For 12 years, Angela Michaud’s dual-track career in health care and executive leadership has prepared her to serve on the Sealaska Board of Directors. Her lifetime connection to her Tlingit culture and deep connections to Southeast Alaska, especially Ketchikan and Hoonah, have prepared her to serve her people.
Michaud was born and raised in Ketchikan. She is Tlingit Chookendei and T’dakdeintan Yeti, the daughter of Bill and Mary Pfeifer of Ketchikan, and granddaughter of Pauline and John Hinchman of Hoonah.
Michaud is on Sealaska’s board-nominated slate of candidates this year, and brings extensive experience in business and Alaska Native health care to her candidacy. For the past 12 years, she has worked for Southcentral Foundation (SCF) in Anchorage, first as a doctor of chiropractic in SCF’s Complementary Medicine Clinic and then as director of SCF’s Traditional Healing Clinic. Today, she still runs the Traditional Healing Clinic while serving as the senior director of Executive and Tribal Services for SCF. As part of the executive leadership team at SCF– which has a budget of $600 million per year and is one of Alaska’s largest employers – Michaud attends all board meetings, regularly makes presentations to the board, and travels to the 55 villages in SCF’s service area to present on behalf of SCF to tribal health councils. She was also responsible for designing SCF’s Tribal Doctor Training Program, which was recently accredited by Ilsagvik College in Utqiagvik.
Her professional background is augmented by her experience as a landlord in Anchorage. Michaud and her husband, Mike Michaud, bought their first four-plex when they were a young married couple and Mike was completing college. They lived in one unit and rented the others; the rent they collected paid the mortgage so they could pay for Mike’s education without taking out any loans. They followed the same strategy a few years later, as their family grew to two children, and bought another four-plex. Now, as a family of five, they own their own home and rent out all eight units.
“That’s my business sense, which is safe but sound, and waiting until the right opportunity comes along – not being so eager to put money somewhere if it’s not the right investment,” she said.
Michaud’s desire to serve on the board comes from a recognition of the unmet needs in the community of shareholders and descendants and an awareness of how things are changing as shares become more and more diluted among multiple post-ANCSA generations, she said.
“I have two shares, that’s it,” she said. “I have three kids. I have to pick which child is not going to get a share. So thank god for the (Sealaska) scholarship program, which asks, ‘Are you a descendant?’
“At some point there won’t be enough shares to be dispersed to everyone, so it’s not about the dividends that come from the shares – that’s not going to make a difference in someone’s life,” Michaud explained. “It’s about how we can support people.”
Michaud cites workforce development, elder housing and the overall physical and spiritual health of the community as some of her biggest concerns.
“That doctor part of me is always going to show up,” Michaud said. “I have the heart of a healer, and my life passion is to serve and help people be the best they can be.”