Three incumbents were re-elected Saturday to the Goldbelt Corp. board of directors in an election that featured a surge of voter interest.
Company vice president McHugh Pierre announced the results by email Monday afternoon.
Board chairman Benjamin Coronell, vice-chair Katherine Eldemar and treasurer Richard Beasley received the most votes (in order) among the 10 candidates who ran for three seats.
Goldbelt, the urban Native corporation for Juneau, has about 3,700 shareholders, and according to figures provided by the corporation, 70.4 percent of the corporation’s outstanding shares were voted. The corporation calls turnout the highest in recent history. According to past Empire coverage, the 2001 election featured turnout of about 80 percent.
Coronell, Eldemar and Beasley will continue in their roles with the corporation.
Also running were Steven Scott McClure, Todd Antioquia, William (Chilton) Andrews, Tina Cloyd, Raymond E. Austin and Frank L. Jimmy Sr. Darlene McKinley withdrew from the election.
Election results were finalized Saturday at Goldbelt’s 44th annual meeting, which took place at Centennial Hall.
In addition to the elections, shareholders were presented with copies of the corporation’s 2017 financial report, which was confirmed by auditors in May.
The report shows the success of cost-cutting efforts undertaken in 2017: While corporate revenue declined from about $237 million in 2016 to $229 million in 2017, net income rose from slightly over $214,000 to almost $3.2 million.
Goldbelt has more than doubled in size in just six years: Its 2011 annual report shows revenues of $135.2 million. Goldbelt is now a $229 million corporation three-quarters the size of Sealaska, the regional Native corporation for Southeast Alaska.
Sealaska, with $293 million in revenue last year, is much more profitable.
According to the report, 96 percent of Goldbelt’s revenue comes from government contracting; the remaining fraction comes from real estate and tourism businesses such as the iconic Mount Roberts Tramway.
The report says the company “will continue to focus on growth in the Alaska market and the federal market in both its 8(a) companies and its graduated federal contracting companies.”
A clause in the laws governing the federal Small Business Administration gives preferential treatment to Alaska Native corporations. That clause, known as “8(a),” allows companies to be awarded sole-source, no-bid contracts.
Goldbelt has seen revenues surge despite a 2011 change that limited the clause’s application to defense contracts.
That 2011 change was recently reversed, something that could boost the fortunes of companies that rely on it.
Nine Goldbelt subsidiaries hold 8(a) status, and 10 others have exited from that program.
An effort to harvest wild foods, including blueberries, and sell them to manufacturers was not profitable and is not being continued, the corporation said.
• Contact reporter James Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 523-2258.