Growing Through Chaos
I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. This kid from the 70’s has seen a lot of changes in our town with shifting economies and fluctuating populations as we went through oil booms, recessions, and back again only to find ourselves in the challenges of a pandemic. It has been quite the year. But I’m excited to announce that even through the chaos neXus Data Solutions, LLC continues its growth as we move our operations to the “little white house” on third at 935 W 3rd Avenue.
Anchorage sourdoughs from my time will remember the excitement of going to Woolworth’s or Pay N’ Save to get toys and candy, playing at Chubby Chuckles at the once-popular Northway Mall, and cruising the Dimond Center in its earlier days…reminiscing about places like Lamonts and Jay Jacobs. While I love our newer additions of Target, Bass Pro, and Olive Garden, I still “relish” in the nostalgia of old Anchorage with visits to Artic Roadrunner and Lucky Wishbone. I am grateful for their steadfastness during these times of change.
As a bright-eyed third grader, I remember touring the Oscar Anderson House Museum downtown on M St. This was the moment I fell in love with those historical houses built when our town was blossoming into the city it is today and ever since that time, I’ve dreamed of operating a business out of one of those early residences.
Known as the Hill-Hickel house, the “little white house” was built in 1942 by Harry J. Hill, the Chairman of the Lathrop Company and an early Alaska real estate developer. According to alaskahistory.org, Hill purchased the property in 1935 and built the structure using the “Tom Thumb House” plans he bought from Better Homes and Gardens for just $5.00. In the late 1950’s, the building was purchased by Alaska Governor and U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Walter “Wally” Hickel and following this, it served as the Gottstein Property headquarters before I was given the opportunity to grace the rooms of this quaint little property.
These folks are household names in our town, ones who paved the way for other Alaskans to live and thrive here whether they were stationed at JBER, following an oil boom, or chasing their own dreams of living in the land of the midnight sun. I’m grateful for those legacies, to include those tread by my own grandparents who started their first business, Anchorage House of Hobbies, in 1964. (Read more about Generational Entrepreneurship). As a lifelong Alaskan who has loved growing up in our uniquely wild and wonderful state, I’m honored to follow in the footsteps of these Anchorage legends and excited to be a part of our downtown community.
Camille is president of neXus Data Solutions, LLC and has worked in the IT consulting industry for over 20 years. She has experience with web design and application development, data warehousing, and relational database development working as a business analyst, developer, database administrator, and project manager.