Dear Sealaska Shareholder,
If you have planned on voting but haven’t yet – now is the time because today is the last day to fill out your proxy and still be eligible for the Early Bird Prizes listed below. (Vote online here, it only takes a few minutes)
Grand Prize $5000 for 1 winner
2nd Prize $2500 for 2 winners
3rd Prize $1,000 for 5 winners
4th Prize $750 for 6 winners
5th Prize $500 for 11 winners
* Vote your proxy on or before 5 pm ADT, Friday, June 9, 2017
If you don’t know much about me but are interested in learning more, please keep reading.
While campaigning, I talked to many shareholders and one primary question kept coming up. “What can I bring to Sealaska if elected?” The short answer is: “experience and expertise in business and communications.”
I served ten years on the board of Yak-tat Kwaan, Inc., the village corporation for Yakutat. I also served eight years as a director for the board of Tlingit & Haida Tribal Business Corporation (THTBC), a section 17 for-profit company. My terms ended recently for both boards and I decided not to run again so I can focus on my campaign for the Sealaska board.
The most relevant experience for serving on the Sealaska board is serving on other for-profit business boards. My experience on these boards in invaluable. As a founding member of the THTBC board, we started with zero dollars and through a very thoughtful and deliberate process have created a business that this year is estimated to generate $53 million in sales.
I founded Morgan Howard Communications in 1996—a video production company focused on working for Alaska Natives and American Indians. Throughout the years, the company grew to include most public relations services. 96 percent of businesses fail in the first 10 years, but I am fortunate in that Morgan Howard Communications has been in business for more than 20 years.
I believe communication and leadership are inextricably linked. Words hold great power and we have the richest oral tradition within our culture. Great leaders are great communicators and great communicators are great leaders. This is where my light shines, and where I can provide enormous value as a Sealaska director.
Of course, profitable operations makes everything Sealaska does possible. This simple fact can not be overstated – without a profitable company we can not deliver on any of our social missions. I understand this and as a business owner appreciate the talent and hard work needed to generate revenue of any kind.
I acknowledge that we are Native people in business and not business people who just happen to be Native. However, today’s Tribal leaders are expected to understand financial statements and business plans. My resume will show that I have cut my own path in business and have done well. I am comfortable in this world and enjoy it immensely.
I understand our shifting economies in the United States and am aware of trending global changes that impact our businesses. Sealaska is a holding company with diverse businesses and every director needs to look around the corner and see what’s up ahead. Shareholders demand it and General managers and VPs count on it.
Can Sealaska do better? Yes, and they will. However, I disagree with anyone who tears down our institution or viciously attacks our people. There’s nothing wrong with Sealaska that can’t be fixed by what’s right with Sealaska.
I look forward to adding my talent to the collective strength of Sealaska and leading, so we can continue to pass on the shining light of our ancestors to the next generation.
Morgan X’agatkeen Howard
Teikweidí, Eagle, Brown Bear House
P.S. You made it to the end of the letter! I hope you learned a little more about me. If you haven’t voted yet, please click here to vote online. Please vote discretionary or directed for the Sealaska board slate. Remember, your last proxy is the one that counts and you can change your proxy until voting closes.
Lastly, if you have any questions, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-659-9966. (If I don’t answer, please leave a voicemail with your phone number and I’ll respond as soon as possible)
You can find me on Facebook here.