The days are lengthening, temperatures rising, and as spring arrives in Alaska, we have much to look forward to. Soon enough, we’ll see the wildflowers bloom. And we’ll feel the optimistic tug of the summer days to come. We’re emerging from the dark months of winter and things are looking up.
At the end of this month, BBNC closes yet another fiscal year, our 47th. Beginning on April 1, we’ll enter the final year of our current five-year strategic planning cycle. For the last half decade, we’ve been focused on building BBNC’s financial strength and our commitment to paying predictable and increasing dividends to our shareholders. We’ve been more devoted to balancing responsible development with the protection of our lands, fisheries, and resources. We’ve helped to develop economic opportunity in the Bristol Bay region, and we’ve bolstered educational, social, and cultural initiatives.
We create our strategic plan in a way that ensures it’s actionable, so it’s not just a document that sits on a shelf. And looking forward, we’ll continue to develop initiatives that strengthen our business and local economies, that protect and sustain our land and resources, and that continue to lift up our shareholders and the residents of Bristol Bay.
Sometimes, seemingly small gestures can pack a huge impact. Think about this: for many rural Bristol Bay residents, renewing or obtaining a driver’s license means traveling to Dillingham, King Salmon—or maybe even further. It’s not just an inconvenience. For some, it’s an impossibility. And starting this October, every Alaskan will require a REAL ID—an enhanced driver’s license—to even hop on a domestic flight. That’s a big deal and a big change. How do we get people prepared so everyone can travel effortlessly?
We’re proud to have recently partnered with the Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to create the state’s first ever mobile DMV. Having a driver’s license is a very common requirement for jobs, especially for opportunities on the North Slope and BBNC’s subsidiary operations. So earlier this year, the mobile DMV went to New Stuyahok and, despite a snowstorm, 22 residents received their driver’s license and dozens received their REAL ID!
As you’ve probably seen, BBNC is proudly supporting a statewide effort to stand and be counted in the 2020 census. With census efforts now underway, I want to urge everyone to do your part and complete the census questionnaire. It takes about ten minutes. But the answers to these questions will determine how Federal funding is allocated in Alaska for the next ten years. It’s an easy way to make a big difference—and to ensure that the best interests of Alaska Natives are accurately reflected in the census count.
On behalf of everyone here at BBNC—please get your REAL ID. Please complete the census. And most importantly, enjoy the lengthening days of spring with friends, family, and your communities.
President & CEO