Dear Fellow Shareholder,
Happy new year and welcome to the start of a new decade! We had many exciting plans this year, and one of the biggest highlights of 2019 was the issuance of the largest shareholder dividend distribution in Ahtna’s history. We have seen a 50% growth in revenues over the past three years and this growth has allowed us to not only increase our dividend distributions, but also our investment in vital shareholder services, charitable contributions and other shareholder benefits. We are grateful for the leadership of our Board, dedication of our employees and support of our shareholders as we work to fulfill our mission.
In this issue we highlight shareholder Carolyn Craig and her valuable contributions to Ahtna. The contracts Carol won for Ahtna have sustained us for almost two decades. Prior to that, Carol worked hard with others at Ahtna to build our facilities and housekeeping credentials as a successful and competitive service provider to Alyeska Pipeline Service Company and the pump station camps. There are contracts that our subsidiaries are still performing that were won during Carol’s time with Ahtna. She left a positive impression on those she worked with, including staff whose careers continue today within the Ahtna family of companies.
Carol set the bar when it came to professionalism, hard work, and enthusiasm for the work she did. I have huge admiration, love and respect for her. I’m thankful for her positive example to me when I was starting my career.
The Land Department tackled some important projects in 2019 which you can read about on page 8. You will also learn more about the 2020 Land Department priorities. The Department continues to work on village fuel breaks and sustainable forest management projects. The Land Department is focused on increasing shareholder access and opportunities for shareholders to get out on Ahtna lands. This includes construction of two new dry cabins. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to download the new Ahtna land app.
Ahtna began administration of the Walter Charley Memorial Scholarship Program last year. Each semester, based on student and staff feedback, Ahtna has made improvements to streamline the process for applicants. With our new online application system, students can save and access their information for the next application period by creating a log in. We’ve seen an increase in the number of applicants with 53 students receiving funding for the fall 2019 semester to nearly 80 applications being processed for spring 2020. We are honored to give back to our shareholders for their educational pursuits and our Shareholder Enrichment staff provides ongoing educational goals support.
We are updating our missing shareholder address list monthly and posting on the Ahtna website and Facebook. It is an ongoing priority for our Shareholder Services staff to maintain current shareholder records and we need your help. You can easily update your own phone, email or mailing address using the MyAhtna shareholder portal. Having current contact information on file is important so that you receive dividend distributions and important Ahtna company mailings like this newsletter and materials for the Annual Meeting. If you see someone you know on our list of missing addresses, please reach out and encourage them to update their information.
Each year, as we gather to celebrate the holidays, Ahtna employees recognize the outstanding performance of their colleagues in meeting the Ahtna vision. Along with my deepest appreciation to the entire Ahtna team, I want to specifically recognize the Ahtna employees who stood out to their peers for their hard work and dedication to our shareholders. Congratulations to our 2019 Ahtna Employees of the Year! We are thankful for all that you do.
I hope you are enjoying your 2020 Ahtna calendar that was mailed last month. This is our first year doing a 12-month calendar and each month features art by a talented shareholder or shareholder descendant youth artist. Thank you to all the young artists who entered our contest!
Merry Christmas & Best Wishes in 2020
Michelle Anderson, President