Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Haines to host Southeast Conference next week


September 14, 2017

Haines will host more than 200 municipal government leaders next week for the Southeast Conference annual meeting.

The three-day event, which begins Tuesday, will feature more than 60 speakers with presentations on transportation, energy, seafood, timber, mining, tourism, economic development, health care, workforce development and more.

Former Haines resident and Southeast Conference Executive Director Robert Venables said the agenda is set up to “inoculate and inspire.”

Southeast Conference members can expect updates on what is happening in every economic sector, and bring information back home to work on in committees.

Venables said the highlight of the conference will be unveiling recommendations for an improved ferry system.

“We’ve been working the last two years on how the marine highway system can be restructured that would allow it to better serve Alaskan transportation needs,” Venables said. “That’s really the centerpiece of day two.”

State leaders including Rep. Sam Kito and Alaska Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott will make appearances, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski will send a video greeting.

Venables said the conference is a unique gathering of stakeholders who wouldn’t normally have an opportunity to meet.

Haines Borough Mayor Jan Hill, who worked to get the annual meeting in Haines, will become president and chairman of the Southeast Conference’s board of directors.

Venables said having the annual meeting in Haines provides an economic boost for the town and allows the Southeast Conference to stay connected to the community.

Haines residents can attend the meeting for $50 per day through the Chamber of Commerce local rate. A banquet and auction open to the public will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20 at Harriett Hall. Tickets are $65, not included in the $50 daytime fee. The first two days of the meeting will take place at Harriett Hall. Thursday’s events will be at the American Bald Eagle Foundation.

Call the Chamber of Commerce at 766-2202 to volunteer for the meeting or to donate an auction item.

Local sponsors include Alaska Marine Lines, the Haines Borough, Constantine Metal Resources and Alaska Power and Telephone.


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