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42nd Business Leaders of the Year – Cliff and Robert Everts

The UAF School of Management will honor Cliff and Robert Everts as its 42nd Business Leaders of the Year during a dinner and award ceremony at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, in the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel’s Gold Room, the first ever father-and-son duo to be recognized together.

Cliff Everts was born in Yonkers, New York to parents who had both emigrated from Germany. The youngest of five children, his interest in planes started in childhood and he took his first ride in an airplane at the age of 12. He started flying when he was 15, and soloed in a 1939 Taylorcraft before he even had a driver’s permit. When WWII began, Cliff signed up for the Civilian Pilot Training Program, which allowed him to attend ground and flight school.

Cliff traveled to Anchorage, Alaska in 1943 to work for Alaska Star Airlines (now Alaska Airlines). Soon after, he moved to Fairbanks and worked for Wien Airlines for 35 years. He married Betty Dailey in 1959 and together they have six children – five daughters and one son. In 1980, Cliff founded his own aviation enterprise, Everts Air Fuel. Cliff possessed an entrepreneurial spirit and launched several additional businesses over the years, including Alaska Rental and Sales (1960) and Airport Gas & Oil (1996).

In October 2007, Cliff received the Federal Aviation Administration Master Pilot Award. In 2011, the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska International Airport System honored Cliff with a plaque at the East Ramp entrance to the airport, in honor of his commitment and support for aviation in Alaska. In 2013, he was inducted into the Alaska Aviation Hall of Fame, receiving the Alaska Aviation Entrepreneur Award.

Sadly, Cliff passed away on Dec. 7, 2017 at the age of 95. However, his and Rob’s nomination for the BLOY award was already underway and the Everts family agreed to accept the award for father and son as a memorial for Cliff.

Robert Everts followed his father Cliff into the aviation business, working for the family businesses while growing up and learning to fly at the age of 14. He first flew solo that summer in a Schweizer 233 Sail Plane, and earned his private pilot’s license at the young age of 17. He earned a BS in aeronautical science and became vice president of Everts Air Fuel in 1982. In 1992, he married Paula Bettano, and together they have two daughters, Claire and Caroline, who are both currently in college.

In 1993, Robert purchased Tatonduk Outfitters Limited, a Fairbanks-based air carrier providing scheduled services to interior Alaska villages, and expanded it to include large aircraft operations. In 2000, Robert purchased the former Mark Air Terminal – a 70,000 square foot facility that includes an aircraft hangar, maintenance shops, administrative offices, and more at the Fairbanks International Airport. He has continued expanding the business over the years, which now does business as Everts Air Cargo and Everts Air Alaska flying throughout Alaska, the Lower 48, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean Islands.

Everts Air businesses are proud to employ over 300 Alaskans, as well as additional employees in the Lower 48, and Robert credits the success of his business in large part to his employees. He believes in treating his employees well and in giving them a voice and the ability to share their views with him and the others who manage the company. Through tough times of building businesses, the family has pulled together. This is a very close family, evident from the roster of people who work for various companies that are part of the Everts’ ventures. The expansion of these enterprises following Robert’s entry has been phenomenal.  The entire family takes a keen interest in all of their employees and the employees’ welfare, viewing them as friends. Personally, both Cliff and Robert are people who place traditional family values quite high in a day and age where many owners simply do not have the time to devote to that most important thing in life. When asked what Cliff was most proud of, a smile would spread across his face and he would say: “I am most proud of my family, just who they are and everything they do.”1

Together, Cliff and Robert have done much to develop air cargo services in Alaska. They have mentored young pilots and those involved in the aviation industry, as their businesses have become training grounds for aspiring pilots, mechanics, and airline workers of all sorts. They have built a multimillion-dollar company in Alaska that provides service around the state, serving primarily Alaskans in both urban and rural areas; it has expanded to cover multiple air travel needs (cargo, passenger, fuel hauling, etc.), while still remaining based in Fairbanks. Their success can be credited to the foresight, tenacity, resilience, and sheer willpower of Cliff and Robert as they built and sustained these businesses. They serve as great models for the entrepreneurial spirit that is embraced by the Business Leader of the Year Award.

Join us in celebration! The Business Leader of the Year banquet and award ceremony will be held on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at the Westmark Hotel.

41st Business Leader of the Year – Steve Lundgren

UAF Photo by JR Ancheta

 

On April 15, 2017, the School of Management honored Steve Lundgren, President and CEO of Denali State Bank, as the 2017 Business Leader of the Year award.

The UAF Business Leader of the Year award is given to a deserving recipient based on leadership in the Fairbanks business community, business achievements, community service, and educational support.

The event sold out for the eighth year in a row. Many SOM students worked hard to make the night a success, volunteering their time in order to earn a ticket to the event. They sold tickets, ironed hundreds of chair sashes, worked with vendors, and decorated the venue.

Funds raised through the Business Leader of the Year event support student organizations at SOM. The audience, made up of the Interior community and business leaders, demonstrated enthusiastic support for our students, collectively raising over $36,000 – all of which will go back to the future business leaders of Alaska: UAF School of Management students.

To view photos and videos from the event, click the links below:

Download the Business Leader of the Year Program.

 

Steve accepted his award from student committee co-chairs, Claire Everts and Zack Morris. UAF Photo by JR Ancheta.

 

The many student committee members and volunteers helped make the event a success. Photo by Latitude 64 Photography.

SOM Speaks: Hear Us Roar – David Hale

 

David Hale is a family man and community leader in Fairbanks, Alaska. David was the winner of the 2013 Business Leader of the Year and is well known for his great involvement in the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce. David is the president of Hale & Associates, where he assists clients with commercial coverage for construction, public, and municipal entities. David Hale understands the importance of education and offers SOM students uplifting advice on the opportunities ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Steve Lundgren honored as Business Leader of the Year

Steve Lundgren is President and CEO of Denali State Bank, a locally-owned community bank. Steve’s career in the financial services industry is a true success story spanning over three decades, during which he has served the Fairbanks business community as a leader, mentor, and influencer. He demonstrates the mission, vision, and goals of Denali State Bank every day as he reaches out to our community.  One only has to step into his banking facility to recognize his focus on customers and their needs.

Steve began his career in Oregon as a management trainee at a small S&L after graduating from Oregon State University. Young, single, and adventuresome, Steve then signed a three-year contract in the early 80s to relocate from Portland to Fairbanks and work for Alaska USA FCU.  Finding winters cold in Fairbanks, and finding Susan Virgin, a native Fairbanksan with long-term Alaskan roots, Steve convinced Susan to marry him and they decided to make Fairbanks their home. Steve next accepted a position at Key Bank working with Mike Milam, who would become a lifelong friend. After nearly 15 years at Key Bank, Bart LeBon offered Steve a position at Mt. McKinley Bank, where he worked for six years before moving to Denali State Bank.

Steve has been a progressive leader in the local banking industry and is also well recognized nationally. He’s the Alaskan representative on the American Bankers Association Community Bankers Council, and he’s past president of the Alaska Bankers Association, representing all seven banks that operate within the state of Alaska.

Steve serves on the board of directors, is a past board chair, and currently chairs the Finance Committee of the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce. He’s a member and past president of the Fairbanks Sunrisers Rotary Club, and a former board chair of Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation. Steve has also served in leadership positions for many other community and service organizations, including the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company’s Community Advisory Board, the Interior Builders’ Association, Junior Achievement of Fairbanks, and the United Way of the Tanana Valley. He also chaired the American Heart Association Heart Walk in 2016.

Dozens of local businesses have benefited from Steve’s expertise, business savvy and excellent business and social judgment. In the setting of volunteer board venues, Steve impresses others with his ability to access, organize, and prioritize effectively to bring consensus to the board action.  He is able to lead business groups to the best business decision without sacrificing the goal, quality of outcome, or integrity of the individuals working in the group; he’s advocated issues important to his industry and to the community to our elected leaders locally, in Juneau, and in Washington, D.C.

Steve also has a long history of supporting the military. He’s a member of the Alaskan Command Civilian Advisory Board, and he currently serves as National Treasurer of the Air Force Association, headquartered in Washington, D.C. Steve is also the Alaska vice-chair and Northern Alaska region chair for the Alaska Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).

Steve served for many years on the Fairbanks Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee, and the fruits of his efforts are apparent in the announcements regarding military expansion. He was active in promoting Eielson AFB during the threats of closure or realignment, as well as promoting the F-35s introduction to Eielson AFB. Steve understands the economic impacts on the community and the needs for housing, financing, and community services that adding several thousand new residents will entail. In the year 2000, Steve received the prestigious Jim Messer Award, given by the Fairbanks Chamber at the Military Appreciation Banquet to an individual who best promoted military/community relations over the years.

Steve is a remarkable advocate for education. He serves on the UAF Advocacy Committee and in this capacity, has provided testimony to the UA Board of Regents and other legislative bodies in support of the University’s mission. Steve provides support and mentorship for university students and local young professionals. Steve is proud that 16 of his 80 employees at Denali State Bank have degrees from UAF, many from the School of Management, and others are currently attending school at UAF.

It’s not all work and community service for Steve. He and Susan have three children. After finishing college outside, their daughter Ashley and her husband Mike Strum recently returned to work at Tanana Valley Clinic and are expecting their first child in April 2017; son Derek works in Fairbanks at the Boys and Girls Home; and youngest daughter Kira is a senior at Western Washington University. Steve is an avid racquetball player. He and Susan enjoy spending time in Hawaii, and the entire family, along with close friends the Carsons, enjoy an annual four-day float trip down the Gulkana River.

Join us in celebration! The Business Leader of the Year banquet and award ceremony will be held on Saturday, April 15, 2017 at the Westmark Hotel.

40th Annual Business Leader of the Year

On April 23, 2016, School of Management celebrated 40 years of outstanding leadership as we honored Bob Hajdukovich, CEO of Ravn Air Group, Inc., as the 2016 Business Leader of the Year award.

The UAF Business Leader of the Year award is given to a deserving recipient based on leadership in the Fairbanks business community, business achievements, community service, and educational support.
The event sold out for the seventh year in a row. Many SOM students worked hard to make the night a success, volunteering their time in order to earn a ticket to the event. They sold tickets, ironed hundreds of  chair sashes, worked with vendors, and decorated the venue.

Funds raised through the Business Leader of the Year event support student organizations at SOM. The audience, made up of the Interior community and business leaders, demonstrated enthusiastic support for our students, collectively raising over $40,000 – all of which will go back to the future business leaders of Alaska: UAF School of Management students.

 

See more more photos from Business Leader of the Year 2016.

 

Watch the student-produced video, “Flying into the Future.”

 

FB-Bob+Leslie with award

Bob’s wife, Leslie, looks on as he accepts the award

 

FB-Student Committee

Student Committee members helped make the event a success

 

Bob Hajdukovich Honored as 40th Business Leader of the Year

Bob-Hajdukovich-photo creditIn 1984, Bob Hajdukovich was one of 12 employees at Frontier Flying, the company owned by his father, John Hajdukovich. Today, he is CEO of Ravn Air Group, Inc., the parent company for Frontier Flying Service, Corvus Airlines (previously known as Era Aviation), and Hageland Aviation Services. As a business leader, Bob demonstrates a commitment to his employees and the success of his company, but above all else a deep commitment to service for the people of the great state of Alaska.

Bob has vast experience in numerous aviation jobs working his way up from ramp agent, operations agent, computer programmer, office manager, general manager, first officer, pilot in command, director of operations, vice president, and finally to the current CEO of Ravn Alaska. Ravn has been flying for about as long as Alaska has been a state. Bob took the family commuter and freight airline business from a small affair to a regional airline with nearly 1,000 employees serving 100 communities across Alaska.

Bob is active in several aviation-based community organizations. He serves on the Governor’s Aviation Advisory Committee and is also active in progressive safety programs and innovative risk management. He served as president of Alaska Air Carriers Association (AACA), as a board member of the Medallion Foundation, and as chair of the AACA Joint Safety Committee. However, not all of Bob’s accolades are aviation-based. In 2011, the Fairbanks Hockey Hall of Fame recognized the Hajdukovich family as having the Best Backyard Rink.

Bob received his BA in business administration from the University of San Diego. Although Bob did not graduate from the UAF, two of his sons, Alec and Connor, are current students and will graduate from UAF. His eldest son, Nick, graduated from University of Alaska Southeast.

As a part of a well-respected aviation family, Bob is keenly aware of the importance of giving back to the community that means so much to him. Whether it is donating $100,000 to the UAF Aircraft Maintenance School Program, giving to the Fairbanks Community Food Bank, or helping to deliver emergency food and supplies to neighboring villages, Bob’s philanthropic contributions are an example to all who know him. In 2013, the first University of Alaska themed commercial airplane in the world was welcomed to the fleet, affirming the strong partnership between Ravn and the UAF and UAA campuses.

Somehow, Bob juggled raising a family of three boys while running an airline that was continually growing and made it all look easy. He has the ability to conquer anything set before him. He’s mastered parenting, basketball, skiing, ping-pong, and was even the first one at Monroe High School to solve the Rubik’s Cube.

While we all know Bob is a tremendous businessman, he is also an outstanding father and husband. Bob and his beautiful wife, Leslie, enjoy spending time in the great outdoors together. Bob is truly someone who has balanced work and family well, and has gone to great lengths to spend as much time as possible with those he loves even more than aviation.

Bob Hajdukovich, a pilot, a leader, a family man, and a man of great wit, compassion, and modesty, couldn’t be a better example to SOM students and the Fairbanks community to receive the 2016 UAF Business Leader of the Year Award.