Fairbanks – Nov. 20, 2013 – Melvin Kewan, owner of Mel’s Residential Repair in Anchorage, has been awarded the 2013 Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) President’s Small Business Award, sponsored by Wells Fargo. It was presented on October 26 during the AFN convention at the Carlson Center. Wells Fargo presented Kewan with $1,000 and two beaded ivory pendants made by Sugpiaq artist Doug Inga.
Kewan was born in Afognak and raised in Port Lions on Kodiak Island. After graduating high school, Kewan attended the Technical College in Sheldon, Iowa, where he received his Certificate in Carpentry. He has worked in the property maintenance field since 1986. He has done everything from repairs to remodeling for more than 25 years and today owns and operates Mel’s Residential Repair in Anchorage.
Kewan has expanded his carpentry business with a focus on hiring Alaska Natives who want to learn the trade. He serves on the Kita Development Corporation Board of Directors so he can help create jobs and teach others in Port Lions how to grow their own business.
“At Wells Fargo, we work closely with Alaska Native businesses such as Mel’s to help them access the capital they need to create and retain jobs, grow their business, and achieve long-term success,” said Darren Franz, Alaska Regional Business Banking Manager. “There is no greater satisfaction than to see our customers realize their dream of running a successful business.”
Each year, the AFN President’s Small Business Award recognizes an Alaska Native business owner or manager who succeeds in business through commitment to the community and creating economic development opportunities for Alaska Natives.