Business Digest

Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2007

Healing Touch Alaska nursing office moves

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JUNEAU - Healing Touch Alaska, a holistic nursing practice, has relocated, said owner Mary Szczepanski.

The practice moved from a space in Seventh Heaven Day Spa to 9000 Glacier Highway, Suite 302, in the Mendenhall Valley.

Szczepanski will continue her practice and increase the number of classes she teaches in "Emotional Freedom Technique." She is also adding classes teaching holistic weight-loss practices.

An open house at the new location will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. May 14. For more information, call 790-2402.

Goldbelt consolidates offices, relocates

JUNEAU - Goldbelt, Juneau's urban Native corporation, has consolidated offices and moved to a new location, said Gary Droubay, president and CEO.

The corporation moved from offices in the Seadrome Building on the downtown waterfront and 9097 Glacier Highway to an office at 3075 Vintage Blvd., above First Bank. Droubay said a shareholder open house will be scheduled for some time in late May.

Goldbelt has roughly 3,200 shareholders who collectively hold the entire 272,200 shares of stock, representing assets of about $62 million plus more than 32,000 acres of land near Juneau.

For more information about Goldbelt, visit or call 790-4990.

Princess expands its cruise options

ANCHORAGE - Princess Cruises will launch a new Alaska itinerary in 2008 that includes Valdez, Kodiak and Seward. The 14-day "Connoisseur Gulf of Alaska" cruise will be aboard the 670-passenger Tahitian Princess, making eight voyages from Vancouver, B.C.

The tour also plans to stop in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka and Victoria, B.C., with daylight cruising of Glacier Bay.

The next step for Princess will be to set up business meetings in these communities to work with interested shore excursion vendors.

The Alaska Visitor Statistics Program V, commissioned by the state, suggests that while 59 percent of out-of-state visitors came to Alaska by cruise ship in summer 2006, only 19 percent of returning visitors traveled by cruise ship.

For more information about Princess Cruises, visit the Web at

O'Neal promoted to director of operations

JUNEAU - The Juneau Economic Development Council has promoted Margaret O'Neal to director of operations, said Executive Director Lance Miller.

O'Neal has managed the center's Southeast Alaska Revolving Loan Fund since 1999. Her new role will be expanded to include day-to-day management and financial support of all the Center's programs.

O'Neal came to Alaska in 1983 to work for Alaska Federal Savings and Loan, now Alaska Pacific Bank. She later worked for other banks in Anchorage, including Bank of America.

In 1996, she launched her own company to assist business owners, specializing in those with financial problems. She has provided project management and lending expertise to financial institutions such as Wells Fargo Bank, First Interstate Bank, Alaska Growth Capital and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The center was founded in 1987, has 10 employees and offers a variety of assistance programs and partnerships for young workers, entrepreneurs, new and existing businesses, and students.

Education association director named

ANCHORAGE - The National Education Association of Alaska named Lydia Garcia its new executive director, replacing Tom Harvey, who retired in August 2006.

Garcia has served in the Alaska Air National Guard and has been employed by the state and Anchorage governments.

She also has been an advocate for education issues for the past 16 years. She came to the association in 1992 and for five years served teacher locals and organized education support professional locals in the bush.

Garcia has been interim executive director of the association since September 2006. The association represents more than 13,000 teachers and education support professionals throughout the state.

• Do you have news to share about your business? Contact Empire reporter Brittany Retherford at

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