"Marlene and Ethel both served the company with dignity and respect for many years, not unlike many other directors," said Sealaska Chair Joe Nelson. "The difference with Marlene and Ethel is the sheer amount of time and energy they contributed to the betterment of our people and communities over their lifetimes. The other notable difference is Marlene and Ethel not only encouraged the next generation of leaders to step up, they both made room for them on the board by stepping down. On behalf of the board, I thank each of them for their tremendous leadership, their commitment to the perpetuation of our culture and their humble service."
The Sealaska board, named Marlene Johnson and Ethel Lund as Director Emeriti. The recognition took place at the February 3, 2017 board meeting. Both join Director Emeritus Clarence Jackson in the recognition.
Like our first Director Emeritus Clarence Jackson, both Marlene and Ethel have been a consistent presence with Sealaska. The Sealaska board recognizes that both have advocated for the betterment of Alaska Natives thoughout their professional careers. The Board and I want to celebrate the leadership that Marlene Johnson and Ethel Lund have provided to the region and Sealaska now, rather then posthumously. We honor both Director Emeriti for the service over the years and into the future.
Marlene Johnson served on the first Sealaska board and was an original incorporator of the corporation. Johnson served for 22 years, including board chair (16 years) and vice chair. She was a member of the board from 1972-1995. Johnson was a staunch advocate for the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act through the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN), and has attended every AFN Convention since its inception. She continues to give her time to the Native community and currently serves as the Sealaska Heritage Institute Chair. She served over twenty years on the Huna Heritage Foundation as a board of trustees. She also served with the State of Alaska Commissioner, Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission from 1996 -2003. In 2010, she was named to Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame for her work in public service. Johnson is Tlingit, Raven, T’akdeintaan Clan, and belongs to the Taax Hít. Her Tlingit name is Slath Jaa Klaa Lákooti.
Ethel Lund served several terms on the board beginning in 1988. She announced in 2009 that she would not seek re-election to the Sealaska board. Lund is best known for helping found the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) in 1985. She now is SEARHC president emeritus. In February 2008, SEARHC’s Juneau Medical Center was renamed the SEARHC Ethel Lund Medical Center in honor of her dedication and accomplishments with its organization. Lund has received many honors and recognitions including Woman of the Year by the Juneau Chapter of the Business and Professional Women in 1984, and she was the first Alaska native to receive the honor. In 2011, she received the Shirley Demientieff Award from then Alaska Governor Sean Parnell at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention. In 2010, she was named to Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame for Health, Native Issues, and in 1978 President Carter appointed Lund to the President’s Commission on Mental Health where she spoke on “Alaska Health Needs” for the World Health Organization, at the International Symposium on Circumpolar Health in Copenhagen, Denmark. Lund is Tlingit, Raven, Kiks.ádi clan, and belongs to the Sun house. Her Tlingit name is Aanwoogex’ Shtoo.aak.
Sealaska named Clarence Jackson its first Director Emeritus in 2013. Clarence Jackson, Sr. signed the articles of incorporation for Sealaska in 1972. Until his death in January 2013, Jackson guided the 13-member board on Native protocols, delivered speeches in Tlingit, and used storytelling as a means of communication. In his capacity as a traditional leader, his efforts touched the lives of many people across the region and beyond. He was self-employed for most of his life and was a long-time merchant and professional fisherman. An unrelenting champion for subsistence rights, Clarence was a village voice in the boardroom. Jackson was Tlingit, Eagle, Tsaagweidí (Killerwhale) Clan, child of Kaach.ádi Clan. His Tlingit names where GastIN, AssXAAch and Daanaawu.
Ethel and Marlene engrained cultural core values in Sealaska through their actions and mentorship of managers and directors. These core values add strength to our businesses by helping us make better long-term decisions that improve the sustainability of Sealaska.