Shareholders elect board members at annual meeting

Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sealaska shareholders gathered over the weekend for the regional Native corporation's 37th annual meeting to elect four directors and vote on one resolution.

The meeting held in Craig was attended by 250 shareholders. In addition, 160 households participated via live webcast.

Shareholders voted to retain four incumbent directors: Patrick Anderson, Clarence Jackson, Jackie Johnson Pata and Jodi Mitchell. Their terms will expire in 2013.

Shareholders have been voting by proxy since early May, with nearly 64 percent of voting shares represented at the meeting in person or by proxy. Each shareholder receives a $25 incentive payment for voting. Sealaska has more than 20,000 shareholders.

Voters denied a resolution to amend the corporation's bylaws to limit the use of discretionary voting. The votes were 633,767 against the measure and 480,664 for it.

Discretionary voting allows shareholders to choose a slate of nominees endorsed by the board of directors. The resolution would have allowed discretionary voting only if a separate proxy was established for the independent candidates.

The current system makes it nearly impossible for independent board candidates to win, according to shareholder Michael Lee Beasley, who proposed the ballot item.

More than 25 percent of shareholders choose the discretionary ballot, according to the board. The board wrote in an opinion opposing the resolution that shareholders like it. Similar resolutions were also turned down in 1992, 1994, 1995 and 1997.

Following the annual meeting, the board of directors re-elected state Sen. Albert M. Kookesh to serve as board chair, and Rosita Worl to serve as vice-chair.

Sealaska management positions also were renewed, including Chris E. McNeil, Jr. as president and CEO, Sam Landol as chief operating officer, Rick Harris as executive vice president, Doug Morris as vice president and chief financial officer, Anthony Mallott as chief investment officer and treasurer, Jaeleen Araujo as vice president and general counsel, Russell Dick as vice president of corporate development, and Nicole Hallingstad as vice president corporate secretary and human resources.

The corporation published 2009 compensation packages for all 48 officers and directors and 11 subsidiaries, which totals more than $7.8 million.

The board also announced that Barbara Blake, whose family is from Hydaburg, was selected the youth board advisor.

Blake recently accepted a one-year position with the US Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.

• Contact reporter Kim Marquis at 523-2279 or

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