Business Briefs

Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2001

CIRI elders to get checks

Benefit checks for Cook Inlet Region Inc. elders should go out Friday following a May 1 ruling in U.S. District Court that the corporation's Elders' Benefit Program is legal.

Plaintiffs had argued that it was illegal for CIRI, a Native regional corporation, to make special distributions to elders that were not paid to other shareholders on a per-share basis. CIRI argued that the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 expressly permitted such payments.

The court agreed with CIRI, noting that "ANCSA permits ANCSA corporations to allot shareholders dividends on a preferential basis."

Plaintiffs have 30 days to appeal.

During the lawsuit, CIRI suspended payments under the program and put the money into a separate interest-bearing account.

"This is wonderful news for our CIRI elders," said Carl Marrs, CIRI president and chief executive. "We plan to pay out to elders on May 11 the amount, with interest, accumulated during the pendency of the lawsuit. This amounted to approximately $1,800 plus interest for those elders who were eligible to participate in the program throughout the suspension period."

An appeal could affect future payments.

Gift shop to open at Kenai airport

Virginia Kanas plans to open Books, Hooks and Gifts, a new gift shop in the Kenai Municipal Airport, on Tuesday. Kanas said she will sell gifts, coffee-table books, candies, T-shirts, jewelry, hunting and fishing licenses and some fishing supplies, such as lures for the Kenai and Kasilof rivers. She has not yet decided her business hours. The business phone will be 283-3801.

Bankers win Florida trip

Wells Fargo will honor three top-performers from its Kenai Peninsula offices with a trip to its National Sales & Service Conference this May 31 in Orlando, Fla.

Those are Kristen Baldenegro, a personal banker at the Kenai branch, Kelly Hill, a teller at the Homer branch, and Karen Tynes, a teller at the Kenai branch. Annual sales winners are nominated based on consistently meeting sales goals and providing great service to customers and team members.

"The conference is an opportunity for the three of them to meet with the other award winners, share ideas and have some fun in honor of their hard work," said Mike McCormack, Wells Fargo community bank president for Southcentral Alaska.

SBS donates to Habitat homes

Spenard Builders Supply and its parent company, Lanoga Corp., have donated $5,000 to Central Peninsula Habitat for Humanity. The donation will buy cabinets for one house and trim for another.

This is the eighth year that Spenard Builders and Lanoga have supported Central Peninsula Habitat for Humanity. Its statewide contributions during the last few years have exceeded $55,000.

Habitat's goal is to help low-income families achieve home ownership.

Habitat homes are built with tax-deductable donations and with volunteer and skilled labor. Families receiving them must donate several hundred hours of labor toward construction, then buy the homes, at no profit to Habitat, with interest-free monthly payments. The owners' mortgage payments go to a revolving loan fund used to build more houses.

Phillips swaps diplomats

Phillips Petroleum Co. has elected J. Stapleton Roy as a new outside director to replace Lawrence S. Eagleburger on its board.

Phillips has 10 directors, of which nine are outside directors.

Roy, 65, is managing director of Kissinger Associates Inc. He retired in January from 45 years in the Foreign Service, serving most recently as assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research. He is a former ambassador to Indonesia and to the People's Republic of China.

Eagleburger, 70, is senior foreign policy adviser for Baker, Donelson, Bearman & Caldwell, a Washington, D.C., law firm, a former U.S. secretary of state and a present director of Halliburton Co. He has been on the Phillips board since 1993.

Now, he will be special adviser on international affairs to Phillips Chairman Jim Mulva.

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