Consistent Strong Financial Performance is Underpinned by Governance Improvements Initiated Years Ago
Sealaska’s board of directors set out to improve its own performance a number of years ago through training, self-assessment and a gap analysis. Purposeful change often takes time and discipline. The board has experienced dramatic and intentional change over the last six years. Strong performance requires high expectations, training, high-level recruitment and healthy teamwork.
A long era of automatic board endorsements for incumbents ended in 2016. Two years prior, in 2014, the company made a relatively civil transition in leadership with a change in chief executive officer and a change in the board chair. The financial performance of the company since then has been record breaking.
This consistent year-over-year performance improvement did not come without a lot of hard work and a few difficult decisions. For the board, one of the most difficult decisions was to end an era of automatic endorsements of incumbents. In 2016, the board made a significant shift toward continuous improvement and accountability by requiring a board vote on whether or not to endorse the individual incumbents. Five new directors have joined the board since then.
- In 2016, Mick Beasley won a seat by running on the corporate proxy as an independent.
- In 2017, Morgan Howard won a seat as an endorsed candidate after navigating a rigorous recruitment process that included 45+ other potential candidates.
- In 2018, David Goade filled a mid-term vacancy following the untimely passing of newly elected independent director Ross Soboleff. A seasoned executive, Goade rose to the top of a process that included more than 50 candidates.
- In 2018, Nicole Hallingstad won a seat by running on the corporate proxy as an independent.
- In 2019, Barbara Blake won a seat as an endorsed candidate after rising to the top of a rigorous recruitment process that included nearly 30 other candidates. Barbara Blake is the first person born after 1971 (shareholder descendant) to serve on the board. She served one year as a board youth advisor approximately 10 years ago.
In 2020, if the endorsed candidates are elected, three more new directors — Lisa Lang, Angela Michaud and Mike Roberts — will join the board. All three of the new candidates are highly qualified to serve. Each of them went through a multi-stage vetting process led by our Governance and Nominations Committee. This committee includes three directors who were first elected as independent candidates.
We are fortunate to have such a talented base of shareholders. Through the board youth advisor program, long-standing scholarship and internship programs, the Shareholder Participation Committee and a rigorous candidate search process, the board is committed to ensuring the long-term success of the company. We are all in this together.