CEO’s Message: Satisfied Employees Deliver Great Results

Published April 2017

Tom MaloneyWe just finished our annual audit, and I am pleased to report that Ahtna’s total revenues grew from $188 million in 2015 to $218 million in 2016. This is an increase of 16 percent despite Alaska being in a recession and overall 8(a) government contracting being down by approximately 20 percent.

We want to do even better next year. Our goal for 2017 is to increase revenues to over $230 million. It is exciting to be in growth mode and the more successful we are in securing new work, particularly in Alaska, the more shareholder-owner benefits we can provide. In 2016, the total shareholder-owner wages and benefits paid increased 19 percent over the previous year.

A priority for our Board has been to increase work in Alaska, where most of our shareholder-owners live. Alaska is in a deep recession, with 9,000 jobs lost in the past year, but we still grew our Alaska revenues by 32 percent in 2016. Our Board always reminds management that “being prepared” is a part of Ahtna culture and, because of that mentality, we were ready for the Alaska downturn. A major part of that is our renewed contract with Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. through Ahtna Construction and Primary Products Corp. and an expansion of work to include a mining and materials contract. Our Alaska Native hire rate is 42 percent on this contract, the highest among all the Alyeska contractors. Our challenge now is to attract and train new shareholder-owners into these high-paying jobs.

Ahtna was one of three Alaska Native corporations invited to speak at Gov. Bill Walker’s Alaska LNG summit. An estimated 15 officials from about 10 companies in Japan, Korea and Singapore attended the March 3 conference in Girdwood. The companies represent a big share of the long-term liquefied natural gas market in Asia, according to Keith Meyer, president of the Alaska Gasline Development Corp.

Roy Tansy Jr., executive vice president Ahtna Netiye’, delivered Ahtna’s presentation, which sparked lots of inquiries. Arctic Slope Regional Corp. and Doyon also presented, along with Alaska agencies, lawmakers and businesses, who explained details about the project.

The state is currently looking for new customers and other partners for the $45 billion project.

It was an honor to speak about Ahtna at the 2017 Alaska Native Studies Conference at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The theme of this year’s conference was “Sustaining Indigenous Livelihoods,’’ so it was most fitting that our own Samuel Johns served on a panel of three young Alaska Natives leaders. Samuel created a Facebook page and movement called “Forget Me Not” to help the homeless and let them connect to their families and friends. The keynote speaker at the conference was Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Sheila Watt-Cloutier, a Canadian
Inuit activist.

In the first quarter of the year, many of our groups are preparing for their seasonal operations to kick off. Our engineering and environmental teams, for example, are planning barges, manpower and safe execution for crews going to remote locations throughout the state. Our performance matters and Ahtna has proven to be a team that delivers.
Our subsidiaries are all focused on expanding their work and AhtnaSTS scored big when it won a five-year, $10.6 million Artillery and Chemical Trainer Simulator Support contract. The work will occur in Germany, Korea, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri and Florida.

Huge storms in California brought an end to the five-year drought but created problems of their own, including devastating flooding and the need for some communities to evacuate. Our Elk Hills fieldwork has been set back by a month or two, and our Sacramento Storm Water Pollution operations staff has been busy responding to needs.

We are still examining the results of our Tolsona exploratory gas well as well as the overall gas potential of the Copper River Basin. A lot of valuable knowledge was gained on Tolsona.
Finally, I would like to give a big shout-out to my colleagues. Our exceptional staff continues to amaze us and we were glad to hear that they, too, are satisfied with their work at Ahtna. A staggering 99 percent of employees surveyed reported that they are passionate about their work.

What a fantastic testament to our family of companies.

Tom Maloney Signature

 

 

 

 

Tom Maloney, CEO
Ahtna Netiye’, Inc.