Board Member Rodvik Resigns, Ure Appointed to Seat

Hans Rodvik was elected and seated to the BBRSDA Board this past June. Mr. Rodvik has been the subject of controversy, due to his neutral stance on the Pebble Mine and the events surrounding his election. After nominations were closed for board seat elections, BBRSDA members mounted a write-in campaign which ultimately resulted in Nels Ure receiving more write-in votes. However, because write-in votes were not provided for in BBRSDA bylaws, Mr. Rodvik was seated on the board as the election winner. Mr. Ure was appointed to a non-voting ex-officio board seat. During the ensuing months many BBRSDA members expressed concern about Mr. Rodvik's position on the board due to his stance on the Pebble Mine.

At the recent September BBRSDA Board Meeting, Mr. Rodvik graciously resigned his board seat citing a desire to conserve organizational resources for mission-oriented activities. The BBRSDA Board of Directors would like to acknowledge that Mr. Rodvik conducted himself with an extraordinary level of class and professionalism during this difficult situation. Mr. Rodvik wishes to address BBRSDA members, as follows:

Dear BBRSDA Members,

At the conclusion of the September BBRSDA Board meeting I officially resigned from the BBRSDA Board of Directors. This was a difficult personal and professional decision as I care tremendously about our fishery and the success of the BBRSDA. I volunteered to serve on the Board because I believed I could bring a unique set of skills to the table and help, even in a small way, increase the value of our fishery.

As a Board member I wanted to see the BBRSDA continue its positive track record of building a brand, further increase consumer awareness of our product, achieve 100% chilling by the fleet, and drive up the price we get paid for our world class salmon. After reviewing the statutes and regulations that govern the BBRSDA, as well as our strategic plan, these were the areas I wanted to focus on as a Board member to get the most bang for your buck when it came to funding projects and work the BBRSDA does.

I didn’t focus on Pebble when I ran as I thought it fell outside the BBRSDA’s purview and scope of work. The court case that arose this summer dealt with many questions about the BBRSDA’s ability to act/weigh in on issues like Pebble. Even with that case’s outcome I still had reservations about the BBRSDA engaging in costly legal battles and other activities surrounding Pebble (not because I support the project – I am neutral on it), but because I felt our primary focus as an organization was to be about marketing, promotion, sales and quality.

Throughout the election process and after being seated on the Board, it became clear to me that many in the fleet have different ideas and priorities about what the BBRSDA should be spending its resources on. Furthermore, it was evident the fleet was not happy with how the election played out and concerned about my neutral stance on Pebble. I may not agree with some of the reasons why people didn’t want me on the Board, however I do fully respect their right to express their opinions and concerns. I heard the concerns and did my best to listen respectfully.

After much deliberation about my future on the Board, I determined it would be best for the organization and fleet if I resigned. In no way was I looking to get entangled in controversy or be the center of attention. I simply wanted to help move our fishery forward in a positive manner. Having the BBRSDA go through an extended period of conflict is something I wanted to avoid. I realized that being an effective Board member was going to be quite difficult given the circumstances before me. Therefore, in order to prevent your money from being spent on non mission-oriented activities I opted to resign and remove the problem completely.

I don’t regret running for the Board. I have learned many valuable lessons and met a number of you I hadn’t known before. I believe in the mission of the BBRSDA and want it to flourish for the benefit of us all.

In closing, I’d encourage the fleet to engage with the Board. Attend the meetings. Submit proposals. Email and call the Directors to know what is going on and how you can help. Sign up for the Waypoints email. If you’re on social media follow the BBRSDA’s Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as our BristolBaySockeye brand pages. Stay up to date on the projects and partnerships the BBRSDA is developing to market our fish. Pay attention to the quality guidelines and be aware of best practices to improve our product. For those who really want to be involved I recommend you run for the Board. The Staff and Board put in a tremendous amount of work for the benefit of each of us, and succeed even more when the fleet is trusting, supportive and behind the organization.

Thank you for your time. Have a safe winter everyone and good luck next season.

Hans Rodvik