October 2020 | Volume 37 | Number 10 | AKBIZMAG.COM

Contents

Features

Taking a Stand

Supporting social justice is good for communities and good for business
By Vanessa Orr

Unconventional Conventions

Creativity is crucial for business meetings during COVID-19
By Tracy Barbour

Giant Clients

ANCs diversify with government contracts
By Isaac Stone Simonelli

Heavy Haul Logistics

Getting big machines to remote locations requires collaboration, coordination
By Vanessa Orr

Above and Beyond

The ins-and-outs of multimodal and the transportation industry’s dedication to the customer
By Danny Kreilkamp

Combatting Contamination

Engineering a pristine environment one contaminant at a time
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
Construction workers

‘It Just Has to Get Done’

How Alaska’s construction crews expedite critical projects
By Amy Newman
Ahtna

Happy Campers

Modern amenities and perks keep remote camp workers coming back for more
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
Lucas Payne | Alaska Stock

Happy Campers

Modern amenities and perks keep remote camp workers coming back for more
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
Lucas Payne | Alaska Stock
Man running next to large cables

Taking a Stand

Supporting social justice is good for communities and good for business
By Vanessa Orr

Unconventional Conventions

Creativity is crucial for business meetings during COVID-19
By Tracy Barbour

Giant Clients

ANCs diversify with government contracts
By Isaac Stone Simonelli

Heavy Haul Logistics

Getting big machines to remote locations requires collaboration, coordination
By Vanessa Orr

Above and Beyond

The ins-and-outs of multimodal and the transportation industry’s dedication to the customer
By Danny Kreilkamp

Combatting Contamination

Engineering a pristine environment one contaminant at a time
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
Construction workers

‘It Just Has to Get Done’

How Alaska’s construction crews expedite critical projects
By Amy Newman
Ahtna
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; 
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Top 49ers Special Section
The top forty-nine Alaska-owned companies ranked by gross revenue
By Kathryn Mackenzie
Sitnasuak and its new CEO see steady growth and stability amid a pandemic
By Arie Henry
Gana-A' Yoo creating jobs and expanding services
How Gana-A’Yoo is creating jobs and expanding services
By Tasha Anderson
Gana-A’Yoo
Delta Constructors balances safety, productivity to punch above its weight
By Danny Kreilkamp
Delta Constructors
Delta Constructors balances safety, productivity to punch above its weight
By Danny Kreilkamp
Delta Constructors
Delta Constructors balances safety
The top forty-nine Alaska-owned companies ranked by gross revenue
By Kathryn Mackenzie
Sitnasuak and its new CEO see steady growth and stability amid a pandemic
By Arie Henry
Gana-A' Yoo creating jobs and expanding services
How Gana-A’Yoo is creating jobs and expanding services
By Tasha Anderson
Gana-A’Yoo

About The Cover

Several months ago when we first chose our 2020 Top 49ers theme of “migration,” we had no idea how relevant it would be to the current state of the world. Originally we were intrigued by the idea of migration from purely a business standpoint. We wondered how a company that has been in business for decades makes the journey from humble beginnings to one of the highest earning organizations in Alaska? And we thought what better companies to answer that question than the forty-nine featured here?

But as 2020 progressed and the hits just kept coming, the concept of migration took on deeper meaning as a “number or body of persons or animals” experiencing “a shift, as from one system, mode of operation, or enterprise to another”. As it turns out, right now we are in the midst of a great migration, a long journey home that we wholeheartedly believe will end in triumph.

Cover by Monica Sterchi-Lowman

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Formerly the UA College Savings Plan.
Go online or call the number listed above to request a Plan Disclosure Document, which includes investment objectives, risks, fees, expenses, and other information. You should read the Plan Disclosure Document carefully before investing. | Offered by the Education Trust of Alaska. T. Rowe Price Investment Services, Inc., Distributor/Underwriter.

From the Editor

Finding Normalcy

I

f there is one thing that has been reinforced to me over and over this year, it’s that human beings are creatures of habit. For the most part we crave a sense of “normalcy” in our daily lives. When our habits and established patterns are disrupted—well, we’ve all seen what’s happened over these past seven or so months—chaos, anxiety, and fear have prevailed as each of us tries to just live our “normal” again. And even though my sense of normalcy and yours may be diametrically opposed, we still have one thing in common: the need for consistency.

Sometimes looking to the past can be a source of comfort. Knowing that we’ve made it through more than one pandemic with far fewer resources and limited technology is reassuring in an odd way. My thought process is: If we did it then we can certainly do it again.

Alaska Business logo
Volume 37, #10
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
257-2910 [email protected]
Staff Writer
Danny Kreilkamp
[email protected]
Art Director
Monica Sterchi-Lowman
257-2916 [email protected]
Art Production
Linda Shogren
257-2912 [email protected]
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:
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Send address changes to
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Anchorage, AK 99503

Northern Air Cargo plane
Keeping Alaska Open for Business
Northern Air Cargo is committed to continuing our cargo operations while maintaining the health and safety of our customers and employees.
Regulations are changing constantly. For the most up-to-date information visit www.nac.aero.
Northern Air Cargo plane tail
Northern Air Cargo is committed to continuing our cargo operations while maintaining the health and safety of our customers and employees.
Regulations are changing constantly. For the most up-to-date information visit www.nac.aero.
Northern Air Cargo plane tail
Professional Services

Taking a
STAND

Supporting social justice is good for communities and good for business
By Vanessa Orr
Pamelas Photopoetry | Twenty20
I

t’s generally been the norm for businesses to avoid taking a stance on social issues, keeping personal or corporate opinions separate from the products and services they offer. Today, however, it’s almost impossible for a company to ignore the social issues making headlines, whether that’s police brutality, gun violence, the #MeToo movement, or Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests.

While previously it may have been considered smart to avoid taking sides on such issues, consumers today are more likely to reward companies that speak up with repeat business.

Oil & Gas
Happy Campers
Modern amenities and perks keep remote camp workers coming back for more
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
D

espite the North Slope’s blistering cold and 24-hour nights during the winter, about 3,000 people work in what is arguably one of the most remote job sites in North America, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development research.

“Working on the Slope is a double-edged sword: I have to leave home for extended periods of time and often miss out on birthdays, holidays, and special events,” says Pat Ahern, a drilling health, safety, and environment specialist with Beacon Occupational Health and Safety Services who’s working in the Beaufort Sea.

Employee running at remote location
Tourism
Man doing handstand while using computer
Unconventional
Conventions
Creativity is crucial for business meetings during COVID-19
By Tracy Barbour

A

s the coronavirus pandemic persists, going virtual takes on a deeper meaning for larger-scale events where people have traditionally gathered in person for training, education, and networking. Many Alaska organizations are converting their conventions, conferences, and other meetings to online or hybrid options that are safe for attendees.

Take, for example, the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) 3-Year Outlook Virtual Luncheon, which took place in August. AEDC’s decision to hold the event online was relatively easy to make, especially given that the health and safety of its team, vendors, sponsors, and audience was at stake. “We surveyed our sponsors and members back in May to check in with them and also analyze their level of comfort with an in-person event,” Development Director Tara Nokelby says. “It was fairly clear at that time that we would be pivoting to a virtual event and, given the current climate, we’re extremely happy we made that call.”

UIC
Cultural Values and Teamwork Combine to Deliver Financial Success
Image of Delbert Rexford
Delbert Rexford, UIC President, CEO
U

IC is one of Alaska’s most financially sound companies, but its journey to get here was not without challenges. A little more than two years ago, UIC was struggling with many of its subsidiaries incurring losses. The company’s line of credit was also exhausted and bonding facilities were lost. Good employees were leaving, and quite frankly, UIC was facing a serious liquidity problem that threatened the company’s future. While this may read like the beginning of a business horror story, it is actually a success story about how the right combination of solid leadership, teamwork, and cultural values can turn things around.

In November of 2017, UIC’s Board of Directors selected Delbert J. Rexford as its new President and CEO. Rexford, an Iñupiat, and an original UIC shareholder, was quick to apply cultural values and the Arctic whaling tradition of teamwork to UIC. Rexford’s initial focus was on building a strong executive team, which included hiring Jeevan Pokharel as the new CFO, now COO.

Alaska Native
Giant Clients
ANCs diversify with government contracts
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
Image of Giant Clients
Alaska Native
Giant Clients
ANCs diversify with government contracts
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
Image of Giant Clients
JJPan | iStock
T

he diversified portfolios of Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) go far beyond resource extraction projects and the state’s borders. ANCs are no stranger to government contracts, as the different corporations offer professional services, IT services, base operations and logistics support, hardware retail, wholesale distribution, construction, and more.

Cape Fox Corporation moved into government contracts around the turn of the millennium with the goal of diversifying.

“Cape Fox was originally focused on the timber industry in southeast Alaska,” Cape Fox Corporation CEO Chris Luchtefeld says. “As the company progressed and the timber industry was slowing, the corporation made the decision to enter into government contracting as a way to diversify the corporation.”

2020 Top 49ers Special Section
Triumphant Journeys:
The Alaska Business 2020 Top 49ers
By Kathryn Mackenzie
O

ne factor that contributes to successful business operations is the ability to adapt to new situations; rare is the organization that flourishes without changing at all. This year, as we are all acutely aware by now, will go down in history for many, many things including the wide range of methods implemented by businesses as they adapted to the new landscape presented to them by COVID-19. Some organizations have been overwhelmed by demand (healthcare comes to mind) while others experienced the exact opposite problem. Businesses in the retail, hospitality, and tourism industries continue to struggle to stay afloat, protect their employees and clients, and navigate the ever-changing, sometimes conflicting protocols and procedures mandated by local municipalities, state government, and federal officials.

As we contemplated the theme for our 2020 Top 49ers, it never occurred to us that the words “migration” and “journeys” would have such weighted meanings—or that the idea of adapting to new circumstances wouldn’t just be a hypothetical concept to file away for the future. No matter the industry, this has been, and will likely continue to be for a long time, a time of transition and change filled with hard decisions and substantial sacrifices. As we at Alaska Business continue to figure out how to operate in our new world (I’m still writing to you from my home office and gratefully so), we wondered how some of Alaska’s most successful and long-running organizations are navigating their own course through the global pandemic. Here we’ve compiled a selection of their answers, and while they’re presented alphabetical order, there is also a running theme of success through teamwork, a great sense of social responsibility, and adaptability.

2020 top 49ers special section
The 2020 Alaska Business Top 49ers: Alaska’s top locally-owned companies ranked by gross revenue
Number 1
2019
$3,766,757,000
2018
$3,396,783,000
2017
$2,697,862,000
2016
$2,371,164,000
2015
$2,515,377,000
2019 Rank
1
Change in Revenue from 2018
11%
Arctic Slope Regional Corporation
Services:
ASRC has six major business segments: petroleum refining and marketing, energy support services, construction, government services, industrial services, and resource development.
Year Established in Alaska: 1972
Employees: 15,181 Worldwide/3,635 in Alaska
Recent Events:
In May of 2020, teams from ASRC Federal played in integral part in launching NASA’s historic SpaceX Demo-2 mission. This was the first launch of astronauts from an American rocket from American soil since the last space shuttle mission in 2011.
Rex Allen Rock Sr., Pres./CEO
PO Box 129
Barrow, AK 99723
asrc.com
[email protected]
907-852-8633
Rex Allen Rock Sr. headshot
Arctic Slope Regional Corporation logo
How to Profile Your Business
Christine Merki headshot
By Christine Merki
Account Manager
W

ith the prevalence of smartphones, most of us have identified our “best side.” You know: chin down, a slight turn of the head, bright smile. But do you know the same for your company? What is the profile of your business that you want the world to see?

A Business Profile is essentially a corporate selfie: it gives our readers a snapshot of who you are and what you do. A Business Profile in Alaska Business gives you a chance to control the narrative while you tell your story. You can write it yourself, or we will connect you with a freelance writer with decades of business writing experience to help you make a positive influence for your business brand in an interesting and natural way, all while being useful to the reader. You can use your Business Profile in whatever way that serves you best: highlight a new business development, feature your new CEO, discuss a subsidiary, or talk about your new location, or detail your company’s many accomplishments.

2020 top 49ers special section
Mission,
Vision,
Values
How Gana-A’Yoo is creating
jobs and expanding services
By Tasha Anderson
Gana-A’Yoo
T

his is the first year that Gana-A’Yoo has been ranked in the Alaska Business Top 49ers; the Alaska Native Village Corporation (ANC) jumped into the rankings with 2019 gross revenue of just under $62 million, which is more than double the gross revenue that Gana-A’Yoo earned in 2018. According to Gana-A’Yoo CEO Dena Sommer-Pedebone, this extraordinary one-year revenue increase was possible because of the corporation’s vision of focusing on long-term opportunities and building relationships. “What happened in 2018—as far as business development—didn’t necessarily set the groundwork for 2019; it was 2016 and 2017 and the work that was being done that transposed over time that got us to where we are today.”

Sommer-Pedebone says the corporation’s board of directors is “very forward-thinking” and has long placed an emphasis on long-term, sustainable growth. “Our board recognized several years ago that reliance on the natural resource revenues that many ANCs receive was not going to be sustainable, so while we have that resource, that’s not something that the company wants to rely on.”

2020 top 49ers special section
In Control
Delta Constructors balances safety, productivity to punch above its weight
By Danny Kreilkamp
The Mockingbird Compressor Station in Texas.

Delta Constructors

W

hen Delta Constructors onboards employees, the company likes to use a simple analogy to help illustrate expectations of its newest team members.

“If you’ve ever played on a sports team,” President Dustin Cooper begins, “then you know what it feels like when everything is going right and everything is falling into place—the training, preparation, and plans you’ve put together are all working in your favor.”

“And you also know what it feels like when things start going against you,” he continues. “When things are going well, we call that, ‘Control of Work’; you’re in control of your work, you’re in control of your team, manpower, equipment, materials, and workspace.”

2020 top 49ers special section
Nome Sweet Nome
Sitnasuak and its new CEO see steady growth and stability amid a pandemic
By Arie Henry
Andy Kazie | iStock
H

istorically, as far as disease goes, Nome is no stranger. Between 1918 and 1919, the influenza pandemic claimed nearly 50 percent of the Alaska Native population in Nome. And most Alaskans recall the legendary exploits of Balto and Togo and the role dog teams played in medicine delivery to the same village in 1925, when the deadly diphtheria epidemic nearly devastated the community again.

Now, a century later, a modern-day pandemic is being faced by modern-day leadership, particularly by the Nome region’s Sitnasuak Native Corporation (SNC). And even though new CEO Charles Fagerstrom assumed the role in February, just a month before Alaska’s businesses began hunkering down en masse, his background makes him uniquely qualified for the tasks at hand.

To begin with, Fagerstrom’s is a career immersed in healthcare. After earning his bachelor’s degree in business finance from Seattle Pacific University, he spent some time with Norton Sound Regional Hospital before venturing south to earn a master’s degree in health services administration and planning from the University of Hawai’i. He then went on to earn an executive MBA in health administration from the University of Colorado before returning to Alaska to take on roles at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and, most recently, as the health director at the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association.

In addition to his lengthy academic and professional merits, Fagerstrom brings with him a personal heritage deeply rooted in the corporation. Not only was his late uncle a past corporation president, his father was one of Sitnasuak’s original 1973 incorporators following the enactment of ANCSA and served as the corporation’s president from 2011 to 2015.

“I’m really blessed in a way,” Fagerstrom says of his full circle journey. “It’s getting back to my roots and serving the people I grew up with. And being a shareholder, I feel very intrinsically motivated to do well.”

While his welcome into the corporation and the onset of the pandemic are of course not related, bringing in a leader so well-versed in healthcare administration is a particular asset these days. And when it comes to the logistics and business affairs associated with the field, Fagerstrom has always had affinity for them.

“I was always enamored by healthcare and wanting to get involved somehow. I knew I didn’t want to become a doctor or clinician, but I was very interested in the mechanics and finances and how health systems stay afloat and are funded. So I was able to get some scholarships to further my education and get more involved on the business end of things, and one thing led to another.”

One thing certainly did lead to another, but not exactly as planned. For anyone entering a new position, let alone one overseeing an entire corporation with subsidiaries as far away as Puerto Rico, the onboarding process comes with a learning curve to comfortably adjust to a new business environment. When a pandemic dramatically changes the way a company runs, that learning curve is accelerated.

“You have to be a quick study,” Fagerstrom says of his first few weeks. “There was not a whole lot of orientation. Luckily, I had been on the [Sitnasuak] board previously, so I had a good understanding of our capabilities and the businesses that we are in. So definitely, it was a deep dive, and you’re not talking about doing visionary work and planning—you’re getting right into the details to understand what impact this pandemic will have on your business.”

Despite the immediate demands placed on him, Fagerstrom’s leadership has been lauded by the corporation for more than his capabilities in the world of healthcare; his business savvy has contributed to the corporation’s financial stability and growth amid uncertain times.

Transportation
Heavy Haul Logistics
Getting big machines to remote locations requires collaboration, coordination
By Vanessa Orr
Yukon Equipment
I

t’s often a challenge to move items to, from, and around Alaska. That challenge is multiplied when the item in question is the size of a small building. And when the final destination isn’t even on the road system, it takes a lot of collaboration, as well as logistics expertise, to get items where they need to go.

“Delivering and servicing equipment on the road system is challenging enough, but at remote sites, the logistical challenges are humungous,” says Jerry Lee Sadler, manager of Airport Equipment Rentals (AER). “Only a very small percentage of Alaska is accessible by road; it’s easy for those of us living in Anchorage and Fairbanks to forget that we’re just a teeny fraction of the state. So much of the state’s business, infrastructure, and logistics happen out of sight from the majority of the population.”

Transportation
Above and Beyond
The ins-and-outs of multimodal and the transportation industry’s dedication to the customer
By Danny Kreilkamp
Lynden
T

ransportation and logistics providers are constantly balancing a customer’s need for a timely and cost-effective shipping solution, while also considering the different modes of transport available to move items from origin to destination. This is particularly true in the case of those providers offering multimodal solutions in Alaska, where geographic factors regularly influence the planning process.

Reflecting on the transportation industry’s evolution to offer combined, complex shipping options, Saltchuk’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director in Alaska Dave Karp offers one perspective.

“You could look at multimodal as using different modes of transportation to move cargo,” Karp says. “But you could also look at multimodal in terms of the companies we have here in Alaska, which offer more vertical integration.”

Construction
Pugun Photo | iStock
‘It Just HAS to
Get Done’
How Alaska’s construction crews expedite critical projects
By Amy Newman
A

ny Alaskan can tell you we have four seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and construction. It’s a well-worn joke, but it encapsulates the outsized role weather plays when scheduling construction projects across the state, and why, whenever feasible, there’s a push to get as much work done as possible during the short summer season.

And while weather-related concerns may be the most common reason construction projects are expedited, they’re far from the only factor.

“There are a lot of things that can be a driver for us to get on an expedited build,” says Tim Finnigan, president of Ahtna Global, Ahtna Infrastructure & Technologies, and Ahtna Environmental—all subsidiaries of Ahtna, Inc.

Environmental
Combatting Contamination
Engineering a pristine environment one contaminant at a time
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
francescomoufotografo | iStock
E

ngineering firms offering environmental services in Alaska address a broad spectrum of issues that impact humans and wildlife—managing everything from COVID-19 wipe-downs and toxic mold issues to oil spill prevention planning and soil remediation.

“We all live in the environment. Those environments can be inside or outside. It could be your home. It can be commercial buildings. And the inside environments can get quite dangerous due to mold, asbestos, particulate matter,” says Kirsten Ballard, director of ARCTOS Alaska Services at NORTECH.

“Outside, you can have threats to your drinking water due to oil spills, chemical spills, and so forth. The outside environment is important because you bring your drinking water, maybe your shoes and clothing, inside,” Ballard says, noting that there is also a need to mitigate risk to other natural resources, such as anadromous fish streams, animal breeding grounds, and endangered species.

Ahtna
Infrastructure & Technologies, LLC
Safely and effectively moving logistically challenging projects from conception to completion
A

htna, Inc., (Ahtna) recently added a new company to its expanding corporate umbrella—Ahtna Infrastructure & Technologies (AIT), LLC, a full-service general contractor, construction manager, and professional services provider. AIT enhances a steady pattern of growth for Ahtna, which operates 20 subsidiaries. AIT enables clients to leverage the strength of its sister subsidiaries’ multi-disciplinary core staff of 360 professionals, including construction supervisors, engineers, scientists, and craft labor.

AIT specializes in executing timesensitive, complex, and multi-faceted construction, environmental, engineering, and professional services projects for commercial and government clients. The Alaska-based firm works on projects ranging from small renovations to major construction to environmental remediation jobs worth $10,000 to $70 million. AIT has offices in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and the Mat-Su Valley, as well as California, Hawaii, Maryland, Missouri, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

Inside Alaska Business
UA System

UAS and UAF signed an agreement to provide online, dual enrollment opportunities for Alaska’s high school students via Alaska Advantage. College courses are offered by both UAS and UAF, helping students get started earning college credit while meeting their high school graduation requirements. Course credits are accepted at both UAS and UAF and can be transferred to other institutions.
alaska.edu

Alaska Marine Lines | Glosten | Meridian Marine Industries
Four Alaska Marine Lines rail barges are getting new piping and ballast systems designed by marine industry leader Glosten with installation by Meridian Marine Industries. “The rail barges are hitting twenty years of service and were in need of some upgrades,” says John Maketa, T-115 Port Engineer in Seattle. Two barges, the Anchorage Provider and Whittier Provider, already have the new piping systems installed. Using a patented rack system, the rail barges transport containers and rail cars from Seattle to Whittier, where the rail cars are rolled onto the train tracks.
lynden.com/aml | glosten.com
vancouvershiprepair.ca

Economic Indicators
ANS Crude Oil Production
490,08 barrels
9% change from previous month
9/2/2020
Source: Alaska Department of Natural Resources
ANS West Coast Crude Oil Prices
$42.09 per barrel
1% change from previous month
9/3/2020
Source: Alaska Department of Natural Resources
Statewide Employment
340,749 Labor Force
11.6% Unemployment
6/1/20. Adjusted seasonally.
Source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Right Moves
Lane Powell
Lane Powell announced two new additions to its Anchorage firm: Associate Hans Huggler and Counsel to the Firm Miranda Strong.

Huggler, who is relocating from the firm’s Portland office, is a commercial litigator with a focus on transportation and insurance-related matters. After earning his juris doctorate from Lewis & Clark Law School, Huggler served as a law clerk for the Honorable Sharon Gleason of the US District Court for the District of Alaska before joining Lane Powell. He holds undergraduate degrees in economics and political science from Oregon State University and a master’s in criminal justice policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Huggler Portrait
Huggler

Alaska Trends

F

all is a special time; the changing colors, feathered friends in the sky, an excuse to splurge on an extra dash of pumpkin spice. And for the Alaska Business team, as well as the community we serve, the harvest month also means an opportunity to take a peek at some of the state’s top locally-owned companies ranked by gross revenue. The Top 49ers are Alaska’s top-performing companies, covering a wide spread of the industries that keep our economy running strong.

These companies are a diverse bunch, in both size and function. Cornerstone General Contractors is a company of merely 42 employees—a stark contrast to ASRC, the Alaska Native corporation that has occupied our top spot since 1995 and boasts a stunning worldwide employee count of 15,181. A grocer headquartered in Wasilla currently enjoying revenues in the hundreds of millions, Three Bears was first featured in 2010 and hasn’t looked back since.

This month in Alaska Trends we delve deeper into the numbers behind the trends that drive the members of this highly-anticipated list to provide an even more comprehensive view of the 2020 Top 49ers.

At a Glance

What book is currently on your nightstand?
Where the Sea Breaks Its Back: The Epic Story of Early Naturalist Georg Steller and the Russian Exploration of Alaska by Corey Ford.

What movie do you recommend to everyone you know?
Well I’m not a movie goer because I get vertigo really bad in the theater, but there’s a TV series I really like and that’s Yellowstone.

What’s the first thing you do when you get home after a long day at work?
I’d say the first thing I do is I receive unconditional love from my dog Gracie… she’s a miniature schnauzer and no matter how the day at work turned out, she’s always overjoyed to see me.

If you couldn’t live in Alaska, what’s your dream locale?
Easy, it would be Maui. I went to college in Hawai’i and have had the luxury of having traveled there many times—it’s like a second home to me.

If you could domesticate a wild animal, what animal would it be?
I’d probably say a bear, and you might say, ‘Why on god’s green earth would you do that?’… perhaps it might help me to not be so terrified of them [she laughs].

Sophie Minich

At a Glance

What book is currently on your nightstand?
Where the Sea Breaks Its Back: The Epic Story of Early Naturalist Georg Steller and the Russian Exploration of Alaska by Corey Ford.

What movie do you recommend to everyone you know?
Well I’m not a movie goer because I get vertigo really bad in the theater, but there’s a TV series I really like and that’s Yellowstone.

What’s the first thing you do when you get home after a long day at work?
I’d say the first thing I do is I receive unconditional love from my dog Gracie… she’s a miniature schnauzer and no matter how the day at work turned out, she’s always overjoyed to see me.

If you couldn’t live in Alaska, what’s your dream locale?
Easy, it would be Maui. I went to college in Hawai’i and have had the luxury of having traveled there many times—it’s like a second home to me.

If you could domesticate a wild animal, what animal would it be?
I’d probably say a bear, and you might say, ‘Why on god’s green earth would you do that?’… perhaps it might help me to not be so terrified of them [she laughs].

Images ©Kerry Tasker

Off the Cuff

Sophie Minich
S

ophie Minich is the President and CEO of Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI). Minich has held a variety of executive level positions with CIRI including chief operating officer, chief financial officer, and senior vice president of business development. From Seward and a shareholder of the Alaska Native Corporation herself, Minich is intimately familiar with the values that drive the company’s success.

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