Alaska Business
Alaska Business
July 2019
Best of Alaska Business 2019
2019 Best of Alaska Business Summer Party
Join Alaska Business and 200+ of our best friends as we celebrate the 4th annual Best of Alaska Business Awards! We’re honoring the Last Frontier’s favorite businesses as voted by our readers.
JULY 2019 | Volume 35 | Number 7 | AKBIZMAG.COM

Contents

Best of Alaska Business Special Section

About The Cover

It’s awesome, right? Jontue Hollingsworth, owner of Hollingsworth Design Co., took our less-than-stellar “something about business and Alaska” direction and delivered exactly the cover that we wanted—but didn’t know how to ask for. The organizations we celebrate in our annual Best of Alaska Business special section know how to keep an eye on both tradition and technology; when to be bold and when to wait it out; and how to always be true to themselves while learning from those around them. They are a moose in flannel, with an ear gauge, sporting a knit cap (we can only assume was) made by his grandmother. To all our winners: be you. We like it.

Cover Art by Jontue Hollingsworth

About The Cover

It’s awesome, right? Jontue Hollingsworth, owner of Hollingsworth Design Co., took our less-than-stellar “something about business and Alaska” direction and delivered exactly the cover that we wanted—but didn’t know how to ask for. The organizations we celebrate in our annual Best of Alaska Business special section know how to keep an eye on both tradition and technology; when to be bold and when to wait it out; and how to always be true to themselves while learning from those around them. They are a moose in flannel, with an ear gauge, sporting a knit cap (we can only assume was) made by his grandmother. To all our winners: be you. We like it.

Cover Art by Jontue Hollingsworth

Features

‘Hustlin’ My Hoodies’

How four boutiques sell Alaskan style
By Cheyenne Mathews

The Internet of Things

Simplifying life by connecting devices, people, and businesses
By Tracy Barbour

Risky Business

Insurance and risk management best practices
By Tracy Barbour

Pros and CON

The ins and outs of the Certificate of Need program
By Isaac Stone Simonelli

Those Who Can Do Teach

Businesses supporting education
By Vanessa Orr

Oil & Gas Legislative Update

Federal policies in the spotlight in 2019
By Tasha Anderson

Cooking Dirt

Reclamation facilities turn contaminated soil into clean material
By Vanessa Orr

Energy Efficiencies Combat Costs

The surprising ways businesses can reduce energy consumption
By Isaac Stone Simonelli

‘Hustlin’ My Hoodies’

How four boutiques sell Alaskan style
By Cheyenne Mathews

The Internet of Things

Simplifying life by connecting devices, people, and businesses
By Tracy Barbour

Risky Business

Insurance and risk management best practices
By Tracy Barbour

Pros and CON

The ins and outs of the Certificate of Need program
By Isaac Stone Simonelli

Those Who Can Do Teach

Businesses supporting education
By Vanessa Orr

Oil & Gas Legislative Update

Federal policies in the spotlight in 2019
By Tasha Anderson

Cooking Dirt

Reclamation facilities turn contaminated soil into clean material
By Vanessa Orr

Energy Efficiencies Combat Costs

The surprising ways businesses can reduce energy consumption
By Isaac Stone Simonelli

From the Editor

The Best of the Best
I

t’s hard to believe that we’re finally presenting the fourth annual Best of Alaska Business Awards. After months (and months) of planning, promoting, data collection, analyzing survey results, and so much more… it’s finally here. What could be better? It’s summer, it’s sunny, and we get to celebrate by honoring your favorite Alaska businesses in this month’s special section and in less than two weeks on the rooftop of 49th State Brewing Co. We hope you’re as excited as we are about the many new companies you’ll see this year, as well as the companies you’ve chosen year after year as best in their field.

And while the Best of Alaska Business Awards have taken a lot of our time and attention over the past year, this issue contains a number of articles we’re just as enthusiastic about. We shine a spotlight on small business with a flair for art in this month’s retail-focused article Hustlin’ My Hoodies that features the work of four local boutiques created and operated by artists with a passion for the Alaska lifestyle. Each business owner offers aspiring entrepreneurs insight into how to get started, which organizations can and will help with planning and funding, and how to overcome some of the most common problems related to starting up your own company.

Kathryn Mackenzie

Kathryn Mackenzie
Managing Editor, Alaska Business

Volume 35, #7
Published by Alaska Business
Publishing Co. Anchorage, Alaska
Editorial Staff
Managing Editor
Kathryn Mackenzie
257-2907 [email protected]
Associate/Web 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]
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 accounts[email protected]
Customer Service Representative
Emily Olsen
257-2914 [email protected]
501 W. Northern Lights Boulevard,Suite 100 Anchorage, Alaska 99503-2577
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ALASKA BUSINESS PUBLISHING CO., INC.
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; © 2019 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.
Retail
Salmon Sisters co-creators Claire Neaton and Emma Laukitis were inspired to start a company that reflects their experiences as commercial fisherwomen.

Emma Laukitis
© Carmin Dengel

Retail
Salmon Sisters co-creators Claire Neaton and Emma Laukitis were inspired to start a company that reflects their experiences as commercial fisherwomen.

Emma Laukitis
© Carmin Dengel

‘Hustlin’ My Hoodies’
How four boutiques sell Alaskan style
By Cheyenne Mathews
A

laska boutiques have found a fashion niche using images of local flora and fauna to convey the spirit of the state. The summer season is one of the busiest times of year for local boutiques as their style captivates both locals and the surge of tourists looking for that local experience. Alaska Business spoke with four Alaskan artisans who are taking their incredible talent and combining it with savvy business sense in a way that adds to the local economy and gives tourists and residents alike the opportunity to buy amazing—wearable—works of art.

Telecom & Tech
The
Internet
of Things
Simplifying life by
connecting devices,
people, and businesses
By Tracy Barbour
T

he Internet of Things (IoT) is a somewhat nebulous term associated with a plethora of technological advancements that are helping enhance the lives of consumers and business operations. IoT is essentially a computing concept that encompasses the idea of everyday physical objects—devices, vehicles, buildings, and other items—being connected to the internet and being able to identify themselves to other devices. These interconnected objects, which have unique identifiers, have the distinct capability of collecting and transferring data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

Telecom & Tech
The
Internet
of Things
Simplifying life by
connecting devices,
people, and businesses
By Tracy Barbour
T

he Internet of Things (IoT) is a somewhat nebulous term associated with a plethora of technological advancements that are helping enhance the lives of consumers and business operations. IoT is essentially a computing concept that encompasses the idea of everyday physical objects—devices, vehicles, buildings, and other items—being connected to the internet and being able to identify themselves to other devices. These interconnected objects, which have unique identifiers, have the distinct capability of collecting and transferring data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

INSURANCE
INSURANCE
Risky Business
Insurance and risk management best practices
By Tracy Barbour
R

isk management—the process of identifying, assessing, and prioritizing the different types of risk an organization might encounter—is essential to the success of any business. However, companies can employ various insurance products and prudent practices to minimize their exposure in the workplace.

Generally, risk management involves avoiding or eliminating the vast number of events that could have an adverse impact on a business. The events could negatively affect everything from personnel safety and wellness to a company’s day-to-day operations and overall financial performance. More specifically, risk management entails identifying hazards (something with the potential to cause harm), assessing the associated risk (the likelihood of that potential harm happening), minimizing any risk deemed unacceptable, and then controlling the situation to mitigate any remaining hazards.

Healthcare
Healthcare
Pros and CON
The ins and outs of the Certificate of Need program
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
C

ertain essential services arguably exist outside of the sphere of free market forces. One such set of services is provided by hospitals, which are required to provide care, often at a loss, in some cases under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), for example, a federal law that requires anyone who seeks help at an emergency department be stabilized and treated, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. It is the (often necessary for underserved patients) overuse of expensive emergency room services combined with defunding of certain programs that have contributed to the adoption of the Certificate of Need (CON) Program in Alaska.

The CON Program is a review process designed to promote responsive healthcare facility and service development, rational health planning, healthcare quality, access to healthcare, and healthcare cost containment.

The Best of Alaska Business Awards 2019
The 2019 Best of Alaska Business Awards:
All your votes, dozens of businesses, and tons of local talent

W

elcome to the fourth annual Best of Alaska Business Awards! As part of our continuing mission to support Alaska’s business communities, each year we look to you, our readers, to tell us which businesses excel in a range of diverse categories. For the 2019 Best of Alaska Business Awards we presented twenty-three categories: some of them are fan favorites from previous years and several are brand new.

How do we determine the categories you ask? Good question. Each year the editorial team analyzes survey results from the previous year, looking at which categories connected with our readers and which (if any) were regularly skipped; we combine those results with your feedback and suggestions for new categories, and voila! A Best of Alaska Business Awards series of questions is born. This year we added a number of new categories that saw great response, including Best Grocery Store, Best Gym, and Best Florist, to name a few. And as always we saw amazing engagement for Best to Place to Work, Best Coffee Shop, and Best Brewery.

Beyond great content (thanks again for voting!), an important part of the Best of Alaska Business Awards special section is the artwork. Each year we find an Alaskan artist and give that person free reign to pursue a design that he or she thinks best represents Alaska, the business community, and the categories you’re voting on that year. This year we are fortunate to feature the work of Jontue Hollingsworth (check out Off the Cuff to learn all about this talented entrepreneur). Hollingsworth’s incredible design skills, combined with the work of local, talented photographers and your participation, made this year’s section one for the books.

Education
MTA partnered with Eagle River Robotics to create an engaging Tech Day at the 2018 Alaska State Fair.

MTA

Education
MTA partnered with Eagle River Robotics to create an engaging Tech Day at the 2018 Alaska State Fair.

MTA

Those Who Can Do Teach
Businesses supporting education
By Vanessa Orr
W

hether Alaskan students want a career in coding, to run high-tech mining equipment, work as a bank administrator, or transport goods across the country, having the proper education can play a huge part in their success. And considering that many of these students will stay in Alaska and work for local companies, it makes good business sense for these organizations to take part in the learning process.

This support can take a number of forms, from mentoring and internship opportunities to financial donations that establish scholarships and programs to facilitating classroom lectures. No matter how a business chooses to participate, schools value the partnerships that help them prepare the workforce of the future. And businesses also benefit from their involvement.

Oil & Gas
Oil & Gas Legislative Update
© Ed Bennett/AlaskaStock.com
Oil & Gas
© Ed Bennett/AlaskaStock.com
Oil & Gas Legislative Update
Federal policies in the spotlight in 2019
By Tasha Anderson
W

hile in past years oil and gas legislation has dominated discussions in the Alaska Senate and House of Representatives, for the 2019-2020 session Alaskans have dialed in on our legislators wrestling primarily with how to handle the Permanent Fund Dividend, rising crime rates, and a long-overdue resolution and plan of action for the state’s budget, among other issues.

Although oil and gas tax policy conversations aren’t making headlines in Alaska this year, they’re ongoing. According to an op-ed by Alaska Oil and Gas Association (AOGA) President and CEO Kara Moriarty, “Given the tough budget conversation underway in our state, it’s not surprising that some people are once again trying to put oil taxes in the spotlight.” Alaska has seen more than seven oil and gas tax policy changes in the last fourteen years, and under the ACES tax regime oil production declined by approximately 169,000 barrels per day. With the passage of SB21 in 2014 and a relatively unchanging tax environment since, oil production stabilized and even increased, despite the plummet of oil prices during the same time period. According to Moriarty, “Thanks to significant investment focused on more production, North Slope production actually produced 518,000 barrels per day for fiscal 2018, an increase of 75,000 barrels per day over what had been predicted [in the fall of 2012]. More production means more revenue for the Permanent Fund and key essential services—a win for all Alaskans.

Environmental
Alaska Soil Recycling remediates up to twenty-five tons per hour of contaminated soil.

ASR

Environmental
Alaska Soil Recycling remediates up to twenty-five tons per hour of contaminated soil.

ASR

Cooking Dirt
Reclamation facilities turn contaminated soil into clean material
By Vanessa Orr
T

here’s no doubt that cleaning up Alaska’s contaminated soil is good for the environment. But perhaps what’s even more interesting is that the process, and the resulting recycled materials, lessen the effects of air and water pollution and contribute to a more pristine state.

While there are many ways in which property in Alaska can become contaminated, according to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the most common include home heating oil tanks; commercial and industrial operations releases including fuel handling and delivery; current and former dry cleaning businesses and other processes that use harsh chemicals; current and former military bases; contaminants spilled during transportation; and releases from underground and aboveground fuel storage tanks.

Energy

Energy Efficiencies Combat Costs

The surprising ways businesses can reduce energy consumption
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
I

t is a basic tenet of business that the cost of goods and services passed along to consumers, commercial or otherwise, is driven by operating costs and profit margin. As it does in so many other ways, Alaska deviates from this simplistic economic principle. Especially when it comes to energy.

“Alaska has some of the highest costs of living in the country, particularly in rural Alaska. In the SBDC’s [Small Business Development Center’s] annual survey of small businesses, operating costs were one of the top three barriers to business,” Alaska SBDC Executive Director Jon Bittner says. “In smaller communities, that is driven largely by energy and the cost of transporting goods.”

Urban Tours
Urban Tours
City Sights
W

hile Alaska’s far-flung, hard-to-reach places are well worth the effort and the time to visit, the state’s population hubs also house unique experiences that often complement travel plans on a boat, in a plane, or by rail. Many of the state’s cities provide day tours with information on their history, food, and culture. Following (from north to south) are a few urban tours offered around the Last Frontier.

Northern Alaska Tour Company provides guided tours of Utqiaġvik, the northernmost city in the United States. While in Utqiaġvik, guests visit the residential and commercial areas of the community as well as the Arctic Ocean coast, including enjoying a cultural program by local volunteers that may feature ceremonial song and dance, traditional games, or a demonstration of local native crafts. northernalaska.com

The Alaska Railroad offers the Historic Fairbanks City Tour, which gives guests the opportunity to learn more about the Golden Heart City from the comfort of an air conditioned motorcoach. Running from May through September, the tour includes stops at TAPS, Pioneer Park, the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor Center, and the University of Alaska Museum of the North. alaskarailroad.com

Events Calendar
Events Calendar
Bearfest
Wrangell
JUL
24-28
Bearfest

This festival celebrating the bears of Alaska takes place at the James and Elsie Nolan Center and includes street games, a Salmon Bake, jam sessions, bear symposium, bear country workshops, live music, a photo contest, wildlife photography workshops, a golf tournament, a marathon, and community market. wrangell.com

Anchorage
JUL
27
Beer & Bacon Festival
The Beer & Bacon Festival, held at the Lakefront Anchorage, features a bacon eating contest, bacon creations from twenty local chefs, and libations from fifteen Alaska breweries. The beer and bacon booths are open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
the-lakefront-anchorage.ticketleap.com
Girdwood
JUL
5-7
Girdwood Forest Fair

The fair features hand-crafted items, exotic foods, and entertainers from all over Alaska, along with the annual Forest Fair Parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Limited parking is available at the Alyeska Resort Daylodge with shuttle service provided to the Girdwood Fairgrounds located at Mile 2.2 Alyeska Highway. girdwoodforestfair.com

Business Events

July
July 11
Best of Alaska Business
49th State Brewing Co., Anchorage: Alaska Business honors more than sixty companies that have been selected by our readers as leaders in their field, ranging from breweries and sushi restaurants to web designers and swag providers. The event is awesome—and space is limited. akbizmag.com/boab
July 8-12 & 22-26
Alaska Business Week

Alaska Business Week is a one-week summer program teaching the basic principles of private sector business to Alaskan high school students. The Anchorage program runs July 8-12 at King Tech High School and the Mat-Su program runs July 22-26 at Colony High School. alaskachamber.com

July 12-18
Uniform Law Commission Annual Meeting

Anchorage: The Uniform Law Commission provides states with non-partisan, well-conceived, and well-drafted legislation that brings clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law. uniformlaws.org

Inside Alaska Business
Pick.Click.Give.

After several years of steady but flat giving through Alaska’s premiere charitable giving campaign, Pick.Click.Give. is experiencing an increase in overall pledged totals as well as the amount pledged per donor. By the end of March, the total amount pledged by Alaskans was $2.9 million, the average pledge per donor is $113.88, and the average pledge per gift (each gift represents the amount a donor gifts per nonprofit organization) is approximately $62.53.

The current average pledge per donor increased nearly $9 over last year and is a record for the program pickclickgive.org

Travel Juneau

Travel Juneau released its 2018-2019 Convention Survey and 2018 Visitor Survey, both conducted by McDowell Group. Economic impacts of Juneau conventions and meetings revealed total direct spending for meetings at $2.7 million and a total of $3.6 million in indirect and induced economic impacts. Meetings held from 2017-2018 generated approximately $113,000 in sales tax to the City and Borough of Juneau. The survey also highlighted satisfaction for Juneau’s friendliness as a community and Travel Juneau’s services to planners.

Both survey reports can be found on the Travel Juneau website: traveljuneau.com/about-travel-juneau.

Right Moves

Key Bank

Scott Rowley has joined KeyBank as Vice President and Senior Payments Advisor with the Enterprise Commercial Payments Group at KeyBank. In this role, Rowley works with a collaborative team of product managers, analysts, and implementation specialists to ensure his clients have access to KeyBank’s extensive resources. He holds an MBA in international business from Regis University in Denver.

Scott Rowley
Rowley

ML&P

Anna Henderson has been appointed to the position of General Manager for Municipal Light & Power (ML&P). Henderson has experience managing gas supply operations, leading negotiations in purchase and sales agreements, and leading the development and approval of utility rates for ML&P. Henderson holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Anna Henderson
Henderson

At a Glance

What book is on your nightstand?
Rise and Grind: Outperform, Outwork, and Outhustle Your Way to a More Successful and Rewarding Life by Daymond John; it goes over his philosophy, what he does day-to-day, how he started and developed his daily routine… It makes me feel really lazy [he laughs].

What movie do you recommend to everyone?
To everyone? The Goonies. One of my favorite movies, which is more specific in taste, is Annihilation.

What’s the first thing you do after work?
I work out.

If you couldn’t live in Alaska, where would you live?
I’ve always been drawn to Central Europe, around Scandinavia or Poland. I love the amount of history there.

If you could domesticate a wild animal, what animal would it be?
I have to go with the lion… just having a huge, cuddly friend—it would be perfect.

At a Glance

What book is on your nightstand?
Rise and Grind: Outperform, Outwork, and Outhustle Your Way to a More Successful and Rewarding Life by Daymond John; it goes over his philosophy, what he does day-to-day, how he started and developed his daily routine… It makes me feel really lazy [he laughs].

What movie do you recommend to everyone?
To everyone? The Goonies. One of my favorite movies, which is more specific in taste, is Annihilation.

What’s the first thing you do after work?
I work out.

If you couldn’t live in Alaska, where would you live?
I’ve always been drawn to Central Europe, around Scandinavia or Poland. I love the amount of history there.

If you could domesticate a wild animal, what animal would it be?
I have to go with the lion… just having a huge, cuddly friend—it would be perfect.

Off the Cuff

Jontue Hollingsworth

J

ontue Hollingsworth is the founder and top executive (and only employee) of Hollingsworth Design Co., which specializes in brand development and design. He is the exceptional local artist who designed our cover this month. In our annual search to find an artist for our July issue, we were drawn to the humor and high energy of Hollingsworth’s modern, graphic, yet grounded work. Hollingsworth has a passion for exercising his creativity, whether that’s developing a traditional media campaign or branching out into sculpture, sewing, or woodworking.

Alaska Business: What do you do in your free time?
Jontue Hollingsworth: I’m always trying to learn or build something; playing video games is probably the only mindless sort of thing I do, just for pure enjoyment. [Recently he’s been playing Red Dead Redemption.]

AB: Is there a skill you’re currently developing or have always wanted to learn?
Hollingsworth: I’d like to someday learn to speak another language. I had a go at learning Spanish and Polish, and I can pick out a few words in conversation, but it would be amazing if I could speak fluently.

Alaska Trends

Alaska SBDC Reports on State’s Small Businesses

I

n 2018, the Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC) conducted the second annual Alaska Small Business Survey. According to Alaska SBDC Executive Director Jon Bittner, “As an organization with over thirty-five years of experience working with and for Alaska’s small business sector, the Alaska SBDC is in a unique position to see, first-hand, the profound impacts our clients have on Alaska and our economy. This survey was created as a way to help quantify and share some of those insights, and to uncover important trends driving Alaska’s economic engine in the future.”

We have included just some of the information the comprehensive survey provides. The full report can be found at aksbdc.org.

Thanks for reading our July 2019 issue!