Supporting Our Communities

Alaska’s largest telecommunications company shows up big for Alaska nonprofits

GCI recognizes Trailblazer of the Year and Good Neighbor of the Year awardees for outstanding community contributions

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Approximately 100 nonprofits across Alaska were highlighted by GCI Gives during a recent event at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts celebrating GCI’s nonprofit partners. The company’s philanthropy program, GCI Gives, has historically provided $2 million each year in funding, in-kind services, equipment, scholarships, and contributions to organizations in Alaska.

This year’s event, hosted on Feb. 28, focused on the importance of volunteering and celebrating those who give their time to support important nonprofit organizations across Alaska. GCI encourages volunteerism by providing full-time employees with 16 hours of paid time off to volunteer each year. In 2023, around 500 employees volunteered 4,500 hours collectively.

"We’re pleased to be able to provide funding, technology services and equipment to our nonprofit partners,” said GCI Chief Marketing Officer Kate Slyker. “Volunteers provide much-needed expertise and critical support to nonprofits across the state. It’s such a rewarding experience to give back and make a difference; that’s why GCI makes sure our employees have an opportunity to make an impact at the organizations that matter most to them.”

GCI IT Engineer Yvonne Charles was recognized as Trailblazer of the Year.

During the annual event, GCI presented two awards acknowledging outstanding contributions and achievements within the community. Yvonne Charles, a GCI IT Engineer, was recognized as the Trailblazer of the Year for her work with the Alaska Junior Theater and Shiloh Community Housing. Charles is on the board for the theater where she ignites the love for the arts in every single person that comes through. She also volunteers for Shiloh Community Housing helping the nonprofit with its mission to disrupt the cycle of homelessness.

“Yvonne truly represents what it means to be a Trailblazer. She’s a rockstar employee and does outstanding work both at the office and in her volunteer roles. She has an unwavering commitment to making a difference in her community,” said Tiffany Vassar, GCI’s Senior Manager of Contributions and Events.

GCI also recognized its Good Neighbor of the Year, given to a person who makes a real impact in their community and Alaska. Executive Director of Bethel Community Services Foundation Michelle DeWitt was recognized for her tireless efforts in leading the foundation's initiatives. In her 30-year career, she has led the Tundra Women’s Coalition providing safe, empowering services to families. In her current role she supports nonprofits in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region through programs like Bethel Gives, Bethel Winter House, Best in the West, and the Bethel Food Pantry.

“Many are familiar with Michelle DeWitt’s relentless drive to improve the lives of residents in her community. At GCI, we like to recognize those who embody what it means to be a good neighbor. That’s why it is our honor to acknowledge her dedication to her community as the 2024 GCI Gives Good Neighbor of the Year,” said Vassar.

Over the past eight years, GCI has contributed more than $16 million to organizations statewide. Each February the company recognizes new and returning partners. Returning partnerships include Special Olympics Alaska, Native Youth Olympics, the Alaska School Activities Association, the Alaska Native Heritage Center, and the American Heart Association of Alaska among many others.

New partner organizations this year include the Boys and Girls Club of Sand Point and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Also new this year are the GCI University of Alaska Fairbank (UAF) Esports Scholarships. GCI is offering two, $5,000 renewable scholarships to members of the UAF Esports team; the scholarships complement the 10-year, $500,000 commitment between GCI and UAF to create the Alaska Esports Center.

About GCI Gives

GCI is one of Alaska’s leaders in corporate philanthropy, donating approximately $2 million each year in cash, products, and connectivity to organizations across the state. GCI is committed to giving back to the communities it serves and provides employees with 16 hours of paid leave to volunteer with local organizations. In 2023, nearly 500 GCI employees volunteered more than 4,500 hours. For more information about GCI Gives, visit www.gci.com/gcigives.

About GCI

Headquartered in Alaska, GCI provides data, mobile, video, voice and managed services to consumer, business, government, and carrier customers throughout Alaska, serving more than 200 communities. The company has invested more than $4 billion in its Alaska network and facilities over the past 40 years and recently launched true standards-based 5G NR service in Anchorage, now the nation’s northernmost 5G service area. Learn more about GCI at www.gci.com. GCI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Broadband Corporation (Nasdaq: LBRDA, LBRDK, LBRDP). Learn more about Liberty Broadband at http://www.libertybroadband.com.