Goldbelt selects interim president/CEO

One of the vice presidents of Goldbelt, Inc. has stepped into the shoes of retiring president and chief executive officer Gary Droubay.

Elliot Wimberly takes over as interim president/CEO while the Native corporation continues its search for a permanent replacement.

Wimberly is a senior vice president in charge of health sciences and information technology groups, a job that board members felt was a strength in holding this role. He began service as vice president of government services last May, then took on the additional position of vice president of Goldbelt Raven, one of the corporation’s 12 8(a) subsidiaries.

Goldbelt Chairman Del Cesar said Wimberly was selected to fill the temporary role because of his familiarity with Alaska operations and Native cultures, plus his solid business background.

Vice chairman Randy Wanamaker added he was also selected because he is knowledgeable about government contracting and company operations in general. He said it made sense for continuity’s sake to select one of Goldbelt’s vice presidents.

Wimberly is stationed in Herndon, Va. He will travel back and forth to Alaska as interim president but is expected to spend most of the time in Virginia.

Cesar also remarked that Wimberly’s background in Native firm leadership was a strong virtue for the job.

Before Goldbelt, Wimberly was president of Sitka’s Alaska Native Corporation, Shee Atika’. He was also vice president of corporate development and government relations for the Southern Ute Tribe in Durango, Colo., as well as vice president of business development and government relations for GF Private Equity Group.

He has more than 25 years of experience in government service, having retired from the U.S. intelligence community. His Master of Business Administration is from Friends University in Wichita, Kan. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Louisiana State University.

“I appreciate the opportunity to serve Goldbelt’s shareholders and I look forward to continuing to support the Board and working with the corporation’s employees,” Wimberly stated in a release. “As we move forward in this time of transition, I will continue to work towards strengthening our businesses and seeking new ways to provide services and opportunities for our shareholders.”

“That’s a good background on him,” Cesar said.

Wimberly’s position is temporary, and there has been no pre-selection of candidates for the permanent position. The board is searching for a full-time president/CEO and is meeting today to select a search firm to help find suitable candidates.

Cesar said it’s been years since Goldbelt has initiated this kind of search. He’s heard that companies like this can take six months or longer to find someone but is hoping it won’t take that long.

Wanamaker wants to be sure the board selects the right person, saying, “We are not going to rush this.”

“Mr. Wimberly is going to do a good job for us in the meantime,” said Cesar.

Droubay’s retirement takes effect this week.

• Contact reporter Jonathan Grass at 523-2276 or at jonathan.grass@juneauempire.com.

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