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Governor’s North Star Award Winners Announced


June 7, 2013, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today announced the winners of the 2013 Governor's North Star Awards for International Excellence. Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell presented the awards at the annual Export Alaska luncheon in Anchorage. The 2013 recipients are:

  • Icy Strait/Taku Smokeries for trade
  • Dowland Bach for trade
  • ITC Communications for cultural exchange
  • Japan Relief Fund of Alaska Foundation for humanitarian efforts
  • UAA Department of Languages for international education
  • Visit Anchorage for accomplishments in attracting new international air service

“Every day, these businesses and organizations connect Alaskans to the rest of the world,” Governor Parnell said. “In 2012, Alaska’s exports were $4.6 billion, the second highest total ever. With these awards, we are recognizing the best of Alaska, including companies and organizations active in trade, international education, cultural exchange, global humanitarian efforts, and the promotion of Alaska in key international markets.”

Icy Strait Seafoods and Taku Smokeries work together to market a variety of fresh seafood products to international markets on four continents. The export sales of fresh, smoked, frozen salmon, wikura, halibut, sablefish, baird crab, king crab, spot prawns and roe herring topped $25 million in 2012.

Dowland Bach manufactures hydraulic and electronic control systems in their facilities in Anchorage. They have opened new export markets in the Middle East by leveraging the expertise and technologies they developed for natural resource development projects in Alaska. 

ITC Communications has pioneered and developed educational exchanges between Sand Lake Elementary School and Chitose Elementary School in Japan. ITC has also organized cultural exchanges with Japan for other high schools in Alaska, UAA, the Girl Scouts, and many others.

The Japan Relief Fund of Alaska is a foundation that was created by Alaskans shortly after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster. The members of the Japan Relief Fund of Alaska are all volunteers with operating expenses funded by the generous sponsorships of many Alaska businesses and caring individuals.

The UAA Department of Languages’ faculty strives to make prestigious international scholarships available to their students. In the last five years, the department has faithfully mentored 25 international scholarship recipients, including seven Fulbright scholarships, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Two years ago, UAA was named as a top producer of Fulbright students by the Fulbright Program.

Visit Anchorage was instrumental in attracting Icelandair’s new seasonal air service to Alaska. Visit Anchorage worked closely with the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development to increase the interest of Icelandair in Alaska routes. As a result of Visit Anchorage’s efforts, all of Alaska will see an increase in international visitor numbers this summer with an estimated direct economic impact of more than $10 million.

For more information about the Governor’s North Star Awards for International Excellence, contact Patricia Eckert at (907) 269-8118.

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