I attended the June 9 Sealaska Corp. annual meeting. I got in line for the question-and-answer period. I was ignored by the moderator Rosita Worl until another shareholder pointed out that I, an elder, had waited in line for a long time. Being ignored was an insult. When allowed to speak, I asked Chris McNeil, the president and chief executive officer, "Is Mr. Robert W. Loescher (the former president and CEO) still on the Sealaska payroll?" He said yes. Then I asked him, "How long is Mr. Loescher going to be on the Sealaska payroll?'' He replied one year. Then I asked him why. After all, decisions made during Mr. Loescher's tenure cost Sealaska Corp. $122 million. Then I thought I heard Mr. McNeil say that Mr. Loescher is a consultant for Mr. McNeil. Mr. Loescher being on the Sealaska payroll is absolutely wrong. So I am calling for Mr. McNeil to resign his position immediately.
The second reason Mr. McNeil should resign is that he laid off or fired my younger brother Jim Edenso. My brother warned Mr. Loescher and some of the other Sealaska board members two years ago that Sealaska was losing a lot of money. Mr. Loescher, in my opinion, chose not to do anything about those losing investments for the entire year 2000. Then he was replaced.
My brother Jim is the most qualified to take over as the president and CEO position and lead Sealaska out of these bad times. Mr. McNeil does not have what it takes to lead Sealaska out of these bad times if he has to rely on a consultant such as Mr. Loescher.
Jim Edenso has the business knowledge, the experience (15 to 20 years) as an elected Sealaska board member - not appointed to the position like some were - and has never been given the chance by the Sealaska Board of Directors. There are many Sealaska shareholders who think my brother is the best person for the job.
The loss of $122 million amounts to $7,700 per 100 shares which equals $77 per share. My loss for 122 shares amounts to $8,624. My wife's loss for 120 shares amounts to $9,240. That's a combined loss of $17,864.
Shareholders who agree that Mr. McNeil should resign or be removed from office, call or write to your favorite Sealaska board members and let them know how you feel.
Victor Edenso Jr.