Business Digest

Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2007

Airport snow crew honored for service

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JUNEAU - The snow removal crew at Juneau International Airport received national recognition for "excellence in the performance of airport snow and ice control" for their work this past winter.

They were honored with the Balchen/Post Award during the 41st Annual International Aviation Snow Symposium in Buffalo, N.Y., April 25.

"We're especially proud of our field maintenance crew who worked extremely long hours to assure that the airport was never closed because of snow," said Ron Swanson, chairman of the airport board.

All categories of airports, including commercial, general aviation and military, compete for these awards. Juneau won the award in the "medium commercial" category. Applications are submitted by the airport operators on behalf of the local work force in recognition of their efforts in keeping the airports operationally safe at all times.

Other Alaska airport crews to be honored were Elmendorf Air Force Base and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

Hands on Banking goes to high school

JUNEAU - Amanda Choate, a business banker at Wells Fargo, recently spent three days in a Juneau Douglas High School classroom teaching financial education lessons to students, said David Kennedy, a bank spokesman.

Choate visited two special education math classes and engaged students in lessons that taught financial planning skills and banking terminology. One lesson involved the students how to budget and plan for a picnic using newspaper ads.

Choate regularly volunteers at Juneau schools through the bank's free, interactive "Hands on Banking" program.

To learn more about the program, visit

New rewards card structure at Fred Meyer

PORTLAND, Ore. - Fred Meyer recently announced it is changing its rewards card structure so that customers earn one "point" every time they spend one dollar at Fred Meyer. The former system required customers to spend five dollars to earn one point.

The card gives customers a "reward" for using the card when they shop at Fred Meyer. Customers who earn at least 500 points during a 13-week period, qualify for a rebate.

Points are tallied and displayed on customers' receipts every time they use the card when making a purchase. Details on the policy can be found online at

Fred Meyer is based in Portland, Ore., and has 127 stores in four states.

True North announces new Yakutat Branch

YAKUTAT - True North Federal Credit Union recently announced the opening of a new branch in Yakutat.

The financial institution offers savings accounts, checking accounts, consumer loans, real estate loans, mortgages and now business services. Credit Unions are distinguishable from banks in that they are member-owned and controlled. Membership in True North is open to most Alaskans, including all Yakutat residents and their families.

The branch is located at 716 Ocean Cape Road and hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays. The branch is closed from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Loans and new accounts are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment.

A grand opening event is planned for later in May. For more information, contact the branch at 784-3304.

UA business plancontest goes online

JUNEAU - Julie Pierce of Juneau won first place in the recent 2007 University of Alaska Business Plan Competition. Her business was Alaska Mini-Donuts. Second place was awarded to Lisa Andersson of Hoonah for her business, Hoonah Sea Cuisine; third place went to Brian Schmidt of Juneau for his plan for Container Solutions.

Rick Wolk, assistant professor of marketing and entrepreneurship at the University of Alaska Southeast School of Management, said that the 2007 competition was done completely online, which meant that finalists were able to compete without having to leave their hometowns.

The rules for entrants were to write and present a business plan for an entrepreneurial project that they were passionate about pursuing.

The business also needed to be headquartered in Alaska. Judges from the Alaska investment community included Chris Andersen, deputy director at Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, and Allan Johnston, regional manager at Wedbush Morgan Securities and Head of the Advisory Board at Alaska InvestNet.

For more information, visit

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

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