UFA Announces New President
and Executive Committee Members
June 17, 2010
Effective this week (Tuesday), United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA)
has elected Arni Thomson, Executive Director of the Alaska Crab
Coalition (ACC), to lead the statewide fishing trade association
as President for 2010 - 2011. Thomson has served on the UFA Board
of Directors since 1997 as the representative of the ACC, and
served as UFA's National committee chair since 2005. He also
serves as the Shellfish Committee Chair for the Alaska Seafood
Marketing Institute (ASMI).
In preparation for taking this office Thomson moved to Anchorage
as part of his commitment to being available to Alaska fishermen
and state and federal officials. Thomson met with Alaska and
national fishing industry representatives at the meetings of
regional fishery management council chairs and NOAA aquaculture
representatives in May, and has also recently visited Homer,
Cook Inlet, Kenai, Soldotna, Sitka, and Juneau and met with representatives
to discuss issues affecting their fisheries.
Thomson replaces Joe Childers, who served as UFA President since
2007. Childers helped raised UFA to an all time 37 member groups
and 56 lifetime members, and helped UFA increase its outreach
and prominence outside Alaska.
"I intend to continue Childers' work to elevate the public
awareness of the importance of commercial fisheries, ensure that
fishermen have access to fisheries, that those fisheries resources
continue to be managed sustainably, and to continue the momentum
of UFA's increasing membership support from fishing groups and
individual fishermen," said Thomson.
"Alaska has done a good
job of marketing our seafood products and sustaining our seafood
resource, but we also need to help raise the awareness within
our own state of the value that the fishing industry represents
in the state, and the importance of sustaining the thousands
of individual fishing family businesses.
Other changes include Cheryl Sutton of Ninilchik, who will follow
Kathy Hansen as Statewide chair, Stephanie Madsen of Juneau who
succeeds Thomson as National chair, and Duncan Fields of Kodiak
following Roland Maw as Admin chair. Chip Treinen of Anchorage
will continue as Vice President and Rich Davis of Juneau continues
as Secretary Treasurer.
In addition to its President and these officers, UFA's Executive
Committee includes nine committee chairs. Bruce Wallace of Juneau
continues as Environmental chair, Bruce Schactler of Kodiak as
Marketing chair, Julianne Curry of Petersburg as Subsistence
chair, Gary Fandrei of Kenai as Enhancement chair, and Paul Shadura
of Kenai as Membership chair. Childers will hold an Executive
Committee seat for one year as past President.
"These leadership posts are critical to the process UFA
uses to focus on the common interests to the wide variety of
Alaska fishing fleets, with committee chairs responsible for
identifying topics for the organization's biannual meetings.
These are very all-consuming volunteer positions, and we appreciate
the huge workload that Joe, Kathy, and Roland have contributed,"
said UFA Executive Director Mark Vinsel.
UFA represents 37 Alaska commercial fishing associations from
fisheries throughout the state and its offshore waters. Recent
accomplishments include raising the Fishermen's Fund claim limit,
broadening of the state's fisheries energy efficiency loan programs,
and tax relief for Exxon Valdez oil spill claimants.
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