As we welcome the new year our focus remains the same, shareholders, safety and profits. We have had another successful financial year which included the largest shareholder dividend distribution in Ahtna’s history. Our company footprint continues to spread, and we are identifying locations for strategic real estate acquisitions. We have opened a new office in Renton, Washington which specializes in construction, engineering, environmental, and operations and maintenance support. We are also opening an office in Monterey, California to support the fine work we’ve done there over the past twenty years for the military. You can read more about the offices on page 5.
I am pleased to announce the promotion of Roy Tansy, Jr. to Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Ahtna Netiye’. Roy is a trusted leader for our company and the Ahtna region and a vital part of our success. He has broad experience in government contracting but has also helped us to diversify and grow our businesses into other areas. His focus will continue to be responsible economic growth for current and future generations of Ahtna people.
One of Ahtna’s newest subsidiaries, Ahtna Solutions, LLC (ASL) is up and running. ASL is in a mentor-protégé program with Merrick & Company of Denver. With over 55 years in the geospatial profession, Merrick is uniquely qualified to support Ahtna in developing geospatial expertise for the government and energy market sectors. ASL hired two new employees this fall, shareholder spouse Tina Martin, and shareholder Jaysen Ewan, to help with hand filtering LiDAR data. LiDAR, (Light Detection and Range), uses pulses of light to measure distances and ranges from an airplane to the earth. The data then needs to be filtered by hand, which is where Tina and Jaysen come in. After traveling to Denver for training, Tina has really stepped up in helping the company learn the process of hand filtering. Jeremy Blei was hired on to be the Project Manager, and shareholder Jamie Ginn is helping with production. ASL President Tim Gould’s insight and vision is really taking off, and we are excited to see ASL take Ahtna to the next level.
While Merrick is teaching Ahtna the LiDAR processes, they are actively pursuing contracts and will continue to bring more work to the company. Starting in the Spring of 2020, we will be looking to hire more LiDAR hand filters for the summer. No experience is necessary, just a high school diploma, and a desire to learn. You can contact Shareholder Enrichment to learn more.
When first oil flowed into the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System on June 20, 1977, it was the close of one chapter for Ahtna and the beginning of another. Ahtna Construction laid the first section of pipe on March 27, 1975, at Tonsina River and continues to be a prime contractor for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. Just before the close of the year, we helped ensure the safe passage of the 18 billionth barrel of oil down the pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. The pipeline is an important part of the Ahtna region as it passes through 197 miles of traditional lands, 55 miles of Ahtna-owned land and four Ahtna villages. Tom Barrett, Alyeska’s President, wrote an article for the Kanas in 2017 which celebrated the 40th anniversary of the special partnership between our companies.
“The story of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) for the past 40 years has fundamentally been a story of hard-working people and deep business partnerships, grounded in shared visions of opportunity and success. Ahtna has been among Alyeska’s most important partners, going all the way back to construction and startup. We cross your lands and we both benefit from a long-standing, deep and memorable relationship.”
Tom BarrettPresident, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. – Kanas Spring 2017
We have expanded our Safety, Health and Environmental Program (SHEP) with the hire of Drew Laughlin, our new Corporate SHEP Director. Drew’s vast and varied experience has enhanced our already solid SHEP team. You can learn more about him on page 4 and hope you will join me in giving him a warm Ahtna welcome.
Our recent purchase of Cavache, a leading heavy civil and dredging services company, has opened new possibilities for Ahtna. We have been recruiting to fill key positions at the Florida-based company, which has housing available, and are currently onboarding two Ahtna shareholders. The acquisition is part of our overall investment strategy which is focused on companies that increase our service offerings, provide shareholder value and diversify our customer base. We continue to explore acquisition of other great companies that meet our investment criteria. Now that we have closed on the Cavache deal, we have turned our attention to acquisition of an innovative Information Technology (IT) company to expand our technical service offerings. I look forward to sharing more with you as plans progress.
Michelle Marshall, a 2015 Ahtna Employee of the Year award recipient, is highlighted on page 12. Michelle’s valuable long-standing client relationships and quality work has led to repeat business for Ahtna. Michelle’s commitment to Ahtna and its shareholders drives her to perform at the highest level and she invests time mentoring other shareholders. It is employees like Michelle that inspire and set the example for future Ahtna leaders and we are grateful to have her as part of our team.
I enjoyed visiting with many of you at the Anchorage Ahtna Christmas gathering and hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. Wishing you continued health and safety in 2020.
Tom Maloney, Chief Executive Officer