GCI works to strengthen communities through new and renewed nonprofit partnerships
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — GCI celebrated its new and continued nonprofit partnerships for 2023 at its annual Unlimited Alaska Love event at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts (ACPA) on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Continuing its goal to help support organizations across the state, this year, Alaska’s largest telecommunications company will contribute to nearly 200 nonprofit organizations. Annually, GCI gives $2 million in cash, technology sponsorships, scholarships and grants to Alaska organizations through its corporate philanthropy program, GCI Gives.
GCI will also continue multi-year commitments to organizations like Special Olympics Alaska, Alaska School Activities Association and the University of Alaska Foundation. Additionally, as the official technology partner for Broadway Alaska, GCI teamed up ACPA to host this year’s event. Aligning with the company’s overall commitment to advance its efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion, GCI has connected with partners with a focus on social justice, empowerment and equality, like Alaska Common Ground, Alaska Humanities Forum, the Anchorage Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, and Alaska Black Caucus.
“We focus our giving in seven key areas, ranging from the arts to youth to healthy communities. In Alaska, fostering healthy communities is rooted in so many unique and diverse cultures, languages and ways of life,” said Kate Slyker, GCI Chief Marketing Officer. “It’s a priority for us to partner with organizations that amplify the voices of historically underrepresented communities.”
To honor and preserve Alaska Native culture, GCI has partnered with the Anchorage Museum to cover admissions for Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The company has also partnered with the Anchorage Park Foundation to support the Indigenous Place Names Project — a movement to bring Dena'ina culture to its existing environment and place name signage in Anchorage. To learn more about GCI’s workplace culture and DEI initiatives, visit https://news.gci.com/topic/workplace-culture.
During Tuesday’s program, GCI also handed out honors for its Good Neighbor of the Year Award, a recognition given to an Alaskan who goes above and beyond for their community. Also awarded was the Trailblazer of the Year Award, traditionally given to a GCI employee.
In the aftermath of Typhoon Merbok in September of 2022, GCI connected with its partner the American Red Cross of Alaska to donate $25,000 in emergency funds to help with disaster recovery efforts. During the storm recovery, GCI technicians and crews were hard at work to keep the network — which connects thousands of customers across Western Alaska — up and running. One such GCI technician was Hooper Bay’s Paul Moses. During the storm, the village’s power was knocked out by flooding and high winds. Thanks to Moses’ foresight, he ensured the battery for the generator that powered the local network facility was charged and returned every couple of hours for the next several days to keep it operational.
“Because of Paul, the local clinic and emergency services were able to operate during this critical time,” said Heather Handyside, GCI Chief Communications Officer. “Paul went above and beyond to keep our customers and his neighbors connected. It’s our honor to present Paul with our 2023 Trailblazer of the Year Award.”
Local Anchorage businessman Rich Owens was also honored, receiving the GCI Good Neighbor of the Year Award. Owens is the former owner of Tastee Freez in Anchorage, volunteers for countless nonprofit organizations, and, by his own estimates, has employed more than 600 young people in the city of Anchorage.
“Seeing Rich get a standing ovation during our program was so heartwarming,” said Slyker. “He has truly embodied what it means to be a good neighbor, and lucky for all of us Alaskans, he doesn’t just leave his warm heart in one city, he shares it across the state.”
Two additional key components of the GCI Gives program focus on suicide prevention efforts in Alaska as well as funding scholarships for high school students. With suicide rates in Alaska nearly twice the national average, GCI has made a continued commitment to support mental wellness and suicide prevention across all corners of the state. GCI also awards scholarships to high school students in the state to help offset the cost of college.
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 2022, nearly 500 GCI employees volunteered more than 4,000 hours. For more information about GCI Gives, visit www.gci.com/gcigives.
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.