Chugach recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, and Sheri has served on its Board of Directors for half of those five decades helping to guide Chugach through significant growth.
Sheri’s professional career extends beyond her leadership position with Chugach. She is an active community member, serving on the board of Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) for 25 years; Native American Contractor’s Association; Silver Salmon Creek Leadership Institute; Russian Orthodox Sacred Sites in Alaska (ROSSIA); and The Tatitlek Corporation and Copper Mountain Foundation. In 2015, Sheri was appointed to serve on the University of Alaska Board of Regents where she was elected to serve 3 years as Chair through her term ending in February 2023.
She also served as President for the ANSCA Regional Association (ARA) Board of Directors from 2004 to 2008 and as a board director from 1999-2008. Sheri is especially proud to have safeguarded the ancestral waters of the Chugach Region through her services on the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens Advisory Council and the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Public Advisory Group.
During Sheri’s tenure as Chairman, Chugach has maintained its standing on Alaska Business Monthly’s Top 49er List for more than a decade, regularly earning the 5th or 6th rank amongst Alaska’s most profitable businesses. During her time leading Chugach, the corporation has also been the recipient of numerous awards from Best of Alaska Business, the Anchorage Chamber, and the Alaska Journal of Commerce.
Within the corporation, Sheri was recognized with a Visionary Award for her work to get legislation passed for Alaska Native settlement trusts to benefit generations to come; and for lobbying the California Air Resource Board to include Alaska forests in their inventory for potential carbon sequestration projects and her contributions leading to the successful Bering River Coal Field (BRCF) coal rights sale. Bringing the carbon market to Alaska and retiring the coal rights was a huge component of Chugach’s 100-year plan, placing Chugach on a path to intergenerational prosperity and funding the CHF educational endowment.
Sheri serves as Interim CEO for Chugach during periods of transition in leadership and is also Chairman of the Chugach Heritage Foundation and Chugach Heritage Museum & Archaeological Repository, both nonprofits serving the Chugach people.
Chugach President Josie Hickel said “The Chugach family is so proud of the accomplishments that Sheri has made in her role with the corporation, as well as with the many organizations she has served to promote a strong and healthy Alaska. She has established herself among an elite group of strong Alaska Native leaders for her diligent efforts to elevate the lives of the Alaska Native people. She is well deserving of this recognition, and we offer our hearty congratulations.”
Her accomplishments earned her a previous induction into the ATHENA Society, which recognizes excellence. Sheri is also the recipient of the YWCA Women of Achievement Award.
Above all, Sheri is a steadfast advocate for Alaska Native self-determination and this advocacy manifests itself in all aspects of her life – including her work, community involvement and personal passions.
Sheri was born in Anchorage, Alaska; though, her family is from the Native Village of Tatitlek located in Prince William Sound. Sheri holds a degree from the University of Alaska and from Gulf Coast Community College in Florida. She and her husband Gary have two beautiful children, Anastasia and Bo.
Please join us in congratulating Sheri on being the well-deserved recipient of the ATHENA Leadership Award.
About Anchorage ATHENA Society
A part of the International ATHENA Society, which bears the name of the Greek goddess of wisdom, the Anchorage ATHENA Society (AAS) is a program of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce that works year-round to encourage the potential of all women as valued members and leaders of the business community. In addition, the members of the AAS devote themselves to raising money for scholarships, creating leadership initiatives, and establishing local mentoring and scholarship programs.
The AAS now approaches 275 members, representing a diverse group of professionals with 11 new inductees joining the group each year through the annual ATHENA Award ceremony. The first award was given to Dr. Joyce Murphy in 1988, and then in 1995, it was presented to Eleanor Andrews, the current Anchorage ATHENA Society Chair. That year she traveled to the National ATHENA Conference which inspired her to start Anchorage’s local group.