March 2 & 3, 2023

The Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage

SWAMC understands that the weather in much of our region is not cooperating for the next few days, and many who registered for our annual Economic Summit and Membership Meeting will not be able to attend March 2-3 here in Anchorage. Please email smarquardt@swamc.org leaving the names of the attendees and the method of payment used and SWAMC will reimburse you for your registration.  

The SWAMC Board of Directors has worked diligently to bring you networking opportunities and presentations relevant to our Southwest Communities in this time of unprecedented federal funding levels and assistance. Topics will include:

  • Getting Broadband funding off the table and into our communities.
  • How to successfully fund critical housing projects and bring down barriers to construction.
  • How to plan your lobbying approach for positive results at the State and Federal levels.
  • Health Care funding for rural clinics, Mental Health providers, and workforce development in our schools.
  • Workforce Development strategy to meet the job demands of IIJA and ADOT funding projects in our future.
  • A Coastal Coalition of sub-regions across the state to strengthen our ability to advocate for policy and programs critical to Coastal Alaska.
  • A Fisheries Panel with policy, research, and market changes in the Seafood Industry.
  • Our annual Legislative Sit-down with our regional House and Senate representatives from Juneau.

As always, our President’s Reception will be held Thursday, March 2 with our silent auction. We look forward to a strong showing of art, seafood, jewelry, and other items that show off your community and raise funds for SWAMC’s Young Leader program.

Our message this year is “Focus on the Future” as we work to realize the benefits of unprecedented funding opportunities and partnerships with the State of Alaska to achieve much of what we have been working toward for so many years. The earlier you register for the conference and make your hotel arrangements the better. See you there!

Rooms at The Hotel Captain Cook

Use the discount code SWAMC23 to book online at www.captaincook.com,
Call (907) 276-6000 or Toll-free 1-800-843-1950.

The cutoff date for one of the reserved SWAMC block rooms is February 15th. After that date, they will be as available.

Voting & Nomination Forms

For those who are unable to attend our 2023 Conference, please click the links below to download voting and nomination forms.

Conference Registration

Register to attend one or both days of the conference. Early bird registration ends Feb. 28.


We are grateful for the support of our sponsors who provide the resources we need to host the conference. Sponsorship levels include:

Skipper: $5,000 Includes 4 conference tickets, large logo at our head table and spotlights throughout the conference, large logo included in all conference promotional materials. Newsletter piece highlight.

Deck Master: $2,500 Includes 2 conference tickets, small logo at our head table and honorable mentions throughout the conference, small logo included in all conference promotional materials.

Deck Hand: $1,500 Includes 1 conference ticket, small logo at our head table and honorable mentions throughout the conference, small logo included in all conference promotional materials.

Coffee Break: $750 Includes small logo at our head table and honorable mentions throughout the conference, small logo included in all conference promotional materials.


Exhibitors are invited to have informational and promotional booths at the conference. All tables/booths are $550 and include 2 tickets to the conference.

Thursday, March 5th – First Day of Conference                      


8:00     Registration & Networking Breakfast

8:30     Opening and Welcome – Board President Swain & Executive Director Marquardt

8:35     Mayor Ethan Berkowitz

8:50     Critical Coastal Connections: Intrastate Marine Transportation in Southwest Alaska

~~~Break ~~~

10:10    Exhibitor Announcements

10:30  Kodiak to Adak and All Points in Between: Air Transportation in Southwest Alaska

  • Scott Habberstad – Director of Sales & Community Marketing, Alaska Airlines
  • John Binder – Deputy Commissioner, Alaska Dept. of Transportation
  • Derek Shanks – Chief Commercial Officer, Ravn Air Group
  • Chris Barnes – Grant Aviation

11:40   Platinum Sponsor Announcement – Alaska Airlines

11:50   Platinum Sponsor Announcement – GCI


12:00   Networking Lunch, Plated

  • Video Address by Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Dan Sullivan
  • Legislative Update from Nils Andreassen, Executive Director at Alaska Municipal League


1:00   Platinum Sponsor Announcement – Ravn Air Group

1:10      New Opportunities to Address Familiar Challenges

  • Erik Obrien – Program Manager, Denali Commission – Platinum Sponsor
  • Nuyakuk Hydro: Robert Himschoot – CEO/General Manager, Nushagak Cooperative
  • Tribal 5G Spectrum: Harold Johnston – President, Alaska Tribal Broadband, LLC
  • AMHS Reshaping/Reform: Robert Venables – Executive Director, Southeast Conference

~~~Break ~~~

2:30      Brave New World: Broadband Internet Connectivity for Southwest Alaska

Moderated by Doug Griffin, former SWAMC Executive Director

~~~Break ~~~

3:45      First Responders in the Last Frontier: Public Safety in Southwest Alaska

  • Katherine TePas – Program Coordinator II, Department of Public Safety
  • John Skidmore – Deputy Attorney General, State of Alaska
  • Nikole Nelson – Executive Director, Alaska Legal Services
  • Captain Andrew Merrill – C Detachment Commander, Alaska State Troopers


5:30      President’s Reception & Silent Auction – Quarter Deck

Friday, March 6th – Second Day of Conference


8:00       Registration & Networking Breakfast

8:30       Opening and Welcome

8:35       Commissioner Julie Anderson, DCCED, on behalf of Governor Mike Dunleavy

9:00       Sponsor’s Appreciation        

9:15       SWAMC’s 2020 Membership Meeting

  • Sub-regional Caucuses & Board Elections
  • FY19 Financial Report
  • Resolutions

~~~Break ~~~

11:00     Science-Driven Fisheries Dynamics: What’s in Our Future?

  • Glenn Merrill – Assistant Regional Administrator, NOAA Alaska Regional Office
  • Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang – Alaska Department of Fish & Game
  • Jeff Hetrick – Director, Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery
  • Bradley Harris – FAST Lab Director & Assoc. Professor, Alaska Pacific University


12:00     Networking Lunch Buffet, featuring Alaska Symphony of Seafood Winning Products

  • Representative Louise Stutes
  • Ashley Heimbigner, Communications Director at Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute – Platinum Sponsor


1:00        Salmon, Cod, and Rockfish, Oh My! Fish Management Policy in Southwest Alaska

  • Nicole Kimball – Council Member, North Pacific Fishery Management Council
  • Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang – Alaska Department of Fish & Game
  • Gerad Godfrey – Member, Alaska Board of Fish

~~~Break ~~~

2:30         Farming the Gulf and the Bering Sea: Mariculture Opportunities in Southwest Alaska

Moderated by Erik Obrien, Denali Commission

  • Craig Fleener – Founder & CEO, Alaska Ocean Cluster
  • Julie Decker – Executive Director, Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation
  • Charlotte Levy – Natural Resources Assistant Director, Aleutians East Borough
  • Matthew Fagnani – Senior Development Executive, Alaska Development Team

~~~Break ~~~

3:45        Legislative Update and Dialogue 

  • Senator Gary Stevens
  • Senator Lyman Hoffman
  • Representative Bryce Edgmon


5:00        Conference Wrap-up

2021 Open Board Seats

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