President’s Message: Ahtna Releases New Mission, Consolidated Values

Published April 2017

Our Board of Directors has approved a simplified mission statement for Ahtna and revised corporate values.

Our new mission statement reflects the business interests of our operational entities as well as Ahtna’s role as a protector of our people’s lands. Our mission statement tells the world what matters to us as a corporation and leads us to do our best work in the interest of our shareholders.

Revised mission statement:

Wise stewardship of Ahtna lands and responsible economic growth for future generations of Ahtna people.

Our values set the standards by which individual and team performance are measured and reviewed. They are embedded in all facets of our business and how we operate. Our new set of values consolidates ten values into five that better define what is important to our success as individuals, as shareholder-owners and as business people.

Revised corporate values:

1. Respect – We appreciate our connectedness to all
2. Unity – We are One Team, One Ahtna
3. Safety – Safety first, the right way, every day
4. Quality – We exceed expectations through excellence
5. Integrity – We do the right thing

Our strong, memorable and inspiring vision statement will remain the same: Our culture unites us, our land sustains us, our people are prosperous. Our vision speaks to our core values, purpose and what is most important to Ahtna.

The past quarter has been busy. We were thrilled when Governor Bill Walker talked about the Gulkana lands transfer in his State of the State address. If you missed it, here is what he said: “For more than 50 years, the village of Gulkana has been seeking to regain ownership of their ancestral land and burial sites through a 12-acre State land transfer. In June, I visited Gulkana and walked the grave sites with Traditional Chief Fred Ewan. Mr. Ewan turned 100 on August 13th, and my goal is to complete the land transfer before his next birthday.” With August 13 approaching quickly, we are working diligently with the State and Gulkana to move this initiative forward. Thank you, Governor Walker.

In July 1974, Ahtna and Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. launched a unique and special partnership by entering into an Omnibus Agreement that gives each reciprocal benefits and creates special opportunities. In a joint venture with Trans-Alaska Engineering Company, Ahtna Construction began construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) and laid the first section of pipe on March 27, 1975, at the Tonsina River. In this issue of the Kanas, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of TAPS and the profound impact it has had on our company and shareholders.

One of our current TAPS employees was in the right place at the right time to save a life. Anthony Giovanni, an Ahtna Construction project team member, pulled into the Hub in Glennallen to fuel up. When he went inside to have the fuel pump activated, he walked into a medical crisis involving an elderly man who was in cardiac arrest. It turned out that Anthony was the only one who knew CPR, thanks to his training with Ahtna Construction, and he was able to keep the man alive until Troopers arrived and took over. What a fantastic story –– and what a testament to the importance of training. Anthony, thank you for a job well done.

We started highlighting our region’s diverse villages last issue. This time, we visit Chistochina, which remains the most traditional of the Ahtna villages, where subsistence is a way of life and mushing a passion for most of its 93 residents. Next quarter, we will showcase Chitina and welcome suggestions from community members and leaders on what to highlight.

The June 3, 2017, Annual Meeting of Shareholders is just around the corner. The annual report and proxy materials will be mailed by April 21, and shareholder-owners who submit their proxies by the early-bird-proxy deadline of May 12 will be eligible for the special early-bird drawing. Once again, you will be able to vote online. There is one change to the pre-meeting activities this year. Only one candidate forum will be held in the region on April 26. It will be videotaped and made available for viewing online. We have more information on the Annual Meeting and Candidate Forum later in this Kanas.

Author Bill Simeone concludes his series on Ahtna’s heritage and ANCSA in this issue of the Kanas. In it, he quotes Nick Jackson who told him that ANCSA changed our people. Bill writes that Nick “coined a term, Cuc’uun tsezdlaen, literally, ‘We became a different people.’” The Ahtna History book, which is being funded by Ahtna and authored by Bill, is scheduled to be published later this year. The book will include information on our corporate and leadership history, land use and cultural practices.

As a final note, congratulations to all our Employees of the Year. You are fantastic! Our hard-working employees are the reason we have turned in such sterling financial performances in recent years.

TsiMichelle Andersonn’aen,

MAnderson Signature




Michelle Anderson, President
Ahtna, Incorporated