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The Eyak Corporation Gives Record Number of Scholarships to Alaska Natives

CORDOVA, Alaska, Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Eyak Corporation is proud to announce that The Eyak Foundation awarded a record number of scholarships in 2010 to its Alaska Native shareholders and their descendants. The Eyak Foundation awarded 23 scholarships in 2010 to applicants whose academic and career goals included undergraduate and graduate pursuits, art school, and flight school. Since its inception, The Eyak Foundation has made it possible for 126 Alaska Natives to pursue higher education and specialized training through the award of scholarships to The Eyak Corporation's shareholders and their descendants. Scholarship funds assist in the cost of tuition, travel, and living expenses.

By virtue of the continued support from the Eyak family of companies, The Eyak Foundation was able to award scholarships to 100% of this year's applicants who will study at 19 schools in 11 states around the country. Nearly all of the scholarship awardees have expressed the intent to use their acquired education and training to support the Alaska Native culture and tribal well-being.

The Eyak Foundation was created by The Eyak Corporation as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Consistent with the philosophy of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, the primary goal and objective of The Eyak Foundation is to provide support for the education and cultural needs of Alaska Natives and descendants of Alaska Natives, particularly those who are shareholders or descendants of shareholders of The Eyak Corporation. Scholarships have been awarded at least once a year since The Eyak Foundation's inception. Both the number and size of awards have steadily increased over the years, and the 2010-2011 scholarships represent the largest number given in one year by The Eyak Foundation. The career paths of the scholarship recipients range from technical to medical to artistic to vocational.

The Eyak Foundation's ability to provide scholarships to Alaska Natives stems not only from public and private donations, but also from the growth and exciting business success of The Eyak Corporation. The Eyak Corporation, which created the Eyak Foundation, was formed in 1973 as a for-profit corporation under Alaska law pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act enacted by Congress on December 18, 1971. Its name honors the Eyak Natives, who as a group were decimated by disease and poverty as a result of the development and expansion of outside influences in their traditional homelands. The majority of The Eyak Corporation's shareholders are of Aleut descent, and its top chief executive who oversees the day to day operations is an Alaska Native.

The Eyak Corporation's success is primarily a result of its participation, through its subsidiary company Eyak Technology, LLC (EyakTek), in the Small Business Administration's (SBA) 8(a) program, as well as the 8(a) mentor/protege program. The 8(a) program was designed to assist eligible small disadvantaged business concerns to compete in the American economy through business development.

Under the 8(a) program, an experienced business approved by SBA can mentor an 8(a) participant. The purpose of the mentor/protege program is to enhance the capabilities of the 8(a) participant (the protege) and to improve the protege's ability to successfully compete for contracts through various forms of assistance provided by its SBA-approved mentor. Under the program, the mentor is encouraged to provide assistance in the form of technical assistance, management assistance, financial assistance, and assistance in performing contracts through the formation of joint venture arrangements between the mentor and protege.

EyakTek provides award-winning solutions in communications, information technology, healthcare, and critical infrastructure and security services to the Federal Government. The top chief executive who oversees the day to day operations of EyakTek is an Alaska Native. EyakTek is located in Anchorage, Alaska, and also has offices in Dulles, Virginia, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Kangnam-Ku, Korea. EyakTek began participating in the SBA 8(a) and mentor/protege program in 2002.

As intended, supported, and approved by the SBA 8(a) mentor/protege program, EyakTek was provided the necessary guidance and assistance from its mentor, GTSI Corp., an established and successful government contractor, to grow the company so that it could successfully compete in the Federal Government marketplace. Due to the assistance EyakTek received as a participant in the SBA 8(a) and mentor/protege programs, EyakTek became very successful as a business that is competitive and highly regarded in the markets it serves. EyakTek's success enabled it to exit the mentor/protege relationship in 2008. In addition, although the 8(a) program term is 9 years, in 2010 EyakTek was able to graduate from the program a year early due to its business success because it no longer requires support from the 8(a) program. EyakTek proudly now stands as a successful and economically viable company completely independent of the support provided by both a mentor and the 8(a) program. In these trying economic times, EyakTek serves as model for the invaluable contributions the 8(a) and mentor/protege programs can have on the success of emerging small businesses. EyakTek hopes to serve as a mentor itself to a new business in the near future.

The Eyak Corporation's success through EyakTek has not only allowed for the support of a record number of scholarships provided by The Eyak Foundation, it also has provided many other financial benefits to the Eyak Alaska Native shareholders. These benefits received by The Eyak Corporation for their shareholders total over $29 million which includes over $16 million in income tax and earnings distributions and nearly $1 million in charitable contributions to The Eyak Foundation. The Eyak Corporation's success through EyakTek has also allowed for a tremendous growth of equity for the Eyak Alaska Native shareholders which will benefit many future generations. The Eyak Alaska Native shareholders and The Eyak Corporation still hold $12 million in equity in EyakTek after receiving the cash distributions.

In utilizing EyakTek's cash distributions, The Eyak Corporation was able to resolve a daunting financial obstacle that threatened the existence of the corporation. Due to complexities related to the implementation of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and a resulting land sale, The Eyak Corporation was faced with a large tax debt to the Internal Revenue Service. This debt hampered its ability to provide additional financial benefits to the Eyak shareholders. The Eyak Corporation retired this debt in its entirety in 2009, and, for the first time in its history, The Eyak Corporation was able to provide financial distributions to its shareholders out of its operating profits, and is striving to ensure perpetual distributions for many generations.

The Eyak family of companies is highly committed to the cultural and educational developments of its Alaska Native shareholders and their descendants, as well as Alaska Natives as a whole. Three of EyakTek's senior management team volunteer on The Eyak Foundation's board. Through book drives run by EyakTek, The Eyak Foundation was able to provide 4,500 books to the community.

The participation of EyakTek in the Federal Government marketplace has provided many benefits to The Eyak Corporation's Alaska Native shareholders, ranging from financial to cultural benefits. The Eyak family of companies stands proud and firm in their commitment to invest in its youth and to ensure the future of the Alaska Native culture and community.

For more information about the Eyak companies, please visit our websites at eyakcorporation.com, eyakfoundation.org, and eyaktek.com.

Source: The Eyak Corporation

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