Gone Phishing

Have you ever received an email from an organization and something didn’t feel quite right? Maybe a name was misspelled or, perhaps, you’re a little more digital savvy and you noticed the sender’s email address was off by one character. It’s then you realize the email from your bank asking you to reset your password is not actually an email from your bank.

This is a textbook case of ‘phishing.’ The definition of this fraudulent practice is the sending of emails that appear to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as credit card numbers or, you guessed it, passwords.

Phishing is a major area of concern for the Society of Industrial Security Professionals. The society is comprised of 7,000 members who live in the United States and overseas in NATO countries. To raise more awareness about this security threat, the society hosted a national poster contest. More than 100 entrants submitted designs and nearly 1,300 society members voted on the final selection. And Tonia Burrough, Security Intern for Chugach Government Solutions (CGS), took home the blue ribbon and won 1st place!

“The focus of each poster is to concentrate on a potential threat we face as an industrial security professional,” Tonia said. “I chose phishing as my topic since it’s currently relevant.”

According to Caleb Sutton, Chugach’s IT Systems Administrator, the topic is, indeed, relevant. “On a given day we see approximately 2–3 phishing attempts that are reported to us directly by employees and our tools block another estimated 8–12 attempts each day.”

These attempts, numbering between 10–15 daily attacks, occur on a single floor at the Chugach headquarters and do not include CGS’s remaining two floors. Nor do these numbers include attacks that occur at Chugach’s more than 100 locations.

“It’s a constant threat,” Caleb said. “That’s why we have multiple protections to safeguard our internal services, including Multi-Factor Authentication.”

Phishing, and other online threats, will remain a growing problem in the increasingly technological world. To learn more about this ever-evolving threat, click here.

Thank you to the Chugach IT departments for all the work done to protect the corporation and our digital assets throughout our subsidiaries, and thank you to Tonia Burrough for creating awareness about this important topic.

Cultivating Leaders for Alaska

The Alaska Native Executive Leadership Program (ANELP) is creating future leaders for the Alaska Native community, leaders who are ready to excel in the modern business arena and usher Alaska Native Corporations (ANC) into the next era of business and prosperity.

Alaska Pacific University faculty and Native leaders worked together to customize a course for future executives tailored to meet the specific needs of ANCs. This collaboration laid the groundwork for ANELP.

Upon ANELP completion, students receive a certificate that equates to a third of graduate-level course work, making the program ideal for students working toward a master’s degree. More importantly, graduates are ready to play a hand in their corporation’s success.

Chugach’s Ashley Christensen—Assistant to Chugach Government Solution’s President—just completed the ANELP course work and received this prestigious certificate. Ashley expressed her gratitude for the support she received during the nine-month course. “I want to thank Chugach for making this opportunity possible,” Ashley said. “I enjoyed myself and look forward to pursuing my masters.”

Ashley has joined good company. Four professionals currently working for Chugach have also obtained an ANELP certificate:

  • Tiffany Flowers, SBA Compliance Specialist
  • Jayme Johnson, Shareholder Development Outreach Manager
  • Lauren Johnson, Director of the Chugach Heritage Foundation
  • Lindsy Swing, Projects Support Manager

Chugach provides funding to motivated shareholders and descendants who are interested in this executive education program. If you’re one of these individuals, you should contact Jayme Johnson at jayme.johnson@chugach.com or (907) 563-8866.

While Chugach funding is reserved for shareholders and descendants, the program is not exclusive to shareholders, descendants or Alaska Natives. If you meet the following two requirements, you are a potential ANELP candidate:

  • Identified potential to meaningfully contribute to the Alaska Native community.
  • An executive referral and corporate endorsement.

The full list of the prerequisites for the program can be found here.

Please join us in congratulating Ashley on all of the hard work that led to her accomplishment, and congratulations to all of Chugach’s ANELP alumni.

A Worthy Award

The largest Chugach subsidiary is Chugach Government Solutions (CGS). Built by former Chugach President and CEO Barney Uhart and his team, CGS pulled Chugach out of bankruptcy and opened the door for our profitability. This legacy continues with CGS enjoying the well-deserved reputation as an industry leader in facilities services, technical services, education and training and construction. The more than 6,000 dedicated employees especially take pride in the services they provide to the federal government and to the military.

The military is recognizing this dedication and awarding a member of CGS with the Patriot Award. An individual can be nominated for the Patriot Award by a service member or spouse. The award recognizes individual supervisors for the support provided directly to the nominating service or family member. Receiving the Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support citizen warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed.

“It’s an honor to present the Patriot Awards,” said Leverette Hoover, South Central Alaska Chair for the Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve. “The award shows commitment to employing veterans and supporting veterans and their families while deployed. Deployments can create a hardship for employers, but by ensuring employees and families don’t have to worry about their jobs while being deployed, service members can stay focused on their mission, and the employer is contributing to the National Security of the United States.”

In a small ceremony held at JL Tower, CGS Human Resources Manager Sarah Peters received the Patriot Award. Twice! Jesse Ostrowski, the spouse of Sergeant First Class Duane Ostrowski, and Alaska Army National Guard Specialist Xavier Mora—both CGS employees—nominated Sarah for the prestigious award. The Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve took heed and decided to award Sarah with a rare double award.

“I’m still completely blown away,” said Sarah Peters. “I have the honor of working with an amazing team. It’s their dedication to doing a great job, and the support I receive from Chugach’s leadership that makes it easy to support the Reserves. I’m proud to work for such an amazing company.”

Through our contracts and as individual citizens, Chugach is committed to the United States Armed Services. We thank Sarah Peters for her professionalism and dedication, and for helping Chugach demonstrate our commitment to the men and women who serve our country. Sarah’s actions and initiative readily display multiple Core Behaviors—doing the right thing, empowering people and building community.

Chugach Crosses the Finish Line in First Place

“To raise money for and awareness of breast cancer and women’s health, and to showcase the talents of Alaska’s women athletes.”

That is the official mission statement for the Alaska Run for Women. The charity run was started in 1993 and had 758 participants in its first year. Now, in 2018, there were over 5,000 participants who donated a total of $152,417.

Chugach has been participating in this event since 2006 and is always honored to do everything we can to help those who have survived and those still battling cancer.

In 2018, for the third year in a row, Chugach was privileged to take home the awards for the largest team and the most money raised, with 315 members and $16,319 raised.

Since Chugach first started participating in this charity event, we have raised a grand total of $62,809 (including 2018). We are very proud to have so many people who deeply care about this cause. The generosity of our employees is, without a doubt, building community, and from a corporate level, supporting our employees in their efforts to end cancer is simply doing the right thing. We are, again, proud of the history we are creating with the Alaska Run For Women and how this legacy aligns with our Core Behaviors.

Chugach Region Video

Learn more about the cultural underpinnings of the Chugach region and Chugach Alaska Corporation, from its original foundation under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, to their ties to the region’s land, water and wildlife; to the core values of the corporation.

Sheri Buretta, Phil Blumstein receive Visionary Award

​Chugach CEO Gabe Kompkoff recognized Chugach Board Chairman Sheri Buretta and Board Attorney Phil Blumstein with Visionary Awards, for the work that led to the successful Bering River Coal Field (BRCF) coal rights sale.

“We would like to recognize each of you with Chugach’s new Visionary Award for your dedication and for creating a new and unique opportunity,” Kompkoff said. “Retiring the coal rights in the BRCF is a huge component of our 100-year plan, placing Chugach on a path to permanent prosperity. So thank you.”

Sheri and Phil were caught off guard with the impromptu ceremony, but expressed their gratitude for the recognition. Sheri turned the focus back to the Chugach team members in attendance. “Thank you,” Sheri said. “The tremendous work required to make this deal a possibility would not have been possible without all of your support.”

Phil expressed a similar sentiment. “I couldn’t agree more. This was definitely a team effort,” Phil said. “And it’s been a privilege to be a part of Chugach’s 10,000-year story.”

Gabe also presented Sheri with a traditional Alutiiq hunting visor. “For our huntress,” Gabe said to a huge round of applause. Phil also received a piece of artwork depicting an Alutiiq hunter.

Chugach’s Core Behaviors Lead to Success

There are few companies that are as rich in history as the Chugach Alaska Corporation. Established under the Alaska Native Claim Settlement Act (ANCSA) in 1972, the sole purpose of the Chugach Alaska Corporation is to serve the needs of Alaska Native people. Opportunities are provided to more than 2,500 Eskimo, Aleut, and Indian people throughout the Chugach region.

Under ANCSA, the government gave 40 million acres of land and over $950 million to native owned companies. Since then, Chugach Alaska Corporation, along with others, have become leaders in business in the state of Alaska. Thanks to ANCSA, corporations such as the Chugach Alaska Corporation, are able to use a large part of their income to provide things such as dividends and scholarships to shareholders and their descendants.

At Chugach, values are an important part of the company; they have made a solemn vow to always protect the cultural values of its shareholders and descendants. Chugach is dedicated to profitability as well as celebrating Alaskan heritage and having ownership of Alaskan land. However, profitability is only one small part of Chugach, people are the driving force and relationships built on trust are the foundation.

Our Core Behaviors are what makes us who we are:

  • We do things the right way
  • We create meaningful value
  • We empower people
  • We build community
  • We leave things better than we found them

A company like Chugach will always put the customer first, a priority of theirs is a priority of the company. Chugach also has a history of making timely and thorough decisions they can be proud of. Throughout the company, from top to bottom, communication is also a vital part of Chugach. On top of that, open and honest communication is an area of pride for them. Time and resources are also devoted to employees to ensure personal and professional growth as well as providing the utmost respect for their opinions and talents.

Helping Those in Need

Being homeless is not easy. Being homeless in Alaska in the cold of winter is even harder. Being homeless in the cold of an Alaskan winter and being a teenager… Well, that’s the hardest reality anyone will ever have to face. But in Alaska, more than 17,000 teens have faced this reality in the last 30 years. Fortunately, for these youth, the Covenant House Alaska has been a source of warmth and a pathway off the streets.

Once a year, Covenant House hosts the Sleep Out to support at-risk youth and prevent teen homelessness. In addition to making donations, the fundraiser’s participants ‘sleep on the street for one night, so homeless youth don’t have to.’ More importantly, participants Sleep Out for one night so a homeless kid can have a chance at a better life.

“You can’t imagine the vulnerability, the sense of being alone, the fear and uncertainty, until you’ve experienced a cold night of sleeping outside,” recalls Melanie Osborne, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Chugach Alaska Corporation. “That brings it into perspective, that makes it real. Then you know you have to do something to make a difference for these kids.”

And Melanie and the 2017 fundraisers did their part to make a difference by raising awareness during the night-long vigil and raising funds for Covenant House Alaska. The nonprofit organization expressed the importance of this kind of community involvement, stating, “We rely on the support of our donors and volunteers to provide the care and services our young people need.” Seventy percent of Covenant House funding is raised through activities like the Sleep Out.

The Covenant House Alaska and the Covenant Houses throughout the United States serve a vital mission. Their Vision Statement says it all:

  • Covenant House Alaska is to be the leader through collaboration with the community, in providing compassionate, sustainable services and shelter to homeless or at-risk youth.
  • Homeless kids have rights. They have the right to a home – the right to food – the right to guidance and an education – the right to be free from sexual, emotional, or physical abuse – and the right to be free from exploitation. These kids have the right to be safe and – most important – to be loved.

Covenant House Alaska has provided this security for more than 45 years. Since opening its doors, Covenant House has established itself as a well-respected, lead agency that is an integral part of the Alaskan community.

“Chugach’s Core Behaviors are well represented in this nonprofit,” Melanie noted. “Especially building community, which has to start with our supporting our youth in crisis.”

Smoke Dance

Subsistence is a huge component of what it means to be an Alaska Native. Every year at our Nuuciq Spirit Camp, our Elders pass along subsistence knowledge and skills to our youth, keeping the Chugach culture alive. In this short video, Diane Selanoff teaches camp attendees one of our tastiest traditions, the art of smoking salmon, and she teaches her students how to bust a move. Watch the fun, and learn the secret, basic recipe for jarring the world’s most flavorful, smoked fish.

Putting the “Human” in Human Resources

Creating meaningful value happens at the individual level. Each employee action makes this Core Behavior real and tangible for our clients. We depend on everyone to make it happen.

Business, at its most fundamental level, can be impersonal. That is where Human Resources (HR) comes into play. We have an entire department that ensures the human element is at the forefront of what Chugach represents.

Recently, HR departments from the Chugach family of companies met to discuss the practices and procedures impacting employees, and to focus on how the HR function continues to transform at Chugach.

The daylong event offered a forum to share best practices and innovations and to hear from guest speakers in the human resources field. HR professionals discussed how technology is eliminating tedious paper processes and improving the employee experience, the importance of developing thought leaders and high performing teams, and how HR can be a strategic business partner to our companies.

This dedication to constant improvement around our people-related practices ensures our HR teams provide meaningful value to our employees and customers. This focus illustrates how Chugach uses the Behaviors as a guide to interact with our employees. The Core Behaviors make great employees, and they allow Chugach Alaska Corporation to be a great company and retain the best and the brightest.