Published July 2016
Ahtna, Inc. 43rd Annual Meeting
Focused Fortitude. Legendary Leadership. United Journey
Some 366 shareholder-owners attended Ahtna’s 43rd Annual Meeting in person June 4, while another 81 watched the proceedings via live webcast.
Shareholders elected four directors for three-year terms, including Linda Pete (incumbent), Karen Linnell (incumbent), John Craig and Jason Hart (incumbent). Their terms will expire at the 2019 meeting.
The meeting at Glennallen High School opened with traditional song and dance provided by the Native Village of Kluti’kaah dance group, the presentation of the Honor Guard, invocation by Elder Robert Marshall and special remarks by Traditional First Chief Fred Ewan.
Board Chair Nicholas Jackson chaired the meeting, which featured updates by Ahtna, Inc. President Michelle Anderson, Ahtna Netiye’, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tom Maloney and Ahtna, Inc. Chief Financial Officer Matt Tisher.
Throughout Ahtna’s 44 years, we have remained very committed to our home region and making sure that Ahtna values are represented in the corporate decisions and in our tribal, village and customer relationships. President Michelle Anderson began by sharing that “our vision statement speaks really well to all that we do. Our Culture Unites Us, Our Land Sustains Us, Our People Are Prosperous. It is a reminder to those of us that work for you every day on what is most important.”
Ahtna reported $5.4 million after tax for 2015. Anderson provided an update on Ahtna’s strategic performance, highlighted department efforts and introduced new opportunities and pursuits.
“I’m happy to report that in 2015, all of our companies performed strongly across the board. When we perform strongly, that results in profitability, lowered incidents of safety issues and allowed us to transfer $3.5 million to the Ahtna Peoples’ Settlement Trust. And because we were profitable, we were able to issue dividends, in addition to an elders’ dividend.
“The protection of our customary and traditional hunting and fishing rights are very important to Ahtna. It is as important to Ahtna people as it is to make money. We employ year-round over 137 shareholder employees across our companies, not just here in Alaska but throughout our work sites all over the country. We are constantly looking to improve ourselves, our processes and making sure we have the right people working for Ahtna, that the people working for Ahtna support our cultural values. In 2015, we worked at improving our visibility here in Alaska. Our subsidiary companies are actively pursuing work here in Alaska, in addition to keeping up the great performance that we have in government contracting.”
CEO Tom Maloney went on to report on how Ahtna operations remain focused on the its top three priorities – shareholders, safety and profits – and are well aligned with the Ahtna vision and strategic goals. Rallied behind the “One Team, One Ahtna” motto, Team Ahtna is working together to see opportunities realized and reporting a number of contract wins early in 2016.
Recognition awards were presented to Roy S. Ewan for “Board Member of the Year,” Gloria Stickwan “Special Recognition” and Molly McCormick “Thank You”.
“In recognition of being selected as Ahtna, Inc.’s 2016 Board Member of the Year, we thank you for all your hard work and dedication of your services to Ahtna and the villages,” Chairman Jackson told Ewan.
Shareholder-owners also expressed their appreciation of Ewan’s years of service.
In honoring Stickwan, who has worked for Ahtna for more than 15 years, Michelle noted, “Gloria Stickwan, for over 23 years has dedicated her life to protecting the customary and traditional rights. She has shown her commitment by representing Ahtna at all tribal, state, federal, and community meetings where the C&T issues are discussed and the decisions are made. Gloria’s extensive knowledge on hunting and fishing rights makes her a valuable resource and asset not only to the Ahtna people but also to her colleagues, federal and state representatives, and all Alaska Natives.
“We thank you for your dedication to our people, our culture, our future generation of Ahtna people. Your dedicated advocacy and determination to protect the customary and traditional hunting and fishing practices, is one of the highest forms of service to our people. We are thankful for all you do.”
“Molly McCormick retired in May 2016 after more than 15 years of federal service at the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Molly has dedicated time each year to attend the Ahtna Annual meetings to assist shareholders with getting federal fishery permits. Today is last day she will be assisting shareholders. Molly has been instrumental is managing federal subsistence fisheries, she has worked hard to ensure the maximum opportunity for federal qualifying users while working to conserve salmon populations for future generations.”
Other agenda items included presentations by Ahtna’s Shareholder Development Coordinator M. Starr Knighten, an update from the Ahtna Inter Tribal Resource Commission by AITRC Executive Director Karen Linnell and video addresses by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan and U.S. Congressman Don Young.
Murkowski told the group: “One of the truly distinguishing characteristics of Ahtna is your unwavering commitment to emphasizing the traditional in every aspect of your business. Ahtna is enjoying exceptional success in its natural resource development efforts and in business enterprises. But these successes don’t come at the expense of the traditional ways. They are untaken in harmony with the traditional ways. Subsistence comes first.”
In his remarks, Sullivan said: “Let me start with responsible Natural Resource Development, which will improve our local, state and national economy and provide economic hope for all of us. I understand how important it is to develop those resources in a way that maintains reliable, sustainable, subsistence resources that your people have successfully managed for millennia in your region. We can work together to do both. Back when I worked in DNR, we worked together to get the necessary permits for exploratory gas wells. And now you are ready to drill a new well, which hopefully will provide good paying permanent jobs in the region and bring down the high cost of heating your homes. Special thank you to Roy S. Ewan who I met in Washington DC where he gave us a history lesson and we own much on ANCSA and subsequent efforts to him and his contemporaries.”
|At-Large – Seat A|
|Roy S. Ewan||61,443.483|
|John E. Craig||63,598.25|
|Cheesh’na – Seat D|
|Gakona – Seat F|
The meeting provided an opportunity for shareholders to talk with Ahtna staff about jobs and opportunities at the company booths that were located in the school’s foyer.
Immediately following the meeting, the Board of Directors met and elected Nicholas Jackson as Chairman, Eleanor Dementi as Vice Chair, Linda Pete as Secretary and Jason Hart as Treasurer. Ahtna Netiye’, Inc. then met and elected its Board of Directors and officers for 2016-17, which will be Angela Vermillion (incumbent) as Chair, Karen Linnell (incumbent) as Vice-Chair, Linda Pete (incumbent) as Secretary, Jason Hart (incumbent) as Treasurer, along with Genevieve John and Jessica Rock (incumbent). Michelle Anderson, as President of Ahtna, Inc., also sits on this Board in compliance with the AH Bylaws. (Not an elected position).
Special thanks to all those who joined us online for Ahtna’s very first live webcast.