Like much of the world and many of you, NANA has been closely tracking news of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) outbreak. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, and on Friday evening, state officials announced the first confirmed case of the coronavirus in Alaska.
As always, our main priority is the quality of life, health and safety of our people and communities. After several, daily conversations with NANA’s board chair and coordination with Kivalina-based board members, NANA’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders will proceed on Saturday, March 28, 2020, in Kivalina, Alaska, with a shortened, minimal agenda and without any NANA representatives traveling to Kivalina.
The Annual Meeting will occur with the following changes:
- The Annual Meeting will include one legally required agenda item – the election of directors. The election will continue as planned with the current Proxy submission deadlines in place in accordance with our bylaws and regulatory policies.
- A quorum has been established, and Proxies that have already been voted remain valid.
- A registration table and polling place will be available for shareholders in Kivalina who wish to submit a ballot in person or hand-deliver their Proxies on March 28.
- Shareholders are encouraged to vote online, by mail, or via fax or email. Shareholders in Kivalina who submit a ballot in person or hand-deliver a Proxy at the Annual Meeting will be encouraged to do so promptly and without gathering afterward.
- The election results will be announced in Kivalina during the Annual Meeting and posted to the shareholder portal directly after the meeting. Sramek Hightower, CPAs – our ballot tabulators – will continue to oversee voting and election results at the meeting through a designated third party.
- No NANA board members, leadership or staff will travel to Kivalina. Rather, NANA’s board chair will appoint Mary Sage – Proxy holder and board director from Kivalina – as presiding officer to lead the meeting, which will include:
- Call to order and announcement of quorum
- Board nominations
- Opening of polls
- Closing of polls
- Election results
- To establish shareholder presence at the meeting, attendance will be limited to a minimal number of shareholders, including Kivalina-based board members and those shareholders who need to cast their vote.
- To honor the community wishes, this meeting will not be the gathering we are used to. NANA will return to Kivalina at a later date to present full reports from the board chair and president and CEO, answer questions from shareholders and visit with food and entertainment. The job fair, NANA Awards, feast and festivities are postponed until then.
- Cash prizes will still be drawn for those shareholders who submit valid Proxies early, online and by the March 25 deadline. Door prizes will not be drawn for shareholders who attend the meeting in person, as we are encouraging limited, in-person attendance for the safety of the community. NANA will draw for in-person door prizes at the future gathering in Kivalina.
Our goal is to maintain the integrity of our election process while protecting the corporation and abiding by the laws and regulations that oversee our annual meetings. If any details surrounding the Annual Meeting should further change, we will immediately notify shareholders, employees and partners. NANA will adjust as needed and will keep you updated throughout the process.
We are working in collaboration with Maniilaq Association, the Northwest Arctic Borough School District and other partners to remain informed and prepared as we continue to monitor updates on the coronavirus.
Overall, NANA’s business operations remain intact. Our corporate offices, including Kotzebue headquarters and the Anchorage office, are following newly implemented policies and procedures, while our subsidiary and remote site employees are abiding by the plans and directives of onsite, client protocols.
The theme of our Annual Meeting this year is One NANA. We will continue to work together for the benefit of our people and corporation. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we weather this unprecedented situation.
President and CEO