Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The Governor's North Star Awards for International Excellence have recognized Alaskan companies and organizations engaged in successful international business and activities for over 30 years.
The 2017 honorees include Chena Hot Springs Resort for tourism, Hecla Greens Creek Mine for trade and export of goods, Lynden Air Cargo for transportation and humanitarian exchange, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for trade, and import of goods and people.
Every summer, tens of thousands of visitors brave the Alcan Highway and arrive at Alaska’s border by road. The first face these tourists see when they enter are the men and women of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Area Port Director Lance Robinson and the many others who patrol our borders are unsung heroes deserving of recognition for their hard work.
Lynden Air Cargo pioneered service to Alaska back in 1954 and today services customers in every sector in our economy, including oil and gas, mining, seafood, retail, military support, and government. Lynden also has a long history of contributing to efforts in support of humanitarian relief and in response to environmental disasters. Most recently, Lynden mobilized relief flights to help those affected by Hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria, working in situations where there was little information about airport conditions and contaminated fuel supplies. This is a testament to the values of President Rick Zerkel and all of Lynden’s employees.
Since Greens Creek Mine began operation in 1989 in the Admiralty Island National Monument, the operation has grown into a regional economic engine for Juneau. The mine is led by General Manager Keith Malone and directly and indirectly supports 975 jobs, according to a 2017 study by the McDowell Group. Greens Creek also plays an important role in our state’s export economy. The company ships base metal concentrates all over the world, generating state revenue along the way, and the firm is also the largest property taxpayer in the City and Borough of Juneau.
Chena Hot Springs Resort is a staple in Interior Alaska and is a tremendous partner with the state’s tourism industry, providing both a getaway for the Fairbanks community and drawing visitors from all over the world who come to see the Northern Lights. The resort and its proprietors, Bernie Karl and Connie Parks-Karl, work with Explore Fairbanks and the Alaska Tourism Industry Association to promote winter tourism and to support marketing efforts in Asia, Europe, and beyond. In addition to being a tourism leader, the resort is a leader in the effort to develop geothermal power in the Interior, which may help to significantly reduce pollution, carbon emissions, and energy costs.
Walker said he was very proud to honor these entities, “This diverse group of organizations is emblematic of the spirit of the North Star Awards,” Governor Walker said. “Since 1986, these awards have honored Alaskan companies that engage in successful international business and activities, and this year’s honorees should be proud of the role they play in connecting our state to the rest of the world.”