Sealaska Corp. to vote on five board seats

Posted: Wednesday, June 14, 2000

Five three-year seats on the Sealaska board of directors are up for election, and will be decided at the corporation's annual meeting Sunday.

The board-endorsed slate consists of incumbents Al Kookesh of Angoon, Daniel Leston of Federal Way, Wash., Richard Stitt Sr. of Juneau, Ethel Lund of Juneau and board chairwoman Marjorie Young of Craig. Independent nominees are Teresa Reyes-Germain of Juneau, Emma Jacqueline Guzialek of Anchorage and Richard John Rinehart Jr. of Bend, Ore.

``Proxy returns for this year's annual meeting have been strong, and we expect to report one of the highest levels of shareholder participation in voting,'' Young, the board chairwoman, said in a news release.

For the first time in seven years, Sealaska Corp. is holding its annual meeting in Seattle. The meeting, in the DoubleTree Hotel near SeaTac Airport, is the 27th for the Juneau-based regional Native corporation. About 4,000 of Sealaska's 16,500 shareholders live in the Seattle area.

Sealaska CEO Robert Loescher is expected to address shareholders on 1999 financial performance and the current business plan for the corporation.

The corporation's annual report shows $176 million in revenues last year, for a net profit of $10 million. That was the 16th straight year of profitability, according to the report.

For three months, Loescher has not responded to repeated requests from the Empire for an interview about Sealaska's business plan.

But in a recent shareholder newsletter, the company announced projections of a timber harvest of more than 100 million board feet, with 44 miles of new road construction. The subsidiary Sealaska Timber Corp. is active at Whipple Creek near Ketchikan and in the Kake area, according to the newsletter.

Mining is expected to resume at the limestone mine on the north end of Prince of Wales Island this year. No calcium carbonate was mined in 1999 due to shifting markets and devalued Asian currencies, according to the corporation. Subsidiary SeCal recorded a net loss of $876,000 in 1999.

Recently, Sealaska and Arctic Slope Regional Corp. announced that they are combining their plastics manufacturing operations in the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, the Sealaska plastics subsidiary, TriQuest Precision Plastics, opened a new plant in Mexico, closer to major clients such as Hewlett Packard.

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