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Rick Harris

Rick Harris was the Executive Vice President of Sealaska until July 2014 when he retired after 34 years with Sealaska Corporation. During his tenure with Sealaska he had an active role in legislation and regulation development, environmental management and lobbying in both Alaska and in Washington D.C.

Joe Plesha: Trident Seafoods Chief Legal Officer

Joe Plesha has worked at Trident Seafoods Corporation for thirty years, first as its General Counsel (1987 through 2009) and since 2009 as Trident’s Chief Legal Officer. Mr. Plesha previously worked at a law firm in Seattle (1986 and 1987) and on Capitol Hill in Washington DC as Counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee covering fishing and oceans issues (1985 and 1986) and as a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Frank Murkowski (1983 through 1985). Joe also worked each summer at a salmon cannery in Ketchikan while earning his undergraduate and legal degrees.

Maxine Thompson: Past Southeast Conference President (Angoon)

Maxine was born in Juneau and raised in Angoon in a traditional Tlingit environment by her father, Matthew Fred, Sr., and mother, Elizabeth (Bessie) Fred. Maxine earned her B.A. in sociology from University of Alaska, Fairbanks. In addition to serving as the Mayor of Angoon for two terms, Maxine has owned her own company, Angoon Oil, for more than 2 decades.

Rob Allen: Past Southeast Conference President (Sitka)

Rob is the CEO of the Sitka Community Hospital. Rob graduated from Harvard College in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts in U.S.History and from Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2007 with a Masters in Public Administration.

Rob grew up in Sitka. For many years he was President of the family business, Allen Marine Tours. From being a Captain to overseeing a fleet of vessels in Sitka, Juneau, and Ketchikan, Rob helped the company grow from a truly Mom and Pop operation to over 200 employees.

Captain John Falvey Jr.: General Manager of the Alaska Marine Highway

Captain John Falvey is a graduate of the Maine Maritime Academy. After graduation Captain Falvey spent 25 years operating offshore deep sea oil tankers for the Union Oil Company of California, the majority of those years were spent sailing as a Captain. Captain Falvey retired from UNOCAL Corporation and went on to operate fast ferries for 5 years as a High Speed Code Type Rated Captain in both New England and South American waters.

Commissioner Marc Luiken: Alaska Department of Transportation

Marc Luiken serves as the Commissioner for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. Under his direction, the department is responsible for the planning, design and construction, as well as the maintenance and operation of Alaska’s transportation system, public buildings and facilities. He previously served as the department’s Commissioner from December 2010 to October 2012; a position he took after serving as DOT’s Deputy Commissioner for Aviation.

Alana Peterson: Program Director for Spruce Root, Inc. & Sustainable Southeast Partnership

Alana Peterson grew up and resides in Sitka, a small island community in Southeast Alaska. Professionally, Alana earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration at Charleston Southern University. After graduating from college she joined the Peace Corps where she served as a Small Business Development volunteer for two years on the southern coast of Peru. She obtained her Master’s degree in Business Administration from Northern Arizona University. She continues work in economic development in her current role as Program Director at Spruce Root, Inc.  

Christopher Mertl: Corvus Design Landscape Architect

Mr. Mertl is a Landscape Architect with a strong background in the design of Alaskan coastal communities and environmental solutions for the region. He is the principal of the Southeast office of Corvus Design in Juneau. His work stretches from Ketchikan to Unalaska.

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