Celebrating a Job Well-Done
Deciding what to focus on for this month’s Letter From the Editor was simple. It’s all about the best of Alaska. From our incredible cover to finally revealing the Best of Alaska Business award winners starting on page 32, this issue is a wealth of celebration and information.
This is the second year of what we hope will become a long-standing tradition of commissioning an Alaskan artist to design and create the cover for the July issue of Alaska Business, highlighting the annual Best of Alaska Business special section. This year we were fortunate to work with Lindsey Neidlinger, an exceptionally talented ink and digital composition artist who was born and raised in Anchorage. As a self-taught graphic and fine artist, Neidlinger is inspired by the relationship between organic forms and urban development and how nature manages to peek its way through even the most urban areas (imagine a flower pushing its way through the crack of a sidewalk).
This cover—entitled Miss Alaska—dazzled all of us here at Alaska Business with its many layers and imagery that coalesced into a unique image that pays homage to Alaska’s unique and fantastic culture. “I really wanted to create a piece that had an element of familiarity to it for the local people that will see it. My goal was to make the eye dance between each layer to leave the viewer feeling fulfilled. It was also important to me personally to pay a tribute to the “traditional” Alaskan culture I’ve grown up with and love,” says Neidlinger, who goes on to say Miss Alaska’s message is simple.
“While our modern consumer culture in Alaska is fantastic and unique to our home, it’s important to remember the foundation it was built upon and to pay a respect to the land and the people that were here first. Those elements and traditions are the mother to the Alaska we know and love.”
We invite you to look closely at Miss Alaska and find the layer that most resonates with you. Is it the fireweed and foliage woven throughout her crown? The moose antlers standing tall and proud? Or the delicate pearl beading dotted around the hem of the crown? There is a little something for everyone in Miss Alaska, named thus because “who else could carry a crown so large,” says Neidlinger.
This cover set a high bar for the Best of Alaska Business special section. This year we surveyed our readers in nearly two dozen categories to discover which businesses they think are the best at what they do. You’ll likely recognize a few winners from past years, such as 49th State Brewing Co., First National Bank Alaska, and GCI. But you’ll also see new winners from all over the state. I don’t want to give away their names just yet, but some of the new categories include best group fishing charter, best place to enjoy a steak, favorite place to shed stress (and maybe a few pounds), best video production company, and many more.
Congratulations to all of the 2018 Best of Alaska Business award winners. Whether we’ve seen you here before or this is your company’s first win, every vote that led to your win represents another satisfied customer and another reason to pat yourselves on the back for a job well-done.
The celebration starts here, today, and culminates at the Best of Alaska Business awards party on July 12 at 49th State Brewing Co. You love them and so do we; what better place to celebrate than at this multi-year, multi-category Best of Alaska Business winner?
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this outstanding issue: the photographers who captured the essence of each business through their own artistry, the team here at Alaska Business, and, of course, the artist who made this cover frame-worthy. To contact Lindsey Neidlinger, who is “always eager to take on new challenges and opportunities that will help me grow as an artist,” visit her website at earthtolindsey.com.
Enjoy the third annual Best of Alaska Business awards and we’ll see you at the party!
—Kathryn Mackenzie, Managing Editor, Alaska Business