Business pays employees' electric bills

Posted: Friday, May 09, 2008

Soon after he heard electric bills would nearly quintuple, the manager of Willie's Marine called up a board member for the out-of-state parent company and asked for help.

"I told him I could possibly, by a stretch, afford it, but some of the other people were going to have a hell of a time," said Kent Adams, who manages eight employees at the Industrial Boulevard store.

The board member, Frank Gaughan, called back a day later with the news: The parent company would cover the increase in employees' home electric bills.

"Alaska's extraordinarily expensive to live in as it is," Gaughan said Thursday from San Diego. "We thought people needed help in order to survive, and we wanted to take care of our people."

Doc Warner's Enterprises, based in Bountiful, Utah, owns Doc Warner's Juneau Marine Services, a lodge and charter business that bought the longtime local business Willie's Marine.

Adams said he told his employees as soon as he heard. Morale lifted instantly.

"It's nice to feel valued as an employee," said Laura Otness, Adams' assistant. "We are truly blessed."

• Contact reporter Kate Golden at 523-2276 or

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