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Goldbelt execs discuss company's activities

Posted: Friday, August 06, 2010

Two top Goldbelt executives explained Thursday during a Chamber of Commerce luncheon the diverse activities of their company that many Juneau residents are likely unaware of.

Jonathan Grass / Juneau Empire
Jonathan Grass / Juneau Empire

President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Droubay and Vice President of Operations Derek Duncan gave an overview of what the Alaska Native corporation does, and how its work with small businesses and the federal government has expanded operations to 20 states, plus areas in South and Central America.

Droubay started with Goldbelt's three-part strategic focus, which involves government contracting, tourism and land development. He said the board of directors adopted the plan last year.

He expanded into the company's buildup of several 8(a) companies, which are small companies permitted under the Small Business Act of 1998.

Droubay explained that one of the more controversial elements of the 8(a) program is that there can be multiple companies but they cannot be in the same business line as sister companies.

"So anyone wanting to get into a business this way only gets one shot at it," he said.

To date, Goldbelt has maintained multiple companies in that fashion, many of which operate outside of Alaska.

He said the businesses dealing in tourism are focused more in Alaska.

Duncan then spoke about the land developments that Goldbelt is involved in, which Droubay said is another big local focus of the business.

"We develop lands for the benefit of our shareholders," Droubay said.

He said the company owns around 30,000 acres in Hobart Bay, 1,400 acres in West Douglas and 1,700 acres in Echo Cove and Cascade Point.

Duncan said each of these areas has its own concentration.

He said Hobart Bay, which is about 70 miles south of Juneau, is in the interest of tourism investors from California and the United Kingdom to act as a future cruise ship destination.

Duncan said a new development in the West Douglas area is the North Douglas road extension project, on which Goldbelt is working with the city.

He also talked about the transportation side of the business. He said Goldbelt ferries mine workers out of Yankee Cove. They may also be transported out of Cascade Point in the future. Such ferries could result in three round trips a day.

• Contact Jonathan Grass at 523-2276 or jonathan.grass@juneauempire.com.



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