Inside Alaska Business

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union finalized a merger with Spokane-based Global Credit Union. The merger combines Alaska USA’s 700,000 members with Global’s 45,000 members. Global operates nine branches in Washington and Idaho and an additional three branches in Italy on US military installations. Alaska USA has sixty-seven branches in Alaska, Washington, California, and Arizona.

Ucore Rare Metals

An early evaluation of a process to separate rare earth elements puts Ucore Rare Metals on a faster track to commercial deployment near Ketchikan. The Canadian company is going ahead with a full-scale plant, rather than smaller increments, at a facility in Ontario. In 2023, Ucore aims to build its Strategic Metals Complex in Ketchikan, processing rare earths sourced from Saskatchewan before mining begins at its Bokan-Dotson Ridge deposit on Prince of Wales Island.


The Alaska Oil & Gas Association honored two companies and two individuals at its annual Industry Awards. The Contractor of the Year Award for Safety Performance goes to NANA Management Services. The Project of the Year Award for Environmental Stewardship and Innovation goes to Alyeska Pipeline Service Company for its Sag River Remediation Project. A member of Alyeska Pipeline’s communications team wins the Rising Star Award for an industry professional under the age of 35. Tara McGrogan joined Alyeska as an intern in 2016, then she completed an MBA in 2017 and returned to Alyeska. And the Marilyn Crockett Lifetime Achievement Award goes to John A. Barnes, who retired as Senior Vice President at Hilcorp Alaska at the end of September.

Alaska Primary Care Association

The Alaska Primary Care Association (APCA) in Anchorage is recieving $9.7 million to expand job opportunities in healthcare through training. The Good Jobs Challenge grant from the US Department of Commerce pays for APCA’s Alaska Healthcare Workforce Pipeline to provide apprenticeships and career pathways for high school students.


The Alaska Department of Natural Resources gave the go-ahead to an international consortium to drill for methane hydrate on the North Slope. The consortium includes the Japan Oil, Gas, and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), the US Department of Energy, the US Geological Survey, and the US National Energy Technology Laboratory. Methane hydrates are natural gas molecules trapped in ice lattices in deep soil and on the ocean floor. JOGMEC previously demonstrated nearly six days of production from permafrost in Canada in 2008. Testing on the North Slope through 2024 is meant to demonstrate consistent, long-term production.

Alaska Chamber

Celebrating excellence in business statewide, the Alaska Chamber gave its annual awards to three winners. GCI is the Large Business of the Year in recognition of the telecom’s service to all other industries and its charitable giving. For companies with fewer than 100 employees, the Small Business of the Year award goes to Alaska Sleep Clinic, which has grown since 2002 to locations in Anchorage, Wasilla, Fairbanks, and Soldotna. And the Outstanding Alaskan of the Year is Tom Tougas, president of Major Marine Tours in Seward, who has given back to the community by teaching a small business management class.


One America News (OAN) has one last frontier on the cable TV dial: GCI. After DirecTV dropped the conservative network in April and Verizon chose not to renew a carriage agreement in July, that left GCI as the only cable system still carrying it. GCI signed its most recent contract with OAN in 2019; the end date is confidential.

To learn more about how GCI’s brand was refined, choose this article.

To catch up with the 2016 Outstanding Alaskan of the Year, Jim Udelhoven, choose this article.