Good Governance Drives Performance
Friday, May 1, 2020
Consistent Strong Financial Performance is Underpinned by Governance Improvements Initiated Years Ago
Sealaska’s board of directors set out to improve its own performance a number of years ago through training, self-assessment and a gap analysis. Purposeful change often takes time and discipline. The board has experienced dramatic and intentional change over the last six years. Strong performance requires high expectations, training, high-level recruitment and healthy teamwork.
A long era of automatic board endorsements for incumbents ended in 2016. Two years prior, in 2014, the company made a relatively civil transition in leadership with a change in chief executive officer and a change in the board chair. The financial performance of the company since then has been record breaking.
This consistent year-over-year performance improvement did not come without a lot of hard work and a few difficult decisions. For the board, one of the most difficult decisions was to end an era of automatic endorsements of incumbents. In 2016, the board made a significant shift toward continuous improvement and accountability by requiring a board vote on whether or not to endorse the individual incumbents. Five new directors have joined the board since then.
- In 2016, Mick Beasley won a seat by running on the corporate proxy as an independent.
- In 2017, Morgan Howard won a seat as an endorsed candidate after navigating a rigorous recruitment process that included 45+ other potential candidates.
- In 2018, David Goade filled a mid-term vacancy following the untimely passing of newly elected independent director Ross Soboleff. A seasoned executive, Goade rose to the top of a process that included more than 50 candidates.
- In 2018, Nicole Hallingstad won a seat by running on the corporate proxy as an independent.
- In 2019, Barbara Blake won a seat as an endorsed candidate after rising to the top of a rigorous recruitment process that included nearly 30 other candidates. Barbara Blake is the first person born after 1971 (shareholder descendant) to serve on the board. She served one year as a board youth advisor approximately 10 years ago.
In 2020, if the endorsed candidates are elected, three more new directors — Lisa Lang, Angela Michaud and Mike Roberts — will join the board. All three of the new candidates are highly qualified to serve. Each of them went through a multi-stage vetting process led by our Governance and Nominations Committee. This committee includes three directors who were first elected as independent candidates.
We are fortunate to have such a talented base of shareholders. Through the board youth advisor program, long-standing scholarship and internship programs, the Shareholder Participation Committee and a rigorous candidate search process, the board is committed to ensuring the long-term success of the company. We are all in this together.