As hard as it is to believe, we’re just about to enter a new year and a new decade. Turning a corner like this is a milestone, and it gives us an opportunity to look back and reflect. As I think about 2019, it’s with a sense of gratitude. New acquisitions are already contributing to BBNC’s bottom line. We just wrapped our annual leadership and compliance training and continue to focus on operating with integrity, leading by example, and ensuring that we’re living out the values of our company. And we’re always striving to be the best stewards of our resources on behalf of our shareholders and our land base. I feel gratitude for the hardworking team at BBNC and all of our subsidiaries. And I feel gratitude for each of you, for your support, for your engagement, and for your pride in being from Bristol Bay.
We all know that Bristol Bay is a place like no other. And a big part of what makes our region so incredible is the people who call it home. You’ve been stewards of our land, carriers of our history and traditions, and contributors—in countless ways—to the community that makes Bristol Bay such a special place. At BBNC, we’re focused on making sure our region remains vital; that our land and our people continue to thrive.
In the pages ahead, you’ll read the 2020 Census and why it’s so critical to participate in the survey. The census is one simple way each of us can help keep our region thriving. We’re a large state with a very small population and roughly 20% of the state’s population is comprised of Alaska Natives. Significant federal dollars come to Alaska by way of grants and other investments. If we want to ensure that Alaska, Alaska Natives, and Bristol Bay in particular get our fair share of federal dollars, we need to make sure everyone is counted.
It’s tough in small, remote communities—especially those off the system of roads and highways. In these regions, people will be counted by Census Bureau workers—they’re called enumerators—who go door to door talking to residents, asking ten simple questions about the household. The whole process takes ten minutes or less, yet has ramifications for your communities for the next ten years. It’s really important that you don’t ignore the census process; that every one of you participates in the survey and is counted. Read more about what you can expect from the survey on page 2, and thank you in advance for taking part.
Our company—like the region at large—has deep and long-held ties to fishing. Fish are central to BBNC’s brand, and our “Fish First” value guides virtually everything we do as a company. So we’re excited that we recently completed two significant acquisitions—Clipper Seafoods and Blue North Fisheries—with impressive legacies in the Bering Sea longline cod sector. It’s our return to the seafood industry, since divesting of Peter Pan Seafoods in the 1980’s. This new venture adds seafood as a new business sector, joining industrial services, construction, government services, and tourism as part of BBNC’s overall operations.
Both companies have spent most of their existence fishing in Alaska, so being owned by an Alaska-based— and more specifically, Alaska Nativebased—company had incredible appeal to each of them. Both Clipper and Blue North boast extraordinary track records of financial vitality and environmental stewardship, so we’re proud to welcome them into the BBNC family. They’ve been industry leaders on the sustainability front for decades, developing fishing practices and technologies that have made the Bering Sea freezer longline cod sector one of the most environmentally sustainable in the world. We’ve merged the companies into a single subsidiary and are working with leadership at both companies to develop a new brand identity for this newly formed venture.
BBNC remains focused on acquisitions as a primary growth strategy for the company. We’ve also recently acquired an Atlantabased government contracting company—GC&E—that works primarily in the communications and security space. This acquisition helps us expand BBNC’s footprint in government contracting. In the seafood sector, BBNC is taking a wholistic approach, not just limiting our growth to cod. We’ll be open to any seafood investments that make strong business sense and align with our company values the way this acquisition did.
However you spend the holidays, I hope they are safe, happy, and memorable.
With thanks as always for your support,
Jason Metrokin President & CEO