The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce Presented John Shively with the 2009 William A Egan Award at their annual Fall Conference and Trade Show in Homer on Tuesday.
Throughout his 44-year career in Alaska, Shively has always taken a keen interest in Alaska’s people and there future. Mr. Shively graduated in 1965 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. He came to Alaska in 1965 from New York State as a VISTA volunteer. His first duty station was Bethel and then he was transferred to Yakutat. He intended to come up and spend a year in Alaska, and then go back home.
While in Yakutat John met a young man named Byron Mallott, who was the mayor. The city had problems, so Byron asked John to come over to help put the city back together. Later as John went on to do work for VISTA he met Willie Hensley another up and coming Native leader. Then John did some work for the Alaska Federation of Natives, and then back to work for Bryon Mallot who was now head of Rural Community Action Program, Inc. known as RurALCAP. Byron was one of the young leaders who became very active in the Native claims movement, and he got John interested in it. John became very active in the final years before the settlement trying to educate people in rural Alaska about the settlement.
After leaving VISTA, John worked in the health field and wrote the grants that established the first two Native run health organizations – the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation and the Norton Sound Health Corporation.
He has held a variety of positions working with the Alaska Native community including Deputy Director and Executive Director of RurALCAP and Executive Vice President of the Alaska Federation of Natives from 1972 to 1975.
He then joined NANA Regional Corporation, serving in a variety of positions from 1975 through 1994, first as Vice President of Operations, then as Senior Vice President and later as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for NANA Development Corporation. Among his many activities during his time at NANA, one of the most significant was his involvement in the development of the Red Dog Mine, the world's largest zinc mine.
In 1983, Governor Bill Sheffield named Mr. Shively his Chief of Staff. Mr. Shively left that position in 1985, doing consulting work for a number of clients until his return to NANA in 1986. He also took on the challenge of Chairman and CEO of the United Bancorporation Alaska, Inc., and United Bank of Alaska during very trying times in 1987-88.
Under Governor Tony Knowles, Mr. Shively was the Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, serving in the position from February 1995 until September 2000, the second longest tenure of any person in that position in Alaska's history. During his nearly sixyear tenure, he was responsible for overseeing the management of more than 80 million acres of state land.
Governor Knowles appointed Mr. Shively to the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation Board of Trustees in January 1999. He was also named by the Governor to lead the 1999 state employee SHARE campaign, which set a record for giving that year.
In 2000, John co-founded and was the Senior Partner in Jade North, LLC, an Alaska based consulting firm specializing in natural resource and Alaska Native issues.
In 2002 John became the Vice President of Government and Community Relations for Holland America Line. In 2008 he assumed his current position as the Chief Executive Officer of the Pebble Partnership, a company formed to explore the potential of developing a copper/gold/molybdenum deposit in southwest Alaska.
John has been a Regent for the University of Alaska and served on a number of other boards including; Anchorage Symphony, Democratic Leadership Council, Junior Achievement of Alaska, Inc., Alaska Federation of Natives Legislative and the Resource Development Council Board of Directors where for five years he served as president. In the early 1990's, the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Alaska tapped Mr. Shively to head up a successful statewide campaign to raise nearly $1 million.
John is the author of a number of publications on the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and other Native and rural issues.
In 1992, he received the Denali Award from AFN for his contributions to the Native community. The award is the highest honor given by the Alaska Federation of Natives to a non-Native.
The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce is proud to award John Shively the title “Outstanding Alaskan of the Year” for his remarkable service to the state of Alaska and its people.
The celebrated and prestigious William A. Egan award is given to individuals who have made substantial and continual contributions of statewide significance while working in the private sector. Each year, nominations are kept strictly confidential and the selection is made by the casting of a secret ballot by all past chairs of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce. The recipients of the Outstanding Alaskan of the Year form an impressive list of Alaskan “Who’s Who” and dates back to its first honoree in 1964.