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In his second year as SVP, Managing Director for Alaska, unprecedented events led David Karp to again turn his philosophy of service to others into action.

During the pandemic-induced statewide lockdown of Alaska’s businesses and residents, David Karp and his family decided to act.

“We were just sitting around, talking about different ways we could help out while still following the guidelines,” he said. “So many people want to get out and help, but we’re being told to stay inside.”

Karp, who began last year as Saltchuk’s Senior Vice President, Managing Director for Alaska, alongside his wife, Debbie, and son, Lucas, decided to start a neighborhood food drive.

“Food security is a big issue in our community and everywhere,” he said. “We wanted to illustrate how, with little effort, everyone can make an impact – not only during a pandemic but every day. We’ve always believed that being involved and helping out where needed is a part of being a good neighbor, and in our case, good Alaskans.”

Karp, his wife, and son pose in front of their pickup truck full of boxes.
Debbie, Lucas and Dave Karp gathered over 800 pounds of food in a neighborhood “micro” food drive.

Karp said the food drive was a great success, with only two hours of work invested.

“Our son Lucas, who is a 22-year-old film student stuck at home for the past six weeks with his parents, created a three-minute instructional video in hopes of inspiring others to try the food drive,” said Karp. “If we’re lucky he’ll win an Oscar,” he continued, jokingly, “but more importantly, we hope it will inspire someone in another neighborhood. So far, we’ve heard of at least four other micro-neighborhood drives being launched. More importantly, we’ve raised four kids, and they all have compassion and a willingness to help people – that our real success story.”

Thank you letters from around the neighborhood highlights Karp's good deed.
Karp said he was surprised by how many thank you notes the family received from neighbors who participated in the food drive.

Not just a food drive

Karp spent 11 years as the President and CEO of Northern Aviation Services, which in Alaska includes Northern Air Cargo and Northern Air Maintenance Services. He now works with Saltchuk’s Alaskan companies to promote their capabilities to communities and industries throughout the state. In addition to business development, Karp facilitates community engagement, charitable giving, and public policy issues across the family of companies. Saltchuk’s family of independently operated companies in Alaska includes TOTE, Carlile, Northern Air Cargo, Cook Inlet Tug & Barge, Delta Western Petroleum, Inlet Energy, Alaska Petroleum Distributing, and Northern Oilfield Services.

Even before the Karp family’s food drive, which sent 800 pounds of food to Anchorage Catholic Social Services to distribute to families struggling to stay afloat in precarious employment situations, Debbie began sewing masks to help protect essential workers throughout the state.

“Debbie really got the ball rolling on helping by sewing masks,” said Karp. “Like so many others, she’s made hundreds of them. A lot have gone to medical facilities and frontline workers, but she’s also made dozens for employees at Carlile and NAC essential employees.”

Karp's wife sews a mask in front of a dozen or so finished masks.
Debbie Karp making masks for front line workers.

Karp said that in his near-15 years with Saltchuk, he’s witnessed best examples of kindness, engagement, and overall commitment to the communities the company serves. He’s been helping to send the word that the supply chain is running smoothly to Alaska and helped coordinate a $25,000 donation from Saltchuk Alaska companies to support the AK CAN DO campaign as well as $10,000 to Bean’s Café Children’s Lunchbox program. “It’s an honor to be a part of a company that walks the talk,” he concluded. “It’s easy to determine the right thing to do, but actually doing it is sometimes a challenge. We all have something to give.