Sealaska’s 50th annual meeting of shareholders concluded Saturday in Klawock with the results of Sealaska’s annual election to fill available seats on the company’s board of directors. Over 300 shareholders attended the in-person meeting in Klawock, with nearly 1,500 shareholders joining via the online livestream on MySealaska.
This year, four seats were available, and four board-endorsed candidates, X’agatkeen Morgan Howard, Ka’illjuus Lisa Lang, Saa Doo ou Angela Michaud and Gunaa Shaa Karen Taug were re-elected by shareholders. The elected hold a collective fifteen years of experience on Sealaska’s board.
“We are always grateful to see how engaged, thoughtful and purposeful our shareholders are as they interact with and select their leadership,” said Sealaska President and CEO Anthony Mallott. “It is because of this intentional selection of leaders and, in turn, their careful planning that Sealaska continues to invest and deliver for shareholders and our region, even in years like 2022 when we face difficult economic conditions and see a decline in the investment markets. Our commitment to our values and visions of shareholder and community success and ocean health, continue to grow our financial resiliency and define a pathway to long-term growth in both financial results and shareholder benefits.”
Each director brings a unique combination of financial acumen, business experience and cultural knowledge to the boardroom, helping to offset challenging years and keep Sealaska’s businesses on the right track. Differences are expected and celebrated — every singular voice helps strengthen the decisions made together, guiding Sealaska into the future.
“This board is very diverse, very passionate, and very committed to working together with the management team to continue strengthening Sealaska for future generations,” said Sealaska Board Chair Joe Nelson. “Individually, we don’t always agree, but we are comfortable having difficult conversations and putting the best interest of the entire organization first. It is a balancing act. On the one hand, good politicians do not always make good business decisions. On the other hand, good businesses do not always make the best decisions for the people and the planet. Collectively, we work to do both, and together, we are committed to using our businesses as a vehicle to improve the health of our communities and the planet.”
Each of the newly elected directors will serve a three-year term on the board, where committee roles are assigned based on experience and interest. Howard has been a member of the Sealaska Board of Directors since 2017. He currently serves as chair of the Sealaska Finance Committee; chair of the Communications Subcommittee; and is a member of the Shareholder Relations Committee and a trustee of the Sealaska Settlement Trust.
Ka’illjuus has been a member of the Sealaska Board of Directors since 2020 and currently serves as chair of the Compensation Committee as well as on the Governance-Nominations Committee and Communications Subcommittee; as a manager on the Haa Aaní LLC Board of Managers; a trustee of the Elders’ Settlement Trust; and as a trustee of the Sealaska Settlement Trust.
Michaud has been a member of the Sealaska Board of Directors since 2020. She serves as a member of the Shareholder Relations Committee and Communications Subcommittee; a trustee on the Elders’ Settlement Trust; and as a trustee of the Sealaska Settlement Trust.
Taug has been a member of the Sealaska Board of Directors since 2020 and is a member of the Audit Committee, Compensation Committee, Finance Committee, Governance-Nominations Committee, Communications Subcommittee; a manager of the Haa Aaní, LLC Board of Managers; and a trustee of the Sealaska Settlement Trust. She is also a former Sealaska Senior Accountant.
A highlight of this year’s annual meeting was the second Clarence Jackson Sr. Language Awards ceremony. The awards aim to recognize and honor individuals for the tremendous impact they have had on language revitalization. Sealaska remains profoundly grateful for the time and skills of those who share their knowledge and work tirelessly to support the broader language community.
2023 award recipients:
- L’eiwtu Eesh (Herman Davis Sr.), Lingít
- Shaaxʼsáani Kéekʼ (Shirley Kendall), Lingít
- Huhuuł (Theresa Lowther), Sm’algyax
- Ilsxilee Stang Gloria Burns, Xaad Kil
Sealaska’s board of directors also announced the new board youth advisor, Náajeyistláa Breylan Martin. She recently completed a Master of Arts in Public Humanities at Brown University and is currently pursuing a doctorate in ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkley. She holds a bachelor’s in religion & anthropology with a minor in dance and movement studies from Emory University and is currently pursuing certification in Lingít from the University of Alaska Southeast. Martin aspires to teach “resilience, hope and the power of connection in post-secondary education through centering Tlingit wisdom, perspectives and futures.” She takes pride in her Tlingit heritage and “finds empowerment in culture to work for the betterment of her people and all those struggling against systemic oppression.”
2022 Board Youth Advisor Deikeenaak’w Connor Ulmer will continue as “senior” board youth advisor, as part of changes to the program initiated by Ulmer.
“I’m hoping this makes [the Board Youth Advisor program] more of a mentorship experience,” Ulmer said. “And this way, we can create more time for those serving to really make an impact. I’m really excited about continuing to serve and grateful to the board for listening and supporting this change.”
New BYA Martin closed out the meeting, sharing a message of gratitude with the community of Klawock and the broader community of shareholders she now serves:
“This is a speech of deep appreciation,” she said. “Gunalchéesh to Lawáak Heenya Kwaan. I’m in awe of your people, of your dancers, of your land, of your art, and hopefully of your fish tomorrow morning. I also want to say gunalchéesh to Sealaska, to the board of directors, and to you, our shareholders. ANCSA legislation was intended to further colonize us, to assimilate us into extractive relationships with our lands, and to disconnect us from our history and culture. Thank you for not letting this happen.”
Finally, Sealaska’s board of directors announced the winners of the door prizes — see below. Thank you to all the shareholders and their families who joined us in person for the annual meeting, and all those who tuned in online. Your presence and your voices are deeply appreciated,. If you missed the annual meeting, find the stream recording at MySealaska.com/Services, then navigate to “Meeting Archive” on the left-hand navigation bar.
Gunalchéesh, Háw’aa, T’oya̱xsut ‘nüüsm to all those who joined us today and we hope to connect with you again soon!