Published January 2017
After 16 years of being a Board member, John Craig took a year off in 2015, but was happy to come back this year to continue serving Ahtna’s shareholder-owners.
John and his wife of 42 years live in Glennallen. They have four children (two of whom have passed), 17 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
What tribe are you with?
Native Village of Kluti-Kaah. My clan is the Udzisyu (Caribou Clan).
Describe your family lineage, childhood and/or inspirations.
I was born in Cordova and lived there until I was 7 when I moved to Copper Center, where dad is from. I had 17 brothers and sisters. We learned to live a subsistence life filled with fishing and hunting. My dad taught me about how important it is to work hard and get up early. Since I was 8, I’d get up early with my dad and, to this day, I get up at four in the morning. Work ethics was instilled in me by my father. I went to grade school in Copper Center, then Glennallen for high school. I then attended a trade school in Kansas for auto mechanics, and joined the Navy in 1965 as a SeaBee (Construction Battalion). I served for almost four years during the Vietnam War.
Can you tell us more about your work history and community involvement?
After the service, I worked in a number of different positions: construction, the railroad, the city of Anchorage. I even managed a few grocery businesses throughout Anchorage. In 1975, I started my career at Ahtna Rogers and Babler. After the completion of the pipeline, Ahtna Construction took over and I transferred to Pump 12 as a supervisor for Ahtna Construction for 22 years.
What excites you the most about the Board’s work?
I really enjoy working for the people. The shareholder-owners are my main concern. Our job is to get the corporation built up to where it benefits the people. I helped push for the Settlement Trust Fund that will hopefully lead to tax-free earnings for all of our shareholder-owners. Education is also a big priority for me. Investing in our people will make for a prosperous future. I helped establish a number of college funds and scholarships for youth.
What do you want all shareholder-owners to know about the Board?
We are here for the shareholder-owners. We work hard and truly care about where we are going and how we are going to get there. The priorities the board set for the Ahtna management team have come from listening to all of you. We are the shareholders’ voice to our management team, so please continue to give us your thoughts and ideas.