Sullivan Honors Alaskan of the Week: Dan Fauske
WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) spoke today on the Senate floor in recognition of Dan Fauske, a great husband, father, state leader and friend. Dan’s decades of public service to our state – at the North Slope Borough, the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation and Alaska Gasline Development Corporation – earned him the respect and trust of people all across Alaska. Dan Fauske passed away this afternoon. For all he’s done for Alaska – Dan Fauske is Senator Sullivan’s Alaskan of the Week.
(Click to watch Senator Sullivan’s floor remarks in memory of Dan Fauske)
The following is the statement submitted to the Congressional Record:
TRIBUTE TO DAN FAUSKE
Mr. President, for months I’ve been coming down to the floor each week to recognize someone in my state who has made a difference—someone who has devoted time and energy to making my state a better place to live for others.
I call these individuals our Alaskan of the Week.
As I’ve said repeatedly, my state is the most beautiful state in the country—I’d argue in the world. I urge everybody here in this room, and watching on television, to come and see it for yourself. It’ll be a trip of a lifetime. Guaranteed.
But it’s the people that truly make my state unique. People who are helping each other. Strong willed, warm hearted, tenacious people who have worked tirelessly for all of us who live there.
Mr. President, this week I’d like to honor Dan Fauske, one of the strongest willed, warmest hearted people I have ever known. All he’s done for us has made Alaska a better place for all of us.
Dan came to Alaska in 1974 after serving in the Army, like so many Alaskans. And like so many Alaskans, he arrived with the glint of steel in his eye and a mission to help build our state. Alaska is full of natural wonders, but our man-made wonders are also marvels. And Dan wanted to be part of building more of those marvels.
He first arrived in the North Slope Borough to help the community build up their infrastructure and strengthen the villages in the area.
It was a time of enormous change for all of Alaska, and particularly the North Slope. Oil from the North Slope’s Prudhoe Bay, the largest oil field in North America, had recently begun to flow. The largest lands claim Act in history, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, had recently passed, and the governments of villages in rural Alaska were being formed and reformed.
After Dan went back to school to receive a master’s degree in business administration from Gonzaga, he made his way back to Alaska to serve as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer for Alaska’s North Slope Borough, where he launched an ambitious and ultimately successful capital plan to provide running water and sewer services to the villages throughout the Borough.
According to Bill Tracey, Sr. from Point Lay, who was a co-worker at the time, “Dan’s excellent work ethic and skills earned him the respect of the North Slope leaders… His accomplishments were remarkable.”
With his beautiful and spirited wife Elaine always by his side, Dan then moved his family to Anchorage to head up the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation. For 18 years, Dan managed AHFC’s nearly $5 billion in assets. It’s not an overstatement to say that he revolutionized that agency, doing remarkable things—including, and most importantly, helping thousands and thousands of Alaskans pursue their dream of buying an affordable home.
The Alaska Legislature just passed a bill to name the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation the Daniel R. Fauske Building. There will be a dedication ceremony in Anchorage this Saturday.
As his bio indicates, there is no doubt that for decades, Dan served Alaska with his hands, his heart, and his head.
But a bio, on paper, can only tell you so much about a person.
To really appreciate him, you have to have been with him and watched the energy and can-do spirit radiate off of Dan. You had to have watched him talk to people: with respect, with humor, understanding and keen intelligence.
He had a big laugh and told great stories. He also had that rare ability to genuinely connect with everybody he met, and was able to speak the language of a businessman, a builder, veteran, and a public servant. He spoke the language of a father, a husband, a friend, and a true Alaskan.
In so doing, he gained the respect of politicians, state workers, military members—people from all across Alaska. If you wanted something done and done right, you asked Dan Fauske to help do it. People trusted Dan Fauske. I trusted Dan Fauske.
Most importantly, Dan was a great father to three great boys: DJ, Scott, and Brad, and two daughters, Marcy and Kathy. And he was a great husband to his incredible, vivacious and very strong wife Elaine.
Mr. President, Dan passed away this afternoon, with his family and friends by his side. Our prayers, and the prayers of so many Alaskans, go out to all of them during this difficult time. For anyone watching, I humbly ask that they say a prayer too.
For all he’s done for all of us—and all his memory will continue to do for us--Dan Fauske is our Alaskan of the Week. He was also my very good friend. And my wife Julie and I will miss him greatly.