Gladiator leaders prep companies for future economic upswing

smithgregoryLR.jpg Remember the heart-pounding, soul-stirring message of last year’s critically acclaimed movie, "Gladiator"? Remember how Maximus, the Russell Crowe character, rallied his men around him and led them to victory, even in the face of almost certain defeat? Remember his "envision the goal" technique for getting through the horrors of battle?

Now, consider the leadership in your own company. Are there any gladiators in the ranks? Are you a gladiator?

State puts off telecommunications contract award, cites long evaluation process

telecommunications.jpg State officials have delayed the announcement of a vendor for a $26 million annual contract to provide state government telecommunications. Administration department Commissioner Jim Duncan had hoped to award the contract by Oct. 1, but he now believes the contract award will be announced by Nov. 1.

By mid-October, Duncan hoped to finalize negotiations with the contract award vendor, then legal experts would review the contract, he said.

Business Profile: Craig Taylor Equipment Co.

Name of the company: Craig Taylor Equipment Co.

Established: 1954

Location: 733 E. Whitney Road, Anchorage, plus branch locations in Fairbanks, Soldotna and Wasilla

Telephone: 907-276-5050

Web site: www.craigtaylorequipment.com

Major focus of services: Craig Taylor Equipment Co. provides construction equipment sales, service and rental. The company also sells parts for the products it carries from 15 manufacturers, including John Deere and Bobcat.

Palmer adds antique plane

transportation.jpg Abbe Air Cargo Inc. of Palmer has started business with a versatile vintage airplane, designed to move awkward and heavy cargo on short, unimproved runways.

The company’s airplane is a Douglas DC-3C, owned by Thomas Abbe Sr., Thomas Abbe Jr., and Kevin Frohling.

It is the only air cargo business operating at the Palmer Municipal Airport, Abbe Jr. said.

The company employs six people, including two pilots, Abbe Jr. added.

Cost method can lead business astray

Many companies use very simple methods to calculate costs. These techniques track some base cost that is usually easy to track, and allocate overhead based on how much of this base each job or product uses. While this approach works in some cases, it can badly mislead in others.

Anchorage company wedges Buffalo into Bush cargo market

If a government employee needs to get five tons of big, wide widgets to a Bush town with an impossibly small, bumpy airstrip, and it has to get there quick, there’s a new option.

Public Service Aircraft Inc., an Anchorage-based airline, began service in September with its DeHavilland DHC-5 Buffalo airplane.

The airline is unique in that it caters only to government entities, on an on-call basis.

The company is owned by Jim and Kim O’Meara, who also run Greatland Laser, a company that specializes in laser lighting for runways and rescue applications.

Mall at Sears welcomes seasonal businesses in vacated space

Operators of the Mall at Sears are boosting the Anchorage shopping center’s occupancy rate with three new, temporary tenants.

The mall will register full occupancy this fall with holiday time tenants, said Linda Boggs, who handles marketing for the Mall at Sears.

A handful of tenants shuttered spaces earlier this year, including Northern Reflections, which closed all its 323 U.S. locations -- including five Alaska stores -- this summer, saying the stores were unprofitable.

BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL TERRORISM - IS ALASKA PREPARED?

The terrorist attacks of September 11 have heightened publicinterest and awareness of the potential for terrorist attacks ofall types, prompting some to question whether our nation and ourstate are prepared for attacks involving chemical and biologicalsubstances. The answer is that Alaska and other states have takenmany steps in past years to prepare for such an attack, butcommon sense dictates that these be reevaluated in light of therecent attacks.

Airlines try to overcome declines through layoffs, flight cutbacks

transportation.jpg Following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the drop in air travel has resulted in negative cash flow for Delta Air Lines. Delta plans to cut some 13,000 jobs and reduce its flights systemwide by 15 percent.

No immediate changes are slated for the airline’s Alaska operations, either in flights or in personnel, said Peggy Estes, spokesperson for the Atlanta- based airline.

Port imposes tight security

transportation.jpg In the wake of the terrorist attacks on the East Coast, security has been tightened at the Port of Anchorage, and anyone without a reason for being on the city-owned property will be denied entry.

Strict security measures began Sept. 26, after a review by the city, state and federal officials and users of the port.

Airport safety scrutinized

There were, no doubt, many things that Anthony Lloyd would rather have been doing than testifying before a roomful of people at a Senate Transportation Committee hearing Sept. 23.

But the ice cream delivery truck driver had some serious concerns about security at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

Lloyd told politicians, airport industry officials, law enforcement officers and others that he believes the airport has some serious breaches in security.

Alaska Airlines plans flights to Dulles

transportation.jpg It will be with a smaller airplane and at a less convenient airport, but Alaska Airlines has announced it will resume service to Washington, D.C.

The Seattle-based airline will operate one daily flight to Dulles International Airport beginning Oct. 8.

Alaska inaugurated nonstop service to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington just a week prior to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Business Profile: Digital Rage

Name of the company: Digital Rage

Established: 1999

Location: 501 W. International Airport Road, Anchorage

Telephone: 907-563-2263

Web site: www.digitalrage.net

Major focus of services: Digital Rage provides Web hosting services for Web sites, including electronic commerce sites. The company also offers nationwide dial-up Internet access from 4,500 U.S. locations, offsite data storage and application hosting for Internet-based calendars or interoffice communication.

Economic slump boosts law school enrollment

outofcourt.jpg As has occurred during other bad economies, law school enrollment has jumped. The New York Times reports that 24,000 people took the Law School Admission Test in June. This represents an almost 19 percent increase from last year’s June LSAT. The Law School Admission Council says it expects even larger numbers for exams offered later this year.

Applications to American law schools have also jumped. They are up 5.6 percent this year over last.

Hospital tackles shortage of health care staff

The state’s second largest private employer, Providence Alaska Medical Center, faces an acute labor issue: worker shortages amid increasing patient numbers.

In Alaska, Providence employs 3,098 people, according to the state Department of Labor. The Anchorage hospital is licensed by the state for 341 beds.

Around the World October 7, 2001

aroundworld.jpg STATE

Athena rocket fired from Kodiak deploys satellites

KODIAK -- Four satellites carried on board a Lockheed Martin Athena 1 rocket were successfully deployed Sept. 29 after a launch from the Kodiak Launch Complex.After weeks of delays due to travel interruptions caused by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, rain and high winds, and most recently, solar flares, the rocket lifted off at 6:40 p.m.

ALASKA GUARD BOLSTERS AIRPORT SECURITY

About 230 members of the Alaska Army and Air NationalGuard will work in airports across the statebeginning today, Gov. Tony Knowles announced. TheGuard volunteers will enhance the Federal AviationAdministration’s security efforts for the next four-to-six months, until new measures can be instituted.

"Our Guard members will provide a visible,professional security presence at airportcheckpoints," Knowles said. "I am confident thepresence of the Guard will help convince Alaskansthat airports and flying are safer than ever before."

Governor sends state emergency medical team to aid New York recovery efforts

health.jpg Gov. Tony Knowles has deployed the state’s 44-member emergency medical team to New York City to aid in recovery efforts at the World Trade Center.

The Alaska-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team will work at the site of the terrorist attack Oct. 10-22, providing support to rescue and recovery workers.

Lighting store hits snag, building grinds to halt

A hardware retailer whose ventures have landed in Alaska -- including Pay ’N Pak and Eagle Hardware -- has been working to develop his latest retail concept for Anchorage. However, David Heerensperger of World Lighting, a lighting retailer, now has stalled plans for opening a store targeted for South Anchorage.

The store is located on East Dimond Boulevard between Brayton Drive and Hartzell Road.

A World Lighting spokeswoman confirmed the Anchorage project has been delayed.

Chamber hands out Gold Pan Awards

award.jpg The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Sept. 22 presented its 44th Annual Gold Pan Awards honoring businesses, organizations and individuals who have excelled in their commitment to community service in Anchorage.

The Outstanding Chamber Service by a Member Gold Pan Award was presented to Bridget McLeod, director of the University of Alaska Small Business Development Center Buy Alaska Program.

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