Calista shareholders seek a voice at meeting

by Angela Denning-Barnes on October 18, 2012

Calista shareholders waiting in the hall Oct. 17. Photo from calistanews.com

Over two dozen shareholders showed up at Calista’s headquarters in Anchorage Oct. 17 to attend a scheduled board of directors meeting. According to the agenda, the board planned to go over “administrative leave issues” regarding President, Andrew Guy, who was put on leave by the board in July.

The meeting lasted most of the day.

A play by play of the events was posted on the website calistanews.com, a blog run by a frustrated shareholder. According to the website, shareholders wanted to discuss Guy’s administrative leave status. They were allowed into part of the meeting but were not allowed into executive sessions where the discussion about Guy happened.

A post on the shareholder website said they waited all day, sitting in chairs and on the floor for a chance to speak their opinions and voice concerns but the board voted to not let them speak.

KTUU news reporter, Rhonda McBride, reported on the shareholders waiting. Rose Domnick of Bethel told her, “organizations and agencies hide behind rules and regulations, not always honestly.” Domnick said that she believes the board’s leadership has drifted away from Yup’ik cultural values, and it’s hurting the corporation.

Earl Samuelson of Napaskiak told Channel 2 that Guy’s limbo status has gone on too long. Samuelson said he doesn’t know all the details, but the more he learns, the more disappointed he gets.

Calista is the for-profit Native corporation for the Y-K Delta and has been embroiled in leadership controversy for months. It came to the attention of many shareholders when the annual June shareholders meeting was canceled and later re-scheduled for November 3 in Goodnews Bay. The entire voting process including shareholder proxy voting was redone.

Board leadership said the decision was made to change the meeting because of a defect in the board’s voting process in April. However, some shareholders have questioned the process. They submitted resolutions to remove several of the board members at the upcoming annual meeting.

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