Sealaska shareholders gathered at Ketchikan High School for the 2016 annual meeting of shareholders. The annual meeting brought together approximately 300 shareholders, while another 350 watched the proceedings via the live webcast.Sealaska shareholders elected four directors for three-year terms including Jodi Mitchell, Jackie Johnson Pata, Richard Rinehart and Michael Lee Beasley, whose terms will expire at the 2019 meeting. Approximately 56.2 percent of outstanding shares of Sealaska voting stock participated in the election.
Sealaska shareholders gathered at Ketchikan High School for the 2016 annual meeting of shareholders. The annual meeting brought together approximately 300 shareholders, while another 350 watched the proceedings via the live webcast.
Sealaska shareholders voted a corporate proxy to elect four directors and a shareholder resolution for director term limits. A business report from Sealaska President and CEO Anthony Mallott and an acquisition update from Sealaska Chief Operating Officer Terry Downes was part of the agenda.
Other business included a welcome from local leadership, including Ketchikan Tlingit and Haida Community Council President Rob Sanderson Jr. and Alaska Native Brotherhood Grand Camp President Sasha Soboleff.
After 43 years, Sealaska is learning that its cultural mission is not at odds with its fiscal imperative as a for-profit company. “In fact, the cultural mission and fiscal imperative work well together,” said Sealaska Chair Joe Nelson. “Our investments in the scholarship and intern programs 25 years ago are paying off, as evidenced by the board members and senior management team who have come back to work for the company. Sealaska is becoming a profitable Alaska Native company, as opposed to an Alaska company that happens to be owned by Alaska Natives.”
Sealaska reported $12 million in net income for 2015. Mallott provided an update on Sealaska’s recent investment in a seafood packaging company along with information on the company’s progress toward the strategic plan.
“We are excited about our new investment and the future path we are creating for Sealaska,” said Mallott. “I want to be transparent in reporting out to our shareholders about our progress.”
Director Barbara Cadiente-Nelson announced the 2016-2017 Board Youth Advisor (BYA), David Russell-Jensen. This was a historic moment, as it was the first time a BYA delivered their speech in Tlingit. "It's been said that a measure of a people is in how they lift up their children, said Cadiente-Nelson. “David's educational pursuits and speech in Tlingit speaks to the vision of our forebears who foresaw this day. David, as do each of us, has a role in realizing their vision for us and for generations to come."
Russell-Jensen spoke about the importance of remembering our grandparents — their language, their culture. “Walter Soboleff said, ‘has du eetíx’ x’aakeidíx̲ haa sitee,’ or, in English, ‘we are the seeds in their remains,’” said Russell-Jensen. “We are the ones standing in the remains of those who stood up for us; all of the Sealaska management and directors, past and present, who stood up for us. We always remember management and directors who were or are fluent speakers of the languages of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian, and today we are standing in their remains.” Russell-Jensen is attending the University of Alaska Southeast and will obtain a Bachelor of Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Alaska Native Languages and Studies. He is also a Sealaska intern.
Sealaska shareholders elected four directors for three-year terms, including Jodi Mitchell, Jackie Johnson Pata, Richard Rinehart and Michael Lee Beasley, whose terms will expire at the 2019 meeting. Approximately 56.2 percent of outstanding shares of Sealaska voting stock participated in the election.
Newly elected director Michael Lee Beasley is thankful to be elected. “I appreciate the support of the owners and profitability is our future,” said Beasley.
The resolution on this year’s proxy statement was proposed as a binding shareholder resolution. If adopted it would amend Sealaska’s bylaws. A bylaw may be amended, repealed or restated only by:
- A majority vote of the eligible voting shares
- The board of directors
As of the record date, April 18, 2016, there were 2,024,090 eligible voting shares. The 2016 resolution needed to receive a “yes” vote of a majority of eligible voting shares or 1,012,046, in order to pass. There were 623,572 or 30.81 percent of voting shares that voted in favor of this resolution. There were 468,432 or 23.16 percent that voted "no" on the resolution. Therefore, the resolution did not meet the threshold and did not pass.
Immediately following the 2016 annual meeting, directors met and elected Joe Nelson as chair and Jodi Mitchell as vice chair. The board also renewed officers including: Anthony Mallott, president and chief executive officer; Terry Downes, chief operating officer; Doug Morris, vice president and chief financial officer; Jaeleen Araujo, vice president general counsel and corporate secretary.