As this unpredictable election year begins to quiet, most of us are eager to wind down and cherish time with our family and friends. The holidays ask that we reflect and take stock of what matters most—savoring meals with loved ones, taking comfort in memory and tradition, and looking towards the opportunities ahead of us in the new year. It’s a time to uplift and invigorate each other for the road ahead.
Of course, the road ahead is always full of unknowns. We’ll encounter unexpected joys and we’re likely hit some bumps along the way. No one knows for certain what the next presidential administration has in store. But at BBNC, we’re ready. We’ll work hard to shore up the great work we’ve done at the federal and state levels over the past eight years to ensure our successes endure. And we’ll turn towards 2017 ready to capture new opportunities to strengthen our shareholders, our region, and our home state. Overall, Bristol Bay has done well by the Obama Administration. It’s no secret that resource development and extraction have slowed. While we had a solid fiscal year—the 4th strongest in our history—BBNC isn’t immune to some of the economic challenges facing Alaska, particularly with the uncertainty in the oil and gas industry. If the coming presidential administration shifts its focus toward resource development, there may be an economic boost out on the horizon. In the coming years, BBNC will position itself to take advantage of opportunities in the natural resource industry. And we’ll do everything to make sure that all the work we’ve done to strike a balance between resource development and protections will not go unnoticed. This balance is key to our success.
Of course, BBNC’s political field of vision isn’t singularly fixed on the presidential transition. We’ve long been active in both Juneau and in Washington, DC, making sure our voices are heard at both the state and national level. And as the next administration assumes power, we’ll continue to build and expand these relationships— within the new administration, with federal agency leadership, and with congressional representation in every state where we do business. One of the benefits of doing business throughout Alaska and the Lower 48 is that we’ve built a broad coalition of legislative support that has kept the important issues facing our shareholders and our region in the foreground. November’s elections may have dominated the news and our attention, but there are other important things underway, a few of which I want to touch upon before I close. First, the dangerous rise in drug abuse— particularly opioids—across the state of Alaska. We’ve heard from shareholders far and wide that this needs to be a priority issue. In the coming year, BBNC will work with other organizations to tackle the issue in Bristol Bay and to help find solutions throughout the state.
We’re also celebrating the 25th anniversary of the BBNC Education Foundation. You’ll read more about the Foundation and its contributions to the culture and economy of Bristol Bay in the following pages. But it’s worth mentioning and celebrating here that in terms of endowment, the Education Foundation is the third largest in Alaska. We’re proud of the Foundation’s successes over the past quarter century and we’re excited to see what the future holds. Finally, our shareholders and their families and friends are in our thoughts and prayers this holiday season. We hope you can spend it together— reflecting, celebrating, and looking forward. Remember to take stock of what matters most. And as always, when you’re out in the region crossing rivers, hunting moose, or taking part in other wintertime activities, please take extra precautions and be safe. Thanks for your continued support as we enter into our 45th year in business. Have a wonderful holiday and a very Happy New Year.