From the Editor

In May and June I took to wearing spring dresses and sandals. The weather didn’t really warrant it, but I was operating under a theory of manifesting change: if I dressed for warm weather, it would suddenly appear. As of press time in June my success is up for debate. Some might say it still feels like a cold spring although we’re nearing the summer solstice. Others may point to at least one Anchorage Sunday that was sunny and warm; my sandals may have done that.

I accept that my efforts to force statewide climate patterns to suit my need for sunshine might have been ambitious, but I think I was inspired by working on this issue.

Planning and preparing the Best of Alaska Business is always a high energy, uplifting endeavor. We’re running forty-three categories this year, which works out to the potential that we are highlighting and celebrating 129 exceptional Alaska companies. The actual number of individual companies is slightly less, as there is some overlap. For example, this year First National Bank Alaska was lauded by our readers in four categories: Best Bank, Best Place to Work 250+ Employees, Customer Friendly Company, and Best Corporate Citizen. A few other entities also snagged spots in more than one category, but even still this year we are featuring 118 organizations, many of which are new.

To assure accuracy, we research every new company that our voters elect to the top ranks. We check to make sure business licenses are in order and that their services match the intention of the category (so no pharmacies win Best Bike Shop).

For the cross industry categories, there are other qualifications we look at. For instance, does the company that placed in Best Place to Work 1-250 employees actually have that many? Does it have more? For Best Startup Business, did the company launch in the correct year?

This research project means that we are introduced to new companies every July, and it’s incredibly exciting. For some companies, we have worked with the company to develop editorial content before but now have a new angle, and for others we haven’t encountered them at all, and we have the opportunity to develop a new connection. Despite our nearly forty-year history covering Alaska businesses, there’s always more to learn, and the thousands of our readers who take the time to vote help to educate us. The value of your feedback in the Best of Alaska Business awards voting can’t be overstated.

So it’s not surprising—planning and working in this environment of community, recognition, opportunity, and reward, hearing from new business owners day after day about their path to being the best—that I might feel empowered to change the weather through a floral dress. I’m certainly not going to stop trying.

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Tasha Anderson
Managing Editor, Alaska Business