Washington, D.C. – It’s not often that a native of Hoonah, Alaska gets nominated to speak to Senators about the successes and challenges of his state’s business community, but that’s exactly what happened when Russell Dick spent a day in D.C. last week. Mr. Dick, the President & Chief Executive Officer of Haa Aani, LLC Sealaska, met with Senate Democrats and seven other leaders of local chambers of commerce from Rhode Island all the way to Oregon. He took his opportunity during the discussion on job creation and economic development to highlight how obstacles facing his state vary drastically from the lower 48.
“It was a tremendous opportunity to share the unique challenges the business community faces in Alaska, especially in rural Alaska,” said Mr. Dick. “Many don’t understand the geographic dynamics of Alaska and how this environment is already difficult to manage for the private sector.”
As a guest of Senator Begich, Mr. Dick represented the Alaska Chamber at the forum held by the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee.
“Many of the state chambers – at least the ones in attendance – share the same or similar issues with Alaska and are taking on some innovative approaches to address some of these issues,” shared Mr. Dick. “Senator Begich and other members of the Democratic Caucus are working on legislation around innovation and technology, education and workforce development, and healthcare to increase private sector opportunities.”
Selected as one of the Alaska Journal of Commerce’s 2012 “Top Forty Under 40” best up-and-coming leaders, Mr. Dick has made a career out of demonstrating professional excellence and a commitment to his community. He has spent immense time in general management and has gained experience in formation and execution of operating plans. He was thankful for the opportunity to come to Washington, and emphasized that the discussion should be part of an ongoing conversation. “Continuing to educate members of Congress about Alaska and its business environment is critical to ensuring the Federal government takes proper positions on issues of economic sustainability for our state,” said Mr. Dick