Internship Program Exposes Students to Workplace

Helvi Sandvik

As we walk through the office during the summer months, it is fun to see quite a few fresh faces in our employee groups. Many are shareholders participating in our summer internship program. NANA devotes a significant amount of energy and investment in helping expose our young people to the various jobs we have across our company.

The summer internship program provides valuable skills directly related to the education and chosen career paths of our interns — and lets them earn a wage to help them pay for college. For many, it also means the first time living outside of Alaska.

It’s a period of growth for all. As one of this year’s interns told us, "I just want to say thank you to all the people who have given me such an incredible opportunity."

This year we have 27 interns working across the nation. Some are spending their summer here at NANA Development Corporation (NDC) in Anchorage and others are working in Kotzebue, Virginia, California and North Carolina. Participants include: Akima DTSV, Qivliq, Sivuniq, WHPacific, Truestone Communications, Kisaq-RQ, Akima Infrastructure Services, Akima Management Services, NANA Construction, NDC and NANA Regional Corporation.

More than half of our interns tell us they want to return to our region or join the NANA family of companies. These young men and women represent our future. The exposure they receive through the internship program at this important stage of their lives could set them down a very personally and professionally rewarding path.

We appreciate everyone working together to welcome them, encourage them, and to wish them success.

Helvi Sandvik, President, NANA Development Corp.


Interns Value Hands-On Experiences

Tim Aqukkasuk Argetsinger, a NANA shareholder, interned with government affairs at NANA Regional Corporation in Kotzebue. Tim is working on a Masters Degree in Education at Harvard, with an emphasis in Education Policy and Management.

Their jobs run the gamut from language revitalization to record analysis to using social media.

They’re the 27 Shareholders, descendents and dependents who make up this year’s NDC interns.

It’s been a meaningful experience for the 27, whose workplaces range from Kotzebue to Virginia.

"Before working with NANA, I had very little hands-on experience with the actual working environment," said Tracy Porter, who is working with Qivliq’s marketing team in Herndon, Va. "Since then, I have gained confidence and a better understanding of the business world."

For Nancy Westbury, a freshman at American Military University, her experience at Akima Management Services has been transformational. "Being an intern this summer has drastically changed my life," she said. "I now know how it feels to be in a professional atmosphere and still have fun and enjoy my job. An experience like this is once in a lifetime."

"I believe NANA is preparing me for my future so that when I do graduate, I will be confident, ready and willing to go out into the business world with plenty of knowledge and experience," said Laresha Curtis, a sophomore at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C.

Several interns plan to return to the NANA region following graduation, including Andrea Iqitqiraq Itivliq Adams, who is an accounting intern at NDC headquarters in Anchorage. "After I graduate, I am going to give back and use my education in Noatak and my community," said the sophomore at the University of Alaska Anchorage. "I plan to start my own business – a teen center – where kids of all ages can have a place to hang out and, most important, stay out of trouble."

And many hope to return to the NANA family of companies. "It would be ideal to return to California and work for Kisaq," said Frank Dayo, a construction management student at the University of Alaska Anchorage. "Working for a company that is growing is something great. One can find a helpful role and feel like they have helped create something."

Cick here for a list of all the NANA interns, including some information on what they are doing.


WHPacific Opens Doors to Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians

ATNI took part in the Department of Energy Summit in Washington, D.C. From left: Direlle Calica, ATNI Energy Consultant; Brian Patterson, United South Eastern Tribes; Andrea Alexander, ATNI Energy Director; and Debra Parker, Policy Analyst, Tulalip Tribes.

The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) advocates for the rights for Northwest tribal sovereignty and self-determination. Despite the seriousness of the work, the nonprofit organization operated out of a home basement, that is until donations from NDC subsidiary WHPacific and NDC gave the ATNI Energy Program an office in Bothell, Wash.

ATNI represents 57 Northwest tribal governments –from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Northern California, Southeast Alaska and Western Montana. Through the legacy of intertribal unity and cooperation, ATNI is recognized as the strongest regional Indian organization in the Northwest.

ATNI Energy Program Director Andrea Alexander is grateful that her office is no longer headquartered in her house; a move that allows her to hold meetings and focus on planning the ATNI Energy and Economic Summit.

The June event invited federal, local and tribal leaders and staff to learn about energy policy and issues. "It was a challenge organizing a whole conference," Alexander said. "It was really exciting because there are a lot of tribes interested in developing renewable energy projects, so it was good to bring people together."

Meanwhile, WHPacific has also seen a benefit in sharing offices with the ATNI Energy Program. According to WHPacific Marketing Coordinator, Heather Brown, "A lot of tribal leaders throughout the Northwest have come through our office," which allows opportunities to build and grow relationships.

All tribes or organizations can become members to help continue ATNI’s work of proactive policy development through intertribal unity. Also, stay tuned for an open house and future meetings in the new location.

ATNI is located at 12100 NE 195th St., Suite 300, Bothell, WA 98011.


WHPacific’s Mobile Mapper Goes the Distance in Upcoming Movie

WHPacific uses its mobile-mapper to create realistic Alaska backgrounds for a prehistorically-set movie about dinosaurs.

WHPacific’s Mobile Mapper is helping revolutionize the surveying business and now has found a new focus in the movie industry.

The LYNX Mobile Mapper gathers 3-D information using lasers, cameras and a GPS mounted to a moving vehicle. WHPacific Survey Business Line Manager, Andy Potts, learned about High Resolution Mobile LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) while flipping through a trade magazine. The technology measures distance at the speed of light, allowing it to map the distance to an object.

"It’s a game changer, a data revolution," said Clay Wygant, senior surveyor at WHPacific. The technology is "enough to make you weak in the knees."

After Potts and Wygant received approval and funding from WHPacific management and board, they purchased the first Optech LYNX Mobile Mapper sold in the United States, and the fourth of its kind in the world.

Filmmakers at Evergreen Films are now using the technology in their upcoming movie "Walking with Dinosaurs 3-D." The live-action filming for the dinosaur movie will occur in Alaska, using the LYNX Mobile Mapper to capture the terrain for the background scenes.

"The pieces are now in place to bring this awesome event to the big screen," said Amanda Hill, commercial director for BBC Earth, which is co-producing the film with Evergreen. "We are excited to be part of this exceptional team and look forward to taking our audience on a prehistoric journey that will inspire and amaze."


Piksik Highlights Alaska at L.A. Film Trade Show

Representatives from the Alaska Film office, Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Alaska Film Group joined Piksik representatives Robin Kornfield, Bob Crockett and Deborah Schildt at the 2011 Produced By Conference (PBC), in conjunction with the Producers Guild of America and the Association of Film Commissioners International at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, Calif.

Piksik rubbed elbows with major Hollywood producers recently in an effort to bring more film projects to Alaska. The new NDC company, which provides services to the growing film industry in Alaska, joined the Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Alaska Film Group and the State Film Office in sponsoring a booth at the Location Expo trade show in Los Angeles last month.

The trade show, set up on Disney’s back lot, featured 300 booths representing film locations around the world, including Japan, Romania, Hungary and Australia.

Disneyland’s "Backstage," set in the Anaheim Hills, was the backdrop for the Los Angeles Film Trade show.

"Any community that has an economic incentive to offer the film industry was at this trade show,” said Bob Crockett, Piksik general manager and founder of the Alaska Film Group. Crockett has worked in the film industry in Alaska for the last 30 years and said the show attracts major producers who film around the world. "It was a great opportunity to plant some seeds about what Alaska has to offer," said Crockett.

The Producers Guild of America, which hosts Location Expo, also included panel discussions with well-known producers.

"I listened to a panel of folks who had produced most of the major movies released during the last five years," said Deborah Schildt, Piksik’s production manager. "You’re mingling with people who may bring a project to Alaska. Trade shows like these are where you start the dialogue and this business is based so much on relationships."

Schildt says she met a producer who’s looking to film a "Braveheart-set-in-the-Arctic" movie, which would be a great opportunity for Piksik’s support services and could provide jobs for shareholders.

Piksik has several projects in the works including an international television commercial filmed earlier this month, a fashion photo shoot next week and the Evergreen Films production, "Walking with Dinosaurs in 3-D," in August.


NANA Looks at Changes to Continue Federal Contracting Success

Bill Monet, Qivliq president and CEO, is leading the Federal Sector Project team.

Continued success and change often go hand in hand. NDC is working towards a significant restructuring to combine our federal companies – Akima, Akmaaq and Qivliq – under one, world-class federal platform by October of next year. This effort, called the Federal Sector Project (FSP), will examine our current federal structure and implement a business model that will grow federal revenues from our current $1.2 billion to $5 billion by FY20. 

Qivliq President Bill Monet is leading FSP. The project team includes Akima’s and Akmaaq’s Presidents, Ed Morris and Jonathan Widdis, and NDC senior managers.

"The benefits realized from this change will be well worth our efforts," said Monet. "This will help us compete head-to-head with the best companies in the industry – and win. We want our current and potential customers to understand that we have the scale and qualifications to effectively and efficiently deliver results on any project or mission."


Five Rivers Services Joins Qivliq

The Five Rivers Services team includes, from left, Steve Dunham, Michelle Clemens, Scott Dufaud, Bill Monet, Verla Hartzler, Colin Schmeisser, Tanya Hubbard, Lori Thomas, Andrea Mourning, Lisa Semenik and Allie Caison. Edd Allard is not pictured.

Five Rivers Services (FRS) became a wholly owned subsidiary of Qivliq May 1, leaving the Akima family to better align its services with Qivliq, NANA’s premier IT and technology corporate platform.

Qivliq Chief Administrative Officer Matt Jesinsky led the transition, assisted by Akima, Qivliq and FRS employees who worked diligently for more than six months to ensure a smooth transition.

"Moving FRS from Akima to Qivliq was a complex project," Jesinsky said. "We needed to ensure that Qivliq could provide all of the systems and services that support FRS’ clients and employees. Thanks to their efforts, the integration of FRS into Qivliq was successfully completed on time, within budget and with minimum to no disruption to the businesses."

Meanwhile, FRS President Colin Schmeisser oversaw the transition activities and planning. Many integration activities are still underway, including working together on several new business opportunities in the IT network enterprise, multimedia, systems integration and environmental science and research areas.

"By working together with the other Qivliq operating companies, we can leverage the strengths and experiences of each to strengthen our client offerings and improve our market position," Schmeisser said. "The combination of Qivliq’s broad customer base and expertise, combined with our great customer service and reputation, will really enhance our opportunities for growth and business success."

FRS won the 2011 Small Business Contractor of the Year Award by the Department of Defense/Pikes Peak Region Military Installation, which recognizes excellence in small business contractor support. Additionally, FRS received a five-year contract valued at approximately $25 million from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to provide technical support services for the USGS South Central Area, including the Columbia Environmental Research Center in Columbia, Mo.; National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, La.; Louisiana Water Science Center in Baton Rouge; and North Prairie Wildlife Center in Jamestown, N.D.

Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, FRS employs 300 employees and subcontractors at 23 locations in the United States, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. It provides solutions to Department of Defense and government agencies that include full-spectrum communications; information technology; network operations; video teleconferencing (VTC); audiovisual and multimedia; command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR); and environmental research.


TKC Integration Services Changes Company Name to Affigent

TKC Integration Services has transitioned to the name "Affigent."

The leading provider of lifecycle technology products and solutions for worldwide government agencies changed its name from TKC Integration Services to Affigent, LLC.

"Affigent represents our ability to deliver intelligent, customized solutions to our customers whose goals we share," Affigent General Manager, Joel Lipkin, said. "Also, Affigent is a name that more accurately reflects our business transformation in recent years to supporting our customers throughout the lifecycle of technology solutions."

Affigent™ is a word formed by combining the sound and meaning of two other words: "affinity," a relationship based on shared interests; and "cogent, which means intelligent and compelling.

The company’s suite of solutions consists of four integrated services: enterprise software and cyber security; networks and communications; infrastructure and physical security; and data center transformation. It also includes customized training and support. It supplements these services with expertise in program management, federal contracting, financing and compliance.

Affigent partners with industry-leading product and service providers, including Oracle, Adobe, Motorola, McAfee, EMC, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, HP TippingPoint and Horizon Data Center Solutions. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Qivliq, LLC, an NDC company. For more information, visit

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