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Top 49ers: Gems of the North

The brilliant and multi-faceted cornerstones of the Alaska economy


Alaskan-owned and -operated companies are brilliant this year, that’s why we’ve themed our Top 49ers “Gems of the North.” Balance sheets for these 49 companies tallied $16.16 billion in gross revenues for 2011, a $912 million increase over 2010’s $15.24 billion bottom line. Overall these companies employed 70,497 worldwide, with 25,138 of those employees in Alaska; increases over last year’s figures, and an indication that Alaska truly is forging ahead in the national and world economies with a diversification of interests and enterprises.

Sparkling the brightest are the 20 Alaska Native Corporations that made the list. These ANCSA businesses generated $11.89 billion in 2011, up $573 million over 2010. These companies, while representing 41 percent of the Top 49 Alaskan-owned and -operated businesses, took in 73.6 percent of the gross revenues reported and were responsible for 62.4 percent of the Top 49er jobs in Alaska, 83.3 percent of total Top 49er jobs worldwide.

Arctic Slope Regional Corp. tops the list for the 18th consecutive year with a 9 percent increase in gross revenue for 2011—$2.55 billion. How do they do stay in the lead year after year? “As ASRC celebrates its ruby anniversary, we are reminded of the challenges the corporation has faced and overcome throughout the past 40 years. We have been successful by allowing our Iñupiaq values to guide even our most critical business decisions, and look forward to continuing our journey of growth and opportunity. Navigating through this period of economic uncertainty across the U.S. and even outside is no small task, and I certainly congratulate the other companies on this list as well,” says ASRC President and CEO Rex A. Rock, Sr.

Alaska Native Corporations are the mother lode of Alaskan-owned and -operated businesses. Plus, if all th companies that were actually eligible for inclusion in Top 49ers had returned surveys in time the numbers might be greater across the board in revenues and jobs. ANC interests are spread across nearly all economic sectors in Alaska and the companies offer a business model for successful diversification.

In reviewing the non-Native companies in the Top 49ers this year, we find nine sectors of the economy totaling $4.26 billion in reported gross revenues for 2011.

The next closest category in revenue happens to be the transportation industry—a real mover in the Alaska economy. The five transportation companies making the list generated $1.26 billion in gross revenues, up $200 million from last year’s figures, and claimed 7.77 percent of the gross revenues. These companies employed 4,585 worldwide—2,850 in Alaska. Increases over last year’s 4,178 worldwide jobs (2,525 Alaska jobs) by several hundred.

Five businesses in the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate category qualified this year and brought in 4.9 percent of gross revenues at $792 million, a $134 million increase over 2010 gross revenues. Last year, only three companies qualified. This sector employed 3,026—2,651 in Alaska, big increases over last year’s worldwide total of 2,334 employees, of which 2,056 were in Alaska.

Four Railbelt utilities brought in $717 million in gross revenues in 2011, $80 million more than these same four companies earned in 2010, and 4.44 percent of this year’s Top 49ers reported earnings. Employment by Top 49er utilities in 2012 is at 885 total jobs, with 862 in state. Slight changes from last year’s 860 jobs total, all of which were in Alaska.

The construction industry is represented by five companies bringing in $433 million, a decline of $70 million in this category from the previous year. Jobs for these companies remained flat in 2012—705 total, 701 in Alaska versus 706 total, 700 in Alaska.

Four companies doing business in the industrial services sector brought in $427 million, an increase of $70 million over the previous year. Half a dozen Alaska jobs were added in 2012, with 1,286 overall, 1,241 in Alaska.

Retail and wholesale trade’s gross revenues for 2011 equaled $250 million, a $24 million increase for these same three companies that provide 535 jobs in Alaska and an additional 44 out of state—a slight decline from 2011’s employment picture of 607 total jobs, 558 in Alaska.

Travel, mining and telecommunications each had just one Alaskan-owned company qualifying for a spot on the Top 49ers again this year, and were the same three companies. The lone Top 49ers travel company saw $182 million in gross revenue pass through its accounts in 2011, a modest increase of $8 million—by Top 49er standards. Of 170 total employees, 95 are in Alaska, a change from last year’s 175 total jobs with 82 in Alaska.

The one mining company making the list reported $108 million in gross revenues, a decline of $30 million over 2010 figures, but an increase in jobs from 138 in 2011 to 149 in 2012—all in Alaska. The single qualifying Alaskan-owned telecommunications carrier reported $100 million in gross revenue, a $6 million decline from the previous year. The company saw a decline in employees with 371 this year, 387 last year—all Alaska jobs.

Overall, these Gems of the North are solid rocks in the Alaska economy.


Company Name

 2011 Revenue

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation

 $      2,549,993,000

Bristol Bay Native Corporation

 $      1,965,507,000

NANA Regional Corporation Inc.

 $      1,800,000,000

Chenega Corporation

 $      1,100,000,000

Lynden Inc.

 $         850,000,000

Chugach Alaska Corporation

 $         765,805,249

Afognak Native Corp./Alutiiq

 $         711,080,000

Doyon, Limited

 $         468,400,000

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union

 $         311,000,000


Calista Corporation

 $         300,498,000


Chugach Electric Association Inc.

 $         283,618,369


Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation

 $         278,887,000


The Eyak Corporation

 $         264,900,000



 $         259,487,000


The Wilson Agency LLC

 $         244,694,207


Golden Valley Electric Association

 $         244,149,764


Bering Straits Native Corporation

 $         206,000,000


Udelhoven Oilfield System Service

 $         201,631,889


Cook Inlet Region, Inc.

 $         200,800,000


Ahtna, Inc.

 $         200,000,000



 $         181,900,000


Olgoonik Corporation

 $         178,400,000


Neeser Construction Inc.

 $         160,000,000


Carlile Transportation Systems

 $         147,000,000


First National Bank Alaska

 $         143,375,000


Aleut Corporation

 $         143,046,000


The Tatitlek Corporation

 $         137,189,354


H.o.T.H. dba Era Alaska

 $         136,000,000


Goldbelt, Incorporated

 $         135,188,063


Koniag, Inc.

 $         131,052,000


Three Bears Alaska Inc.

 $         121,093,287


Davis Constructors & Engineers Inc.

 $         119,000,000


Usibelli Coal Mine Inc. and Alaska Affiliates

 $         107,878,996


Matanuska Electric Association Inc.

 $         105,000,000


MTA Inc.

 $         100,000,000


The Kuskokwim Corporation

 $           95,000,000


Construction Machinery Industrial

 $           91,630,000


Homer Electric Association Inc.

 $           84,000,000


Colville Inc.

 $           81,000,000



 $           72,100,000


Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Center

 $           64,546,162


Seekins Ford Lincoln Inc.

 $           63,993,582


Watterson Construction Co.

 $           63,000,000


Alaska Industrial Hardware Inc.

 $           52,500,000


Tatonduk Outfitters Ltd.

 $           50,500,000


Roger Hickel Contracting Inc.

 $           50,000,000


Credit Union 1

 $           47,630,000


Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union

 $           45,414,920


Cornerstone General Contractors Inc.

 $           41,100,000

This article first appeared in the October 2012 print edition of Alaska Business Monthly magazine.

This gemstone identification guide is posted here to help those persons who attended the 27th annual ABM Top 49ers Award Ceremony identify the faceted, unmounted gemstone that ABM gave as a gift. This page will remain here until the end of November 2012.

If you would like to have your gemstone mounted as a pendant, bracelet bangle, birthstone baby-bracelet or any of several other mountings. ABM recommends taking it to Josh Jennett’s Jewelry Cache located at 341 East Benson Blvd. in Anchorage. Their phone number is 907-272-2222.

First, find the diamond, then click on it to check if your top 49ers memento card has the winning number for a one-half carat, unmounted diamond valued at over $2,300.



Winning number for the diamond!

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