March 7 & 8, 2024

The Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage

Workforce Development and Job Training for Future Projects

Panel included presentations from

• Paul Layer- University of Alaska, Vice President of Academics, Students, and Research
• Dirk Craft- Alaska Workforce Investment Board, Director

Connectivity Horizons: Navigating Regional Broadband and Telecom

Panel included presentations from

  • Thomas Lochner- AK DCEED, Director of Broadband
  • Shawn Williams- Pacific Dataport, VP of Government Affairs and Strategy
  • Christine O’Connor- Alaska Telecom Association, Executive Director
  • Alexander Schumann- Microcom, General Manager
  • Jenifer Nelson- GCI, Director of Rural Affairs

Safe Communities: Strengthening Public Safety & Healthcare

Panel included presentations from

• James Hoelscher- Village Public Safety Officer, Director
• Lynda Hernandez- Alaska AHEC (Area Health Education Centers)
• Brandy Stratman- Providence Behavioral Health, Senior Manager Clinic Operations
• Lauren Anderson- Providence Behavioral Health, Senior Manager Clinic Operations

Day 1 Lunch

Presentation by

Nolan Klouda- Center for Economic Development, Director

Gold Sponsor Spotlight: Alaska Airlines

Mariculture Momentum: Cultivating Sustainable Growth in Coastal Economies

Panel included presentations from

• Dan Lesh- Southeast Conference, Deputy Director
• Tommy Sheridan- Alaska Blue Economy Center, ABEC Lead
• Jason Lessard- Alaska Mariculture Alliance, Executive Director
• Lindsay Olsen- Greenwave, Director of Training and Support
• Arron Jones- Sea grant, Mariculture Technician Kodiak

Navigating Tomorrow’s Routes: Transportation Solutions in our region

Panel included presentations from

• Sean Holland- Department of Transportation, Director, Central Region
• Marcus L. Hartley- Northern Economics, Inc, President
• Scott Habberstad-Alaska Airlines, Managing Director of the Alaska Market
• Craig Tornga- Alaska Marine Highway System, Director

Day 1 Lunch

Panel included presentations from

Erin Reinders, Alaska Municipal League, Director of Infrastructure
Gold Sponsor Spotlight: Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute & GCI

Harmony in Flux: Navigating Fisheries Management Challenges

Panel included presentations from

• Doug Vincent-Lang- Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Commissioner
• Märit Carlson-Van Dort- Board of Fisheries, Member

Reel Solutions: Overcoming Marketing and Processor Challenges in the Fishing Industry

Panel included presentations from

• Greg Smith- Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Communications Director
• Nicole Kimball-Pacific Seafood Processors Association, Vice President
• Sam Friedman- McKinley Research Group, Consultant

Resolutions passed

During our 2024 Conference, we had passed four resolutions which can be found here

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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