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Best in the West

Best in the West 2015

The UAF Kuskokwim Campus Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center and Best in the West partners are pleased to announce the winners of the seventh annual small business competition for 2015. This year’s Winners are:

  • Nikki Corbett – Sew Yup’ik (Bethel)
  • Sarah Angstman – Angstman Psychology (Bethel)
  • Mike McIntyre – Yuk Media (Bethel)
  • Neva Mathias – Cup’ik Arts & Crafts (Chevak)
  • Traci Fredericks – Paws and Relax (Bethel)
  • Carol Pavian – Cikiuteq (Bethel)


The awardees have put in months of hard work preparing their business plans. A grand total of $29,500 was awarded this year, with total awards over seven years of $151,500. Since 2009 there have been 38 small businesses started with the assistance of Best in the West. We look forward to seeing this year’s winners businesses get started and congratulate all the past winners on their business’ successes. The YPCC will be offering workshops over the summer and fall for all entrepreneurs and small businesses. Next year’s Best in the West will continue with the winter timeline, and kick off in December 2016.

This year the partnership supporting the competition includes KUC/YPCC, Bethel Community Services Foundation, First National Bank, Donlin Creek LLC, Calista, GCI, Bethel Native Corporation, Kuskokwim Art Guild, Bethel Chamber of Commerce, Coastal Village Region Fund, Wells Fargo, Conoco Phillips, Orutsararmuit Native Council and Association of Village Council Presidents. The partners have joined in promoting local, YK delta entrepreneurs with direct cash awards.   All of the partners are committed to building small businesses in the YK region, promote jobs and economic stability.

The 2016 Best in the West competition will open for applications in December 2015. We encourage anyone with a business idea to come talk to Ben Carignan or Reyne Athanas at the YPCC during regular business hours.


For applications and more information please contact Reyne Athanas, 543-4538, rmathanas@alaska.edu OR Ben Carignan, 543-4548, b.carignan@alaska.edu