Movers and Shakers 10/20/13

Sealaska announced the retirement of President and CEO Chris E. McNeil Jr. McNeil served as president and CEO for the past 12 years, and will retire within the next nine months, after a successor has been selected by Sealaska’s board of directors. McNeil will continue to lead Sealaska as its president and CEO throughout the recruitment and hiring of a new chief executive officer. Sealaska is the regional Native institution for Southeast Alaska formed in 1972 pursuant to the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. It represents more than 21,000 Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian tribal member shareholders. Prior to becoming chief executive in 2001, McNeil served as a member of Sealaska’s board of directors and as the company’s corporate secretary and executive vice president and general counsel. When McNeil was elected as CEO in 2001, Sealaska’s operations were in a difficult position. He turned around those operations, and significantly increased Sealaska’s shareholder’s equity and its permanent fund. In addition, he successfully led the enrollment of shareholder descendants and conveyance of additional shares for Elders to fruition, and brought the initially contentious Sealaska’s land bill to a point to where all major interest groups support the proposed legislation. McNeil is Tlingit and a member of the Nisga’a Nation. He is Eagle Dakl’aweidí (Killer Whale) House and his Tlingit name is Shaakakóoni. He and his wife Mary have two grown children, and two young grandchildren.


UIC shareholder Nagruk Harcharek, has been named UMIAQ science logistics manager, a Barrow based position. Harcharek will oversee field operations in support of research activities in and near Barrow. Growing up in Barrow, Nagruk actively participated in spring whaling preparations and hunts and has over 20 years of experience observing weather and ice conditions along with 15 years of experience captaining ocean and river vessels around the greater Barrow area. Harcharek’s professional experience includes more than four years as a pilot for Ryan Air transporting cargo in Northwest Alaska and most recently serving as assistant camp instructor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Barrow developing and conducting camp operations and helping incorporate Inupiaq subsistence knowledge and safety procedures into daily instruction. Harcharek earned his bachelor’s degree in aeronautical science in 2009 from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and his Associate of Science Degree in Small Vessel Fabrication and Repair in 2006 from Honolulu Community College.


Rasmuson Foundation announced the addition of three new staff members and a new intern. Emily Bass has returned to Rasmuson Foundation as a program assistant. Bass interned with the Foundation in 2011-12 and now joins the staff to focus on Recover Alaska, a statewide collaboration to reduce the negative impacts of alcohol. Bass brings 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including grant writing and development work for Alaska nonprofits. Emily Bokar has joined Rasmuson Foundation as a communications associate. Bokar worked for President Barack Obama for five years, first as his senior scheduler in the U.S. Senate. She was an early member of the president’s web team during his first presidential election and returned to Washington to join his transition team and work on technology initiatives for the new administration. Bokar has a degree in public policy and social change with a concentration in technology from Bentley University. Claudia Maria-Mateo has joined the staff as an administrative assistant overseeing front desk operations. Maria-Mateo most recently worked for the U.S. Air Force and served as a program manager and board member for a nonprofit organization that assisted military members and their families. Maria-Mateo has a degree in organizational management with a concentration in security from the University of Phoenix. Ron Wilmot is a new program intern as he pursues a master’s degree in social work at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Wilmot works at North Star Behavioral Hospital as a direct-care staff with emotionally troubled teens and plans to work in clinical therapy. Wilmot worked as a journalist for the Anchorage Daily News and Juneau Empire. He holds adegree in psychology from the University of Oregon and is a life-long Alaskan.

Wells Fargo, the nation’s second largest private student lender, presented $1,000 checks to Anchorage high school students Tyler Anderson (now attending college in Rochester, New York), Kyle Cooper and Marley Luke as winners of the company’s CollegeSTEPS sweepstakes. Wells Fargo awarded $520,000 in the form of $1,000 cash prizes to 520 students across the country to help pay for college expenses. The sweepstakes is part of the company’s College STEPS program, which provides free college planning and money management tips for high school and college students and parents, including how to find scholarships, apply for financial aid, make campus visits, save and budget, and manage student loans.

Col. Keith Mallard was named acting commissioner of the Department of Public Safety. Mallard currently heads the Division of Alaska State Troopers. He fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Joe Masters. Mallard has served with the Department of Public Safety for 16 years. He has held several positions, including Special Emergency Reaction Team operator, field training officer, and the Alaska State Trooper’s first dual purpose canine handler. In 2005, Mallard transferred into the Alaska Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement as the deputy commander. In 2006, he was promoted to the rank of captain and assigned as the commander of the ABADE, where he served until he was promoted to colonel in December of 2010. Prior to becoming an Alaska State Trooper, Mallard served in the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman, and worked as a deputy sheriff in Idaho and a municipal police officer in Alaska.

10/17/2013 - 12:26pm