Alaska SeaLife Center CEO stepping down after 11 years

Tara Riemer
Alaska SeaLife Center CEO Tara Riemer is stepping down after 11 years. (Courtesy Alaska SeaLife Center)

After 20 years with the Alaska SeaLife Center, more than half of them as its president and CEO, Tara Riemer is stepping down.

According to a statement from the Seward-based center, Riemer has served in this role for the past 11 years. She will remain until a new president is found.

Board of directors chair Josie Hickel said that Riemer is the one who made the decision to leave the center.

“She’s leaving under the best of possible terms, including staying with us through a transition process to select a new CEO and making sure that they can be successful in their role,” Hickel said.

Riemer first worked for the SeaLife Center as a research grant administrator. After becoming CEO, she worked on a number of projects, including rehabilitating a baby beluga whale, and working with the center to raise $2 million during the COVID-19 pandemic to make up for revenue losses.

Hickel said Riemer is leaving a strong legacy behind at the center and is working to make a smooth transition.

“We have a very strong leadership team underneath her,” she said. “We feel extremely confident that we’re going to be able to continue to deliver all of the same programs and great benefits and experience for our visitors that we always have through this process.”

The center’s board is now working with the Foraker Group to undergo a national search for a new CEO. They hope to fill the position by spring of next year.

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