At a special shareholder meeting in November 1989, an overwhelming majority of shareholders voted to issue shares to Natives born after 1971. ASRC began enrolling new shareholders in April 1990. Since then, ASRC’s shareholder base has grown from 3,700 to more than 11,000 and continues to grow today.
The ASRC Board wanted to be sure that every eligible Iñupiat who wished to become a shareholder was able to. To see that was accomplished, ASRC reached out to the communities and village corporations, visited schools and mailed information to shareholders on how the process worked. Three classes of stock were authorized by the vote: 1 million shares of Class C stock, 300,000 shares of Class D stock and 10,000 share of Class E stock.
Opening enrollment to our children and grandchildren keeps with the Iñupiaq values of sharing and honoring family. However, it has placed enormous pressure on ASRC to continue to pay meaningful dividends to an ever-growing number of shareholders.
To support the growing shareholder base, ASRC established itself as a leader in Alaska’s business community and would soon achieve the board’s objective of becoming a billion dollar company.
By the mid-90s, ASRC’s Board and management had begun to place heavy emphasis on shareholder hire and training opportunities. At the Board’s direction, ASRC director and employee Brenda Itta-Lee, had established the shareholder hire program in 1992, and followed it up with the Shareholder Professional Development Program in 1994.
In another action authorized by the “1991 Amendments,” ASRC was able to set up an Elders Benefit Trust to pay out monthly checks to original ASRC shareholders 65 and older.
ASRC has been able to provide numerous other benefits for its shareholders. One of the earliest programs was the Arctic Education Foundation, which was created in 1978 to provide college scholarships to ASRC shareholders and their children.
In keeping with ASRC’s efforts to support shareholders’ pursuit of higher education and training opportunities, the Corporation partnered with the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, to build the Eileen Panigeo MacLean Iñupiaq House. The facility provides on-campus housing to students attending UAF in a home-like, culturally rich setting. Intended to mitigate homesickness, the purpose of the Iñupiaq house is to help students stay in school and complete their degrees.
Another significant way ASRC has been able to assist shareholders over the years is by issuing dividends. In 1978, when the first dividends were issued, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation paid out a total of $185,000 to shareholders. That number has grown tremendously. In 1991, the total dividends issued to shareholders exceeded $1.5 million. By 2008, the total amount issued grew to over $65 million.
In addition to advancing economic freedoms, the corporation is dedicated to preserving the Iñupiaq way of life. To help preserve subsistence hunting and fishing, ASRC revised its policies in the early 1990s to formally allow employees time off for subsistence activities. Not only are cultural activities encouraged for employees, they are encouraged and practiced by members of the Board.
Iñupiaq values have remained the key to success for ASRC. They have played an important role on how the corporation has developed over the years, and serve as a guide in strategic planning.
In 2000, the Board and management undertook an intensive strategic planning process, called the "Kiita Plan." It was designed to refine and focus the Corporation’s priorities and encompassed ASRC’s goal of long-term economic value to shareholders. It also reiterated ASRC’s dedication to developing our lands in a way that maximizes the economic value for shareholders without compromising traditional subsistence values of the land.
To build on the success of the Kiita plan, the ASRC Board of Directors adopted the 2007-2012 Strategic Plan. This five -year plan builds on the strong foundation created by the founders of ASRC, and provides clear direction on an aggressive path toward future sustainability.
The strategic plan unites Iñupiaq values with modern business strategies, and is designed to provide a continued positive impact to ASRC shareholders. The plan’s goal is to double the Corporation’s economic power by 2012. Strong operations, coupled with a disciplined investment strategy, have kept ASRC on the path to achieving this goal.
Today, ASRC and its family of companies, operates four diverse major business segments:
- Petroleum refining and marketing
- Government services
- Energy services
In addition, ASRC has other businesses and a resource development segment that are financially very important. Through deliberate investments, positive operating developments, and a continued focus on cost control and efficiency, each business segment continues to grow. ASRC’s portfolio of companies is diverse, and has proven resilient even during uncertain economic times.
By the year 2000, ASRC had achieved the Boards goal of earning $1-billion in revenues, and reached the $2-billion milestone in 2008. Poised for the future, the Corporation is positioned well for growing current business sectors and capitalizing on investment opportunities.