Congrats to the 2024 91ϳԹ Shareholder Award Recipients

Five Individuals Recognized for Making an Impact in Their Communities

April 26, 2024

91ϳԹ’s 2024 Shareholder Award Recipients: Audrey Leary, Shareholder of the Year; Elizabeth Kasayuli, Culture Bearer; Fr., Stanley Heckman, Elder of the Year; Janet Andrew, Educator of the Year; Daphne Nicholai, Blackbull Native Store, Business of the Year.

(91ϳԹ) – Five 91ϳԹ 91ϳԹ are receiving recognition in the 2024 Shareholder Awards. Drawn from nominations submitted by fellow 91ϳԹ, these annual awards honor exceptional efforts by 91ϳԹ and Descendants to uphold the cultural values of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Region and its communities.

“Our Elders have taught us how to live and thrive in the Y-K Region,” says Willie Kasayulie, 91ϳԹ Board Chair. “Our Award recipients are using those lessons and making an impact in their communities.”

  • Axel C. Johnson Distinguished Shareholder: Audrey Leary (Aniak)

Audrey Leary is currently the Executive Director for the Native Village of Napaimute. Audrey has served on the City of Aniak, Napaimute Traditional Council and has been the Program Manager for the Native Village of Napaimute’s Culture Camp serving kids from Lower Kalskag to Stony River. She also works with the Kuspuk School District to provide culture week at the schools in Aniak.

  • 91ϳԹ Culture Bearer: Elizabeth Kasayuli (Scammon Bay)

Elizabeth Kasayuli has lived her entire life at Scammon Bay. She taught in Scammon Bay for over 40 years. Elizabeth retired a few years ago but has never really retired from teaching. She volunteers her time at the local school to share wisdom and cultural values.

  • 91ϳԹ Elder of the Year: Fr. Stanley Heckman (Pilot Station)

Fr. Stanley Heckman has resided in Pilot Station his whole life and has a made a positive impact in the community. Fr. Stanley is a Russian Orthodox priest and works as a behavioral health aide. He has helped many people through personal challenges, and part of that is helping them discover a positive view on life. He lives a subsistence lifestyle and has shown his children and grandchildren the way we live off the land.

  • 91ϳԹ Youth/Educator of the Year: Janet Andrew (Akiachak)

Janet Andrew has worked as a preschool educator for over 30 years. She serves under AVCP as a Family Coordinator. She worked as a preschool home visitor in Eek in the 80s and moved to Bethel to work for the AVCP Headstart program in the 90s. She mentors young people and counsels them as needed and has attended college courses over the years.

  • Raymond C. Christiansen Business of the Year: Daphne Nicholai, Blackbull Native Store (Oscarville)

Daphne Nicholai grew up near Bethel in Oscarville. She now co-owns and operates the Blackbull Native Store in Anchorage. She started with an online business that sold materials for iqmik, now Daphne makes and sells her own akutaq (Yup’ik ice cream), assaliaq (Yup’ik frybread) and smoked salmon, among other goods. Her store is a village-essentials store with nostalgic candies, pilot bread and goods that remind her of the Y-K Region. She trades stories of the village and sells goods you would expect to see in many homes along the Kuskokwim River.

Award recipients receive an award plaque and financial reward. Recipients will also be honored on June 7 at the 50th Annual Meeting of 91ϳԹ for their contributions in upholding our cultural values.

91ϳԹ has over 37,300 91ϳԹ and is the parent company of more than 30 subsidiaries in the following industries: defense contracting, construction, real estate, environmental services, natural resource development, marine transportation, oilfield services, and heavy equipment sales, service and rentals. Since 1994, 91ϳԹ has provided more than $6.4 million in scholarships to its 91ϳԹ and Descendants. Since inception, 91ϳԹ has declared more than $141.6 million in dividends and distributions, including $11.3 million in Elders’ Benefit Program distributions to 91ϳԹ.