Alaska Native corporation lowers board pay after complaints

JUNEAU, Alaska — Goldbelt Inc. has amended a scheduled pay raise for its board of directors following concerns from shareholders about the size of the increase, an official said.

The board voted Friday to reduce the compensation from $5,000 to $3,000 for each board member, The Juneau Empire reported.

Board Chairman Todd Antioquia said in a letter to shareholders of the Alaska Native corporation that board members will receive a $500 meetings fee but will no longer receive fees for travel.

Goldbelt has more than 3,600 shareholders and derives the majority of its revenue and income from government contracting and services, as well as tourism, according to its website.

Shareholders and some board members publicly expressed concern at the amount of the original pay raise. There were also complaints the increase had not gone through the proper committees or been thoroughly vetted.

“The process prior to me joining the board has not been the catalyst to these discussions nor the action that we took,” said Antioquia, who was elected chairman at a special meeting Dec. 27.

“We have board members that felt strongly just like shareholders that we needed to look at compensation holistically,” Antioquia said.

A new committee structure has been established to distribute decisions among board members, Antioquia said.

“Each (board member) is going to serve on at least three, and in some cases, four committees,” Antioquia said. “A number of committees that were ad hoc that were made standing committees.”

Shareholder Ray Austin wanted to see written resolutions justifying the pay raise, he said.

“We own the corporation, they work for the owners and it’s our job to hold them accountable,” Austin said.

The Associated Press