Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation
Growing, Profitable, and Stronger than Ever
Delbert Rexford
UIC President & CEO, Delbert Rexford
©Kerry Tasker

n recent years, Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation (UIC) has dramatically transformed itself into one of the most impressive and dynamic companies in Alaska. Thanks to its effective leadership team, top-notch employees, and extraordinary growth in revenues and income, UIC is more profitable and stronger than ever.

UIC is also among Alaska’s largest and most diverse enterprises, with about fifty subsidiaries engaging in more than twenty-five different industries and business lines throughout the U.S and abroad. The company offers an array of services, including vertical and infrastructure construction, architecture, engineering, logistics support, marine, environmental, and oil and gas services for both private and public clients. Organized as an Alaska Native Corporation in 1973, UIC currently employs more than 3,500 worldwide, including 350 employees in Alaska.

Just a few years ago, UIC went through some major challenges and setbacks. Since then, a remarkable transformation has occurred with the addition of the executive team of President/CEO Delbert Rexford and COO Jeevan Pokharel—a leader who is well known for turning around and revitalizing companies.
Rexford extols Pokharel’s commanding skills, with realistic visions, strategies, and leveraging resources to effectively execute operations. “I am elated to have a world-class COO achieving monumental milestones and making differences at every level of our organization,” Rexford states. “Our collective success is in large part due to Mr. Pokharel’s sound decision making, business development plans, and effective acquisitions, all assuring profitability in each of these ventures.” Pokharel also attributes the company’s success to the efforts of all UIC employees, including their adherence to cultural values. He explains, “Our employees overwhelmingly care about UIC, and the end result is success by living and practicing Iñupiat values in all aspects of our organization.”
“UIC’s turnaround the past two years since Jeevan’s arrival has been remarkable. It is the most remarkable turnaround in profi tability that I may have witnessed within a company the size of UIC. I credit Jeevan’s leadership with Delbert and the support of their team to get behind both. He had a clear vision of what needed to get done and executed as planned. Congratulations to the UIC team. UIC shareholders must be very grateful. I’m looking forward to the next chapter with UIC.”
— Sam Mazzeo, Sr. VP, Alaska Commercial Banking Group, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Emphasizing teamwork, Rexford cites this quote from best-selling author Patrick Lencioni: “If you can get all the people in the organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.”
UIC—which ranked No. 11 on Alaska Business magazine’s 2020 Top 49ers list—is excelling in all aspects. The company is realizing double-digit revenue increases and even more impressive profitability. Despite some of the recent global economic challenges, including the pandemic, this trend continues. UIC is already expecting 2021 to be another record year.

All of these achievements, together with significant reductions in debt, have directly resulted in creating unprecedented equity for UIC’s shareholders. “We are proud to report that the company has been able to pay out record-breaking dividends these last two years,” Pokharel says.

“UIC is poised to capitalize on its phenomenal financial results, liquidity position, existing borrowing capacity, and the company’s strong relationships with banks and sureties. This will all result in explosive growth in the near future,” Pokharel explains. Rexford reiterates, “We see a very bright future for the company and all our shareholders.”

As a testament to its operational prowess, UIC has also amassed billions of dollars in contract backlog, plus tens of billions more currently in the pipeline. “This is further evidence of the quality and credibility of our outstanding employees and client relationships,” Pokharel says. “UIC is being recognized as a strategic leader and world-class company. We expect UIC’s reputation and performance to only improve in the future.”

Jeevan Pokharel
UIC COO, Jeevan Pokharel
©Kerry Tasker
In a similar vein, Rexford says, “A year ago, we compared ourselves with other large Alaskan companies; now with our unparalleled successes, we believe we have honed our skills and experience to set our eyes on becoming a true global player with deep Alaskan and Iñupiat grassroots values.”
UIC offers valuable opportunities to help Alaskans advance their careers and business goals. With all of UIC’s growth and opportunities, the company is very focused on bringing more “great talent” into its operations. “We continue to attract, add and retain top-notch talent and keep turnover to a minimum,” Pokharel says. “We are already experiencing the addition of great team members and partners who appreciate the strengths, opportunities and stability available at UIC.” Pokharel also encourages individuals and contractors to explore their options with the company.

Additionally, the company is seeking more avenues for business partnerships, potential acquisitions, and expanded work activities in Alaska and in the Lower 48. Rexford states that “Our UIC Board of Directors has directed us to grow globally in a strategic and methodical manner with a healthy perspective for consistent, sustainable profits now and into the future.” As part of UIC’s growth strategy, the company intends to expand into other business lines, further diversifying its business portfolio. This last year, UIC acquired a majority interest in a premier group of Seattle-based construction companies; acquired an East Coast firm, which helped land over $450 million in contract value; added a heavy civil construction division in Alaska; and added a construction division focusing on local, state and federal government sectors.

Pokharel points out: “Our growth strategy is already paying off. For example, in 2018 we planned to expand in the West Coast. UIC today has a significant presence and new operations in California, Colorado, Arizona, Hawaii, and Washington. These new opportunities are valued at $250 million and were successfully obtained within just the last two years. UIC is also exploring several other potential contracting and joint-venture opportunities. We are constantly looking for growth areas with promising potential and great leadership.”

Though rapidly expanding, UIC remains committed to taking care of all its core businesses and customers. “Alaska will always be our home, and our local operations have very successfully performed and been awarded many contracts throughout the state,” Rexford says. “UIC looks forward to working collaboratively with all entities to deliver the highest quality products and services per our clients’ expectations.”

UIC Logo
6700 Arctic Spur Rd.
Anchorage, AK 99518
Ph: 907-677-5200
Alaska Business Profile