Election materials and ballot for The Aleut Corporation (TAC) annual meeting have been mailed. Please vote for the director of your choice. The annual meeting is October 14, 2017. The Aleut Elder Editor Leo Merculief and thealeutelder.com support Anthony Lekanof as a director candidate. Substantive financial issues about The Aleut Corporation are discussed and posted on The Aleut Voice, a public Facebook site. Opinions expressed are those of Editor Leo Merculief. Facts, figures and financials are taken from Aleut Corporation's annual report, TAC publications as well as public sources as other sources to The Aleut Voice.
August 14, 2017
thealeutelder supports Anthony Lekanof for The Aleut Corporation (TAC) board of directors in the upcoming election. We have heard 3 inquiries and comments about Anthony's young age and his preparation to serve on the TAC board. Please read The Aleut Voice endorsement on our public Facebook page including the specific reasons why I think Anthony is ready. I do not take this issue lightly. TAC needs youth and energy on the board of directors. After decades of talking about the need for youth in corporations and tribal organizations, it is time to back it up with electing young candidates who are qualified and can get up to speed quickly. Young board members will create more interest so young shareholders and those inheriting stock will stay engaged and vote. We need to ask ourselves "what does too young mean"?
When young Unangan (Aleut) children went to the killing field with sharp knives to help with gathering meat, were they too young?
When young girls stood on chairs at stoves to help cook for men that had to hunt and work, were they too young?
When young Aleuts were not offered education beyond the 6th grade or age 15 to be assimilated into working gangs, were they too young? When they were punished for speaking Aleut or not speaking english well enough, were they too young to punish?
When my grandfather Nicolai was put on a sailing ship from St. George Island, AK to San Francisco to enter the seminary at age 9, was he too young?
Too young to conduct business?
In 1968 Gabe Stepetin, President of the Saint Paul Aleut Community asked two first year college students Larry Merculieff age 18 (UW) and Pat Pletnikoff age 20 (WWC) to represent Saint Paul and St. George in Washington D.C. Larry and Pat's assignment was to help implement The Fur Seal Act of 1966, form a city and seek funding for a boat harbor. Gabe had little knowledge about what had to be done except to tell his young representatives to get it done. After getting lost repeatedly, motivated only by fear and uncertainty, our young Unangan students finally met with Flore Lekanof and Senator Ted Stevens. Read about this and other youthful challenges in Larry's book, Wisdom Keepers-copyright Larry Merculieff & North Atlantic Books.
TAC needs a new paradigm
At the Seattle TAC shareholder information meeting in February 2017, I shared a handout with TAC's board that shows from 2011 through 2016 a cumulative net loss of $(7.4 M). What carried the company through that period was $29.7 M in 7i income and the Patrick Mechanical subsidiary. 2012-2017 dividends have been mediocre. All that was accomplished (if you could call it that) by a board of directors middle aged or older. Think about it, it's time for youth, energy and a candidate that truly commits to Shareholders First
September 2016 post updated
Aleut Shareholder advocate, The Aleut Voice analyzes TAC annual reports about 42 pages in 2014 and 2015 now 65 pages for 2016. Since 2010, The Voice has taken this information and compressed it down to about 8 pages with one and two page editorials making it easy for shareholders to understand.
In Feb, 2015 The Aleut Voice produced a one page summary on AMS The Enigma. In 8 previous years AMS has averaged about 1% net profit including a $17M loss in 2012. "Being in the black" creates false hope for shareholders especially based on one year's performance of $4.4M AMS net profit on $100M in revenue about a 4.4% return consistent with 8a contracting. At this rate it would take about 7 years to make up for all of AMS past losses. Shareholders should not put too much faith into candidates claims until you see about 4 years of sustained growth from subsidiaries in the black going forward. Read what all the candidates said in the past; 6 years ago, 3 years ago when they ran and what they are saying now. It is the same old feel good stuff an no positions on profits and dividends and no numbers to back it up. Look at the meager income TAC has produced in the meantime on their watch.
If you want to look at true operating performance take away the $3.65M 7i income on the 2016 annual report page 28 and subtract it from the income before income taxes of $3.107M. Do you see a negative number? Study the individual subsidiary performances on page 65.
TAC shareholders please ask candidates and officers "How did you create profits in your past jobs and for what company."? Profits pay for everything else. Absent profits and a dividend policy then TAC pays for all its excessive overheads with liquidity which has dropped from roughly $38M in 2010 down to $19M in 2016. DIVIDENDS BELONG AT $10/SHARE. Based on this years dividend distribution of about 40% of net profits then TAC needs to sustain $8.1M net profits for $10 per share. Top officers are paid well and board compensation look like part time jobs. Who is going to stand up for shareholders? Feeding shareholders with hope and fancy talk that is inconsistent with numbers and past trends is disrespectful.
As an elder I stand up for all forebears on whose backs came the original distribution from the Alaska Native Fund. Elder voices that were heard advocating for shareholders are heard no more at annual meetings, friends and strong Unangan we have lost, Petrivelli, Zacharof and Cowden. Voices now silent, who is going to step up and speak for shareholders? At last year's annual meeting there was one significant question about business, 2014 was not much better. The 2016 Portland shareholder information meeting was void of substantive business discussions just another expensive social. It is TAC's responsibility to bring forth business discussions and educate shareholders, a responsibility TAC has under ANCSA--The Claims Act. Who is going to speak for elders when we are no longer able to speak for ourselves?
September 18th, 2017
May 02nd, 2017
Leo Merculief, Aleut Elder born on St. George Island moved to WA state in 1955 and married Christine in 1962. An Unangax historian and advocate, Leo is closely connected to Alaska. Leo is dedicated to publishing and community service.