Sealaska has selected six shareholders to fill open seats on two of its three Shareholder Participation Committees.
The following shareholders were selected for their strong applications, diverse backgrounds and the balance they bring to the current composition of the committees:
- Alexis Paige Blake, Bethesda, MD – Outside of Alaska Shareholder Participation Committee
- Cheryl K. Blanchard, Parker, CO – Outside of Alaska Shareholder Participation Committee
- Kristin Marie John, Ketchikan, AK – Southeast Alaska Shareholder Participation Committee
- Linda Sue Keizer, Ketchikan, AK – Southeast Alaska Shareholder Participation Committee
- Melissa Kookesh, Juneau, AK – Southeast Alaska Shareholder Participation Committee
- John Garcia, Juneau, AK – Southeast Alaska Shareholder Participation Committee
Four seats were open on the Southeast Alaska committee and two seats on the Outside of Alaska committee. Sealaska received applications from 50 shareholders to fill these six vacant seats.
“We were encouraged to receive applications from so many great candidates – it just goes to show how engaged our shareholders are,” said Senior Director of Communications Matt Carle, who was involved in the selection process. “I think we’re all pleased to see this level of interest. Obviously, we aren’t able to choose everyone despite all the enthusiasm, but we saw so much diversity in this group and all the candidates have so much to offer. We’re really looking forward to connecting more with applicants who weren’t selected this time around.”
Melissa Kookesh from Juneau is one of the new SPC members, representing the Southeast Alaska Shareholder Participation Committee.
“I’m honored to have been selected and am really looking forward to this opportunity to learn more about Sealaska’s businesses and how they work to provide the benefits to our shareholders that I value,” said Melissa Kookesh. “It is my hope to build and strengthen connections within Sealaska to better serve my own community and to be able to apply these skills and knowledge to help benefit our region.”
Cheryl Blanchard from Parker, CO will represent the Outside of Alaska Shareholder Participation Committee.
“I’m very excited to be chosen to serve on the Outside Alaska Sealaska Shareholder Participation Committee. As an original Shareholder, I’ve grown up understanding the significance of ANCSA to our people,” said Blanchard. “As an adult, I’ve attended numerous Sealaska annual meetings and enjoyed the blending of our culture with business. I look forward to learning more of the goals Sealaska has for our future.”
About Sealaska’s Shareholder Participation Committees
The committees were created in 2019 to increase shareholder engagement with Sealaska. The committees are organized geographically and include seven members each from Southeast Alaska, Other Alaska and Outside of Alaska. Committee members serve for staggered three-year terms. SPC members serve as representatives of Sealaska in their communities and are encouraged to connect with fellow shareholders from their region, helping them better understand and navigate Sealaska’s decisions, programs and shareholder resources.
To participate, candidates are required to meet a set of minimum qualifications and requirements that can be viewed here. Committee members are expected to meet quarterly and their participation may be requested at other events throughout the year. A summary of SPC committee meetings is presented each year at the annual meeting, offering shareholders an opportunity to learn more about the program’s work, goals and objectives.
“Connecting with shareholders and providing more opportunities for them to share their voices is a huge priority,” said Carle. “Sealaska is always looking for new and creative ways to communicate with shareholders, helping empower our people to shape and guide decision-making for their corporation.”