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CIRI Board names Next President, CEO


Anchorage, AK - CIRI's Board of Directors named current Chief Operating Officer Sophie Minich to succeed Margie Brown as CIRI president and chief executive officer after Ms. Brown retires early next year.

The Board selected Ms. Minich after a deliberative candidate search and selection process that concluded on June 5, 2012.

"We were fortunate to have had very strong candidates for the position," said CIRI Board Chairman Charles Anderson. "It was a difficult choice. Sophie will make a seamless transition into her new role over the next six months and will provide leadership to continue building CIRI's business momentum and success."

Ms. Minich is Athabascan and grew up in Seward, Alaska. She is a CIRI and Doyon shareholder who became CIRI's chief operating officer in September 2007. She first joined CIRI in 1993 and has served as senior vice president of business development, chief financial officer, vice president of administration and director of accounting. She also serves as CEO of CIRI Alaska Tourism Corp. and is a current director and former chair of the Anchorage Economic Development Corp.'s board of directors, as well as a trustee of Alaska Regional Hospital, CIRI Elders' Settlement Trust and on the Great West Division Board of the American Cancer Society. She earned a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Ms. Brown is a CIRI shareholder of Yup'ik descent and has served as CIRI president and chief executive officer since January 2005. She began her career at CIRI in 1976, four years after its incorporation. During her career she held various executive positions, principally managing CIRI's natural resources operations and serving on CIRI's Board of Directors from 2002 to 2005 and from 1984 to 1987. Ms. Brown notified CIRI's Board of her intention to retire in fall 2011 and the Board started the succession process.

CIRI's Board of Directors met in special session June 4-5 to interview finalists and select the company's next president and CEO.

"I am delighted with the smooth and orderly leadership succession process that is taking place," said Ms. Brown. "CIRI's directors have shown that they are pleased with our Company's current operations and growth path by selecting Sophie. She is a talented leader who has the experience, wisdom and energy to guide our Company to continued growth and success for the next generation." The transition will continue until Ms. Brown retires on Jan. 3, 2013.

CIRI held its 39th annual meeting of shareholders in Soldotna, AK on June 2, 2012 and reelected incumbent directors Douglas W. Fifer, Erik I. Frostad, Dr. Jeffrey A. Gonnason, Ted S. Kroto Sr. and Louis "Lou" Nagy Jr. to serve three-year terms on CIRI's 15-person Board of Directors. The Board met after the annual meeting and re-elected the following officers:

  • Chairman - Charles G. Anderson
  • Vice chairman - Patrick M. Marrs
  • Secretary - Thomas P. Huhndorf
  • Treasurer - Michael R. Boling
  • Assistant Secretary - Douglas W. Fifer
  • Assistant Treasurer - Penny L. Carty

CIRI is an Alaska Native corporation that was incorporated on June 8, 1972. It is one of 12 Alaska-based regional corporations established by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 to benefit Alaska Native people who had ties to the Cook Inlet region. The Company is owned by more than 7,400 Alaska Native shareholders of Athabascan, Southeast Indian, Inupiat, Yupik, Alutiiq/Sugpiaq and Aleut/Unangax descent. It is based in Anchorage and has interests across Alaska and the United States. CIRI's portfolio of business operations and investments includes:

  • Traditional and alternative energy and resource development
  • Oilfield and construction services
  • Environmental remediation services
  • Real estate investment and management
  • Tourism and hospitality
  • Telecommunications
  • Aerospace defense
  • Private equity and venture capital investments

CIRI also created a family of nonprofit organizations that provide health care, housing, employment, education and other social and cultural enrichment services for Alaska Native people and others.

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