Key leadership changes afoot for United Fisherman of Alaska
Leadership changes are afoot for the United Fisherman of Alaska (UFA) this month, with a number of key seats being passed down following a standard election period, the collective announced on 12 April.
Effective as of 15 April, Matt Alward will succeed Jerry McCune as president, Bob Kehoe will take over Alward’s former role as vice president, and new executive committee members Rebecca Skinner and Sue Doherty will be sworn in.
Alward, who represents the North Pacific Fisheries Association on the UFA board and has served as vice president since 2015, will take over as president for UFA Alaska Seafood Industry Hall of Famer McCune, who has served in the role since 2014, as well as from 1992 to 1996. A paid and volunteer lobbyist for UFA throughout the past two decades, McCune will continue to serve on the UFA executive committee once Alward has assumed his presidency, UFA said.
“I and the board appreciate that Matt has stepped forward as an active vice president and worked closely with me to be prepared for leading UFA,” McCune said in a press release. “Matt and I have been working very closely in his two years as vice president and I look forward to helping him as he leads the organization into the future. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve fishermen, and I appreciate the support from the board and members for the organization.”
“I greatly appreciate the decades of service and leadership Jerry has given to the commercial fishing industry and the ways in which he has mentored me and so many other Alaskan fishermen,” Alward added. “It has been an honor to work alongside him and the UFA board to serve and advocate for the industry. I look forward to building a bright future for UFA and all Alaska fishermen. If we work together we can improve the unity of all sectors and regions of our industry and bring a stronger voice to the state, nation, and the world.”
Bob Kehoe of the Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association will assume the role of UFA vice president left vacant by Alward’s move. Kehoe previously served two years as administrative committee co-chair for UFA.
Rebecca Skinner and Sue Doherty will be welcomed aboard this month as UFA’s newest executive committee members, serving as the Subsistence Committee chair and PR & Membership chair, respectively. Skinner, who represents the UFA member group Alaska Whitefish Trawlers Association, was recently picked as a member of the Kodiak region federal subsistence regional advisory council. Doherty, meanwhile, represents the Southeast Alaska Seiners Association on the UFA board.
Voting for UFA officers and executive committee roles was carried out by the organization during its spring meeting in February. The full UFA Executive committee and their member group affiliations in light of the election are as follows:
- President- Matt Alward (North Pacific Fisheries Association)
- Vice President – Bob Kehoe (Purse Seine Vessel Owners Assn.)
- Secretary/Treasurer – Chad See (Freezer Longline Coalition)
- Immediate Past President – Jerry McCune (Cordova District Fishermen United)
- Admin – Zach Hill (At-Large delegate)
- Enhancement – Gary Fandrei (Cook Inlet Aquaculture Assn.)
- Environmental - Vacant
- Marketing – Bruce Schactler (At-Large delegate)
- National – Stephanie Madsen (At-sea Processors Assn.)
- PR & Membership - Sue Doherty (Southeast Alaska Seiners)
- Statewide - Megan O’Neil (Petersburg Vessel Owners Assn.)
- Subsistence – Rebecca Skinner (Alaska Whitefish Trawlers Assn.)
UFA is a statewide commercial fishing trade association, representing 35 Alaska commercial fishing organizations participating in fisheries throughout the state and in adjacent offshore federal waters.