The Alaska Chamber presented Hecla Mining Co.’s Greens Creek mine with the Rita Sholton Large Business of the Year award, which pays tribute to businesses that exemplify leadership, ethics, and organization.
“Hecla Greens Creek exemplifies special involvement in Alaska’s communities through an excellent business reputation, long-term commitment to the community, emphasis on safety and environmental responsibility, and their effective efforts to protect their workers and the community during the pandemic,” said Deantha Skibinski, executive director of the Alaska Miners Association, who nominated Greens Creek.
Over the last 30 years, Greens Creek has become the largest U.S. silver producer, producing almost a third of America’s silver, Hecla President and CEO Phil Baker said. “Despite the pandemic, Greens Creek has been able to maintain full production and employment while providing additional support to the communities through special charitable programs,” he said. “It is a great honor to be recognized by the Alaska Chamber for our team’s extraordinary efforts.”
Local community leaders underlined Hecla’s long-term contributions to the community in the award nomination.
“Greens Creek’s purchase of surplus hydropower has benefitted Juneau residents in the form of reduced rates to the tune of more than $70 million since 2009,” said Constance Hulbert, president and general manager, Alaska Electric Light & Power. “The purchase of renewable energy from AEL&P reduces the carbon emissions that the mine would otherwise produce while helping to pay for hydroelectric infrastructure that will benefit Juneau residents for generations to come.”
Since 2011, Greens Creek has provided scholarship funding to more than 350 Alaska residents to help gain the skills necessary to be successful in the mining industry. “With over $500,000 going directly to student aid, Greens Creek is the University of Alaska Southeast’s largest sponsor of students,” said Karen Carey, chancellor of the University of Alaska Southeast.
“This past year, many businesses and organizations were being crushed by the complete shutdown of the economy,” said Craig Dahl, executive director, Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce. “However, Hecla continued to contribute to the organizations they had supported in years past to help them through their own challenging time. They could have said ‘no,’ others did.”