Business Briefs

Posted: Thursday, June 29, 2000

First National rates first for financial security

First National Bank has received the highest possible grade from an independent industry rating service. Weiss Ratings Inc. gave the Alaska-owned bank an A+ for its excellent financial security as well as a "strong equity base, top-notch asset quality, steady earnings, and high liquidity." The score places First National on the Weiss Recommended List of companies, an elite group of 2,791 banks and thrifts representing the top 27 percent of the industry.

Korean buyers wild about Alaska seafood

Last month, the U.S. Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Seoul, South Korea, and the Alaska Division of Trade and Development cooperated to organize a seafood buyers' mission to Alaska. This week, the office reported the mission results.

"According to mission members' evaluations, they estimate purchases of seafood products worth $2.05 million over the next year from the producers and suppliers they met in Alaska," said Daryl Brehm, director of ATO Seoul. Mission participants included the chairman and general manager of Korea's largest seafood auction company, the largest catering company, the largest consumer-ready food importer and five small, medium, and large-sized seafood importing firms.

Rural village gets loan for new homes

The remote western Alaska community of Mountain Village will receive a loan from First National Bank to build eight new homes for its residents, thanks to a special program designed to help Native American tribes create affordable housing in their own communities. The Asa'carsarmiut Tribal Council of Mountain Village is the first tribe in the country to take advantage of the Title VI loan program, and First National is the first bank in the nation to make a Title VI loan to a tribe. The last new houses in Mountain Village were built more than 20 years ago.

Gilman, Navarre, Salo appointed to advisory board

BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. (BPXA) has established an Alaska Board of Community Advisors and has asked 15 community and business leaders from around the state to serve as members.

The board will both advise BPXA on its funding decisions in support of nonprofit organizations in Alaska and provide advice to BPXA on items of community importance to Alaskans.

Three Kenai residents were chosen to serve on the board-- former borough mayors Don Gilman, Mike Navarre and former state Sen. Judy Salo.

CIRI Foundation names new president/CEO

The Cook Inlet Region Inc. Foundation Board of Directors has named Susan A. Anderson to the position of president and CEO. Anderson's appointment is the final stage of a management transition plan implemented by the foundation. Former CIRI foundation executive director Dr. Lydia Hays has moved to the part-time position of senior vice president of special projects for the Cook Inlet Tribal Council.

Anderson joined the CIRI Foundation in October 1999 as the assistant executive director. Prior to joining the Foundation, Anderson was the manager of continuing education programs for the International Society for Optical Engineering, a nonprofit organization based in Bellingham, Wash.

CIRI invests in Las Vegas Hotel

Cook Inlet Region Inc. plans to invest in the newest development at Lake Las Vegas Resort with a stellar group of partners, including the Ritz-Carlton Company LLC, Transcontinental Properties Inc. and the interests of Sid and Lee Bass of Fort Worth, Texas.

The group will develop and construct a 350-room Ritz-Carlton hotel as part of a Mediterranean theme project named The Village at Monte Lago.

This will be CIRI's second investment at Lake Las Vegas Resort, the resort and golf community surrounding Las Vegas's largest privately owned lake, located 17 miles from the famed Las Vegas Strip.

In 1998, the corporation became a 50 percent investor in the Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas Resort, a hotel that opened last December.

Homer Chamber raffle to give away new cars

Tickets are now available for purchase in the Summer Car Raffle, sponsored by the Homer Chamber of Commerce. Five hundred tickets will be sold for $100 per ticket. The drawing will be held at the Taste of Homer, Oct. 14, at Homer High School. Tickets are available at the chamber office at 135 Sterling Highway, or from many chamber businesses. The vehicles up for grabs will be on display at the chamber's visitor center on the Homer Bypass. The raffle will raise funds for the new Kachemak Bay Visitor and Business Resource Center. For more information, call 235-7740.

New Sears store to open in Kenai Mall

The grand opening of Sears at the Kenai Mall on Saturday marks another retail expansion for the thriving Kenai Peninsula economy. Sears' grand opening will feature free prizes for the first 200 customers, half-priced specials from 9 a.m. to noon and drawings for Sears appliances, including a vacuum cleaner, a 13-inch television and a Craftsman tool storage set.

Crowley Marine receives environmental award

The United States Coast Guard this week presented Crowley Marine Services Inc. with the William M. Benkert Award, the premier national award recognizing excellence in marine environmental protection.

The Coast Guard said Crowley was selected for the award because as vessel and facilities operators, Crowley had "implemented outstanding marine environmental protection programs that far exceed mere compliance with industrial and regulatory standards."

NHL star to appear at SBS grand opening

As a part of Spenard Builders Supply's continuing grand opening activities, New Jersey Devils' rookie Scott Gomez will be on hand at SBS's Kenai store on Saturday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Gomez, 20, was named rookie of the year in the National Hockey League on June 15. He is the first player to win the Calder trophy and Stanley Cup in the same season since Toronto's Kent Douglas in 1963.

The SBS Kenai store is located at 30022 K-Beach Road. For more information about any of the grand opening activities, call (907) 261-9150.

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