Yulista plans local work

Published 12:03 pm Saturday, August 11, 2018

Leases airport hangars designed for C-130s

The South Alabama Regional Airport officially welcomed Yulista Holding, LLC to its complex Friday.

Yulista is an Alaska Native Corporation with operations in 14 states, and doing business in 28 countires, CEO Josh Herren said. Its shareholders are of Yup’ik descent. The company has been operating in Huntsville since 2002.

Herren said he moved to Alabama two years ago.

Airport director Jed Blackwell, Yulista CEO Josh Herren, Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson, and Yulista Director of Business Development Joseph Parsley. The mayor said Friday was a “red letter day.”

“For the last five to seven years, Alaska has been a bit closed to business,” he said. “They make it very hard to do work in Alaska.”

It is refreshing to see communities here be so open for business, he said.

“ I think it’s going to be very good for (your) community.”

Yulista changed its strategy about five to seven years ago and adopted a diversified approach, seeking all kinds of business rather than concentrating on its core.

“We started winning,” he said. “The team really embraced this concept of going out and getting business. In five years, we’ve almost doubled our employees.”

The company has almost outgrown its Huntsville facility, he said, and needs more facilities, which made them a good tenant for SARA’s twin hangars.

“This will give us an opportunity to seize some customers on the Gulf Coast,” he said. “We have some work to do to grab some customers and bring them in. But we’ve proven over time we can expand and scale this organization of where it needs to be. “

The Andalusia complex was designed specifically for C-130 and B-737 aircraft, but easily accommodates rotary and tilt rotor aircraft.

“Yulista is excited to be working with SARA and becoming a part of the Covington County and Andalusia communities,” Herren said. “Our SARA facility is going to be instrumental in serving our customers by increasing our capacity and giving us the ability to support different customers, their missions and platforms.”

Yulista entered an agreement with the airport authority to lease the hangars in the late spring. Yulista chief engineer Rick Toliver, who made a presentation to the authority, said then he expected to have work here by September.

Approximately 100 people attended the announcement ceremony Friday.