A major force in Alaska’s political landscape has died.
Scott Hawkins, who supported and was a wise counselor to dozens of pro-business candidates and political leaders, and who ran for governor in 2018, passed on Aug. 8 at his home in Anchorage, surrounded by his family. He had battled pancreatic cancer for nearly two years.
Hawkins moved to Alaska after completing his economics degree at the University of Puget Sound. He worked in banking and was the first executive director for the newly created Anchorage Economic Development Corporation. With nothing more than a legal pad and a pencil, he set about trying to attract major businesses to Anchorage.
Hawkins strongly supported growing the private sector in Alaska and had a knack for being able to spot opportunities that would create jobs. His successes with AEDC included removing the infrastructure impediments that were preventing the construction of the Alyeska Prince Hotel (now the Hotel Alyeska), and helping the Ted Stevens International Airport become a hub for cargo jets by securing the resources and deals to bring the runways up to needed standards for the larger jets that now come from Asia through Anchorage every day.
[Read: Scott Hawkins Obituary]
Hawkins founded his own economics consulting business, an Anchorage-Japan tour company, and he co-founded Alaska Supply Chain International, which provides oil field services, including logistics, supplies, and human resource services to energy companies. As CEO and president, he developed business for ASCI in Chile, Trinidad, Sakhalin Island, and North Dakota, as well as on the North Slope and in Anchorage. Before his death, he had been working on a project to expand the business to Angola.
For the past decade, Hawkins had grown more active in politics, financially supporting candidates who were committed to growing the business climate of Alaska. His goal was to ensure the business community was more engaged in politics because lawmakers have such control over the business climate. He founded Prosperity Alaska, which later changed its name to Alaska Wins, a pro-business policy group. He had served on the board of the Alaska Chamber and as the chairman of BIPAC, the oldest industry-focused political action committee in the nation.
He ran for governor in 2018 on a pro-business platform, and traveled the state widely, hearing from Alaskans of all walks of life. He left the race after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In recent months, he worked from his home on business until his final days.
“Scott was such a positive force in our state, always believing that Alaskans could prosper, and treating everyone with respect and dignity,” said Gov. Michael Dunleavy. “Rose and I extend our deepest condolences to his family.”
“This has been an incredibly difficult week for Alaska,” said Rep. Lance Pruitt (R-Anchorage). “Though many of us got to know Scott through his advocacy work, his legacy will certainly transcend politics. Our entire caucus wishes to express our deepest condolences to the Hawkins family during this very difficult time.”
“Every time I ever had the opportunity to interact with him, Scott was an extremely kind, honest, and compassionate gentleman,” said Rep. Sarah Vance (R-Homer). “He was the sort of advocate that Alaska needs, and we’ll undoubtedly miss his presence in our state for years to come.”
“At every turn, Scott Hawkins was a champion for Alaska’s economy, people, and everything we have to offer to the world,” added Rep. Sara Rasmussen(R-Anchorage). “His kind spirit and generous nature made him a joy to be around. Alaska has lost another great statesman, but I hope that we’ll honor Scott’s legacy by being more like him: kind, honest, and empathetic.”
He leaves behind his wife Toyoko, daughter Lisa, mother and father Charlotte and Harry Hawkins, and his sister Wendy and her family. An obituary will follow with details about services.