Vol. 6, No. 3 | March 2012.

NDC President’s Message:
NANA’s Annual Meeting

Helvi Sandvik

I always look forward to our NANA annual shareholders meeting — which this year was held in Selawik, the second largest community in the NANA region.

The meeting is a chance for us to hear from our shareholders and to see their faces — many now browned from the bright sun bouncing off the snow. The people of Selawik made us feel as welcome as the sun, after a long, dark, super-cold winter.

Although the sun was shining, the temperatures lingered at nearly 30 below. Small planes brought us to Selawik, located about 90 miles east of Kotzebue. Stepping off the plane, we hitched rides to the Selawik School on the backs of snow machines. Despite the warm greeting, it was so cold!

On a bank of snow outside the school’s front door, our snow machines joined jumbles of others. Some shareholders made the trip by snow machine from surrounding villages. The previous week the community’s population swelled to 1,300 as people from across the region came to Selawik to participate in the Friends Church Yearly Conference and our Annual Meeting.

The gym was packed, but somehow we managed to fit everyone in. Shareholders unable to travel to Selawik in person could listen to the meeting on the local radio station, some tuning in online. Shareholders could either vote their proxies in person at the meeting or mail in their proxies ahead of time. This year, for the first time, we were also able to allow for online voting.

During these meetings it’s my job is to report to our shareholders how NANA did financially in the 2011 fiscal year, our business investments and shareholder hire accomplishments and the progress we have made in delivering shareholder benefits.

Among our 2011 accomplishments was the completion of the new Nulla─ívik Hotel in Kotzebue, which opened its doors in September. This modern hotel is something phenomenal – and an example of our NANA companies working together. It was an important investment decision made by our Board. This new infrastructure will serve our NANA region for many years to come.

Last July, after much planning and deliberation, NANA made its largest acquisition ever, the purchase of Grand Isle Shipyard (GIS). GIS is a Louisiana-based oilfield services company, primarily focused on serving the critical oil and gas development projects off the Louisiana Gulf Coast, as well as numerous onshore projects in that part of the country. With its focus on safety and its reputation for delivering quality services, GIS is a great addition to our family of companies. It diversifies our oil and gas capabilities, offers employment opportunities for our shareholders and allows us to build on our strengths.

Our NANA Development Board Chairman Luke Sampson always keeps things in the proper perspective. Luke always reminds our shareholders that our mission is to grow bigger, not for no reason, but to grow bigger so we are better able to provide meaningful benefits to our growing number of shareholders.

We take a long view. We don’t lose sight of the big picture. Over the past 10 years, NANA has funded $235 million in shareholder benefits that range from scholarships to language preservation to protection of our lands. From 2002 to 2011, $136 million was paid in shareholder dividends.

These benefits make a real difference in the lives of our shareholders and are the direct result your hard work. At the annual meeting Luke thanked our employees, each and every one of you, for your dedication and talent. Our shareholders seconded that with many rounds of applause. Wherever you are, we thank you!

The stronger we become, the more we expand our competencies, the better able we are to deliver on our purpose for being — to improve the lives of our shareholders..


Helvi K. Sandvik, President
NANA Development Corporation

Read More:

Selawik http://bit.ly/GKH1MA
Nulla─ívik Hotel www.nullagvikhotel.com/
Grand Isle Shipyards: www.gisy.com/
NANA Shareholder Benefits: http://bit.ly/GTDWgo


RES Builds Bridges to New Commerce

At RES 2012, Alaskan Congressman Don Young (right) received the NCAIED Congressional Lifetime Achievement Award. NANA Development Corporation President Helvi Sandvik (right) thanked Congressman Young on behalf of Alaska Natives, Native Americans and Native Hawaiians, saying, "Few lawmakers have been as diligent promoting, protecting and preserving economic opportunities for the indigenous peoples ... of these United States." (Left to right: National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development Interim President and CEO Gary Davis, NDC Board Members Dood Lincoln and Linda Lee, Congressman Young (R-AK), National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development Board Chairwoman Margo Proctor Gray and Sandvik.)

It’s about economic opportunity, growing businesses and creating jobs for America’s first people.

The Reservation Economic Summit and American Indian Trade Fair (or RES 2012) held at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nev., from Feb. 27 to March 1, brought more than 5,000 people from Alaska, Florida, Turkey — and hundreds of points in between — looking to network and create partnerships in new business sectors and geographic markets. 

The event is sponsored by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED). 

Events at RES include a trade show with hundreds of vendors, a procurement pavilion with "speed dating" for contractors to find partners, and educational sessions, including updates on federal procurement regulations.

NANA Development Corporation (NDC) President Helvi Sandvik participated in presenting Alaska Congressman Don Young (R-AK) the NCAIED Congressional Lifetime Achievement Award. Young is Alaska’s only Congressman and is serving his 20th term.

The conference keynote speaker was professional golfer Notah Begay III, a Native American entrepreneur with an impressive resume of his own. Begay is the only full-blooded Native American on the PGA Tour. He also owns a consulting business that develops golf properties, and when not on the links, the Stanford University graduate dedicates his time to service work within the Native American community.



2011 Iditarod Champ Is Shareholder of Year

John Baker, winner of the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, was named NANA Shareholder of the Year. "This is as big of an award to me as any I’ve ever been presented," said Baker, who lives in Kotzebue. "Being acknowledged by your own people is very meaningful and humbling." Placing ninth in the 2012 Iditarod, John Baker has 13 top-10 finishes in 17 races. (Left to right: Mark Fairbanks of Team Baker; Dood Lincoln, NDC board member; Helvi Sandvik, NDC President; Baker, holding award; Levi Cleveland, NANA Elder Advisor; Marcy Fairbanks of Team Baker; Robert Sampson, NANA board member; and Raymond Hawley of Kivalina).

This year’s NANA Shareholder of the Year award goes to John Quniaq Baker, winner of the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

The award is given annually to a shareholder who shows leadership within the community and the NANA region, and helps preserve Iñupiaq culture and heritage, all while taking care of family.

The ultimate team player, Baker said, "When we work together, we can do anything."

Baker is proud of his Iñupiat heritage and what he has learned from Elders — about the land, weather patterns, ice and snow conditions. This wisdom has guided him through some severe conditions.

Baker says his identity is linked to the people who reside in rural Alaska who have given him so much support. He is also grateful to "Team Baker," which includes his dogs, his family and friends who help him behind the scenes. On behalf of his family, he expresses thanks for the condolences they received as they grieve the passing of their mother and his role model, Marge Baker.

John’s message to young people is to "never, never give up." In 14 previous races, he finished in the top 10 on 11 occasions and was 11th on another. This year he finished in 9th place, with an average speed of 4.2 miles per hour, just .17 miles slower than the winner.

"When it gets tough (on the trail), I can feel all the support (from you). Thank you," he said.

He has said that no matter what position you play, in any organization, you are part of a team.

You can read about his adventure on the 2012 Iditarod Trail on the following link:


NANA Shareholders Shine on the Job in Louisiana

NANA shareholders working at GIS

Louisiana might seem worlds away from Alaska, but for a manager from one NANA subsidiary, a trip north to recruit shareholders was a glimpse into just how much the two states have in common.

Grand Isle Shipyard (GIS) is a construction services company based in Grand Isle, La., about 4,000 miles from NDC headquarters in Anchorage. In March, GIS operation support manager Albert Besson traveled from the Pelican State to the Last Frontier to interview prospective employees at shareholder job fairs hosted by NANA.

Besson said he was impressed by the quality of candidates he met at a job fair for NANA companies held at the corporation’s offices in Anchorage.

"It was really nice to see people come in, truly looking for jobs and actually be able to help them," Besson said.

There are already some shareholders on the job at GIS – the first group arrived in January, and more have given the work a try since then, some staying on and earning promotions.

"One went from welder’s helper to sandblaster/painter," Besson said. "Another had gone to trade school, so we saddled him up here with a welder in one of our shops, and he’s been shadowing this fellow. We are working really hard on getting him up to speed to become a welder."

Working so far away from home can be challenging, and it isn’t for everyone, but Besson said as more shareholders join GIS, the company will learn how to best support its Alaska employees.

Albert Besson of NDC subsidiary Grand Isle Shipyard (GIS) participates in the 2012 Fur Rendezvous oyster shucking contest at the Sea Galley restaurant. Besson shucked five perfect oysters in one minute, which wasn’t quite enough to clinch him the win, but he still had a great time. "I got a dozen oysters, a T-shirt and a lot of laughs," Besson said. "Best $15 I ever spent." Besson, who lives and works in Louisiana, was in town to meet with NANA shareholders at a job fair, but he also got to experience Anchorage’s winter festival. "We went downtown and took in the snow sculptures – that was really neat to see. And I was introduced to Star the reindeer."

"In the future, we can make the transition a little easier for them," he said.

Besson also traveled to Kotzebue, where he represented GIS at another shareholder job fair with even more options than the Anchorage fair.

"The school halls were filled with booths – state troopers, state agencies, colleges and vocational schools from Anchorage," Besson said. "It was a wide range, probably 75 different exhibitors with information about various careers these young people could get involved in."

At the GIS booth, Besson displayed photos of some of the NANA shareholders who work at GIS, and he said it was a pleasure to be able to meet some of the teachers who stopped by and recognized their former students.

And although he was far from home, Besson said there was something familiar about his visit to the Arctic.

"Kotzebue, to me, resembled my hometown, Grand Isle (La.)," Besson said. "Shore that looks like a peninsula, water, the size, the population. Fishing seemed like it is a big part of their life, just like it is for Grand Isle. Even the houses in Kotzebue are raised off the ground, and in the community where I grew up, our houses are raised, too."



DOWL HKM Opens Office in North Dakota

Thomas J. Grimm, P.E., right, a senior geotechnical engineer from the Billings, Mont., office, manages the new office. Adam J. McGill, P.E., LEED AP, a civil engineer from the Palmer, Alaska, is relocating to North Dakota.

DOWL HKM’s company model and history is to set up roots in an area and be part of the fabric, growth and development of the community. With that history, and the huge oil and gas boom in North Dakota, DOWL HKM found a new office in Dickinson, N.D., a natural fit.

DOWL HKM President, Stewart G. Osgood, P.E., says the new office meets all the criteria. "We like to have a book of work before opening an office, and with the relationships we had from our offices in Eastern Montana, it wasn’t hard to market our services.

"Interest from experienced, in-house staff to set up a home there sealed the deal. We look forward to a long-term involvement in the community and throughout North Dakota," Osgood said.

Two of DOWL HKM’s long-time engineers have moved to the area, and the firm already has several projects in North Dakota. Thomas J. Grimm, P.E., a senior geotechnical engineer from the Billings, Mont., office, manages the new office and Adam J. McGill, P.E., LEED AP, a civil engineer from the Palmer, Alaska, office has also accepted a position on the launch team.

Grimm brings 14 years of experience in geotechnical and environmental engineering and materials testing and inspection to the market. His project experience includes planning and supervision of geotechnical and environmental fieldwork, soils and engineering analysis, and preparation of recommendations and reports for design and construction. Additionally, Grimm has been very involved in the local community, having served in a variety of organizations from local service clubs to the County Planning Board.

It will be home week for McGill who received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from North Dakota State University in Fargo in 2005. Since joining DOWL HKM, he has worked as a project engineer on a variety of transportation and site development projects around Alaska. McGill’s wife Rachel was born and raised in North Dakota and their extended family is anxious to have them home.

With the addition of the Dickinson office, DOWL HKM grows to 18 offices throughout Alaska, Arizona, Montana, North Dakota, Washington and Wyoming.



Golfers Hit the Snow to Support the Aqqaluk Trust

Anchorage golfers bundled up to play in the 3rd Annual Utukkuu Snow Golf Tournament

Thoughts of golfing outdoors are still pretty far off for most Alaskans, especially given this year’s near-record snow fall. But that didn’t stop a few dozen golfers from dusting off their clubs, putting on fur hats and snow pants and taking part in the 3rd Annual Utukkuu Snow Golf Tournament.

Utukkuu, meaning "little" in Inupiaq, describes the 9-hole golf tournament played along the frozen University Lake in Anchorage. The tournament is a fundraiser for the Aqqaluk Trust, a non-profit organization established in 1989 to improve the lives of NANA shareholders though education, culture and language enrichment.

This year’s tournament raised a record $30,000.

Click here to watch the video


You are receiving this newsletter because you are employed with a NANA company or you signed up at nana-dev.com.

If you subscribed to receive this newsletter and are no longer interested in receiving it, unsubscribe here.

Having trouble reading this e-mail? View it online.

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