President's Message

Helvi Sandvik
Helvi Sandvik


Many of us make resolutions this time of year. We pledge to spend more time with family and friends. We say we’ll get off the couch and be more active. Some of us start the New Year trying to eat better. If you want to work on wellness, get more active, eat better and find more work-life balance this year, NANA will help.

NANA Sayyaaġiksa is Iñupiaq for “Let’s get healthy.” Through the Intranet, all NANA employees will have access to a wellness corner that will include employee-to-employee tips on increased fitness, lists of interesting facts on healthy habits and links to tips and videos from Dr. Oz.

NANA Sayyaaġiksa is about wellness. It is not just about lifting weights, jogging or some other form of exercise. Wellness means striving to find a balance between work and time with family or friends. It does not mean completely forgoing treats like ice cream or pizza or spending 40 hours a week in the gym. It is about a adding little more activity and making healthy choices.

If we all spend a bit more time getting healthier, who knows, maybe we’ll all spend a little less time at the doctor and a little more time doing things we enjoy. So NANA Sayyaaġiksa! — Let’s get healthy! You can read below about some of the activities we have organized to help get you moving toward a healthier 2011.

Helvi Sandvik
NANA Development Corporation


NANA Launches Wellness Program

Nana Launches Wellness Program

Sayyaaġiksa – Iñupiaq for "Let’s get healthy." Wellness is something NANA companies are focusing on this year as NANA Development Corporation has a new plan that kicked into high gear earlier this month. The kick-off breakfast started with a healthy meal and tips from Dr. Dave Johnson the president of Vivacity, and their national spokesperson, who inspires employees to change a modifiable health risk factor, such as obesity, smoking or a lack of exercise.

For those on NDC’s health insurance, plan options include individual health coaching and a customized website to work towards goals. NANA employees across the globe can access a wellness corner on the NANA intranet with lots of activities and other wellness tips. “Just a few small things can lead to a more healthy lifestyle,” says NANA Development Corporation Senior Vice President for Human Resources Lawrence Mucciarelli.“ Whether it is walking at lunch, a salad instead of pizza or just spending a little more time with family and friends, it can help you grow as a person and as a professional.”

Overall health is a focus beyond our Alaska base. NANA company Qivliq, based in Virginia, is enhancing a program it started last year. It includes annual flu clinics for employees and family members at multiple locations, a 24/7 nurse hotline and a company wellness committee to identify new ideas to help the company get more fit.

Further south in North Carolina Akima has a program that rewards regular exercise, good nutrition and other healthy lifestyle choices through a point system that can lead to a massage, a day off or a $100 gift card.


Last MARS Station Keeps U.S. Connected during Emergencies

Juanita Portz is an Akima MARS radio operator at Fort Huachuca, AZ.
Juanita Portz is an Akima MARS radio operator at Fort Huachuca, AZ.

Once they were an integral part of every military installation: MARS – the Military Affiliate Radio System.

Now Akima operates the sole remaining station in the U.S. at Ft. Huachuca in southeast Arizona.

A Department of Defense program, MARS is a civilian auxiliary consisting primarily of licensed amateur radio operators who assist the military with communications during emergencies. The MARS program also includes many government entities, including U.S. Army Strategic and Pacific commands, various military units, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Created in the early days of the Cold War as “back-up” communications in case of a nuclear attack, MARS exists in the event that the infrastructure is not there,” explains Grant Hays, Akima’s project manager for MARS.

Hurricane Katrina demonstrated the need for MARS. “The infrastructure was completely wiped out and people began to wonder how we would communicate if we didn’t have the Internet or cell phones,” Hays says.

The MARS program was consolidated at Huachuca. The station operates nine hours a day, seven days a week. The Akima radio operators “are the police of the radio waves,” said Juanita Portz, an Akima MARS radio operator. In case of an emergency, these operators would activate the network.

MARS’ technology has also evolved with the times. “A lot of people think of high-frequency radio as all voice,” Hays says. “We do a lot of voice operations, but that’s generally for telling somebody to move to a certain frequency.

“People are beginning to realize the Internet is not the total solution,” Hays notes. “There are times when, even though the Internet may be there, we may choose not to use it because it is vulnerable, and you need to be in a position where you have a lot of tools you can use in the tool box.“


NIQI Goes Global and Expands Menu of Products

NIQI Goes Global and Expands Menu of Products
Members of the military stationed abroad enjoy the fresh-made ice cream delivered by NIQI. The ingredients in the ice cream are all natural and dished up from a proprietary soft-serve machine

NIQI, which is the Iñupiaq word for “food,” currently provides quality grocery, frozen and chilled food items for the U.S. military. NIQI teams with small businesses manufacturers, making them more marketable and cost effective. NIQI provides the expertise from the product to the customer.

From a brand that opened its doors in 2004 to becoming a top-50 food supplier for the Department of Defense, NIQI (pronounced “Nicky”) has seen tremendous growth in six years. The NANA Services business line now has plans to expand its global growth by venturing further in its industry. Led by Rachel Kutuk McClanahan, NANA Shareholder and NANA Services employee, and Ty Gagne, mentor to McClanahan, NIQI strives to make 2011 a breakout year.

“We team with small business manufacturers that demonstrate excellence in their field. We create new markets for them to participate, and then they manufacture under our brand specifications,” explained Gagne.

“We have great quality and consistency,” said McClanahan. “And we always stand behind our products. We can tell vendors where the food was grown, we can show them when and where the products were packaged and all our paperwork is in order. Our labeling and catalogue descriptions are accurate and our quality assurance provides consistent high quality products.”

With NIQI reaching a global audience, it is now time to reach an audience with more products.

“We recently had 57 ice cream machines placed in 26 dining facilities for the Army in Germany, and one of the locations we’re bringing on-line is in Kyrgyzstan for the Air Force,” McClanahan said, describing how the ingredients in the ice cream are all natural and dished up from a proprietary soft-serve machine.

The other area NIQI is rolling out in 2011 is a complete suite of green-certified janitorial products. The project began more than six months ago, and the products will be available in the second quarter of 2011.

With the subsidiary’s success, NIQI recognizes NANA’s influence. “In our business, especially overseas, certainty and reliability are very important. NANA provides a backdrop of certainty and reliability behind the NIQI Brand,” Gagne said. “In Afghanistan, we had to increase production by 50 percent when there was a troop surge. Many small businesses wouldn’t have been able to support that kind of growth. And for our customers, that certainty is important.”


President Obama Delivers Holiday Cheer at K-Bay

President Obama and Ricky Lui
Anderson Hall Program Manager Ricky Liu is shown here with President Barack Obama. Ricky and his program have won the prestigious W.P.T. Award three times now.

During his family vacation to Hawaii, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama stopped by Kaneohe Bay (K-Bay) on Christmas to talk to the Marines and their families, along with all the employees of the NANA Services’ Anderson Hall.

It was the Obama’s third holiday visit to this Marine Corps Base.

“He thanks everyone for all the hard work for the country,” said Ricky Lui, Anderson Hall program manager. “No matter how busy his schedule is, he brings his wife and visits the military. It’s not just that he pops in; he takes his time and makes sure to talk to everyone and their family. It impressed us that the President – his time is so valuable – that he spends time with us during the holidays.”

Out of the crowd of 300-plus people, Obama saw a familiar face.

“He looked at me and said, ‘I recognize you.’ He shook hands with me, gave me a big hug and then we had a little talk. I thanked him for bringing his family to Hawaii and taking time to visit us every year, and he said, “I love Hawaii. I will come back,” Lui said. NANA Services, a division of Akmaaq, has a contract at the base to provide food preparation, delivery, mess attendant services, cashiering and housekeeping.

Anderson Hall has won the prestigious W.P.T. Hill award three times. The award was established in 1985 to improve food service operations, as well as to encourage excellence in the garrison and field food service programs, while improving the quality of life for the Marine Corps and Navy personnel.


Carolyn and NDC Grow Up Together

Carolyn Ali Boskofsky
Carolyn Ali Boskofsky from the village of Shungnak, celebrates 30 years with NANA Development Corporation.

Carolyn Ali Boskofsky can say she’s grown up with NANA Development Corporation (NDC).

She arrived in Anchorage in 1980 with no idea what to expect in the big city. Hailing from the village of Shungnak, 150 miles east of Kotzebue with a population of 150, she moved to Anchorage to become the receptionist/errand girl for NDC. She learned quickly that she was far from home.

“My first day was scary,” Carolyn recalls. “I sat there and all these lights started blinking on the switchboard. I got overwhelmed and I was totally exhausted after the first day. And, of course, I had to learn to drive in Anchorage. The vice president at the time would draw me maps for banks, the post office and a number of different places. So it was terrible for probably the first month.”

Now, 30 years later, Carolyn is the payroll technician for NDC, NANA Regional Corporation and NANA Oilfield Services.

NDC was only six years old when Carolyn signed on – and a long way away from becoming the business leader it is today.

“I’ve seen quite a bit of change. It’s astronomical. It went by so quickly that I didn’t even realize I had reached my 30 years,” Carolyn said.

Carolyn has also experienced major change. When she arrived in Anchorage in her early 20s, she was single and had no children. Now her family includes her husband, three daughters and a grandchild – all of whom are part of the NANA family. They attend many NANA functions, including shareholder meetings, and Carolyn understands how important it is for them to go to the events.

“My girls were not brought up in the village. For me to bring them to every NANA event was like letting them know what the culture is like at home because they get to see whole groups of people,” she said.


Donation Lets ATC Drill into New Training Program

NANA and its business partners donated a drill to the Arctic Technical Center.

One of NANA’s oldest business lines donated a used mining drill that will form the core of a new training program at the Alaska Technical Center (ATC) in Kotzebue.

“This is one of those win-win situations for everyone,” said John Rense, NANA operations sector leader. “While the drill is outdated for use at the Red Dog Mine, it has years left as a teaching tool and fills a long-needed void in vocational training. After more than two decades of mining at Red Dog, we still have not found satisfactory training programs anywhere for this niche activity.”

Major Drilling, LLC is refurbishing the drill and will turn it and its spare parts and equipment over to ATC in about a month.

“NANA Operations Director Harry Harvey was the architect of the project,” Rense said. “From idea to implementation, his works made this a success.”

“The Alaska Technical Center is grateful to have partners who are willing to invest in training opportunities such as the core drilling program, which results in increased employment for NANA shareholders,” said Cheryl Edenshaw, ATC director. “Thanks to NANA and their business partner's donation of the drill, this will make it more likely for us to work together on future training to continue giving shareholders more employment options.”

While shareholder training is the top priority, Rense notes that new program can support mining around the state, including the proposed Donlin Creek prospect.

ATC is part of a statewide vocational training system that works with industry and state agencies to provide a comprehensive and unified response to Alaska’s training needs. It currently offers millwright maintenance and operation and welding in its industrial mine technology program.


Alasqueños or "Alaskans" Share Lessons of Red Dog with Bolivians

Alasquenos or Alaskans Share Lessons of Red Dog with Bolivians
Alaska and Bolivia are separated by more than 7,000 miles, yet share many cultural similarities.

Two cultures, 7,272 miles apart, found they share common values, a similar history and a desire to preserve their culture and language.

Willie Iggiagruk Hensley, the first president of NANA Development Corporation, and Rosie Barr, resource and business development manager at NANA, traveled to the Bolivian city of La Paz to meet with representatives of the National Council of Inka and Spiritual Council of Tiwanaku. The purpose of the visit was to showcase how through its resources, NANA has grown companies and provided jobs to shareholders.

Willie and Rosie described a traditional subsistence lifestyle in the Arctic and learned about their hosts’ rituals and history.

It turns out that the word for hollow, putu, is the same in Aymara and Iñupiaq, prompting Willie to point out that, “It is possible that both cultures – at some point in history – were one.”

“We must not forget that both cultures have common values, the same story of being colonized peoples and a desire to restore language, customs and resources,” Rosie said. “Both are strong peoples who can resist adverse climatic factors,” although she did note that harsh in Bolivia felt like “summer” in Kotzebue.

And they talked about mining in a remote and harsh environment on land owned by its indigenous peoples.

The visit was valuable, noted Laura Margoth, a member of the National Council of Inka and Bolivia spiritual guides. “The council is satisfied with the visit of the indigenous Alaskans and welcomes these cultural exchanges because it is a way to show our culture to the world.”

Bolivian government leaders visited NANA and the NANA region last summer to learn how a Native business has developed its own resources for the benefit of the locals and shareholders, specifically the Red Dog Mine.


NANA Development Corporation
1001 East Benson Blvd.
Anchorage, AK 99508