In April of 2017, I launched a campaign – to what I told many people, “a campaign far bigger than myself.” It was a chance to make a difference not only in my community of St. George, but also offer a fresh perspective that my regional corporation desperately needed.
There is an African Proverb that continually bounces inside my mind, “A speaker of truth has no friends.” I’d express this quote among my colleagues and mentors as a lesson of sincerity. In the business of my regional corporation, this is often shut down on the floor of annual meetings to those we are taught to respect – our elders.
In the 2017 annual meeting of shareholders, I was astonished by the lack of respect that was given to our older shareholders as they addressed their concerns. Yes difficult words were exchanged between the executive management team, but as a shareholder of the corporation, it is a given right that anybody can share a grievance or speak positively to any part of the business operations of the company – regardless of being pro or con.
Contrary to many board members preaching’s, hypocrisy runs deeply in their lessons of succession. While attending annual meetings over the years, the public relations that the corporation sends to its shareholders is that of, “encouraging our youth to become an active member of the process,” or “the younger generation is the future.” Incumbents are continually elected; they stay seated because of ballot solicitation, and never give snowballs chance in hell to give those they encourage to become involved. It is time to retire decades-standing incumbents, and close the revolving door of elections on our regional board.
As we walk into another election year I tell everyone who are interested in the process, “give’em hell.” Because that is really what it takes to get involved. The cautionary tale I give each prospecting candidate is to never bash your future colleagues. It’s one thing to express the need for change, but pointing fingers to those at the top while running an election is dangerous. You lose all credibility you may have had before winning. Which reminds me how quarterly discussions must be going with somebody who campaigned on negativity in 2017.
With commitments to future endeavors, I will not be seeing the 2018 regional corporation election. Instead, I will be seeking to run as a Republican candidate for Alaska House District 18. A more formal introduction to this campaign will surface soon. I will remain an active member of the process in any capacity candidates chose to involve me – but one thing is for certain. I will advocate for an incoming presence of younger, more passionate leaders. Leaders who can offer solutions instead of riding the fence on issues that will face the larger part of Aleut’s in the next decade. For it takes a collective, developing understanding to ensure the long-term success of our regional corporation.