Mat-Su couple awarded Alaska Small Business Person of the Year

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 8:06 PM AKDT
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WASILLA, Alaska (KTUU) - Amie Sommer and her husband John have a typical Alaska family. Alongside their two children, the Sommers enjoy spending days fishing and snow machining together, with family being a centerpiece of the couple’s life. But the duo has another baby, the company Tutka, LLC.

Over the decades, they have seen their children, like their company, blossom.

“Then we were doing $1 to $2 million a year,” Sommer said of 2008. “This year we are projecting 18 million a year. So, it has really taken off.”

Tutka, LLC is a Wasilla-based environmental consulting company that focuses on engineering and environmental projects. Currently, most of the projects have been through the Department of Transportation and other federal agencies.

Amie founded the company in 1999 alongside her siblings. Then, a decade later, her husband John joined the team.

On March 14, the couple was told that they were awarded the 2023 Small Business Person of the Year award for Alaska.

“I was actually out of town and I jumped out of bed when I read the email, because of the time change, and I’m like, ‘We did it!’ I was so excited,” Sommer said.

Sommer said she believes Tutka, LLC deserved this recognition for their ability to maintain a successful business in what she says is a challenging industry in Alaska.

“Building these jobs takes so much time and planning and technical expertise that it’s really hard to succeed,” Sommer said. “And also the fact we are homegrown. So everything has been organic for us. We don’t have a big investor behind us so it’s just been personal sacrifices along the way.”

The Sommers will be traveling to Washington, D.C., at the end of April to attend the National Small Business Week award ceremony, during which the U.S. Small Business Administration will announce the winner for the 2023 National Small Business Person of the Year award.