Dodson Honored as UAF Business Leader of the Year
The University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Management will honor Jim Dodson as its 43rd Business Leader of the Year during a sold-out dinner and award ceremony at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, in the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel’s Gold Room.
Almost 400 guests will attend, among them fourteen past award winners and over thirty UAF students who have helped to host this event.
Dodson has been president and CEO of the Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation since 2005. Prior to his position with FEDC, Dodson ran successful aviation and transportation businesses in the Interior. He was an owner of Frontier Flying Service, a scheduled and chartered aviation company, and later owned Denali Group, a trucking transportation company.
Dodson in 2005 successfully led the effort to avert “warm-basing” Eielson Air Force Base, resulting in the retention of its F-16 jet fighter squadron. On April 4, 2014, the US Air Force announced Eielson would receive two squadrons of F-35A fighter aircraft. This was a culmination of Dodson’s tireless efforts to tout Eielson’s strategic benefits to Congress and military leaders.
For a number of years, Dodson led efforts to create a business accelerator and research park on the UAF campus. He sees UAF as a catalyst for creativity and economic stimulus for the economy of Interior Alaska. As one of the university’s staunchest supporters, Dodson speaks publicly and strongly about UAF’s importance to the community.
“Over the past several years, I have been to most of the Business Leader of the Year events and know all the past recipients,” Dodson said. “It is very humbling to be chosen to join this prestigious group, and I am thankful to those who sent in letters of support for me.”
Dodson is a lifelong Fairbanksan. He and his wife Kathi raised four children and have five grandchildren. He is a graduate of the University of Alaska and served in the US Army’s 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam.
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The Marx Bros. Café
Jack Amon and Richard “Van” Hale opened the doors of the Marx Bros. Café on October 18, 1979; however, the two had already been partners in cuisine for some time, having created the Wednesday Night Gourmet Wine Tasting Society and Volleyball Team Which Now Meets on Sunday, a weekly evening of food and wine. It was actually the end of the weekly event that spurred the name of the restaurant: hours after its final service, Amon and Hale were hauling equipment and furnishings out of their old location and to their now-iconic building on Third Street, all while managing arguments about equipment ownership, a visit from the police, and quite a bit of wine. “If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘A Night at the Opera” starring the Marx Brothers, that’s what it was like,” Hale explains.