A Word from the President, January 2016

Photo by Yuit LLC.
Photo by Yuit LLC.

Happy new year! If you’re like me, you’ve been reflecting on the past year and setting goals for the new one. Maybe you’ve decided to get healthier this year, or perhaps you’re aiming to take a new step in your career. Whatever your new year’s resolutions, now’s your chance to set the tone for the whole year ahead. It’s an opportunity to think about how you’ll build on last year’s successes and make changes in areas where you want to see improvement.

While it may sound odd for a company to make new year’s resolutions, CIRI’s Board of Directors see the conclusion of a year as a chance to reassess the company’s priorities and set goals for the short term, medium term and long term success of the company. These annual strategic goals are a lot like resolutions; they help us focus on what’s important and act as guideposts to take us in the right direction.

While 2015 was a good year for CIRI, we faced challenges as well. Low oil and commodity prices impacted our financial performance. CIRI segments like oilfield services, land and resources, private equities and 7(i) (resource revenue) receipts from other Alaska Native corporations have been negatively impacted by the downturn in commodities, and might continue a downward trend into the foreseeable future.

That’s why, in 2016, we’ve resolved to focus on increasing the portion of CIRI’s balance sheet that is invested in stable cash producing assets that aren’t as sensitive to economic factors and cycles outside of the company’s control.

Big goals aren’t attained in one fell swoop. Reaching the ultimate objective usually involves taking incremental steps. So CIRI will be taking a variety of steps to meet its goal of increasing shareholders’ equity by identifying, pursuing and investing in opportunities that will produce not only immediate net income and cash flow, but also stable, long-term returns. We’ll continue to seek tenants to lease space in the Fireweed Business Center and 2525 C Street in Anchorage, while strengthening existing lease commitments to help avoid future vacancies. We’ll also work with CIRI’s trusted network of partners and consultants to pursue additional income-producing real estate investments and private equity or venture capital opportunities.

Just because we’re focusing on developing a diverse portfolio with stable, revenue-building investments doesn’t mean we’re turning our back on our energy and resource development sectors. In 2016, CIRI will pursue and, if appropriate, invest in large-scale energy or energy infrastructure assets. And we’ll continue to expand CIRI’s position in resource development in Alaska by promoting and encouraging responsible mining and oil and gas prospects on CIRI subsurface lands.

As always, every decision we make is aimed at improving the economic and social lives of our shareholders and descendants. That means maintaining CIRI’s track record of strong, stable dividends. It’s also why CIRI will continue to deepen and enhance its relationship and engagement with our shareholders, villages and Tribes over the course of 2016. We’ll continue to support the Tikahtnu Forum and to offer opportunities like the CIRI internship program to create opportunities for the next generation of CIRI leaders.

We will also expand our services and support to shareholders and descendants with some exciting new programs you’ll hear more about in upcoming newsletters and via Facebook and Twitter. For example, I’m thrilled to share that CIRI is developing new ways of trying to increase shareholder employment and prepare our young shareholders and descendants for educational and career opportunities.

A new year holds new possibilities, so I hope you’ll keep tabs on the exciting things to come from CIRI in 2016. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and if you don’t already, please consider subscribing to the eNewsletter (ciri.com/shareholders/ ravenscircle/enewsletter-subscription/) to get your CIRI news even faster.