Debra Block thought when she left Dominican University of California with a business degree in 1995 that someday she would wind up with a job in management.
She never imagined she’d eventually land in Alaska, and solely operates a small business in the “Final Frontier.”
Block is the co-owner of Arctic Mats, LLC, located on the North Slope of Alaska, also known as Prudhoe Bay. The business sells and leases rig mats. The main use of the mats is to help protect the gravel roads used for oil drilling operations during the summer months when the frost has melted and the ground is unstable. Arctic Mats also leases to help support large barging areas and other uses for ground /building support. Since 2005, Arctic Mats has grown with a current inventory of 350 rig mats.
But Block is not just a simple-minded woman working in a male-dominated field. There is more to her than meets the eye. She has a diversified background, loves real estate and stock investing. She has become more focused on charitable causes and other various veteran organizations.
Originally from San Diego, Block moved to Marin as a young adult and became inspired by all the industry leading entrepreneurs and enterprises around her.
“You can learn how great your life can be if you set your sights high and don’t mind hard work. It has been said that luck happens when hard work meets opportunity.”
So in her mid 20s, Block decided to go back to college and picked Dominican because of the balance it offered on a business and philosophical level. She was very impressed with her instructors’ advanced degrees, vast knowledge and ideas.
“The high caliber of people who were from so many different near and far countries added to my education and successful life,” Block said. “I devoured everything I could learn.
But who would have guessed Block would be bold enough to go way north to Alaska and savvy enough to start a business? She fell back on her Dominican education, operational management skills and business instincts.
“Although my education was in business and finance there was a whole lot more that I draw on,” Block said. “The schooling was apart of my formal education but the basics, ethics and worldly economics also contributed to what I try and apply.”
The bottom line is Block knows how to rely on her educational experience. That’s what Dominican taught her.