Working in government contracting connects village corporations with organizations
and people around the world. One of Sitnasuak’s subsidiaries, SNC Technical Services
(SNCT), is based in Puerto Rico. The island
was pummeled by hurricanes Irma and Maria, with major destruction to its infrastructure and electrical grid.
Sitnasuak’s March newsletter details some
of the ways its employees in Puerto Rico dealt
with the storms and their aftermath. “Camping
is fun,” says Enrique Denegri, COO for SNCT.
“But even after camping, after three days you
want to go home.”
SNCT’s facilities, which employ about 700
people who manufacture uniforms and tac-
tical gear for the US military, were largely
spared from the damage, so Sitnasuak set
up leadership teams to help with the larger
problem of restoring electricity. It offered
subsidized lunches to employees and onsite
daycare for their children.
In addition, Sitnasuak sent satellite phones,
generators, fuel, camp stoves, water purifica-tion systems, and ice makers. According to the
newsletter, ice was in especially high demand
and SNCT distributed as much as it could
from its own machines. Nearly 300 employees’
homes were damaged and some were totaled.
The company was one of the few to start
manufacturing clothing again soon after the
storms, so employees were spared being out
of work for weeks.
“We tried to maintain some sense of normalcy and community by providing meals,
supplies, and secure jobs,” says Humberto
Zacapa, CEO of SNCT.
SNCT shares that attitude of caring with
its parent company.
“Our Iñupiaq values are part of our approach to business,” writes Roberta Quin-tavell, president and CEO of Sitnasuak. “We
are all responsible for each other, regardless
of whether you’re an employee in Nome or
at a subsidiary halfway around the world. As
Iñupiaq, we take our responsibility to take
care of one another seriously.”
‘Hitting Their Stride’
Bissett says the village corporations are
just starting to hit their stride. “The interesting thing for me about village corporations is they recapitalize every single year,”
Bissett says. That creates opportunity for
future leaders in the Native community who
have gone to Ivy League schools and have a
business background to come and lead these
“They’ve been in business now for fifty years,
a typical time for a normal entrepreneur or
business person to really learn the ropes. You
don’t hear about a lot of successful twenty-somethings… there are some unicorns out
there, but when it comes to the maturity of
these organizations, I think you’re going to hear
more and more about village corporations.” R
Julie Stricker is a journalist living near
SITNASUAK NATIVE CORPORATION
One Village Corporation | Strong Family of Businesses
Bonanza Fuel & Express | Sitnasuak Applied Technologies
Nanuaq | Kiska Properties | Fidelity Title Agency of Alaska | Mat-Su Title
SNCT Technical Services | Mocean | Aurora Industries
PO Box 905 | Nome, AK 99762
4341 B Street, Suite 402 | Anchorage, AK 99503
www.snc.org | (907) 929-7000
Quality Products & Services with Focus on Culture, Character
and Contribution. Serving Customers from the Iditarod finish
in Nome across Alaska & the US.