apartments are still available for rent at Thomas Center. To schedule a tour, contact General Manager Carrie Wilcheck at (907) 538-9995. Learn more at www.ThomasCenterAK.com or follow the Center on Facebook.

ADV ERTIS EMENT


REAL ESTATE

A home that is listed for more than $1 million off Rabbit Creek Road in Anchorage. Photos courtesy of the Mehner Weiser team at Re/Max Dynamic Properties

Marketing Luxury Homes More work, more time needed By Rindi White

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veryone has a checklist of things they want in their dream home: enough bedrooms and bathrooms to satisfy the needs of family and guests; a welcoming entryway; quality flooring, whether it be fresh carpeting or a hard surface; a good location near work and schools; and a yard that reflects needs and lifestyle. Does that change when the buying budget is near or above $1 million? Not really,

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say local real estate professionals. But it generally takes a little more work and time to get a higher-end home to sell. “We’ve been in a seller-dominated market for several years,” says Dan Wolf, owner of Wolf Real Estate Professionals with Re/ Max Dynamic Properties. But shifts in the Alaska economy, from oilfield companies downsizing to reductions in the number of state workers, have made buyers more cautious, he says. “People buying houses want to be pretty sure they’re getting a value. I’d say it’s a cautious market,” Wolf says. Bonnie Mehner, partner of Mehner Weiser Real Estate, with RE/MAX Dynamic Properties, says about 3 percent of

the Anchorage-area homes on the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, are listed at over $1 million. About 4 percent are listed between $750,000 and $999,999. High-end homes make up about 7 percent of the market, but she says they only account for 2.2 percent of the sales in the last 365 days. Mehner says the number of above-$750,000 homes sold in the last 365 days is nearly identical to the number sold in the previous year. “We can infer from this information that our market, overall, is holding up,” Mehner writes in an email. The broader market also showed good news, she says. Between August 18, 2015, and August 17, 2016, 2,921 houses were

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


sold, compared with 2,994 houses sold during the same period the previous year, a downward change of 2.5 percent.

The Waiting Game The numbers show higher-end homes are selling, but in most cases it takes longer to sell a home priced above $750,000 than a home in the median price range of around $360,000. Bob Baer, a Realtor with Re/Max Dynamic Properties and former owner of Totem Realty, says most of the active listings on the MLS above the $750,000 price point have been on the market more than 100 days. Some have been on the market more than a year or even close to two years, he says. And many have been listed more than once, meaning they might have been listed 110 days ago, but perhaps they were on the market for a six-month stretch of time prior to that. Baer says in August, the MLS showed forty active listings in the $750,000 to $999,999 price range and another twentyseven listings priced above $1 million. Of those, since July 1, six listings were categorized as “pending sale”—meaning they had an active offer in hand. To Baer, the low number of “pending sale” listings between July and August reveals a slower market, even if the overall sales seem to be holding steady. “I was here in the 80s [during the recession and housing crisis]. We’re not going to see anything like that because we have a more diverse economy. Buyers are out there, you just have to work to find them,” he says. How quickly a home sells, in any price range, depends a lot on a few factors, Wolf says. “Sometimes it’s driven by work or kids’ sports or skiing and trails,” he says. “Some people want a house that’s turnkey, while others say they can change the inside, but they can’t change the view or the location.” But in a market that feels a little slower than average, he says, making sure the house is in top-notch condition before listing it is important. So is listing it at the right price. “If there’s competition, all things being equal, you want to be at least as good as your competition,” he says. “You want to be probably not on the leading edge of price. In our market right now, people are looking for values.” A couple years ago, he says, it was common for buyers to come up to Anchorage on house-buying trips before they moved their family up to Alaska. In perhaps two days, they would go through all the houses in the area they were interested in. With more houses on the market, he says, some small details can mean a house gets dismissed without a showing. www.akbizmag.com

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Photo courtesy of the Mehner Weiser team at Re/Max Dynamic Properties

A home in the Turnagain neighborhood is listed for more than $1 million off Atwood Drive.

“If the carpet has wear patterns in it, a couple of years ago they [the buyer] might have said, ‘If the seller pays for new carpet, I’ll get it.’ Now, they might say they’ll wait for something else to come up,” he says.

The Deal Is in the Details

“I think the most important part is their condition and how updated the homes are, especially flooring, kitchens, and bathrooms,” says Baer. “[Buyers in] the higher price ranges are paying very close attention to all the conditions of a home—exterior, roofs, decks, everything.” Location is a big factor, he says, and age can be, too. “People might have a home in the upper hillside and they’re competing with newer locations … maybe subdivisions with public water and sewer.” Buyers are showing a preference for public water and sewer over private septic and well, he says. Sometimes small details can make a big difference in how a home is viewed, says Mehner. Potential buyers often click through real estate photos in their leisure time, and how the home is viewed in those photos can be extremely important. One home suffered from a lack of interest primarily because an accent rug was too garish. Another home didn’t sell until dark walls were painted a more neutral color. Yet another languished for months on the MLS without a sale because the brightly colored carpeting overwhelmed the other outstanding features of the home. “It’s become necessary to have it looking perfect, otherwise you won’t get buyers in the front door,” Mehner says. So her firm, like 30

many others, uses professionals to stage a home prior to its sale. Wolf says it can be difficult for sellers to hear that their design choices are not appealing to a broader audience. He says he often does a walk-through to note major changes that need to be made, then hires a professional staging firm to come in and make more detailed suggestions. “A professionally staged house sells 40 percent faster and sometimes at a higher sales price to asking price ratio,” he says. After a fair price is selected, repairs or improvements are made, and the home is staged, it’s time for photos. While some median-priced listings use photos taken by agents, most agents agreed that wasn’t appropriate for higher-end listings. “We never do anything without professional photography,” Mehner says. “Our buyers today are more discerning and demanding. If you post a listing and there are no pictures, buyers and Realtors skip over it.” Today’s market is different than that of pre-internet days, she says, when buyers had to drive to a neighborhood to see a house and walk in the door to see what’s inside. “Today, buyers can virtually drive over on Google Earth. Potential buyers turn away many times without ever seeing a home, based on what they see on the Internet,” she says. “You have to sell the house before the buyers ever walk in the door.”

High-End Differences

Selling can be whom one knows—and what they do. Mehner says the medianpriced homes in good condition and properly priced that show well in the Anchorage market almost sell themselves. There

are many more buyers in the median price range, she says, and people are actively looking. With higher-end homes, often the buyers aren’t actively looking. “Often, for the more exclusive properties, people don’t know they want to buy it. You’re typically dealing with the professional who isn’t spending a lot of time searching,” she says. Her team recently sold a home on Finger Lake in Mat-Su that was listed at $1.9 million. Mehner says she knew from the outset that the likely buyer would be a doctor from Mat-Su Regional—and that’s who bought it. The buyer wasn’t actively looking for a home, she says. The family already had a nice Valley home. But this home had a lot of amenities their former home did not. After several visits to the home, they bought it. Another property she is listing is a lakefront ranch home in the Big Lake area, with twenty-five acres and some custom amenities related to the present owners’ hobby of training retrievers. “So who’s the perfect buyer?” she asks. Her team plans to market to doctors and pilots. They will likely send direct mailings to private pilots and doctors in hopes of sparking someone’s interest. Mehner says her firm occasionally lists higher-end homes in national publications such as DuPont Registry. But the Internet is the most effective, she says. Baer uses the RE/ MAX site along with his own website and the MLS, like most other realtors. He also lists higher-end homes on Luxuryhomes.com. Having a clean, beautiful listing and getting as many eyes to see it as possible is key, he says. Baer says getting other agents interested in the properties he’s selling is key to getting a sale. He’s a long-time member of Marketing Masters of Alaska, a group of real estate agents from a handful of companies in Anchorage who meet weekly to tour each other’s listings. The group has members from Jack White Real Estate and Keller Williams, among others, he says. “We sometimes sell it [from that tour] before it goes on the market,” Baer says. Sometimes the Marketing Masters group does a walk-through before the house goes on the market to help identify needed changes or ways to stage it. Tapping into the resources of other agents, and more importantly, cluing them in on a new listing, is valuable, he says. “Rather than showing one couple forty houses, if I can expose other agents to a home that I have listed, I get a multiplier effect,” he says.  R Freelance journalist Rindi White writes from Palmer.

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


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REAL ESTATE

Commercial Tenants with Phantom Space Beware of landlords with 13-inch rulers

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s The Lease Coach, representing independent and franchise commercial tenants with leasing matters since 1993, we have found that some landlords are over-charging tenants for more square footage than the tenant actually has. Are you paying too much?

Common Oversight

This is a common oversight in the commercial leasing industry. Commercial tenants frequently trust the reported square footage of their leased premises. However, whether this figure was incorrectly measured by the landlord or reported by a distant owner when they bought the property, the amount of reported square footage can easily be wrong. The end result is that commercial tenants needlessly pay an increased rent, based on their incorrect square footage … isn’t it better to keep this money in your own pocket than pay it to your landlord? To explain further, Willerton was having dinner one evening with the COO of a large franchise store organization (one hundred plus stores). She shared that her company had recently moved into a new 4,400-square-foot office. She went on to explain how spacious, beautiful, and comfortable the new head office was. When Willerton asked her if she had ever verified the square footage, she said “no.” Why was this necessary? After all, this was the total area stated on her Lease Agreement. It took several weeks for Willerton to convince her to let him measure the space to determine if she was actually getting the 4,400 square feet that the landlord was charging her for. Finally, she agreed. When we completed measuring the premises, the measured space was 800 square feet short. In the real estate industry, we refer to this as “phantom space” where the tenant is paying more than is required. And, in this case, this COO was paying over $50,000 more (for her entire lease term) than she needed to for space she didn’t have. We approached the landlord and corrected the problem— 32

both for the past and the future. The tenant was reimbursed for her previous overpayments and continued to pay an adjusted rate into the renewal term.

Common Area Maintenance

Even the smallest amount of phantom space can grow to be quite large as rental rates and Common Area Maintenance (CAM) charges increase over time. As an example, we found that one previous client had a discrepancy of only 27 square feet. While this doesn’t sound like much, this specific unit was located in a prime downtown shopping mall with high rent. When this came to our attention, it was seven years into the tenant’s lease term and the landlord had collected $20,000 more than was rightfully due. Again, this came to a satisfactory conclusion with the tenant being reimbursed. Yet another issue for commercial tenants to consider is how phantom space can repeatedly affect them. Understand that every tenant pays two rents—the base rent (which is negotiable) as well as the CAM charges. CAM costs cover charges on property upkeep which benefits all tenants (eg: trash removal, property taxes, and building maintenance) and are charged proportionately. Therefore, if a tenant occupies 1,800 square feet, then he/she is responsible for the CAM charges on that area as well. If that tenant has been wrongfully paying for phantom space, he/she will also wrongfully pay too much for CAM charges. Such square footage discrepancies are very common for business-owners (specifically, those leasing retail and office space). In our experience, many discrepancies are negligent, not necessarily fraudulent. This is a small consolation as the tenant remains overcharged.

Professional Measurements

It’s never too soon or too late to have your space professionally measured. Nearly all lease agreements will state what measurement standard that the landlord has used

Courtesy photo

By Jeff Grandfield and Dale Willerton

Grandfield (left) and Willerton.

to determine the area of your premises. Commercial tenants should note that there are several different industry standards for measuring commercial space. If you have been taking the landlord’s word for the measurement of your business premises, you may be overpaying substantially on one, or more, of your locations. You may be presented with a “measurement certification.” Don’t be fooled. Many of the locations where we have found discrepancies on were “verified” as accurate, but, in fact, were measured incorrectly. Sometimes, the discrepancies are only 30 to 40 square feet; however, these can also be hundreds of square feet off especially if the leased space is significant in size. As you can see, phantom space is a simple concept and can be simply avoided. No one can ascertain the exact size of an area by naked eye alone. Nor should a commercial tenant always trust what is stated on his/her Lease Agreement. Space measurement can provide peace-of-mind and can save you thousands of dollars … as a commercial tenant, isn’t this worth looking into?  R Dale Willerton is founder and CEO of The Lease Coach. Willerton and Jeff Grandfield are Professional Commercial Lease Consultants who work exclusively for tenants. Both are professional speakers and coauthors of Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals FOR DUMMIES (Wiley, 2013). Contact Willerton or Grandfield at 800-738-9202, DaleWillerton@TheLeaseCoach.com or visit TheLeaseCoach.com. Request a copy of their free CD, Leasing Dos & Don’ts for Commercial Tenants, from JeffGrandfield@ TheLeaseCoach.com.

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


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SPECIAL SECTION

Arctic Oil & Gas

AOGA Panel: Arctic Opportunities The vision for a favorable place to do business Compiled by Tasha Anderson

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n May 25, AOGA (Alaska Oil and Gas Association) held its 50th Anniversary Celebration & Conference, commemorating both AOGA’s history and the history of the oil and gas industry in Alaska. The conference featured several excellent panels, including “Arctic Opportunities,” moderated by Tara Sweeney, Chair of the Arctic Economic Council. The panel was comprised of Thomas Mack, President of Aleut Corporation; Matt Ganley, VP of Media and External Affairs for Being Straits Native Corporation; and Lance Miller, VP of Natural Resources for NANA Regional Corporation. Below are excerpts from the panel. Sweeney: The Arctic Economic Council’s vision is to make the Arctic a favorable place to do business. From your corporation’s perspective, how do you think we can achieve that vision? Mack: My position of President of the Aleut Corporation, has given me the honor to represent what is known as Aleut International Association as an indigenous member on the Arctic Economic Council. I also sit on the governance board for the Arctic Economic Council, and I helped formulate the foundational documents … which are the Rules of Procedure, our three year strategic plan, and our membership structure. So the Rules of Procedure are kind of like our bylaws that we need to give to corporate America. So this council has provided the very platform, set the groundwork, to begin the work of making the Arctic a favorable place to do business on an international level. The Aleut Corporation’s perspective on doing business in the Arctic is that it is a

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favorable place to do it today. The Aleut Corporation’s 1.5 million acre sub-surface estate and our 77,000 acres of surface estate are all located in the Aleutian Pribilof Island region. The Aleut Region is considered an integral part of the Arctic, defined by the US Arctic Research and Policy Act. For that reason, we live and breathe doing business in the Arctic every day. We have several active ports in our region that do business with US companies and international companies today. These ports contribute to Alaska being the number one producer of seafood in this country. I also believe that educating others on the Arctic and the business potential is essential. And again the Arctic Economic Council is an excellent venue to do just that. Ganley: Bering Straits Native Corporation lies on the Bering Strait, it’s all in the name. And I think what we see developing in the Arctic in the last five to seven years with regard to people looking north—and with the annual sea ice diminishing—we see the potential, if not soon, at some point in time, with increased intercontinental shipping through the Bering Strait. Our communities own the coastline within Bering Strait: our communities within Bering Straits Native Corporation and our position in those lanes of future commerce is very critical, very important to the long-term health of the region and the Arctic in general. One of the things that we all take for granted in the regional corporation day-to-day activities is that there’s a pretty high level of competition between the regional corporations. It’s natural, they’re corporations, they’re forprofit, we’re often involved in the same businesses. But as Thomas spoke to some of the organizations that are developing to

reach across those boundaries, we’re doing the same thing a little farther north in the sub-Arctic and high-Arctic. An organization was formed called IABA, the Inuit Arctic Business Alliance. NANA, North Slope, and Bering Straits leadership came together and over a long period of time discussed the fact that they are really in an important place of the future of not only Alaska, but the United States, in terms of the development in the Arctic. And there was a real need to form a single voice with those three regions that actually border the Arctic coastline and a need to cooperate on issues that we all face in terms of energy costs, economic development in the regions, healthy communities, food security, things like this. Miller: As I look back, I always wanted to work in South America as a geologist in mining, but most of my time has been in the Arctic regions of the world. It’s a couple of things that could be done in Alaska, is pan-Arctic relationships, both business relationships and cultural relationships that can go right around the Arctic: there are a lot of cultural ties. Emphasize the importance of engagement and share best-case practices. Certainly, other countries have done some unique things in the Arctic, and Alaska has too when it comes to resource development and other projects. We like Alaska to be sort of independent and not listen to DC, but there is an Arctic strategy and the United States is looking more and more toward Alaska, and so I think there’s an opportunity to actually partner a little more with the federal government, to leverage what we want out of what hopefully they want, too. Then create a knowledge of existing projects, those that have been successful in the Arctic, both in

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


ARCTIC OIL & GAS SPECIAL SECTION

Alaska and other parts of the world, that can be used, collectively, to sort of get the image out there that the Arctic is a place to do business. You need a stable regulatory and security environment, and we’ve heard rumbling to know there are various security issues going on in the Arctic, even though it’s a pretty friendly place in general. And then finally, really emphasize the human capacity. One thing I’ve noticed working around the Arctic is, whether it’s indigenous groups or people who moved there, northerners have a general affinity for each other and have a sort of tie in they like the Arctic, and I think that’s something to build on whether you’re in Russia, or Scandinavia, Greenland, Canada, and so forth. So I think there is a lot of opportunity and a lot more, like I say, affinity amongst peoples who live around the circumpolar area. Thank you.

REMOTE EXTREME COMPLEX

Sweeney: What do you see is the biggest detractor from future economic activities and investments in the Arctic arena? Miller: First probably is a stable regulatory environment. And kind of tied with that is the ENGO, environmental nongovernmental organizations, where they fit into this and how they can essentially sway public perception. Second is access to resources, and that kind of ties to both the land tenure but really infrastructure. I want to really emphasize that, at least in my experience, projects move ahead economically in the Arctic because they’re world-class—they have to support all the infrastructure that goes along, whether it’s a Red Dog or Prudhoe Bay or what have you. So in order to fully take advantage of all the resources, you’re going to have to lower the cost of doing business. And then we need a long-term view, patient capital is key. We all know how long it takes to do things in the Arctic. I think that more and more we should think about the security in the Arctic. Ganley: The biggest obstacle is a collective—I’m not going to place the blame with either the federal or state government, the populace, or businesses— lack of commitment or even a concept of a long-term vision for what is the Arctic, as a whole, going to look like in fifty years. I think a lot of that has to do with a lack of a strong US presence in the American Arctic. I will qualify it with this: if you look at history worldwide, particularly Alaska history, industry moves a lot faster and is a lot more nimble than government, but God www.akbizmag.com

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help us when government finally catches up, right? But that’s normally been the case with development in the north. Businesses that are here for the long term, such as the regional corporations, are obligated to start to form that long-term vision and to make a commitment, at least towards envisioning what the Arctic might look like in the future. We know where the resources are, we don’t know what the markets will be in the future. We know that there is a glaring lack of energy development and energy-at-home or in-situ nearby that we can tap into. But these are obstacles that can be overcome. But, to summarize the

basic obstacle, I really do believe it’s a lack of a commitment or a concept of a longterm vision for the Arctic. Mack: The political risk in the form of government regulations is perhaps the biggest detractor from doing business in the Arctic. While we take protection of our ancestral lands very seriously, oftentimes misguided or excessive regulations harm our businesses. Especially when regulations change yearly, it doesn’t allow for long-term planning by businesses; it’s very frustrating. Not only do the regulations hurt our shareholders, it hurts

the timeline trying, it increases costs. There needs to be a balance between the economic and the resource development aspects of the Arctic and preserving the Arctic. You can do both. This impulse decision making that we have by political bodies when they shut down fisheries due to marine sanctuaries or put parts of the Outer Continental Shelf off limits for drilling because they don’t have enough information is volatile and hurts the economic viability for the Arctic. We have experienced first-hand the far over-reaching of government when doing business in the Arctic and it has cost our company tens of millions of dollars, so it hurts quite a bit. A stable and reliable political climate to conduct business here is very much needed and lacking, and I look forward to continuing my work with our delegation to making the Arctic a positive and productive business environment here in Alaska. And of course another big detractor is the high cost of energy, so work close on that. Sweeney: Now that oil and gas companies are no longer actively pursuing development in the Chukchi, did that impact your corporation’s business plans and how? Ganley: Oh boy, I would say yes. Is that good enough? But many know Bering Straits will be receiving conveyance of the land around Port Clarence. Port Clarence is the only natural deep-water port and port of refuge on the American Arctic coast; it’s been used since about 1850 as a port of refuge. We did an economic feasibility plan: Port Clarence is ideally located just south of Bering Strait. You’ve got two thousand acres for staging, you’ve got this natural deep-water port. However, there isn’t a lot of other activity that is going to generate a lot of income except for oil and gas exploration and development. So we have had to change our vision for what Port Clarence might be. What we’re looking at now, it still would’ve served as an ideal spot for disaster response because of its location to the Strait for services or bringing vessels in out of the weather that might be in peril because of lost power or other issues. It will always serve as a safe refuge and a port of refuge on that stretch of coast. There is no other port of refuge. As far as developments there, we will probably begin looking at potential mooring systems and things to make safety a priority in the region. If we do see increases in shipping, we’re going to see in

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Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Mack: Shell had tentative plans, possible plans, to make Adak an oilfield service center and a staging area for their operations in the Chukchi. So like many businesses, we were very disappointed when Shell pulled out, and then when the other companies followed suit. We hosted Shell on several occasions to Adak. They understood the strategic significance of already existing infrastructure there on the Port of Adak. The Arctic is simply not just about oil and gas—fishing, mining, tourism, marine safety, and national security will all drive exponential vessel traffic in the future to the Arctic. What Shell saw as a huge advantage of the preexisting infrastructure in Adak, other businesses will find those benefits as well when they work up in the Arctic. The time frame may be pushed back, but we’re hopeful that other industries will come. And we’re confident that the demand for this preexisting infrastructure and the jet capable airport on Adak will suit other businesses as well in these industries. Miller: Did it affect us? Yes. Last year the new hotel Nullaġvik in Kotzebue was really at capacity. Shareholders were employed with service companies, there was a marine mammal observer program. The Kotzebue village corporation, NANA was working with them, they had service contracts. It was amazing just how much suddenly was infused into the region. For oil and gas you do need to take a long view, and we believe it’s not quite over. Interestingly, when people were really looking at both sides of the concerns www.akbizmag.com

and the positives of the US leases, from my math the Russian leases were actually closer to Kotzebue than the US leases. With a slowdown, or shutting off in the OCS at least, there’s an opportunity for companies interested in Arctic to still be engaged. This goes back to my time working in Russia when I was with a company, after this same company had been there years before, and a lot of times I got “Well, why haven’t you guys been here through this last down-cycle? You’re coming back when everything’s good.” And so I had to actually overcome a lot of that stuff, both with locals and

government entities. I think that’s a message that if people are committed, back that long-term plan, there needs to be a certain level of engagement that stays there. Sweeney: What is the largest advantage of doing business in the Arctic? Mack: In the large scheme of things, the Arctic is in its infancy when it comes to doing business. In my eyes the opportunities are endless. With the opening of the Arctic due to melting sea

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October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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international shipping. The real challenge will be how do we capture some benefits from that shipping? These are vessels that have everything on board they need to go from point to point. Will they need to stop in American waters? That really is one of the challenges for how we tap into shipping in the future. So to answer the question, yes, it affected our plans greatly. But I do think it also certainly slowed down the pace of things. And I mentioned that industry moves faster, and I think there was certain levels of unease about how quickly things were moving in the Beaufort and Chukchi. Quite honestly, in our communities there was concern about this. I don’t think losing Shell was the answer to augment those fears, but so we have bought some time. I really do hope that things look up economically for the industry and we do see Shell and others come back in the future—hopefully in our lifetimes—and looking at things to the north of us.


ARCTIC OIL & GAS SPECIAL SECTION

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ice, the Alaska Arctic is suddenly the center of the universe when it comes to doing business. I think a large advantage of doing business in the Arctic is the unexplored potential of the responsible resource development in the fields of fisheries, mining, oil and gas, tourism, telecommunication, search and rescue, and oil spill response, to name a few. We’re Alaskans, we’re creative. We have expertise, but more importantly we have the duty to our stakeholders to develop the Arctic responsibly before somebody else does it for us. Ganley: I think it’s location, location, location. The unexploited resources that we have there as far as minerals go, it’s astounding, mineral development and oil and gas as well. Thomas mentioned something interesting: responsibility to stakeholders. I think that’s something that people in the state understand. The Native regional and village corporations in Alaska are very different in many ways, but the competition is the same as it is in the corporate world. But the social responsibility we have brings a certain advantage to the table in any business discussion because we can educate partners and people coming into the area about what’s happening on the ground. We know what the communities in our regions are like, we know what the needs are, and we know what the problems are and also the benefits they can bring to any development there. Miller: Really it’s two things: it’s natural resources and human resources. Natural resources is prospective, partly because it’s underexplored. I think the human resource side of it is important; people want to have a bit of control over their future and their destiny, so engaging the local population whether it’s an ANC level or tribal or city or people living there in general is critical. Sweeney: In closing, I just want to make the point that while there are five regions that are considered the Arctic when you include some of the Doyon villages, the Arctic Slope region, NANA, Bering Straits, and the Aleut region, we need to blur those lines a little bit and as Alaskans we need to recognize that this state is what makes the US an Arctic nation. So it’s not just within those five regions that we should be concerned. As Alaskans we are all considered Arctic residents and that’s something very important, and we encourage your continued participation in Arctic discussions.  R

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SPECIAL SECTION

Arctic Oil & Gas

Shell Pulling Up Stakes in the Chukchi Contractors retrieve anchor systems By Julie Stricker

Back deck of the Dino Chouest—full of anchors. Photo courtesy of Edison Chouest Offshore Alaska

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ARCTIC OIL & GAS SPECIAL SECTION

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October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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ARCTIC OIL & GAS SPECIAL SECTION

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oyal Dutch Shell had a little unfinished business off Alaska’s northern coast after it abandoned its exploration program last September. The oil giant headed north in summer 2015 with a flotilla of twenty-nine vessels and two drilling units, carrying everything the company needed for its several weeks of planned exploration at the Burger J prospect. The company had spent $2.8 billion for offshore leases in Alaska’s Arctic and had high hopes it would be able to tap into the estimated 26 billion barrels of oil thought to lie under the Outer Continental Shelf. But when their efforts, which cost nearly $7 billion, proved disappointing, Shell’s flotilla headed back south, leaving only a few dozen anchors and a few regulatory loose ends in the Arctic. This summer, the oil giant returned to retrieve its anchors and complete environmental science reporting and monitoring. The operation was a success. “Recently, we completed the collection of the remaining equipment used for Shell Alaska’s exploration and drilling operations in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas,” Shell spokesman Curtis Smith says by email. “Contracted vessels were tasked with retrieving over fifty anchors from the Chukchi and Beaufort seas as well as completing required environmental science monitoring and reporting.”

Ice Free Seas

Shell contracted with Fairweather LLC, an Anchorage-based logistics and environmental services company, for the project. Fairweather is a member of the Edison Chouest Offshore companies, a global marine transportation company based in Louisiana. Edison Chouest builds and operates a fleet of more than two hundred ships, including the ones used to retrieve Shell’s anchors. As with their exploration efforts, Shell staged the recovery from Unalaska. Three ships, the M/V Aiviq, the M/V Dino Chouest, and the M/V Ross Chouest, arrived in midsummer to take advantage of the few weeks the Chukchi and Beaufort are usually ice-free each year. The Aiviq, which means walrus in Inupiaq, is a $200 million ice-breaking, anchor-handling, tug supply vessel built specifically for Shell’s drilling operations in the Beaufort and Chukchi. When it was launched in 2011, Edison Chouest called it “the world’s largest and most powerful anchor-handling icebreaker.” The Aiviq’s main job is to handle the anchor lines that would attach drilling rigs to the sea floor. It is also designed to cut 42

through three-foot-thick ice and has oil spill recovery capabilities. The three anchor-handling vessels are specifically designed to handle the large mooring systems. Each has large winches, a lot of deck space and powerful engines. The Ross Chouest carries a ROV (Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle) designed to manipulate the float ropes on the anchor systems. The plan also called for a fourth vessel, the M/V Nanuq, to complete the operation.

Five Anchor Areas

According to Fairweather’s project plan, the anchors are located in five areas: Good Hope Bay in Kotzebue Sound for barge moorings; the Burger A site in the Chukchi Sea for the arctic containment system

moorings; the Burger V site in the Chukchi Sea for the M/V Noble Discoverer drilling rig moorings; Kakapo in the Chukchi Sea for a contingency location for the Discoverer drilling rig; and the Sivulliq site in the Beaufort Sea for the mobile offshore drilling unit Kulluk drilling rig moorings. The mooring systems include the anchors, as well as chain, wire rope, clump weights, connecting gear, and float ropes. The plan called for the anchor retrieval to be completed in one season, with vessels leaving Dutch Harbor in late June and arriving in Kotzebue in July. Fairweather worked closely with communities along the northwest and North Slope to ensure its operations did not interfere with subsistence activities. “Timing and movement of the four

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Photo courtesy of Edison Chouest Offshore Alaska

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Aiviq and Nanuq conducting vesselto-vessel anchor transfers.

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vessels is a complex planning exercise,� Fairweather’s project plan stated, which may include multiple trips to Unalaska to offload material. After the anchor systems in Kotzebue Sound are retrieved, the vessels would then move into the Chukchi Sea to retrieve the Burger and Kakapo anchors, depending on ice conditions. As soon as the ice retreated from Point Barrow, usually in late July or early August, two of the boats would head to the Sivulliq site, located east of Prudhoe Bay, to retrieve that anchor. Fairweather planned to complete the retrievals and leave the Beaufort before August 25, which is when the Nuiqsut/Kaktovik bowhead whale harvest begins. Once the Sivulliq site is cleared, the two vessels would rejoin the other two in the Chukchi to complete any remaining operations there. www.akbizmag.com

P a r k s H i g h way R a i l ro a d O ve r p a s s

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ARCTIC OIL & GAS SPECIAL SECTION

Crew Logistics

Any crew changes or resupply operations would occur in Kotzebue, Wainwright, or Prudhoe Bay. Under a joint venture between Fairweather and Olgoonik Corporation, the Wainwright village corporation, Fairweather Science LLC will provide logistic support for crew changes and a small, flat-bottom boat is available at each community to transfer crew, groceries, and other supplies. Because the operations had the potential to interfere with marine mammals, Fairweather also filed for permits under the Endangered Species Act with the National Marine Fisheries Service. Fairweather notes that use of boat thrusters and sidescan sonar to locate and retrieve the anchors could “incidentally harass marine mammals” due to underwater noise. All vessels will include teams of protected species observers, consisting of trained field biologists and Alaska Native observers. The vessels are to remain at least a halfmile from polar bears or walrus in the water and at least one mile away if the animals are spotted onshore.

Removing Anchor Systems

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The side-scan sonar is necessary for the safe, efficient removal of the anchor systems, Fairweather says. Although the locations of the anchors are known, they may have shifted slightly or become overgrown with marine vegetation. In addition to the ROV, using side-scan sonar would give technicians a clear, accurate picture of where the equipment is located and allow them to confirm all the gear has been removed. The side-scan sonar surveys will be conducted from the R/V Norseman II, operated by Olgoonik Fairweather, LLC. The Norseman, which has been used in the Arctic since 2007, would precede the anchor-handling vessels to the site. The sonar will be towed over each site in a grid fashion, an operation expected to last one to three days at each site. The results would be uploaded immediately to the vessel operators so they can develop a retrieval plan based on the actual conditions at each site. With the anchors retrieved, little remains of Shell’s ambitious plans on Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf. In May, Shell relinquished all but one of its leases in the Chukchi. It is retaining the lease on the Burger J so that it can hold on to the data it has collected at the site. Other companies such as ConocoPhillips and Statoil followed suit. In all, they gave up nearly 80 percent of the leases they acquired in 2008. R Freelance journalist Julie Stricker lives near Fairbanks.

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


safety driven

SAFETY IS OUR LICENSE TO DO BUSINESS. - TOM HENDRIX, VICE PRESIDENT, OIL & GAS

Safety Driven


SPECIAL SECTION

Arctic Oil & Gas

A Regulatory Shellacking BOEM finalizes rules for Arctic OCS operators By R. Isaak Hurst

T

he definition of shellacking is “to beat someone up repeatedly.” With that idea in mind, it is no exaggeration to say that Royal Dutch Shell took a regulatory and legal shellacking between 2010 and 2015. And it wasn’t just a beating from Uncle Sam either; indeed, Native communities, states, NGOs, and even kayaktivists stepped into the ring with Shell to do battle over its right to drill in the Arctic. As we are all aware, Shell won many (if not most) of the legal and regulatory battles it was dragged into. Ultimately, however, Shell lost the war. Shell memorialized its surrender of the Arctic OCS on September 28, 2015, when it announced in a statement that it would cease further exploration activity in offshore Alaska for the near future. One of principal reasons cited by Shell for pulling out of the Arctic was because of “the challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska.” Challenging indeed. Over the span of five years, Shell was involved in a myriad of high-profile regulatory and legal battles. Interestingly, however, and nearly one year after Shell conceded its Arctic claims, the regulatory fight for the Arctic is still waging in Washington, DC’s congressional halls. On July 15, 2016, the Department of the Interior (DOI), acting through the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), finalized the regulatory requirements for exploratory drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and published the Final Rule in the Federal Register. This Final Rule focuses solely on the OCS within the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea Planning Areas (herein the “Arctic OCS”) and, according to DOI, “is designed to help ensure the safe, effective, and responsible exploration of Arctic OCS oil and gas resources, while protecting the marine, coastal, and human environments and Alaska Natives’ cultural traditions and access to subsistence resources.”

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Many commentators, however, claim these new regulations are duplicative, cost prohibitive, and will likely prevent any further investment in offshore oil and gas exploration in the Arctic OCS in the immediate future. Below is a brief review of the more controversial aspects of the rule; however, before getting into those details it is worth reviewing some of the more historic events that have led to an increase in the legal and regulatory affairs of the Arctic OCS.

Background—Shell’s Legal and Regulatory Adventures in the Arctic  The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico shifted the offshore regulatory landscape in a

number of ways. First, BOEM, a branch of the DOI, assumed control over the approval of exploration plans, and another DOI branch, BSEE, assumed responsibility for approving Oil Spill Response Plans (OSRPs). Second, following a moratorium on all oil and gas drilling, the DOI issued new rules regarding the content and analysis that operators should provide with its OSRPs. In response, Shell was required to update it OSRPs for the Chukchi and Beaufort seas in May 2011, again in early 2012, and again in August 2014. The DOI eventually approved of Shell’s OSRP, but the costs for regulatory compliance were significant. With that, Shell did not exaggerate when it stated that the regulatory environment of the Arctic OCS was “unpredictable.”

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


both the USCG and the DOI launched an expedited investigation into Shell’s 2012 operations in the Arctic. The DOI review found that Shell was not fully prepared to carry out drilling in the Arctic and recommended further review and overall improvement of the program. As a consequence, and under pressure from investors, government agencies, and environmental groups, on February 27, 2013, Shell announced that it would “pause its exploration drilling activity for 2013 in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas to prepare equipment and plans for a resumption of activity at a later stage.” On July 3, 2015, one of Shell’s two icebreakers, the Fennica, hit a rock just outside of Dutch Harbor and put a thirtynine-inch gash in its hull. The USCG later determined the Fennica struck an uncharted shoal in the area, but the PR regulatory spin was immense: “The damage to the Fennica due to traveling through shallow water is yet another example of Shell’s reckless attitude in its pursuit of unburnable Arctic oil,” reported one commentator. Shell’s regulatory PR situation went from bad to worse after the Fennica was forced down to Portland for repairs. From there, local protesters tried to block the vessel, going so far as to suspend themselves from the

St. John’s Bridge over Portland’s Willamette River. Indeed, for regulatory PR purposes, the Noble Discoverer, the Kulluk, and the Fennica did as many favors for Shell as the iceberg did for the Titanic.  The Kayaktivists: In June of 2015, Shell, Foss Maritime, and the Port of Seattle decided to bring the Polar Pioneer into Seattle’s Terminal 5. The idea was simple: lease terminal space, create tax revenue, and support hundreds of jobs in doing so. Shortly thereafter, however, the City of Seattle and a coalition of environmental groups sued the Port of Seattle and Foss Maritime, arguing that Shell did not have the right kind of permit to moor the Polar Pioneer in Elliot Bay. This incident not only led hundreds of kayakers paddling out to Elliot Bay to protest the Polar Pioneer presence but also led to an economic spat between Alaska and Washington political leaders. Foss and the Port of Seattle were eventually victorious in its case, but the “Shell-No” movement will not be forgotten anytime soon.

Federal Court—Shell Offshore v. Greenpeace In a related lawsuit, Shell obtained a temporary restraining order from the district court in Alaska barring Greenpeace protes-

Alaska has tremendous offshore potential in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas and is poised to become a leader in Arctic exploration and development. New offshore oil and gas production may take time, but it would be careless to assume these resources will end up as stranded assets. As those who stand to be most affected by future development off our coast, the key is a long-term plan to ensure those resources are developed safely and successfully for the direct benefit of our people.

aioalaska.com

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October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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ARCTIC OIL & GAS SPECIAL SECTION

 The Noble Discoverer, the Kulluk, and the Fennica: Although Macondo kicked off enhanced regulatory oversight from the US government, the July 14, 2012, storm that caused the Noble Discoverer to drag its anchor while being moored outside Dutch Harbor furthered the argument that these operations needed more regulatory oversight. Images of the Noble Discoverer, which appeared to show the rig grounded on the rocky beaches of Unalaska, started showing up on news channels across the world. Although the US Coast Guard (USCG) later determined the vessel never touched ground, the incident provided Greenpeace and other NGO’s with a lot of regulatory ammo against Shell. On December 31, 2012, the Kulluk ran aground in the Gulf of Alaska. Similar to the Noble Discoverer, images of this rig bobbing perilously close to the jagged shores of Kodiak were not doing Shell any favors—especially for its regulatory PR battle. This incident kicked off a barrage of regulatory investigations by the Environmental Protection Agency, USCG, and DOI. Shortly after the grounding, Environmental Protection Agency issued a statement saying Shell had violated its permits under the Clean Air Act for both of its Arctic drill ships. Subsequently,


ARCTIC OIL & GAS SPECIAL SECTION

tors from boarding and interfering with operations on twenty-nine vessels that Shell planned to use for its Arctic operations. The case arose after six individuals had boarded a Shell heavy transport vessel in the Pacific Ocean and scaled the drilling vessel the transport vessel was carrying. Shell was successful and the court ordered temporary restraining order put a five hundred yard barrier around each of the twenty-nine vessels while they were in transit. Later on, a district court held Greenpeace in contempt for violating this temporary restraining order when its activist hung from the St. John’s Bridge in Portland in an effort to block the Fennica.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals In another lawsuit, which made it all the way to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a group of twelve organizations challenged the DOI’s approval of Shell’s Chukchi Sea exploration plan for 2015, claiming that it violates both the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. The district court found for Shell, determining that the BSEE’s approval wasn’t arbitrary or capricious, and the Ninth Circuit agreed. Indeed, the quest for Arctic oil and gas resources is not for the legal or regulatory faint of heart. Now, however, the DOI, via

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BOEM and BSEE, are adding to the regulatory challenges that Arctic operators will need to overcome. Below is a short summary of the finalized rules.

Enhanced SCCE Capabilities

The DOI’s new rules require OCS operators to have enhanced Source Control Containment Equipment (SCCE) capabilities. This rule requires operators to have access to capping stacks, a cap and flow system, and a containment dome: all of which are capable of controlling a worst case discharge when using a Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (30 C.F.R. § 250.470(f); 30 C.F.R.§ 250.471). In addition, this rule requires operators provide a detailed descriptions of (i) its contractor’s SCCE capabilities; (ii) an inventory of regional SCCE supplies and services; (iii) proof of contracts or membership agreements with entities that would be providing the operator with necessary SCCE or related supplies; (iv) a detailed description of how the operator plans to inspect its SCCE; and (v) a detailed description of a plan that ensures that all members of the operating team have the necessary training to deploy and operate SCCE equipment in the Arctic OCS (30 C.F.R. § 250.470(f)(1) – (5)). DOI’s logic behind this rule is fair and was well received by industry. Although a cap-

ping stack, cap and flow system, and containment domes are readily available and accessible in the Gulf of Mexico, they are not in the Arctic. Moreover, the best way to minimize the effects of spilled oil is to prevent it from entering the water in the first place, which is why having a strong SCCE program in place is a critical part in reducing the impacts of a spill. One commenter, however, stated that BOEM and BSEE significantly underestimated the costs associated with SCCE, which were estimated to total $681.9 million over ten years, but in reality, that they should be between $996.9 million to $1.36 billion over the ten-year period.

Relief Rig Requirement

Arguably the most controversial requirement, BSEE now requires operators to have access to a separate relief rig, staged at a location such that it could arrive on site, drill a relief well, kill and abandon the original well, and abandon the relief well prior to expected seasonal ice encroachment at the drill site— all within forty-five days after the loss of well control (30 C.F.R. § 250.471(a)). As an example, BSEE notes the relief rig could be stored in harbor, staged idle offshore, or actively working, as long as it would be capable of physically and contractually meeting the proposed forty-five-day maximum timeframe.

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


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ARCTIC OIL & GAS SPECIAL SECTION

Again, this rule is not without controversy. Some commenters recommended that BSEE remove the relief rig requirements entirely because the availability of several alternative technologies, such as capping stacks, prepositioned capping devices, and subsea isolation devices are proven to be better suited to control an out-of-control well, thus negate the need to require a relief rig. However, BSEE determined that a relief rig is currently the most reliable option for permanently killing and plugging an outof-control well. In the published rule, BSEE stated that “[t]his equipment is fundamental to safe and responsible operations on the Arctic OCS, where existing infrastructure is sparse, the geography and logistics make bringing equipment and resources into the region challenging, and the time available to mount response operations is limited by changing weather and ice conditions, particularly at the end of the drilling season.”

Reliable Weather and Ice Forecasting In 2012, Shell was forced to abandon its first well in the Arctic Ocean because of sea ice moving into the area. In light of the threats posed by ice and extreme weather events, BOEM and BSEE now require that operators include a description of their weather and ice monitoring and forecasting capabilities for all phases of their exploration program, as well as their alert procedures and thresholds for activating ice and weather management systems (30 C.F.R. § 250.188). For example, § 250.188 requires the operator to report to BSEE information on various incidents, including sea ice movement that may affect operations or trigger ice management activities and any unexpected “kicks” or operational issues that could result in the loss of well control (30 C.F.R. § 250.188(c)). Similar to the relief rig requirement, this rule is not without controversy. Some commenters felt the ice management reporting requirements are too subjective and vague, while others commenters felt these reporting requirements would necessitate nearly constant communication with BSEE regarding sea ice movement and conditions. BSEE disagreed and felt these requirements were necessary since BSEE would need sufficient time to oversee the safety of an operator’s reactions and prepare to respond, if a response is necessary, due to a safety or environmental incident resulting from an ice event. Arctic OSRPs

The final rule now requires operators to develop and implement an OSRP that accounts for the unique Arctic OCS operating environment and has the necessary equipment, training, and personnel for oil spill response on the 50

Arctic OCS (30 C.F.R. § 254.55). For example, these OSRP must demonstrate that the operator has the spill response resources, equipment, personnel, and strategies necessary to efficiently and effectively respond to a worst case discharge. No exploratory drilling may commence prior to BSEE’s approval of OSRP, which must be consistent with applicable Federal regulations and guidance (30 C.F.R. § 254.1 – 55). There was very little controversy around the proposed OSRP regulations, but it is worth noting that Shell’s OSRP, which was approved by BSEE in 2015, is 438 pages long.

Reducing Pollution from Arctic OCS Operations The final rule now requires operators reduce their environmental footprint in the Arctic (30 C.F.R. § 250.300). Specifically, BSEE now requires operators “capture of all petroleumbased mud and associated cuttings from Arctic OCS exploratory drilling operations to prevent the discharge of such pollutants into the marine environment.” (30 C.F.R. § 250.300(b) (1)) These changes come after many Arctic stakeholders, primarily Alaska Native Tribes, expressed concern that mud and cuttings from exploratory drilling could adversely affect marine species (e.g., whales and fish) and their habitat and compromise the effectiveness of subsistence hunting activities. Commenters were generally supportive of the pollution prevention requirements, but some requested that the regulations be expanded to include the capture of all “water-based” mud and cuttings as well—not just “petroleum-based” mud and cuttings. BOEM and BSEE disagreed. The bureaus made a note that there is no evidence to suggest that “water-based” mud and associated cuttings are sufficiently problematic in all circumstances to justify a uniform capture requirement and noted that the Regional Supervisor also has discretion to require the capture of cuttings from operations that utilize water-based mud—should he or she choose to do so (30 C.F.R. § 250.300(b)(2)). The Overall Cost of Regulatory Compliance The Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) for this final rule estimates that the new requirements could result in compliance costs for the industry of $2.05 billion over ten years. The provisions of the rule subsumed within the regulatory baseline are estimated to cost $1.83 billion over a ten-year analysis period. These figures, however, were subject to a barrage of criticism. For example, one commenter asserted that the bureaus’ estimated costs in the initial RIA are drastically low, sometimes by several orders of magnitude, and that the cost to industry is $10 billion to $20 billion higher over the

ten-year period. Another commenter asserted that the initial RIA incorrectly estimated the per-rig operating cost at $2 million per day because it fails to take into account that rigs and vessels contracted for Arctic exploration are contracted on an annual basis. The commenter noted that, based on an estimated one hundred drilling days available in the Chukchi Sea, the revised accounting results in an effective daily operating cost of $7.5 million per day per rig when the full cost of “ownership” is taken into account. In another example, several commenters questioned the cost of familiarization with the requirements of this rulemaking. The commenter added that there would be an ongoing need to educate staff and contractors, resulting in 250 hours of labor per year for review in subsequent years. BOEM and BSEE agreed with that commenter’s figures and even stated that each operator will spend 120 hours a year assuring new personnel’s familiarity with the rules. Indeed, there was no shortage of criticism with the DOI’s estimated cost of compliance with its new regulations, and it appears these new regulations are going to cost a lot of money.

Icy Regulatory Waters

The quest for Arctic oil and gas resources is not for the faint of heart, nor for those with less-than-deep pockets. Interestingly, however, BOEM and BSEE do not anticipate that these new requirements, or their associated costs, will prevent lessees and operators from conducting exploratory drilling on Arctic OCS leases. In fact, BOEM claims that its final rule will provide additional clarity and specificity and should assist the oil and gas industry to plan better and to more effectively conduct exploratory drilling on the Arctic OCS with lower risk. BOEM’s position, however, is laughable. Although the DOI’s final rule provides some clarity to these icy regulatory waters, the reality is that the existing legal and regulatory environment, coupled with the high costs associated with new regulations, will undoubtedly detract operators from investing in the Arctic OCS for the near future. R R. Isaak Hurst is an attorney with the International Maritime Group, PLLC—a boutique law firm that provides legal services to the maritime, oil and gas, mining, and international business communities of the Pacific Northwest. For more information, please visit internationalmaritime.net

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


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SPECIAL SECTION

Arctic Oil & Gas

A Crowley tug and barge making deliveries in the Arctic at Kotzebue.

Alaska’s Arctic Fleet Vessels and barges have short season By Julie Stricker

T

he village of Point Lay is located about midway between Kotzebue and Barrow on Alaska’s Chukchi Sea coast. The community of about 274 residents is protected from the Chukchi by Kasugaluk Lagoon. The lagoon, coupled with unpredictable weather and sea ice, can also be a barrier to vessels and barges carrying precious fuel and cargo for the residents. In 2015, it took Crowley Marine thirty days to deliver a year’s worth of fuel to the storage tanks at Point Lay instead of the normal ten to twelve days with good weather. That’s an eternity when the seas are only icefree for a few weeks. Typically, Crowley uses two coastal tug/barge sets and two “lagoon barges” to shuttle more than one hundred

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loads of fuel across the lagoon, says Sean Thomas, vice president for Crowley Marine. “That many fuel transfers create risk,” Thomas says in early August. This year, the Crowley team took a new tack. They used a specialized floating fuel hose and anchoring system to run approximately seven thousand feet of hose from the coastal barges, across the lagoon, and to the community tanks onshore, he says. “The delivery was approximately seven hundred thousand gallons of fuel and it was completed safely, without incident, in less than seventy-two hours,” Thomas says. “That’s a huge improvement, and when you’re working in the Arctic, any time you can save is worth its weight in gold because the weather is fickle, the infrastructure is nonexistent, and there’s the ever-present threat of ice.”

Short Season

The season lasts only a couple of months, starting in early August. During that win-

dow, nearly all the fuel and cargo that can’t feasibly be transported by air is delivered by barge. Only a handful of companies send vessels into the region, which lacks ports and other marine-based infrastructure, but is home to one of the world’s largest zinc mines and Alaska’s North Slope oilfields. Crowley is the only company that delivers fuel to Alaska villages along the Arctic coastline, Thomas says. Bowhead Transport Company, owned by Ukpeaġvik In˜upiat Corporation (UIC), the village corporation for Barrow, is the only scheduled barge service to and among the seven communities on the North Slope, including Barrow and Prudhoe Bay. Bowhead also directly links North Slope villages with Seattle. It has a joint operating agreement with Crowley Marine for cargo deliveries. Several other companies, notably Alaska Marine Lines and Alaska Logistics, deliver cargo as far north as Nome and Kotzebue, as well as charters to the North Slope in support of the oil and gas industry.

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ARCTIC OIL & GAS SPECIAL SECTION © Greg Martin Photography / Courtesy of Crowley

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ARCTIC OIL & GAS SPECIAL SECTION

Arctic coastal waters are often shallow and there’s virtually no infrastructure, so the Arctic fleet is mostly made up of a combination of shallow draft tugs and combination fuel and deck cargo barges, which can “get to places that most conventional equipment could not,” Crowley says.

Crowley’s Fleet

Crowley’s fleet is anchored by four tugs: the Siku, Avik, Nachik and Sesok. The Siku, built in Louisiana in 1995, is 81.8 feet long and has a maximum horsepower of 1,248 and a draft of 8 feet, 3 inches to 5 feet, 6 inches. The Avik, Nachik and Sesok were built specifically for use in the Arctic. They are 73 feet long with maximum horsepower of 1,350 to 1,362 and a draft of 4 feet, 10 inches to 3 feet, 6 inches. They feature a raised bridge for visibility over containers stacked two high on the deck and a hull configuration that shrouds their triple-screw propellers and allows them to operate in very shallow waters. This year, Thomas says, Crowley is using “pocket tankers,” or medium-size tankers that will sit offshore to support the smaller

keep in constant contact with each other and the other vessels in the region.

Bowhead’s Fleet

Bowhead Transport has been operating in the Arctic for thirty-four years. It is the commercial shipping subsidiary of UIC Marine Services. Sister corporation Qayaq Marine Transportation focuses on government services. Bowhead is a northbound common carrier that focuses on serving the communities of the North Slope, specifically shareholders, at a level that allows them to be able to afford goods and services, says Luther Bartholomew, Bowhead general manager. “Our main focus is cargo transportation to the Arctic,” Bartholomew says. Bowhead has scheduled stops in Nome, Point Lay, Point Hope, Wainwright, Barrow, Prudhoe Bay, and Kaktovik, “and then we turn around.” Because there are no port facilities, Bowhead uses loaders, dozers, landing craft, and one-hundred-ton cranes to load and offload cargo. All-terrain articulated forklift loaders that can handle up to thirty-five

shore oil spill response, diving, and wildlife observation. The Ingutuk II is a thirty-foot push boat and landing craft that was designed specifically for the shallow waters near villages such as Point Lay and Wainwright. It carries a crew of two and can be handled ashore with a ten-ton forklift truck. The Tony Saganna is a fifty-foot aluminum barge with a loaded draft of thirty inches and thirty ton cargo capacity. Bowhead and its government services sibling, Qayaq, also use a variety of small vessels that support the sciences and environmental projects. They also transport old equipment and contaminated soil from cleanup sites across the North Slope.

The Foss Fleet

Since 1990, Foss Maritime Co., a whollyowned subsidiary of Saltchuk Resources, has transported millions of tons of concentrated zinc ore from the giant Red Dog mine located north of Kotzebue. The mine itself is fifty-two miles inland from the Chukchi Sea coast and the ore concentrate is trucked to the port and stored in eleven-story-tall

“The best prevention for ice is to make sure you’re not operating in ice.” —Sean Thomas, Vice President, Crowley Marine

coastal vessels that fuel the smaller communities. They deliver all over the North Slope and this year they are venturing into the Canadian Arctic to Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, and a gold mine near Nunavut, 1,100 miles east of Barrow. In the high Arctic, the shipping season can be as short as thirty to forty-five days. The first deliveries are usually made in early August and “typically our rule is we want to be around the corner west of Barrow not later than 30 September,” he says. Conditions constantly change. This year, he says, “the ice has persisted farther south than usual, so it’s kept some of our boats from getting into the Arctic, but once past Barrow it’s wide open.” Ice is a constant threat and all of Crowley Marine’s vessels and barges are doublehulled, Thomas says. In August, one of Crowley’s tankers was hanging out near Icy Cape south of Wainwright because of persistent ice. “They could pick their way through it, but we don’t operate in ice, period,” he says. “The best prevention for ice is to make sure you’re not operating in ice.” Crowley uses sophisticated mapping tools and receives a number of different Arctic meteorology and sea ice reports, which track ice conditions in real time. They also 54

thousand pounds are crucial to some lightering operations, which sometimes take place on remote beaches. Many of the vessels Bowhead uses are “lagoon sets,” small, shallow-draft tugs and barges. They deliver items such as school buses, building materials for homes and community projects, dry food and canned goods, as well as appliances. The company also provides intermodal services and works with other corporations to support cleanup of contaminated sites. Bowhead is also part of the Quintillion Fiber Optics sub-sea project, providing marine support for a landing craft at Olitok Point. “These are all things that are important for sustainability and quality of home and community life,” Bartholomew says. “Cultural and environmental stewardship has really been the key to our sustainability. We help provide the goods and services that enhance their lifestyle.” Bowhead’s equipment is designed specifically for the conditions they encounter. The Sam Talaak, Greta Akpik, and the Unalaq are shallow-draft landing craft, 150 feet long, that can offload cargo directly on the beach. The Unalaq was built in 2014 to support projects such as shallow-draft lighterage, cargo delivery, a scientific research platform (including housing), near-

warehouses near the coast until the onehundred-day shipping season opens. The Red Dog port is shallow, and the bulk carrier ships must anchor three to four miles offshore. Foss has designed and built selfloading barges that lighter the ore out to the bulk carriers. Foss’ tugs and barges usually arrive at Red Dog in late June or July, often navigating through lingering ice. They stay until the port starts icing over in October. The barges Kivalina and Noatak were built in 1978 and are 274 feet long with a 76-foot beam. They draw eighteen feet of water loaded. Four tugs maneuver the barges: Stacey Foss, Sandra Foss, Iver Foss, and Sidney Foss. In 2015, Foss constructed a new Arcticclass tug, the Michele Foss, which joined three other tugs for a sealift of oil field equipment to Point Thomson. “The Michele proved herself by cracking through ice as much as a meter thick as she pioneered a new route across the North Slope,” Foss President and CEO Paul Stevens said in a newsletter. The company plans to build two more Arctic class tugs by 2017.  R Freelance journalist Julie Stricker lives near Fairbanks.

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


North Slope-Based Corporations Look for Opportunities Close to Home 170°W

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U.S. Arctic Outer Continental Shelf Lease Activity as of June 27, 2016

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Nautical Miles

GCS NAD 83 Alaska Albers Projection

Current OCS Lease Owners

Hilcorp (100%)

Planning Area Boundary

Lease Owner

Hilcorp (50%), BPX (40%), ARSC (10%)

Official Protraction Diagram

ENI (40%), Shell Offshore (40%), Repsol (20%)

Shell Gulf of Mexico (100%)

National Parks & Preserves

ENI (80%), Repsol (20%)

Shell Offshore (100%)

Presidential Withdrawal Areas

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) does not warrant nor guarantee the accuracy of this map or assume any responsibility or liability for any reliance thereon. This map is not intended for navigational purposes or as a legal document for Federal leasing purposes.

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Arctic drilling and logistics translate into jobs and benefits for shareholders By Julie Stricker

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or the past decade, communities on Alaska’s North Slope have kept a close eye on oil and gas exploration plans for the Outer Continental Shelf. Development offered tremendous economic opportunities for the region. So when Royal Dutch Shell announced it was pulling out of the region in 2015, relinquishing most of the $2.1 billion in leases it had acquired, it hit the communities hard. Ukpeaġvik In˜upiat Corporation, the village corporation for Barrow with a diversified family of businesses centered on oil and gas 56

development in the Arctic, lost more than five hundred jobs, says President and CEO Anthony Edwardsen. Olgoonik, the village corporation for Wainwright, lost another one hundred jobs. Despite the setback, North Slope-based Alaska Native corporations are still working together to support the oil and gas industry by tackling regulatory issues and infrastructure deficiencies that contributed to the demise of the offshore exploration projects, says Teresa Imm, director of resource development at Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC).

“Our biggest struggle we had was with the Obama administration,” Imm says. “We came so close to getting a lot of stuff done and when it came to the regulatory challenge—that put a huge damper on us.” For instance, oil companies were allowed to drill twenty-five holes in the Gulf of Mexico, but only two in the Chukchi. “There was no balance in it,” Imm says. The corporations reached out to Alaska’s congressional delegation and the Obama administration, Edwardsen says. “We tried very hard to convince the Secretary of the Interior,” he says. “We said we had to have this. They put so much on Shell, it made it very difficult for all of us. We don’t want to go through that again. Our people rely on industry and when we lost those 537 jobs it was hard. It had a huge impact on everything.”

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

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SPECIAL SECTION

Arctic Oil & Gas


—Rex Rock Sr., President and CEO, ASRC

AIO Consortium

In addition to her role at ASRC, Imm is also general manager of Arctic Inupiat Offshore (AIO), a consortium made up of ASRC and six village corporations: Ukpeaġvik In˜upiat Corporation (Barrow); Tikigaq Corporation (Point Hope); Olgoonik Corporation (Wainwright); Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation (Kaktovik); Atqasuk Corporation (Atqasuk); and Nunamiut Corporation (Anaktuvuk Pass). Through AIO, the corporations acquired an interest in Shell’s activities in the Chukchi Sea. Now, however, they’re using their experience to help other companies succeed on the North Slope, which they hope will again translate into jobs and benefits for shareholders. “With AIO we were acutely looking at a structure that would work together collectively with the village corporations and ASRC,” Imm says. The corporations’ many subsidiaries have extensive experience with Arctic construction, oil and gas support, pipelines, and aiding scientific fieldwork. ASRC is the largest Alaska-owned corporation, while Ukpeaġvik is one of the most successful village corporations. It is a major employer in Barrow, where it operates a hotel and oversees construction and engineering companies, as well as several joint ventures. Imm notes that while Shell gave up all but one of its leases in the Chukchi, they still have leases in the Beaufort, as do other companies. Work is also continuing on the Liberty project operated by Hilcorp Alaska, located six miles offshore east of Prudhoe Bay. “There are some leases that are still active,” Imm says. AIO has made it clear it plans to stay active, says Rex Rock Sr., ASRC president and CEO. The organization has been trying to educate the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and other federal entities about the importance of offshore development. “We’re going to pursue OCS development,” he says. “We are working with companies that are willing to work out there. We want to work forward. OCS will continue to provide opportunities.” AIO is evaluating potential investments in offshore projects, Imm says. “We are actively moving forward and looking for opportunities,” she says. “We are continuing to engage on the regulatory side. We need a reasonable regulatory regime to be able to operate in, either as our own entity or with others.” The consortium is keeping a close eye on www.akbizmag.com

changes BOEM made to air quality regulations for drilling in the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf. “A lot of the burden that those Arctic regulations place is on the exploration companies,” Imm says. “We are trying to be engaged on the process so we can ensure that the regulations don’t become too cumbersome on OCS.”

New Opportunities

Climate change brings opportunities, as well. The North Slope is on the front lines of global warming, and scientists are keenly interested in tracking the changes. In 1992, Ukpeaġvik founded the Barrow Environmental Observatory, a 7,466-acre area of tundra, lakes, and wetlands set aside for scientific research.

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“We’re going to pursue OCS development. We are working with companies that are willing to work out there. We want to work forward. OCS will continue to provide opportunities.”


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UIC Science, a Ukpeaġvik subsidiary, handles the permitting for the site. It hires local In˜upiat who are knowledgeable about the environment to work as staff members and help with logistical needs of visiting scientists. Increased traffic is also likely to mean a need for increased search and rescue capabilities. The US Coast Guard doesn’t keep a cutter in the Arctic, although it does station some aviation assets in Barrow during the warm season. The local corporations, however, are also looking at how they can help fill those needs. Luther Bartholomew, general manager for Bowhead Transport, a Ukpeaġvik subsidiary, says he has noticed an increase in traffic through the Northeast Passage over Russia as well as along the Northwest Passage. The voyage of luxury cruise ship the Crystal Serenity that passed through the Chukchi and Beaufort seas this summer is likely only the first of many. “That’s something we’ve all taken notice of, and we’re looking at how we could provide services for that cruise ship and that industry,” he says. “Those are things we’re looking to provide as far as ensuring our growth and sustainability,” he says. “Our government services arm has small vessels that they use to support the sciences and environmental services.” Bowhead provides the only scheduled cargo service on the North Slope. In addition to the specialized tugs and barges it uses for cargo, Bowhead and its government services sister corporation Qayaq Marine have a fleet of small boats that could be put to use in any number of ways, Bartholomew says. For instance, Bowhead could help load and unload passengers and crews and shuttle them to the Barrow airport, he says. They could be used to transport birder groups or other tourists to the North Slope. As tourism grows, other opportunities may also become available for polar bear viewing or whale watching. Aurora tourism is growing. Over his many years working with Alaska’s northern communities, Bartholomew says he has seen an improvement overall in community health as far as residents’ environmental and cultural stewardship. “The pullout of Shell and the loss of confidence in oil and gas has definitely affected community members,” he says. “That will be a lasting impact for a while. Overall, the communities remain strong. Our confidence remains strong. Our community is built on strong family-oriented companies that were here long before the oil and will remain for whatever comes after.” R Freelance journalist Julie Stricker lives near Fairbanks.

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


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SPECIAL SECTION

Arctic Oil & Gas Alyeska Pipeline Service Company leadership doing a walkdown of shutdown work at Pump Station 1. From left: John Baldridge, Senior Director Pipeline Operations; Rod Hanson, VP Pipeline Operations; Don Neff, Construction Manager; Mike Hale, Prudhoe Bay Area Manager; and Dave Welsh, ExxonMobil Owner Representative. Photo by Bill Bailey / Courtesy of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company

Alyeska TAPS Maintenance New technology, same level of care By Tasha Anderson

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uring peak production in Prudhoe Bay, 2 million barrels of oil per day traversed the eight-hundred-mile Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). In 2016, just over 500,000 barrels per day travel south from the North Slope to Valdez. While that’s a quarter of peak production, it is still a staggering amount of oil that crosses over and under many of Alaska’s waterways and traverses much of Alaska’s breathtaking landscape. It is absolutely vital for the health of Alaska’s environment, people, and industry that the pipeline be vigilantly operated and maintained, and fortunately that is what Alyeska Pipeline Service Company does every minute of each day, now for thirty-nine years. Rod Hanson is the Senior VP of Operations and Maintenance for Alyeska. He says, “It’s important to understand what underpins any pipeline operator’s strategy. There are two

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reasons that top the list as to why we do maintenance: safety and the environment.” The very nature of operating and maintaining the pipeline is hazardous, and Hanson stresses that it’s important for Alyeska employees and contract employees that the system is maintained so that “no matter how much oil we’re moving, it’s a safe system, and no matter how much oil we’re moving, it stays in the pipeline and our pipe and equipment are sound.”

Summer Work

This summer in June, Alyeska scheduled a thirty-six hour planned maintenance shutdown of TAPS. Hanson says that intentionally shutting down the pipeline for planned work is routine, and sometimes happens several times a year. He says last summer in addition to the thirty-six hour shutdown, TAPS was intentionally shut down for ten hours in May, ten in July, and a twelve-hour

period in August. “It’s part of our routine approach. There are certain types of work that are safest and best and sometimes only possible when the system is shut down.” He says that was the nature of the work which necessitated the thirty-six hour shutdown. The work performed during the shutdown is planned well in advance, and Hanson says Alyeska coordinates closely with the North Slope producers whenever a shutdown is necessary. “They’re coordinated well ahead of time with the producers, and usually they will plan their own maintenance at the same time to minimize impact to production,” he says. For the shorter duration events, Alyeska will use crude oil tanks at Pump Station 1 and continue to receive production while maintenance is underway on the TAPS pipeline. This summer in June there were two significant projects that Alyeska accomplished: modification of the piping at Pump Station 1 to use new above-ground piping and the isolation of below-ground piping at the Valdez Marine Terminal for integrity inspection. “This year we are completing the commissioning of basically a whole new piping system that we’ve installed at Pump Station 1,” Hanson says. All of the new piping—for suction, discharge, and mainline pumps— is now above ground, allowing Alyeska to access the piping easily for inspections and to confirm integrity for the next thirty to forty years. He says that the project has spanned approximately three years, and

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Pigs and More Pigs

It’s said that pigs got their name because in the early days of pipeline maintenance, when the cleaning instruments were made from straw and wrapped in wire, they “squealed” as they travelled through the pipe. Today’s pigs are much more advanced, and Hanson says there are several kinds used for specific purposes. “We will periodically run a smart pig through the whole forty-eight-inch diameter system, from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez,” approximately every five years, he says. The smart pig is “highly instrumented” and is capable of measuring and detecting corrosion, pipeline movement or settling, if the pipe is still round or has dents, and other information. “They flow in the oil just like the maintenance pigs do,” Hanson says, so there’s no need to drain the system or shut down the line. The robotic pig, which was used at the Valdez Marine Terminal, is newer technology. It also measures for corrosion, location, and ovality and geometry, but allows Alyeska to inspect facility piping “that isn’t piggable in the normal way,” Hanson says. “Unless the pipe has a way of inserting a pig into the oil and removing it at the end, there’s no way to run a traditional smart pig.” The robotic pig, on the other hand, is used after pipe has been drained and cleaned and is basically a track vehicle that is remotely operated from outside the pipe. The robotic pig has been a significant boon. Hanson says before this robotic pig, certain sections of buried facility pipe could only be inspected by physically digging them up and inspecting them from the outside. “In many cases, we’re looking at pipe that hasn’t been previously inspected. It’s not acceptable to us to not know the conditions of the pipe, so after thirty-nine years www.akbizmag.com

of operation we can fully understand the condition of the pipeline.” In addition to the smart and robotic pigs, Alyeska has seven styles of maintenance pigs, which are cleaning tools, and vary in “aggressiveness,” or how hard they scrape the pipe wall.

Evolving Maintenance

“The most significant changes over the years have been driven by technology,” Hanson says. Today there is more automation, more real-time data is available for engineering and maintenance analysts, control systems are integrated, and more efficient pumps and drivers are on the market. TAPS is always full; what changes as production volume goes up and down is how swiftly the oil moves. The longer the oil is in the pipeline, the more it has a chance to cool. Hanson says that in peak production times, oil would arrive in Valdez from Prudhoe Bay in approximately four and a half days; with today’s levels, that has changed to eighteen or nineteen days. “Particularly in the winter, that means it’s cooling off,” he says. Velocity and cooling are issues because oil naturally has both water and paraffin, or wax. When the oil is moving slowly, water can settle to the bottom of the pipeline and pool in low spots. While the oil is hot, paraffin remains fluid and mixed well with

the oil; as it cools, the wax can begin to coat the interior of the pipeline. He says at top production Alyeska would run a maintenance pig through the pipeline every couple weeks on the northern end and weekly on the southern end simply to maximize operational efficiency; today he says, depending on operating conditions, there can be up to four or five pigs in the system, and the purpose is to scrape the walls to prevent water pooling and keep the wax suspended in the oil instead of building up. Pigging, he says, has become a much more complex program.

Procedures Change; Service Doesn’t Hanson likens maintaining TAPS to maintaining a commercial jet. When passengers step on board, it doesn’t matter if the plane is carrying twenty people or two hundred, everyone expects a high level of maintenance and care to insure the plane will operate safely. “There may be some perspective sometimes that we’re moving less oil, so we can cut back on the work or the maintenance, and that’s not the case when you talk about a transportation system like this—the criteria and the standards that we need to hold ourselves to really don’t change.” R

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it was the break in service in June that allowed the final above-ground discharge piping to go online. Hanson says the work at the Valdez Marine Terminal was at about the same level of importance. The shutdown in June allowed Alyeska to isolate, drain down, make some cuts, and “basically isolate the relief system” so that they could run a robotic inspection pig through it “to inspect for internal corrosion in the whole release system down at the terminal.” He says it was a significant amount of work that took nearly thirty-six hours. Between June and August the isolated piping underwent a complete internal inspection. “All that piping has a clean bill of health, the inspection was successful, and we did not discover any significant corrosion.” During the August shutdown the piping was returned to service.


SPEC IAL SECTION

Arctic Oil & Gas

Arctic Transportation Infrastructure Needs Cement offload at the Port of Anchorage. Photo courtesy of the Port of Anchorage

Ports and roads from Barrow to Anchorage By Julie Stricker

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n Alaska road map is barren by Lower 48 standards. Most of the roads in the 49th State are concentrated in the most-populous Southcentral region, with two highways connecting Fairbanks and Anchorage. One of those turns to the east and Canada. The other heads north, ending on the shores of the Arctic Ocean amid the industrial development of Alaska’s oil fields. Outside of this corridor, the map is mostly blank. Despite current low oil prices, most of Alaska’s budget is still based on the output of the oilfields in the far north. But there is only the one road, mostly gravel, leading to

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Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Photo courtesy of the Port of Anchorage

Industrial ships lined up at the Port of Anchorage. Photo courtesy of the Port of Anchorage

it, and a handful of airfields. The port that serves most of Alaska, including the oilfields, is hundreds of miles to the south and more than fifty years old. Alaska has no deepwater ports to serve Arctic shipping, which is increasing as sea ice diminishes. The increased traffic, which this summer includes an 820-foot luxury cruise ship attempting to navigate the Northwest Passage, concerns Alaska residents along the coasts who depend on the plants and animals in the region for subsistence. They also see the increased traffic as an opportunity for economic development, if they can build the infrastructure to support it. Rex Rock Sr., president and CEO of ASRC (Arctic Slope Regional Corporation), says the North Slope’s lack of infrastructure is holding the region back economically. ASRC, along with six village corporations from the North Slope, formed Arctic Inupiat Offshore (AIO) LLC in 2014 to pursue a strategic partnership with Shell and www.akbizmag.com

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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ABI’s new cement dome at the Port of Anchorage.


ARCTIC OIL & GAS SPECIAL SECTION

A 36-inch diameter corrugated metal pipe installed at MP 414 on the Dalton Highway. Photo by Patrick Flaherty/ Courtesy of Alaska DOT&PF

act as a unified voice for North Slope communities. With Shell pulling anchor from its offshore ambitions in the Chukchi Sea after failing to find commercial quantities of oil, AIO is continuing to work for economic development in the region. “I think we need everything the outside world has already,” Rock says. “We do need roads. They would lower the prices on everything as far as freight. … I think a train would really help. We need everything just like everybody else.” A deepwater port is another pressing need, especially given the increase in traffic through the Northwest Passage and the Northeast Passage over Russia, he says. A deepwater port near Barrow would allow the US Coast Guard to station cutters there, improve search and rescue operations, and support onshore and offshore drilling, he says. Anthony Edwardsen, president and CEO of the village corporation for Barrow, Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation, also a member of AIO, says there has been talk of deepwater port near Barrow. And while reports have tagged both Nome and Port Clarence north of Nome as potential sites for a port, both are still hundreds of miles from the North Slope. “We do have a plan that we’ve put together and we’ve shared it with the gov64

John with Norgasco, Inc., running a current through an electrical wire to locate a gasline under the Dalton Highway at MP 414. Photo by Jai Chang / Courtesy of Alaska DOT&PF

ernor of Alaska,” Edwardsen says. “We’re really pushing forward for a deep port.” A major obstacle to building roads and infrastructure on the North Slope are the widespread public interest lands, says Teresa Imm, general manager of AIO and director of resource development for ASRC. For instance, building a road to Anaktuvuk Pass would require going through Gates of the Arctic National Park; Kaktovik lies on the outskirts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and roads to Barrow or Wainwright would pass through the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. “These are all properties that the federal government manages,” she says. “We have to have the federal government open up

to develop rights-of-ways through public interest lands. Just the way the land is designated is a huge inhibitor to grow infrastructure on the North Slope.” Besides physical infrastructure, the North Slope has also lagged far behind in telecommunications, but that is expected to change early in 2017 when high-speed broadband is rolled out in Alaska’s northern communities. The biggest benefit will be the reduction of latency in the villages, Imm says. “The ability to download a lot of information, to have high-speed Internet through fiber in the communities, is potentially going to be a game-changer,” she

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Roads Despite being home to the vast Prudhoe Bay oilfield and numerous satellite fields and developments that have historically formed the basis for Alaska’s economy, only one road leads into the North Slope, the 414-mile Dalton Highway, which begins 79 miles north of Fairbanks. The northern portion of the mostly gravel road was slated for upgrades in 2015, but devastating floods that closed the road for several weeks led to the expansion of those plans. The original $27 million project focused on Miles 401-414, just south of the road’s end in Deadhorse. It would have raised the road grade seven feet, replaced culverts, and resurfaced the road. After the floodwaters subsided, the project was extended to Mile 397 and the budget expanded to $43 million, in part due to flood damage. This year and into 2017, the Dalton Highway from Miles 379-397 will also be raised above the floodplain and resurfaced. The latter project is estimated at $31 million.

Brice operator scooping dirt onto the insulation foam which will keep the road permafrost frozen at MP 405 on the Dalton Highway. Photo by Jai Chang / Courtesy of Alaska DOT&PF

Laborer pinning the foam insulation with wooden dowels to the ground at MP 410 on the Dalton Highway. Photo by Patrick Flaherty / Courtesy of Alaska DOT&PF

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says. “You’ll be able to have your workers actually reside in the communities. People within these communities will be able to work in the same high-speed environment that everyone else does. That’s going to be really significant.”


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At the end of August, the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) officially opened its first major addition to Alaska’s road system in years: a single-lane road from the Interior community of Manley Hot Springs to the Yukon River near Tanana. The $13.5 million road to Tanana, which includes improvements to an existing 14-mile stretch of road, is the first project to link a rural community to Alaska’s road system since the road to Whittier was completed in 2000. It was envisioned as part of Governor Sean Parnell’s Roads to Resources initiative, in which roads would link Alaska’s mineral resources to its current infrastructure. Budget constraints have curbed the majority of the proposals, although the 220-mile Ambler Mining District Industrial Access Project from the Dalton Highway to mineral reserves in the Ambler Mining District is still moving forward. “We have been tasked by the governor and the Legislature to pursue the scoping portion of the ANILCA right of way process, and we are in the applications phase,” says Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority spokesman Karsten Rodvik in an email. The road would provide land access to several exploration sites—Arctic, Bornite, Sune, and Smucker—that could yield substantial quantities of copper, gold, silver, and zinc. A road would lower the costs of building the mines and provide a way to get the ore to market. DOT&PF estimates it would cost between $430 million and $510 million, depending on the route, to build the road. DOT&PF also looked at other options to access the region, including a road link to the Elliott Highway and a railroad link to Nenana. Costs of those options were double to nearly quadruple the Dalton routes. The state also looked at the feasibility of building a road west from the mining district, where it would link with a proposed port at Cape Blossom near Kotzebue. That route, although shorter, would require twenty-two major river crossings and cost $860 million.

Ports

Cape Blossom is one of several sites the US Army Corps of Engineers studied as a potential deepwater port serving Alaska’s Arctic. While the Corps decided that an expansion of Nome’s harbor would best serve its needs, the Northwest Arctic Borough is continuing work to develop Cape Blossom into a regional port that would help lower the cost of living in Alaska’s Northwest communities. The estimated cost to build the port is $70 million, according to the borough. 66

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


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Photo courtesy of Crowley

A Crowley tug and barge taking on fuel from bulk tanker Nord Ocean.

After Shell’s withdrawal from the Chukchi, however, the Corps in October 2015 announced it would shelve the plans for at least twelve months to reassess the economic benefits and justification for the project. The Corps planned to monitor Arctic activities to determine if there is still a federal interest in continuing. It plans to meet with the state of Alaska and city of Nome to assess whether to continue the project or change the scope of the study to analyze other options. In the meantime, the port that currently has the biggest impact on life in Alaska is the Port of Anchorage. It is the single largest cargo-handling system in the state, responsible

for 80 percent of all food, clothing, construction materials, and consumer goods shipped to Alaska, says spokesman Jim Jager. It’s not a destination, he notes, but an intermodal cargo transport hub that connects marine, road, rail, and pipeline infrastructure. And it’s outdated and falling apart. “Anchorage receives some 2,400 containers of goods each week that are then distributed to some two hundred communities, military bases, and other developments that are spread out across most of the state of Alaska,” Jager says. A steady stream of containers leaves Anchorage daily with cargo for the North Slope.

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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Port Clarence, seventy miles northwest of Nome, is a natural deepwater port that was used as a port of refuge for whaling ships more than a century ago. More recently, it was the site of a Coast Guard LORAN station. In 2016, Congress authorized the transfer of 2,400 acres at Point Spencer, which forms the uplands on the western edge of the port, to BSNC (Bering Straits Native Corporation). In 2014, BSNC released a feasibility study of developing the port that concluded it would be viable if oil and gas development occurred on Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf. With Shell’s pullout in 2015, those prospects have dimmed. BSNC did acquire several mooring systems from Shell Alaska, which subsidiary Inuit Services planned to deploy at Port Clarence this summer. The moorings will be made available for industry, government, and private use, the corporation states. In the meantime, expansion plans for Nome’s harbor are on hold. The Corps identified Nome as the best site for an Arctic deepwater port in its Alaska Deep-Draft Arctic Port System feasibility study. The $210 million expansion would dredge the harbor to a mean depth of 28 feet and extending a causeway 2,150 feet, with a large vessel dock constructed at the end of the causeway.


ARCTIC OIL & GAS SPECIAL SECTION

Tank farm at the Port of Anchorage. Photo courtesy of the Port of Anchorage

A natural gas pipeline envisioned by Alaska Governor Bill Walker would add more than a year’s worth of extra ships bringing cargo to support pipeline construction. “There is no cost-effective alternative for receiving and delivering all of the fuel and dry cargo that crosses Anchorage’s docks, and Alaska’s population isn’t big enough to economically support another marine port that can handle Anchorage’s cargo volumes without significantly increasing shipping costs,” Jager says. The port, which was built in 1961, is a critical piece of Alaska infrastructure and it’s corroding, he says. “We’re spending about $3 million a year putting jackets on failing dock piles,” he says. “Because of the climate up here, the rust and corrosion tend to be worse right at the midline. You can’t replace the pile without taking the whole dock out.” While the steel jacket maintains the pile’s load-bearing capacity, it does nothing for seismic stability and doesn’t help modernize the docks to deal with today’s larger boats, he says. “They will last ten to fifteen years. Once they fail, there is really nothing we can do. We’re going to have to start restricting the load capacity of the docks and then close the docks. “Even if you assume we have no earthquakes, in ten to fifteen years we’re going to effectively start closing down the docks in Anchorage. And there’s no Plan B.” There are other ports in Southcentral Alaska at Valdez, Whittier, and Seward, but none has the cargo capacity or handling abilities that Anchorage does and all are at the end of narrow, sometimes treacherous road corridors, Jager says. All three are also prone to tsunamis and were destroyed in the 1964 earthquake. Some items are 68

trucked up the Alaska Highway, but not many. Even looking at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport as a cargo option if the port fails won’t work because nearly all of the state’s aviation fuel comes in through the port. “Every scenario [to supply Alaska] fails if the Port of Anchorage fails,” he says. “You can’t get enough goods and services up in a sustainable fashion to handle the volume. “We are very much in a just-in-time delivery mode in Alaska,” Jager adds. “We basically have stockpiles to last seven days. If the Port of Anchorage is shut for a week, Alaska is out of food.” In most places, Jager says, it’s not a healthy option to have one port as the single port of entry and the single point of failure, but economic reality is that Alaska is at the end of a very long supply chain with a small, scattered population. There’s not enough population to support redundant ports without paying huge subsidies. It’s also a facility the Department of Defense classifies as necessary to the national defense. “All of the bases in Alaska rely on the Port of Anchorage,” Jager says. “A gate opens directly onto [Joint Base ElmendorfRichardson]. I see Hummers driving up the ramp on the ship. If we didn’t have the Port of Anchorage, the military will say, ‘Gee, Alaska is a much less attractive place.’” While ports in the Lower 48 usually handle both incoming and outgoing cargo, giving them two potential income streams, Alaska exports almost nothing. “Our biggest export is great big containers of fresh Alaska air that we ship to Tacoma,” Jager says. “But we’re not getting paid for it. No matter how we do this project, it’s going to be paid for by Alaskans. The question is how are we going to pay for it?”

The port needs to be redesigned and rebuilt. An ambitious expansion plan headed by former Governor Bill Sheffield that would have added a considerable amount of land to the port and rebuilt the docks was shelved by Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan after it ran into cost and design problems. It is currently under litigation. However, the port is still aging, Jager says, and the litigation won’t make the problems go away. Port officials have asked for a $290 million bond toward a more modest rebuild, with a total project cost of an estimated $550 million. They already have $127 million remaining from the Sheffield project. Jager says he won’t have a true cost until the project is fully designed and out for bid. “If we were to go out and bid it today, it might come in lower,” Jager says. “With the economy the way it is, the contractors are really sharpening their pencils. The interest rates are really good.” The project will take about seven years because the port will have to stay open during construction. “The plan is we’re going to start moving dirt next summer,” Jager says. A new fuel and cement berth with reinforced pilings will be constructed to the south of the existing docks. Then, one by one, the other docks will be demolished and rebuilt. “It’ll be quite a dance,” he says. “Since we can’t afford to have two ports, we’re going to have one with really strong docks,” he says. “That’s just a more costeffective way of ensuring resiliency for Southcentral Alaska.” R Julie Stricker is a journalist living near Fairbanks.

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


SPECIAL SECTION

Arctic Oil & Gas

Regulators Continue Review of LNG Project Reports By Larry Persily This update, provided by the Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor’s office, is part of an ongoing effort to help keep the public informed about the Alaska LNG project.

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ending any possible changes in the project’s schedule or work plans under state leadership, federal regulators are continuing to review, ask questions and suggest improvements to reduce the environmental impacts of Alaska LNG’s proposed construction and operations plans. More than thirty state and federal regulatory agency personnel met for an all-day workshop in Anchorage on August 25 with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff and the third-party contractor that would help draft the project’s federal environmental impact statement. The meeting coincided - coincidentally, not intentionally - with a state legislative committee meeting a few blocks away at which lawmakers were told the state plans to take over the project from its producer partners ExxonMobil, BP, and ConocoPhillips. After four years of work, including two years under the FERC pre-filing process, and more than half-a-billion dollars in spending, Alaska LNG a month ago submitted its second draft “resource reports,” providing detailed design, environmental and logistics planning and impacts of the proposed $45 billion to $50 billion project to move North Slope natural gas more than 800 miles to a liquefaction plant and marine terminal in Nikiski for export. State and federal regulatory agencies are reviewing the reports—ten in all, totaling thousands of pages—looking for data gaps and providing recommendations to improve the project by reducing its environmental effects. Agency comments are due to FERC by September 26. The purpose of the draft reports during a project’s pre-file status is to reduce the need for additional data requests after final resource reports are filed with a project application, said Jim Martin, FERC’s environmental project manager for Alaska LNG. The EIS contractor August 25 asked state and federal agencies to tell FERC what works in the project plans, what doesn’t work, what could be improved, and what are considered best practices for construction in Alaska.

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Not covered at the workshop was Report No. 11, Safety and Reliability, which Alaska LNG submitted to FERC on September 1.

State Takeover Possible

Alaska LNG has been working to prepare final resource reports for submission with a complete application to FERC, possibly early next year. The state’s project development agency, the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., told legislators that it plans to take over the leadership role and submit an application in its name to FERC in early January 2017, depending on how much more work is required after agencies send in their comments on the second draft resource reports. The North Slope producer partners this year have expressed growing concerns over the weak global market for new LNG supplies and favored slowing down development spending on the Alaska venture. After ExxonMobil, BP and ConocoPhillips told state officials the companies were not inclined to proceed next year with a complete application to FERC and expensive final engineering and design work - at an estimated cost of $1 billion to $2 billion in additional spending the governor decided Alaska would take the lead to keep the project moving on a faster schedule. The governor wants to see if state control could reduce the project’s financing costs and avoid federal taxation. A successful state takeover would require several agreements between all parties:  Designating the state as the sole applicant with FERC. (The pre-file currently is in the names of the four individual partners.)  Transferring or assigning Alaska LNG’s federal export authorization to the state. (The state was not a party to the 2015 Department of Energy authorization approved for ExxonMobil, BP, and ConocoPhillips.)  Contracting or otherwise making available North Slope gas for the project. (The producers hold the leases on the oil and gas production fields at Prudhoe Bay and Point Thomson.)  Selling, transferring or giving an option to the state on the more than 630 acres of land purchased by Alaska LNG in Nikiski for the liquefaction plant and marine terminal site. (The state was not a party to the land purchases.)

 The state had not released specific plans or budgets for any of the necessary agreements as of September 1. The producer partners have said they will cooperate with the transition to a state-led venture. The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, in its presentation to lawmakers, said it would be responsible for seeking regulatory approvals, lining up customers and financing after the project shifts to state control. While all that plays out, FERC, along with state and federal regulatory agencies, will continue their review of Alaska LNG’s draft resource reports. FERC and its EIS contractor reported at the August 25 workshop on new information in the second draft reports (the first drafts were submitted in February 2015), information still missing, and what they called “hot-button issues.” Meanwhile, the Alaska LNG project team is wrapping up its 2016 work. One of its last field projects for the year was to conduct aquifer pump tests from water wells in the Nikiski area to help determine if a water draw for construction and operations at the LNG plant site would affect the area’s groundwater resources. The team has thirteen observation and monitoring wells in place and has drilled the first of three pump wells, with permission from the state to pump 10.5 million gallons spread over eleven days. Due to a need for more information about existing groundwater conditions before pumping starts and upcoming winter conditions, Alaska LNG will not conduct the aquifer pump tests this year.

Denali Park Route Option

Another recent development was notice from FERC that it would accept public comments until September 25 on a pipeline route alternative through 6.16 miles within the eastern edge of Denali National Park, in the vicinity of the park entrance, Parks Highway and Nenana River. The alternative route would help avoid construction conflicts with the river, highway, railroad tracks, a deep gorge, hillside terrain and other issues. In addition, the alternative route could provide easier access to natural gas for park facilities. Congress is considering legislation that would ease a thirty-six-year-old regulatory process—but not ease any environmental

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


FERC’s reports to agencies at the August 25 workshop covered:

Report No. 1, General Project Description The second draft includes detailed facility layouts for the North Slope gas treatment plant that would clean the gas of carbon dioxide and other impurities; expansion of West Dock at Prudhoe Bay for sealift deliveries of plant modules and other equipment; and the liquefaction plant and marine terminal in Nikiski. Additional information is included on 50 sites for pipeline construction camps, storage yards and contractor yards, along with a detailed project schedule and construction plan for winter work in permafrost areas. Though the draft is not enough to prepare the project’s EIS, “it’s progress … they’ve done a good job,” one of FERC’s contractors told agency personnel at the workshop. FERC identified several general project issues for further discussion: How long temporary facilities would remain in place, such as the marine offloading facility that would be built in Nikiski for barge and ship deliveries of plant modules and equipment. Placing gravel over thaw-sensitive permafrost soils to create a work area during pipeline construction. Moving an estimated 42 million gallons of fuel to Prudhoe Bay during construction. Selection, development and operations at approximately 150 material sites that would provide 39 million cubic yards of rock and gravel for project construction. Dredging plans at the Prudhoe Bay dock. Restoration plans along the entire project footprint.

minimizing gravel roads. Data gaps include precise configuration of the pipeline entry and exit in Cook Inlet and its position on the seafloor as the pipeline travels 29 miles from the West Side of the inlet near Beluga to landfall north of the LNG plant site. Hot-button issues and discussion points for FERC include near-shore environmental impacts of dredging, functional assessment of wetlands, water use during construction and spill response plans.

Report No. 3, Fish, Wildlife and Vegetation The second draft report includes a lot of new information: An impact analysis on aquatic habitat from sediment disposal, fuel leaks and spills. Vegetation mapping and descriptions, with potential impacts on vegetation. A discussion of noise impacts on wildlife. Draft avian protection plan, noxious and invasive plant and animal control plans, and an erosion control plan. Information still pending includes a wildlife avoidance and interaction plan, marine mammal mitigation and monitoring plan, and restoration plan. “Restoration techniques will likely be important

given the challenging climate,” FERC said. The agency also said it wants to see more information on eelgrass beds and their importance as habitat for juvenile fish and shellfish, and more detailed marine vegetation surveys. FERC asked the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to recommend construction methods that would minimize damage to streams. Other issues on the discussionpoint list include potential impacts on marine mammals from dredging, the impact of lightning on wildlife during winter construction, and timing of construction during wildlife breeding, rearing and migration periods. Impact to beluga whale critical habitat in upper Cook Inlet is on the list of FERC concerns. For example, one of the EIS contractors suggested that the frequent resupply deliveries to the pipe-laying barge in Cook Inlet could come up from Homer rather than down from Anchorage in order to avoid disruptions to beluga critical habitat where the Susitna River drains into Cook Inlet west of Anchorage.

Report No. 4, Cultural Resources

The second draft contains a lot of new information on archaeology surveys across the en-

Report No. 2, Water Use and Quality The waterbody crossings list is 92 percent complete in the second draft report, FERC said. It lists no crossings of National Wild and Scenic Rivers, no crossings of impaired (contaminated) waterways, 12 crossings of navigable waterways, and more than 600 other minor, intermediate and major crossings. Key issues not fully addressed include alternatives to reduce wetlands fill, such as www.akbizmag.com

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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ARCTIC OIL & GAS SPECIAL SECTION

rules—for burying the pipeline in the park. In response to earlier public comments, and in working with federal and state regulatory agencies, Alaska LNG has identified the alternative route as an option. FERC in July issued a supplemental notice requesting public comments on the option.


ARCTIC OIL & GAS SPECIAL SECTION

tire pipeline route from Prudhoe Bay to Nikiski. FERC has asked Alaska LNG to discuss the project’s “cumulative impacts on cultural resources,” along with a timeline for starting consultations with public land managers “to ensure the project considers each agency’s viewshed protection standards and practices as they relate to historic properties.”

Report No. 5, Socioeconomics

The draft provided new information on community and economic impacts from project construction, updated subsistence and traditional knowledge reports, and updated traffic counts on state highways through 2015. However, FERC said, the draft provides “a limited qualitative discussion” of potential impacts during project operations. The draft also includes more details on primary and secondary ports for construction material deliveries, though FERC wants to see additional information on the frequency and type of vessels and their cargoes. Still pending and expected in the final report are: Modeling of regional economic impacts. Estimates of worker payroll and local expenditures. Housing needs. Cost estimates of impacts on communities and more information on a fund to cover those costs. Earlier plans for producer payments into an impact fund in lieu of property taxes likely will have to be replaced with another funding mechanism if the state takes over the project. FERC’s list of issues not fully addressed in the draft and hot-button issues included: The project’s potential impacts on commercial fishing. Competition between subsistence users and sport hunters. FERC said it wants to see more discussion of this issue in the final report. Detailed information on road improvements needed along Alaska highways to prepare for project construction traffic. Still pending are mitigation measures for dealing with increased highway traffic, and who will pay for improvements such as additional weigh stations and pull-out areas. “There needs to be a better discussion of who is responsible,” the EIS contractor said. “Weigh stations on the Elliott, Glenn and Parks Highway have limited capacity and backups may occur,” FERC said. FERC also wants to see more information on plans to relocate a portion of the Kenai Spur Highway where it passes through the proposed LNG plant site in Nikiski. Alaska LNG has identified several relocation options, but no decisions on a preferential route or schedule are expected anytime soon. “It’s sort of on the back burner at this 72

time,” an Alaska LNG team member reported at the FERC workshop. Potential long-term financial benefits and job opportunities for local communities. An assessment of impacts on tourism for example, would visitors go elsewhere if all the hotel rooms are full during construction. “Only general statements are provided, with no comprehensive or site-specific analysis,” FERC said of the draft report.

Report No. 6, Geological Resources New information in the latest draft includes plans for blasting and sourcing gravel for project construction, including reclamation measures, with more information pending on potential landslides, storm surges and soil liquefaction in project work areas. Data gaps identified by FERC include influence of rising sea levels on the project, an emergency response plan for volcanic activity across Cook Inlet from the LNG plant, and blasting techniques in areas of bedrock overlaid by permafrost along the pipeline route. Report No. 7, Soils

The report includes new information on erosion control plans and revegetation, a draft winter construction plan in permafrost areas and additional information on project impacts to permafrost. Still pending are more detailed investigation and evaluation of soil and permafrost conditions, including thermal modeling, and plans to separate different layers of soils dug up during construction. FERC also identified “bluff and shoreline erosion and stabilization methods” among the data gaps to be filled in with the final reports.

Report No. 8, Land Use, Recreation and Aesthetics New information includes a summary of landfills that would be used during construction and operations. Coordination plans are still pending for recreational-use and public-use lands. FERC also expects more information on “specific opportunities for increased recreational access’’ along the pipeline right of way - which it said “is not an easy answer.” As an example, said an Alaska Department of Natural Resources official at the workshop, ATV and snowmachine users would be drawn to the right of way and pipeline access roads in the Susitna Valley. Still pending for the final report and FERC application are a viewshed analysis, and more detailed lighting information for major project facilities (potential light pollution).

Report No. 9, Air Quality and Noise New information in the draft includes estimated air pollutants, greenhouse-gas emissions and hazardous pollutants during construction and operations, along with preliminary air quality dispersion modeling for the LNG plant, compressor stations along the pipeline, and the gas treatment plant at Prudhoe Bay. Baseline noise surveys also are provided for the LNG plant, compressor stations and mainline valve sites. Still pending are mitigation plans for noise, dust and open burning of brush during construction, and emissions at sites where gravel and rock would be dug out for use in construction. FERC also said it wants to see more detail on 24-hour construction activities. Report No. 10, Alternatives

This is the report that looks at all of the alternatives - not just different sites for the LNG plant but also different pipeline routings, aboveground vs. buried pipe and construction methods. Federal law requires consideration and discussion of project alternatives in an environmental impact statement, with consideration given to the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative. The second draft of Report No. 10 provides numerous new alternatives for specific sites and routes, with design and construction alternatives. FERC said information is still pending on: Alternative river crossing methods. An analysis of smaller, trucked modules for gas treatment plant construction rather than larger modules that would move by barge to Prudhoe Bay. Further consultation with federal pipeline safety regulators on marine pipeline construction methods. An explanation of why testing the pipeline after construction with pressurized air is not feasible, rather than the sponsors’ preferred option of testing the pipeline by filling it with water. More information on Valdez as an option for the LNG plant site. Alaska LNG rejected Valdez as impractical due to a lack of level and accessible land, air quality permit considerations, sea ice and potential conflicts with oil tanker traffic. The trans-Alaska oil pipeline terminal is in Valdez, and the community has long promoted itself as the best site for an LNG terminal. R Larry Persily is the Oil and Gas Special Assistant to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor’s Office.

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Legal Speak

By Ben Spiess

1031 Exchange An essential tool for the business owner

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n the technical world of the Internal Revenue Code, there’s one provision every business owner has heard of—Section 1031. It’s the exception to the rule that asset sales are subject to capital gains tax. Under Section 1031, certain assets, in particular commercial real estate, can be sold and reinvested in similar, “like-kind” property tax-free without limit. The pros are undeniable: deferral of taxes and increased cash flow for investment. The cons are strict regulations, harsh timelines, reduced basis, and the risk of an increased capital gains tax rate in the future.

Million Dollar Example

A simple example: a business owner buys a small office building for $500,000. Over ten years, the property has increased in value to $1,000,000. Now, the business owner wants to sell. Assuming depreciation of $100,000, total federal capital gains tax would be $90,000, leaving the business owner with $910,000 after taxes. With a 1031 exchange, the entire $1,000,000 could be reinvested in a new commercial property. There is no limit on how many swaps an owner can make, deferring capital gains indefinitely. The key requirement is that the replacement property into which the money is invested be “like-kind.” However, for real estate, the definition of like-kind property is broad: any domestic real estate that is held for productive use in a trade or business or held for investment purposes can be exchanged for any other property. For example, raw www.akbizmag.com

land could be swapped for a shopping center, or an office building for apartments. Having given these generous provisions, the IRS then gets strict. Key regulations and timelines require the following:  The business owner must identify replacement properties within 45 days and must acquire the property within 180 days.  The same entity that sold the property must acquire the new property, but note the taxpayer can purchase the replacement property using a disregarded entity such as a pass-through singlemember LLC, in which case the taxpayer is still deemed the owner.  In general, the basis in the replacement property will be the same as the adjusted basis in the property sold, known as the “carryover basis.”  If the purchase price of the replacement property is less than the cash received from the sale property, the excess cash, known as “boot,” will be taxed, generally as capital gain.  Buying and selling property with mortgages and assuming debt are traps for the unwary. Even if the business owner does not receive excess cash in the exchange, if liability goes down, this is treated like cash. For example, if the owner had a $1,000,000 mortgage on the old property but the debt on the new

property is only $800,000, the owner is deemed to have $200,000 in boot subject to tax.

Rules to Remember

First, a 1031 exchange is not available for personal property, including homes (although vacation homes may be eligible under certain circumstances). Second, a 1031 exchange must be conducted through a qualified intermediary who facilitates the transaction. A good qualified intermediary can significantly reduce the complexity of the deal by coordinating with attorneys, preparing documents, and holding the funds. Finally, a 1031 exchange is a means of tax deferral, not tax avoidance. Ultimately, gains are likely to be taxed. This article is provided for educational purposes and is not an adequate substitute for legal or tax advice.  R

Ben Spiess is an attorney with Stoel Rives LLP and focuses his practice on corporate and real estate transactions and advice. Contact him at ben. spiess@stoel.com or 907-263-8416.

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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INSURANCE

Managing Employee Benefits Rewarding workers and complying with requirements By Tracy Barbour

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mployee benefits enable businesses to reward workers for their contributions while complying with a myriad of statutory and regulatory requirements. Often referred to as fringe benefits or simply perks, employee benefits compensate workers above their normal wages and salaries. Typically given in the form of indirect and non-cash payments, benefits are an integral part of employees’ overall compensation package.

Benefits versus Statutory Requirements When Northrim Benefits Group President Joshua Weinstein thinks of employee benefits, he thinks of perks that are given to recruit, retain, and reward talent. Employee benefits, in essence, are intended to reward the people who make an organization successful. “Employers offer benefits because they believe they will make their workers better, and it will be good for their business,” says Weinstein. There is no such thing as legally-required “benefits,” but there are certain areas of coverage that are mandated by statutes, according to Weinstein. These statutory requirements generally relate to protecting workers against occupational illness, injury, and job 74

“Employers offer benefits because they believe they will make their workers better, and it will be good for their business. Some of the more progressive states are pushing for more and more mandatory protection for their workers with things like disability or maternity leave. But those aren’t benefits; they are legislated employment practices.”

—Joshua Weinstein President, Northrim Benefits Group

loss. For example, employers generally must match workers’ Social Security and Medicare payments, as well as pay unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance. And some states stipulate more requirements. “Some of the more progressive states are pushing for more and more mandatory protection for their workers with things like disability or maternity leave,” Weinstein says. “But those aren’t benefits; they are legislated employment practices.” Statutory responsibilities for employers vary by state and municipality. In Alaska,

for example, companies with one or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance, which helps protect employees in the event of work-related injuries and illnesses. Workers’ compensation insurance also benefits employers by eliminating lawsuits for employees’ work-related injuries or illnesses. In general, worker’s compensation insurance represents the largest expense of an employer’s total business insurance budget. Unemployment insurance is another key statutory obligation. In general, the Feder-

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


al-State Unemployment Insurance Program provides unemployment benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. Unemployment insurance payments—often referred to as benefits—are intended to provide temporary financial assistance to eligible unemployed workers. Most employers pay both a federal and a state unemployment tax. Employers’ mandated coverage requirements often depend on the size of the business, according to Thomas Alinen, SHRMSCP, SPHR. For instance, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. Any company or organization—public or private, for-profit or nonprofit—is required to comply with FMLA regulations if it has at least fifty workers employed within seventy-five miles. An employee’s ability to take FMLA leave is not a benefit, but a type of protection, says Alinen, who is an assistant vice president and head of human resources at Denali Federal Credit Union. “It is not necessarily a paid leave,” he says. “It is a job protection status.” Under FMLA, eligible employees can take up to twelve workweeks of unpaid leave in a twelve-month period for various reasons, including a serious health condi-

tion, the illness of a close family member, or the birth or adoption of a child. The Alaska Family Leave Act (AFLA), on the other hand, applies only to public-sector (state) employees. Under the AFLA, employers with more than twenty employees must grant eligible employees up to eighteen weeks of paid or unpaid family leave in a twenty-four-month period. When employees are eligible under both FMLA and AFLA, the entitlements run concurrently.

Health Insurance Benefits and Common Levels of Coverage Some of the most common benefits that employers extend to workers are medical insurance—which often includes health and dental coverage—along with vision, pharmacy, accident, disability, and life insurance. A health plan can be one of the most important benefits provided by an employer because it enables workers and their families to take care of essential medical needs. But contrary to popular belief, employers are not required to offer health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and “Obamacare.” Under the ACA, large employers who fail to offer “minimal essential coverage” for employees and their dependents may face

an Employer Shared Responsibility (“playor-pay”) tax penalty. An FTE (full time employee) is defined by the ACA as a person who has worked an average thirty hours per week during a permissible measurement period—including time paid for vacation and leave. Penalties can also apply if the coverage doesn’t meet an alternate “minimum value” standard or is deemed unaffordable and a full-time employee obtains an advanced premium tax credit (subsidy) in the federal or a state-based health insurance exchange. The penalty for not providing minimum value coverage to full-time employees is usually less than the cost of offering a health plan. So, some employers are opting not to offer medical coverage, Weinstein says. Others are restructuring staffing to reduce the number of full-time workers or offering preventiveonly health plans as an alternative and as a way to skirt some of the tax penalties. The ACA has created some standardization of medical insurance. For example, it requires individual and small group insurance plans to cover ten essential health benefits: outpatient care, emergency room, inpatient care, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, prescription drug coverage, rehabilitative and habilitative services, laboratory services, preventive and wellness

THE MOST IMPORTANT MEMBER OF YOUR TEAM – that’s not on the payroll. Alaska USA insurance brokers are your trusted business advisors. Call today to speak with a risk management consultant.

alaskausa.org/insurance (800) 478-1251 www.akbizmag.com

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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“ I am continually amazed at BIA’s prompt attention to my requests. It’s reassuring to know that BIA has a vested interest in our success, demonstrated by guiding us to cost saving

strategies, routine review of our risk management methods with suggestions for improvements, a strong footing of knowledge & experience in the construction industry, their prompt response and detailed attention to each of our inquiries and their overall business management advice. It is easy to see that BIA always goes the extra mile.” ~ Rachael Ridge, Owner Diversified Construction Inc.

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“It would set the wrong tone in terms of employee retention if they did not offer health insurance.”

—Thomas Alinen, SHRM-SCP, SPHR

services, and pediatric services. But larger and self-insured employers do not have to offer these essential benefits. In addition, the healthcare law also instituted statutory requirements to limit employees’ out-of-pocket expenses. For 2016, the maximum amount employees have to spend out of pocket for an insurance plan is $6,850 for a single person and twice that amount for a family. As another standard feature, the ACA prevents insurance plans from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. It also removed annual and lifetime dollar limits on the covered benefits for essential benefits. Consequently, the most recommended levels of health coverage are typically within what legally can be offered. Still, employers have some flexibility when offering health plans. “They could have a $500 or $5,000 deductible plan,” Weinstein says. “The insurance plans are more standardized, even though employers can play with deductibles and copays. They can also differ in how much employers pay, with some employers choosing to pay 100 percent of the premium for employees and their families.” Generally, employers and workers share the costs of health insurance. But some employers are getting creative when it comes to providing insurance to a lowerpaid workforce. Instead of offering a health plan, some of them are letting employees purchase lower-cost insurance through the Federal Marketplace or get free coverage through Medicaid. “We do see some companies not offering insurance and providing some assistance for those people to get insurance elsewhere,” Weinstein says. Alinen says very few larger employers in Alaska have done away with their health benefits. That’s understandable because not offering these benefits could have a negative impact. “It would set the wrong tone in terms of employee retention if they did not offer health insurance,” he says. For Alaska employers that do offer insurance coverage, the common health plans

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


have a deductible of $2,000 or more with an out-of-pocket expense that is at least $3,000, according to Jennifer Bundy-Cobb, director of health and welfare for The Wilson Agency. “There is typically some kind of pharmacy benefit,” she says. “Many employers add dental and life, but not all. Some have a spending account to help employees pay the out-of-pocket costs on a tax-preferred basis.”

Health Insurance Trends

Medical insurance is one of the most costly benefits that most employers provide. That’s especially true in Alaska, which has the highest healthcare premiums and insurance in the nation. “Everyone is concerned about the cost of healthcare,” Bundy-Cobb says. “In Alaska, it’s twice more than in Washington. There’s no good reason for it to be twice more, other than over time, the lack of management has allowed the flood gate to continue to be open.” The high cost of healthcare is causing some Alaska employers to shift their tactics for offering health insurance. Some companies dropped their group coverage initially, but later reversed their decision. “For the most part, employers who have always had benefits still do—even after healthcare reform,” Bundy-Cobb says. “Many that did drop coverage intending to have their employees buy from the individual exchange [Marketplace] have reverted to group coverage for medical because of the demand from the employees. There is no question everyone is tightening their belts in Alaska, but the changes are more subtle: fewer trips or events and less participating in charitable galas.” Despite what some people expected, there were just a few employers that dropped their group coverage, according to Bundy-Cobb. And those that did were on the smaller side (with fewer than fifty employees). “I think that primarily the owners had built up alignment with democrats and felt the opportunity with employees would be better in the individual market,” she says. “I think they just got tired of managing health insurance. So they looked at it as an opportunity to save some time, money, and hassle and do something that was good or better for their employees.” However, there are multiple complexities related to offering health insurance. For one, employees generally do not want to choose their own health insurance, BundyCobb says. They want their employers to do it because it’s easier for them. Plus, in Alaska it’s more expensive to have individual coverage than group coverage. There’s also the tax deductible issue: Individual medical insurance isn’t tax-deductible for employees. “If you are an employer and you’re giving people a stipend to buy insurance, that’s not tax deductible,” she says. www.akbizmag.com

“I think that primarily the owners had built up alignment with democrats and felt the opportunity with employees would be better in the individual market. I think they just got tired of managing health insurance. So they looked at it as an opportunity to save some time, money, and hassle and do something that was good or better for their employees.”

—Jennifer Bundy-Cobb Director of Health and Welfare The Wilson Agency

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October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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Alaska’s exorbitant cost for individual and group health insurance is causing a lot of employers to dial down their benefits to try to contain costs, Alinen says. Some are removing dental and vision coverage from their plans—although healthcare reform mandates dental benefits for children. (Dental insurance for adults is optional.) “Part of healthcare reform requires that each health plan maintain a certain level of benefits [minimum essential health benefits], so you really can’t slice out a lot of benefits,” he says. Alinen has also noticed a trend toward increased cost sharing. More employers are offering insurance plans that have higher premiums and higher deductibles. But that’s not the approach Denali Credit Union has taken with its 375 employees. “From our organizations’ perspective, we didn’t find that shifting any additional burden on our employees was in our best interest,” Alinen says. “You’ve just got to weather the storm. It’s just the cost of doing business.” Weinstein has observed some of the same trends. Deductibles are steadily rising, he says. Some of the fringe benefits are falling off, with employers dropping dental coverage or switching it to an employee-paid benefit. And more plans are requiring the use of preferred provider networks to help control costs—although these plans may result in higher out-of-pocket expenses for employees. “The plans cost more than they used to, in part, because of the higher costs associated with covering required services and pre-existing conditions,” Weinstein says. “They are asking employees to pay more, but it really varies based on the industry.” However, he emphasizes that Alaska insurance plans on average are more generous than other plans are nationally. “The employer contribution percentage is higher, and the plans are very rich here in Alaska,” Weinstein says.

Other Fringe Benefits and Perks

Employers offer a variety of perks that can be categorized as benefits. The word “benefit” often conveys an air of formality, but anything used to recruit, retain, and reward employees can be considered a perk, according to Weinstein. That includes everything from pet insurance, paid parking, and pre-paid legal services to casual Fridays and telecommuting. Other common employee benefits include flexible spending accounts, dependent care insurance, and identity theft and credit counseling. And vacation, holiday, and sick leave, along with retirement programs, are standard benefit options for many employers. However, employers are increasingly shifting away pension plans that promise a 78

“The plans cost more than they used to, in part, because of the higher costs associated with covering required services and pre-existing conditions. They are asking employees to pay more, but it really varies based on the industry.”

—Joshua Weinstein President, Northrim Benefits Group

monthly benefit to matched or unmatched retirement accounts, which result in more predictable costs for employers. “In general, they are less costly for the employer, and they shift the responsibility for investing to the worker,” Weinstein says. Benefit-rich organizations often provide wellness plans as part of their benefits package, Alinen says. However, some organizations are more generous with benefits than others. Government agencies offer some of the best group benefits, while unionized groups have good benefits as well, he says. Certain fringe benefits that employees receive may be taxable. These benefits are included in the employee’s gross income, making them subject to income tax withholding and employment taxes. Examples of benefits that are generally taxable include free or discounted commercial flights, vacations, memberships in social clubs, and tickets to entertainment events. However, if an employer pays the cost of an accident or health insurance plan for his/her employees (including an employee’s spouse and dependents), the employer’s payments are not wages and are not subject to Social Security, Medicare, and FUTA taxes, or federal income tax withholding, according to the IRS. Generally, this exclusion also applies to qualified long-term care insurance contracts. Bundy-Cobb, like Alinen, indicates that benefits vary widely by occupation, industry, state, and other factors. They are essentially incentives driven solely by the individual decisions that employers make to certain members of their workforce. These perks are typically offered to executives and employees in more competitive industries.

Compliance and Risk Management Compliance and risk management are huge aspects of running a qualified benefit program. “Keeping up with regulations is not only difficult, but it can be daunting and time-consuming,” Bundy-Cobb says. “Most employers are not perfect, but do their best.” Many people associate risk management with trying to manage a claim, but most

employers have limited capacity to impact the cost of a claim, Bundy-Cobb says. However, staying on top of compliance is intrinsic to risk management, which can include any loss exposures that can keep a company from achieving its objectives. Weinstein says Department of Labor audits are on the rise in the United States, making compliance an even more important area for companies. If employers are audited and found to be out of compliance, they can face huge monetary fines. “The federal government needs and wants money,” he says. “There are lot of audits for making sure employers are providing the right documents and are doing the right things.” Most health plans have tax benefits for employers and employees. Therefore, the government requires an increasing amount of notices, disclosures, and reporting. Common areas that require compliance include the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, Medicare, and the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. “There’s a notice for almost everything,” Weinstein says. “It is real important that employers understand the obligations they have under the various laws.” The good news is that employers can get on and stay on a path toward manageable compliance with the help of consulting firms like The Wilson Agency and Northrim Benefits Group. “For every government regulation, there are professionals and technology that can help simplify and manage it,” Weinstein says. “With a good team, employers can get back to their business and know they are offering a benefits package that can help recruit, retain, and reward their employers.” Alinen agrees. He stresses the importance of employers doing everything they can to stay abreast of reporting and ensure their health plans are meeting all the legal requirements. “Work closely with your insurance broker to make sure you are compliant,” he says. “Employers should also do a compliance review and plan analysis.” R Tracy Barbour is a former Alaskan.

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Commercial Insurance Employee Benefits Personal Insurance Risk Management Surety


HEALTHCARE

Health Fairs and Preventive Screenings Saving Alaskans one test at time By Tom Anderson

E

veryone in Alaska has been affected by disease. Whether or not someone has suffered from a malady like cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, it’s a guarantee that everyone has a friend or family member who has experienced, and even succumbed, to illness. As insurance rates and healthcare costs rise, the healthcare industry is looking for straightforward ways to apprise the public of risks and prevention. Lowering the rate of disease is a key component to demonstrable healthcare delivery. Fortunately for our state, there are myriad practitioners, hospitals, and nonprofit health associations dedicating time and resources to educate Alaskans on the most successful ways to prevent illness. One such way to inform the masses, while spurring consistent lifestyle change and prevention, is through participation in health fairs and public events during which testing and information exchange can occur. Despite Alaska’s size and demographic diversity, the opportunities these fairs and screenings afford to spread a message of hope is changing the longevity landscape for prospective patients.

Alaska Health Fair

Alaska Health Fair (AHF), a nonprofit organization, offers organized, comprehensive health fairs with a variety of blood tests and preventive screenings. AHF has been promoting health fairs in the state for more than thirty-six years with a premise that education, screening, and wellness promotion will save lives. “Our health fairs offer free health education, free screenings, and the most affordable comprehensive blood tests in Alaska. We deliver around one hundred health fairs annually statewide—in larger communities like Anchorage, Juneau, Fair80

Top Reasons for a Smoke-Free Workplace From the Alaska Health Fair August 2016 Newsletter  Fresh air cigarette smoking is the No. 1 cause of poor health, disease, and death, costing the state of Alaska $536 million dollars in direct medical costs and lost productivity. This amount does not include the health effects from secondhand and third-hand smoke exposure.  Alaska is one of only sixteen states without a statewide smoke-free workplace law; 42 percent of the population is not protected from exposure to second-hand smoke in their workplaces.  The United States smoking rate has declined by 50 percent in the last fifty years. However, targeted by the tobacco industry and exposed to second-hand smoke in low-wage jobs, the smoking rate for low-income people has not changed.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, 29 percent of Medicaid recipients are smokers and Medicaid recipients smoke at two times the rate of people with private insurance. According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 60 percent of the money spent to treat tobacco related illnesses in the United States was paid by government sources.  It is estimated by the Alaska Tobacco Prevention and Control Annual Report that adopting a Smoke-Free Workplaces law would save Medicaid in Alaska a $500,000 dollars over five years.  The most effective way to reduce smoking rates and smoking related

illness is to adopt smoke-free workplace policies. Studies show that after adopting smoke-free workplace policies, rates of hospitalizations for heart attack, stroke, asthma, and lung disease were reduced by 15 percent to 20 percent almost immediately (Circulation. 2012;126:2177-2183).  In addition, rates of preterm birth and babies born small decreased between 5 percent to 11 percent a year after country-wide smoke-free laws were adopted in Ireland and Scotland (PLoS Med. 2012;9:e1001175).  Three hundred thousand dollars were saved over three years in a small town in Mississippi for the treatment of heart attacks only (ttac.org/resources/pdfs/120810_Miss_ Heart_Attack_Report.pdf).  While Germany saw a $6.9 million, (20.1 percent) decrease in heart attack related hospitalization costs during the first year after smoke-free law implementation.  Smoke-free workplaces save money and lives.  Businesses interested in promoting smoke-free workplaces in your community, please contact Tobacco Prevention and Control at kcox@ ncaddjuneau.org or the Alaska Lung Association at smokefreealaska.com. Or stop by the Quitline table at the Health Fairs. R © 2016 Alaska Health Fair, Inc.

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


banks, and Bethel, and also in around thirty smaller communities,” says Executive Director Andrei Chakine. “We also deliver around twenty-five worksite health fairs for big and small employers from a variety of industries: oil and gas, financial services, transportation, and nonprofits. No other state has a dedicated nonprofit like Alaska Health Fair to provide affordable blood tests, free health screenings, and free health education on important topics on such a grand scale. And it’s all possible because of support from Alaska communities and organizations.” Chakine believes the AHF’s efforts are making a big difference as fifteen thousand to twenty thousand people attend its events annually, and attendance numbers are growing as last spring and fall the organization added more than one thousand new clients. One important question AHF continually seeks to answer is: Who attends its health fairs? Is it the prudent, health-conscious stalwart, the person already suffering from symptoms or pain, or perhaps someone who can’t afford a medical examination? AHF took a recent survey of attendees after they departed an event and generated insight on who participates in a health fair or screening and why:

 95 percent of health fair attendees plan to follow up with a doctor if they learn of a health condition through screenings and tests received at AHF events.  59 percent report they have health insurance. An additional 23 percent are covered through Medicaid/Medicare.

munity, learn about a community’s health concerns, educate on important health topics, and even grow their practices. Exhibitor space is always free at our health fairs. Clinics and hospitals also refer their patients for blood testing to Alaska Health Fair.”

Not just Nonprofits

 89 percent report that after attending the health fair they gained a better understanding of ways to achieve healthier lifestyles and behaviors. Chakine adds that a popular reason to attend an industry fair remains education on health and affordable blood tests and screening. “We work with PAML, one of the leading laboratories in the nation, to offer the most affordable comprehensive blood tests in Alaska. Our most popular comprehensive blood chemistry panel consisting of twenty-seven panels costs $45. We are a nonprofit, and our pricing has not changed since 2003.” As for the medical community, Chakine reminds that AHF “works with hundreds of medical professionals who volunteer thousands of hours at our events and come to our health fairs as exhibitors. It’s a great way for them to connect with their com-

St. Elias Specialty Hospital is a sixty-bed, long-term acute care facility in Anchorage. The hospital is a joint venture with Providence Health System and BridgeCare Hospitals. While the larger companies have their own notable comprehensive health fair and screening sponsorships in Alaska, St. Elias particularly engages in Southcentral Alaskan advocacy and health promotion. The hospital’s management stresses intrinsic values like communication and education as primary drivers of its healthcare delivery protocols. To that end, health fairs and public awareness are foundations to the hospital’s services. “Anytime St. Elias reaches out to educate and participate in preventative public screening opportunities in partnership with Alaskan physicians and facilities, we’re helping promote wellness in our communities,” notes Patti McGuire, St. Elias’s

PEOPLE FIRST We are a community hospital. And we are not for profit. Which makes what we focus on all the easier. Our mission is to continually improve health care for the people in Alaska’s interior. That was our mission 44 years ago, and that hasn’t changed. Please share your experience with us and let us know how we are doing. FMHcommunity.feedback@bannerhealth.com

fmhdc.com Alysia Norum | Women’s Center

www.akbizmag.com

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

81


managing partner. “As medicine becomes increasingly complex and technical each year, the more our dedicated staff reaches out to simplify and explain health benefits and prevention measures, the better result for both patient and practitioner.” McGuire says St. Elias is a frequent contributor to multiple charitable health fairs and awareness and community screening efforts annually, including the Alaska Women’s Run targeting breast cancer and the Alaska Women’s Summit centering on comprehensive medical coverage and screening for women in rural and urban centers across the state. AHF’s Chakine adds that hospitals and staff can be integral in making a health fair and screening impactful to the public, noting Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and Bartlett Regional Hospital have substantively supported his organization. Add to the mix the hundreds of dentists, medical and naturopathic doctors, optometrists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants statewide who participate in health fairs, and the collective is expanding. Take Larry Lawson, MD, and his Midnight Sun Oncology practice in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Positioned between Palmer and Wasilla, adjacent to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, Lawson and partner Jose Suarez, MD, are the only practicing oncologists who reside and work in the Valley. They take that role seriously when it comes to public education about cancer and prevention. “Health screening is the single most effective way to combat cancer,” says Lawson. “Our medical team promotes the importance of regular check-ups with patients’ medical providers, as well as age-appropriate gender-centric cancer screening for men and women. Health fairs and community screening opportunities are convenient and inexpensive, if not free of charge. Alaskans should definitely take advantage of the opportunity to get screenings and relevant information at health fairs.”

Worksite Wellness

“Worksite wellness is very hot right now, which is understandable,” says Chakine. “Implementing wellness programs and internal fairs has many benefits for employers, big or small, including attracting talented workers, reducing absenteeism and turnovers, and improving productivity and morale.” Chakine delineates the services AHF offers, which includes worksite health fairs tailored to help meet client organizations’ wellness goals. In partnership with other leading agencies (the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and local ex82

Upcoming Health Fair Schedule Southcentral Community Chugiak/Eagle River

Date & Time Event 10/1/16, Health Fair, Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center, 8am - Noon 22424 N. Birchwood Loop, Chugiak, AK 99567; Flu shots.

Anchorage

10/1/16, Health Fair at St. John’s United Methodist 8am - Noon Church, 1801 O’Malley Rd, Anchorage, AK 99507; Flu shots.

Anchorage

10/8/16, Hispanic Health Fair - everyone’s welcome! Clark 8am - Noon Middle School, 150 Bragaw St, Anchorage, AK 99508; Flu shots, family-oriented.

Girdwood

10/8/16,
 Health Fair, Girdwood Community Center, 9am - 1pm 250 Egloff Dr, Girdwood, AK 99587; Flu shots, Mammogram Mobil.

Mat-Su Valley

10/12/16, 8:30am 11:30am

Mat-Su Valley Health Fair, Palmer Senior Citizens Center, 1132 S Chugach St, Palmer, AK 99645; Flu shots.

Anchorage

10/15/16, 
 Health Fair by Faith Lutheran Church, 5200 8am - Noon Lake Otis Pkwy, Anchorage, AK 99507. Familyoriented.

Anchorage

10/18/16, Health Fair at Credit Union 1, 1941 Abbot Road, 7:30-10:30am Anchorage, AK 99507.

Kenai Peninsula

10/29/16,
 Kenai Peninsula Health Fair, Kenai Senior Center, 8am - Noon 361 Senior Ct, Kenai, AK 99611.

Anchorage

11/12/16, Health Fair, University Center, 3901 Old Seward 9am - 1pm Hwy Anchorage, AK 99503; Flu shots.

Community Fairbanks North Pole Nome Fairbanks Two Rivers

Fairbanks & Northern Regions Date & Time Event Health Fair, Fairbanks Senior Center, 1424 Moore 10/7/16,
 8am - 11am St, Fairbanks, AK 99701; Flu shots. 10/15/16, Health Fair at North Pole Plaza, 301 N Santa 8am - Noon Claus Ln, North Pole, AK 99705; Flu shots. 10/21/16, Health Fair at Nome Recreation Center, 208 E 
7am - Noon 6th Ave, Nome, AK 99762; Flu shots. 10/26/16, Health Fair by Credit Union 1, 453 University 7:30-10:30am Ave.— S, Fairbanks, AK 99709; Flu shots. 11/5/16,
 Health Fair at Pleasant Valley Community Center, 8am - Noon 7234 Anders Ave., Two Rivers, AK 99716; Flu shots.

perts), Chakine explains that AHF is able to offer affordable in-depth training for staff and management on a variety of worksite wellness topics. “Most employers that we work with elect to sponsor our comprehensive blood tests for their employees [especially the vitamin D test, which is usually not covered by health insurance]. Employers can also send their staff to our office in Anchorage for affordable blood tests. AHF health fairs are turn-key solutions,” he says. Aside from nonprofit momentum, even state government gets involved in terms

of sponsorships, with the Alaska Department of Administration’s Division of Retirement and Benefits offering free blood tests to its AlaskaCare members at its November health fairs in Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Anchorage, some of which include flu shots and chemistry/hematology blood panel testing. Many unions in the state also offer periodic health fairs to members and their families, some at no cost, some at low cost.

Not Just Urban

Health fairs and screenings aren’t just held

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


in larger Alaska cities and hospitals. SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) serves eighteen communities in Southeast Alaska for primary care, behavioral health, dental, hospital, and health promotion services. “Health Fairs are a great tool to reach out to the communities we serve and make it easier for community members to get vital information about individual health factors such as blood pressure or cholesterol,” says Martha Pearson, SEARHC Health Promotion director. “Then, each person can make better decisions about their health. In addition, health fairs allow communities to host multiple service agencies that are available locally, such as SEARHC’s outreach and enrollment program that helps connect folks to insurance coverage in the healthcare marketplace.” At a health fair, SEARHC typically offers expertise in injury prevention and car seat safety, women’s health, tobacco prevention, traditional and local foods, diabetes prevention, behavioral health, and navigating the health insurance marketplace. Pearson says if it is not already provided, SEARHC staff also provides blood pressure and lipids testing. This year, SEARHC actively participated in health fairs for Sitka, Juneau, Kake, Angoon, Tenakee Springs, Thorne Bay, Coffman Cove, Klawock, Haines, and Wrangell. Pearson says SEARHC will participate in other sites as the dates and scheduling occurs for them. “SEARHC is able to provide ‘boots on the ground’ support in most of our communities as we have terrific staff who are passionate about health and always willing to promote it and help with events,” Pearson says. “SEARHC serves the communities of Southeast with professional healthcare services, but we are also personally invested as friends, colleagues, and family members in the communities we serve. I believe this gives our patients the best of both worlds.” Pearson says providing a one-stop-shop increases access to services and gives people more choices in the directions they want for their health, and while SEARHC is typically not the lead organization for health fairs, it is much more efficient to partner with statewide efforts such as AHF and local tribal or school fairs. “By working collaboratively, SEARHC can increase our reach and provide information on our services alongside others available in the community,” she says. R

Tom Anderson writes from across Alaska. www.akbizmag.com

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83


SPECIAL SECTION

2016 Top 49ers

Top 49ers Executive Summary Visions for the Arctic By Tasha Anderson

F

or many years Alaska’s North Slope has been the end of the road, both literally and figuratively. As the northern sea ice melts possibilities for transportation and additional Artic resource development only grow, and building up those industries creates potential for a wide range of economic development. Alaska is rich with companies that have developed what infrastructure and industry already exists, and that expertise and history in Alaska’s Arctic will only be a boon to the state and the country as the world develops new visions for the Arctic. And who better to envision that future than Alaska Business Monthly’s Top 49ers, businesses that have proven it can be done, and it can be done well, and it can be done responsibly. This year the Top 49ers have reported gross revenues of $14.8 billion, a slight drop from last year’s $15 billion. In total, they employ 72,639 people, and approximately one third of that workforce, 22,271 employees, are Alaskans. Both worldwide and Alaska employee figures have also trended down this year, with 3,680 less Alaska jobs reported. Looking north, there’s no company more fitting to come in at Number 1 than Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, which reports 2015 revenue of $2.5 billion, accounting for nearly 17 percent of the total $14.8 billion revenue. Arctic Slope Regional Corporation employs nearly 10,000 people worldwide, including 3,696 Alaskans.

Alaska Native Corporations

Consistent with years past, the Last Frontier’s Alaska Native Corporations comprise the bulk of the Top 49ers list, with twentyone Regional and Urban corporations accounting for approximately 75 percent of the total Top 49ers revenue. Collectively they report $11,057,726,561, approximately $18 million less than 2014 reported revenues. They employ 15,316 Alaskans, in total 62,455 people worldwide. We’re glad to welcome back Bethel Native Corporation and Tyonek Native Corporation, which had been counted among the 49ers previously in 2013. 84

Transportation

Alaska’s transportation industry continues trucking on, with three companies reporting $1.1 billion in 2015 revenue, a slight drop from last year’s $1.3 billion; however, Ravn Alaska has graduated from the Top 49ers. Not counting Ravn Alaska’s revenue last year brings the total to approximately $1.1 billion, which indicates steady revenue as opposed to a dip. In total Lynden, Inc., PenAir, and Tatonduk Outfitters Ltd. employ 3,653, of which 1,634 are Alaskans.

Industrial Services

Over the course of the last year Alaska Industrial Hardware graduated from the Top 49ers, and so this year five companies reported 2015 revenues of $675 million, about 4.5 percent of the Top 49ers total. The majority of this workforce is in Alaska, with 1,196 of their worldwide total of 1,573 employees being Alaskans.

Construction & Engineering

This year the Construction & Engineering group overtook the utilities, reporting $577 million in 2015 gross revenues. Alaska Business Monthly is excited to welcome Great Northwest, Delta Constructors, and PND Engineers, all brand new to our group of Top 49ers. We’re glad to have you, and we look forward to seeing you next year. All together the group of seven companies employs 642 Alaskans and 1,087 people worldwide.

Utility

The members of the utility group remain steady, reporting gross revenues of $455 million for 2015. The utilities represented here have nearly a 100 percent Alaskan workforce, with 624 of their 627 employees in state.

Retail/Wholesale Trade

The Retail and Wholesale Trade group of companies is unchanged from last year, comprised of Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Center, Seekins Ford Lincoln, Inc., and Three Bears Alaska, Inc. This group’s revenue has increased from 2014’s $327 million, reporting $334 million for 2015. Their number of Alaska Jobs has dipped slightly, with 687 Alaskan employees reported this year versus 695 in 2015. All total, worldwide, they employ 739.

Financial Services

Next up is Financial Services, which also report increased revenue from 2014 to 2015, with 2015 gross revenues of $256 million. This group of three also reports an increased number of jobs, reporting 1,387 Alaskan and 1,404 worldwide employees last year and 1,409 Alaskan and 1,426 worldwide employees this year.

Healthcare

Healthcare is one of Alaska’s growing industries, and this is reflected in Geneva Woods Pharmacy, Inc.’s reported revenue of $106 million, a 110 percent increase from their 2014 revenue of $95 million. They have also increased their personnel numbers, employing 242 Alaskans and 558 people worldwide this year.

Telecom & Technology

For 2015 revenue MTA, Inc. reports $99 million, slightly up from 2014’s $97 million; the company’s all Alaskan workforce increased over the last year from 299 employees to 339.

Mining

The Top 49ers mining industry continues to be represented by Usibelli, which saw a slight dip in revenue, reporting $86 million for 2015, down from 2014’s $97 million. The company also saw a reduction in its workforce. Last year Usibelli reported 160 Alaskan jobs, 195 worldwide; this year they report a 100 percent Alaskan workforce of 112.

Energy

Rounding out the list is Energy, represented by Vitus Energy, which report 2015 gross revenues of $63 million, down from the company’s 2014 report of $69 million; however, the company has increased its Alaska jobs offering, employing 70 people this year over last year’s 57 personnel. For their continuing work and dedication to Alaska, no matter the challenges, we are honored to present the 2016 Top 49ers, Alaskan companies finding New Frontiers in the Last Frontier.  R

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


October 1, 2016

Dear Neighbors, At Northrim Bank, we understand the complexities that Alaska businesses are facing. Our current economy is a lot like the wilderness. It’s challenging, unpredictable and even a bit daunting at times. However, as with most things, with the right knowledge, tools, and guidance, not only can we survive in any environment, we can also thrive. At Northrim, we like to call this SurThrival – and SurThriving is precisely what we help businesses in our community do. We know this terrain better than anyone. We started our business in 1990 – on the heels of Alaska’s worst recession in history. As Alaskans, we understand the local issues and pressures that our neighbors are under. Rest assured, our team is equipped with the experience and knowledge to help you persevere in this challenging economy. Currently, we’re spearheading several efforts to offer guidance to local businesses, including our monthly SurThrival Training courses and a free online assessment. With this assessment, we can measure the financial preparedness of your business. Based on the results, we’ll provide you with a customized report designed to help your business prepare for what lies ahead. We also look forward to connecting with you and starting a conversation with you about your future. We’re proud to say that Northrim is the only bank that offers local businesses this kind of support - simply because, we’re not like other banks. We’re 100% 907. And we pride ourselves on being here for you and the community 100% of the time. Sincerely,

Joe Schierhorn

President, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Operating Officer

Joe Beedle Chairman

Latosha Frye

EVP, Chief Financial Officer

3111 C Street | Anchorage, AK 99503

Get tips on surviving and thriving in AK’s economy at surthriveak.com


86

$4,000,000,000

$2,000,000,000

$300,000,000

$8,000,000,000 $900,000,000

$489,889,255 in 2014 $455,970,495 in 2015

2014-2015

$1,500,000,000

Yearly Revenue Totals ■ 2014 Gross Revenue $15.048 Billion ■ 2015 Gross Revenue $14.833 Billion $1,295,850,000 in 2014 $1,122,092,112 in 2015

Healthcare Industrial Services Mining

Utility

$600,000,000 Retail/ Wholesale Trade

0

1,557 Alaskan jobs in 2015 1,196 Alaskan jobs in 2016 2,138 Total jobs in 2015 1,573 Total jobs in 2016

■ Alaskan jobs in 2015 ■ Alaskan jobs in 2016 ■ Total jobs in 2015 ■ Total jobs in 2016

2,410 Alaskan jobs in 2015 1,634 Alaskan jobs in 2016 3,898 Total jobs in 2015 3,653 Total jobs in 2016

Alaskan and outside job figures 2015-16

627 Alaskan jobs in 2015 624 Alaskan jobs in 2016 627 Total jobs in 2015 627 Total jobs in 2016

299 Alaskan jobs in 2015 339 Alaskan jobs in 2016 299 Total jobs in 2015 339 Total jobs in 2016

695 Alaskan jobs in 2015 687 Alaskan jobs in 2016 738 Total jobs in 2015 739 Total jobs in 2016

160 Alaskan jobs in 2015 112 Alaskan jobs in 2016 195 Total jobs in 2015 112 Total jobs in 2016

270 Alaskan jobs in 2015 424 Alaskan jobs in 2016 445 Total jobs in 2015 558 Total jobs in 2016

4,000

Transportation

$6,000,000,000 Financial Services

$97,100,000 in 2014 $99,200,000 in 2015

Construction Energy & Engineering

Telecom

$0 0

$327,476,515 in 2014 $334,284,737 in 2015

Alaska Native Corporations

Retail/Wholesale Trade

500

$97,000,000 in 2014 $86,000,000 in 2015

0 1,387 Alaskan jobs in 2015 1,409 Alaskan jobs in 2016 1,404 Total jobs in 2015 1,426 Total jobs in 2016

3,500

Mining

10,000

$767,441,397 in 2014 $675,874,453 in 2015

1,000

Industrial Services

20,000

$95,000,000 in 2014 $106,400,000 in 2015

1,500

Healthcare

30,000

$237,950,823 in 2014 $256,078,512 in 2015

2,000

Financial Services

40,000

$69,000,000 in 2014 $63,000,000 in 2015

2,500

57 Alaskan jobs in 2015 70 Alaskan jobs in 2016 57 Total jobs in 2015 70 Total jobs in 2016

3,000

Energy

50,000

526 Alaskan jobs in 2015 642 Alaskan jobs in 2016 812 Total jobs in 2015 1,087 Total jobs in 2016

60,000

$408,647,207 in 2014 $576,907,701 in 2015

$12,000,000,000 $11,075,756,300 in 2014 $11,057,726,561 in 2015

70,000 18,542 Alaskan jobs in 2015 15,316 Alaskan jobs in 2016 62,596 Total jobs in 2015 62,455 Total jobs in 2016

80,000

Construction & Engineering

Alaska Native Corporations

2016 TOP 49ERS EMPLOYMENT FIGURES, GROSS REVENUES & INDUSTRY DISTRIBUTION

Top 49ers Employment Figures

Telecom Transportation Utility

Top 49ers Revenue

2016 49ers by Industry

$10,000,000,000 $1,200,000,000

Alaska Native Corporations: 21 Construction & Engineering: 7 Energy: 1 Financial Services: 3 Healthcare: 1 Industrial Services: 5 Mining: 1 Retail/Wholesale Trade: 3 Telecom: 1 Transportation: 3 Utility: 3

49ers by Industry

2015

Alaska Native Corporations: 20 Construction & Engineering: 5 Energy: 1 Financial Services: 3 Healthcare: 1 Industrial Services: 6 Manufacturing: 1 Mining: 1 Retail/Wholesale Trade: 3 Telecom: 1 Transportation: 4 Utility: 3

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


© Judy Patrick / judpatrickphotography.com

Paragon Interior Construction

P

aragon Interior Construction, an Alaskan Native and Women owned business has distinguished itself as Alaska’s leader in manufactured interior construction since 2005. Founders Lynn Barrett and Ken Prestegard have worked on interior design and interior construction projects for more than 30 years. Paragon provides sustainable interior construction solutions to corporate, education, healthcare, retail, government, and recently, residential clients. “We provide rapid, clean, sustainable solutions for interior buildouts,” Barrett says. Paragon is the Alaska Distribution Partner for DIRTT-Doing It Right This Time, the leading manufacturer of interior construction in North America. Paragon creates customizable, sustainable architectural interiors. DIRTT’s solutions include DIRTT Walls, DIRTT Millwork, DIRTT Power, and DIRTT Networks, along with cutting-edge ICE® technology, and ICEberg®, a powerful modular vs. traditional construction cost-comparison tool.

error or possible design misinterpretation by a third party, cutting down on lead-times and reducing unnecessary product waste. With ICE and DIRTT, what you see is what you get. Paragon is currently constructing the interiors of the largest residential DIRTT project in North America. These sixteen residential units will provide housing for medical staff in Barrow. Units feature custom walls/tiles, modular electrical, plumbing buildouts, ceiling tiles, custom millwork, embedded flat screens, and sliding barn doors. “This residential project is an amazing accomplishment for our team!” says Barrett. Labor is a huge cost savings. With conventional construction, labor comprises 70% of project costs, and material represents 30%. With DIRTT, labor is just 30% while materials are 70%. “With DIRTT, you are paying for a nicer fit and finish with upscale materials,” Prestegard says. “Imagine trying to build a custom home or any commercial space far from the city: Instead of sending a steady stream of craftsmen and construction workers, we send totallycomplete interiors that can be assembled in a fraction of the time.”

FAST, CLEAN, AFFORDABLE Paragons projects exemplifies versatility in delivering faster, affordable and environmentally-responsible construction solutions. The key to DIRTT’s flexibility is using cutting-edge technology ICE software, an intelligent Java-based 3D application that creates interactive environments in real time using clear, graphic communication to design, envision, specify, price, manufacture and deliver any product open to modification. ICE eliminates the potential for human

that can be depreciated over seven years compared to the 39 years for conventional construction. Paragon has completed environmentally-conscious projects throughout Alaska, including a 30,000-squarefoot administration building in Bethel and the LEED-certified Cold Climate Housing Research Center in Fairbanks. Recently, Paragon completed the Brilliant Media Strategies expansion—which was nominated for a Heart of Anchorage award—and built a 1,400-squarefoot Green Learning Center in its Anchorage based location. “It’s an opportunity to touch, see, and better understand the DIRTT Solution,” Barrett says. Paragon is dedicated to building better. Drywall is 100 years old, and the construction industry has been building the same way for this amount of time. “We need to change this behavior using sustainable construction solutions that make a difference,” Barrett says. “I’m passionate about building with greater attention to environmentally-sustainable solutions.”

SMARTER ALTERNATIVE Because their solution can be completely repurposed, there’s no greener option than DIRTT. Paragon’s projects entail fewer on-site workers and less disruption, which means less impact to the environment. Additionally, for their commercial users, the IRS considers DIRTT’s walls to be business equipment –

PAID

ADV ERTIS EMENT

Paragon Interior Construction 4700 Business Park Blvd., Bldg. E-19 Anchorage, Alaska 99503 (907) 230-9956 www.akdirtt.com –


SPECIAL SECTION

What’s a Top 49er?

T

here are really only two things necessary to qualify to be surveyed for Alaska Business Monthly’s Top 49ers: a company must be at least 51 percent Alaskan owned and willing to report annual gross revenue. As the Top 49ers are ranked by gross revenue, and there can only be forty-nine of them, not every company that responds to the survey will make the list: this year it took a 2015 annual gross revenue of about $35 million to make the cut—that’s not a small chunk of change. The 49ers change each year as new companies pass the bottom line threshold and established Top 49ers are recognized for their great value and snatched up by other Top 49ers, Outside entities, or otherwise change their ownership structure. For example, this year Ravn Alaska, Alaska Industrial Hardware, Builder’s Choice, and DOWL have moved on to differently green pastures. For 2016 we’re excited to welcome Delta Constructors, Great Northwest, and PND Engineers Inc. to the Top 49ers list for the first time. When it comes to our passion, it’s all in our name: Alaska Business Monthly. We research, write, and advertise Alaska’s business, and it is our great pleasure year after year to celebrate its success. We’re bullish about Alaska’s economic future, and it’s great Alaskans with great ideas who are going to make that future bright with their Visions for the Arctic.  R

1 Arctic Slope Regional Corporation 9,938 Worldwide Employees 3,696 Alaska Employees 37% Alaska Workforce No Change Change in rank from 2015 -5.56% Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review $2,549,993,000 $2,628,929,000 $2,525,615,000

$2,663,540,000 $2,515,377,000

$0

$0.5 Billion

$1 Billion

$1.5 Billion

$2 Billion

$2.5 Billion

$3 Billion

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: Main business segments include: petroleum refining and marketing; government services; energy support services; industrial services; construction; and resource development. Recent Noteworthy Events: In 2015, ASRC’s subsidiary Petro Star, Inc. broke ground on a new asphalt plant at its North Pole Refinery. Full operation is expected by summer 2016. This year, ASRC joined Voice of the Arctic Inupiat, a nonprofit corporation creating a unified voice for the North Slope community.

Rex A. Rock Sr., President & CEO PO Box 129 | Barrow, AK 99723 Phone: 907-852-8633 Fax: 907-852-5733 twitter.com/ASRC_AK asrc.com Established in Alaska 1972

Subsidiaries: ASRC Energy Services LLC; ASRC Federal Holding Company LLC; ASRC Construction Holding Company; Eskimos, Inc.; Tundra Tours, Inc.; Petro Star, Inc.; Alaska Growth Capital; Little Red Services, Inc.; Petrochem, Inc.; Arctic Pipe Inspection, Inc.; Data Networks Corporation

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Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Goods for Alaska

SINCE 1961

Serving 200 communities, military bases and other destinations statewide PortOfAnc.com • 907-343-6200


2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

2 15,000 5,000 33% 1 No Change

NANA Regional Corporation, Inc. Worldwide Employees

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review $1,500,000,000 $1,800,000,000 $1,700,000,000

$1,600,000,000 $1,600,000,000

$0

$0.5 Billion

$1 Billion

$1.5 Billion

$2 Billion

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: Responsible natural resource development as well as oil and gas, plus federal and commercial services to a wide array of industries. Recent Noteworthy Events: The US Coast Guard Arctic Operations facility in Kotzebue was named after former NANA President and Alaska National Guard Adjutant General (1986-1991), John Shaeffer. NANA sold NANA Oilfield Services, Inc. to Saltchuk.

Wayne Westlake, President & CEO PO Box 49 Kotzebue, AK 99503 Phone: 907-442-3301 Fax: 907- 442-4161 news@nana.com nana.com/regional Established in Alaska 1972

Subsidiaries: NANA Development Corporation.

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Operating Saab aircraft since 1997 90

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Only pay for the speed you need... Dynamic Routing!℠

On time and on budget. At Lynden, we understand that plans change but deadlines don’t. That’s why we proudly offer our exclusive Dynamic Routing system. Designed to work around your unique requirements, Dynamic Routing allows you to choose the mode of transportation — air, sea or land — to control the speed of your deliveries so they arrive just as they are needed. With Lynden you only pay for the speed you need!

lynden.com | 1-888-596-3361


2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

3 4,411 1,255 28% 1 -12.91%

Bristol Bay Native Corporation Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review $1,965,507,000 $1,961,780,000 $1,835,894,000

$1,736,084,000 $1,512,022,000

$0

$0.5 Billion

$1 Billion

$1.5 Billion

$2 Billion

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: Petroleum distribution, government services, construction, industrial services, and tourism. Recent Noteworthy Events: BBNC was named one of the best places to work by Alaska Business Monthly magazine. BBNC recently acquired Katmailand, Inc., which operates three lodges in Bristol Bay. Subsidiaries: Bristol Bay Resource Solutions LLC; Eagle Group; STS-Glacier Group; SpecPro Group; Vista Group; Business Resource Solutions LLC; Bristol Alliance of Companies; CCI Alliance of Companies; SES Group; PetroCard, Inc.; Bristol Bay Mission Lodge LLC; Bristol Bay Industrial; Peak Oilfield Service Company; CCI Industrial Services; Kakivik Asset Management; Bristol Alliance Fuels; Katmailand, Inc.

92

Jason Metrokin, President & CEO 111 W. 16th Ave., Suite 400 Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-278-3602 Fax: 907-276-3924 info@bbnc.net | bbnc.net Established in Alaska 1972

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

4 2,748 946 34% No Change -2.50%

Lynden, Inc. Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review $850,000,000 $885,000,000 $875,000,000

$1,000,000,000 $975,000,000

$0

$200 Million

$400 Million

$600 Million

$800 Million

$1 Billion

Classification: Transportation Principal Activities: Lynden’s capabilities include: truckload and less-than-truckload transportation, heavy haul and oversize services, scheduled and charter barges, worldwide air and ocean forwarding, intermodal bulk chemical hauls, bulk commodities hauling, scheduled and chartered cargo aircraft, and multi-modal logistics. Recent Noteworthy Events: Voted #1 Western Regional LTL Carrier and #1 Airfreight Forwarder in Logistics Management’s Quest for Quality Awards. Named Green Supply Chain Partner, Top 100 3PL by Inbound Logistics magazine. 2016 ATA Driver of the Year (Brian Ambrose); 2014 ATA Driver of the Year (John Schank).

Jim Jansen, Chairman 6441 S. Airpark Pl. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 907-245-1544 Fax: 907-245-1744 information@lynden.com lynden.com Established in Alaska 1954

Subsidiaries: Alaska Marine Lines; Alaska West Express; Bering Marine Corporation; Lynden Air Cargo; Lynden International; Lynden Logistics; Knik Construction; Lynden Transport; Lynden Training Center.

94

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


“I work in the maintenance bay of an oilfield service company on the Kenai owned by Bristol Bay Native Corporation. Every summer, I go home to Bristol Bay to fish the salmon run. It took me years to save enough to buy my own boat, but now I have two ways to make a living in Alaska. In these difficult times, that’s the kind of thing many Alaskans are doing. It’s also why Bristol Bay Native Corporation has diversified its business, to help diversify Alaska’s economy and keep over a thousand Alaskans employed, Native and non-Native alike.” —Casey Coupchiak, BBNC Shareholder

Diversifying Alaska’s Economy


2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

5 5,570 326 6% No Change -0.34%

Chenega Corporation Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review $1,100,000,000 $1,100,000,000 $1,044,000,000

$885,000,000 $882,000,000

$0

$200 Million $400 Million $600 Million $800 Million

$1 Billion

$1.2 Billion

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: Federal government contracting including professional, technical and installation services, security, engineering, military, intelligence and operations support, environmental, healthcare and facilities management and information technology. Commercial services include data sciences and telecom. Recent Noteworthy Events: Chenega co-sponsored 2 golf-tournaments including AUSA Last Frontier Chapter at JBER, collectively raising $110,000 for soldiers, military families, and the Wounded Warrior Program. For the second year in a row, Chenega earned the prestigious Military Friendly® Employer designation by Victory Media.

Charles W. Totemoff, President & CEO 3000 C St., Suite 301 Anchorage, AK 99503-3975 Phone: 907-277-5706 Fax: 907-277-5700 info@chenega.com chenega.com Established in Alaska 1974

Subsidiaries: None reported.

PARTNERS IN PROGRESS WORLD-CLASS TALENT IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD. At DOWL, we have world-class professionals ready to bring your project to life in ways you never thought possible. With offices in eight states in the Western U.S., you get the kind of personalized, hands-on service you deserve every step of the way.

PEOPLE WHO MAKE IT HAPPEN. 96

ENVIRONMENTAL AND LAND DEVELOPMENT CIVIL ENGINEERING WATER/WATER RESOURCES TRANSPORTATION GEO-CONSTRUCTION dowl.com

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

6 5,700 800 14% No Change 21.09%

Chugach Alaska Corporation Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review $766,000,000 $709,000,000 $609,000,000

$626,000,000 $758,000,000

$0

$200 Million

$400 Million

$600 Million

$800 Million

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: Chugach’s operating subsidiaries provide exceptional services in three core business lines throughout Alaska, the Lower 48 and worldwide: Government services; facilities services; and energy services. Recent Noteworthy Events: Completed the acquisition of All American Oilfield LLC, which gives us a valuable growth platform for Alaska energy services. Invested in Alaska-based integrated pharmaceutical care services company Geneva Woods Pharmacy, Inc. Exploring opportunities to develop in-region lands projects. Subsidiaries: Chugach Systems Integration LLC; Chugach Federal Solutions, Inc.; Chugach Government Services, Inc.; Chugach Industries, Inc.; Chugach Information Technology, Inc.; Chugach Management Services, Inc.; Chugach World Services, Inc.; Defense Base Services, Inc.; Wolf Creek Federal Services, Inc.; Chugach Education Services, Inc.; Heide & Cook LLC; Chugach Commercial Holdings LLC; Chugach Construction Services LLC; Chugach Government Solutions LLC; Chugach Training & Educational Solutions LLC; All American Oilfield LLC; Chugach Alaska Services LLC.

Building Alaska’s Future

photo: © Ken Graham Photography .com 98

Gabriel Kompkoff, CEO 3800 Centerpoint Dr., Suite 1200 Anchorage, AK 99503-4396 Phone: 907-563-8866 Fax: 907-563-8402 communications@chugach.com chugach.com Established in Alaska 1972

CM/GC • Design/Build • Bid/Build info@wccak.com | WattersonConstruction.com

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


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1,900 385 20% ď‚Ł1 14.48%

Calista Corporation Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review $300,498,000 $404,231,000 $368,914,000

$401,900,000 $460,100,000

$0

$100 Million

$200 Million

$300 Million

$400 Million

$500 Million

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: Construction; heavy equipment sales, rental, parts; Federal contracting; real estate; telecommunications; media services; public relations; environmental services; advertising; and natural resource development. Recent Noteworthy Events: A record 25 interns worked for Calista and our subsidiaries. Additionally, work continues developing policies and procedures for enrollment of descendants in 2017. Subsidiaries: Ookichista Drilling Services, Inc; Tunista Services LLC; Y-Tech Services, Inc.; Yulista Aviation, Inc.; Yulista Management Services, Inc.; Chiulista Services, Inc.; Brice Incorporated; Tunista, Inc.; Yukon Equipment, Inc.; Futaris (Fomerly Alaska Telecom, Inc.); Solstice Advertising; Brice Construction; Brice Marine; Brice Equipment; Calista Real Estate; Aulukista LLC; Yulista Tactical Services LLC; Qagan Lands LLC; Calista Education & Culture; Brice Environmental Services Corp.; Alaska Crane, Ltd.; Futaris Fibre LLC; E3 Environmental LLC; STG, Inc.

SAVE THE DATE

2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

7

Andrew Guy, President & CEO 5015 Business Park Blvd., Suite 3000 Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-275-2800 Fax: 907-275-2919 calista@calistacorp.com calistacorp.com; facebook.com/calistacorporation Established in Alaska 1972

Alaska Business Hall of Fame Honoring Larry & Barbara Cash, RIM Architects Max Hodel, Alaska Sales & Service Oliver Leavitt, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation James Udelhoven, Udelhoven Oilfield System Services Dena’ina Center - Thursday, January 26, 2017 5:30 p.m. reception, dinner/ceremony 6:30 p.m. Purchase tickets online at alaska.ja.org or fteo@ja-alaska.org Call Flora at (907) 344-0101 to ask about sponsorship opportunities

100

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Financial Guidance Beyond the Basic X’s and O’s It doesn’t matter what play you call if you don’t have the right team to execute it. At Cornerstone, we have the experience to help prepare you for everything and anything life has to offer. Whether it’s making the most of your retirement investments, planning for the financial future of your children, managing company stock options, or even solving complex and delicate family matters, we’ve done it before and we can do it for you. When it’s time to call your own number, it’s time for Cornerstone Advisors…the ultimate home field advantage. BuildBeyond.com l info@buildbeyond.com l (425) 646-7600 l Bellevue, WA


2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

8 4,058 154 4% 1 -9.45%

Afognak Native Corporation/Alutiiq LLC Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review $711,080,000 $534,610,000 $526,000,000

$505,346,000 $457,569,000

$0

$200 Million

$400 Million

$600 Million

$800 Million

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: Afognak Native Corporation and its Alutiiq LLC subsidiaries provide an exceptional track record of services in the government and commercial sectors worldwide, including: leasing; construction; timber; engineering; security; logistics, operations and maintenance; oilfield services; and youth services. Recent Noteworthy Events: On July 28th, 2016, Afognak Native Corporation hosted the first annual Afognak Youth Charity Golf Tournament at the Anchorage Golf Course. The tournament benefited Afognak youth education programs operated by the Native Village of Afognak and Native Village of Port Lions Tribal Councils. Subsidiaries: Afognak Leasing LLC; Alutiiq Advanced Security Solutions LLC; Alutiiq Construction Services LLC; Alutiiq Education & Training LLC; Alutiiq Essential Services LLC; Alutiiq General Contractors LLC; Alutiiq International Solutions LLC; Alutiiq Professional Services LLC; Alutiiq Security & Technology LLC; Alutiiq Oilfield Solutions LLC; Alutiiq Commercial Enterprises LLC; Alutiiq 3SG LLC; Alutiiq Technical Services LLC; Alutiiq Pacific LLC; Alutiiq Diversified Services LLC; Alutiiq Management Services LLC; Alutiiq Manufacturing Contractors LLC; Alutiiq-Mele LLC; Alutiiq Professional Training LLC; Alutiiq Global Solutions LLC; Afognak Near Island LLC; Afognak Arctic Development LLC; Afognak C Street LLC; Marka Bay LLC; Alutiiq Business Services LLC; Alutiiq Commercial Ventures LLC; Alutiiq Logistics & Maintenance Services LLC; Alutiiq Solutions LLC.

102

Greg Hambright, President & CEO 300 Alimaq Dr. Kodiak , AK 99615 Phone: 907-486-6014 Fax: 907-486-2514 info@alutiiq.com afognak.com Established in Alaska 1977

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


It’s easy. You give your employees an added benefit. I get a college savings plan.

Give your employees a benefit upgrade today. Enroll in the Payroll Deduction Option offered by the University of Alaska College Savings Plan. The Payroll Deduction Option is an easy, no-cost employer benefit program that adds value to your benefits package while contributing to the overall financial well-being and college savings goals of your employees.

UACollegeSavings.com

844-529-5290

I you are not an Alaska resident, you should compare this plan with any 529 college savings plan offered by your home state or your beneficiary's If home state and consider, before investing, any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in the home state’s plan. You can also visit our website or call the phone number to request a Plan Disclosure Document, which includes investment objectives, risks, fees, charges and expenses, and other information. You should read the Plan Disclosure Document carefully before investing. Offered by the Education Trust of Alaska. T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Investment Advisor/Program Manager. T. Rowe Price Investment Services, Inc., Distributor/Underwriter. 9/16

2016-US-22555


2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

9 3,083 432 14% 1 +18.96%

Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation (UIC) Worldwide Employees

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review $278,890,000 $312,380,000 $320,716,000

$356,781,000 $424,426,000

$0

$100 Million

$200 Million

$300 Million

$400 Million

$500 Million

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: Providing services in a variety of industries, including operations in Barrow, construction, architecture and engineering, surveying, scientific and regulatory consulting, information technology, marine response operations and logistics, maintenance, and manufacturing. Recent Noteworthy Events: Construction of the UIC Tukkumavik Suites at Barrow. Completed 415 home development with the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona. Opening a manufacturing and warehouse facility in Texas, which services federal government customers.

Anthony Edwardsen, President & CEO PO Box 890 Barrow, AK 99723 Phone: 907-852-4460 Fax: 907-852-4459 info@uicalaska.com uicalaska.com Established in Alaska 1973

Subsidiaries: Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation; UIC Oil & Gas Support Services; UIC Real Estate; UIC Marine Services; UIC Lands; UIC Government Services.

NORTH DAKOTA · TEXAS · GULF OF MEXICO ALASKA An Alaska Corporation

Relentless Progression. Celebrating 600 Employees Strong. Providing

FULL SERVICE CONSTRUCTION SERVICES

PROJEC T M ANAGEMENT · FABRIC ATION CONSTRUC TION · OPER ATIONS & M AINTENANCE 104

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


1,832 1,383 75% 1 +4.26%

2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

10

Doyon, Limited Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review Not Ranked in 2012 $338,276,000 $318,552,461

$362,816,481 $378,288,768

$0

$100 Million

$200 Million

$300 Million

$400 Million

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: Oil field services, government contracting, natural resource development, tourism, telecommunications, and laundry services. Recent Noteworthy Events: On June 14, Doyon and CIRI announced CIRI’s investment alongside Doyon in the oil and gas exploration of the Nenana basin in the Central Interior of Alaska. CIRI joins Doyon in its investment and efforts to locate commercial hydrocarbons in the Nenana basin.

Aaron Schutt, President & CEO 1 Doyon Pl., Suite 300 Fairbanks, AK 99701-2941 Phone: 907-459-2000 Fax: 907-459-2060 info@doyon.com doyon.com Established in Alaska 1972

Subsidiaries: Doyon Oil Field Services, Inc.; Doyon Government Contracting, Inc.; Doyon Natural Resources Development Corporation; Northern Laundry Services; Doyon Tourism; Northstar Manager LLC.

©Ken Graham Photography

Our outstanding management team specializes in providing design, pre-construction and construction services on all types of civil, commercial and industrial projects. The Anchorage Sand & Gravel Port Cement Storage Facility is just one of our many projects.

For a complete listing and more information visit our website www.rogerhickelcontracting.com 11001 Calaska Circle I Anchorage, Alaska I 99515 I phone 907-279-1400 I fax 907-279-1405 www.akbizmag.com

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

105


2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

11 Bering Straits Native Corporation 1,590 547 34% 1 +32.65%

Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review $206,000,000 2011 2012 $213,000,000 2013 $242,000,000

2014 $229,482,000 2015 $304,404,000 $0

$50 Million

$150 Million

$250 Million

$350 Million

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: BSNC’s diverse capabilities include logistics, aircraft and airfield services, base operations support services, special training and security, administrative services, IT services, communications, construction, environmental services, distribution, and hardware. Recent Noteworthy Events: The Coast Guard Reauthorization Act of 2016 mandates the transfer of Point Spencer to BSNC. Port Clarence, adjacent to Point Spencer is the only deep water port of refuge on the American Arctic. BSNC also wholly acquired Alaska Industrial Hardware (AIH) in August 2015.

Gail R. Schubert, President & CEO 4600 DeBarr Rd., Suite 200 Anchorage, AK 99508 Phone: 907-563-3788 Fax: 907-563-2742 media@beringstraits.com beringstraits.com Established in Alaska 1972

Subsidiaries: Inuit Services Inc.; Bering Straits Aerospace Services LLC; Bering Straits Logistics Services LLC; Bering Straits Information Technology LLC; Bering Straits Technical Services LLC; Bering Straits Aki LLC; Eagle Eye Electric LLC; Ayak LLC; Global Support Services LLC; Global Management Services LLC; Iyabak Construction LLC; Global Asset Technologies LLC; Global Precision Systems LLC; Bering Straits Development Co.; Global Technical Services LLC; Golden Glacier, Inc.; 4600 Debarr LLC; Alaska Industrial Hardware; Paragon Professional Services LLC; Arcticom LLC; Alaska Gold Company LLC

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800.544.0970 • westmarkhotels.com 106

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


703 61 9% 3 +26.46%

2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

12

Koniag, Inc. Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review $128,228,000 $129,234,000 $202,616,000

$211,493,000 $267,460,000

$0

$50 Million

$100 Million

$150 Million

$200 Million

$250 Million

$300 Million

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: Koniag’s approach to business has evolved to meet new challenges, expanding opportunities and the needs of its shareholders. The corporation’s investments range from real estate holdings, resource development, and business operations that include oversight of over a dozen subsidiaries. Subsidiaries: Digitized Schematic Solutions LLC; Frontier Systems Integrator LLC; Koniag Development Company LLC; Koniag Services, Inc.; Professional Computing Resources, Inc.; XMCO, Inc.; Dowland-Bach Corporation; Koniag Information Security Services LLC; Granite Cove Quarry LLC; Koniag Technology Solutions Inc.; Nunat Holdings LLC; Near Island Building LLC; Karluk Wilderness Adventures, Inc. dba Kodiak Brown Bear Center and dba Karluk River Cabins; PacArctic LLC; Open Systems Technology, DE LLC; Arlluk Technology Solutions LLC; Eagle Harbor Solutions LLC; Kadiak LLC

www.akbizmag.com

Elizabeth Perry, Ph.D., CEO 194 Alimaq Dr. Kodiak, AK 99615 Phone: 907-486-2530 | Fax: 907486-3325 facebook.com/KoniagInc | koniag.com Established in Alaska 1972

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

13 1,098 114 10% ď‚Ł1 +12.38%

Olgoonik Corporation Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review $178,400,000 $198,600,000 $215,200,000

$231,900,000 $260,600,000

$0

$50 Million

$100 Million

$150 Million

$200 Million

$250 Million

$300 Million

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: Olgoonik specializes in construction, logistics and operations, security, environmental, inspections, and oilfield support services. We have cultivated a wide range of satisfied customers and a reputation for being a reliable and ethical partner. Recent Noteworthy Events: Olgoonik increased its Arctic land holdings by purchasing 1,518 acres of land near its coastal community of Wainwright. A land sale in this amount of acreage is a first for any ANCSA corporation. Another milestone, Olgoonik’s purchase of the subsurface land rights is a first for any village corp.

Hugh Patkotak, Sr., President & CEO 3201 C St., Suite 700 Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-562-8728 Fax: 907-562-8751 communications@olgoonik.com olgoonik.com Established in Alaska 1973

Subsidiaries: Olgoonik Innovations; Olgoonik Specialty Contractors; Olgoonik Logistics; O.E.S.; Olgoonik Management Services; Olgoonik Technical Services; Olgoonik Global Security; Olgoonik Diversified Services; Olgoonik Development; Olgoonik Solutions; Olgoonik Federal; Olgoonik Oilfield Services; Olgoonik Enterprises; Olgoonik Inspection Services; Olgoonik Holdings; Kuk Construction; Olgoonik Construction Services.

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1,648 83 5% 3 -26.81%

2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

14

Cook Inlet Region, Inc. Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review $200,800,000 $237,849,000 $214,930,000

$304,421,000 $222,810,000

$0

$50 Million

$150 Million

$250 Million

$350 Million

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: CIRI’s financial strength and expertise spans diverse business segments which primarily include real estate, oilfield and construction services, land and natural resources, energy and infrastructure, environmental services, government services, and private equity.

Sophie Minich, President & CEO PO Box 93330 Anchorage, AK 99509-3330 Phone: 907-274-8638 Fax: 907-263-5183 info@ciri.com | ciri.com Established in Alaska 1972

Recent Noteworthy Events: Joining other well-capitalized investors in 2015, CIRI partnered in the Middletown Energy Center, a natural gas-fired power plant in Ohio that will service the largest wholesale power market in the world. In addition, CIRI became a lending partner to the Briscoe Wind Farm in northern Texas. Subsidiaries: CIRI Land Development Co. (CLDC); North Wind Group; Fire Island Wind LLC; Cruz Energy Services LLC; Cruz Marine LLC; Weldin Construction LLC; Silver Mountain Construction LLC; CIRI Services Corporation; ANC R&D.

Internet at the Speed of Light When it comes to the internet, fiber optic technology is faster, more reliable and much less expensive than existing microwave and satellite technology. And fiber is coming soon to six communities in the Alaskan Arctic. Quintillion, an Alaska company, is building a subsea cable system that will provide true broadband and allow existing telecommunication service providers such as TelAlaska, OTZ Telephone, ASTAC, ACS and AT&T to purchase bandwidth at substantially lower cost with improved quality of service compared to existing satellite and microwave technology and enable them to improve service to their customers. Introduction of high-speed internet by Quintillion’s customers – the telecom service providers – will enable improved health and education services, spur economic development, empower local businesses, and allow consumers access to video and other high-speed applications.

Internet at the Speed of Light. Powered by Quintillion. Coming in early 2017.

www.Qexpressnet.com

www.akbizmag.com

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

109


2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

15 1,350 200 15% 4 +30.29%

Goldbelt, Incorporated Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

$135,188,063 $156,565,827 $146,033,239 $169,063,557 $220,276,480

$0

$50 Million

$100 Million

$150 Million

$200 Million

$250 Million

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: Goldbelt provides government contracting through nineteen operating units and sells products in the commercial competitive market. Business operations span the globe from the United States to Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Recent Noteworthy Events: Elliot “Chuck” Wimberly was promoted to President and CEO in July 2016 after serving as Senior Vice President of the Medical and Defense Group for more than six years. Goldbelt received the President’s Award for exporting excellence from US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker in May 2016.

Elliott “Chuck” Wimberly, President & CEO 3025 Clinton Dr. Juneau, AK 99801 Phone: 907-790-4990 Fax: 907-790-4999 media@goldbelt.com goldbelt.com Established in Alaska 1974

Subsidiaries: Goldbelt Glacier Health Services LLC; Nisga’a Data Systems LLC; LifeSource Biomedical LLC; Goldbelt Eagle LLC; Goldbelt Falcon LLC; Goldbelt Hawk LLC; Peregrine Technical Solutions LLC; Facility Support Services LLC; Goldbelt Security LLC; Godlbelt Raven LLC; CP Leasing LLC; Mount Roberts Tramway; Goldbelt Transportation; CP Marine; Goldbelt Speciality Services LLC; Goldbelt C6; Nisga’a Tek LLC; Goldbelt Seafoods LLC; Goldbelt Professional Services LLC.

110

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300 300 100% 3 -23.07%

2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

16

Chugach Electric Association, Inc. Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

$283,618,369 $266,971,468 $305,308,427 $281,318,513 $216,421,152

$0

$50 Million

$150 Million

$250 Million

$350 Million

Classification: Utility Principal Activities: Electric utility. Recent Noteworthy Events: Completed the Stetson Creek diversion project at the Cooper Lake Hydroelectric Project. This project added nearly 10 percent to the water resource available for plant production and added warmer lake water to fish habitat in Cooper Creek.

Lee Thibert, CEO 5601 Electron Dr. Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-563-7494 Fax: 907-562-0027 info@chugachelectric.com chugachelectric.com Established in Alaska 1948

Subsidiaries: None reported.

www.akbizmag.com

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

111


2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

17 450 320 71% No Change +11.29%

Cruz Companies Alaska Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review Not Ranked in 2012 $83,038,657 $116,798,739

$191,860,803 $213,518,131

$0

$50 Million

$100 Million

$150 Million

$200 Million

$250 Million

Classification: Industrial Services Principal Activities: Resource development, heavy civil construction, heavy haul transportation, and shallow draft tug/barge services. Recent Noteworthy Events: Supporting Caelus Energy Alaska on a remote multi-well project in a single season.

Dave Cruz, President 7000 E. Palmer Wasilla Hwy. Palmer , AK 99645 Phone: 907-746-3144 Fax: 907-746-5557 info@cruzconstruct.com cruzconstruct.com Established in Alaska 1981

Subsidiaries: None reported.

112

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


1,325 323 24% No Change +1.84%

2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

18

Ahtna, Inc. Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review $200,000,000 $190,000,000 $200,000,000

$185,000,000 $188,400,000

$0

$50 Million

$100 Million

$150 Million

$200 Million

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: Ahtna’s principle activities include construction and environmental, facilities management and support, engineering, government contracting, land management and resource development, and oil and gas pipeline services. Recent Noteworthy Events: A new endeavor for Ahtna is natural gas exploration near our Glennallen, AK headquarters. We are optimistic of a resource discovery that will help address the rural energy crisis in the Ahtna region and hopeful for one that will benefit the state at large.

Michelle Anderson, President PO Box 649 Glennallen, AK 99588 Phone: 907-822-3476 Fax: 907-822-3495 news@ahtna.net ahtna-inc.com Established in Alaska 1972

Subsidiaries: Ahtna Netiye’; Ahtna Development Corp.; Ahtna Facility Services, Inc.; Ahtna Enterprises Corp.; Ahtna Support & Training Services LLC; Ahtna Technical Services, Inc.; Ahtna Government Services Corp.; Ahtna Construction & Primary Product; Ahtna Design Build, Inc.; Ahtna Professional Services, Inc.; Ahtna Environmental, Inc.; Ahtna Technologies, Inc.; AKHI LLC; Ahtna Global; Ahtna Logistics; Tolsona Oil & Gas Exploration; Ahtna Engineering; AAA Valley Gravel.

www.akbizmag.com

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

113


2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

19 500 96 19% Not Ranked +7.86%

Delta Constructors LLC Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review Not Ranked in 2012 Not Ranked in 2013 Not Ranked in 2014

Not Ranked in 2015 $179,492,000

$0

$50 Million

$100 Million

$150 Million

$200 Million

Classification: Construction & Engineering Principal Activities: Delta prides itself on delivering worldclass professional project execution that our clients have come to rely on. Delta provides project management and direct-hire construction services to the oil and gas industry throughout Alaska, Canada, North Dakota, Texas, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Ed Gohr, CEO 3000 C St., Suite 202 Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-771-5800 Fax: 907-771-5911 info@deltaconstructors.net deltaconstructors.net Established in Alaska 2007

Recent Noteworthy Events: None reported. Subsidiaries: None reported.

EWE ARE THE KEY TO ANCHORAGE MEETING BUSINESS TRAVELING TO A MEETING OR CONVENTION? SHARE YOUR LEAD WITH OUR TEAM.

907.257.2349 | meet@anchorage.net

114

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539 487 90% ď‚Ł1 +8.70%

2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

20

Three Bears Alaska, Inc. Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

$121,093,287 $130,268,017 $136,632,222 $161,254,283 $175,279,992

$0

$50 Million

$100 Million

$150 Million

$200 Million

Classification: Retail/Wholesale Trade Principal Activities: Retail grocery, general merchandise, sporting goods (hunting, fishing, and camping), pharmacy, convenience stores, liquor stores, and fuel. Recent Noteworthy Events: New Big Lake convenience store, liquor store, and fuel station opening August 2016. Now operating 9 stores in Alaska featuring groceries, general merchandise, sporting good (hunting, fishing & camping), pharmacy, convenience stores, liquor stores, and fuel.

David Weisz, President & CEO 445 N. Pittman Rd., Suite B Wasilla, AK 99623 Phone: 907-357-4311 Fax: 907-357-4312 steve@threebearsalaska.com threebearsalaska.com Established in Alaska 1980

Subsidiaries: None reported.

www.akbizmag.com

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

115


2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

21 Udelhoven Oilfield System Services 715 468 65% 5 -25.02%

Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

$201,631,889 $148,165,163 $166,229,644 $198,377,193 $148,746,045

$0

$50 Million

$100 Million

$150 Million

$200 Million

$250 Million

Classification: Industrial Services Principal Activities: Oilfield services; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems; commercial and industrial construction.

Jim Udelhoven, CEO 184 E. 53rd Ave. Anchorage, AK 99518-1222 Phone: 907-344-1577 Fax: 907-344-5817 rfrontdesk@udelhoven.com udelhoven.com Established in Alaska 1970

Recent Noteworthy Events: Completion of Crowley Tank Farm & ANTHC Patient Housing. Subsidiaries: Udelhoven Inc., Houston; and Udelhoven International Inc., Houston.

Make Your Holiday Party Unforgettable The season will be here before you know it. Make your holiday party one to remember this year at Alaska’s only ski-in, ski-out luxury hotel. Alyeska Resort features more than 8,000 square feet of meeting space, 6 restaurants, 3 retail shops, a pool and hot tub and of course, a world class destination ski resort. Thanks to its location in the Chugach National Forest, guests enjoy a variety of other activities too, including cross country skiing, ice skating, snow machine tours and fat tire biking. Contact our sales staff today to customize your holiday or year-end party!

AlyeskaResort.com 116

907-754-2208

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


190 190 100% 7 +22.29%

2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

22

Matanuska Electric Association, Inc. Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review $105,000,000 $106,482,000 $105,000,000

$116,570,742 $142,549,343

$0

$30 Million

$60 Million

$90 Million

$120 Million

$150 Million

Classification: Utility Principal Activities: As Alaska’s oldest existing and second largest member-owned electric cooperative, MEA serves nearly 60,000 members through over 4,200 miles of power lines in the Mat-Su and Chugiak/Eagle River areas. They work to ensure that all members have safe, reliable, sustainable and affordable electricity. Recent Noteworthy Events: 2016 marked the celebration of 75 years that MEA has been powering their communities and also marked the first full year of operation of their new Eklutna Generation Station. The 171 MW gas-fired power plant has made MEA a self-generating utility for the first time in the coop’s history.

Tony Izzo, General Manager PO Box 2929 Palmer, AK 99645 Phone: 907-761-9300 Fax: 907-761-9368 facebook.com/matanuska.electric mea.coop Established in Alaska 1941

Subsidiaries: None reported.

www.akbizmag.com

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

117


2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

23 675 675 100% No Change +7.49%

First National Bank Alaska Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review $143,400,000 $144,330,000 $131,005,000

$132,305,000 $142,215,000

$0

$30 Million

$60 Million

$90 Million

$120 Million

$150 Million

Classification: Financial Services Principal Activities: Friendly, knowledgeable Alaskans offering the convenience, service, and value of a full range of deposit, lending, trust, and investment management services, and online and mobile banking. With 30 branches in 18 communities and assets of more than $3.5 billion, we believe in Alaska and have since 1922.

Betsy Lawer, Chair & President PO Box 100720 Anchorage, AK 99510-0720 Phone: 907-777-4362 Fax: 907-777-3406 marketing@FNBAlaska.com FNBAlaska.com Established in Alaska 1922

Recent Noteworthy Events: Named Best Place to Work in Alaska by ABM. BauerFinancial, Inc. awarded First National a five-star rating for the 15th straight quarter. Placed fourth nationwide in a contest for the best community bank marketing campaigns held by the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). Subsidiaries: None reported Stock Symbol: FBAK.

24 944 186 20% ď‚Ł4 +14.66%

Aleut Corporation Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

$148,419,945 $98,098,953 $116,260,627 $120,307,293 $137,942,098

$0

$30 Million

$60 Million

$90 Million

$120 Million

$150 Million

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: Federal contracting; O&M; instrumentation for oil and gas industry; mechanical contracting; laboratory analysis, field testing, land remediation; commercial and residential real estate; fuel sales and storage; oil well testing services; information technology; and construction services. Recent Noteworthy Events: None reported. Subsidiaries: Aleut Enterprises LLC, Anchorage, Alaska; Aleut Management Services, Colorado Springs, Colorado; Aleut Real Estate LLC, Anchorage, Alaska; Alaska Instrument LLC, Anchorage, Alaska; C&H Testing LLC Bakersfield, California; Patrick Mechanical; ARS International.

118

Matt Fagnani, CEO 4000 Old Seward Hwy., Suite 300 Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-561-4300 Fax: 907-563-4328 info@aleutcorp.com aleutcorp.com Established in Alaska 1972

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


200 200 100% ď‚Ł1 +5.80%

2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

25

Colville, Inc. Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review $81,000,000 $110,000,000 $105,600,000

$125,690,815 $132,986,277

$0

$30 Million

$60 Million

$90 Million

$120 Million

$150 Million

Classification: Industrial Services Principal Activities: Oil and gas industry and aviation support services, fuel industry supply,and solid waste utility and logistic operating camp. Recent Noteworthy Events: Doubled the capacity for fuel distribution on the North Slope with the construction of three, new 1 million gallon tanks.

Eric Helzer, President & CEO Pouch 340012 Prudhoe Bay, AK 99734 Phone: 907-659-3198 Fax: 907-659-3190 info@colvilleinc.com colvilleinc.com Established in Alaska 1981

Subsidiaries: Colville Transport LLC; Brooks Range Supply, Inc.; Brooks Camp LLC.

DEPOSIT CHECKS FROM ANYWHERE Whether on-site or between meetings, Remote Business Deposit maximizes your efficiency. Make single check deposits using a mobile device and the Alaska USA app. Start using Remote Business Deposit today.

Federally insured by NCUA

SERVICES | LOANS | INSURANCE alaskausa.org/biz | (877) 646-6670 www.akbizmag.com

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

119


2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

26 1,200 120 10% ď‚Ł9 +32.66%

Sitnasuak Native Corporation Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review Not Ranked in 2012 $109,852,435 $93,147,344

$88,128,089 $116,912,297

$0

$20 Million

$40 Million

$60 Million

$80 Million

$100 Million

$120 Million

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: Apparel manufacturing, construction, federal service contracting, financial services, fuel distribution, and real estate.

Richard Strutz, CEO 400 Bering St Nome, AK 99762 Phone: 907-387-1200 Fax: 907-443-3063 snc.org snc.org Established in Alaska 1972

Recent Noteworthy Events: All business lines and investments are meeting or exceeding plan ... we have a great team! Subsidiaries: SNC Technical Services LLC; Fidelity Title Agency Alaska LLC; GBS LLC; Nanuaq LLC; Nanuaq Development LLC; Sitnasuak Construction Services LLC; Sitnasuak Health Solutions LLC; Sitnasuak Properities LLC; Aurora Industries LLC; API LLC; Sound Fabric LLC; SNC Manufacturing LLC; Bonanza Fuel LLC; Mat-Su Title Agency LLC; Sitnasuak Financial Services LLC; Bonanza Fuel, Inc; Mat-Su Title LLC

27 283 68 24% No Change -9.96%

Sealaska Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review $259,487,000 $311,620,000 $164,950,000

$121,540,000 $109,440,000

$0

$50 Million

$150 Million

$250 Million

$350 Million

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: WATER & MARITIME: Water monitoring and data analytic capability, IT services, general construction and design build, environmental remediation and services. NATURAL RESOURCES: Sustainable timber harvest and community based food projects, forest products, and construction aggregates. Recent Noteworthy Events: Sealaska made its first investment as part of its 2012 strategic plan. Sealaska has purchased a minority interest in Independent Packers Corporation (IPC), a custom seafood processor located in Seattle, Washington. Since 2012 we have re-engineered our businesses to increase operating cash flow.

Anthony Mallott, President & CEO One Sealaska Plaza, Suite 400 Juneau, AK 99801-1276 Phone: 907-586-1512 Fax: 907-586-2304 webmaster@sealaska.com sealaska.com Established in Alaska 1972

Subsidiaries: Sealaska Timber Company; Alaska Coastal Aggregates; Sealaska Environmental Services; Managed Business Solutions; Sealaska Constructors; Haa Aani LLC; Sealaska Construction Solutions; Sealaska Government Services; Sealaska Technical Services; EcoData Analytics; Sealaska Construction Solutions; Sealaska Government Services; EcoData Analytics; Sealaska Construction Solutions; Sealaska Technical Services

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97 97 100% 6 -20.64%

2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

28

Davis Constructors & Engineers, Inc. Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review $119,000,000 $218,000,000 $163,639,861

$136,117,019 $108,023,675

$0

$50 Million

$100 Million

$150 Million

$200 Million

$250 Million

Classification: Construction & Engineering Principal Activities: Davis is able to provide: Pre-construction Consulting Services, Constructability Reviews, Construction Management Services, CM@Risk Services, Design/Build, Civil and General Construction, Estimating Services (Civil and Vertical), Value Engineering/Life Cycle Cost Analysis, and CPM Scheduling.

Josh Pepperd, President & CEO 6591 A St., Suite 300 Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-562-2336 Fax: 907-561-3620 admin@davisconstructors.com davisconstructors.com Established in Alaska 1976

Recent Noteworthy Events: In early 2016, Davis was recognized by the Associated General Contractors of America, placing third nationally in the Safety Excellence Building Division. Subsidiaries: Mass Excavation, Inc.

Only one company puts it all together. From permitting to production, ASRC Energy Services has the right team for the job.

www.asrcenergy.com Engineering l Fabrication & Construction l Pipeline Construction l Marine Services Operations & Maintenance l Response Operations l Exploration, Drilling Support & Geosciences Regulatory & Technical Services l Quality, Health, Safety, Environmental & Training www.akbizmag.com

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

29 558 242 43% ď‚Ł4 +12.00%

Geneva Woods Pharmacy, Inc. Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review Not Ranked in 2012 Not Ranked in 2013 $60,000,000

$95,000,000 $106,400,000

$0

$20 Million

$40 Million

$60 Million

$80 Million

$100 Million

$120 Million

Classification: Healthcare Principal Activities: We offer home infusion, medically compliant Medset packaging, LTC pharmacy services, Specialty pharmacy services, compounding, respiratory care products, HME and supplies, and complex rehabilitation equipment.

Dan Afrasiabi, President & CEO 501 W. International Airport Rd., Suite 1A Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-565-6100 Fax: 907-565-6112 info@genevawoods.com genevawoods.com Established in Alaska 1977

Recent Noteworthy Events: Geneva Woods Pharmacy, Inc. completed the acquisition of NW Health Systems in Spokane, WA in January. Troy Kuhlmann was promoted to General Manager of Long Term Services at our Vancouver, WA location, and Piper Machamer was promoted to General Manager of our Anchorage Medset Pharmacy in June. Subsidiaries: None reported.

30 108 108 100% 5 -17.32%

Construction Machinery Industrial Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review $91,630,000 $145,000,000 $134,000,000

$127,000,000 $105,000,000

$0

$30 Million

$60 Million

$90 Million

$120 Million

$150 Million

Classification: Industrial Services Principal Activities: Construction and mining equipment, sales, rentals, service, and parts. Recent Noteworthy Events: None reported. Subsidiaries: None reported.

122

Ken Gerondale, President & CEO 5400 Homer Dr. Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-563-3822 Fax: 907-563-1381 o.prestwick@cmiak.com cmiak.com Established in Alaska 1985

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

31 Watterson Construction Co. 120 119 99% ï‚£5 +18.18%

Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015

5 Year Revenue Review

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Change in revenue from 2014

$63,000,000 $89,000,000 $90,000,000 $88,000,000 $104,000,000

$0

$20 Million

$40 Million

$60 Million

$80 Million

$100 Million

$120 Million

Classification: Construction & Engineering Principal Activities: General contractor offering design build and CM/GC services. Recent Noteworthy Events: Nuka Building for Southcentral Foundation; Mech/Elec Building at Fort Greely in Missile Field 1; Rabbit Creek and Airport Heights school additions and renovations; Kendall Porsche Audi Volkswagen Dealership - Anchorage.

Bill Watterson, President 6500 Interstate Cir. Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: 907-563-7441 Fax: 907-563-7222 bwatterson@wccak.com wattersonconstruction.com Established in Alaska 1981

Subsidiaries: None reported.

BUSINESS. MEDICAL. ENVELOPE. PACKAGE. ANYWHERE.

AMS

URIER

S

C

O

WE DELIVER AND STORE IT ALL. (907) 278-2736

WWW.AMSCOURIERS.COM www.akbizmag.com

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

32 548 49 9% Not Ranked N/A

Tyonek Native Corporation Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review Not Ranked in 2012 $178,000,000 Not Ranked in 2014

Not Ranked in 2015 $101,000,000

$0

$50 Million

$100 Million

$150 Million

$200 Million

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: ISO 9000 Certified defense manufacturing and engineering, aircraft maintenance, information technology services, construction, oilfield support services, hospitality, private land and resource development, barge landing and port service, commercial glass & door contractor and supplier.

James Hoffman, CEO 1689 C St., Suite 219 Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-272-0707 Fax: 907-274-7125 jhoffman@tyonek.com tyonek.com Established in Alaska 1973

Recent Noteworthy Events: On May 10, 2016, Tyonek Services Group, Inc. (TSG) announced the acquisition of Selex Galileo’s Avionics System Integration (ASI) facility in Stennis, Mississippi. The company will be named Tyonek Services Overhaul Facility – Stennis LLC (TSOF-S). Subsidiaries: Tyonek Services Group, Inc.; Tyonek Manufacturing Group, Inc.; Tyonek Construction Group, Inc.; Tyonek Alaska Group, Inc.

33 339 339 100% 2 +2.16%

MTA, Inc. Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review $100,000,000 $96,000,000 $97,300,000

$97,100,000 $99,200,000

$0

$20 Million

$40 Million

$60 Million

$80 Million

$100 Million

Classification: Telecom & Tech Principal Activities: MTA is the leading broadband technology company empowering its member-owners to live a connected life. MTA will continue to pioneer economic development providing the infrastructure necessary for its communities to thrive and grow together well into the future. Recent Noteworthy Events: MTA purchased a Fairbanks IT and outsourcing company, AlasConnect. Retired $6 million in Capital Credits. Deregulation from the RCA saved members over $175,000 a year. Launched 1 Gig and Unlimited Internet, sponsored first Coding Academy at Wasilla Middle School and awarded $50,000 in scholarships.

Michael Burke, CEO 1740 S. Chugach St. Palmer, AK 99645 Phone: 907-745-3211 Fax: 907-761-2688 facebook.com/MatanuskaTelephone mtasolutions.com Established in Alaska 1953

Subsidiaries: MTA Communications; AlasConnect.

124

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


137 134 98% No Change +5.43%

2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

34

Homer Electric Association, Inc. Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

$84,000,000 $91,000,000 $92,000,000 $92,000,000 $97,000,000

$0

$20 Million

$40 Million

$60 Million

$80 Million

$100 Million

Classification: Utility Principal Activities: Homer Electric Association, Inc. is a memberowned electric utility serving the central and southern areas of the Kenai Peninsula. The cooperative has over 33,000 meters on its system and maintains 2,407 miles of energized lines. HEA owns and operates three generation plants on the Kenai Peninsula. Recent Noteworthy Events: Homer Electric completed a full year of producing and supplying Homer Electric’s members with its own generated electricity from the Nikiski Combined Cycle Plant, Soldotna Combustion Turbine Plant, and the Bernice Lake Power Plant.

Bradley Janorschke, General Manager 3977 Lake St. Homer, AK 99603 Phone: 907-235-8551 Fax: 907-235-3313 contact_us@homerelectric.com homerelectric.com Established in Alaska 1945

Subsidiaries: Alaska Electric and Energy Cooperative, Inc.; Kenai Hydro LLC.

Time to sell your company?

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

www.akbizmag.com

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

35 619 414 67% 3 +12.86%

PenAir Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015

5 Year Revenue Review

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Change in revenue from 2014

$72,100,000 $81,300,000 $78,300,000 $79,700,000 $89,952,112

$0

$20 Million

$40 Million

$60 Million

$80 Million

$100 Million

Classification: Transportation Principal Activities: PenAir offers scheduled passenger service throughout Alaska as well as out of their hubs located in Boston, Denver & Portland. PenAir also has full time freighter operations in Alaska as well as charter opportunities throughout Alaska and the “lower 48”.

Danny Seybert, CEO 6100 Boeing Ave. Anchorage, AK 99502 Phone: 800-446-4228 Fax: 907-334-5763 missy.roberts@penair.com penair.com Established in Alaska 1955

Recent Noteworthy Events: PenAir invested $27M into the AK economy by purchasing 5 - Saab 2000’s making travel to rural Alaska easier and safer. They were also awarded 5 EAS routes out of Denver, CO, to rural communities in NE & KS while starting up operations out of Portland to 5 destinations in OR & CA. Subsidiaries: None reported.

36 95 95 100% 6 -8.63%

Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Center Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015

5 Year Revenue Review

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Change in revenue from 2014

$64,546,162 $78,422,000 $85,550,000 $97,752,543 $89,313,811

$0

$20 Million

$40 Million

$60 Million

$80 Million

$100 Million

Classification: Retail/Wholesale Trade Principal Activities: Chrysler Dodge Jeep and Ram franchised dealer with over 450 new vehicles in stock with a factory authorized service department and parts department. In addition we carry a large inventory of used vehicles. Recent Noteworthy Events: None reported.

Rodney Udd, President & CEO 2601 E. Fifth Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 907-276-1331 Fax: 907-264-2202 anchoragechryslercenter.com Established in Alaska 1963

Subsidiaries: None reported.

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152 14 9% ď‚Ł2 +18.19%

2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

37

The Kuskokwim Corporation Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review $95,000,000 2011 2012 $57,000,000 2013 Not Ranked in 2014

2014 $73,122,018 2015 $86,423,567 $0

$20 Million

$40 Million

$60 Million

$80 Million

$100 Million

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: The Kuskokwim Corporation (TKC) is an Alaska Native village corporation that achieves sustainable growth while protecting our lands and balancing the needs of all our stakeholders. TKC and our 7 subsidiary companies in 6 diverse industries operate in Alaska and throughout the United States. Recent Noteworthy Events: Preparing for possible mine development in our region is a top priority. As TKC’s businesses thrive, we are focused on ensuring our shareholders thrive as well. By investing in training programs from middle school to post-secondary, we are working to prepare shareholders for jobs now & in the future

Maver Carey, President & CEO 4300 B St., Suite 207 Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-243-2944 Fax: 907-243-2984 kuskokwim.com Established in Alaska 1977

Subsidiaries: TKC Development; Tumeq LLC; Kuskokwim Properties LLC; TKC Aerospace, Inc.; Suulutaaq, Inc.; Precision Air, Inc.; Swift River Environmental Services LLC; SIOTS LLC; Charleston Logistics LLC; Stony River Technologies LLC; Green HID LLC.

www.akbizmag.com

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

127


2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

38 112 112 100% 6 -11.34%

Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc. Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review $82,583,000 $86,000,000 $103,000,000

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

$97,000,000 $86,000,000

$0

$20 Million

$40 Million

$60 Million

$80 Million

$100 Million

$120 Million

Classification: Mining Principal Activities: UCM provides abundant, reliable and affordable energy while being a leader in environmental stewardship and corporate citizenship.

Joseph E. Usibelli Jr., President 100 Cushman Street, Suite 210 Fairbanks, AK 99701 Phone: (907) 452-2625 Fax: (907) 451-6543 lisa@usibelli.com usibelli.com Established in Alaska 1943

Recent Noteworthy Events: Celebrated our 72nd year in business and completed calendar year 2015 with no lost time accidents. Subsidiaries: None reported.

39 100 100 100% ď‚Ł5 +19.63%

Airport Equipment Rentals Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

$49,000,000 $54,000,000 $55,000,001 $63,212,586 $75,624,000

$0

$10 Million $20 Million $30 Million $40 Million $50 Million $60 Million $70 Million $80 Million

Classification: Industrial Services Principal Activities: Largest industrial/construction heavy equipment rental company in Alaska. Providing rentals, sales, and service for the construction and oil and gas industry. Recent Noteworthy Events: Completed three year contract this past winter for a remote exploration company.

Jerry Sadler, Owner & President 1285 Van Horn Rd. Fairbanks, AK 99707 Phone: 907-456-2000 Fax: 907-457-7609 aerinc4@alaska.net airportequipmentrentals.com Established in Alaska 1986

Subsidiaries: The Rental Zone.

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105 105 100% ď‚Ł1 +1.78%

2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

40

Seekins Ford Lincoln, Inc. 5 Year Revenue Review

Worldwide Employees

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

$63,993,582 $74,556,932 $67,581,913 $68,469,689 $69,690,934

$0

$10 Million $20 Million $30 Million $40 Million $50 Million $60 Million $70 Million $80 Million

Classification: Retail/Wholesale Trade Principal Activities: Auto Dealership with New and Used Auto Sales, Service, Parts, Quick Lane and Body Shop.

Ralph Seekins, President 1625 Seekins Ford Dr. Fairbanks, AK 99701 Phone: 907-459-4000 Fax: 907-459-4057 sales@seekins.com seekins.com Established in Alaska 1977

Recent Noteworthy Events: Opening an off-site Quick Lane Tire and Auto Center on Eielson Air Force Base August, 2016. Subsidiaries: None reported.

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October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

129


2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

41 Vitus Energy LLC 70 70 100% 1 -8.70%

Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review Not Ranked in 2012 Not Ranked in 2013 $89,600,000

$69,000,000 $63,000,000

$0

$20 Million

$40 Million

$60 Million

$80 Million

$100 Million

Classification: Energy Principal Activities: Fuel and freight services.

Mark Smith, CEO 113 W. Northern Lights Blvd., Suite 200 Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-278-6700 Fax: 907-278-6701 info@vitusmarine.com vitus-energy.com Established in Alaska 2009

Recent Noteworthy Events: Expanding services in Bethel. Subsidiaries: Great Circle Flight Services; Central Alaska Energy; Vitus Marine; Vitus Terminals.

42 401 391 98% 4 +3.83%

Credit Union 1 Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review $48,000,000 Not Ranked in 2013 $52,618,949

$58,634,026 $60,879,254

$0

$20 Million

$40 Million

$60 Million

$80 Million

Classification: Financial Services Principal Activities: Credit Union 1 offers a variety of money management tools and lending options to help Alaskans achieve their financial goals. Our cutting edge e-Services also provide on-the-go access to funds! As a member-owned cooperative, CU1’s spending and saving products are tailored to each member’s needs. Recent Noteworthy Events: Recently, CU1 joined a nationwide ATM network that allows members to conduct fee-free withdrawals at over 30,000 locations. As part of this cooperative, our Alaskan members are better able to access funds from wherever they roam.

James Wileman, COO & Interim President 1941 Abbott Rd. Anchorage, AK 99507 Phone: 907-339-9485 Fax: 907-339-8522 service@cu1.org cu1.org Established in Alaska 1952

Subsidiaries: None reported.

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160 160 100% Not Ranked N/A

2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

43

Great Northwest, Inc. 5 Year Revenue Review Not Ranked in 2012 2011 2012 Not Ranked in 2013 2013 Not Ranked in 2014

Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce

2014 Not Ranked in 2015 2015 $60,800,000

Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

$0

$20 Million

$40 Million

$60 Million

$80 Million

Classification: Construction & Engineering Principal Activities: Civil site work; landscaping; paving; utilities; gravel extraction.

John Minder, President & CEO PO Box 74646 Fairbanks, AK 99707 Phone: 907-452-5617 Fax: 907-456-7779 info@grtnw.com grtnw.com Established in Alaska 1976

Recent Noteworthy Events: One lost workday accident over the past 5 years in over 1,213,000 hours. Subsidiaries: None reported.

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131


2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

44 286 274 96% ď‚Ł4 +7.51%

Tatonduk Outfitters Ltd. Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

$50,500,000 $50,785,000 $51,950,000 $53,150,000 $57,140,000

$0

$10 Million

$20 Million

$30 Million

$40 Million

$50 Million

$60 Million

Classification: Transportation Principal Activities: Everts Air is an Alaskan owned and operated air carrier providing scheduled and charter (domestic and international) air freight services using MD-80, DC-9 and DC-6 aircraft. Passenger, freight and charter service is provided out of Fairbanks using Pilatus and Caravan aircraft.

Robert Everts, Owner & President 5525 Airport Industrial Rd. Fairbanks, AK 99709 Phone: 907-450-2300 Fax: 907-450-2320 info@EvertsAir.com EvertsAir.com Established in Alaska 1978

Recent Noteworthy Events: Everts Air entered into an agreement with Zero Gravity Corporation to conduct parabolic flight operations under Part 121. Everts is the only carrier in the U.S. with this authority. Additionally, a second MD-80 was added to its fleet in support of its Lower 48 operation. Subsidiaries: Everts Air Cargo; Everts Air Alaska.

45 122 120 98% Not Ranked N/A

Bethel Native Corporation Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review Not Ranked in 2012 $53,581,000 Not Ranked in 2014

Not Ranked in 2015 $54,275,351

$0

$10 Million

$20 Million

$30 Million

$40 Million

$50 Million

$60 Million

Classification: Alaska Native Corporation Principal Activities: Bethel Native Corporation’s principal lines of business include investments in the securities market; commercial real estate investments; and investments in numerous operating subsidiary companies. The operating subsidiaries engage in construction contracting, environmental remediation & consulting. Recent Noteworthy Events: Secured significant federal contract work in the lower 48, Hawaii and the Pacific Region. Subsidiary companies have been awarded new construction and environmental remediation contracts in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and Japan.

Anastasia Hoffman, President & CEO PO Box 719 Bethel, AK 99559 Phone: 907-543-2124 Fax: 907-543-2897 ahoffman@bncak.com bethelnativecorp.org Established in Alaska 1973

Subsidiaries: Bethel Solutions, Inc.; Bethel Services, Inc.; Bethel Federal Services LLC; Bethel Environmental Solutions LLC; Bethel Contracting LLC.

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350 343 98% 3 +8.11%

2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

46

Denali Federal Credit Union Worldwide Employees

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review $45,414,920 Not Ranked in 2013 Not Ranked in 2014

$49,011,797 $52,984,258

$0

$10 Million

$20 Million

$30 Million

$40 Million

$50 Million

$60 Million

Classification: Financial Services Principal Activities: Complete financial services for individuals & businesses. Our global network includes shared branch and ATM networks, internet and mobile banking and a 24/7 call center. Recent Noteworthy Events: Established Deep Future Analytics and Denali Analytics as two CUSOs providing analytic reporting to Denali and to other financial institutions. Subsidiaries: Denali Alaskan Insurance; Denali Analytics; Deep Future Analytics.

Robert Teachworth, President & CEO 440 E. 36th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-257-7200 Fax: 907-222-5806 info@denalifcu.com denalifcu.org Established in Alaska 1948

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www.superiorpnh.com • P.O. Box 230387 • Anchorage, Alaska 99523 October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

133


2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

47 60 60 100% 5 -22.56%

Roger Hickel Contracting, Inc. Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review $54,003,584 2011 2012 Not Ranked in 2013 2013 $67,963,073

2014 $65,585,188 2015 $50,787,881 $0

$20 Million

$40 Million

$60 Million

$80 Million

Classification: Construction & Engineering Principal Activities: Roger Hickel Contracting provides design, preconstruction and construction services on all types of civil and building projects throughout the State of Alaska for both private clients and public agencies.

Mike Shaw, President 11001 Calaska Cir. Anchorage, AK 99515 Phone: 907-279-1400 Fax: 907-279-1405 contact@rhcak.com rogerhickelcontracting.com Established in Alaska 1995

Recent Noteworthy Events: Roger Hickel Contracting is finishing up a new dental clinic for Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation in Dillingham, Alaska. Roger Hickel Contracting is also actively pursuing projects in the State of Washington, this shows that Roger Hickel Contracting is expanding and looking at new opportunities. Subsidiaries: None reported.

48 40 40 100% 1 -29.26%

Cornerstone General Contractors, Inc. Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

5 Year Revenue Review $41,100,000 Not Ranked in 2013 $89,000,000

$54,400,000 $38,481,000

$0

$20 Million

$40 Million

$60 Million

$80 Million

$100 Million

Classification: Construction & Engineering Principal Activities: Cornerstone specializes in collaborative project delivery methods for new commercial construction and the precision renovation of existing facilities. We offer a comprehensive selection of general contracting and construction management services for projects across the state. Recent Noteworthy Events: Cornerstone has recently completed several high profile projects including the new Wasilla Public Library and renovations at Service and West high schools. Recent awards include the 2015 AK Governor’s Safety Award, 2015 AGC Excellence in Construction Award, and 2015 AGC Excellence in Safety Award.

Joe Jolley, President 4040 B St., Suite 200 Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-561-1993 Fax: 907-561-7899 jjolley@cornerstoneak.com cornerstoneak.com Established in Alaska 1993

Subsidiaries: None reported.

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2016 TOP 49ERS DIRECTORY

49

PND Engineers, Inc.

110 70 64% Not Ranked N/A

Worldwide Employees Alaska Employees Alaska Workforce Change in rank from 2015 Change in revenue from 2014

5 Year Revenue Review Not Ranked in 2012 2011 2012 Not Ranked in 2013 2013 Not Ranked in 2014

2014 Not Ranked in 2015 2015 $35,323,145 $0

$10 Million

$20 Million

$30 Million

$40 Million

Classification: Construction & Engineering Principal Activities: PND is a full-service engineering firm that provides civil, structural, arctic, marine, geotechnical and coastal engineering; hydrology; surveying; environmental permitting; project management; and construction inspection services for a wide range of projects throughout Alaska and the Lower 48. Recent Noteworthy Events: The first of two new berths at the Port of Juneau, designed by PND for the latest post-Panamax size cruise ships, opened in May 2016. PND has established a Houston office and a subsidiary in Vancouver, PND Engineers Canada, and an AASHTO- and ASTM-accredited Soil Materials Laboratory in Anchorage.

Jim Campbell, President 1506 W. 36th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99503 Phone: 907-561-1011 Fax: 907-563-4220 pndengineers.com Established in Alaska 1979

Subsidiaries: PND Engineers Canada, Inc.

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October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

135


SPECIAL SECTION

2016 Top 49ers

5 Year Rank & Revenue 2016 2015 2015 Top 49er Rank Revenue Rank Afognak Native Corporation/Alutiiq LLC 8 $457,569,000 7 Ahtna, Inc. 18 $188,400,000 18 Airport Equipment Rentals 39 $75,624,000 44 Aleut Corporation 24 $137,942,098 28 Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Center 36 $89,313,811 30 Arctic Slope Regional Corporation 1 $2,515,377,000 1 Bering Straits Native Corporation 11 $304,404,000 12 Bethel Native Corporation 45 $54,275,351 ~ Bristol Bay Native Corporation 3 $1,512,022,000 2 Calista Corporation 7 $460,100,000 8 Chenega Corporation 5 $882,000,000 5 Chugach Alaska Corporation 6 $758,000,000 6 Chugach Electric Association, Inc. 16 $216,421,152 13 Colville, Inc. 25 $132,986,277 26 Construction Machinery Industrial 30 $105,000,000 25 Cook Inlet Region, Inc. 14 $222,810,000 11 Cornerstone General Contractors, Inc. 48 $38,481,000 47 Credit Union 1 42 $60,879,254 46 Cruz Companies Alaska 17 $213,518,131 17 Davis Constructors & Engineers, Inc. 28 $108,023,675 22 Delta Constructors LLC 19 $179,492,000 ~ Denali Federal Credit Union 46 $52,984,258 49 Doyon, Limited 10 $378,288,768 9 First National Bank Alaska 23 $142,215,000 23 Geneva Woods Pharmacy, Inc. 29 $106,400,000 33 Goldbelt, Incorporated 15 $220,276,480 19 Great Northwest, Inc. 43 $60,800,000 ~ Homer Electric Association, Inc. 34 $97,000,000 34 Koniag, Inc. 12 $267,460,000 15 Lynden, Inc. 4 $975,000,000 4 Matanuska Electric Association, Inc. 22 $142,549,343 29 MTA, Inc. 33 $99,200,000 31 NANA Regional Corporation, Inc. 2 $1,600,000,000 3 Olgoonik Corporation 13 $260,600,000 14 PenAir 35 $89,952,112 38 PND Engineers, Inc. 49 $35,323,145 ~ Roger Hickel Contracting, Inc. 47 $50,787,881 42 Sealaska 27 $109,440,000 27 Seekins Ford Lincoln, Inc. 40 $69,690,934 41 Sitnasuak Native Corporation 26 $116,912,297 35 Tatonduk Outfitters Ltd. 44 $57,140,000 48 The Kuskokwim Corporation 37 $86,423,567 39 Three Bears Alaska, Inc. 20 $175,279,992 21 Tyonek Native Corporation 32 $101,000,000 ~ Udelhoven Oilfield System Services 21 $148,746,045 16 Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation (UIC) 9 $424,426,000 10 Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc. 38 $86,000,000 32 Vitus Energy LLC 41 $63,000,000 40 Watterson Construction Co. 31 $104,000,000 36 Top 49ers Gross Annual Revenues Total $14,833,534,571

2014 2014 2013 2013 2012 2012 2011 Revenue Rank Revenue Rank Revenue Rank Revenue $505,346,000 7 $526,000,000 7 $534,610,000 7 $711,080,000 $185,000,000 18 $200,000,000 19 $190,000,000 20 $200,000,000 $63,212,586 47 $55,000,001 47 $54,000,000 ~ ~ $120,307,293 29 $116,260,627 34 $98,098,953 26 $148,419,945 $97,752,543 39 $85,550,000 41 $78,422,000 41 $64,546,162 $2,663,540,000 1 $2,525,615,000 1 $2,628,929,000 1 $2,549,993,000 $304,000,000 14 $242,000,000 17 $213,000,000 17 $206,000,000 ~ ~ ~ 48 $53,581,000 ~ ~ $1,736,084,000 2 $1,835,894,000 2 $1,961,780,000 2 $1,965,507,000 $401,900,000 8 $368,914,000 8 $404,231,000 10 $300,498,000 $885,000,000 4 $1,044,000,000 4 $1,100,000,000 4 $1,100,000,000 $626,000,000 6 $609,000,000 6 $709,000,000 6 $766,000,000 $281,318,513 12 $305,308,427 13 $266,971,468 11 $283,618,369 $125,690,815 30 $105,600,000 32 $110,000,000 39 $81,000,000 $127,000,000 25 $134,000,000 26 $145,000,000 37 $91,630,000 $304,421,000 16 $214,930,000 15 $237,849,000 19 $200,800,000 $54,400,000 38 $89,000,000 ~ ~ 49 $41,000,000 $58,634,026 48 $52,618,949 ~ ~ 47 $48,000,000 $191,860,803 28 $116,789,739 ~ ~ ~ ~ $136,117,019 21 $163,639,861 16 $218,000,000 32 $119,000,000 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ $49,011,797 ~ ~ ~ ~ 48 $45,400,000 $362,816,481 11 $318,552,461 9 $338,276,000 8 $468,000,000 $132,305,000 26 $131,005,000 27 $144,330,000 25 $143,400,000 $95,000,000 45 $60,000,000 ~ ~ ~ ~ $169,063,557 23 $146,033,239 22 $156,565,827 29 $135,188,063 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ $92,000,000 35 $92,000,000 36 $91,000,000 38 $84,000,000 $211,493,000 17 $202,616,000 30 $129,234,000 30 $128,228,000 $1,000,000,000 5 $875,000,000 5 $885,000,000 5 $850,000,000 $116,570,742 31 $105,000,000 33 $106,482,000 34 $105,000,000 $97,100,000 33 $97,300,000 35 $96,000,000 35 $100,000,000 $1,600,000,000 3 $1,700,000,000 3 $1,800,000,000 3 $1,500,000,000 $231,900,000 15 $215,200,000 18 $198,600,000 22 $178,400,000 $79,700,000 40 $78,300,000 40 $81,300,000 40 $72,100,000 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ $65,585,188 42 $67,963,073 ~ ~ 46 $54,003,584 $121,540,000 20 $164,950,000 12 $311,620,000 14 $259,487,000 $68,469,689 43 $67,581,913 42 $74,556,932 42 $63,993,582 $88,128,089 34 $93,147,344 ~ ~ ~ ~ $53,150,000 49 $51,950,000 49 $50,785,000 45 $50,500,000 $73,122,018 ~ ~ 46 $57,000,000 36 $95,000,000 $161,254,283 24 $136,632,222 29 $130,268,017 31 $121,093,287 ~ ~ ~ 20 $178,000,000 ~ ~ $198,377,193 19 $166,229,644 25 $148,165,163 18 $201,631,889 $356,781,000 10 $320,716,000 11 $312,380,000 12 $278,890,000 $97,000,000 32 $103,000,000 31 $112,000,000 33 $107,878,996 $69,000,000 37 $89,600,000 ~ ~ ~ ~ $88,000,000 36 $90,000,000 38 $89,000,000 43 $63,000,000 $15,047,597,497 $15,246,000,000 $16,155,000,000 $15,243,000,000

Notes: Not all 2016 Top 49ers made the list each year. Each yearly total is for the Top 49ers of that respective year, 2014 rank and 2013 gross revenue are adjusted to reflect a reporting correction that occurred after the magazine went to press in 2014.

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Alaska Native Corporations 2016 Company Rank Afognak Native Corporation/ Alutiiq LLC 8 Ahtna, Inc. 18 Aleut Corporation 24 Arctic Slope Regional Corporation 1 Bering Straits Native Corporation 11 Bethel Native Corporation 45 Bristol Bay Native Corporation 3 Calista Corporation 7 Chenega Corporation 5 Chugach Alaska Corporation 6 Cook Inlet Region, Inc. 14 Doyon, Limited 10 Goldbelt, Incorporated 15 Koniag, Inc. 12 NANA Regional Corporation, Inc. 2 Olgoonik Corporation 13 Sealaska 27 Sitnasuak Native Corporation 26 The Kuskokwim Corporation 37 Tyonek Native Corporation 32 Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation (UIC) 9 Alaska Native Corporation Total Construction & Engineering 2016 Company Rank Cornerstone General Contractors, Inc. 48 Davis Constructors & Engineers, Inc. 28 Delta Constructors LLC 19 Great Northwest, Inc. 43 PND Engineers, Inc. 49 Roger Hickel Contracting, Inc. 47 Watterson Construction Co. 31 Construction & Engineering Total

Alaska Total Jobs Jobs 154 323 186 3,696 547 120 1,255 385 326 800 83 1,383 200 61 5,000 114 68 120 14 49

4,058 1,325 944

2015 Gross % Top Revenue 49ers $457,569,000 3.08% $188,400,000 1.27% $137,942,098 0.93%

9,938 $2,515,377,000 16.96% 1,590 $304,404,000 2.05% 122 $54,275,351 0.37% 4,411 $1,512,022,000 10.19% 1,900 $460,100,000 3.10% 5,570 $882,000,000 5.95% 5,700 $758,000,000 5.11% 1,648 $222,810,000 1.50% 1,832 $378,288,768 2.55% 1,350 $220,276,480 1.48% 703 $267,460,000 1.80% 15,000 $1,600,000,000 10.79% 1,098 $260,600,000 1.76% 283 $109,440,000 0.74% 1,200 $116,912,297 0.79% 152 $86,423,567 0.58% 548 $101,000,000 0.68%

432 3,083 $424,426,000 2.86% 15,316 62,455 $11,057,726,561 74.55%

Alaska Total Jobs Jobs

2015 Gross % Top Revenue 49ers

40

40

$38,481,000 0.26%

97 96 160 70 60 119

97 500 160 110 60 120

$108,023,675 $179,492,000 $60,800,000 $35,323,145 $50,787,881 $104,000,000

642

1,087

$576,907,701 3.89%

0.73% 1.21% 0.41% 0.24% 0.34% 0.70%

Energy Company Vitus Energy LLC Energy Total

2016 Alaska Total Rank Jobs Jobs 41 70 70 70 70

2015 Gross Revenue $63,000,000 $63,000,000

% Top 49ers 0.42% 0.42%

2016 Alaska Total Rank Jobs Jobs 42 391 401 46 343 350 23 675 675 1,409 1,426

2015 Gross Revenue $60,879,254 $52,984,258 $142,215,000 $256,078,512

% Top 49ers 0.41% 0.36% 0.96% 1.73%

Financial Services Company Credit Union 1 Denali Federal Credit Union First National Bank Alaska Financial Services Total

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Healthcare Company Geneva Woods Pharmacy, Inc. Healthcare Total

2016 Alaska Total Rank Jobs Jobs 29 242 558 242 558

2015 Gross Revenue $106,400,000 $106,400,000

% Top 49ers 0.72% 0.72%

Total Jobs 100 200 108 450 715 1,573

2015 Gross Revenue $75,624,000 $132,986,277 $105,000,000 $213,518,131 $148,746,045 $675,874,453

% Top 49ers 0.51% 0.90% 0.71% 1.44% 1.00% 4.56%

2016 Alaska Total Rank Jobs Jobs 38 112 112 112 112

2015 Gross Revenue $86,000,000 $86,000,000

% Top 49ers 0.58% 0.58%

Industrial Services 2016 Company Rank Airport Equipment Rentals 39 Colville, Inc. 25 Construction Machinery Industrial 30 Cruz Companies Alaska 17 Udelhoven Oilfield System Services 21 Industrial Services Total

Alaska Jobs 100 200 108 320 468 1,196

Mining Company Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc. Mining Total Retail/Wholesale Trade Company Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Center Seekins Ford Lincoln, Inc. Three Bears Alaska, Inc. Retail/Wholesale Trade Total

2016 Alaska Total Rank Jobs Jobs 36 40 20

95 105 487 687

95 105 539 739

2015 Gross % Top Revenue 49ers $89,313,811 0.60% $69,690,934 0.47% $175,279,992 1.18% $334,284,737 2.25%

Telecom & Technology Company MTA, Inc. Telecom & Technology Total

2016 Alaska Total Rank Jobs Jobs 33 339 339 339 339

2015 Gross Revenue $99,200,000 $99,200,000

% Top 49ers 0.67% 0.67%

2016 Alaska Total Rank Jobs Jobs 4 946 2,748 35 414 619 44 274 286 1,634 3,653

2015 Gross Revenue $975,000,000 $89,952,112 $57,140,000 $1,122,092,112

% Top 49ers 6.57% 0.61% 0.39% 7.56%

2015 Gross Revenue $216,421,152 $97,000,000

% Top 49ers 1.46% 0.65%

Transportation Company Lynden, Inc. PenAir Tatonduk Outfitters Ltd. Transportation Total Utility 2016 Company Rank Chugach Electric Association, Inc. 16 Homer Electric Association, Inc. 34 Matanuska Electric Association, Inc. 22 Utility Total

Alaska Total Jobs Jobs 300 300 134 137 190 624

190 627

$142,549,343 0.96% $455,970,495 3.07%

Total 2016 Top 49er Jobs and Gross Revenues Reported 2016 Alaska Total 2015 Gross % Top Company Rank Jobs Jobs Revenue 49ers 22,271 72,639 $14,833,534,571 100% October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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Top 49ers by Industry Classification


SPECIAL SECTION

2016 Top 49ers

Business Opportunities in the Arctic

W

e asked Top 49ers what business opportunities they see in the Arctic for their companies. Here are their responses.

Afognak Native Corporation continues to look into business opportunities in Alaska. We are actively engaged in construction and facility leasing operations. —Afognak Native Corporation/ Alutiiq LLC , Kodiak Ahtna is performing civil infrastructure work for TAPS in the Arctic and other work such as Integrity Investigations, Mining and Mineral. We’ll pursue Alyeska Fire, Medic & Security Services. If the proposed large Alaska LNG Project proceeds, thirty-eight miles will go across Ahtna-owned lands near Cantwell. Ahtna performed mobilization/demobilization and geophysical labor services to R&M consulting for the AK LNG Project. We’ll also pursue work in the Arctic. Ahtna has conducted environmental site assessments, environmental remediation, and conducted the disposal of hazardous materials throughout Alaska. We provide commitment to community relations, logistics planning, regulatory compliance, and records management and document control. —Ahtna, Inc., Glennallen Potential continued exploration, if credits are still available. —Airport Equipment Rentals, Fairbanks Trans-shipping services, IT and telecommunications support, and construction. —Aleut Corporation, Anchorage There is tremendous opportunity in the Arctic—both for ASRC and for its shareholders. The corporation will continue to diversify its earnings, making strategic investments that reduce the 138

company’s reliance on Alpine and natural resource royalties. ASRC also aims to invest in projects that directly benefit the North Slope. The corporation recently invested in Quintillion Holdings, an Alaska based company aiming to link Europe and Asia with fiber-optic broadband cable through the Arctic Ocean. Offshoot points will connect to remote Alaskan communities, bringing affordable highspeed Internet to the North Slope for the first time—and as a result, creating economic growth and opportunity for Alaska’s northernmost communities. —Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, Barrow BSNC’s goals for Port Clarence are to facilitate infrastructure development and potential uses of Point Spencer, the land adjacent to Point Clarence, and will be available to support projects involving resource development, national security, and disaster response. Port Clarence will continue to serve as the only natural deep water port of refuge in the American Arctic. —Bering Straits Native Corporation, Anchorage Locally, Bethel Native Corporation has reinforced its position as a construction market leader in the Bethel region and has $60 million worth of work underway. Additionally, Bethel Native Corporation has $45 million in construction contracts at Eielson Air Force Base. —Bethel Native Corporation, Bethel BBNC’s subsidiaries are some of the safest and most efficient contractors working in Alaska, providing many essential services, including nondestructive testing, corrosion under insulation, drilling support, construction, maintenance, and more to our customers—some of the strongest

oil and gas companies operating in the state. Despite current market challenges in Alaska, BBNC will continue to support and seek opportunities in Alaska’s oil and gas industry, while also diversifying our services and other areas of business. —Bristol Bay Native Corporation, Anchorage The current North Slope fiber-optic project is viewed as a stepping stone to eventually expanded broadband services to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. —Calista Corporation, Anchorage As a professional services federal contractor we target opportunities that the US Coast Guard sets forth as they expand their services into the Arctic. —Chenega Corporation, Anchorage As an Alaska Native Corporation with operations around the world, we see Arctic development as a chance to broaden our services in order to enhance opportunities and benefits for our shareholders. Economic development in the Arctic would open up opportunities for our subsidiaries to provide drilling support and oil spill response services. Investments in Arctic infrastructure would also open up significant longterm opportunities related to marine transportation and other forms of responsible economic development that could benefit all Alaskans. —Chugach Alaska Corporation, Anchorage Providing competitive solutions to our clients in a downed economy. —Colville, Inc., Prudhoe Bay CIRI subsidiary Cruz Marine is a leader in tug and barge operations throughout Alaska, including servicing the North Slope oil and gas industry. CIRI also has construction companies with

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Cornerstone looks forward to putting more work in place across the Arctic region. Since our focus is on vertical construction, we hope to see more opportunities to build future infrastructure on behalf of government entities, oil and gas companies, Native corporations, and boroughs and towns. —Cornerstone General Contractors, Inc., Anchorage As Alaska’s only state-chartered credit union, we pride ourselves in serving members as far north as Nome and south to Ketchikan via our branch network. However, to assist members in harder-toreach places, we also offer a wide variety of e-Services that promote 24/7 money management from anywhere with Internet. Home banking opportunities with CU1 allow our members in the Arctic and elsewhere to view their account balances, transfer funds between accounts, view transaction history, make loan payments and remote check deposits, pay bills online, access their statements, and much, much more. —Credit Union 1, Anchorage Continued oil and gas exploration/ development and government oil well remediation. —Cruz Companies Alaska, Palmer With luxury cruise ships sailing through the Northwest Passage to the addition of fiber-optic cable running along the Arctic Ocean—the possibilities are endless. —Davis Constructors & Engineers, Inc., Anchorage The recent downturn in the industry has been difficult for many companies across the country and Alaska. We have been www.akbizmag.com

2016 TOP 49ERS SPECIAL SECTION

experience in cold weather climates to meet the needs of the US military in Alaska. Weldin Construction and Silver Mountain Construction specialize in vertical construction, engineering, mechanical and plumbing systems, and military fuel systems. —Cook Inlet Region, Inc., Anchorage

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2016 TOP 49ERS SPECIAL SECTION

fortunate during these challenging times; however, we are hopeful that we can continue to expand our business further here at home in Alaska. —Delta Constructors LLC, Anchorage A key factor for us is using the analytical resources of our CUSOs to truly develop more effective products for members, and to help drive additional benefits to individual and corporate members. —Denali Federal Credit Union, Anchorage The Arctic is an emerging market with business opportunities in construction, logistics, resource development, tourism, transportation, and support services. It is a uniquely challenging environment requiring new technology, research, and innovation to establish (viable) industries. Doyon Limited’s family of companies currently provides services within the Arctic that would align to future potential business opportunities in areas of the Arctic. —Doyon, Limited, Fairbanks When it comes to surviving and thriving in the Arctic, the changing local, national, and global economies will present tremendous obstacles and opportunities to those who enjoy our high quality of life living and working in Alaska. First National’s unique combination of strength, flexibility, and experience will be key to providing critical banking services to individuals and businesses seeking to overcome hurdles and open new doors to growth. —First National Bank Alaska, Anchorage 140

Geneva Woods has the opportunity to continue to explore ways to provide superior healthcare at home in the Arctic. Whether it’s taking care of someone’s medications through compliance packaging or facilitating their return home from an inpatient stay after IV therapy has begun, we offer a host of clinical services making healthcare in Alaska’s rural areas possible. We provide products and services that allow our clients to leave the hospital setting sooner and we have programs that can help significantly reduce readmission rates for those living in our rural communities. —Geneva Woods Pharmacy, Inc., Anchorage The Arctic presents opportunities for shipping, transportation, communication, and exploration services. Many stakeholders are searching for flexible and eager businesses to serve their needs in the Arctic. Goldbelt looks to be a part of that solution set. —Goldbelt, Incorporated, Juneau While our firm does not perform much work in the Arctic, we see increased opportunities to support military build-up in the Interior of Alaska. —Great Northwest, Inc., Fairbanks Historically, opportunities in northern Alaska have driven a significant amount of growth in our service territory, including Eagle River and the Mat Su Valley. From service providers and affordable housing, to a build-out of shipping and transportation infrastructure, increased activity in the Arctic will likely directly impact our communities and allow MEA to continue to serve our growing membership efficiently and cost effectively. —MEA., Palmer

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


One of our goals as a company, in partnership with regional and local organizations, is to convey to federal and state partners how we fit into the National Strategy for the Arctic Region. This strategy, released in May 2013, articulates three main priorities for American Arctic engagement: advancing United States security interests; pursuing responsible Arctic region stewardship; and strengthening international cooperation. Northwest Alaska is well positioned to help America reach national Arctic goals. By doing so, our region is also well-positioned to capture the business and investment dollars of a global community. —NANA Regional Corporation, Inc., Kotzebue As the third largest village on the North Slope, Olgoonik is maximizing Wainwright’s location as a staging point for Arctic operations. An example of our investment, we purchased more than a thousand acres of land located just a few miles away from our Chukchi Sea coastal community. This predeveloped property was a former government Defense Early Warning Line station, which Olgoonik played a key role in remediating. Integrated into our land management policies, this strategic site may be developed to bring business and job opportunities closer to Wainwright. —Olgoonik Corporation, Anchorage

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PND continues working with Arctic coastal communities on erosion control and mitigation efforts, and infrastructure improvements, and with oilfield partners including Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc., and Caelus Energy, Alaska, LLC on project planning and design, in anticipation of a rebound in oil prices and renewed exploration and development opportunities. PND was also recently named lead civil/structural engineer for Armstrong’s Nanushuk development near the Colville River delta, north of Nuiqsut. The proven contingent oil reserve number makes the discovery the largest since Alpine, the probable contingent reserve number makes it the largest since Kuparuk, and the possible contingent number makes it the largest since Prudhoe. —PND Engineers, Inc., Anchorage Roger Hickel Contracting mostly targets projects in the major cities of Alaska. However, we have successfully worked on the last three major power generation projects in Anchorage and Eklutna as well as major utility projects around Anchorage. If similar projects come up in the Arctic, we will take an active approach at pursuing them. Even though state spending is down, Roger Hickel Contracting still sees ample opportunities in the Arctic as well as all of Alaska. —Roger Hickel Contracting, Inc., Anchorage Continued effort to expand market share in both retail and wholesale business. —Seekins Ford Lincoln, Inc., Fairbanks

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Consolidations in the Alaska economy along with large projects in the Fairbanks area are creating opportunities for expansion. —Sitnasuak Native Corporation, Nome Continued support and service for the oil and gas industry. —Tatonduk Outfitters Ltd., Fairbanks

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SPECIAL SECTION

2016 Top 49ers

Gail Schubert and Bering Straits Native Corporation Providing for shareholders and their descendants By Shehla Anjum

N

o one lives anymore in the small two-bedroom house in Unalakleet where Gail Anagick Schubert and her eight siblings grew up. During part of her childhood the house had no electricity, running water, or central heating. “We all studied at the kitchen table, the warmest place in the house, because it was close to the wood-fired oven,” Schubert says. From that simple life in Unalakleet, Schubert, an Inupiaq, went on to earn degrees from Stanford and Cornell, two of the nation’s most prestigious universities. She worked in New York City at Wall Street law firms and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York before returning to Alaska in 1992. Soon after she returned she decided to run for the board of directors of Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC), her regional corporation. Today she is the president and CEO of the corporation.

Desire to Excel

Schubert says her desire to excel is a result of the encouragement she received from her parents—Betty and Lowell Anagick— and the teachers at the Bureau of Indian Affairs school in Unalakleet, which she attended through grade nine. “My parents could only attend school through the eighth grade, which is where education in the village stopped at that time, but they cared for our education. They wanted to ensure that we studied hard and were successful,” she says. After completing ninth grade, Schubert moved to Anchorage for high school. Two sisters were already attending Stanford, so it was natural that Schubert would follow them there. That education was a priority in her family is evident in her parents attaining their GED certificates later in life and her 144

© 2016 Judy Patrick Photography

mother going on to get an associate’s degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her childhood dream was to become a nurse, Schubert says. “One of my older sisters had gone to nursing school and worked in Pennsylvania. I loved seeing photos of her nurse’s uniform.” In time, that romantic image of a nurse in a starched uniform and prim hat faded; Schubert got a degree in political science at Stanford and went on to Cornell to study business administration. But she didn’t stop after her MBA. Schubert remembers how, when she was five or six, her great-grandmother Miyugak, the oldest daughter of the last traditional chief of Unalakleet, told her, “You are going to be a lawyer someday.” It is probable her great-grandmother’s words and her older sister Ella’s decision

to study law both played a role in Schubert entering Cornell’s law school after receiving her MBA. After law school Schubert worked in New York City for eight years, but Alaska beckoned. “I missed my family. So I moved back and got a job with a law firm in Anchorage.”

BSNC Beckons

Not long after she came back in 1992, Schubert realized that BSNC was experiencing financial difficulties. “When I realized that BSNC was facing some critical issues and I felt my work experience and business education would be helpful, I ran for a seat on the board and was elected.” In 2003, Schubert went to work for BSNC as an executive vice president and general counsel. She became CEO in 2009 and in

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


—Gail Schubert, President and CEO, Bering Straits Native Corporation 2010 was also named as the corporation’s president, when Tim Towarak resigned to become chair of the Federal Subsistence Board. BSNC was one of the smaller Alaska Native regional corporations when Schubert joined its board in 1992. “We were based in Nome and we didn’t have a substantial Anchorage office. We focused on opportunities in Nome, mainly construction, and our construction company built a lot of homes and the hotel there, which we own.” For much of the next decade, 1992 through 2003, most of BSNC’s revenues came from its Nome operation, Schubert says. Changes began around 2003, the year when Schubert began working at BSNC. The corporation expanded its Anchorage office and shifted its work toward government contracts through the US Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program. “I thought I could help in getting a handle on where we were financially and also assist Tim Towarak, who was president, to turn the company around. I had worked with a lot of other Native corporations and I was familiar with the 8(a) program when I was in private practice in Anchorage.” The foray into 8(a) contracting led to increased revenues. The SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program was set up to allow small and disadvantaged minority-owned businesses to compete for government contracts and was later expanded to include Alaska Native corporations. BSNC started with government contract work on the service side because such work does not require a lot of capital. The benefits that BSNC has reaped are evident in its revenue growth. In 2003, the corporation posted revenues of $9 million. Ten years later in 2013, revenues reached $243 million. Revenues in 2014 rdeclined to $230 million but in 2015 increased to a record high of $304 million. For FY 2016, which ended March 31, 2016, final revenues are $326 million, surpassing the 2015 record. BSNC’s roster of 8(a) companies totals twenty-one, up from two in 2003, and much of their work is outside Alaska. Seven 8(a) companies have already graduated from the program, but are still involved in government contracting. “Companies that have graduated possess a lot of good expertise and history. They go on to compete for other kinds of work by bidding www.akbizmag.com

competitively, so it’s not sole-source work anymore,” Schubert says. Companies that have graduated and those are still classified as 8(a) include those that provide base operations support (facility operations and maintenance, water,

wastewater and heating, air field, materials, and other services) and generate 25 percent of BSNC’s consolidated annual revenues. Logistic and procurement companies provide another 25 percent. Other businesses generating revenues include information

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2016 TOP 49ERS SPECIAL SECTION | FEATURED 49ER

“I thought I could help in getting a handle on where we were financially and also assist Tim Towarak, who was president, to turn the company around. I had worked with a lot of other Native corporations and I was familiar with the 8(a) program when I was in private practice in Anchorage.”


2016 TOP 49ERS SPECIAL SECTION | FEATURED 49ER

technology, 19 percent; professional support, 15 percent; construction, 10 percent; and other businesses, such the Nome hotel and resource rentals, add 6 percent.

Port Clarence

Though most of BSNC’s work is out of state, some initiatives, such as at Port Clarence, are close to home. In 1976, the corporation filed under the Alaska Native Land Claims Settlement Act for land at Point Spencer, located on Port Clarence. In 2010, when the US Coast Guard announced the closure of its LORAN navigation facility there, BSNC began working with Alaska’s congressional delegation to get the transfer completed. In February this year, Congress authorized the transfer of about two thousand acres of land at Port Clarence to BSNC. The Coast Guard and the state of Alaska also received lands. Port Clarence is a “natural deep-water harbor that has been used for hundreds of years as a place of refuge. Whaling ships anchored for protection from storms in that harbor and overwintered there because the ice was stable and not shifting,” Schubert says. When Shell announced its plans for drilling in the Chukchi, it appeared that the port might become a hub of activity. However, Shell abandoned its Arctic oil development plans after disappointing results from its exploratory well. BSNC is evaluating future uses for the land at Point Spencer and realizes that “the natural harbor is more important now as a place of refuge because the longer open-water season means increased marine transportation activity through Arctic waters,” Schubert says The crucial role of Port Clarence, with its strategic location in the fifty-mile-wide area of the Arctic between Russia and Alaska, was highlighted in a recent report of the US Committee on the Marine Transportation System. That report, “A Ten-Year Prioritization of Infrastructure Needs in the U.S. Arctic” prepared for the US Department of Transportation, addressed Arctic infrastructure gaps and key requirements for a safe and secure Arctic marine transportation system. Of the report’s fortythree recommendations, twenty-five were deemed near-term. Number one in the near-term recommendations was designating Port Clarence “as an Arctic maritime place of refuge,” and number two was assessing whether “adequate support facilities are available at Port Clarence or in the region for a ship in need of assistance.” Those recommendations mean that the federal government recognizes the reality of increased marine shipping through the Arctic. Schubert says she sees the future of Port Clarence as a port of refuge and as a 146

“The Arctic is changing rapidly, and tourism in the region will increase because these are uncharted waters where most people have never had the opportunity to go before.” —Gail Schubert President and CEO, Bering Straits Native Corporation staging area for disaster response and spill response. The limited structures at the site will have to be enhanced and built out. In the short-term, there is both excitement and concern about the increased marine traffic. The concerns arise from the lack of oil spill response equipment in the Arctic and other facilities if a ship is disabled or if there is an oil spill. But the reality is evident. “The Arctic is changing rapidly, and tourism in the region will increase because these are uncharted waters where most people have never had the opportunity to go before,” Schubert says.

Pilgrim Hot Springs

For the last six years, the corporation has been busy working to complete the transfer of Port Clarence and looking at other opportunities at the site. While that was a major focus, BSNC did take the lead in another initiative, the acquisition of the 320acre Pilgrim Hot Springs property from the Catholic diocese. The Catholic diocese operated an orphanage and school for children orphaned by early twentieth century epidemics, including the influenza pandemic of 1918. The orphanage closed in 1941, but the diocese held on to the property. The property went up for sale in 2008, when the diocese declared bankruptcy, resulting from the settlement of sexual abuse cases brought against it. Schubert played a key role in acquiring Pilgrim. “Gail was the catalyst for bringing the other partners on board at the critical time when the property was put up for sale during the bankruptcy proceedings,” according to Matt Ganley, BSNC’s vice president of media and external affairs. A consortium, Unaatuq LLC, was created in less than two months and included BSNC, Sitnasuak Native Corporation, Kawerak, Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation, White Mountain Native Corporation, Teller Native Corporation, and Mary’s Igloo Native Corporation, Ganley says. Teller has since sold its interest to the Council Native Corporation. In 2010, Unaatuq LLC successfully bid and won the auction at the bankruptcy court. The area will be used for small-scale

tourism, development of geothermal energy, and agriculture. For centuries residents of the area visited the hot springs for “its curative and spiritual powers,” and the place continues to hold “tremendous cultural and historical significance for the residents of the region, and many families trace their ancestry to relatives who were raised at the Catholic orphanage,” BSNC said in a press release when the sale was finalized. For Schubert the value of the purchase is not so much in what “the corporation gets out of it but about the benefits to the region that will come from the projects now being planned.” One project envisioned will supply fresh vegetables to residents from greenhouses at Pilgrim, heated by geothermal energy. Unaatuq recently received a $112,000 grant from the US Department of Agriculture for an agricultural produce marketing study for the region and a test garden, according to Ganley. That grant will be matched with in-kind labor and materials from BSNC and its subsidiaries and UAF (University of Alaska Fairbanks). Greenhouses will come in the next few years and could operate year-round, Schubert says. Since 2010 Unaatuq has also worked with The Alaska Center for Energy and Power at UAF to evaluate the geothermal potential of the Pilgrim Hot Springs. If the project appears feasible and is built it would help reduce electricity costs for Nome or other nearby villages, such as Mary’s Igloo. With funding from the Bureau of Indian Affairs through Kawerak, Inc., Unaatuq contracted with an Anchorage firm to do a survey and building plans for the old buildings in order to preserve the structures, Ganley says. The tourism potential of Pilgrim is not lost on Schubert, who describes the area with its vistas of mountains, the Pilgrim River, and the nearly-century old diocese buildings as “beautiful, peaceful, and calm.” There are two cabins already on the site, and Schubert is hopeful that in the future some sort of food service with local produce will be offered to visitors. This year more than three hundred visitor permits were issued, a prerequisite to visiting

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


the corporation forward. The Bering Straits Foundation awarded a total of $234,643 for the 2014-2015 academic year, and since its founding has provided more than $2 million in scholarships to BSNC shareholders and descendants for post-secondary education. BSNC also provides an Elder dividend and bereavement payments to its shareholders. Miriam Aarons, BSNC’s corporate communications director, has observed Schubert at work and is impressed with her humility and the way she pays attention to shareholders’ concerns. “She is of the people, not above them. Gail imparts her strong values about education and achievement to all of us.”

Schubert has dedicated more than two decades to BSNC and for her there is no greater pleasure than in knowing that she has helped in moving “Bering Straits from a position where we were in a deep financial crisis and by utilizing the opportunities available to us, like the 8(a) program, we have built our shareholders’ equity and are able to provide jobs and scholarships and training and opportunities for our shareholders and their descendants.”  R Writer Shehla Anjum is based in Anchorage.

Economic Conditions

The state’s economy might be sliding toward a recession, but economic conditions in the region are good, Schubert says. “The strong crab and salmon fishery through the CDQ (Community Development Quota) program provides good opportunities for seasonal work during summer,” she says. Tourism is also strong, and the work of the region’s ivory carvers sells well. The Nome School District and the Bering Straits School District in Unalakleet also provide many jobs, Schubert says. Schubert is positive about her region’s future. “Our people have survived for hundreds of years and they will continue to thrive and exist in the region. I have this hope because we are resilient. We have adapted to change and people in the region look out and take care of each other.” She is grateful that the younger generation venerates its Elders and makes sure they are provided with traditional foods such as birds, berries, or greens gathered on the tundra. BSNC’s corporate identity is tied closely to its shareholders. It conducts most of its business out of state, and that will help shield it from economic downturns in Alaska, Schubert says. She hopes BSNC will continue to perform well and its shareholders will continue to receive dividends that have ranged from $2.35 per share in 2010 to $3.25 per share in 2015. Dividends are not the only benefit BSNC provides its shareholders. Its Bering Straits Foundation provides scholarships to ensure that a new generation will be ready to lead www.akbizmag.com

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2016 TOP 49ERS SPECIAL SECTION | FEATURED 49ER

the site. Although Pilgrim might be a new destination, tourists have been coming to the region for years, according to Schubert. “A large birder population has come to Nome for decades. And there are many visitors during the Iditarod. Now we anticipate an increase in visits by cruise ships,” she says. The cruise ship Crystal Serenity sailed through the area on a planned transit of the Arctic and made a stop in Nome, which was muddy from rain when it stopped there August 22. “Many passengers disembarked and they purchased items from local shops and trade fairs set up at the Mini Convention Center and St. Joe’s Church,” Schubert says. The increase in marine traffic is worrisome, but BSNC is now better prepared to cope with it. “Gail worked with Shell and its partners to secure four mooring systems that each have three twenty-thousand-pound anchors, which had been deployed at Kotzebue,” Ganley says. When the systems are set in place at Port Clarence it would mean that “BSNC has ensured they will be available for vessels in need, as well as for future use related to Arctic shipping,” Ganley says.


SPECIAL SECTION

2016 Top 49ers

Lynden ‘Employees are everything’ By Tasha Anderson

L

ynden’s Chairman Jim Jansen explains the company’s success succinctly: “We put the customer first.” Jeanine St. John, VP of Lynden Logistics, adds, “When we say we put the customer first, we mean to support them with safe services, good employees, excellent equipment, and making sure we meet our customers’ needs. That’s what it’s all about.” Lynden has been safely operating in Alaska since 1954, when drivers Glen Kok and Oscar Roosma drove the Alcan transporting swinging meat to Carr’s Market in Anchorage and Fairbanks. Growing from there, Jansen says, happened “one piece at a time.” Today there are eleven operating companies in the Lynden family of companies providing multi-modal transportation; Lynden employs 2,748 people, of which 946 are Alaskans; and the company reports 2015 gross revenues of $975 million. In 2016 Lynden was named a Logistics Management Quest for Quality award winner, one of Global Trade’s Top Trucking Providers, and one of seventy-five Green Supply Chain Partners by Inbound Logis-

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Paul Friese, VP of Alaska Sales for Lynden.

tics. Lynden was ranked fourth on Alaska Business Monthly’s Top 49ers list in 2016. Jansen says that Lynden, like any company, has had its challenges and setbacks; however, Lynden’s dedication to serving its customers has always provided the opportunity for the company to grow and innovate. “We continue to create solutions for shipping problems in the state; that’s what led us to be intermodal and state-wide,” Jansen says. Lynden’s current intermodal capabilities include truck, rail, marine, air, and hovercraft operations. “For many of the communities we serve by water, it’s the only surface service that they get and often only seasonally, so we have to provide a variety of equipment types to meet those needs,” he says. Lynden has strategic partnerships around the state, “and our partners are critical to our success,” says Jansen. For example, Lynden bid on a contract to move rail cars for the Alaska Railroad by barge from Seattle to Alaska, which St. John describes as a “combination rail general-cargo barge service.” That started in 2001 and has developed into a service partnership with the Alaska Railroad that continues successfully to this day. Jansen says a few of their Alaska service partners include NANA Regional Corporation, Western Towboat Co., Calista, Dunlap Towing Company, Wilson Brothers Distributing, TOTE Maritime, the Alaska Railroad, and Matson. Alaska West Express President Scott Hicks says, “In some cases customers come to us with a challenge or opportunity and

© 2016 Judy Patrick Photography

we develop solutions.” Of course different challenges result in varied solutions: “For example [utilizing] fifty-three-foot containers as opposed to forty-foot containers, maximizing every opportunity to move products in the most efficient way possible. In some cases it’s how you spec your equipment, how heavy the equipment is, when you have it built, and just making sure you’re capturing all of those opportunities to be as efficient as possible.” Hicks continues that fuel efficiency is a big factor in the transportation industry no matter the mode, “So we try to be as absolutely fuel efficient as we can. It’s a big cost item.” Efficiency in rural Alaska doesn’t always mean a larger container, and for some communities it may be exactly the opposite. St. John says, “The marine side is a good example of that. You obviously need different types of vessels to go up the Interior rivers and shallow coastwise transportation, so you have to have a large variety of types of equipment.”

‘Employees are Everything’

Of course it’s not the equipment that makes Lynden what it is; it’s Lynden’s people. Jansen says, “Employees are everything in terms of our success.” Paul Friese, VP of Alaska Sales for Lynden Transport, adds that as an employee, “I would say Lynden provides us with a great working environment; they provide us with opportunity to learn and grow our skills as we support customers in new industries; they support

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Alaska’s Economy

Alaska is in a precarious position, economically. Jansen says that volumes have dropped dramatically in the last eighteen months and are continuing on a downward trend. “In order for Alaska to have a viable economic future, we’ve got to stabilize and balance our state budget. Currently Alaska is operating under a substantial budget deficit. The resource industries and others in Alaska are not going to invest in a state that can’t get their financial affairs in order. Investors are going to be concerned about Alaska overtaxing industries that invest here, so until we stabilize our fiscal situation we’re not going to see any form of strong investment in the state,” he says. In this environment, many customers are looking for cost reductions. Friese says Lynden has been serving their customers by finding ways to help as belts tighten statewide. For example, “Lynden provides a service to our customers called Dynamic Routing, ‘only pay for the speed you need.’ We offer customers a level of service based on when the product is ready and when the product needs to be in Alaska. We can offer them over-the-road for expedited service, steamship service, or our barge service, so we provide them with multi-modal options to meet their delivery schedules and fit within their budget requirements.” St. John adds, “Innovation and process improvement have been key to our continuwww.akbizmag.com

© 2016 Judy Patrick Photography

Friese with an Alaska West Express employee, part of the Lynden family.

ous improvement in serving our customers and communities across the state. We are never satisfied with ordinary and strive to break down the modal barriers and deliver the best multi-modal solutions possible.” One of the challenges that Lynden faces that’s unique to Alaska is that about the only major backhaul out of Alaska is seafood on a seasonal basis, meaning most of the trucks and vessels are only carrying cargo to their destination and return empty. “So in many ways we’re a one-way lane, with the exception of seafood,” Jansen says. “As other industries feel the pressure of a tight economy, that pressure is transferred to a transportation industry that is already adjusting to Alaska’s economic challenges. It’s going to be difficult for us to expand our business without good fiscal policies within the state and healthy resource industries.” St. John adds, “If you don’t have a stable economy, you’re not going to attract the investment to the state. If you don’t have the investment, it’s very hard to grow. It’s going to take time to reset our economy. Hopefully we’re going to do that sooner rather than later.” Jansen says, “It’s safe to say we transport cargo to almost every community in the state, by air, marine, and road. So our future is going to be dependent on the health of the Alaska economy. We have historically invested our resources in Alaska, and we want to continue to do that, subject to having a stable political, tax, and regulatory environment.” He says Lynden’s investment in the state includes everything from building facilities to investing in equipment to improving and expanding IT systems to investing in its people.

Lynden in the Community

For Lynden, investing in employees means investing in the Alaska community. Where Lynden has facilities around the state, its

employees live and are invested in those communities. St. John says, “We take care of our customers, and customers come first, but we do business throughout the state so we try to support the communities. We believe in giving back to the communities we serve and where our employees live and work by supporting health and human services nonprofits that provide a safety net to those in need; organizations that promote safe and healthy communities; and encouraging economic development.” Lynden companies also support local sports teams and senior centers, as well as entities like Armed Services YMCA, Girl Scouts, and United Way. Friese says this support is “financial as well as in-kind, but also many of our employees volunteer their time for these organizations.” Jansen himself has long been part of the Alaska community: he has lived in Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks for the past forty-five years. “I lived in Anchorage in the pre-pipeline days, Fairbanks during the pipeline construction era, and have lived through Alaska’s economic cycles and led the diversification of Lynden.” Having seen up close many of Alaska’s high and low periods, he’s still optimistic about Alaska’s future. “I believe that Alaska’s political leadership will ‘Put Alaska First’ and develop a viable fiscal plan without destroying our resource industries by over taxation and regulation. If they do this, it will stabilize its investment climate, and Alaska will have a viable economic future—perhaps not as strong as what we’ve seen in the last forty years—but viable and a great place to live and work. If poor fiscal decisions are made by our political leaders, I fear for our great state.” R Tasha Anderson is an Associate Editor for Alaska Business Monthly.

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us with opportunities to advance within our careers as those opportunities come about.” He continues that many Lynden people have been with the company for twenty years and some for more than forty years, “because of the type of culture and environment that’s been created here.” VP of Marketing and Sales for Lynden Air Cargo Jim Davis says, “What makes the employees successful is that Lynden has always provided the tools to allow the employees to be successful, either equipment or training and everything in between.” St. John adds, “Lynden operates as a family of companies, and when you think about that, normally you think about the multi-modal part of that, but it’s true that Lynden employees work very closely together and we all believe in each other. We truly are a family.” Positive workplace cultures don’t just appear, and Friese says Lynden leadership focuses on “the culture that we create so we can attract and retain the best employees and continue to be successful, even in a difficult economy.” St. John adds, “A lot of it is about hiring and retaining the right people and having a great culture. It comes from the top down and the bottom up.”


SPECIAL SECTION

2016 Top 49ers

© 2016 Judy Patrick Photography

Three Bears Alaska VP and CFO Steve Mierop (left) and President David Weisz in one of their stores.

Three Bears Alaska ‘Still growing strong’ By Tasha Anderson

now boasts eleven stores, seven Outposts, and eight fuel stations. Three Bears, which was “still growing strong” in 2010, has only ramped up their growth.

n 2010, Alaska Business Monthly highlighted Three Bears Alaska, which had grown from a single 12,000-square-foot grocery store in Tok in 1980 to six stores (four of which are 40,000 to 63,000 square feet), two Outposts (which sell sporting goods), and four fuel stations. The company had 343 employees and revenue of approximately $111 million. For 2015 Three Bears reports $175 million in gross revenue and their employees have grown by 160 percent to 560. Additionally, the company

President David Weisz says, “We look for opportunities and then sometimes we have to create opportunities. We aim for a controlled growth—what we feel is something that won’t hurt us moving forward. Sometimes opportunities just land on your lap, and sometimes an opportunity isn’t an opportunity and you have to pass up on it.” He says one example of a prime opportunity was acquiring the Big Lake IGA on Big Lake Road, which had been owned by Omni.

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Finding Opportunities

“It was unfortunate for Omni that they got into the position they did. We were the first folks they had contacted thinking it might be a really good fit for us—we know how to run stores in smaller communities.” He says the store, which re-opened in April 2015, is doing well for the community and company. That was the first location there, but their newest property is also located in Big Lake, a convenience store, gas station, and liquor store combination located at 14468 W. Hollywood Road, which opened in August. The convenience store combination is located on a property across the street from the first store on property Three Bears purchased at the time of the IGA acquisition. “In a few years we’re going to build a brand

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Employees

Weisz says the biggest indicator to him of their growth is the number of employees: “That’s the biggest thing—that we’ve moved up substantially.” As the company has gained employees, it’s also added to its employee benefits. Three Bears Alaska VP and CFO Steve Mierop says it’s been almost three years since the company added its 401(k) retirement program. “It’s not the typical 401(k)—we don’t require the employees to put anything in. We encourage them to, but we don’t force them to. Three Bears—out of its pocket—puts an amount equal to 3 percent of their gross wage into the 401(k) once they’ve met any regulatory hurdles.” Weisz says, “We wanted to share our growth with our employees.” Another important aspect of their new 401(k) program is that the money is deposited into employee retirement accounts on a monthly basis instead of at the end of the year. “Once we made the decision to give it, it’s theirs. If they choose to leave and move on they take it with them,” he says. Mierop says, “We’re a lot of people’s first job and we’re a lot of people’s last job,” going on to say that much of their workforce is young because entry level positions in retail often don’t require specific education or work experience. Because their workforce tends to skew young, Three Bears lowered the age threshold to qualify for the 401(k). “We didn’t want them to have to be with us for too long before they could participate in the program,” he says. Weisz says that the company does have a lot of “good, loyal employees, a lot of long-term employees.” He says Three Bears’ growth has created new opportunities for their employees. “As we’ve grown we’ve had to add positions and create new positions to help put controls in place.” For example, the company’s buying habits have evolved, and Weisz says many of www.akbizmag.com

their vendors now offer to aid with freight costs or prepay freight. “It takes different category managers to help manage bulk purchases. We make big direct buys and then we bring the product to Alaska and split it out ourselves.” He says that currently takes place at their headquarters location in Wasilla, but with continued growth that space may not be adequate. “One more big store and we’re going to have to find a warehouse someplace,” Weisz says, creating even more opportunities for a variety of local employment.

Buying Habits

Mierop says that their growth as a company has allowed them to do more direct buying, three or four times the amount that the company was able to do in 2010. “There’s a famous saying in retail that you make your money when you buy, you only collect it when you sell. It’s buying right that enables you to make money. And as much as we can, we try to pass the benefits of that on to our customers.” Weisz and Mierop both say emphatically that buying at a good price in no way inhibits the company in buying locally. In fact, “Anything that we can buy locally, we do,” Weisz says, ranging from coffee to clothing to meat to beer. Three Bears was the first local retail outlet that committed to carrying milk produced by Havemeister Dairy in Palmer. The company carries inventory from “anybody in Alaska that has products we sell or can sell.” In the past Three Bears has carried inventory by Alaska Chicks, also located in Palmer, and “we actually just got a big shipment of hats in,” Weisz says, from AK Forty Nine, a clothing business out of Kenai. “We want to work with Alaska; we’re an Alaska company—we hunt and fish and we live up here.” Mierop says that Alaskan craftsmen are often in need of a platform or an outlet to sell their products and Three Bears “tries to be that as much as we can.” It can be a huge opportunity for local Alaskans. One success story Weisz relates is of a local restaurant owner that dreamed of developing a spice line. He approached Three Bears: “He started developing his spices and brought some in for us to sample and we said absolutely, we’ll start carrying it,” Weisz says. Three Bears coordinated with him to provide cooking samples for customers to taste. Other companies in the state now carry his spice line, and the owner was able to sell the restaurant and concentrate on his passion. “We’re still selling his spices,” Weisz says.

Fitting Local Needs

“We’re not a straight warehouse store, we’re not a straight conventional store, we’re

kind of a crossbreed,” Weisz says. As Three Bears has grown, it’s expanded more than just locations. Over the years the stores have been augmented with package liquor license stores, sporting goods, pharmacies, and fuel. “It’s really trying to find what’s the right fit for the areas that we’re in,” he says. Three Bears also caters to Alaska communities through its special deliveries. One portion of those is mailing out orders faxed or called in to remote and rural locations. “But we also take care of small businesses such as coffee houses or smaller restaurants,” Weisz says. For example, “If a woman owns her coffee shop and is there at 6 a.m. and needs milk or syrups or cups, she’ll call or fax and we’ll pull the order and deliver it so she doesn’t have to leave her business or get someone to cover.” Three Bears does not charge for their delivery service to such establishments. Mierop continues, “Another thing we do is allow them to have accounts with us. They’re not getting in debt with us—they have to pay it off every month—but it accommodates them,” as owners don’t have to have a check or cash on hand when receiving the delivery. Weisz says that Three Bears delivers a huge volume of products to vendors at the Alaska State Fair every year, with two of their trucks traveling to and from the fair as long as it’s open.

A Community Company

Three Bears’ model is to operate in less populated areas of the state; Weisz says the company has made a conscious decision not to open stores in Anchorage or Fairbanks. Three Bears is a small town company, and Mierop says, “We try to do as much for our communities as we can because that’s the win-win. We’re trying to employ as many people as we can, and we’re trying to give them the best product that we can.” That sense of community extends beyond business: “If someone calls us for a donation there better be a kid involved,” Mierop laughs. “A lot of kid functions are a priority for us,” Weisz says. “We like to stay involved because they’re the ones that need the biggest opportunity.” Three Bears supports school functions, 4H activities, and other community events. “Like our motto says, we’re just Alaskans serving Alaskans,” Weisz says. “That’s the bottom line: we put that up in our buildings. We’ve been around for a while and we plan on being around for a lot longer.” R

Tasha Anderson is an Associate Editor for Alaska Business Monthly.

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new grocery store in Big Lake,” Weisz says. “We would need more space to offer more products to the community.” The new building will be located behind the convenience store combination, replacing the Three Bears’ current grocery store in the IGA location. The current space is approximately 16,000 square feet, and only about 12,000 or 13,000 square feet of that is retail selling space. Their plans for a new building will approximately double the available selling space. “It’s a forty-mile round trip to Wasilla to buy something; the more product we can offer out there, it just saves the folks that live there from dealing with all the traffic and running back and forth,” Weisz says.


SPECIAL SECTION

2016 Top 49ers

Homer Electric Association

Homer Electric Association General Manager Bradley Janorschke. © 2016 Judy Patrick Photography

Helping employees be successful By Tasha Anderson

H

omer Electric Association (HEA) General Manager Bradley Janorschke has been in the energy industry since 1989, beginning in the distribution engineering department of a generation and transmission cooperative and then serving as a CFO and CEO at two different cooperatives in Minnesota. During his early career he “kept moving north in Minnesota… because I love hunting and fishing and I don’t like big population centers. People always laughed and said, ‘Where else are you going to go? Alaska?’” Turns out that was the next step, as Janorschke and his family moved to the Last Frontier in 2004 when he accepted the position as HEA’s general manager. He says the move has been wonderful for him and his family: “The kids have loved it. They’re in or have graduated from UAF and are doing their thing, and I love Alaska.”

Leading HEA

Janorschke says one of the most vital things he does in his position, nearly every day, is to do a walk around where he visits with employees. “I could sit in my office all day or I could travel, legitimately so, to Anchorage and the Lower 48 for meetings year-round, but the board didn’t hire me for that,” he says. Instead he ensures that he spends time with different employee groups in Homer Electric’s Kenai and Homer offices and visits the cooperative’s three generation sites regularly. “Even to this day I know almost every employee by name, and I’m horrible at names,” he laughs. “I’ve really had to work at it.” Janorschke says it’s important that employees have as much information as possible about what’s going on at the utility; one way Janorschke accomplishes this is that he distributes to every employee by email the monthly update that he prepares for the board of di152

rectors the day after the board receives it. He says that he’s not a micromanager, and he encourages his professional staff to not micromanage either. Janorschke says the key is to give employees the tools for leadership, mentor them, and then help them be successful. A positive workplace is important: “We spend most our waking lives at work,” he says.

Adjusting to Change

And the work going on at HEA is important. HEA is a member-owned electric utility with more than twenty-three thousand members.

For 2015 they report gross revenues of $97 million, $5 million more than 2015. One of the cooperative’s mandates is to keep rates as low as possible, but many variables can affect them. “Over the last couple years we’ve been missing one thing, and that’s winter season,” Janorschke says. “For us it’s like a lot of businesses in Alaska that miss out on a summer tourist season; it’s economically a huge burden.” He says that in the spring and fall seasons HEA generally “breaks even” or may occasionally experience a loss, but the winter and summer seasons make up for those periods. Any

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Responsible Renewables

Janorschke says that for the rural energy utilities, low oil and natural gas prices have been timely, providing a little balance to some of the other factors that have driven rates up, such as lower energy sales because of new energy efficient appliances and light bulbs and the aforementioned mild (for Alaska) winters and fuel transportation costs issues. Looking forward HEA is definitely interested in diversifying. “What we’ve tried to push on the board level is responsible renewables,” Janorschke says. The www.akbizmag.com

company’s reliance on just two companies for one resource “is incentive to look at other alternatives such as tidal, wind, solar, etc.” One opportunity HEA is looking at closely is a small-scale hydro project at Grant Lake, which is north of Seward just outside of Moose Pass. Janorschke says that an application for the project has been submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and final public hearings concerning the project were held September 7 and 8 in Moose Pass. “Hydro requires large capital costs up front,” Janorschke says. “When we get the license, it’ll be a tough sell in Juneau right now because there’s just not a lot of money floating around.” He’s hopeful that there may be some money on the federal level if the project is licensed and if HEA decides to move forward with it. Another responsible renewable HEA is looking at is a small solar project in Homer. At press time HEA was planning to take a project proposal to the board. “If they give us the green light, we’re going to do design work this winter, go out for bids, and build it next spring,” Janorschke says, continuing that HEA anticipates construction of the project would take about a month. If the project is completed, HEA members would be able to opt-in to using solar power from the project. “We do a net metering program today where members can put in their own solar power at their home or their own wind turbine. We’ve heard people say they live in an area that either has lots of trees or doesn’t have access to the sun or there’s no wind at their house, but they’d still like to participate in some type of small-scale renewable program; so this would be an opportunity for them to do that,” Janorschke says. There’s no doubt that opting-in to the program would be more expensive, but “for a lot of people this isn’t really based on economics,” he says. “They’re buying it to support the technology, and the more it gets purchased the more it develops.” He says a significant benefit of solar for HEA in particular is that, while many people think it’s a ridiculous option in a state with such dark winters, summer is actually when HEA sees a rise in energy usage, so solar power is a good fit for their operational needs. He says one thing that would vastly improve the viability of renewable energy is an “extremely efficient battery for the grid.” If solar energy could be stored efficiently with minimal losses, solar in Alaska is no longer such a stretch. Janorschke says that he also loves tidal energy “as a concept,” though he says the technology could be five or ten years off before being economically viable and the environmental impacts of tidal projects hasn’t been fully researched, so he promotes the technology with cau-

tious optimism. Considering HEA’s location in relation to Cook Inlet, tidal energy has a lot of potential if it’s proven reliable, safe, and efficient.

Local Control

“As we move forward, one of the things that we’re looking at is local control,” Janorschke says. At present, HEA operates under the oversight of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA), which “regulates public utilities by certifying qualified providers of public utility and pipeline services and ensuring that they provide safe and adequate services and facilities at just and reasonable rates, terms, and conditions,” according to RCA’s website. Janorschke say HEA is the first utility distribution cooperative he’s worked at that was not fully controlled by its membership through the board of directors. Currently, any policies and tariffs that the HEA board approves must then be submitted to and approved by RCA. Janorschke says, “that approval process can take anywhere from three months to a year and a half.” To that point, Janorschke says in November 2015 HEA finished a study and analysis of their rate structure; having reviewed the data, the board made some recommendations and wanted to implement some changes. The RCA hearing regarding these changes won’t take place until this month, and then RCA has another ninety days to issue a decision. “It will be February 2017, more than a year later, and we’re then basing everything on data that’s two years old.” In addition to a more timely decision making process, switching to local control has the potential to save money, though Janorschke hesitates to focus on the money. “The focus is on local control, not cost savings,” he says. “We certainly want to pass the savings on, and hopefully nothing else will eat those savings up. I do not anticipate it, but everything we operate is mechanical, if there’s a failure, we have deal with that.” Members will have an opportunity to vote this month on whether or not to be exempt from RCA regulation. Janorschke says emphatically that he’s not measuring success by the outcome of the vote: “Our measure of success is if we can convince our members to make an informed vote, whether it’s to become locally regulated or not. It’s in the hands of the members, and if the majority of the members vote and they want to continue to be regulated by the RCA, that’s success.” R Tasha Anderson is an Associate Editor for Alaska Business Monthly.

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long-time Alaskan knows the winters here have changed. “It’s been three years since I’ve shoveled snow,” Janorschke says. He says the change in weather began just as HEA was “in the middle of a transition, moving away from our wholesale power contract with Chugach Electric. With that we were building new generation assets to replace that contract.” Today HEA has five generation facilities to fulfill the needs of its members: a portion of the state-owned Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Plant (water); Nikiski Generation Plant (natural gas and recovered heat); Soldotna Generation Plant (natural gas); Seldovia Generation Plant (diesel) for emergency backup; and Bernice Lake Generation Plant (natural gas) used for reserves. Janorschke says that HEA generates approximately 92 percent of its power from natural gas and 8 percent from hydro. When he first came to HEA, it was a shock to him that the cooperative was so reliant on a single source of fuel. “One of the very first things that caught my eye was our lack of diversity on energy production,” he says. “But then after getting educated on how we got there, I understood. Natural gas was a byproduct of Cook Inlet and it was essentially free, and I’d have done the same thing.” But that has also changed in the last few years. Not even five years ago many of Alaska’s utilities were anxious about having reliable fuel supply, at any price. “I really appreciate what Hilcorp [Alaska] did when they came up and freed up some additional supplies and made sure we all had fuel.” Janorschke says it was also beneficial when Furie Operating Alaska came on board, providing some competition, which keeps prices in check. “We’ve always had other suppliers, but they were much smaller.” Janorschke says small suppliers are reluctant to shoulder the responsibility of serving HEA’s base load needs because of the size of their operations, but are happy to fill in smaller components, which makes the risk manageable. “That’s worked great but, even today we have just two firm base suppliers—Furie and Hilcorp—and that’s it.”


SPECIAL SECTION

2016 Top 49ers Great Northwest President and CEO John Minder with his golden retriever, Jake, who he calls the “Official Ambassador of Great Northwest, Inc.” Photo by Stephanie Wall, Latitude 64 Photography

Great Northwest, Inc. ‘Success is respect’ By Tasha Anderson

G

reat Northwest, Inc.’s President and CEO John Minder started his first business in the fourth grade. “My father had six or seven greyhounds, and he got me a contract for all their bedding,” he explains. The bedding was made of shredded paper, so he bought a paper shredder and an old cast iron straw baler. He says one of the delivery boys of the local paper would drop off excess copies in the morning, and he’d spend the day shredding and baling paper. “I was making so much money,” he says. “We didn’t have paper money in Montana back then, it was all silver dollars. I was the most popular kid in twenty blocks, my pockets just full of silver dollars,” he laughs. In the fifth grade he started playing competitive sports, and spending the summer

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months indoors “trapped in that garage” just wasn’t working. “My aunt gave me a set of used golf clubs, and the municipal course was maybe six blocks away from where I lived, so I hired two kids and taught them how to do it and was golfing for six weeks,” he says. Minder’s early entrepreneurial endeavor ended abruptly: “One day I was on the green putting and I felt this big paw on my shoulder, and it was my dad. ‘I didn’t get you this job so you could be some entrepreneur, I got it so you could learn how to work,’ and he yanked the contract from me.” Minder says. Minder didn’t really need that job to learn how to work, as he’d grown up on a ranch, but it did give him a taste for leading a company. “I just never have liked working for anyone else,” Minder laughs.

Humble Beginnings

But he has been working hard ever since. He came to Alaska in 1974 and brought with him $509, a 1953 Chevy Pickup, and a D21 Martin guitar, “all of which I still have, except for the $509. I have a couple more dollars,” he says. It was in 1975 that he and a friend of his brother’s started a small landscaping business with three or four employees. They did landscaping for Fred Meyer when it came into Fairbanks. Shortly thereafter the company began working as a subcontractor on projects for parks and recreation: “We put the topsoil [which Great Northwest manufactured] down and seeded it, but then I would watch [the other work] and say, if we’re going to do parks, we should buy some equipment and be able to do the planting, the grubbing, the excava-

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Great Northwest Today

The company now owns two asphalt plants in addition to the topsoil plant that Great www.akbizmag.com

Northwest still operates. “I keep the landscaping division because it’s how I got started. It’s maybe 1 percent of our volume. There’s no money in the topsoil. I closed it two years ago because we were losing money [on it], and I got so many calls,” Minder laughs. “I opened it back up last year. It’s a community service, and it reminds me of where I came from.” Great Northwest had approximately $30,000 in revenue its first year and reports gross revenue of $60.8 million in 2015. A bare handful of employees has grown into 220 to 240 employees during the construction season and approximately 25 yearround employees. Building a company, Minder says, “is a lot about relationships. Relationships are so important. Trust has to go both ways, and the whole company is built on pride, honor, and quality.” One of the relationships Minder values is with First National Bank Alaska, another Top 49er. He says, “I’ve been banking with the First National in Fairbanks for thirtyeight years. My first loan was for $5,000, and I was trying to use an old beater pickup for collateral. I was meeting with a young banker and Dan Cuddy came storming through. The kid said, ‘Mr. Cuddy, this guy wants to borrow about $5,000 on an old beat up truck; what do you think?’ And Cuddy looked at me and said, ‘Are you going to pay me back?’ I said ‘yes.’ ‘Well then give him a loan.’”

‘Success is Respect’

Minder lists eleven things a construction company needs to be successful: a good reputation; strength, honor, and integrity; strong leadership; employee appreciation; an understanding of resources and risk; a good client base and customer relationships; good accounting and cost control; communication and trust with financial institutions and security/bonding companies; good estimating; accurately, timely, and honest projections; and safety, safety, safety. He says, “I have a little bit of a temper, not much, but when I see something unsafe I go ballistic—not because they violated a regulation, but because I care about what happens to my employees.” Great Northwest has an excellent safety record, with only one lost workday accident in the past five years, which accounts for more than 1.2 million man-hours. Minder says, “Great Northwest’s success is mainly due to its employees, and in no uncertain terms would Great Northwest be where it is today without those employees. We have extremely bright and self-motivated people. We are a blue collar company work wise with a white collar mentality. There is no separation between manage-

ment and labor. When something needs to be done everyone jumps in and takes care of it.” He says his employee turnover rate is incredibly low, and if an employee works for him for two years, they’re generally an employee for life. “I take really good care of my employees, I always have. Success is not money—that’s a by-product to me. To me success is respect.” Minder says the company’s logo, a pair of work boots, is a direct representation of that mentality. He relates how the logo was developed: “Those are actually a pair of my work boots from years ago after I had finished a long day of work in Valdez. I had a young landscape architect, who was quite a talented artist, working and living with me in a small apartment. … He was working on a new logo, and what he was coming up with I didn’t like. I had come back to the apartment, kicked off my boots on the rug, and fell asleep on the couch. I woke up the next morning, and he had etched my work boots that were kicked off the night before, and I went in and told him that the boots were exactly what I was looking for to represent the principles of Great Northwest going forward: hard work, courage, pride, and determination.”

Personal Investment

Minder says, “I’ve never gained anything without really hard work and adversity. I’ve been knocked down and knocked down.” He says he learned the beginnings of how to be a leader when he played sports as a youth. “You have to put yourself aside and say hey, what’s best for the team? And then you have to be really humble.” He tells of one winter when he scraped by on a dollar a day, living in the shop with no heat during fifty-below weather while he took classes at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in accounting, contract law, and civil engineering estimating. “I was paying really close attention to that because we were way underwater,” he says. Minder is still involved in the day to day goings on, but he says it’s mostly to check on things. Employees need to be very self-motivated to work at Great Northwest, and it’s not his style to micromanage. “Believe me, I do not know how to build a highway,” he laughs. “But my employees love me—most of the time,” he laughs, “and they get upset when I don’t come out on a job.” He does still get his hands dirty: “Once in a while they will let me on a compactor,” he laughs. R Tasha Anderson is an Associate Editor for Alaska Business Monthly.

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2016 TOP 49ERS SPECIAL SECTION | FEATURED 49ER

tion, all of it. And so I went into huge debt and bought all this heavy equipment and we did, we started building all the parks from scratch,” Minder says. In 1985 when oil prices fell out, the first projects to lose funding were parks and recreation, “and I had accumulated all this debt,” Minder says. To keep the equipment busy and to pay for it, he started another company called Metro General, which did city utility and street work. That was profitable until the city sold the utilities to a private firm, at which point Minder bought out the partner he’d had in the business. Fortunately, that was about the time that many of the “big box stores” came into Fairbanks, and Minder approached them to do all of the necessary site work: excavation, gravel, paving, everything. Minder says Great Northwest did site work for about 80 percent of the large box stores in Fairbanks: both Fred Meyers, the Walmart, Sam’s Club, Kmart, etc. “At that time I would subcontract out the pavement because I didn’t have the paving or asphalt plant.” From there the company moved on to road work, “including the dirt work and all of the civil; everything except the paving,” Minder says. It was when the road work started that Minder brought in Randy Brand as a new chief estimator, a job Minder had been performing himself. “I did accounting, estimating, every department there was. But estimating takes so much time, so I hired him, and he’s really sharp.” Minder also brought Brand in as a partner, and the company was split three ways with Minder owning 52 percent and each of the other partners at 24 percent. “Then we started doing a lot of military work, and we started a lot of site work for another utility, and my bonding kept growing and growing so we took on a couple of highway projects, smaller ones at first, maybe $2 million to $8 million, and gradually built up,” Minder says. In 1998 Great Northwest bid on an $8 million job on the Dalton Highway that turned into a $30 million project: “That kind of put us on the map,” he says. In time Great Northwest purchased an asphalt plant, as it was difficult to bid competitively on jobs without one. In 2001, Minder brought in Anton Johansen, a former Northern Region of Alaska Department of Transportation director. Minder says that Johansen, with his experience in the Department of Transportation, was a huge asset to the company as it transitioned into performing highway work. In 2009 Great Northwest bought out Minder’s original partner.


RIGHT MOVES Office of the Governor

Governor Bill Walker announced the appointment of Andy Mack as Department of Natural Resources Commissioner. Mack brings over a decade of experience in Arctic policy and development. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Mack Concordia College in Minnesota and aJuris Doctor from Loyola Law School in California. Walker named Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska’s next Attorney General. Lindemuth brings extensive experience in complex commercial litigation, appeals to the Alaska Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit Court of Lindemuth Appeals, and administrative management to her new role at Department of Law. She is currently a partner at Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, and serves as head of the firm’s Anchorage office. Lindemuth will be the second woman ever to serve as Alaska’s Attorney General. John Hendrix was announced as Walker’s chief oil and gas advisor, a newly created Cabinetlevel position. Prior to this appointment, Hendrix worked as general manager of Apache Alaska. His extensive oil and gas Hendrix background includes work as a consultant to industry managing directors, oil ministers, and the World Bank. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Tennessee, which he attended on a wrestling scholarship. Wa l ke r a n n o u n ce d t h e appointment of Department of Administration Commissioner Sheldon Fisher to the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation Board of Trustees. Fisher has more than twenty years of Fisher experience in private sector management; most recently as Chief Operating Officer for McKinley Capital Management in Anchorage. He holds an economics degree from Brigham Young University and a law degree from Yale University.

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Wa l ke r a n n o u n ce d h i s appointment of Hollis French to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. French will join the threemember commission, which oversees oil and gas drilling, French development and production, reservoir depletion, and metering operations on all lands subject to the state’s regulatory powers. French received is JD from Cornell Law School in 1995.

KPMG

KPMG LLP has promoted Melissa Jay and Jenna Maurer to Audit Manager in the firm’s Anchorage office. Jay provides audit services to several types of clients including state government entities, notfor-profit organizations, Alaska native corporations, and private companies. Jay is also active in recruiting, frequently attending Jay events at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She was raised in Alaska and joined KPMG in 2011 after earning a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Utah. Maurer’s audit experience includes serving Alaska Native corporations, employee benefit plans, not-for-profit organizations, mining, and fisheries. Maurer was born and raised in Alaska and joined KPMG in 2011 Maurer upon completing her master’s degree in accounting from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Alaska Permanent Capital Management

Alaska Permanent Capital Management Co. announced William (Bill) Lierman and Brandy Niclai will be promoted to Co-Chief Investment Officer. Utilizing the unique skill set each possesses, Lierman will be in charge of Fixed Income Strategies while Niclai will direct Multi-Asset Strategies. Lierman holds a BA in Economics and

Chemistry from Western Washington University, Niclai a BA in Business Administration from Washington State University and an MBA from the University of Alaska. Both hold the investment profession’s highest designation, Chartered Financial Analyst. Together they have more than thirty years of investment experience.

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Dana L. Thomas has been appointed interim Chancellor of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Thomas started her position in August, succeeding outgoing UAF Interim Chancellor Mike Powers. Thomas is an alumnus of UAF and was the statewide vice president of academic affairs and research from 2012 to 2014.

AEDC

Pamela Kauveiyakul has joined AEDC as the new Business and Economic Development Director. Kauveiyakul brings a wealth of experience from leadership positions across different Kauveiyakul sectors, including positions at BP Exploration and Camp Fire USA Alaska Council. Allison Meyers has joined AEDC as the new Operations Coordinator. Meyers is a lifelong Alaskan, hailing from Bethel, and comes from a long line of entrepreneurs, starting her first business at the age of sev- Meyers enteen. She graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a degree in investment finance.

Northrim Bank

Northrim Bank announced the promotion of Joe Moran, AVP, Loan Officer III and the hiring of Danicia Shiryayev, Small Business Loan Officer. Moran joined Northrim Bank in February 2013 and has been a key member of the Construction Lending department since March 2015. He started his banking career at First Bank in Ketchikan where he held several posi- Moran tions before he moved back to

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Compiled by Tasha Anderson Anchorage. Moran has a Bachelor’s of Business Finance from the University of Portland and is working to complete his MBA at Alaska Pacific University. Shiryayev joins Northrim Bank with more than seven years of experience in the banking industry, most recently at KeyBank in Anchorage. She has also worked for Cook Inlet Housing Authority and Wells Shiryayev Fargo. Shiryayev is a member of the Women Entrepreneurs of Alaska group.

Resource Data, Inc.

Resource Data, Inc. has hired Gary Tancik as a Senior. Programmer/ A n a lys t to i t s A n ch o r a g e Branch. Tancik previously lived in Colorado and worked for Travelport as Senior Systems Engineer for eighteen years Tancik leading teams and designing travel and rail ticketing systems and more. About a year ago he moved from Colorado to Alaska and continued to work remotely for Travelport. Now he is excited to join a company that is local to Alaska.

The Alaska Heart & Vascular Institute

The Alaska Heart & Vascular Institute recently appointed Robert T. Craig III as its CEO, overseeing operations for the company’s six locations statewide. Craig joins the Alaska Heart & Vascular Institute team from Craig Missouri, with more than twenty years of professional experience as an executive leader in the healthcare industry. Craig holds an MBA from Baker University in Kansas as well as a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southeast Missouri State University.

Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot

Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot is pleased to announce that William A. Earnhart and Carissa D. Siebeneck have become members, Jack R.

www.akbizmag.com

McKenna has joined the firm as an associate, and Jason M. Brandeis has become of counsel to the firm. Earnhart joined the firm’s Anchorage office in 2015. His practice focuses on labor and employment law, commercial litigation and appeals, and municipal law. Earnhart received his BA from Williamette University in 1990 and his JD from the University of Washington in 1994. Siebeneck joined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office in 2011. His practice focuses on government contracts law, natural resources law, and alternative dispute resolution matters. She received her BA from Marymount Manhattan College in 2000, her MPA from the University of Georgia, School of Public and International Affairs in 2002, and her JD from Georgetown University Law Center in 2009. McKenna is an Associate Attorney with the firm’s Anchorage office. His practice focuses on civil litigation and construction law. McKenna received his BA from the University of California, Berkley in 2001 and his JD from the University of California, Davis in 2007. Brandeis has joined the firm’s Anchorage office in an Of Counsel position. His practice focuses on advising businesses and government entities on regulation of the marijuana industry. He received his BSS from Ohio University in 1997 and his JD from Vermont Law School in 2001.

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center recently welcomed new Curator Dave Orndorff. His experience spans from across the country, including serving as curator at the Tracy Aviary in Utah, Executive Firector and Orndorff curator of The Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke, Virginia, and Manager of the Bird Collection at The San Diego Zoo.

Professional Growth Systems

Professional Growth Systems welcomes Liz Miner to their Anchorage-based team. Miner attained a BS in Public Health from Cornell, with minors in both Environmental and Latin American Studies.

Miner’s recent experience included work as a Healthcare Coverage Specialist with Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage.

PDC Inc. Engineers

Heather Estabrook, PE, has taken charge as PDC Inc.’s Transportation Market Sector Manager and Highway Lead. She will manage staff resources and the quality of work deliverables for the Highway and Aviation Estrabrook Group’s staff. Estabrook joined PDC in 2000. Her sixteen years of project experience includes roads, site grading, paving, curb, gutter, drainage, and utility improvements. Karen Brady, PE, is now PDC’s Utilities/Site Development Market Sector Manager responsible for a civil/environmental engineering staff of nine. Brady is also a longtime PDC employee who joined the firm in 2001 and has been Brady part of the firm’s leadership group since 2010. Brady has extensive experience with the operation of utilities in cold regions. Melissa McCarty has joined the firm as a Proposal Manager/ Technical Editor. McCarty will lead proposal development from the decision to pursue through final delivery and debrief. She will also assist technical staff McCarty with review of reports and technical editing. She brings more than ten years of experience in the A/E industry to her new position at PDC. Brad Jack son, PE, was selected as an Associate and is the newest addition to PDC’s leadership team. Jackson joined PDC in 2010 and since that time has become an integral part of the firm’s electrical department.  R Jackson

Send new hires and promotions to press@akbizmag.com

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Inside

Alaska Business October 2016 COOK INLET HOUSING AUTHORITY ook Inlet Housing Authority, its development partners, and members of the community celebrated the grand opening of Creekview Plaza 49, a unique development offering independent rental housing for active adults aged fifty-five and older and retail opportunities at the same site, in August. Located at 1400 Muldoon Road at the intersection with DeBarr Road, Creekview Plaza 49 offers both one- and two-bedroom units. Each apartment offers in-unit washers and dryers. The buildings have multiple common spaces that take advantage of the natural beauty of the location, with ample windows allowing for lots of natural light and views of the creek and mountains. The common areas are set up for residents to enjoy space outside of their apartments for socializing, reading or doing art projects. cookinlethousing.org

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US SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION he US Small Business Administration announced the addition of twelve new members to its groundbreaking Small Business Technology Coalition: Bench, Canvas, Dash Data, Google, Gusto, Intuit, LinkedIn, Paychex, Square, Thumbtack, and Yelp. The Small Business Association launched

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Compiled by Tasha Anderson the SBTC earlier this year, a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership that provides America’s small businesses with one-stop access to the latest digital educational and training resources from technology innovators and industry leaders. Amazon, Box, Facebook, LegalZoom, Microsoft, Salesforce and Zenefits were the original partners. Current resources include webinars, white papers, guided trainings, and others. Topics include online commerce and payment platforms, back-office operations support, productivity solutions, improved customer service and shopping experiences, cyber security, social media marketing and brand awareness, digital content management, doing business online through e-commerce, mobile centricity, and managing accounting and payments. sba.gov/techcoalition ASHBREEZ BOATWORKS shbreez Boatworks LLC of Anchorage has allied in a collaboration with Armstrong Marine, Inc. which will build aluminum bare hulls for Ashbreez using Armstrong’s popular catamaran designs. The first vessel commissioned was a thirty-two-foot catamaran. Upon completion of the bare hull at Armstrong’s facility in Port Angeles, Washington, Ashbreez completed the rest of the hull exterior and interior in

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Anchorage, resulting in a high quality vessel for use in Alaska waters. The Resurrection Series can be built from twenty-eight feet to thirty-two feet and beyond. Ashbreez Boatworks LLC is a boat building and boat repair facility located in Anchorage at 801 E. 82nd, C-1. ashbreezboatworks.com SOUTHCENTRAL FOUNDATION | COOK INLET TRIBAL COUNCIL outhcentral Foundation and Cook Inlet Tribal Council have jointly announced Southcentral Foundation will assume full responsibility for the medical detox portion of Ernie Turner Center programming through an expanded partnership between the two organizations. Cook Inlet Tribal Council will continue to operate the residential substance abuse program at the center. citci.org | southcentralfoundation.com

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KRISPY KREME laska’s first-ever Krispy Kreme Doughnuts shop opened its doors in August. The first one hundred people in line to the store, located at DeBarr and Muldoon, received gift cards for free doughnuts. Anchorage’s Krispy Kreme shares a building with BurgerFi and a Body Renew Gym and is part of a larger redevelopment of the former sixty-eight-acre Alaska Village Trailer Park in

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Your Project, Our Responsibility. 24/7 Service Pacific Pile & Marine has a robust fleet of marine equipment including our recent addition of a 600-Ton 4600 Ringer.

www.pacificpile.com I (907) 276-3878 276-3873 158

From critical lifts to platform support, PPM is sufficiently resourced to deliver a wide range of construction services. 620B East Whitney Road I Anchorage, AK 99501

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


east Anchorage. The Krispy Kreme features a drive-through, premium coffee, and more than a dozen of Krispy Kreme’s one-of-akind doughnuts, including the signature Original Glazed. Ninety Alaskans have been hired and trained to work at the Anchorage Krispy Kreme. Hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. krispykreme. com/location/krispy-kreme-anchorage ALASKA AEROSPACE n August the Alaska Aerospace Corporation and the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Pacific Spaceport Complex - Alaska commemorating completion of the rebuilding of damaged facilities caused by the launch failure in August 2014. The event was held in the rebuilt Integration Processing Facility, one of the most significantly damaged buildings. An audience of nearly one hundred local residents and invited guests toured the facility and had the opportunity to view the rebuilt Launch Support Structure. akaerospace.com/capabilities/pacificspaceport-complex-alaska-psca

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DENALI NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE enali National Park and Preserve has taken delivery of its first two hydraulic hybrid vehicles from Colorado-based Lightning Hybrids. The shuttle buses, one a Chevrolet model and the other Freightliner, will transport park visitors along the fourteen-mile paved section of the scenic ninety-two-mile long Denali Park Road at the entrance to the park. The system from Lightning Hybrids is a patented, parallel hydraulic hybrid system that has no electric batteries. Instead, it applies a hydraulic system to the driveline of a vehicle to regenerate braking energy. Hydraulic pumps and a lightweight accumulator brake the vehicle, store the braking

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energy, and then use that stored energy to provide power to the wheels. In doing so fuel is saved and harmful emissions are cut. nps.gov/dena/index.htm RECOVER ALASKA laska’s prevalence of alcohol dependence and abuse is 14 percent, twice the national average. A new online resource aims to help Alaskans learn more about alcohol abuse, treatment options, and the journey to recovery. RecoverAlaska.org, a partnership with United Way of Anchorage and Alaska 2-1-1, provides Alaskans with resources as they navigate the difficult alcohol recovery process. The Recover Alaska Resource Center includes online tools such as an alcohol screening, which allows people to test their knowledge of alcohol; important information about alcohol treatment; a powerful search engine to locate alcohol related resources; and personal stories from Alaskans. recoveralaska.org

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X’UNÁXI INDIAN POINT ealaska Heritage Institute has prevailed in a decades-long effort to list the sacred X’unáxi (Indian Point) in Juneau in the National Register of Historic Places, making it the first traditional cultural property in Southeast Alaska to be placed on the register. The recent announcement by the National Park Service means that the federal government recognizes the roughly seventy-eight-acre site as an historic place worthy of protection under the National Historic Preservation Act. sealaskaheritage.org

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DEPARTMENT OF LAW ttorney General Jahna Lindemuth announced that the State of Alaska will not be pursuing any further appeal in the case of Akiachak Native Community v. U.S. Secretary of the Interior. The Interior Department was able to start accepting applications to take lands into trust as of August 22. When the federal gov-

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ernment takes land into trust, it holds it for the benefit of an individual Alaska Native or a Tribe. It is the federal government’s position that this land becomes Indian country. The exact scope of federal, state, and tribal powers on trust lands is an open issue that needs to be addressed in the regulatory process and through dialogue with all the interested stakeholders. law.state.ak.us RASMUSON FOUNDATION n the second quarter of 2016, Rasmuson Foundation made fifty-one Tier 1 awards for a total of $1,030,771. The Tier 1 program is Rasmuson Foundation’s signature grant program. It provides grants of up to $25,000 for capital projects, technology upgrades, program expansion, and creative works. A small sample Tier 1 awards made between April and June of 2016 include the Blood Bank of Alaska ($25,000), which will purchase a vehicle for the mobile blood drive program in Anchorage; Homer Senior Citizens, Inc. ($9,854) will make electrical upgrades and install lift recliners; the City of Palmer ($25,000) will install planters along the Edible Rail Trail; and the Native Village of Shishmaref ($20,000) will purchase furnishings for the tribal community hall. rasmuson.org

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ALASKA PENINSULA CORPORATION laska Peninsula Corporation announced it acquired Yukon Electric, Inc. Yukon Electric is a company with a record of success that works primarily on Department of Transportation projects such as street and traffic lighting. Alaska Peninsula Corp. finalized the purchase of Yukon Electric, its newest wholly owned subsidiary, in August. Founded in 1998, Yukon Electric is an Alaska company that has provided services throughout the state for nearly two decades. Yukon Electric is based in Anchorage and has a second location in Deadhorse. alaskapeninsulacorp.com

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Your Project, Our Responsibility. 24/7 Service

Pacific Pile & Marine has a robust fleet of marine equipment including our recent addition of a 600-Ton 4600 Ringer.

www.pacificpile.com I (907) 276-3878 276-3873 www.akbizmag.com

From critical lifts to platform support, PPM is sufficiently resourced to deliver a wide range of construction services. 620B East Whitney Road I Anchorage, AK 99501 October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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INSIDE ALASKA BUSINESS ALASKAN BREWING CO. laskan Brewing Company this fall is nixing the pumpkin beers in favor of a rich coffee ale created by teaming up with Juneau-based Heritage Coffee Roasting Company. First released on a limited basis last year to rave reviews, Alaskan Heritage Coffee Brown Ale uses an unusual technique and the highest quality ingredients to bring out the best coffee flavor and aroma and will be available as the autumn seasonal in all states where Alaskan Brewing is distributed. alaskanbeer.com

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ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS xplore Fairbanks President and CEO Deb Hickok announced that All Nippon Airways, a Japanese-based air carrier, launched its inaugural charter flight to Fairbanks August 29. ANA is one of four different Asian air carriers providing charter flights to Fairbanks. Uzbekistan Airways and Japan Airlines will each have three different flights from Japan to Fairbanks, while China Airlines will have two charter flights from Taipei to Fairbanks. The charters coincided with the start of the aurora season in Fairbanks, which is August 21 to April 21. explorefairbanks.com

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SEALASKA HERITAGE INSTITUTE ealaska Heritage Institute has released its first Tlingit apps for students who want to learn their Native language through mobile devices. The programs include an app with more than three hundred Tlingit words, phrases, and sounds and an app that teaches the Tlingit words for ocean animals and birds through interactive games. The app features audio by fluent speakers David Katzeek (Kingeisti), the late Johnny Marks (Kooteixtée), and Marsha Hotch (Guneiwtí). It also includes audio from Tlingit language learners Linda Belarde (Satóok) and

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Compiled by Tasha Anderson

Ralph Wolfe (Góos’k’) and linguists Keri Eggleston (X’aagi Sháawu) and the late Richard Dauenhauer (Xwaayeenák). As SHI updates the app, it will grow to include audio by fluent speakers Nora Marks Dauenhauer (Keixwnéi), Fred White (Gunaak’w), and the late June Pegues (Aan Yax Saxeex) and language learner Yarrow Vaara (S’akjayéi). sealaskaheritage.org

anticipates its shares will commence trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the NYSE-MKT under the new name and ticker symbol “TMQ”. The name change was approved by shareholders at the Annual General Meeting held on May 18, and has been conditionally approved by both the Toronto Stock Exchange and NYSE-MKT. novacopper.com

SITNASUAK NATIVE CORPORATION n July SNC Technical Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sitnasuak Native Corporation, acquired Mocean Holding Company LLC, a commercial manufacturing company located in Costa Mesa, California. Mocean manufactures performance apparel, specializing in technical policemen’s uniforms. SNC Technial Services plans to use Mocean as a way to diversify its business lines and its assets. snc.org

U-HAUL -Haul Company of Alaska is pleased to announce that Eagle River Body & Paint has signed on as a U-Haul neighborhood dealer to serve the Eagle River community. Eagle River Body & Paint at 16924 Snowmobile Lane will offer U-Haul trucks, trailers, towing equipment, support rental items and in-store pickup for boxes. Hours of operation for U-Haul rentals are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday. After hours drop-off is available for customer convenience. uhaul.com

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GVEA | CIRI VEA (Golden Valley Electric Association) and CIRI (Cook Inlet Region, Inc.) jointly announced the re-start of negotiations for GVEA to purchase the wind power from CIRI’s planned Fire Island Wind, Phase 2. The basic transaction involves a twentyfive-year purchase of energy that will provide an effective hedge for GVEA against the volatile cost of fossil fuel. Under an escalating price agreement the purchase cost for power could be as low as $56 per megawatt hour. The final agreement is under negotiation and will be subject to review and approval by both the GVEA and CIRI boards of directors as well as the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. gvea.com | ciri.com

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TRILOGY METALS ovaCopper, Inc. announced it will operate under the name Trilogy Metals Inc. and

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ANCHORAGE BARIATRICS nchorage Bariatrics, which opened its doors in August and held a grand opening in September, offers a full spectrum of weight loss options, from medication-assisted weight loss and non-surgical options to bariatric surgery. Anchorage Bariatrics is led by Justin Clark MD, FACS, who also serves as Director of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Providence Alaska Medical Center. He is the only fellowship-trained bariatric surgeon in Alaska. Clark takes a comprehensive approach to weight loss and caters his care to each patient, working with primary care providers and offering free support groups, an in-house clinical dietitian, surgical options, and minimally invasive options such as the state-of-the-art OrberaTM intragastric balloon device. Anchorage Bariatrics is Alaska’s new bariatric clinic specializing in a comprehensive approach to weight loss. anchoragebariatrics.com R

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• General Contracting • Marine Infrastructure • Design Build

Dutch Harbor - Unalaska, Alaska

www.pacificpile.com I (907) 276-3873 160

620B East Whitney Road I Anchorage, AK 99501

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Business Events OCTOBER

OCT

3-6

ATIA Annual Convention & Trade Show

Dena’ina Center, Anchorage: The Alaska Travel Industry Association is the leading nonprofit trade organization for the state’s tourism industry. alaskatia.org

OCT

Arctic Ambitions V

Sheraton Anchorage Hotel: This annual International Conference and Trade Show uniquely focuses on business and investment opportunities flowing from developments in the Arctic. wtcak.org

4-5

OCT

All-Alaska Medical Conference

Wedgewood Resort, Fairbanks: A continuing medical education conference put on by the Alaska Academy of Physicians Assistants, providing up to twenty-five CMEs. akapa.org

6-8

OCT

11-12

Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness Conference

Anchorage Marriott Downtown: Events include keynote speakers and training sessions. alaskahousing-homeless.org/ conference

OCT

Alaska Chamber Fall Forum

Challenger Learning Center of Alaska, Kenai: Open to the public, the Alaska Chamber’s Annual Conference is the state’s premier business conference. Traditionally held in the fall, the Conference draws 200-225 attendees and features keynote speakers, panel discussions, and breakout sessions on issues of statewide concern to Alaska business. alaskachamber.com

11-13

OCT

19-20

Centennial Science and Stewardship Symposium

UAF, Fairbanks: The symposium will highlight how science and scholarship have shaped the past one hundred years of national park management and provide a forward look at the next century of collaborative science and scholarship in Alaska’s national parks. arcus.org

OCT

20-22

Alaska Federation of Natives Annual Convention

Carlson Center, Fairbanks: Annual gathering of Alaska Native peoples to discuss current news and events on a state, national and international level. This year’s theme is “50 Years: Reflect, Refresh, Renew.” nativefederation.org

NOVEMBER

NOV

Compiled by Tasha Anderson NOV

Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage: The Annual Conference is the crown jewel of the Associated General Contractors of Alaska’s events. It features educational presentations, seminars, and panels representing all facets of the construction industry and coupled with the awards ceremonies, numerous networking lunches and receptions. agcak.org

9-12

NOV

AASB Annual Conference

NOV

AAMC Conference

Anchorage Hilton: The mission of the Association of Alaska School Boards is to advocate for children and youth by assisting school boards in providing quality public education, focused on student achievement, through effective local governance. aasb.org

10-16

Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage: The Alaska Association of Municipal Clerks is an organization that focuses on providing educational training and mentoring and professional growth opportunities. alaskaclerks.org

13-15 NOV

14-18

4-6

www.akbizmag.com

Annual Local Government Conference

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

NOV

16-17

RDC Annual Conference: Alaska Resources

Anchorage: The conference provides timely updates on projects and prospects, addresses key issues and challenges and considers the implications of state and federal policies on Alaska oil and gas, mining and other resource development sectors. akrdc.org

NOV-DEC BIA26 Dena’ina Center: The conference pro-

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vides attendees with the opportunity to be informed and prepare for upcoming challenges in Alaska, as well as the opportunity for tribal leaders, native corporations, and rural representatives to connect with federal agencies. biaprovidersconference.com

DECEMBER

DEC

4-7

Sitka WhaleFest

Sitka: WhaleFest is a unique science festival to celebrate the marine life. The core of the festival is a unique science symposium blending local knowledge and scientific inquiry concerning the rich marine environment of our northern oceans. sitkawhalefest.org

AGC of Alaska Annual Conference

ALASBO Annual Conference

Anchorage: Annual conference of the Alaska Association of School Business Officials. alasbo.org

JANUARY 2017

JAN

Health Summit

Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage: The 2017 theme is “The Changing Landscapes of Public Health.” alaskapublichealth.org

17-19

JAN

25-28

Anchorage AEYC Early Childhood Conference

Hilton Anchorage Hotel: “Best Practices in the Face of Change.” Join other early childhood community members to learn new strategies, hear about the latest research, try out a few practical techniques, and discover new tools and resources to help face any challenge. anchorageaeyc.org

JAN

JA Alaska Business Hall of Fame

Dena’ina Civic & Convention Center, Anchorage: Join Junior Achievement, General Mark Hamilton, and Alaska Business Monthly honoring the past, present, and future of Alaska Business. Annually attended by 600 of Alaska’s top business representatives. All proceeds to benefit Junior Achievement of Alaska’s statewide K-12 economic education programs, serving 12,800 students on an annual basis. juniorachievement.org

26

JAN

26-29

Alaska Peony Growers Association Winter Conference

Westmark Hotel Fairbanks: The Alaska Peony Growers Association is a membership organization comprised of commercial peony growers as well as those interested in the emerging peony industry in Alaska. alaskapeonies.org

JAN

28-29

Alaska RTI/Effective Instruction Conference

Dena’ina Center, Anchorage: A small and rural schools preconference will take place Friday, January 27. asdn.org/school-year-conferences-and-institutes

FEBRUARY

FEB

4-10

Alaska Statewide Special Education Conference

Hilton Anchorage Hotel: The Alaska Statewide Special Education Conference (ASSEC) is committed to providing high quality professional development relevant to the cultural, rural, and remote characteristics of Alaska. assec.org

FEB

Alaska Forum on the Environment

FEB

ASTE Annual Conference

Dena’ina Center, Anchorage: The Alaska Forum on the Environment is Alaska’s largest statewide gathering of environmental professionals from government agencies, nonprofit and for-profit businesses, community leaders, Alaskan youth, conservationists, biologists, and community elders. akforum.com

6-10

Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage: This is the educational technology conference of the Alaska Society for Technology in Education. This years’ theme is “Explore, Capture, Connect, Reflect.” aste.org R

18-21

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BREWERIES

EAT 

Compiled by Tasha Anderson

SHOP

T

he Brewer’s Guild of Alaska was founded in 2000 to promote the craft beer and brewing industry. Currently it is the voice of thirty-four member breweries, brewpubs, and breweries in-planning. Below are the currently established breweries and brewpubs around the state. No matter where one may be traveling throughout Alaska, there are companies nearby with a passion for brewing. 49th State Brewing Company 49th State Brewing Company was founded in 2010 by Jason Motyka and David McCarthy. The Brewery has two locations, one in Anchorage at

PLAY

STAY

717 W. Third Avenue and one in Healy at Mile 248.4 on the Parks Highway. Both brewpubs serve 49th State’s beer as well as a full menu of high-end pub food. 49statebrewing.com Alaskan Brewing Company Alaskan Brewing Company opened in 1986 by Marcy and Geoff Larson, the first brewery in Juneau since Prohibition. Located at 219 S. Franklin Street in Juneau, the brewery includes a gift shop and tasting bar. alaskanbeer.com Arkose Brewery Arkose Brewery was founded by Stephen and June Geteisen in October of 2011 in Palmer. The brewery is located at 650 E. Steel Loop in Palmer and includes

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a taproom open to the public. arkosebrewery.com Baranof Island Brewing Co. Baranof Island Brewing Co. is owned, operated, sampled, and sold by beer lovers, Rick and Suzan, who opened the brewery in 2010. Baranof Island Brewing is located at 215 Smith Street in Sitka. Their tap room is open 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily, but primarily beer is brewed and sold for off-site consumption. baranofislandbrewing.com Bearpaw River Brewing Company Bearpaw River Brewing, which opened December 2015, is run by four brothers: Jake, Jed, Jack, and James. Bearpaw River Brewing is located at 4605 E. PalmerWasilla Highway in Wasilla. The microbrewery has swag available

in the Taproom, which opens on Noon Wednesday through Sunday. bearpawriverbrewing.com Bleeding Heart Brewery Bleeding Heart Brewery was founded in 2014 and is located at 16013 Outer Springer Loop Road in Palmer. On Facebook. Broken Tooth Brewing Broken Tooth Brewing, formerly known as Moose’s Tooth Brewing, was opened in 1996 by Rod Hancock and Matt Jones. Broken Tooth Brewing is located at 2021 Spar Avenue in Anchorage and provides beer for the company’s two venues, Bear Tooth Theatrepub and Moose’s Tooth. brokentoothbrewing.net Denali Brewing Company Denali Brewing Company is located

at 13605 Main Street in Talkeetna and has an on-site tasting room. denalibrewing.com Gakona Brewing Company Established in 2015, Gakona Brewing Company is located Mile 0.5 on the Tok Cutoff Highway in Gakona. It was founded by Eddie and Lorie Miner. Gakona Brewing’s logo features a rabbit, as Gakona is an Athabascan term for “Rabbit River.” gakonabrewing.com Glacier Brewhouse Glacier Brewhouse, located at 737 W. Fifth Avenue in Anchorage, was founded in 1996 by Chris Anderson and Bob Acree. The brewery is a 15bbl single infusion mash system and constantly ranks in the top ten (out of about 1,200) in the United States for brewpub beer production. glacierbrewhouse.com

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163


Grace Ridge Brewing Grace Ridge Brewing’s beginning was a five-gallon home brew kit that Sherry Stead bought in 1988. It has now expanded to a three-barrel system. Grace Ridge Brewing is located in Homer at 3388 B Street. graceridgebrewing.com Haines Brewing Company Centrally located in Haines at 327 Main Street, Haines Brewing Company is owned and operated by Paul Wheeler and Jeanne Kitayama. Established in 1999, the company oved in September of 2015 increasing tasting room and brewing capacity. hainesbrewing.com

It’s a seven-barrel brewing system located at 1411 Lake Shore Drive in Homer. homerbrew.com Hoodoo Brewing Company Bobby Wilken and his wife Jessica built the Hoodoo Brewing Company brewery in 2011 in Fairbanks. It’s located at 1951 Fox Avenue, and features a taproom and brewery tours. hoodoobrew.com Icy Strait Brewing Icy Strait Brewing is located in Hoonah, housed in a structure built sometime around 1914 located at 155 Front Street. It was purchased by Icy Strait Brewing in 2013. icystraitbrewing.com

Homer Brewing Company Homer Brewing Company was established in 1996 through a homebrew cooperative comprised Kassik’s Brewery of the Q&Q Guild, Steve McCasland, Kassik’s Brewery is located at 47160 Lasse Holmes, and Karen Berger. Spruce Haven Street in Kenai in

a small warehouse adjacent to owners Frank and Debara Kassik’s home. It opened Memorial Day in 2006. kassiksbrew.com Kenai River Brewing Company Kenai River Brewing Company is in Soldotna at 308 Homestead Lane and sells six-packs, quarts, growlers, Party Pigs, and fivegallon kegs to go in addition to their offerings in the tasting room. kenairiverbrewing.com King Street Brewing Company King Street Brewing Company opened in 2011 and is located at 7924 King Street in Anchorage. Its taproom is open seven days a week, and the brewery has beer available in bottles and cans. kingstreetbrewing.com

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Kodiak Island Brewing Company Kodiak Island Brewing was founded in 2003 by Ben Millstein, and is the first and only brewery on Kodiak, located at 117 Lower Mill Bay Road. kodiakbrewery.com The Last Frontier Brewing Company Owned by Randy Martin and Robby Martin, The Last Frontier Brewing Company is family operated and is located at 238 Boundary Street in Wasilla. lastfrontierbrew.com Midnight Sun Brewing Company Midnight Sun Brewing Company opened in May 1995 and is located in an industrial park in South Anchorage at 8111 Dimond Hook Drive. midnightsunbrewing.com

Odd Man Rush Brewing Odd Man Rush Brewing opened in 2015 in Eagle River. It’s located at 10930 Mausel Street and was founded by three local homebrewers. oddmanrushbrewing.com

Skagway Brewing Company Mike Healy is the owner and general manager of Skagway Brewing Company, which is located at 700 Broadway in Skagway. skagwaybrewing.com

Seward Brewing Company Erik Slater and Hillary Bean bought Seward Brewing Company in 2014. The nine-bbl facility is located at 139 Fourth Avenue in Seward. sewardbrewery.com

St. Elias Brewing Company St. Elias Brewing Company is a full service restaurant and bar located at 434 Sharkathmi Avenue in Soldotna. steliasbrewingco.com R

Silver Gulch Brewery Silver Gulch Brewery has been in operation since 1998 in the small community of Fox, founded by homebrewer Glenn Brady. The brewery is located at 2195 Old Steese Highway, and the company has an Anchorage location at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. silvergulch.com

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165


EVENTS CALENDAR OCTOBER 2016

EAT

PLAY 

SHOP

Anchorage

29

Soldotna

This fun out-and-back course is an opportunity to see all the awesome costumes: there will be a team and individual costume contest with great prizes after the run. All activities are based on the Fourth Avenue side of the Hotel Captain Cook. After running, hit businesses downtown with the kids for Trick or Treat Street starting at noon. skinnyraven.com

OCT

22

Put on a costume and visit the Alaska Zoo to celebrate Halloween. There will be spooky trail decorations, event staff in costumes, and trick-or-treat stations throughout zoo grounds. The fun gets underway at 5 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m. Dress warm and carry a flash light to help light the way around the zoo while visiting the animals in this nocturnal setting. alaskazoo.org.

31

Fairbanks Go Winter! Expo

OCT

event focuses on winter: 8-9 This how to get through it safely and sanely while having some fun. This year will include the Interior Alaska Gun show, as well as indoor and outdoor activities, food, and information about winterization, home care, and travel ideas, all at the Carlson Center. fairbanksevents.com/go-winter-expo/

Eagle River

Wasilla OCT

OCT

7

From 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., sample a variety of microbeers brewed in Alaska, including beers from Alaskan Brewing, Denali Brewing Company, Midnight Sun Brewing Company, Arkos Brewery, Glacier Brewhouse, Sleeping Lady Brewery, Celestial Brewing Company, and Odd Man Rush Brewing at the Eagle River Lions Club. There will be complimentary appetizers and non-alcoholic drinks will be served, must be 21 or older to attend. All proceed benefit the Eagle River Boys & Girls Club. brownpapertickets.com/ event/2220576 166

International Friendship Day

15 Celebrate diversity with performances and ethnic food booths at the Pioneer Park Civic Center from noon to 5 p.m. explorefairbanks.com OCT-NOV

OCT

a buffet dinner and one-way train ride from Anchorage to Girdwood with return by coach bus the next day. The resort is also hosting its popular Halloween Concert in the Daylodge on Saturday. alyeskaresort.com

Blithe Spirit

This play by Noel Coward is about the socialite and novelist Charles Condomine, who hosts a séance to gather material for his next book. The plan backfires when he’s then haunted by his first wife. The Fairbanks Drama Association performs at the Riverfront Theatre. fairbanksdrama.org

21-6

Kodiak OCT

Women of the World

31 Children are invited to explore bones, bugs, bats, and birds from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Alaska Museum of the North. uaf.edu/museum/

Go on a musical journey through Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe through a cappella performance, storytelling, and dance. 2014 Harmony Sweepstakes champions, the premier American showcase for vocal harmony music, these four amazing entertainers from around the globe perform in twentynine languages and demonstrate the power of music to bridge cultural divides. Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium, 7 p.m. kodiakarts.org

Girdwood

Skagway

OCT

Eagle River Brewfest

Octoberfest Celebration

celebrates Octoberfest throughout the month with 1-31 Petersburg concerts, gallery walks, the Hump 500 Go-cart Race, Devil’s Thumb Chili Feed and Brewfest, Octoberfest Artshare, Beat the Odds, a race to raise funds for cancer patients, and the Rain Country Quilters Quilt show, among other events. petersburg.org

OCT

OCT

Soldotna Chamber Pie & Dessert Auction

Annual fundraiser for the Soldotna Chamber; proceeds help finance the Chamber Scholarship program as well as other community events. Taking place at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex, local gourmets bake desserts to be auctioned off, and each winning bidder gets to choose their prize package at the end of the night. soldotnachamber.com

Zoo Boo

OCT

STAY

and yoga and spinning classes at the Skagway Recreation Center. skagway. com/event/fall-festival/

Petersburg

Skinny Raven Frightening 4k

OCT

Compiled by Tasha Anderson

Halloween at the Museum of the North

Halloween Concert

partnership with the 29 InAlaska Railroad, the Alyeska Halloween Train is scheduled for a midafternoon departure from Anchorage to the haunted Hotel Alyeska, featuring

7

OCT

Fall Festival

annual festival 14-16 This celebrates arts, music, and life in the North. This year’s highlights include free canning classes taught by the UAF Cooperative Extension

Valley Performing Arts Annual Fun-Raiser

8 Held at Evangelo’s Restaurant in Wasilla, this annual fundraiser is hosted by BP Alaska and Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union. This evening will be a “Roaring 20s” gala, including entertainment, silent and live auctions, and other activities. Guests are encouraged to dress up for the evening. valleyperformingarts.org OCT-NOV

21-6

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf

George, a professor at a small college, and his wife, Martha, have just returned home, drunk from a Saturday night party. Martha announces that she has invited a young couple—an opportunistic new professor at the college and his shatteringly naïve new bride—to stop by for a nightcap. When they arrive the charade begins. Uunderneath the edgy banter crossfired between both couples lurks an undercurrent of tragedy and despair. valleyperformingarts.org OCT

22

Mighty Matanuska Brewfest

Guests can sample beers from breweries around Alaska and the world, voting for their favorite. The brewer of the 2016 People’s Choice will have the opportunity to provide the 2017 Official Fair beer. Taking place at the Alaska State Fairgrounds, the Brewfest also includes live music, dancing, and beer-friendly food starting at 6 p.m. alaskastatefair.org R

Palmer OCT

Halloween Hollow

Raven Hall is definitely treat, not trick, and a carnival atmosphere prevails with more than thirty-five games and activities for children up to fourteen years of age. Everyone is encouraged to wear their costumes. Visit the concession stand for food and drinks while children participate in the festivities. Admission is $5 or an unwrapped toy. alaskavisit.com

31

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


ALASKA TRENDS

By Khristian Viray

Oil Production Up, Permitting Down Industry on track for increased output

O

bservers of the state economy may be aware that oil production in 2015 hit its lowest levels since the trans-Alaska oil pipeline went into service in the late 1970s. However, one welcome piece of information is that production in 2016 seems to be a slight reverse of the declining trend. According to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas, total production from January through July totaled nearly 105 million barrels, compared to about 102 million barrels for the same period in 2015. In other words, 2016 is on track to show the first year-on-year increase in output since 2002. Another activity indicator watched by industry analysts is drilling permits. Although oil production was low last year, the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved a total of 230 permits to drill in 2015. These permits are categorized into three general proposed well classes: development, service, and exploratory. Out of the 230 permits approved in 2015, 174 were development wells, 46 were service wells, and 10 were exploratory wells. As of July 2016, the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission had approved 92 permits, of which 58 were development wells, 27 were service wells, and 7 were exploratory wells. So far, the number of approved permits this year is down from the same time period last year. Compared to July 2015, 132 permits were already approved: 103 development wells, 22 service wells, and

7 exploratory wells. However, this year’s pace is comparable to that of 2014. In July 2014, 94 permits were approved and the year wrapped up with 189 approved permits. Exploratory wells in particular are a closely watched indicator as they point to future output, and 2016 is on track to match 2015 in this area. Data shows that the oil giants are still the most active in permit acquisitions. So far in 2016 ConocoPhillips has obtained 55 permits followed by BP Exploration with 21. Hilcorp Alaska has the most out of the independent oil companies with 7 permits. Other companies such as Furie Operating Alaska, Doyon, ASRC, Caelus Natural Resources Alaska, and others also acquired permits. In addition to approved permits, ConocoPhillips also has the highest number of completed wells this year with 53. BP was again second with 34 completed wells, followed by Hilcorp Alaska with 12. In short, the state’s oil and gas industry is still making investments for the long-term. R

Alaska Trends, an outline of significant statewide statistics, is provided by the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development.

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167


ALASKA TRENDS

Indicator

By Nolan Klouda

Units

GENERAL Per Capita Personal Income—Alaska US $ Per Capita Personal Income—United States US $ Consumer Prices—Anchorage 1982-1984 = 100 Consumer Prices—United States 1982-1984 = 100 Bankruptcies Alaska Total Number Filed Anchorage Total Number Filed Fairbanks Total Number Filed

Period

Latest Report Period

Previous Report Period (revised)

Year Ago Period

Year Over Year Change

1stQ16 1stQ16 1stH16 1stH16

56,269.0 48,707.0 216.9 238.7

55,934.0 48,322.0 216.7 237.7

55,889 46,998 217.1 236.2

0.7% 3.6% -0.1% 1.1%

July July July

39.0 31.0 4.0

32.0 24.0 5.0

39 30 7

0.0% 3.3% -42.9%

Thousands

July

371.5

367.4

374.6

-0.8%

Percent Percent

July July

6.1 4.9

6.7 4.9

5.8 5.3

5.2% -7.5%

Employment Alaska Anchorage/Mat-Su Region Anchorage, Municipality Interior Region Fairbanks North Star Borough Southeast Juneau, City and Borough Northern Region Gulf Coast Southwest Region

Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands

July July July July July July July July July July

348.7 191.0 149.8 50.1 43.7 39.3 16.8 9.3 38.9 20.0

342.7 191.1 149.9 49.5 42.9 36.7 16.6 9.4 37.7 18.2

352.8 192.4 150.8 51.0 44.6 40.0 17.1 10.0 39.3 20.2

-1.2% -0.7% -0.7% -1.8% -2.0% -1.7% -1.7% -7.3% -0.9% -0.7%

Sectorial Distribution—Alaska Total Nonfarm Goods-Producing Mining and Logging Mining Oil & Gas Construction Manufacturing Seafood Processing Service-Providing Trade, Transportation, Utilities Wholesale Trade Retail Trade Food & Beverage Stores General Merchandise Stores Trans/Warehouse/Utilities Air Transportation Information Telecommunications Financial Activities Professional & Business Svcs Educational & Health Services Health Care Leisure & Hospitality Accommodation Food Svcs & Drinking Places Other Services Government Federal Government State Government State Education Local Government Local Education Tribal Government

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

July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July

364.8 60.8 15.8 15.7 12.4 19.9 25.1 20.8 304.0 72.0 6.7 40.5 6.3 11.3 24.8 6.5 6.1 4.2 12.7 29.3 49.2 36.6 44.6 13.1 24.9 11.9 78.2 16.6 23.3 5.5 38.3 17.9 4.2

359.5 52.4 15.6 15.5 12.3 19.2 17.6 13.5 307.1 71.6 6.6 40.5 6.3 11.1 24.5 6.4 6.1 4.1 12.8 29.3 49.4 36.8 42.9 12.1 24.4 11.6 83.4 16.5 23.8 5.9 43.1 23.5 4.1

364.7 63.6 17.8 17.4 14.2 21.0 24.8 20.6 301.1 70.6 6.7 39.4 6.4 11.1 24.5 6.6 6.3 4.2 13.1 31.5 47.4 34.6 42.7 12.4 24.0 11.8 77.7 15.6 24.7 5.8 37.4 17.3 4.1

0.0% -4.4% -11.2% -9.8% -12.7% -5.2% 1.2% 1.0% 1.0% 2.0% 0.0% 2.8% -1.6% 1.8% 1.2% -1.5% -3.2% 0.0% -3.1% -7.0% 3.8% 5.8% 4.4% 5.6% 3.7% 0.8% 0.6% 6.4% -5.7% -5.2% 2.4% 3.5% 2.4%

Labor Force in Alaska Unemployment Rate Alaska United States

168

Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


ALASKA TRENDS

Indicator

PETROLEUM/MINING Crude Oil Production—Alaska Natural Gas Field Production—Alaska ANS West Coast Average Spot Price Hughes Rig Count Alaska United States Gold Prices Silver Prices Zinc Prices REAL ESTATE Anchorage Building Permit Valuations Total Residential Commercial Government Average Loan in Housing Market Statewide Single-Family Condominium Multi-Family Refinance Average Loan Statewide Single-Family Condominium New Housing Built Statewide Single-Family Mobile Home Multi-Family

By Nolan Klouda

Units

Period

Millions of Barrels Billions of Cubic Ft. $ per Barrel

July July July

Active Rigs July Active Rigs July $ Per Troy Oz. July $ Per Troy Oz. $ Per tonne July

Latest Report Period

Previous Report Period (revised)

Year Ago Period

Year Over Year Change

13.6 6.5 44.1

14.1 6.7 47.4

13.9 8.2 56.2

-2.3% -20.7% -21.5%

4.0 463.0 1,337.3 20.0 2,183.3

9.0 421.0 1,318.8 18.4 2,026.2

9.0 874.0 1130.81 15.1 2,000.7

-55.6% -47.0% 18.3% 33.0% 9.1%

Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $ Millions of $

June June June June

36.8 18.9 14.5 3.5

116.5 32.2 80.6 3.7

82.3 26.0 52.0 4.3

-55.3% -27.3% -72.2% -19.3%

Dollars Dollars Dollars

1stQ16 1stQ16 1stQ16

290,179.0 184,481.0 572,364.0

277,338.0 188,235.0 697,162.0

281,494.0 180,214.0 442,343.0

3.1% 2.4% 29.4%

Dollars Dollars

1stQ16 1stQ16

228,377.0 160,394.0

230,430.0 163,119.0

241,092.0 167,354.0

-5.3% -4.2%

Units Units Units

1stQ16 1stQ16 1stQ16

89.0 4.0 43.0

134.0 7.0 203.0

110.0 1.0 192.0

-19.1% 300.0% -77.6%

ALASKA PERMANENT FUND Equity Millions of $ June Assets Millions of $ June Net Income Millions of $ June Net Income—Year to Date Millions of $ June Marketable Debt Securities Millions of $ June Real Estate Investments Millions of $ June Preferred and Common Stock Millions of $ June

52,769.7 53,383.2 52,800.5 54,324.5 54,289.3 55,003.5 -47.10 173.6 76.1 89.8 191.5 -540.60 196.4 -66.8 -146.4 37.9 120.5 62.6 -205.0 -117.7 -450.90

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 $

2ndQ16 2ndQ16 2ndQ16 2ndQ16 2ndQ16 2ndQ16 2ndQ16 2ndQ16 2ndQ16

6,323.0 305.6 141.3 3,048.2 21.0 5,466.3 4,729.4 2,040.1 2,689.2

6,281.1 323.6 146.6 3,014.6 21.0 5,439.0 4,701.6 2,014.1 2,687.4

5,973.90 275.40 147.67 2,926.22 17.90 5,166.50 4,448.14 1,893.39 2,554.75

5.8% 11.0% -4.3% 4.2% 17.3% 5.8% 6.3% 7.7% 5.3%

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

July July July July July

103.5 1.3 0.8 0.9 6.6

102.4 1.3 0.7 0.9 6.6

123.78 1.29 0.64 0.90 6.13

-16.4% 1.6% 17.2% -1.1% 8.3%

-0.1% -1.2% -161.9% 116.6% 234.2% -39.5% 54.5%

Notes: 1. Banking data has been updated to include Alaska State Banks and Alaska’s sole federally chartered, Alaska-based bank, First National Bank Alaska. 2. Information oh housing is retrieved from AHFC website. www.akbizmag.com

October 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

169


ADVERTISERS INDEX AE Solutions Alaska LLC........................................ 66 Ahtna Inc........................................................................97 Alaska Air Cargo - Alaska Airlines.....................33 Alaska Center For Dermatology.........................83 Alaska Mergers & Acquisitions LLC................125 Alaska Photobooth Company..........................115 Alaska Procurement Technical Assistance Center........................23 Alaska Rubber.............................................................39 Alaska Traffic Company.........................................41 Alaska USA Federal Credit Union...................119 Alaska USA Insurance Brokers............................75 Aleut Corp..................................................................125 Alyeska Resort..........................................................116 American Fast Freight............................................. 69 American Marine / Penco...................................167 Anchorage Chrysler Dodge..............................162 Anchorage Messenger Service........................123 Arctic Catering & Support Services...............147 Arctic Iñupiat Offshore LLC.................................47 Arctic Office Products........................................ 108 ASRC Energy.............................................................121 AT&T.................................................................................31 Avis Rent-A-Car.......................................................163 BDO..................................................................................65 Bering Straits Native Corp.....................................67 BP .....................................................................................37 Bristol Bay Native Corp. (BBNC).........................95 Business Insurance Associates Inc...................76 C & R Pipe and Steel Inc.........................................23

Calista Corp...............................................................141 Carlile Transportation Systems..........................45 Catalyst Marine Engineering........................... 140 CH2M.............................................................................. 49 Chugach Alaska Corp............................................. 94 Colville Inc....................................................................38 Construction Machinery Industrial.....................2 Cook Inlet Regional Advisory Council...........61 Cornerstone Advisors..........................................101 Craig Taylor Equipment...................................... 171 Crowley Alaska Inc...................................................35 Cruz Construction Inc..........................................111 Delta Constructors............................................... 104 Delta Leasing LLC.......................................................11 Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union...........131 DOWL.............................................................................. 96 Doyon Limited................................................................3 Fairbanks Memorial Hospital...............................81 Fairweather LLC..........................................................57 First National Bank Alaska.......................................5 Foss Maritime...............................................................19 Fountainhead Hotels...............................................43 GCI.......................................................................38, 172 Great Northwest Inc.............................................102 Great Originals Inc...................................................29 Greer Tank..................................................................123 Hall, Render, Killian, Heath, & Lyman PC.........................................142 Historic Anchorage Hotel................................. 164 Homer Electric Association Inc......................127

Hotel Captain Cook..................................................25 Judy Patrick Photography.................................170 Junior Achievement of Alaska........................ 100 Kinross Fort Knox...................................................107 Land’s End Resort......................................................29 Lynden Inc....................................................................91 Marine Container Solutions LLC........................58 Mechanical Contractors of Fairbanks.............13 Medical Park Family Care Inc..............................83 N C Machinery.............................................................55 Nalco Energy Services........................................... 66 NCB................................................................................... 71 New Horizons Telecom Inc..................................63 Nortech Environmental & Engineering.................................................. 129 Northern Air Cargo...................................156, 157 Northrim Bank............................................................85 Northwest Strategies...............................................77 NPC Energy Services...............................................15 Olgoonik Corp........................................................... 48 Oxford Assaying & Refining Inc..................... 164 Pacific Pile & Marine...................158, 159, 160 Paragon Interior Construction...........................87 Parker Smith & Feek.................................................79 PenAir............................................................................. 90 Personnel Plus.........................................................165 Petrotechnical Resources Alaska (PRA)......... 51 PND Engineers Inc....................................................43 Port of Anchorage.................................................... 89 Quintillion Networks........................................... 109

Ravn Alaska................................................................... 17 Resource Development Council (RDC).......110 Roger Hickel Contracting Inc..........................105 Sealaska Corp..............................................................93 Seekins Ford Lincoln Mercury Fleet..............112 Sitnasuak Native Corp.............................................19 Stellar Designs Inc..................................................165 Superior Group........................................................133 T. Rowe Price............................................................103 Tanana Chiefs Conference Inc........................139 Think Office................................................................. 44 Thomas Center for Senior Leadership............27 Thomas Head & Greisen.........................................72 Turnagain Marine Construction.........................58 UA Local 367 Plumbers & Steamfitters...........14 Udelhoven Oilfield System Services Inc.... 117 UIC Arctic Response Services.............................59 UIC Marine Services.................................................92 Ukpeagvik Iñupiat Corp.........................................53 United Way of Alaska............................................145 Usibelli Coal Mine...................................................141 Visit Anchorage.......................................................114 Voyager Inn................................................................. 44 Washington Crane & Hoist.................................113 Waste Management..................................................36 Watterson Construction....................................... 98 Wells Fargo Bank Alaska....................................... 99 West-Mark Service Center....................................61 Westmark Hotels - HAP Alaska....................... 106 Yukon Equipment Inc...........................................143

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Alaska Business Monthly | October 2016www.akbizmag.com


Alaska Business Monthly October 2016  

Visons for the Arctic is the theme for the 2016 Top 49ers, Alaska Business Monthly’s annual tribute to the Top 49 businesses owned and opera...

Alaska Business Monthly October 2016  

Visons for the Arctic is the theme for the 2016 Top 49ers, Alaska Business Monthly’s annual tribute to the Top 49 businesses owned and opera...