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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles or How I Arrived at “Alaska Business”


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Spring in Alaska is like no other I’ve experienced. As the ice and last dregs of dirty snow disappear, surprising vistas emerge on a daily basis. What I once believed would become a field of flowers and deer when spring finally arrived has turned out to be a boggy swamp teeming with mosquitoes; the massive, pristine, seemingly uninhabited mountains surrounding Anchorage are actually dotted with beautiful clusters of deep green spruce trees surrounding dozens of homes. And the tree in front of my new office here at Alaska Business is not, in fact, dying a slow, winter death but is sprouting tiny green buds I hope will continue to evolve into something new and surprising.

When I arrived in Alaska last fall, I didn’t know what the future held for me, but I knew it would be an adventure, and I couldn’t be more pleased that my many travels have led me here—not just to Anchorage but to Alaska Business.

It’s taken me many years and many (oh, so many) moves to arrive home. I’ve been writing and editing for business-related publications for longer than I care to admit publicly. I’ve written about healthcare and legislation from my hometown of San Francisco; finance and the worldwide commodities markets while living in the hustle and bustle of West Hollywood; pulp, paper, and newsprint while enjoying the absolute beauty of Montreal; and oil and energy while sizzling in the heat and humidity of Texas.

The single thread that runs through each location I’ve lived, worked, and written about is commerce. It exists in every civilization in one form or another and the way people make their living speaks volumes about a place and its people.

What I’ve already learned about business in Alaska is that it’s inextricably linked to its exceptional people and their remarkable history, culture, and traditions. Whether discussing oil discovery on the North Slope, mining in the Interior, or fisheries in the Southeast, every tale is told with pride and deep respect for this land, its people, and its resources. My own family has lived here for more than three decades and I am fortunate to be regularly regaled with stories of their hard work on the North Slope, time spent caring for orphaned moose with the guidance of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Nome, and their favorite place to watch the beautiful beluga whales near their home in Hope. Through them I have seen how deep Alaska pride runs.

I joined Alaska Business at what I believe is our springtime; our time for growth, renewal, and some exciting surprises ahead, and I can’t wait to get to know you better over the coming months and years.

I am thrilled to be part of this truly talented team who all worked so hard to put together our June issue, with our annual Transportation and Pacific Northwest special sections featuring an in-depth look at new trade routes in the Pacific Northwest, a fantastic interview with Grace Greene, TOTE vice president and general manager, and the 2017 Alaska Business Transportation Directory.

To (sort of) quote an all-time favorite film of mine, “Alaska, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

 

This article first appeared in the June 2017 print edition of Alaska Business Monthly.

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