Skip to content

Alaska Chamber announces winners of 2018 top business awards

Fairbanks, Alaska – Recipients of the Alaska Chamber's 2018 Top Business Awards were announced on Wednesday, October 24 at the Chamber’s annual Top Business Awards Gala in Fairbanks, Alaska. The Chamber awarded its three traditional business awards:

• William A. Egan Outstanding Alaskan of the Year
• Bill Bivin Small Business of the Year
• Local Alaska Chamber of Commerce of the Year

Chamber members added an exciting new award category this year. The Rita Sholton Large Business of the Year is a tribute to Alaska businesses that have grown beyond the small company criteria while exemplifying leadership and ethical business practice.

The Chamber also assigned several special recognitions, including the 49th State Public Service Award, the North Star Award, and the Chairman’s Award.

William A. Egan Outstanding Alaskan of the Year
For the first time since 1991, two deserving Alaskans have received the prestigious William A. Egan Outstanding Alaskan of the Year award. This year’s recipients are Governors Bill Sheffield and Frank Murkowski.

The Egan Award is presented to individuals who have made substantial and continual contributions of statewide significance while working in the private sector. Both men have committed a lifetime of service to Alaska. In addition to service as pro-business governors, each has guided statewide business advocacy as chairman of the Chamber board of directors. Alaska is a better place for their tireless efforts.

Rita Sholton Large Business of the Year
First National Bank Alaska (FNBA) received the inaugural Rita Sholton Large Business of the Year award. Nearing its hundredth year of operation, the bank has flourished under the uninterrupted guidance of the Cuddy family. Today, under the expert direction of Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Lawer, FNBA consistently ranks among the nation's top performing banks. FNBA provides Alaska businesses with the highest standard of customer service, going the extra mile for Alaska customers.

Bill Bivin Small Business of the Year
McDowell Group and owners Jim Calvin and Susan Bell received the Bill Bivin Small Business of the Year award. Established in 1993, the award pays tribute to businesses that exemplify leadership, ethics, and organization.

McDowell is committed to meaningful, positive work and the firm’s mission to enhance the economic, social, and cultural well-being of its clients. The company is respected all over Alaska for both its expertise and the human-side quality of its people. For decades, McDowell has provided trustworthy, accurate, and unbiased information about Alaska markets and public perceptions.

Local Alaska Chamber of Commerce of the Year
The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce received the Local Chamber of Commerce of the Year award. The award recognizes consistent community involvement and excellent business reputation.

The Anchorage Chamber is a center for learning, providing educational opportunities including a monthly Chamber Academy, the weekly Make It Monday forum, and yearly Young Professional Summit. The Anchorage Chamber works hard to promote free enterprise and economic prosperity in Alaska, and the organization’s efforts benefit businesses far beyond the Anchorage region.

49th State Public Service Award
The Alaska Chamber delivered a special commendation to Senator Lisa Murkowski, Senator Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young for successfully opening ANWR to responsible exploration, development, and production, and for protecting safe and responsible offshore development. The 49th State Public Service Award is a special citation presented to an individual or group making substantial and continual contributions of statewide significance while working in public service or in service to our country.

North Star Award
The Chamber presents the North Star Award to an individual or organization in Alaska who actively develops and pursues the betterment of all Alaska residents. These individuals and organizations provide significant contributions to the future of the Great State of Alaska. The 2018 North Star was awarded to First Lady Nancy Murkowski. A lifelong Alaskan born in Nome, Murkowski has improved health care access for all Alaska women. Nancy founded the Waterfall Foundation, an organization that has contributed millions in support of the Breast Cancer Detection Center and deserving initiatives throughout the state.

Chairman’s Award
Charles ‘Chuck’ Brady was honored with a special Chairman’s Award for his many years of steadfast leadership in the reformation of Alaska’s troubled workers’ compensation system. Chuck’s mastery, diligence, and patience teaching are paving a pathway to success on what has been an enduring Chamber priority.

Please join the statewide members of the Chamber in recognizing each of the 2018 top business award winners.


About the Alaska Chamber
The Alaska Chamber, a private, non-profit corporation, operating since 1953, works to promote a positive business environment in Alaska. The Chamber is the voice of small and large business representing hundreds of businesses, manufactures and local chambers from across Alaska. Our member companies employ over 100,000 hard-working Alaskans. View a list of our current priorities and positions at

Scroll To Top