Sealaska Plans To Bring Investment Back Home

New Sealaska CEO Anthony Mallott says part of the Juneau-based regional Native corporation’s strategy for reversing recent losses will be to do business closer to home.

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Mallott told the Juneau Chamber of Commerce on Thursday that Sealaska wants to provide economic opportunities and jobs for its nearly 22,000 shareholders. Most live in Southeast and the Pacific Northwest.

The corporation has sold some of its business interests in areas like Florida, Mexico and Alabama. Mallott says it now has a $100 million investment fund and a $65 million fund for acquisitions.

While jobs for shareholders will be important, Mallott says the number one priority will be to invest in profitable enterprises. In 2013, Sealaska businesses lost about $57 million. That shrunk to $35 million due to revenue from investments and natural resource earnings shared by all Native corporations.

Mallott believes Congress is poised to pass legislation completing Sealaska’s land entitlement under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. The long-awaited measure would transfer up to 80,000 acres of the Tongass National Forest to the corporation, providing a boon to Sealaska’s timber businesses.

Mallott took over as CEO at Sealaska’s annual meeting in June. He had previously served as treasurer and chief investment officer. He replaced longtime CEO Chris McNeil Jr., who retired. Mallott is the son of Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former Sealaska board member Byron Mallott.