Limbo for Calista Native Corporation CEO May Be Over
By Rhonda McBride
The president and CEO of the Calista Native Corporation, Andrew Guy, has been on administrative leave since mid-July. But it appears his fortunes could change this week, after new members were elected to the corporation’s board of directors at Calista’s annual shareholder’s meeting, held this year in Goodnews Bay on Saturday.
The Calista Corporation the regional corporation for Southwest Alaska and represents more than 13,000 shareholders. After years of struggling, the corporation’s recent entry into the federal government contracting business has made it profitable.
The board has called a special meeting for Wednesday, and Calista insiders believe that Guy will be reinstated at that time, because a majority of the new board supports Guy.
Last month, dozens of Calista shareholders, who were advocating for Guy’s return, were shut out of corporation’s quarterly board meeting at corporation headquarters in Anchorage.
In August, a majority of the board voted to hire a firm to investigate Guy, and pay the board’s secretary, Felix Hess, an annual salary of $100,000, to represent the board during the investigation.
But Hess was not re-elected to the board Saturday. He was replaced by Robert Beans, a Guy supporter. Also, Marcie Sherer replaced Harley Sundown, who was part of the group of board members who wanted to oust Guy.
Guy supporters like Mike Williams of Akiak say they thought he was doing a good job – but his efforts to bring more integrity to the board process had caused dissension on the board. Williams led a recall effort against two board members, Hess and the chairman of the board, Art Heckman.
Williams was in Goodnews Bay for the shareholder’s meeting and said Guy received a standing ovation when he was introduced, despite having been placed on administrative leave.
“That tells me the shareholders overwhelmingly want to reinstate Andrew Guy,” said Williams, but a resolution to reinstate the CEO was not heard. The chairman of the board, Art Heckman, adjourned the meeting, immediately after it was introduced.
Williams believes that the make-up of the new board will lead to new leadership and allow for Guy’s return.
“I’m looking forward to having business continue, business that is in the best interest of the shareholders and the corporation,” Williams said.
Board member Felix Hess said he had no comment on the election results but did say he hopes the board will complete its investigation into Guy. The board, citing employee confidentiality, would not say why it placed Guy on administrative leave or called for an investigation.
KTUU also contacted the current chairman of the board, Art Heckman, who deferred comment to Felix Hess.