Message to the Chenega MIOS Organization

Hope is one of the most powerful and engaging words in the English language. It is an ideal that gives us the strength and inspiration to keep going in the toughest of times. Its power energizes us with excitement and anticipation as we look toward the future.

A reporter asked Winston Churchill, Briton’s political – and spiritual – leader during the darkest moments of the Second World War, what was the greatest weapon his country possessed against the Nazi regime of Hitler. Without pausing even for a moment, Churchill said: “It is what England’s greatest weapon has always been – hope.”

But “hope” onto itself, is not a course of action. Deliberate planning, focused objectives, and a clearly communicated plan will weaponize hope instantly. The story of the Chenega people is one of tenacity and endurance in the face of unimaginable hardship.  In this extremely challenging time, our Chenega family will need to maintain hope and a continued focus on our people, by leveraging the attributes that define our culture and drives our organization. Our relationship is built on mutual trust and our service to our customers, our employees, and shareholders.

Our commitment to you during this turbulent time is to communicate openly and honestly and to provide the most up to date guidance that reflects state, local, and federal guidelines. This is an evolving situation, and we are doing our best to stay ahead of the curve. Our leadership team is meeting often and continually reviewing our response plans to provide business continuity and meet the needs of our associates.

During our recent “all hands” meeting, we announced that we had formed a Crisis Management Team to help guide us and provide direction during this challenging time. I have asked John Keenan, our Chief Risk Officer to chair this team, with Sandi York and Lashree Obee from HR; Mike Buggs, our Chief Operations Officer; Chet Husk, our Chief Technology Officer; Angela Hunziker, our Senior Director for Admin and Facilities; and Carolyn Maloney, our Senior Director of Marketing and Communications and Social Media Lead, to serve as Members of the committee. This group is providing me with daily updates on developments affecting our company, our associates, and our industry partners.

We have enacted protocols that include the following:

+ We are evaluating our risks and issues and altering our business daily. This includes contingency plans to change our operations as needed.

+ We are assessing, on a daily and weekly basis, the best on-site/telework ratio in order to maintain efficient business continuity. We ask that you assist us by minimizing exposure between our employees and between employees and the public, as public health officials call for social distancing.

+ We have canceled all non-essential business travel domestic and foreign.

+ We have established a process to communicate information to employees and business partners on our response plan and latest COVID-19 information.

+ We plan to communicate critical information to assist you in your day to day role and institute new procedures as necessary.

During challenging times, open lines of communication are critical. This is my commitment to you as your leader. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns.

I will leave you with this thought:

Out of the chaos that arises from such threats as COVID-19, greatness and opportunity can emerge. Every challenge yields opportunities; and every opportunity faces challenges. A person’s attitude determines how he or she handles these. I am asking you to please let your positive attitude transform this challenge into an opportunity by exercising common sense and leadership.  My commitment to you is that I will be there with you every step of the way.



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