DR. MARYNA
CHUMAKOVA-ORIN

Anchorage Bariatrics
Fresh Perspectives on Health Care text
December 2021
December 2021 | Volume 37 | Number 12 | AKBIZMAG.COM

Contents

Features

Risks, Rewards, and Expectations

COVID-19’s impact on insurance trends
By Tracy Barbour

Debt Restructuring: Strategies and Options

Securing a win/win for lenders and borrowers
By Tracy Barbour

Innovation and Internet

Forging new connections mitigated the effects of the pandemic on businesses—at least those with access
By Isaac Stone Simonelli

Smaller Players in the Big Oil Game

Little roles have major results in the oil fields
By Alexandra Kay

Passenger Port Expansions

Improving tourist experience, easing local congestion
By Vanessa Orr

2021 Construction Season Wrap-Up

Projects move forward despite a year of challenges
By Rachael Kvapil
R&M Consultants
Construction: 2021 Construction Season Wrap-Up

Preparing for the Surge

Cargo hubs connect Alaskans to the world
By Brad Joyal
Port of Alaska

About The Cover

Dr. Maryna Chumakova-Orin was twelve years old when she first aspired to a career in medicine. She had broken her elbow, and what she saw in the hospital amazed her. “Everything about seeing the surgeon, doing the surgery, everything about the operating room just took my breath. I was like, ‘This is it,’” she says.

Orin made history this summer when she arrived at Anchorage Bariatrics, the first woman in her field in Alaska. Our December cover story, “Voices of Healthcare,” explores such changes. In addition to Orin, we hear from an ER physician, a former EKG technician, a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a PT assistant, an environmental services manager, and a hospital CEO and former flight nurse, each sharing their perspectives from Anchorage, Palmer, Dillingham, and Ketchikan.

Cover Photo: Kerry Tasker
Transportation: Preparing for the Surge

Preparing for the Surge

Cargo hubs connect Alaskans to the world
By Brad Joyal
Port of Alaska

Risks, Rewards, and Expectations

COVID-19’s impact on insurance trends
By Tracy Barbour

Debt Restructuring: Strategies and Options

Securing a win/win for lenders and borrowers
By Tracy Barbour

Innovation and Internet

Forging new connections mitigated the effects of the pandemic on businesses—at least those with access
By Isaac Stone Simonelli

Smaller Players in the Big Oil Game

Little roles have major results in the oil fields
By Alexandra Kay

Passenger Port Expansions

Improving tourist experience, easing local congestion
By Vanessa Orr

2021 Construction Season Wrap-Up

Projects move forward despite a year of challenges
By Rachael Kvapil
R&M Consultants
Construction: 2021 Construction Season Wrap-Up

About The Cover

Dr. Maryna Chumakova-Orin was twelve years old when she first aspired to a career in medicine. She had broken her elbow, and what she saw in the hospital amazed her. “Everything about seeing the surgeon, doing the surgery, everything about the operating room just took my breath. I was like, ‘This is it,’” she says.

Orin made history this summer when she arrived at Anchorage Bariatrics, the first woman in her field in Alaska. Our December cover story, “Voices of Healthcare,” explores such changes. In addition to Orin, we hear from an ER physician, a former EKG technician, a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a PT assistant, an environmental services manager, and a hospital CEO and former flight nurse, each sharing their perspectives from Anchorage, Palmer, Dillingham, and Ketchikan.

Cover Photo: Kerry Tasker
Special Section: Healthcare
Alaska Business (ISSN 8756-4092) is published monthly by Alaska Business Publishing Co., Inc. 501 W. Northern Lights Boulevard, Suite 100, Anchorage, Alaska 99503-2577; Telephone: (907) 276-4373. © 2021 Alaska Business Publishing Co. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Alaska Business accepts no responsibility for unsolicited materials; they will not be returned unless accompanied by a stamped, self addressed envelope. One-year subscription is $39.95 and includes twelve issues (print + digital) and the annual Power List. Single issues of the Power List are $15 each. Single issues of Alaska Business are $4.99 each; $5.99 for the July & October issues. Send subscription orders and address changes to [email protected]. To order back issues ($9.99 each including postage) visit simplecirc.com/back_issues/alaska-business.
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turning the page

From the Editor

Recently I was at Bagoy’s in Anchorage, acting as a fly on the wall as Junior Achievement of Alaska President Flora Teo interviewed owners Chanda and Randy Mines in preparation for the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame in January 2022. It was a memorable Thursday—Veterans Day, and Anchorage had been blanketed overnight with several inches of snow, the first real snowfall of the season. Before the interview, as Rick Mallars, president and CEO of Upper One Studios, was setting up AV equipment, we were all making the small talk that professionals who have disconnected from their phones and are waiting around for something to start make: the weather, personal but not-too-personal anecdotes, interesting shows and books. Amid that casual and essential connection building, Teo mentioned how unexpected, large snowfalls are just one thing that connects all Alaskans.

For better or worse, we all deal with the weather together. And earthquakes. And being at the end of the supply chain.

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Volume 37, #12
Editorial Staff
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INSURANCE
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Risks, Rewards, and Expectations
COVID-19’s impact on insurance trends
By Tracy Barbour
I

nsurance is an invaluable instrument that businesses employ to address potential risk, but how do insurance companies and brokers navigate an unprecedented event like the COVID-19 pandemic? The novel coronavirus caught the world completely off guard, is persisting much longer than anticipated, and is having unforeseen effects on the future.

Yet the future for insurance seems more certain. “I emphasize not to make light of the tragedy of the pandemic,” says Bob Shake, Director of Growth for Anchorage-based RISQ Consulting, “but there are opportunities for us to grow our business by being more proactive and being out in front of our customers soliciting new business.”

FINANCE
clipart of child blocks built into a tower
Debt Restructuring: Strategies and Options
Securing a win/win for lenders and borrowers
By Tracy Barbour
A

normal part of operating a business is taking on debt, but if that debt is not effectively managed, it can cause cash flow crunches, financial distress, and many other problems. Fortunately, borrowers can use debt restructuring to renegotiate their delinquent financial obligations, so they can restore liquidity and continue their operations.

Companies utilize debt for various reasons, depending on their unique needs. Small businesses often take on debt for the purpose of cash flow leveling, according to Michael Branham, a partner and senior financial planner with The Planning Center in Anchorage. “For example, for companies with the uneven realization of revenue (like a financial planning firm that might bill quarterly), but that still have to meet regular monthly expense needs, a line of credit can be a useful tool to fund expenses in an interim period until revenue or accounts receivable are realized,” he explains.

Telecom & Tech
Innovation and Internet
Forging new connections mitigated the effects of the pandemic on businesses—at least those with access
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
Illustration
I

n an age where private businesses are sending people to outer space, the technology that makes the difference for rural entrepreneurs is something many Americans take for granted: stable access to the internet. And the COVID-19 pandemic has forced even businesses in urban centers, such as Anchorage and Fairbanks, to step up their digital presence and embrace processes or tools already utilized by companies in the Lower 48.

“Small businesses were really challenged on the front end,” says Jeffrey Salzer, the Alaska deputy district director at the Small Business Administration (SBA). “Especially those that were lagging in technology.”

When the pandemic hit nearly two years ago, businesses were scrambling, particularly small “main street” businesses that had very limited digital presences, despite being on Alaska’s fiber network, Salzer explains.

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Healthcare SPECIAL SECTION
Voices of Healthcare: Professional Perspectives
The Alaska healthcare landscape
By Scott Rhode
“I

think there’s been a change in culture, and I think Alaska has been a little bit more progressive in promoting women,” says Ella Goss, CEO of Providence Alaska Medical Center (PAMC). Goss started working at Anchorage’s largest hospital in 1997 as an ER nurse and rose through the ranks of management. Providence has intentionally promoted female leaders from within, she says, developing their potential because the talent pool in Alaska is so small due to the state’s population.

Dr. Maryna Orin
Kerry Tasker
Voices of Healthcare: Professional Perspectives
Dr. Maryna Orin
Kerry Tasker
Voices of Healthcare: Professional Perspectives
The Alaska healthcare landscape
By Scott Rhode
“I

think there’s been a change in culture, and I think Alaska has been a little bit more progressive in promoting women,” says Ella Goss, CEO of Providence Alaska Medical Center (PAMC). Goss started working at Anchorage’s largest hospital in 1997 as an ER nurse and rose through the ranks of management. Providence has intentionally promoted female leaders from within, she says, developing their potential because the talent pool in Alaska is so small due to the state’s population.

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Healthcare SPECIAL SECTION
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
Healing Hands for Alaska’s Workforce
Physical and occupational therapy prepares workers for the field or office
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
F

rom extracting oil on the North Slope to hauling nets in Bristol Bay, the physical nature of work in the Last Frontier can be brutal and demanding. Keeping the workforce mobile is the job of occupational medicine. However, occupational health isn’t just for laborers doing the heavy lifting; desk jockeys can also suffer wear and tear after long hours at their computers—especially when they’re working from home.

Layoffs, furloughs, cut hours, and a whole slew of other environmental, social, and physical factors connected to the pandemic have led to the deconditioning of many people within Alaska’s workforce—especially those who were hospitalized by COVID-19. As the pandemic continues to grind communities down and more people look for opportunities to return to work, it’s important for future employees and employers to plan that return safely.

Healthcare SPECIAL SECTION
Leadership Renewal & Finding Inspiration
The end of extreme effort to improve work outcomes
By Woodrie Burich
W

ork-life has been busy and stressful for a while. Even pre-COVID-19, the average worker in the United States worked more hours than those in the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, and most other industrialized nations, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation. Excessively long work hours are defined as regularly working 48 hours or more, according to studies by the United Nations International Labour Organization, and they are tied to poor health outcomes, lower productivity and performance, and a host of other negatives. The average US-based full-time salaried worker already exceeds this limit by working on average 49 hours per week, says Lydia Saad in Gallup article The 40-Hour Workweek Is Actually Longer—by Seven Hours.

My personal experience as a consultant and executive coach validates this trend: most professionals I’ve witnessed (especially in the managerial/leadership ranks) exceed fifty-hour weeks, and many work much more. Recent technology advances and 24/7 access to work seems to add to an overall sense of urgency and our consistently high workloads. Those late evening texts, emails, and weekend/vacation work-creep are rampant in most leadership positions. COVID-19 has exacerbated this problem by blurring lines between our personal and professional boundaries. This blur has become a reality and created additional work burdens.

Yet with every crisis comes opportunity, and we are seeing some silver linings. Mental health is no longer pushed to the sidelines. There is collective recognition in the fact that working parents need serious support and that our childcare structures are close to breaking. Since the boundaries between personal and professional life have been severed, the need for serious stress-relief and true support for teams is finally coming to the forefront of leadership conversations.

Healthcare Special Section
The Storm Is the Norm
COVID-19 Lessons Learned
By Rindi White
Providence Alaska Medical Center
2

021 has not been a post-pandemic year. Vaccine rollouts in the beginning of the year spelled hope for many and led to a broader reopening of businesses. Summer saw a return to travel and other normal activities. But overall, an uncertain economy, goods shortages, and a third-quarter resurgence in COVID-19 cases has made it clear that the pandemic is still very much with us, along with many of its lingering side effects.

What impression has COVID-19 left on 2021? Where are we in the pandemic, and what has Alaska learned so far?

The lessons are basic, and the message is simple: Be prepared, be flexible, and mind your mental health.

Better Communication, Better Care
Providence Alaska Medical Center has been on the leading edge of the COVID-19 response in Alaska. It hasn’t been easy, and it has required Providence to make some changes in how information is disseminated within their healthcare facilities. Some of those changes will carry over, long-term.

“From an infection prevention lead position, I think the most effective strategy we employed early on in the pandemic was coming together as a leadership group and mobilizing around the most pressing needs of the day,” says Providence’s Manager of Infection Prevention Rebecca Hamel. “I don’t typically sit at the executive level; it really allowed me to have access to leadership.”

We take great care of moms-to-be and the entire family text
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Come in and meet our Pediatric and Family Medicine Providers!
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Medical Park Family Care, Inc. doctors and patients
Pediatric doctor with her patient
Medical Park Family Care, Inc. doctors and patients
We take great care of moms-to-be and the entire family text
  • Our Doctors in Pediatrics are specialists, and parents.
  • Same day appointments available – in person or telemed.
  • Complimentary no charge pre-natal meeting so expectant parents can meet our doctors and staff to be sure we’re a good fit for the entire family.
  • On-site lab and radiology diagnostics, same day results.
Come in and meet our Pediatric and Family Medicine Providers!
Medical Park Family Care, Inc. - Desiree Pediatrics
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Pediatrics
Dr. Laufer Pediatrics
Dr. Laufer
Pediatrics
Medical Park Family Care, Inc. logo
2211 E. Northern Lights Blvd. | 907. 279. 8486 | mpfcak.com
Baby, it’s Still Covid Outside
By Charles Bell, VP of Sales
Y

es, it is winter in Alaska—and the holidays are here—and as Frank Loesser wrote in his 1944 classic song, baby, it’s cold outside! Unfortunately—so is COVID-19. Two years of living through the realities of a pandemic has been diffi cult for everyone. #CoronaLife #InThisTogether

Fortunately, business in Alaska has been remarkably resilient. Even as some companies have folded, numerous others have opened their doors or even expanded and grown. Alaska Business’ opportunity to be an advocate for business in Alaska is a blessing. We know we have been fortunate, and that’s thanks to you: our readers and advertisers. 

Healthcare Special Section
Checking In with Alaska Behavioral Health
Meeting increasing demand for mental health services
By Amy Newman
W

ith facilities in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska Behavioral Health (ABH) has provided mental health and wraparound behavioral health services to Alaskan children, youth in transition, adults, and families, including those with co-occurring substance misuse, for more than forty-five years. Throughout that time the agency has constantly evolved to meet its patients’ needs, increasing treatment options, creating specialized programs, and extending its reach across the state.

That evolution includes a 2020 name change from Anchorage Community Mental Health Services, which it operated under since it first opened its doors on June 11, 1974. The change to Alaska Behavioral Health was intended to reflect both the array of services the clinic provides and its reach across the state.

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Construction
2021 Construction
Season Wrap-Up
Projects move forward despite a year of challenges
By Rachael Kvapil
Kerry Tasker | Cornerstone Construction
A

s the 2021 summer construction season comes to a close, there is a renewed optimism in the industry. Despite the lingering uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, designers, contractors, and crews were prepared to manage health and safety with well-established mask and social distancing protocols along with vaccine accessibility. New challenges presented themselves in the form of labor and materials shortages, an indirect effect of manufacturing disruptions last year and current shipping complications worldwide. Regardless, designers and contractors completed several projects statewide, with many more on the horizon for 2022.

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Every project starts with a solid design. The design phase usually starts several years before construction, though the timeline varies depending on the urgency of a project, the financial resources of a client, and the capacity of everyone involved.
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Transportation
Preparing for the Surge
Cargo hubs connect Alaskans to the world
By Brad Joyal
T

he state’s entire population relies on ports and airports to connect them to the outside world. It’s Alaska’s major cargo hubs that allow vital materials to enter the state and be distributed throughout it.

“The trick with Alaska cargo is Alaskans don’t grow a lot of food up here, and we don’t manufacture a lot of goods in the state,” says Jim Jager with the Port of Alaska. “So, if you’re consuming it in the state, it’s probably being shipped in.”

Many of the state’s busiest ports and airports are undergoing changes to keep up with increased cargo traffic, which continues to steadily surge.

Doorstep to the Arctic
Nome wants a piece of the cargo action. The Port of Nome has undergone a series of projects designed to create a more efficient space for those looking to transport cargo, most notably the Arctic Deep Draft Port project. The project still has about a year remaining in the design stage, and upon completion it will extend the existing causeway by nearly 3,500 feet while adding an outer basin dredged to roughly 40 feet, which nearly doubles the current depth of 22 feet. The additional space would accommodate more icebreakers, fuel tankers, and oversized cruise ships
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Span Alaska’s new Anchorage Service Center (ASC) means even better service and more options for our customers statewide.

Our new facility increases our capacity, improves our security, offers customizable storage areas, and streamlines freight handling — all to enable faster, smoother, and more consistent delivery of your cargo to its final destination.

Stop by our new ASC and see what Span Alaska can do for you.

Or, to schedule a pickup or find the terminal nearest you, call 1-800-257-7726 or visit us at spanalaska.com.

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Growing with Alaska. text

Span Alaska’s new Anchorage Service Center (ASC) means even better service and more options for our customers statewide.

Our new facility increases our capacity, improves our security, offers customizable storage areas, and streamlines freight handling — all to enable faster, smoother, and more consistent delivery of your cargo to its final destination.

Stop by our new ASC and see what Span Alaska can do for you.

Or, to schedule a pickup or find the terminal nearest you, call 1-800-257-7726 or visit us at spanalaska.com.

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OIL & GAS
Smaller Players in the Big Oil Game
Little roles have major results in the oil fields
By Alexandra Kay
E

veryone in Alaska knows the big players in the oil patch: ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Hilcorp, and potentially soon (again) Shell. They are responsible for petroleum production that returned $3.1 billion in state and local taxes and royalties in fiscal year 2019. Counting those dollars spent from public coffers, in addition to the industry’s direct spending, the oil industry drives about half of Alaska’s overall economy, according to the Resource Development Council. The sector also accounts for one-quarter of Alaska’s jobs—but not by those major players alone. They have help.

In the shadow of the giants, smaller operators with less familiar names carve out their pieces of the pie. They form a parallel industry: oil field support. These companies provide environmental services, management, engineering, contracting, and supplies. They would not be in Alaska without the major companies, yet the multinationals would not be able to function without their relatively Lilliputian assistants. Often locally owned, support companies draw on very specific expertise, allowing the big companies to focus on what they do best.

Chill Out

“We manufacture passive refrigeration devices that are used to keep the ground frozen up north,” says Edward Yarmak, president and chief engineer of Arctic Foundations, Inc. (AFI). But isn’t the North Slope permanently frozen? Indeed, oil and gas wells are drilled through permafrost as much as a quarter-mile thick, but the action of drilling, and later the extraction of oil or gas, creates heat. “You can imagine that hot oil coming up through permafrost is something that’s going to thaw things out,” Yarmak says. Softened earth can collapse around wells or underneath pipelines or buildings. That’s where AFI comes in.

AFI makes thermoprobes, which are two-phase thermosyphons that provide passive refrigeration to either create or maintain permafrost. These thermoprobes allow for the construction of heated structures on permafrost without the ground settling, and they also allow oil drilling without well collapse.

E

veryone in Alaska knows the big players in the oil patch: ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Hilcorp, and potentially soon (again) Shell. They are responsible for petroleum production that returned $3.1 billion in state and local taxes and royalties in fiscal year 2019. Counting those dollars spent from public coffers, in addition to the industry’s direct spending, the oil industry drives about half of Alaska’s overall economy, according to the Resource Development Council. The sector also accounts for one-quarter of Alaska’s jobs—but not by those major players alone. They have help.

In the shadow of the giants, smaller operators with less familiar names carve out their pieces of the pie. They form a parallel industry: oil field support. These companies provide environmental services, management, engineering, contracting, and supplies. They would not be in Alaska without the major companies, yet the multinationals would not be able to function without their relatively Lilliputian assistants. Often locally owned, support companies draw on very specific expertise, allowing the big companies to focus on what they do best.

Chill Out

“We manufacture passive refrigeration devices that are used to keep the ground frozen up north,” says Edward Yarmak, president and chief engineer of Arctic Foundations, Inc. (AFI). But isn’t the North Slope permanently frozen? Indeed, oil and gas wells are drilled through permafrost as much as a quarter-mile thick, but the action of drilling, and later the extraction of oil or gas, creates heat. “You can imagine that hot oil coming up through permafrost is something that’s going to thaw things out,” Yarmak says. Softened earth can collapse around wells or underneath pipelines or buildings. That’s where AFI comes in.

AFI makes thermoprobes, which are two-phase thermosyphons that provide passive refrigeration to either create or maintain permafrost. These thermoprobes allow for the construction of heated structures on permafrost without the ground settling, and they also allow oil drilling without well collapse.

TOURISM
Passenger Port Expansions
Improving tourist experience, easing local congestion
By Vanessa Orr
MRV Architects
T

wo years after the pandemic began, tourism is slowly beginning to get back on track. Major cruise lines scheduled 78 voyages with nine ships in 2021, a decrease from more than 500 voyages in 2019 but an improvement over 2020’s zero. Thanks to Congressional action allowing cruises to Alaska to bypass Canadian ports, bookings opened in June. In case passengers feel hesitant boarding a ship amid the simmering pandemic, ports of call are going out of their way to make them feel welcome. Juneau’s well-developed waterfront is hardly finished adding cruise ship amenities, and as cruises returned this summer, August saw new expansions in Ketchikan, Sitka, and Hoonah.

The first cruise ship arrived at the new two-berth Mill at Ward Cove, which is located seven miles north of Ketchikan. Built on the site of the former Ketchikan Pulp Mill, which closed in 1997, construction is ongoing, as the project was slowed by the pandemic.

Inside Alaska Business
Hilcorp
Now that Hilcorp has taken BP’s place in Alaska, the Texas-based company is absorbing ExxonMobil’s operations at the Point Thomson natural gas field. ExxonMobil will continue to own 62 percent of the North Slope field, which started producing gas liquids in 2016, but Hilcorp will become the operator, pending regulatory approval in early 2022. Hilcorp owns 37 percent of Point Thomson as part of the $5.6 billion purchase of BP’s Alaska assets in 2020. An ExxonMobil spokesman says thirty-eight of the company’s employees will either be reassigned outside Alaska or interview for new jobs with Hilcorp.
hilcorp.com
AGDC
Slow down global warming by sending North Slope natural gas overseas: that’s the sales pitch from the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC), based on a new report. The state-backed firm hired experts from EXP, SLR Consulting, and Ashworth Leininger Group, who conclude that Chinese power plants could cut carbon dioxide emissions in half by importing liquified natural gas instead of burning local coal. The study also found that the proposed 807-mile gasline from Prudhoe Bay to Nikiski would have less environmental impact than rival LNG projects on the US Gulf Coast and Australia. AGDC is seeking long-term customers to finance construction of the estimated $40 billion gasline.
agdc.us
Economic Indicators
ANS Crude Oil Production
471,710 barrels
3% change from previous month
10/28/21
Source: Alaska Department of Natural Resources
ANS West Coast Crude Oil Prices
$85.63 per barrel
9% change from previous month
10/29/21
Source: Alaska Department of Natural Resources
Statewide Employment
349,200 Labor Force
6.3% Unemployment
9/1/21. Adjusted seasonally.
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Right Moves
Alaska Business
This very magazine is beefing up its bullpen with a few new hires.
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Barnhill
James Barnhill comes aboard as Full-Charge Bookkeeper, responsible for accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll. Originally from the Yukon River village of Galena, Barnhill is an eleven-year veteran of the US Marine Corps. His experience with military training was handy in his previous position just outside of Camp Pendleton: for four years, he was principal of West Coast Baptist School, a private K-12 school with thirty students in Oceanside, California. Down the coast in La Jolla, he attended National University and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Barnhill enjoys carpentry and hockey.
Fulvia Lowe headshot
Lowe
Fulvia Lowe is the new Graphic Design and Production Manager, responsible for crafting ads and marketing materials. Originally from Lombardy, Italy, her family emigrated to the United States in 1985. Since then, she’s traveled the world, including a road trip from Alaska to the south end of Patagonia, Argentina. Lowe earned a degree in public policy from Montana Tech before switching to graphic design. “My zest for life shows in my personality along with being a creative visionary with the spark to keep things imaginative and artistic,” she says.

Alaska Trends

An art director who might, say, design a data graphic for a monthly magazine can expect an average salary of $63,030 in Alaska. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), that’s considerably lower than art directors earn in the Lower 48, mostly in the advertising and movie industries. [Art Director’s note-to-self: check life choices.]

An editor who prepares text for publication has a mean annual wage of $53,290, according to BLS. That’s also a bit lower than the same job pays outside of Alaska, [Editor’s note: Sterchi-Lowman, check my life choices, too.] but a bit more than the average emergency medical technician, who earns more in Alaska than elsewhere.

The Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development (DOL&WD) counts twenty-six art directors, about the same as the number of audiologists, and eighty-one editors, nearly equal to the number of chiropractors. However, DOL&WD projects that the number of editors will shrink to about seventy by the end of this decade. Let’s blame a declining appreciation for excellent writing. Or computer spellcheckers. Whatever.

At a Glance

What book is currently on your nightstand?

I’ve been writing these law review articles every couple of years, so my latest one I’ve been working on is an article about proxy challenges in ANCSA corporate elections. So I’ve been doing an awful lot of reading, but it’s not books. It’s cases and other legal material to try to get that done.

What charity or cause are you passionate about?

Akeela, which does substance abuse treatment and prevention. Just hearing the stories of our clients… has kept me on that board for twenty-one years now.

What’s the first thing you do when you get home after a long day at work?

[He laughs] Well, usually my stop is not first at home, it’s usually at the hockey rink. My kids play hockey, and I do help coach with U8 [kids under age 8].

What vacation spot is on your bucket list?

There’s one thing I really would like to do at some point, and that’s go to Argentina and hunt doves… There’s millions of these birds, and you do a lot of shooting down there, so it’s right up my alley.

If you could domesticate a wild animal, what animal would it be?

I’d love to have a big mountain lion. That would be an ideal pet to go hunting with. Like, you’re in the woods and you have a real nice camp dog; you can’t beat a mountain lion, can you? [he laughs]

Aaron Schutt teaching kids hockey

At a Glance

What book is currently on your nightstand?

I’ve been writing these law review articles every couple of years, so my latest one I’ve been working on is an article about proxy challenges in ANCSA corporate elections. So I’ve been doing an awful lot of reading, but it’s not books. It’s cases and other legal material to try to get that done.

What charity or cause are you passionate about?

Akeela, which does substance abuse treatment and prevention. Just hearing the stories of our clients… has kept me on that board for twenty-one years now.

What’s the first thing you do when you get home after a long day at work?

[He laughs] Well, usually my stop is not first at home, it’s usually at the hockey rink. My kids play hockey, and I do help coach with U8 [kids under age 8].

What vacation spot is on your bucket list?

There’s one thing I really would like to do at some point, and that’s go to Argentina and hunt doves… There’s millions of these birds, and you do a lot of shooting down there, so it’s right up my alley.

If you could domesticate a wild animal, what animal would it be?

I’d love to have a big mountain lion. That would be an ideal pet to go hunting with. Like, you’re in the woods and you have a real nice camp dog; you can’t beat a mountain lion, can you? [he laughs]

Image © Kerry Tasker

Off the Cuff

Aaron Schutt
O

ne way or another, Aaron Schutt would’ve been flying across Alaska, from village to village. He didn’t follow one childhood dream to become a bush pilot, but he still gets around (or did, before COVID-19) as President and CEO of Doyon, Limited. He considers the best part of his job to be visiting the Interior hometowns of the regional Native corporation’s 20,000 shareholders and understanding their current needs and their histories.

“Wherever they live now,” he says, “they’re from somewhere.”

Schutt, a Koyukon Athabascan enrolled in the Native Village of Tanana, grew up in Tok, graduating high school with just eighteen classmates. He earned a master’s degree in civil engineering and then pivoted to Stanford Law School, becoming a lawyer like his twin brother Ethan (himself an executive vice president at Bristol Bay Native Corporation and a Permanent Fund trustee).

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Fairbanks
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The Rental Zone
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Kenai
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