Sealaska directors have named shareholder, Morgan Howard, to the board slate for the 2017 election. Howard takes the place of Director Rosita Worl, who announced on February 2, 2017, that she did not intend to seek reelection at the end of her term which ends June 24, 2017. The board began the process to fill the board slate vacancy with an announcement February 3, 2017.
“On behalf of the board, I’d like to thank Director Worl for years of leadership, knowledge and guidance,” said Chair Joe Nelson. “During her time, Worl served as Board Vice Chair and Lands Committee Chair. The lands committee was heavily involved with the federal legislation to secure Sealaska’s final acreage due under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Her dedication, along with the board, helped returned traditional homelands to Native ownership. All of us thank her for her years and dedication and advocacy.”
The Sealaska Governance and Nominations Committee (Committee) was tasked with identifying a recommended slate of candidates for the 2017 election.
Following the vacancy announcement, Sealaska received 47 letters of interest from shareholders. For stage one of the process, the Committee ranked candidates independently using an online survey tool. A third-party consultant tabulated the rankings. The Committee interviewed the top ten finalists. Four standard interview questions were utilized to guide the Committee in its final recommendation to the Board. The Board made a final decision after conducting interviews of two top candidates.
“The Committee and Board agreed upon criteria, an ideal candidate would possess,” said Vice-Chair Jodi Mitchell. “The Committee prioritized five focus areas including business acumen, financial literacy, demonstrated leadership, character and integrity, and how the individual would support Sealaska’s fiduciary responsibility while contributing to the success of Sealaska.”
“The board would like to thank every shareholder who submitted their name for consideration,” said Nelson. “The pool of candidates included a list of accomplished professionals with backgrounds in business, finance, public policy, government, arts and culture and more.
“I am honored and humbled to be chosen to fill the board slate vacancy with the departure of Director Worl,” said Howard. “I look forward to talking with shareholders and working hard for their support leading up to the election.”
Howard has worked over the last two decades providing public relations consulting, strategy and communications services specializing in Alaska Natives, American Indians and Alaskans, primarily through his own communications business. Howard is the Treasurer and a delegate for the Seattle Chapter of CCTHITA. He authored a resolution during a past Tribal Assembly to incorporate Tlingit and Haida languages into the everyday business of CCTHITA. He serves as founding director for Tlingit and Haida Tribal Business Corporation and served on his Village Corporation Board, Yak-Tat Kwaan, for ten years ending in 2016. He also founded the F/V Cornelia Marie brand, building a large international customer base with 1.5 million fans on Facebook. Through the brand development, millions were generated through fees, merchandise and licensing. Howard has a bachelor of arts in film production from Columbia College - Hollywood, and a bachelor of science in communication from Northern Arizona University.
He is Tlingit, Eagle, Teikweidí clan, brown bear house. Howards’ Tlingit name is X’agatkeen. Howard was born and raised in Alaska, with his early years in Yakutat and later lived in Kodiak. He spent summers commercial fishing on the family boats, including F/V Cornelia Marie. Howard is an original Sealaska and Yak-tat Kwaan shareholder.