Sealaska Reports $35 Million Net Loss Last Year

Southeast Alaska’s regional Native corporation says it had a net loss of $35 million last year.

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Sealaska Plaza, the corporation's headquarters.
Sealaska Plaza, the corporation’s headquarters.

Sealaska’s 2013 annual report says three-quarters of the loss came from its construction subsidiary. It badly underestimated the cost of two building projects in Hawaii.

The report says the subsidiary’s managers are gone and bidding on such projects has stopped.

Sealaska says another $25 million was lost as the corporation adjusted its accounting practices. Earnings from investments, profitable ventures and resource revenues from other regional Native corporations shrunk the overall loss.

Sealaska CEO Chris McNeil says the corporation remains healthy and is positioned to grow.

The corporation is headquartered in Juneau and has close to 22,000 Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian shareholders. More than half live outside Southeast.

Shareholder and longtime critic Brad Fluetsch says actual, unadjusted losses are twice the $35 million figure.

The Juneau financial adviser says the losses are a sign of poor management.

Ed Schoenfeld is Regional News Director for CoastAlaska, a consortium of public radio stations in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell.

He primarily covers Southeast Alaska regional topics, including the state ferry system, transboundary mining, the Tongass National Forest and Native corporations and issues.

He has also worked as a manager, editor and reporter for the Juneau Empire newspaper and Juneau public radio station KTOO. He’s also reported for commercial station KINY in Juneau and public stations KPFA in Berkley, WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and WUHY in Philadelphia. He’s lived in Alaska since 1979 and is a contributor to Alaska Public Radio Network newscasts, the Northwest (Public Radio) News Network and National Native News. He is a board member of the Alaska Press Club. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he lives in Douglas.

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