January 2019 | Volume 35 | Number 1 | AKBIZMAG.COM
Contents
Features

Convenient and Brick-Free

How technology changed banking
By Tracy Barbour

Hitting Bottom to Reach the Top

Could 2019 mark Alaska’s economic turnaround?
By Isaac Stone Simonelli

ANCSA Improvement Act

Course corrections for 2019
By Julie Stricker

The Electronic Logging Device Mandate

What it means for Alaskan truckers
By Sam Friedman

Mines on the Horizon

Three mining prospects move closer to potential operation
By Julie Stricker
Oil & Gas Special Section

ConocoPhillips Alaska’s Westward Expansion

GMT1 marks first development on federal lands in NPR-A
By Isaac Stone Simonelli

New Finds, New Players, New Optimism

Light at the end of the recession
By O’Hara Shipe

Observe and Protect

Wildlife observers in the oil and gas industry
By Vanessa Orr
Junior Achievement Special Section

Junior Achievement Interviews Alaska Business

By Ashley Jean Smith, Katelyn Smith, and Megan Smith

2019 Junior Achievement Hall of Fame

Laureate John Binkley
By Tasha Anderson

2019 Junior Achievement Hall of Fame

Laureate Richard Strutz
By Arie Henry

2019 Junior Achievement Hall of Fame

Laureate Connie Yoshimura
By Samantha Davenport

2019 Junior Achievement Hall of Fame

Laureate Rick Morrison
By Tasha Anderson
2019 Donors

The Alaska Business Hall of Fame 2019

Junior Achievement of Alaska inducts four new laureates

Junior Achievement Turns 100

100 Years. 100% Ready.

Junior Achievement Interviews Alaska Business

By Ashley Jean Smith, Katelyn Smith, and Megan Smith

2019 Junior Achievement Hall of Fame

Laureate John Binkley
By Tasha Anderson

2019 Junior Achievement Hall of Fame

Laureate Richard Strutz
By Arie Henry

2019 Junior Achievement Hall of Fame

Laureate Connie Yoshimura
By Samantha Davenport

2019 Junior Achievement Hall of Fame

Laureate Rick Morrison
By Tasha Anderson
2019 Donors
About The Cover
We are privileged to introduce the world to Ashley Jean Smith (sitting), Briley Loncar (left), Katelyn Smith, and Megan Smith (right): four young women who are mere years away from taking Alaska’s business community by storm. All four young women participate in Junior Achievement, a program that educates and trains young people in business and the value of free enterprise.

On January 24, Alaska Business is proud to once again partner with Junior Achievement of Alaska to present the Alaska Business Hall of Fame, which celebrates business in the Last Frontier and honors individuals who have been building businesses—and communities—in Alaska for decades.

Thank you Dr. Lilian Van Lith at Providence Health Center, Crystal Frost at Alaska Central Express, and Women in Aviation Alaska for providing the uniforms seen on the cover.

Cover photo: © Matt Waliszek

Departments
Volume 35, #1
Published by Alaska Business
Publishing Co. Anchorage, Alaska
Editorial Staff
Managing Editor
Kathryn Mackenzie
257-2907 [email protected]
Associate Editor
Tasha Anderson
257-2902 [email protected]
Digital and Social Media Specialist
Arie Henry
257-2906 [email protected]
Art Director
David Geiger
257-2916 [email protected]
Art Production
Linda Shogren
257-2912 [email protected]akbizmag.com
Photo Contributor
Judy Patrick
BUSINESS STAFF
President
Billie Martin
VP & General Manager
Jason Martin
257-2905 [email protected]
VP Sales & Marketing
Charles Bell
257-2909 [email protected]
Senior Account Manager
Janis J. Plume
257-2917 [email protected]
Advertising Account Manager
Christine Merki
257-2911 [email protected]
Accounting Manager
Ana Lavagnino
257-2901 [email protected]
Customer Service Representative
Emily Olsen
257-2914 [email protected]
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From the Editor

Welcome to 2019…
Year of Recovery?
W

e’ve finally reached 2019; the year that is supposed to mark a real reversal for Alaska’s economy. Talk of a 2019 turnaround was already weaving its way throughout the business community at this time last year, but some serious oil and gas investments combined with favorable legislative moves have turned talk into action and, we hope, results.

We’re already seeing positive signals coming from the oil and gas sector. Alaska held a record-breaking land lease sale late in 2018, netting $28.1 million from oil and gas lease sales in the North Slope and the Beaufort Sea. A 2018 study from London-based global information provider, IHS Markit, reports that the North Slope is expected to emerge again as a major US energy source. “We expect development in the basin to continue to be driven by commercial masters ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil [as well as] challengers Oil Search and Hilcorp,” says Kareemah Mohamed, associate director of plays and basins research at IHS Markit.

Kathryn Mackenzie
Managing Editor, Alaska Business

FINANCE

Convenient and Brick-Free
How technology
changed banking
By Tracy Barbour
Denali State Bank’s
main office in Fairbanks.

Denali State Bank

F

inancial institutions have been consistently building up their virtual banking services to better accommodate their customers. Virtual banking—often referred to as online banking or electronic banking—is essentially the equivalent of traditional banking over the internet. It allows customers to access their account digitally 24/7 to transfer funds, pay bills, and apply for loans from the comfort of their home, office, or anywhere, really. And with the prevalence of smart devices, mobile banking is becoming an expected service among consumers.

Economy

Hitting Bottom
to Reach
the Top

Could 2019 mark Alaska’s economic turnaround?
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
C

autious optimism surrounds forecasts for Alaska’s economy in 2019 as many predict the state’s recession will finally bottom out—making Alaska one of the last energy-dependent states to begin recovery since oil prices tumbled about three years ago.

Economists and business leaders take into consideration a number of factors when assessing economic health including unemployment rates, workforce demands in specific fields, the potential for the Alaska Legislature to approve a strong capital budget, and whether companies are signaling they might be ready to make major investments.

Economy

Hitting Bottom to Reach the Top

Could 2019 mark Alaska’s economic turnaround?
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
C

autious optimism surrounds forecasts for Alaska’s economy in 2019 as many predict the state’s recession will finally bottom out—making Alaska one of the last energy-dependent states to begin recovery since oil prices tumbled about three years ago.

Economists and business leaders take into consideration a number of factors when assessing economic health including unemployment rates, workforce demands in specific fields, the potential for the Alaska Legislature to approve a strong capital budget, and whether companies are signaling they might be ready to make major investments.

“I think that many are hoping for a recovery in 2019, but a lot of the thinking has been based on the idea that the Alaska Legislature—no longer facing immediate election—will be able to come to an agreement with respect to a long-term solution for funding state government. In addition, the higher oil prices through the end of October have been adding to predictions of a recovery,” says Marcus Hartley, president and principal economist for Northern Economics. “The percent drop in oil prices since the beginning of November may dampen some optimism.”

He continues, “If a capital budget is approved with meaningful amounts of funding, the construction and professional services sectors that have been really feeling the pinch from the lack of state government funding are likely to begin to start hiring more employees.”

Oil & Gas Special Section | GMT1

ConocoPhillips Alaska’s Westward Expansion
Aerial view of ConocoPhillips Alaska’s Greater Mooses Tooth 1, which produced first oil in October.

ConocoPhillips

GMT1 marks first development on federal lands in NPR-A
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
G

reater Mooses Tooth 1 (GMT1) yielded first oil in October. Relying on new oil drilling technology, it is the most recently developed production site for ConocoPhillips on the North Slope as the company continues its methodical westward expansion into the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) along a geological formation known as the Barrow Arch.

“This is another milestone for development in the NPR-A,” says Joe Marushack, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska. “The GMT1 team successfully and safely executed this project in an environmentally responsible manner. We appreciate the collaboration with stakeholders from Kuukpik Corporation, the community of Nuiqsut, the North Slope Borough, and ASRC that made it possible.”

Oil & Gas Special Section | 2018 in Review
Oil & Gas Special Section | 2018 in Review
TAPS pump station 3.

Alyeska Pipeline Service Company

New Finds, New Players, New Optimism
Light at the end of the recession
By O’Hara Shipe
I

n January 2018, the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) projected that after an enduring economic recession, things were beginning to look up for the oil and gas sector. One year later, it appears AEDC’s forecasts were correct. Bolstered by new legislation, new discoveries, and increased levels of production, 2018 was a fairly fruitful year for the oil and gas industry.

Oil & Gas Special Section | Animal Observation
Oil & Gas Special Section | Animal Observation
Observe and
Protect
A derrick barge used during pipeline remediation. Observers monitor the exclusion zone for protected species during surveys.

AIS

Wildlife observers in the oil and gas industry
By Vanessa Orr
A

s they look to develop Alaska’s resources, oil and gas companies, as well as the state and federal agencies that regulate them, have to strike a delicate balance between meeting the needs of those in the business of fossil fuels and protecting the fish and animals that could be negatively affected by exploration and ongoing operations.

For this reason, oil and gas companies employ a number of people—ranging from offshore marine mammal observers to onshore environmental scientists—to study the environment at potential exploration sites, document animal interactions, perform ongoing field studies, and mitigate adverse effects that might be caused by human activity.

Alaska Native
ANCSA
Improvement Act
Course corrections for 2019
By Julie Stricker
L

ast year was a big one for politics. The midterm elections garnered headlines across the nation and statewide, with big turnouts and tight races. For example, the race for House District 1 ended with a vote of 2,663 to 2,662. That one vote gave Republican Bart LeBon—who called the race and subsequent recount “one for the books”—the win and the Republican party control of the state’s House. Republicans also have a majority in the state’s Senate and, following another tight race, Alaska has a Republican governor.

The race for governor was no less exciting. Republican Mike Dunleavy won the governor’s seat with about 51 percent of the vote compared to Democrat Mark Begich, who lost by a slim margin, garnering about 45 percent of the vote.

Transportation

An ELD in the cab of a truck at the Carlile Transportation Services service shop in Fairbanks

© Sam Friedman | Alaska Business

The Electronic Logging Device Mandate

What it means for Alaskan truckers

By Sam Friedman

I

t’s been looming on the horizon for years, and now it’s here: the federal mandate for long-haul truck drivers to use equipment called Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) to track the number of hours they work.

The mandate comes from a major federal transportation funding bill passed in 2012. Its intent was to reduce truck accidents by holding drivers to restrictions on the number of hours they drive, which in Alaska is a maximum of fifteen driving hours per day and twenty working hours. The new rule has been described as both a major cultural transformation in the trucking industry and as a relatively minor change in record keeping. It’s a big transformation because many truck drivers pride themselves on their independence. Truck drivers in the 49th State have to be especially independent because of the size and remoteness of the state, and truck drivers here have special driving-hour rules that allow them to drive longer days than truckers in the rest of the country. With the mandate, drivers are always being observed and can have their decisions to rest or continue driving second-guessed because they must carry a device that connects to the truck engine and determines if the truck is in motion.

Mining

Mines on
the Horizon

Three mining prospects move closer to potential operation

By Julie Stricker

A

laska is home to world-class mineral resources, but developing them is a process that can take years, if not decades. And while there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel for three major development prospects, there’s still a long, winding road ahead. However, with the right mine plan, investment, and timing, those mines could dramatically reshape the economy in parts of rural Alaska for decades.

“Mining continues to have a bright future in Alaska, with responsible mining and development occurring all around our great state,” says Marleanna Hall, executive director of the Resource Development Council for Alaska.

Mining

Mines on the Horizon

Three mining prospects move closer to potential operation

By Julie Stricker

A

laska is home to world-class mineral resources, but developing them is a process that can take years, if not decades. And while there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel for three major development prospects, there’s still a long, winding road ahead. However, with the right mine plan, investment, and timing, those mines could dramatically reshape the economy in parts of rural Alaska for decades.

“Mining continues to have a bright future in Alaska, with responsible mining and development occurring all around our great state,” says Marleanna Hall, executive director of the Resource Development Council for Alaska.

Junior Achievement Special Section | Introduction

The Alaska Business Hall of Fame 2019

Junior Achievement of Alaska inducts four new laureates

F

lora Teo, Junior Achievement of Alaska’s president, and Tom Redmond, Junior Achievement of Alaska board chair and director of human resources for SolstenXP, are pleased to extend an invitation to members of the Alaska business community to join the youth-education advocacy group for its 32nd Annual Alaska Business Hall of Fame, an event that celebrates the past, present, and future of business in Alaska.

Through the Alaska Business Hall of Fame, Junior Achievement has been honoring outstanding individual leaders of Alaska business since 1987; the dinner and awards ceremony is one of the state’s most prestigious events, inducting laureates every January. Laureates are selected based on their direct impact in furthering the success of Alaska business, support for Junior Achievement’s mission and programs, and demonstrated commitment to the Alaska economy.

In addition to recognizing Alaska’s business leaders and their contributions to the future, the Alaska Business Hall of Fame raises funds for Junior Achievement, which is dedicated to providing economic and entrepreneurial education for our youth. In Alaska, Junior Achievement has served students grades K-12 from Utqiaġvik to Ketchikan and all places in between since 1973. Today, Junior Achievement of Alaska provides educational opportunities to nearly 14,500 students annually in fifty-five communities. To meet the needs of the state, and as this vital program continues to grow, Junior Achievement partners the business community with educators to prepare young people for a global economy. Contributions to Junior Achievement of Alaska allow the organization to both continue this needed education as well as reach out to even more young Alaskans.

Flora Teo

Junior Achievement

Tom Redmond

Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement Special Section | History & Board of Directors

Junior Achievement Turns 100
100 Years. 100% Ready.
J

unior Achievement was founded in 1919 by Theodore Vail, president of American Telephone & Telegraph; Horace Moses, president of Strathmore Paper Co.; and Senator Murray Crane of Massachusetts. Together they discussed a problem facing all of their companies—they were constantly retraining employees on skills they felt they should already know. Moses was inspired by the 4H Club in his region—a hands-on experience for kids to learn about farm life straight from the farmers themselves. He wanted to start a similar program in which city kids would learn the essentials of business from those who worked in offices and factories throughout the city.

Junior Achievement Special Section | History & Board of Directors

Junior Achievement of Alaska Statewide Board of Directors
2018-2019
  • Chip Abolafia, Anchorage School District
  • Logan Birch, Member, Alaska Growth Capital
  • Ryan Cropper, Member, Able Body Shop
  • Reed Christensen, Vice Chair, Dowland-Bach Corporation
  • Krag Johnsen, Member, GCI
  • Kristen Lewis, Secretary, Alaska National Insurance Co.
  • Kurt Martens, Member, Leonard & Martens Investments
  • Mark Mathis, Member, Arctic IT
  • Mark Smith, Member, Retired USAF
  • Beth Stuart, Member, KPMG
  • Greg Stubbs, Member, Sullivan Arena
  • Lynda Tarbath, Treasurer, GCI
  • Shaun Tygart, Member

Junior Achievement Special Section | Guest Authors

Junior Achievement Interviews Alaska Business

By Ashley Jean Smith,
Katelyn Smith, and
Megan Smith

Ashley Jean Smith

© Matt Waliszek

Junior Achievement Special Section | Guest Authors

Junior Achievement Interviews Alaska Business

By Ashley Jean Smith,
Katelyn Smith, and
Megan Smith

Ashley Jean Smith

© Matt Waliszek

O

n October 25, 2018, we visited the offices of Alaska Business. We were curious about how a magazine operates and what we would need to do to prepare ourselves for a future in journalism in Alaska. Our past experience in the Junior Achievement CEO Academy gave us first-hand knowledge and experience with business, and we wanted to know how what we learned is put into practice on a daily basis at a magazine. Our interview with Alaska Business was an eye-opening experience because we learned that it takes many amazing, talented people to run a great magazine.

Briley Loncar

© Matt Waliszek

Junior Achievement Special Section | Binkley

2019 Junior Achievement Hall of Fame
Laureate John Binkley
By Tasha Anderson
J

ohn Binkley has had long and varied involvement in different businesses in the Last Frontier. Of all his accomplishments, he says he’s most proud of the tug and barge business, Northwest Navigation, that he started in 1977 and operated with his wife until the late-1980s, when he sold it to Crowley Maritime. “We started it together as a young married couple on the lower Yukon River, in a part of Alaska where we weren’t known and our family wasn’t known. It was a transformational experience to get away from what was comfortable for us and start something new,” Binkley says.

Binkley saw examples and learned lessons about business at home from a young age. And his family has a rich history in Alaska: his grandparents moved to Alaska during the gold rush to operate riverboats, and the family has been making positive contributions to the business community since.

John Binkley

CLIA Alaska

Junior Achievement Special Section | Strutz

2019 Junior Achievement Hall of Fame

Laureate Richard Strutz
By Arie Henry
R

ichard Strutz has always valued people over dollars. That mindset helped him work his way up through the ranks of the National Bank of Alaska (NBA), from teller to president. Another value that served him well during his career has been his continued optimism, which aided him as he led the bank through multiple situations fraught with uncertainty, including Alaska’s economic recession in the late 1980s, an eventual merger between NBA and Wells Fargo in 2001, and, as the Well Fargo Alaska Regional President, the recession of the late 2000s. His childhood and family ties served as the foundation for his principles—the Strutz family has been forging community ties in Alaska for more than one hundred years.

Junior Achievement Special Section | Yoshimura

2019 Junior Achievement Hall of Fame

Laureate Connie Yoshimura

By Samantha Davenport
G

rowing up, Connie Yoshimura had no role models to look up to—so she became her own.

Yoshimura was born in Chicago but spent the first six years of her life in Decorah, Iowa, before moving to Webster City, Iowa, where she was raised by her maternal grandparents.

Yoshimura is a third generation Japanese American. For Yoshimura, growing up as a biracial woman in a community like Webster City was extremely difficult. She was happy to go to college in a more inclusive community in Iowa City, Iowa.

Yoshimura struggled with her identity, but it ultimately led her to where she is today: owner and broker of Dwell Realty, a real estate agency that employs thirty-eight people in Alaska.

Connie Yoshimura

D&M Photo

Junior Achievement Special Section | Morrison

2019 Junior Achievement Hall of Fame

Laureate Rick Morrison
By Tasha Anderson
R

ick Morrison entered the world of business at the tender age of five, when he went door to door charging a 5 cent “delivery fee” for free-sample bottles of Tang. “I learned about revenue sharing, because my mom took all my money,” Morrison laughs. From that point on business was an integral part of his life, from selling subscriptions to The Oregonian as a boy to being the sole owner of the Morrison Auto Group before selling the company to Kendall Auto Group in 2013. His youth taught him: “If I wanted something I had to go to work and get it, and I learned to never give up.”

Junior Achievement Special Section | Hall of Fame

Alaska Business Hall of Fame Past Laureates

Junior Achievement Special Section | Hall of Fame

Alaska Business Hall of Fame Past Laureates
1987-2018
Don Abel Jr., 1996
Jacob Adams, 2002
Bill Allen, 1995
Bob & Betty Allen, 2001
Will Anderson, 2012
Eleanor Andrews, 2001
Marc Langland, 2001
Austin Lathrop, 1988
Betsy Lawer, 2007
Pete Leathard, 2003
Oliver Leavitt, 2017
Dale & Carol Ann Lindsey, 1997
Don Abel Jr., 1996
Jacob Adams, 2002
Bill Allen, 1995
Bob & Betty Allen, 2001
Will Anderson, 2012
Eleanor Andrews, 2001

Junior Achievement Special Section | Donors

Junior Achievement Special Section | Donors

2019 Donors

Platinum Plus – $10,000+

  • Alaska Airlines
  • Alaska Business
  • Alaska National Insurance Company
  • AT&T
  • BP
  • ConocoPhillips Alaska

Platinum – $5,000+

  • Alaska Commercial Company
  • Alyeska Pipeline Service Company
  • Bristol Bay Native Corporation
  • Enstar Natural Gas Company
  • B.J. Gottstein Foundation
  • Katmailand

LOCAL STYLE

LOCAL STYLE

Boutiques
W

elcome to 2019—and a new year full of potential. Speaking of potential, there’s no better time of year to fling open your closet doors, take stock, and (having cleared out the things you just don’t love anymore) realize something is missing: that easy dress for brunch on the weekend, those funky leggings you wear just anywhere, or that perfect blouse that you’ll wear and wear again as you work your way up the corporate ladder. Whatever that special piece is, there’s no better place to find it than one of Alaska’s boutiques, which feature a refreshing mix of unique fashion and local design.

ShuzyQ is locally owned and operated by Dawn and Shawna and is located at 11124 Old Seward Highway in Anchorage, close to South Restaurant and Coffeehouse. This boutique offers a selection of shoes, handbags, and accessories for women and girls that run the gamut from every day wear to special event accessories. shuzyq.com

Trickster Company has a physical location in Juneau at 224 Front Street and is owned by siblings Rico and Crystal, who “focus on the Northwest coast art and explore themes and issues in Native culture.” The store sells apparel, jewelry, paper, home goods, sports equipment, and fine art. trickstercompany.com

Octopus Ink owner Shara is the designer, artist, and creator behind the shirts, skirts, sweatshirts, and other clothing found at the boutique’s downtown Anchorage gallery located at 410 G Street. Octopus Ink also features jewelry and accessories designed and produced by other local Alaskan artisans. octopusink.com

Events Calendar
Events Calendar
Anchorage
JAN
1-31
Zoo Lights
Weekly from Thursday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., head to the Alaska Zoo to visit the lighted parade of animals that take over the zoo each winter. They are big, bright, and beautiful. From front to back, the zoo is decorated with lighted animal displays—colorful, whimsical, and even animated. www.alaskazoo.org
JAN
12
Silent Film Night: Keaton and Chaplin
It’s an evening of Silent Film giants: Buster Keaton plays a bumbling villain who ends up in The Frozen North. From the frozen snow to the rising water, Keaton’s The Boat finds him and his family on a voyage in his homemade boat that proves to be one disaster after another. In Charlie Chaplin’s Shoulder Arms, it’s WWI and Chaplin is recruited to the army’s “awkward squad.” Silent Film Night takes place at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts at 8 p.m. anchoragesymphony.org
JAN
26
Museum of the North Open House
The University of Alaska Museum of the North offers a free, behind-the-scenes look at how researchers make discoveries about the culture and environment of Alaska. The open house runs from Noon to
4 p.m. at the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. uaf.edu/museum/
SEWARD
JAN 27
Seward Polar Bear Jump
Starting at 12:30 p.m., individuals and teams dress in wacky costumes and jump into Resurrection Bay at the Seward Small Board Harbor. Jumpers are required to find sponsors, raising money for the Alaska Division of the American Cancer Society. seward.com

Business Events

January

January 10-12

Alaska Wholesale Gift Show

Dena’ina Center, Anchorage: This event provides an opportunity for small business owners/producers to grow their buyer base, meeting face-to-face with other business owners, buyers, and managers. There are show specials on hotels, car rentals, travel concierges, and more. 10times.com/wholesale-alaskan-gift

January 18

Meet Alaska Conference

Dena’ina Center, Anchorage: Hosted by the Alliance, this is the largest one-day energy conference in Alaska and includes educational forums and a tradeshow. alaskaalliance.com

January 22-24

Alaska Health Summit

Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage: The 2019 summit theme is “Diverse Stories Inspiring Community Action” and the conference will highlight diverse, positive stories of community action and change as well as share successful strategies, important lessons learned, evidence-based recommendations, and additional opportunities for continued work together. alaskapublichealth.org

January 24

Junior Achievement of Alaska Awards Banquet

Dena’ina Center, Anchorage: Four new Alaskans will be inducted and recognized with this prestigious award. Attended by more than 400 business representations, the program consists of a networking reception, dinner, and awards ceremony. juniorachievement.org/web/ja-alaska

January 25-27

Alaska RTI/MTSS Conference

Dena’ina Center, Anchorage: Featured sessions include Mindset Mathematics, Student Engagement and Self-Efficacy, Computational Thinking and Computer Science in the Elementary Classroom, and Collaborative Leadership Collaborative. asdn.org/school-year-conferences-and-institutes

January 28 – February 1

Alaska Marine Science Symposium

Scientists, researchers, and students from Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond converge to communicate research activities in Alaska’s marine regions. amss.nprb.org 

Right Moves

Aldrich

Aldrich welcomed Lia Patton, CPA, to its Anchorage office. Patton brings with her nearly two decades of experience in audit and accounting and a unique knowledge of the Alaska business community. She oversees state and federal single audits, as well as audits for Alaska Native corporations, nonprofit entities, and employee benefit plans.

Patton

Iron Dog

Iron Dog selected John Woodbury as its Executive Director. Woodbury is a lifelong Alaskan who has followed, reported on, or participated in the race since its inception in 1984.

Woodbury owns Alaska Adventure Media, which publishes Alaska SnowRider and Coast magazines, among other titles. To focus on Iron Dog executive director tasks, he has put those two publications on hiatus until May.

Woodbury

Inside Alaska Business

Alaska Zoo

© John Gomes

The Alaska Zoo welcomed Cranbeary—its newest polar bear—in late October from the Denver Zoo. Cranbeary arrived at the Alaska Zoo with her keepers, is in good health, and is quickly making herself right at home in her new digs. alaskazoo.org

Hilcorp

Hilcorp completed its $90 million pipeline project that allows the company to transport oil across Cook Inlet via an underwater pipeline. Instead of being transported by cross-inlet tankers, oil now traverses the inlet through an undersea pipeline that previously carried natural gas. The project required construction of approximately six miles of new pipe from the Tyonek Platform to the existing pipeline network. It also saves Hilcorp money: shipping oil by tanker across Cook Inlet costs approximately $3 per barrel while using the pipeline costs about $2 per barrel. The pipeline addresses environmental and spill concerns as well by eliminating spills/incidents involving tankers and because the Drift River oil terminal is no longer a necessary piece of infrastructure. hilcorp.com

At a Glance

What book is on your nightstand?
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth.

What movie do you recommend to everyone?
I’m kind of a sucker for sports movies: I love Rudy.

What’s the first thing you do after work?
The absolutely first thing would be to hug my wife because that’s always comforting—finally, someone who loves me [he laughs].

If you couldn’t live in Alaska, where would you live?
I love endurance sports and I like the mountains, so Park City, Utah.

If you could domesticate a wild animal, what animal would it be?
A giraffe: though impractical to keep around the house, I think they’re really elegant and beautiful.

At a Glance

What book is on your nightstand?
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth.

What movie do you recommend to everyone?
I’m kind of a sucker for sports movies: I love Rudy.

What’s the first thing you do after work?
The absolutely first thing would be to hug my wife because that’s always comforting—finally, someone who loves me [he laughs].

If you couldn’t live in Alaska, where would you live?
I love endurance sports and I like the mountains, so Park City, Utah.

If you could domesticate a wild animal, what animal would it be?
A giraffe: though impractical to keep around the house, I think they’re really elegant and beautiful.

Off the Cuff

Robert Brewster

R

obert Brewster has been working in various capacities at The Alaska Club since 1988 and today is the organization’s president and CEO. It wasn’t exactly his plan to go into the industry—he “quasi-stumbled” into a part-time job at a health club while earning his business degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Brewster combined the two after graduation, setting the stage for a long career in fitness.

Alaska Trends

Alaska’s Schools Improve Graduation Rates

One bright spot in Alaska’s education system is the ongoing trend that more students are graduating from high school and fewer students are dropping out. Since the 2010/2011 school year, the graduation rate for Alaska students has risen by 10.2 percent, and the dropout rate dropped from 4.7 percent in 2010/2011 to 3.5 percent in 2016/2017, the last year for which data is currently available. The total number of graduates increased by just more than 300 over the seven-year span, and the total number of students dropping out of high school decreased by more than 700 in the same time period.

Thanks for reading our January 2019 issue!