Sealaska had good news to report to shareholders at its annual meeting Saturday, June 23 in Wrangell, AK. The company achieved one of the most successful years in its history, recording a net income of $43.3 million in 2017 and a $78 million net income improvement over the last five years.
Shareholders heard from Sealaska’s management and its board about how the company continues to transform its financial success into added value for its shareholders by increasing shareholder dividends, dedicating more money to scholarships and creating a new bereavement benefit.
Sealaska received a warm welcome from the Wrangell community including a local dance group performance and opening remarks from Wrangell leadership including Mayor Dave Jack, Cooperative Association President Richard Oliver and Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood Presidents Sam Campus and April Einert.
Directors approved a resolution to deed Sealaska land in Wrangell to the federally recognized tribe, Wrangell Cooperative Association. The land is the location of Kiks.ádi Totem Park, dedicated in 1987. The park was named for the Kiks.ádi Totem (Kahlteen Totem) originally raised in 1895 to honor Kiks.ádi clan leader Chief Kahlteen. A replica of the Kiks.ádi Totem was raised in 1987 and was carved without the use of power tools. The park is located in front of the lot, where the most recent Kiks.ádi, Gagaan Hít (Sun House) stood.
Traditional Scholars David Katzeek and Paul Marks also gave a special presentation during the meeting, introducing Sealaska’s new shareholder bereavement benefit, the Deishú Memorial Fund.
“Our annual meetings are a chance for us to spend time with our shareholders, celebrating our successes and sharing our vision for what’s to come,” said Sealaska CEO Anthony Mallott. “We look forward to next year’s meeting in Anchorage,” he said.
At the annual meeting each year, directors announce the incoming Board Youth Advisor (BYA) and thank the outgoing BYA for their time and energy. Sealaska introduced Aidan Hellen to shareholders, who will serve as the 2018-2019 BYA. Aidan is Tlingit, Gaanaxteidí, from Yáah Hít, Klukwan, AK. Nicole George served as Board Youth Advisor last year, participating in board meetings while sharing her voice on decisions and encouraging other Sealaska youth to achieve. She is Tlingit, Deisheetaan from Góon Hít, Angoon, AK.
“I would like to send my love and encouragement to students who are still in school, about to start school, or are thinking about applying," said George. I urge you to push through the hardships, the rejections, and the uphill battles because your community needs you.”
Sealaska 2018 board election results were also announced at the meeting, with shareholders electing four incumbent board members Barbara Cadiente-Nelson, Albert Kookesh, Tate London, Joe Nelson, and one independent candidate, Nicole Hallingstad. Incumbent board member Bill Thomas was not re-elected. There were no shareholder resolutions under consideration this year.
“We are grateful for the years of service, guidance, and leadership that Bill gave as a Sealaska director,” said Sealaska Board Chair Joe Nelson. “I know his leadership does not stop in the board room and Bill will continue to contribute and make a difference to Sealaska and its communities.”
Board members will serve three year terms, expiring at the 2021 meeting. Approximately 61 percent of outstanding shares of Sealaska voting stock participated in the election, up from 57 percent in 2017. There were 1,248,000 shares voted.
William “Bill” Thomas
Edwell John Jr.