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By Sophie Minich, CIRI president and chief executive officer
[lightbox link=”http://www.ciri.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Sophie-e1410539830964.jpg” thumb=”http://www.ciri.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Sophie-e1410539823367-300×300.jpg” width=”300″ align=”left” title=”Sophie” frame=”true” icon=”image” caption=””]We are pleased to present the featured article, “Between Hard Rock and a Hard Place,” in this edition of the Raven’s Circle to better inform our shareholders about some of the exciting work our subsidiary companies are engaged in around the country – in this case, North Wind Construction Services. The work our company is doing in Idaho is helping to set the standard for large-scale environmental remediation.
Through proven expertise and professionalism, North Wind Construction is helping to repair decades of accumulated environmental contamination while significantly contributing to the revitalization of the northern Idaho economy. We’re proud of the team’s commitment to excellent work and dedication to the local community. These attributes have helped North Wind grow to become a nationally recognized contractor enabling numerous agencies to successfully accomplish their missions.
Like North Wind Construction, many of CIRI’s companies that perform government contracting are witnessing an increase in the pace of work. This follows a couple of difficult years for this sector as inaction in Congress caused spending from the federal government to tighten.
As we have reported here and in the CIRI Annual Report, failure by Congress to pass a budget and adoption of mandatory budget cuts, known as sequestration, forced a slowdown in government contracting. The resulting uncertainty compelled federal agencies to slow their projects, and resulting contract opportunities.
Late last year, Congress finally passed a budget, giving federal agencies the resources necessary to complete mandated federal work. The polarization we see in Congress has been frustrating to watch, and hopefully the worst of the federal budget battles are behind us.
CIRI realizes that solving the political divisions in our federal government is out beyond our control. That is why our government contractors are striving to do all they can to ensure that our long-term success is not left to the whims of a political stalemate in Washington, D.C. We know this is best accomplished by delivering excellent quality in our work, building a solid reputation with our clients and saving the flexibility to respond quickly to changing market conditions.
In Alaska, this strategy has proven successful with Weldin Construction. Led by CIRI shareholder Dick Weldin, Weldin Construction remains a premier contractor on Alaska military bases. Our military clients can be confident the projects will be completed on time, on budget, with exceptional quality. Weldin’s reputation is built on a proven track record that is rewarded with additional opportunities. CIRI’s new company Silver Mountain Construction is beginning to chart a similar course, and we’re excited to see the company embark on its first major project this year at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks.
Whether these companies operate in Alaska or the Lower 48, the overall mission remains the same – to generate revenues that support greater dividends for shareholders and strengthen CIRI for long-term success.
Finally, the fall season is upon us and that means the November general election is approaching. A strong Alaska Native turnout at the polls is important for CIRI, and I would like to encourage all of you to make sure you are registered to participate in the upcoming election. For Alaska residents, the deadline to register to vote or update your registration is Oct. 5. If you live outside Alaska, I encourage you to inquire with your state’s department of elections to ensure that your registration is up-to-date.
While it’s sad to see the summer coming to an end, I look forward to visiting with many of you at the upcoming Friendship Potlatches this fall.