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Entrepreneurial Vision Breathes New Life into Kiana’s Blankenship Trading Post

Preserving History While Innovating for the Future

Local entrepreneur Ely Cyrus has taken over the Blankenship Trading Post in Kiana, a beloved community landmark established in 1935 near the Kobuk River. His goal is to continue the legacy of service that Walter “Blank” and Nellie Blankenship started while introducing strategies to reduce costs and enhance service quality. This move not only aims to preserve the historical essence of the trading post but also adapt it to meet contemporary community needs more effectively.

Ely Cyrus: From Tech Whiz to Community Leader

Ely Cyrus’s journey from a tech-savvy teenager who repaired discarded computers to a visionary leader has been marked by a consistent dedication to community service. Transitioning from IT roles to tribal governance and eventually becoming Kiana’s city administrator, Cyrus has a deep-rooted commitment to public welfare. His recent acquisition of the trading post is a testament to his dedication, combining his technological expertise and leadership skills to revitalize a key community resource.

A Broader Vision for Community Empowerment and Economic Growth

Cyrus’s plans for the Blankenship Trading Post go beyond simple business operations; he envisions a hub that supports Kiana’s community by providing affordable, essential goods and fostering economic growth. By introducing cost-effective supply chain solutions, such as leveraging his pilot’s license for better logistics, Cyrus is setting a sustainable model for local businesses. His approach not only aims to enhance the trading post’s offerings but also to inspire other entrepreneurs in the region to pursue innovation with a community-focused mindset.