Alaska business leaders named to Arctic Economic Council for U.S.

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July 10, 2014
Anchorage, AK – The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce (Alaska Chamber) and the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission (AAPC) Co-Chairs are pleased to announce the individuals selected to participate in the initial meeting of the Arctic Economic Council (AEC). The AEC is intended to foster sustainable development, including economic growth, environmental protection and social development in the Arctic.

During Canada’s Arctic Council chairmanship (2013-15), the Arctic Council states and Indigenous Permanent Participant organizations worked together to facilitate the creation of the AEC. Each Arctic state and Permanent Participant organization will name up to three business representatives to attend the founding meeting.

In response to a request from the Minister of the Arctic Council, the Honorable Leona Aglukkaq, and the recommendation of the U.S. Department of State, the Alaska Chamber worked collaboratively with the AAPC Co-Chairs to select three representatives to participate in the initial meeting of the AEC. Together they have named the following individuals to participate for the United States:
  • Lori Davey, General Manager, Fairweather, LLC
  • Bruce Harland, Vice President Business Development, Crowley Marine Services, Inc.
  • Gail Schubert, President and CEO, Bering Straits Native Corporation
In case one of the appointed individuals is not able to participate the Alaska Chamber and the AAPC named Chuck Greene, Vice President Community and Regional Affairs, NANA Development Corporation as an alternate. Additionally, four of the six Permanent Participant groups have indigenous representation in Alaska so there will be additional Alaskans participating in the AEC.

The purpose of the AEC aligns with the missions of both the Alaska Chamber and AAPC. The Alaska Chamber’s core mission is to promote a positive business environment throughout Alaska. AAPC’s mission is to develop an Arctic policy for the state and produce a strategy for the implementation of that policy, while working to positively influence federal Arctic policy so that the needs of Alaskans come first.

"I am excited about the possibilities for the new Arctic Economic Council," said Senator Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage), AAPC Co-Chair. "The formation of this new group, a product of our Canadian neighbors' Arctic Council chairmanship, represents a dynamic new opportunity for the business community to forward their expert perspectives, promoting responsible economic development, on to the Arctic Council. Equally important, these arctic industry experts will now have an opportunity to respond to and advise other Arctic Council initiatives with respect to their impacts and effects on economic development and the people's of the circumpolar arctic."

Representative Bob Herron (D-Bethel), AAPC Co-Chair said, “The Arctic Economic Council brings together experts with a wealth of experience from understanding business opportunities to on-the-ground operations in the Arctic. The Council has indicated a willingness to work collaboratively with the many different local, state, national and international players building investment and trade in the circumpolar arctic.”

“With the guidance of the AEC, the Commission hopes to see the Alaskan Arctic emerge as a region that supports thriving communicates that have the capacity to respond and adapt to an emerging Arctic. Alaska presents many new and exciting economic opportunities, that when balanced with maintaining healthy environments and traditional cultures will promote a resilient and dynamic Northern region," added Herron.

“The Chamber has always supported sustainable, environmentally conscience economic growth in Alaska,” said Rachael Petro, Alaska Chamber President/CEO. “Alaska’s economic well being is intricately intertwined with the Arctic so the opportunity to participate globally in the AEC is not just an honor, it’s crucial to Alaska’s future,” Petro added.
 
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Associated Links
Facilitating the Creation of the Arctic Economic Council
The Arctic Economic Council (video)

About the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission
The Commission, made up of 26 Commissioners, including 10 Legislators and 16 experts from throughout the state, is examining several areas to develop the state’s Arctic Policy including: governance, indigenous perspectives, resource development, science and research, energy, planning and infrastructure, security, marine transportation, wildlife and fisheries. The next full Commission meeting will take place in Nome on August 26 and Kotzebue on August 27. For more information and updates, see akarctic.com.

About the Alaska Chamber
Since 1952, the Alaska Chamber has worked to promote a positive business environment in Alaska. A private, non-profit corporation, the Chamber is the voice of small and large business across the state with a Board of Directors comprised of 80 members representing all regions of the state. For more information, go to alaskachamber.com.

Alaska Arctic Policy Commission Contacts:
Nikoosh Carlo, Executive Director, nikoosh.carlo@gmail.com
Jesse Logan, Arctic Policy Advisor, (907) 269-0250, jesse.logan@akleg.gov

Alaska Chamber Contact:
Brandy Dixon, Communications and Events Director (907) 278-2727; bdixon@alaskachamber.com