For Immediate Release 

Contact:  Frances Leach, Executive Director,  (907) 586-2820

UFA Welcomes At-Large Board Members and Executive Committee

United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) is pleased to announce the re-election of Bruce Schactler and the election of Tyson Fick, Melanie Brown, and Cynthia Wallesz to the UFA board of directors as at-large members. UFA’s individual and lifetime members elect four at-large directors every two years to represent the more than 450 individual, lifetime, and crew members on the organization’s board. The at-large directors will serve two-year terms beginning April 15, 2019 on the UFA Board of Directors. Also taking effect on April 15 is the return of Duncan Fields to the UFA Executive Committee as Administrative Chair.

UFA welcomes the return of Tyson Fick and Cynthia Wallesz to the board, now as elected at-large members. Fick represented the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers group from 2017 to 2018 and Wallesz represented United Southeast Alaska Gillnetters on the UFA board from 2015 to 2018.

Tyson Fick previously worked as communications director at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute as well as executive director at ABSC. Based in Juneau, he now fishes Southeast salmon gillnet, salmon handtroll, and Dungeness crab, and is a co-owner of Taku River Reds.

Cynthia Wallesz of Petersburg, Alaska and Boise Idaho has been a Southeast salmon drift gillnetter for 25 years and direct marketing her family’s salmon since 1999. She has also longlined for halibut, and fished Dungeness crab in Washington, and has been active in the Petersburg Community Foundation, Chamber of Commerce, and Southeast Alaska Rainforest Wild. Since earning a Master’s degree in Sustainable Business in 2012, she has consulted with small businesses and nonprofits to help them strategize their futures, work efficiently and meet their goals.

Melanie Brown of Juneau has been fishing since 1979 in her family’s Bristol Bay setnet operation and as a crew member in Togiak herring, Kotzebue Sound and Norton Sound setnet fisheries. She is an alternate member of the Juneau Douglas Advisory Committee and in her second term on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute Salmon Species Committee, and a board member of Alaska Marine Conservation Council.

Bruce Schactler of Kodiak, has fished salmon seining in Southeast and Kodiak, Tanner crab in Kodiak and Togiak, longlining for cod and halibut, and herring throughout the state. He also is the Director of the Alaska Global Food Aid Program with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and National Director for the National Seafood Marketing Coalition. He co-authored the UFA Marketing Plan in 2001 which led to USDA Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for seafood, USDA Trade Adjustment Assistance eligibility for fishermen, and inclusion of Alaska salmon and herring in food aid programs. Mr. Schactler has served as an at-large board member since 1993 and received the 2013 UFA Fisherman of the Year award, and will continue in his role on the executive committee as UFA Marketing chair.

The UFA Executive committee was elected at the spring meeting in February with seats taking effect on April 15. Changes for 2019 include Jerry McCune as chairman of UFA’s Environmental Issues committee, and the return of Duncan Fields as chairman of the UFA Admin committee, which he previously held from 2011 to 2015. UFA’s officers Matt Alward (President), Bob Kehoe (Vice President), and Chad See (Secretary) were each re-elected to serve another one year term.

United Fishermen of Alaska is the statewide commercial fishing trade association, representing 35 Alaska commercial fishing organizations participating in fisheries throughout the state and adjacent offshore federal waters. More information is online at .