The company also announced the deadline to apply for its president and CEO position, as Chris McNeil prepares to retire.
Kookesh, a former state lawmaker from Angoon, has been Sealaska chairman for 14 years. He plans to remain on the board, but says he wants to cut back on work and commitments.
Kookesh suffered a heart attack last March. In a message posted to Sealaska’s website Tuesday, he said he’s back to 100 percent, but the incident put a scare in him and his family.
“I want to be here to see my grandchildren grow up,” Kookesh said in the statement.
He said he was honored to have served longer than any other board chair in Sealaska history, and wants to continue to use his relationships in the Native and non-Native communities for the benefit of Sealaska and its shareholders.
Kookesh also decided not to run for reelection as co-chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives last year, another position he had held for 14 years.
McNeil announced his planned retirement in October after 12 years at the helm. At the time he said he hoped to have a successor named by March and that the actual transition would be made at the corporation’s annual meeting in June.
Sealaska is accepting applications for its next president and CEO through February 28th. The company’s board of directors has hired San Francisco-based recruiting firm Egon Zehnder to help with the search.
According to another statement on Sealaska’s website, the successful candidate will be a company shareholder and reside in Juneau, where Sealaska is headquartered. McNeil lives in Washington state and works in corporate offices in Bellevue.
- It aims to preserve Alaska Native culture by giving tribes and tribal organizations the ability to oversee local child welfare problems, rather than social workers coming in from outside their communities. That often results in children being removed from their communities.
- Dressed in full Gwich’in regalia, Potts recounted growing up in a modest dirt-floor hunting cabin in Eagle, losing someone close to suicide, and taking the conventions theme of strength in unity to get back to enjoying life again.
- The Juneau School District wants to consolidate its two high school football programs and cheer squads. Superintendent Dr. Mark Miller said at a press conference Thursday afternoon that the decision to send a formal request to the Alaska School Activities Association has been two years in the making.
- Three helmets, two hats, a headdress and a beaded shirt are from as far back as the 1600s to about 1890. They will be stored through the National Park Service, with access being granted to the Tlingit clans.