March 2020 | Volume 37 | Number 3 | AKBIZMAG.COM

Contents

Features

The Art of Building and Growing Alaska Brands

Finding the right tactics to garner hard-earned Alaskan loyalty
By Tracy Barbour

Materials, Soil, and Chemical Testing

In a lab or in the field, the right data keeps the oil & gas industry on track
By Isaac Stone Simonelli

Building Business

Alaska Native construction subsidiaries provide shareholder jobs, financial benefits
By Amy Newman

Higher Quality, Lower Costs

The Pacific Health Coalition brings together healthcare providers and self-insured businesses for a healthier Alaska
By Tasha Anderson

Thinking of the Unthinkable

Plan your estate transition or it will be planned without you
By Tracy Barbour
mountains

Elevating Downtown

Placemaking, community commitment essential to revitalization
By Vanessa Orr

Mining Foundations

Hard rock, sand, and gravel ground Alaska infrastructure
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
two brothers

Elevating Downtown

Placemaking, community commitment essential to revitalization
By Vanessa Orr

The Art of Building and Growing Alaska Brands

Finding the right tactics to garner hard-earned Alaskan loyalty
By Tracy Barbour

Materials, Soil, and Chemical Testing

In a lab or in the field, the right data keeps the oil & gas industry on track
By Isaac Stone Simonelli

Building Business

Alaska Native construction subsidiaries provide shareholder jobs, financial benefits
By Amy Newman

Higher Quality, Lower Costs

The Pacific Health Coalition brings together healthcare providers and self-insured businesses for a healthier Alaska
By Tasha Anderson

Thinking of the Unthinkable

Plan your estate transition or it will be planned without you
By Tracy Barbour
mountains

Mining Foundations

Hard rock, sand, and gravel ground Alaska infrastructure
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
CONSTRUCTION SPECIAL SECTION
Constructing new facilities to improve the world-class airport
By Tasha Anderson
Research by Kayla Matthews
The Sterling Highway MP 45-60 project addresses congestion and increases safety
By Brad Joyal
man working tile
Building partnerships and specializing in niche contracts
By Joy Choquette
New anchor tenants set up the mall for the new decade
By Arie Henry

About The Cover

Anchorage Downtown Partnership’s Executive Director Amanda Moser is passionate about building communities. She and her team are investing in Anchorage’s downtown, creating a space that attracts businesses and community members alike. Building community takes demolition and construction, science and art, places for events and spaces for spontaneity. Mostly though, it takes people to invest. While Moser and the Anchorage Downtown Partnership are spearheading Anchorage’s downtown revitalization, it takes all of us to create a community. So get out, get involved—and you’ll get a lot more than you put in.
Cover Photo by Jeremy Cubas | Mad Men Studios
Midtown Mall at night
New anchor tenants set up the mall for the new decade
By Arie Henry
Constructing new facilities to improve the world-class airport
By Tasha Anderson
Research by Kayla Matthews
The Sterling Highway MP 45-60 project addresses congestion and increases safety
By Brad Joyal
man working tile
Building partnerships and specializing in niche contracts
By Joy Choquette

About The Cover

Anchorage Downtown Partnership’s Executive Director Amanda Moser is passionate about building communities. She and her team are investing in Anchorage’s downtown, creating a space that attracts businesses and community members alike. Building community takes demolition and construction, science and art, places for events and spaces for spontaneity. Mostly though, it takes people to invest. While Moser and the Anchorage Downtown Partnership are spearheading Anchorage’s downtown revitalization, it takes all of us to create a community. So get out, get involved—and you’ll get a lot more than you put in.
Cover Photo by Jeremy Cubas | Mad Men Studios
Volume 37, #3
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
Monica Sterchi-Lowman
257-2916 [email protected]
Art Production
Linda Shogren
257-2912 [email protected]om
Photo Contributor
Kerry Tasker
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]
CONTACT
Press releases:
[email protected]

Postmaster:
Send address changes to
Alaska Business
501 W. Northern Lights Blvd. #100
Anchorage, AK 99503

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Alaska 99503-2577; 
Telephone: (907) 276-4373. 
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From the Editor

Making a Place a Destination
Kathryn Mackenzie
P

lacemaking in its broadest form is planning, designing, and managing a city’s public spaces. But what it’s really about is making the most of existing resources to boost the appeal of an urban area. It’s about bringing light and fun to a downtown’s shadowy areas by adorning alleyways with murals and foliage or transforming a barren strip of sidewalk into an outdoor café, all with the intent of making the city center a destination instead of a throughway. The best example of placemaking in Alaska is happening in downtown Anchorage, which is undergoing an evolution to make the area appealing—not just to tourists—but to residents. The area already has so much going it for it: stunning views of Cook Inlet, an eclectic mix of small shops and boutiques, and large open spaces. But downtown Anchorage has seen its fair share of neglect. Those large open spaces became gathering spots for nefarious activities and new businesses stopped coming in (especially with the economic downturn), giving many downtown areas an empty, eerie, forgotten feel. However, the downtown revitalization effort happening now, spearheaded by the Anchorage Downtown Partnership (ADP), working in partnership with both the public and private sectors, has begun to infuse downtown with excitement and life, transforming the forgotten into the inviting.

Professional Services
The Art of Building and Growing Alaska Brands
Finding the right tactics to garner hard-earned Alaskan loyalty
By Tracy Barbour
Professional Services
The Art of Building and Growing Alaska Brands
Finding the right tactics to garner hard-earned Alaskan loyalty
By Tracy Barbour
B

randing is an intangible but powerful force. It subtly shapes the identity of a company in the minds of consumers and, ultimately, the marketplace. That’s why it’s imperative that businesses make a conscious effort to establish, maintain, and grow their brand. And branding can be even more important for companies operating in Alaska, a relatively small market where relationships and reputations often play an expanded role in business success.

The words “brand” and “branding” are somewhat nebulous terms that marketers define in a variety of ways. So what exactly is a brand? In a broad sense, it’s the combination of all the attributes that make up a company’s identity and the essence of what it represents to consumers. To Sarah Erkmann Ward, a company’s brand is what it wants customers to think of when they see its logo, promotional materials, and advertising, along with what they read about it in the news and online. “The brand helps the company stand out from competitors by drawing attention to their products and services, and it’s what makes them unique,” says Ward, president of Blueprint Alaska, an Anchorage advocacy and strategic communications firm.

PERSONNEL PLUS EMPLOYMENT AGENCY
Your Employment Connection
Mike Schebler
S

ince 1989, Personnel Plus Employment Agency has been differentiating itself as Alaska’s “employment connection.” The traditions established by its founder, Cindy Schebler, are still going strong—especially now with a new owner at the helm: her son, Mike Schebler. “Cindy is enjoying her retirement life after building Personnel Plus to what it is today,” he says.

While the company’s ownership has changed, the way Personnel Plus operates and serves customers remains the same. “We intend to keep doing what we’ve been doing for the last thirty years,” says Schebler, who joined his mother in the business in 1998.

We Do It All
A full-service employment agency with offices in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Personnel Plus offers a variety of services for businesses of all types and sizes. It provides a viable alternative to the time-consuming and costly task of staff placement, helping clients significantly enhance the efficiency of their personnel department. Each year, the experienced staff at Personnel Plus puts 500 to 600 employees—from technical to executive level—to work in Alaska.

The company’s key services include permanent placement, temporary placement, and employee leasing. With permanent placement, Personnel Plus handles the recruiting, testing, screening and checking references to find the most qualified applicants. “For one position, we’ll easily go through a hundred resumes, pick ten of the top ones, interview those people, and narrow it down from there,” says General Manager Morgan Fitzsimmons-Gallagher. “I like to give clients three applicants to interview, and from there they can select their top candidate.”

Following placement, Personnel Plus often conducts a well-check to see how the employee is meshing with the employer. “We like to go back and check to make sure both the employer and employee are happy and it’s a good fi t for both,” Fitzsimmons-Gallagher says.

Maintaining close relationships with employers and employees is extremely important to Personnel Plus. That’s especially true with temporary services, where Personnel Plus takes responsibility for employee tax and workers’ compensation, then bills clients hourly based on the position. “We’re constantly getting calls from companies that need people, even on the same day,” Fitzsimmons-Gallagher says. “We’re very competent at being able to find the people we need to place those positions.”

Employee leasing is another core service of Personnel Plus, and it’s increasing in popularity. It’s ideal for any business owner who wants to avoid the headache of doing payroll and all that is associated with it. With this solution, Personnel Plus would take over the company’s payroll and “lease” back their original employees. The only change for their employees would be the name Personnel Plus on their paychecks. Schebler says: “It doesn’t matter if it’s for one or a hundred employees, employee leasing can be beneficial. It’s a real paperwork saver.”

We Make It Personal
Regardless of the services being provided, Personnel Plus uses a friendly, hands-on management style with its offi ce staff, employees and clients. The company’s success is inextricably tied to its culture of excellence and treating everyone like family. “We try to get to know our applicants as well as our clients,” Schebler says. “I think it’s keeping the personal in personnel.”

For more information, contact:

Personnel Plus
Mike Schebler, President Anchorage Office
(907) 563-7587
1500 W. 33rd Ave., Ste. 220 Anchorage, AK 99503

Fairbanks Office
(907) 452-7587
3437 Airport Way, Ste. 203-B Fairbanks, AK 99709
www.perplus.com

Alaska Business Profile
– PAID ADVERTISEMENT –
Real Estate
Elevating
Downtown
Placemaking, community commitment essential to revitalization
By Vanessa Orr
Real Estate
Elevating
Downtown
Placemaking, community commitment essential to revitalization
By Vanessa Orr
© Matthew Waliszek | Anchorage Downtown Partnership
W

hat do Oklahoma City; Cleveland; Cincinnati; Boise, Idaho; and Bend, Oregon have in common? Visitors to these cities—and the people who live in them—are benefitting from the fact that their downtown areas have undergone a revitalization, attracting businesses, tax dollars, and tourists that contribute to the area’s overall economy.

“When you look at other cities across the US, you can see the rebirth of community and economy that occurs from reinvestment in downtown areas,” explains Bill Popp, president and CEO of the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation. “And it’s not just the downtown area that becomes vital again; we’ve seen in case after case that there is growth in economic activity in outlying areas thanks to a more dynamic downtown core.”

Oil & Gas
Materials, Soil,
and Chemical
Testing
In a lab or in the field, the right data keeps the oil & gas industry on track
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
T

he oil and gas industry is a powerful force in the Last Frontier’s economy—and decisions made by the industry, from choosing materials for construction to understanding the quality of oil and how to extract it, are often derived from testing conducted in Alaska labs or in the field.

Charles Homestead, the environment, health and safety general manager for the Alaska division of SGS, explains that the needs of the oil and gas industry have changed since the company formerly known as Chemical and Geological Laboratories of Alaska was founded in 1964.

The organization, which was absorbed by the multinational SGS, started supporting the oil and gas industry in Alaska early in its history, providing geological testing for the Swanson River gas field.

Oil & Gas
Materials, Soil,
and Chemical
Testing
In a lab or in the field, the right data keeps the oil & gas industry on track
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
T

he oil and gas industry is a powerful force in the Last Frontier’s economy—and decisions made by the industry, from choosing materials for construction to understanding the quality of oil and how to extract it, are often derived from testing conducted in Alaska labs or in the field.

Charles Homestead, the environment, health and safety general manager for the Alaska division of SGS, explains that the needs of the oil and gas industry have changed since the company formerly known as Chemical and Geological Laboratories of Alaska was founded in 1964.

The organization, which was absorbed by the multinational SGS, started supporting the oil and gas industry in Alaska early in its history, providing geological testing for the Swanson River gas field.

© Christopher S. Miller | Alaska Stock
“In that stage, there was a lot of core testing to determine the PMP [porosity and permeability] of the material,” Homestead says, noting that before fracking was commonplace the PMP of the substrate around an oil or gas site determined its potential for development. “There was a lot of testing to identify how we could move fluids and gasses through the formation to get them to wells.”
“You match the lab test procedure to the field procedure, so it’s a verification that means and methods are going to perform.”
Corey Roche, Senior Structural Engineer
PND Engineers
Another test that the industry relied on—and continues to rely on—is the American Petroleum Institute (API) gravity test. This lab test measures how light or heavy the petroleum is compared to water.
Alaska Native
Building Business
Alaska Native construction subsidiaries provide shareholder jobs, financial benefits
By Amy Newman
© Kevin G. Smith | Alaska Stock
Alaska Native
Building Business
Alaska Native construction subsidiaries provide shareholder jobs, financial benefits
By Amy Newman
© Kevin G. Smith | Alaska Stock
I

nvesting in and operating construction subsidiary businesses helps Native village and regional corporations meet their dual mandate to make money to benefit shareholders and provide for their cultural, educational, and social wellbeing. The income generated from these businesses provides both immediate and long-term benefits to the corporations and their shareholders.

“There are two real key factors that go back to CIRI’s overall premise for the investments we make,” says Sophie Minich, president and CEO of CIRI. “We rely upon the cash that’s generated by our investments to pay our dividends and to continue to grow CIRI with additional investments in a variety of ways.”

And while traditional Native values and a desire to support individual regions are the driving force behind the work of every Native corporation and its subsidiaries, on a large scale they operate similarly to parent-subsidiary arrangements in the private sector.

Construction Special Section
Thinking
BIG
at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport
Constructing new facilities to improve the world-class airport
By Tasha Anderson
Research by Kayla Matthews
elements.envato
Construction Special Section
Thinking
BIG
at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport
Constructing new facilities to improve the world-class airport
By Tasha Anderson
Research by Kayla Matthews
elements.envato
T

he Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is the number two airport in the United States for landed weight of cargo aircraft (Memphis, Tennessee is number one) and is one of the top five airports in the world for cargo throughput. In addition to its massive cargo operations, the airport serves more than 5 million passengers a year and is the world’s largest and busiest floatplane base.

Additional Warehouse and Cargo Transfer Space
So there’s a lot going on at the airport, with no plans to slow down. In fact, several projects are underway or being planned at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport that will allow for increased cargo activity.
Construction Special Section
NikoNomad | iStock
Building Alaska’s Longest Single-Span Bridge
The Sterling Highway MP 45-60 project addresses congestion and increases safety
By Brad Joyal
F

or nearly four decades, there have been conversations about upgrading the Sterling Highway between Sunrise Inn and the eastern entrance to Skilak Lake Road near Cooper Landing. Those upgrades are now underway as a part of the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) Sterling Highway MP 45-60 project, a development with an estimated cost of $375 million and a projected completion date of 2025. “It’s hard to pin down the actual date, but I’ve heard 1982, or even maybe before, is when the first go at this environmental impact study started,” says DOT&PF Project Manager Sean Holland. “We were finally able to get a record of decision in May 2018 that’s letting us move forward with the Juneau Creek Alternative.”

DOT&PF considered five alternatives—four build alternatives and a No Build option. In the end, the Juneau Creek Alternative was chosen and will include a new alignment section that will start at MP 46.2 and end at MP 56. A part of the project’s new alignment section will be the construction of the Juneau Creek Bridge, which as planned will be the longest single-span bridge in Alaska.

Construction Special Section
Small Contractors Make a Big Impact
Building partnerships and specializing in niche contracts
By Joy Choquette
LanceKing | iStock
Construction Special Section
Small Contractors Make a Big Impact
Building partnerships and specializing in niche contracts
By Joy Choquette
LanceKing | iStock
C

onsumers are frequently bombarded with the idea that “bigger is better.” But does being largest always equate to being best? Contractors in Alaska come in all shapes and sizes. And while the large name firms offer great benefits to customers, there are also advantages to selecting a smaller firm.

Opportunity Knocks
Skip Myers, owner of Blueprint North, says that business for his firm is flourishing. The company, which employs three full-time staff in the off-season and up to eighteen during the summer months, has found its niche. It completes mostly residential work with some commercial thrown in for variety, Myers says, but sets itself apart by taking on repeat, referral-based projects.
Construction Special Section
The Midtown Mall’s Momentous Makeover
New anchor tenants set up the mall for the new decade
By Arie Henry
Midtown Mall
D

espite losing two key retail anchors, it’s full sail ahead for Anchorage’s Midtown Mall (formerly and not-so-formerly known as the Mall at Sears, but more on that later).

When Carrs Safeway closed its mall location in 2015, followed by the departure of namesake Sears in 2018, Anchorage shoppers collectively winced and pondered the future of the retail hub that, according to a 2014 report from the August Group, drew the highest concentration of shoppers per 1,000 square feet compared to Anchorage’s other large malls: the Dimond Center and 5th Avenue Mall.

Meanwhile, economists contemplated the future of the city’s retail sector amidst the state’s economic recession. After the mall eclipsed its fiftieth anniversary in 2018, however, things began to look different—quite literally.

Construction Special Section
Construction Directory

C

onstruction in Alaska is a key indicator of the state’s overall economic health. When economic times are good and Alaskans are feeling bullish, construction projects (and therefore jobs) increase and when they aren’t so good, the opposite occurs. Still, the construction industry has been a “relatively steady source of 23,000 to 24,000 annual jobs over the past decade,” according to The Economic Benefits of Alaska’s Construction Industry and 2020 Construction Spending Forecast compiled by McDowell Group and presented by the Construction Industry Progress Fund and Associated General Contractors of Alaska. In 2020, construction spending in Alaska is projected to be $6.7 billion, down slightly from 2019, including $4.4 billion in private sector spending (roughly equal to 2019 forecasts) and $2.3 billion in government spending, according to the report. Meanwhile, Alaska’s construction industry paid an average monthly wage of $6,585 in 2018, 43 percent above the economy-wide monthly average of $4,595.

Each March Alaska Business compiles a list of our own from surveys completed by the construction companies operating throughout the state. From infrastructure and public facilities to homes and offices, each of the companies published in the Alaska Business Construction Directory helps build the roads and bridges we drive on, the offices we work in, and the houses we call home. If you’d like to see your company included in the directory, make sure to get on the list to receive the survey by sending an email to [email protected]. Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete this year’s round to help us build this big, beautiful construction directory!

Commercial & Industrial Suppliers
ABC
Susan Ellison, Pres.
401 Driveway St.
Fairbanks, AK 99701
akabc.com
[email protected]
907-457-2221
General contractor specializing in energy efficient remodeling and product sales. Seamless siding and gutters, windows, doors, all remodeling. Material sales include commercial doors, windows, store front, metal siding, metal flashing, door hardware, window wells.
Year Founded/Est. in Alaska | Worldwide/Alaska Employees:
1995/1995 | 14/14
Accupoint
7125 Old Seward Hwy., Ste. 100
Anchorage, AK 99518-2282
Accupoint.com
[email protected]
907-522-1600
Sales, service, rent; Trimble GPS equipment and drones, authorized dealer and repair. Construction, heavy highway, machine control, construction technology solutions.
Year Founded/Est. in Alaska | Worldwide/Alaska Employees:
1986/1986 | 14/14
Alaska Concrete Casting
Dave Hanna, Mng. Member
5761 Concrete Way
Juneau, AK 99801
[email protected]
907-780-4225
Precast concrete supplier, furnishing utility, traffic, and retaining wall products as well as custom casting, building panels, and foundation systems. Rebar fabrication and supply house stocking 20’ and 40’ bar. Detailing, bending, and cage tying services. Custom rubber form liner fabrication.
Year Founded/Est. in Alaska | Worldwide/Alaska Employees:
2004/2004 | 7/7
ABC
Susan Ellison, Pres.
401 Driveway St.
Fairbanks, AK 99701
akabc.com
[email protected]
907-457-2221
General contractor specializing in energy efficient remodeling and product sales. Seamless siding and gutters, windows, doors, all remodeling. Material sales include commercial doors, windows, store front, metal siding, metal flashing, door hardware, window wells.
Year Founded/Est. in Alaska | Worldwide/Alaska Employees:
1995/1995 | 14/14
Accupoint
7125 Old Seward Hwy., Ste. 100
Anchorage, AK 99518-2282
Accupoint.com
[email protected]
907-522-1600
Sales, service, rent; Trimble GPS equipment and drones, authorized dealer and repair. Construction, heavy highway, machine control, construction technology solutions.
Year Founded/Est. in Alaska | Worldwide/Alaska Employees:
1986/1986 | 14/14
Alaska Concrete Casting
Dave Hanna, Mng. Member
5761 Concrete Way
Juneau, AK 99801
[email protected]
907-780-4225
Precast concrete supplier, furnishing utility, traffic, and retaining wall products as well as custom casting, building panels, and foundation systems. Rebar fabrication and supply house stocking 20’ and 40’ bar. Detailing, bending, and cage tying services. Custom rubber form liner fabrication.
Year Founded/Est. in Alaska | Worldwide/Alaska Employees:
2004/2004 | 7/7
Insurance
Higher Quality, Lower Costs
The Pacific Health Coalition brings together healthcare providers and self-insured businesses for a healthier Alaska
By Tasha Anderson
elements.envato
Insurance
elements.envato
Higher Quality, Lower Costs
The Pacific Health Coalition brings together healthcare providers and self-insured businesses for a healthier Alaska
By Tasha Anderson
T

he Affordable Care Act has specific requirements for many businesses to provide some sort of healthcare benefit to their employees. In general, businesses with more than fifty full-time employees are considered “applicable large employers” and are subject to employer shared responsibility provisions, meaning they must provide affordable healthcare coverage with “minimum value” to employees and their dependents. If these employers choose not to provide this benefit, they may be required to pay an employer shared responsibility payment to the IRS.

Smaller businesses with fewer than fifty employees may not be required to provide benefits, but both in Alaska and across the country businesses are competing for qualified workers in a shrinking workforce. Increasingly, employees want to work for companies that offer more than just competitive wages, and a commitment to a healthy work-life balance and generous benefits can tip the favor to one company over another.

Professional Services
Thinking of the Unthinkable
Plan your estate transition or it will be planned without you
By Tracy Barbour
Professional Services
Thinking of the Unthinkable
Plan your estate transition or it will be planned without you
By Tracy Barbour
Debbie Ann Powell | iStock
R

egardless of net worth, everyone should have a plan for how they want the money, property, and other assets in their estate to be transferred after—or even before—they die. Estate planning is especially vital for business owners, whose untimely death, incapacity, or illness can threaten the legacy they intended to leave behind.

Estate planning provides business owners with the best means of continuing their legacy when they no longer can, says Laura Bruce of Alaska Permanent Capital Management (APCM). “If you don’t make a plan, one will be made for you at your death, and it will likely be different than the one you imagined for your loved ones or legacy,” she says.

Mining
Mining Foundations
Hard rock, sand, and gravel ground Alaska infrastructure
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
W

hen it comes to mining, precious metals and rare earth elements get all the glory, pushing other resources out of the spotlight. However, in Alaska, as well as much of the rest of the world, gravel and sand go hand-in-hand with development. Aggregate is present in roads, landscaping, buildings, and nearly every other construction project.

Mining
Mining Foundations
Hard rock, sand, and gravel ground Alaska infrastructure
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
Anchorage Sand & Gravel
W

hen it comes to mining, precious metals and rare earth elements get all the glory, pushing other resources out of the spotlight. However, in Alaska, as well as much of the rest of the world, gravel and sand go hand-in-hand with development. Aggregate is present in roads, landscaping, buildings, and nearly every other construction project.

“It’s in everything as far as the building goes… aggregate is in everything,” explains Ryan Zins of Anchorage Sand & Gravel. “So we mine it, we process it, and we sell it as a construction material for homes, for parking lots, for roads. It’s used in ready-mix concrete for sidewalks, foundations, parking garages… it’s extremely important. The state would be kind of at a standstill if you didn’t have aggregates.”

Aggregates is a sweeping term in the construction and mining industries that describes any sand- and gravel-based product.

Though aggregate is found on every construction site in Alaska, the biggest buyers are the Department of Transportation and municipalities, says Zins.

Community Events
Anchorage
March 7
Iditarod Start

“The Last Great Race” has its official start 10 a.m. at 4th Avenue and D Street in Downtown Anchorage. The Re-start takes place the following day (March 8) at 10 a.m. on the lake at the Willow Community Center in Willow, and the awards banquet takes place at the Nome Recreation Center on March 22.
iditarod.com

Anchorage
March 7
Iditarod Start

“The Last Great Race” has its official start 10 a.m. at 4th Avenue and D Street in Downtown Anchorage. The Re-start takes place the following day (March 8) at 10 a.m. on the lake at the Willow Community Center in Willow, and the awards banquet takes place at the Nome Recreation Center on March 22.
iditarod.com

March 14
Empty Bowl

This is the annual spring fundraiser for Bean’s Café, a nonprofit organization with a mission to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless, which takes place at the Dena’ina Center. Purchasing a ticket allows attendees to select one locally made and donated bowl to take home, as well as enjoy soup and cornbread.
beanscafe.org

March 12
Tanana Lakes Winter Festival

No matter the weather, there’s something for everyone—ice skate on the one-half mile trail or rink, ski on one of the many groomed trails, enjoy a warm fire with s’mores, participate in the annual Winter Try-Athlon (running, ice skating, and skiing), ice fish at pre-drilled holes, or create art with special snow paint at the Tanana Lakes Recreation Area.
fairbanksak.myrec.com

Business Events

March

March 5-6
SWAMC Annual Conference
Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage: The Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference provides economic development and advocacy for Southwest Alaska. swamc.org
March 12-13
Alaska Forest Association Spring Meeting

Baranof Hotel, Juneau: The Alaska Forest Association’s goal is “maintaining healthy forests for today and tomorrow” and its members hold in common general business interests in the timber industry of Alaska.
akforest.org

March 23-26
American Fisheries Society Annual Chapter Meeting
Westmark Fairbanks: Sessions will address the Alaska Chapter of the American Fisheries Society’s mission to improve conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing scientific research and promoting fisheries professionals’ professional development.
afs-alaska.org
Inside Alaska Business
Alaska LNG

In a December 23 filing, the Alaska LNG team submitted an additional 2,000 pages of charts, data, maps, and explanations to answer questions from federal regulators for the Alaska LNG final EIS, which has a scheduled publication date this month.

If there are no delays in the process, FERC commissioners could vote on the project application as early as June 4. alaska-lng.com

Right Moves
Coffman Engineers
Coffman Engineers welcomes Jason Moncrieff as Senior Project Manager to the Anchorage project management group. He holds a bachelor’s in civil engineering from the University of Washington and a master’s in project management from George Washington University. Moncrieff is experienced managing both large- and small-scale multi-discipline projects for multiple client markets. Projects have included large scale drill site remediation, pipeline replacement, generator controls upgrades, erosion control, plant design, and road design. Moncrieff is a licensed civil engineer in Alaska and a project management professional.
Jason Moncrieff headshot
Moncrieff

Alaska Trends

T

he Economic Benefits of Alaska’s Construction Industry and 2020 Construction Spending Forecast was prepared by McDowell Group for the Associated General Contractors of Alaska/Construction Industry Progress Fund and published in January. This comprehensive look at how the construction industry impacts Alaska considers employment and wage data (direct impacts) as well as multiplier effects (indirect or induced impacts) on the economy.

To gather this data, the McDowell Group team gathered data from multiple sources including the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the US Census Bureau. “To measure multiplier effects (secondary economic impacts) associated with construction industry spending with Alaska businesses and the wages paid to Alaska residents, the study team used the IMPLAN (Impact Analysis for PLANning) input-output modeling system to build economic models for Alaska,” the report states. Additional information was requested from, and interviews were conducted with, construction companies to gather spending data for the modeling and to refine modeling assumptions.

At a Glance

What book is currently on your nightstand?
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. The research, especially related to consumer behavior, is fascinating.

What movie do you recommend to everyone you know?
Togo. It makes me so proud to be an Alaskan, and I’m glad Togo is finally getting the recognition he deserves.

What’s the first thing you do when you get home after a long day at work?
Play with our two yellow labs and cook dinner. Cooking forces me to slow down, detach from my phone and email, and decompress.

If you could domesticate a wild animal, what animal would it be?
Definitely a sloth. They seem relaxed and low maintenance. I could benefit from that type of influence in my life.

At a Glance

What book is currently on your nightstand?
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. The research, especially related to consumer behavior, is fascinating.

What movie do you recommend to everyone you know?
Togo. It makes me so proud to be an Alaskan, and I’m glad Togo is finally getting the recognition he deserves.

What’s the first thing you do when you get home after a long day at work?
Play with our two yellow labs and cook dinner. Cooking forces me to slow down, detach from my phone and email, and decompress.

If you could domesticate a wild animal, what animal would it be?
Definitely a sloth. They seem relaxed and low maintenance. I could benefit from that type of influence in my life.

Images ©Kerry Tasker

Off the Cuff

Alicia Siira
A

licia Siira is the Executive Director of Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Alaska, a role she took on in September 2018. Previously, Siira spent nearly six years as a deputy director for the Alaska Miners Association. She received an undergraduate degree from the University of Idaho, followed by her MBA from UAA in 2014. Siira has a unique and profound understanding of Alaska’s industrial endeavors from growing up in Alaska in a placer mining family.

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