Meet the Board: Genevieve John – passionate about providing service and care to our people

Published July 2019

Genevieve John and family1. Describe your family.
I am married to Haven Harris (Inupiaq and tribal citizen of Nome Eskimo Community) and we have a 2-year-old daughter, Katie John-Harris

2. What clan are you a member of?
Tsisyu – Paint Clan

3. What are some defining/influential moments in your life?
I have been blessed with many defining moments from graduating from post-secondary and graduate school, working in the tribal healthcare system for our people as a Chiropractor, and being of service to our shareholders on the Ahtna Board of Directors. I would say my most defining moment was becoming a mother. It has been the most rewarding, yet occasionally challenging role that I have taken on. We have been blessed as parents to provide direction, discipline, knowledge and overall unconditional love to our daughter, Katie.

4. Is there anyone in particular in your life that has inspired you?
My mother is an inspiration. She moved up to Alaska in 1975 at the age of 20 to teach swimming to kids in the villages. She was born and raised in San Diego, California to amazing parents and lived a life completely opposite of what my father lived. She met my dad and fell in love and never left. Together they raised 5 children. She is truly a strong woman. Her love for my dad and our people has shown in her actions. She went through so much to protect her children while still loving my dad who struggled with alcoholism. It was never easy for her but her faith in God helped her to see through the struggles and to have a strong foundation. She truly is the rock in our family.

5. What are you most passionate about in your life?
I am most passionate about providing service and care to our people. This is why I work in tribal healthcare and serve on the Ahtna board. I want to see our people continue to prosper and be healthy – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

6. What hobbies or activities do you enjoy?
Right now my hobby is keeping up with a 2-year-old.

7. What are your hopes for the future of Ahtna?
That we continue to grow and diversify as a business. That we have succession plans in place for our leadership team. That we are an employer of choice, especially for our shareholders-owners. That we have a majority of shareholder-owners running our companies.

8. How long have you served on the Ahtna Board?
I was first elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2018.

9. What is the Board’s vision for Ahtna, Inc?
To see all our shareholders thrive. We have put a strong focus and directive on shareholder development within Ahtna, Inc.

10. What made you want to join the Board?
When I moved back to Alaska in 2011, I wanted to get involved in Ahtna after being out of state for a period. That year I put my name in to run. It took me four times of running for the At-Large seat. My Uncle Franklin John would encourage me to keep running each year. He would pray with me before we would do candidate forums knowing that I didn’t feel comfortable getting up in front of people. He was one of the reasons I kept putting my name in to be a Director. My service on the Board gives me the opportunity to stay involved in what Ahtna is doing in business, with our villages, and our shareholders.

11. What excites you the most about the Board’s work?
The growth of Ahtna and how that growth can benefit our shareholders through jobs, dividends, scholarship, etc.

12. What is one or a few things you would love for all shareholders to know about the Board?
Like any relationship, there may be growing pains. If we remember our values, we can work through those disagreements. Showing kindness and respect goes a long way. No matter our difference of opinions, I believe we continue to do that.

13. What message would you like to share with the youth of today?
Follow your curiosity, whatever it may be. Mine was to go into the health field – it has been a journey, that continues, but it has led me to my passion of helping our people who are dealing with pain.

14. Can you tell me more about your work history and community involvement?
I moved out of Alaska at the age of 17 to attend college. After college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next, so I went on to a vocational school and became a certified Massage Technician. That job allowed me to start my in-home business providing Massage Therapy. I did that for 12 years and while I worked, I continued with education and became a Doctor of Chiropractic. I worked in San Diego for a few more years and then took a job at Southcentral Foundation (SCF) as a Chiropractor in the Complementary Medicine Clinic. I have been at SCF for over 7 years. While working at SCF, I have continued to pursue education, receiving my Master’s in Public Administration and now pursuing my Master’s in Business Administration. I would say I am a life-long learner and hope to use my education and knowledge within our tribal healthcare organizations or my regional corporation. I want to see our people succeed whether in trades/vocations or if they are interested in post-secondary education. School may not be for everyone and that is okay too.

15. Anything else you would like to share?
Thank you all for your continued support and prayers for Board of Directors.