In a year marked by significant growth, Sealaska’s Board of Directors announced that it remains excited about 2023’s financial performance and looks forward to significant growth planned for 2024. The company’s ocean health business platform, Woocheen, LLC, continues to expand its scope of work around the planet, most recently through Seas Geosciences, LLC’s work on the first floating offshore wind park in the Mediterranean.
During last week’s annual review of Sealaska’s 2024-2028 Strategic and Operating Plan, the directors received updates from Sealaska’s mission-focused partners Sealaska Heritage Institute and Spruce Root, as well as company’s headquarters staff in Juneau. The programs shepherded by these organizations continue to grow and add tremendous value to shareholders and the communities in the region.
The board also celebrated outgoing President and CEO Anthony Mallott and Vice President of Policy and Corporate Secretary Jaeleen Kookesh for their tremendous contributions to the company’s efforts over the years. Kookesh and Mallott will be departing from the company on January 1, 2024.
“Anthony and Jaeleen played crucial roles during an incredible time of opportunity in the history of Sealaska,” said Vice Chair Jodi Mitchell. “They helped remove obstacles and overcome challenges to position us for an exciting next chapter in our journey.”
“We’re so grateful for the impact Jaeleen and Anthony have made since they first joined the Sealaska team as interns,” said Matt Carle, Senior Director of Corporate Communications. “They have served as an inspiration to countless employees, shareholders, and other Alaska Native professionals throughout their careers by providing mentorship and guidance during their respective tenures at Sealaska. We wish them our very best and have every expectation that they will each continue to make meaningful contributions to our Indigenous communities in their next chapters. We’re excited to see what they do next.”
In November, the Board of Directors confirmed Joe Nelson as executive chair to serve in the interim effective January 1, as the board and management evaluate organizational priorities and future needs. Prior to joining the board in 2003, Nelson was a member of the outside general counsel team and has served as board chair since 2014. In his new role as executive chair, he will work closely with the board and management team to assess company needs and define the next iteration of executive roles and responsibilities necessary as the company continues to fulfill its mission.
“As we approach the new year, it is a great time for all of us to appreciate the richness of what we have — especially our relationships,” said Nelson. “At the same time, we continue forward to shape our collective future. It is a deep honor to serve and work at Sealaska with such passionate board members, management and staff who are so committed to our mission of strengthening our people, culture, and homelands.”
The board will continue to thoughtfully consider the governance structure and leadership to ensure successful realization of the organization’s strategic plan. The leadership team will utilize its traditional mid-year review process following the annual meeting in June of 2024 to solidify its leadership capacity and structure.
Among other business, the board approved a $25,000 cash contribution to Tlingit and Haida’s Tribal Emergency Operations Center, which helps provide much-needed emergency preparedness support through the communities in Southeast Alaska. Sealaska stands committed to continuing its strong partnership with Tlingit & Haida, serving shared communities and priorities — a partnership which extends across all levels of the two organizations, benefiting the shareholders and tribal citizens that both organizations serve.
As part of its official business, the Sealaska board proudly endorsed Alaska’s Congresswoman Mary Peltola in her re-election campaign for the upcoming House of Representatives election cycle.
“Congresswoman Peltola has been an incredible champion for all of Alaska,” said Mitchell. “We are especially keen to continue working with her to finalize the promise made under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) to the landless communities of Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Tenakee and Haines to finally receive their rightful recognition under the law. Mary’s leadership has contributed significantly to finally settling these Native communities’ land claims as demonstrated by her compelling recent testimony in Washington, D.C., as well as impassioned testimony from Sealaska director Richard Tashee Rinehart.”
For shareholders hoping to connect further with the board of directors, we invite you to join Sealaska for the next Board Q&A, to be held following January’s board meeting. Stay tuned for more updates following the upcoming holidays and visit MySealaska.com for any additional updates.