FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2015
Calista Corporation Announces 2015 Shareholder Award Recipients
Honoring Those Who Honor Others
(Anchorage, Alaska) - Calista Corporation is excited to announce the honorees of the 2015 Calista Corporation Shareholder Awards. Nominated by fellow Shareholders and Descendants, the recipients bring cultural values to life and we are proud to feature them as Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta regional leaders.
- Calista Culture Bearer: Earl Atchak (Chevak). Earl is a well-known artist and carver. Starting at 15 years of age, he learned from local Elders and leaders the art of traditional carving. Earl gathers materials for his craft while he is out subsisting. His creations have been featured from Fairbanks to Los Angeles, California. Recently, Earl was commissioned to create a traditional war mask for Yulista Holding, LLC, a subsidiary of Calista that participates in federal defense contracting. Honoring the service members of today and long ago, the mask incorporates both cultural and modern elements.
- Axel C. Johnson Distinguished Shareholder: Levi Hoover (Kasigluk). Levi has spent more than 30 years teaching in Kasigluk. As an instructor he worked to include cultural teachings, while also stressing the importance of Western education. Levi lived the balance of a cultural and Western life as chairman for Kasigluk, Inc., the local village corporation.
- Raymond C. Christiansen Community Service Award: Drew's Foundation (Bethel). Drew's Foundation was established by the O'Brien family after their Son, Brother and Friend took his own life. The Foundation is dedicated to help end this cycle of loss and pain for families and friends. They have sponsored suicide-awareness plays, a locally-produced video featuring dog mushing champions and role models Pete Kaiser and Mike Williams, Jr., and more.
- Calista Youth/Educator of the Year: Ann Marie Tinker (Kasigluk). For a dozen years, Ann Marie has held various positions with the Lower Kuskokwim School District. No matter her role, Ann Marie is considered to be a dedicated, creative and culturally-aware teacher. Growing quickly from her initial job as a classroom aide, she went on to implement the Dual Language Enrichment Model at Akiuk Elementary School in Kasigluk. Ann Marie's passion in this effort was recognized, and she has been asked to present both regionally and nationally.
- Calista Elder of the Year: Peter J. Paul (Kipnuk). Peter is recognized for upholding cultural values and living by example. He has raised his concerns about substance abuse both in his community and around the YK Delta. Peter is also honored as a veteran.
- Calista Business of the Year: Hound House (Aniak). Owned and operated by Esther Donhauser Diehl, the Hound House is known for their tasty pizzas. Beyond that, the Hound House is also respected for the dedication to their community. When able to, the owners will donate food for local events and fundraisers, from holiday events to student fundraisers. As an active member in the community, owner Esther has earned the respect of many in Aniak and beyond.
"Each person can recall a teacher or leader that has had a positive impact on his or her life," said Calista Corporation Chief Executive Officer Monica James. "These Shareholder Award recipients have brought color to the world, raised awareness to spread hope, mentored their successors and more. Calista is grateful for the beautiful moments each recipient has brought to the YK Delta and the world."
Calista will honor the recipients at the 2015 Annual Meeting of Shareholders in Kasigluk on July 11. Each honoree or designated individual wil receive a plaque and financial award.
The second largest of the original 13 Alaska Native Corporations, Calista Corporation was established under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 and represents approximately 12,900 Shareholders. The Calista region encompasses more than 6.5 million acres and includes 56 villages, which are incorporated into 46 individual village corporations. Since 1994, Calista has provided more than $3.5 million in scholarships and since inception more than $34.9 million in dividends and Elders' Benefit Program distributions to its Shareholders and Descendants.
Calista Corporation is the parent company of more than 35 subsidiaries in the following industries: military defense contracting, construction, communications, real estate, environmental and natural resource development, and information technology and media services. Calista can be found on Facebook and Twitter.
Pictures available as of announcement:
Peter J. Paul
Ann Marie Tinker