Governor Parnell Awards Five Alaska Businesses with North Star Award

Oct 7, 2014

Earlier this month Governor Sean Parnell announced the winners of the 2014 Governor’s North Star Awards for International Excellence. 

The North Star award goes to businesses and organizations that contribute significantly to Alaska’s trade, investment and international relations.

Credit State of Alaska

The award went to five organizations around the state for varying reasons; Coeur Alaska for trade, Alaska World Affairs Council for education, Icelandair for transportation and visitor industries, Ketchikan Gero Kanayama Exchange for cultural exchange and DAT/EM Systems International for export of services. 

DAT/EM Systems International has been developing digital mapping software and hardware since 1987.  General manager of DAT/EM Jeffery Yates says the company changed gears to keep up with the times.

“A little over 25 years ago, we realized there were new digital options coming on the market. This is when the Apple 2E and 286 PC's were first available. We realized the new digital world was here.  So we looked around to see what type of software was available to make mapping more efficient.  At the time, there were a couple packages that were $1 million each and for a small firm that was a bit out of our reach.  We looked in house and realized that we had a couple talented guys who were also programmers.”

Those programs lead to the current DAT/EM strategy.  The company serves over 500 engineering companies, government and non-governmental agencies in more than 70 countries worldwide. 

Parnell says companies like DAT/EM connect Alaska to people and places around the world and benefit the state of Alaska.  He says he appreciates the many companies that contribute to Alaska’s economy and international relations.