New council members to represent Kenai, Seward, Kodiak, Homer communities

Several seats on the council’s board of directors are changing hands this spring.

Steve Lewis, City of Seldovia representative, left the board in March, following the city’s election of a new representative. Four others have announced they will be leaving in May at the end of their terms: Blake Johnson, representative of the Kenai Peninsula Borough; Jim Herbert, representative of the City of Seward; Emil Christiansen, representative of the Kodiak Village Mayor’s Association; and Nick Garay, representative of the City of Homer.

Blake Johnson joined the council in 1993, just a few years after the council was formed. He served on the council’s executive committee for 14 of those 22 years, as member-at-large for 13 terms, and as secretary for one term.

Johnson also served on the council’s Legislative Affairs and Finance committees at various times over the years, as well as helping to advise and shape policies. He was a common sight at the council’s information booth at various conferences and visits to legislators in Washington, D.C. He provided valuable insight into state and federal governmental affairs as well as tug operations in Prince William Sound.

Johnson, a retiree, no longer lives full-time in Alaska. Mako Haggerty of Homer is expected to be seated at the May meeting to replace Johnson.

Steve Lewis joined the council’s board in 1999, and has represented the City of Seldovia for 16 years. He was first elected to the council’s executive committee in 2000, serving as member-at-large. He was elected to serve as vice president of the board in 2000, as president in 2002 and 2003, as secretary in 2004, again as vice president from 2005-2008, again as president in 2009, and as member-at-large in 2011 until his resignation in 2015.

Lewis also served as a member of the Legislative Affairs Committee, Terminal Operations and Environmental Monitoring Committee, Strategic Planning Coordination Committee, ad-hoc committees for policy updates, and funding negotiations. He also worked on projects related to tug escorts, dispersants, and contingency plans. Lewis helped develop a strategic plan for the council in 2001. The framework of that plan is still being used at the council today.

Lewis was chosen to represent the council on the Prince William Sound Tanker Contingency Plan Steering Committee, a group which included industry personnel, government regulators and council representatives. The group worked to improve contingency plans and communications related to oil spill prevention and response in Prince William Sound.

Lewis, a petroleum engineer with projects all around Alaska, no longer lives in Seldovia. Alisha Sughroue of Seldovia is expected to be seated at the May meeting to replace Lewis.

Jim Herbert joined the council in 2012. He represented the City of Seward on the council’s board of directors. He was elected to two terms as treasurer and chaired the council’s Finance committee both years. Herbert came to the council with years of experience in Prince William Sound as a fisherman and participant in the Alyeska/SERVS fishing vessel program.

Herbert is moving from Seward to Homer, and will continue to volunteer on the council’s Oil Spill Prevention and Response committee. Orson Smith of Seward is expected to be seated at the May meeting to replace Herbert. Orson volunteers for the council’s Port Operation and Vessel Traffic System committee.

Nick Garay joined the board in 2012, representing the City of Homer. Robert Archibald is expected to be seated at the May meeting to replace Garay.

Emil Christiansen joined the council’s board in 2013, and represented the Kodiak Village Mayor’s Association. Melissa Berns of Old Harbor is expected to be seated at the May meeting to replace Christiansen.

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