Alaska telecom embodies the spirit of giving statewide, doubles volunteer efforts in 2016

December 22, 2016

485 GCI employees volunteer over 4,300 hours in their communities

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – In 2016, 485 GCI employees didn’t show up for work. Instead of sitting at their desks or helping customers from behind a counter, these employees spent 4,327 hours reading to children, cleaning up community parks, donating blood and cooking up community meals to give back to their friends and neighbors across Alaska and beyond.

The employees were participating in GCI’s Community Service program, which provides full-time GCI employees with 16 hours of paid time each year to volunteer with the community organization of their choice. In 2016, 485 volunteers participated in the program—double the number of 2015 participants. The total volunteer hours are valued at more than $158,000 of paid leave.

“Being a good neighbor is part of GCI’s company culture and our employees take that responsibility seriously,” said GCI Vice President of Statewide Consumer Operations Tom Zulz. “GCI’s Community Service program enables our employees to show support for their community and for the causes and organizations that matter most to them.”

In Anchorage, employees used their community service hours to support local organizations like the Anchorage School Business Partnership program, Girl Scouts of America and Special Olympics Alaska. During the holiday season, to support the Food Bank of Alaska and Salvation Army, Anchorage employees are holding storefront food drives as well as clothing and toy collections to help local families in need.

Regardless of the cause, GCI employees are known to go above and beyond in all aspects of community giving. During an event to raise funds and awareness for homeless youth, GCI Senior Vice President, General Manager Consumer Services, Paul Landes broke national and international records when he raised $121,000 for the Covenant House Alaska Sleep Out. GCI Director of Corporate Finance Katie Carrigan also participated in the Sleep Out, spending the night outside in frigid temperatures and raising nearly $9,000.

Other notable GCI volunteers include Kim Ballard, a consumer and finance business analyst who was recently honored with the Girl Scouts of America Volunteer of Excellence Award. The national award is given to individuals who contributed a high level of service, which Kim earned during her more than 20 years of dedication to the organization.

Other company-wide initiatives during 2016 included the GCI United Way internal fundraising campaign. GCI continued its 20-year partnership with United Way with a weeklong campaign in October that exceeded all previous records and raised $285,875 for the organization.

About GCI

GCI delivers communication and technology services in the consumer and business markets. Headquartered in Alaska with additional locations in the U.S., GCI has delivered services for more than 35 years to some of the most remote communities and in some of the most challenging conditions in North America. Learn more about GCI at

Media contact:

Heather Handyside, GCI