The last year has been a tumultuous time for leadership at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, including two major resignations, one big move and the massive puzzle that is Chinese tariffs.

One year ago, the organization officially closed its Seattle offices, which led to vacancies in some positions. The rest relocated to a consolidated office in Juneau.

Domestic Marketing Director Victoria Parr made the move from Seattle in late November 2017, then announced her immediate resignation on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, two days after the close of the institute’s three-day All Hands on Deck meeting in Anchorage.

The following Friday, Nov. 9, Executive Director Alexa Tonkovich announced her resignation to pursue a master’s degree in international business.

Tonkovich came into the executive position in 2015 from ASMI’s International department.

“I’ve had an amazing nine years with ASMI,” Tonkovich said. “I’ve learned so much and am so grateful for the experiences I’ve had and the relationships I’ve made. It’s been an honor to represent the Alaska Seafood industry.”

The board will meet Nov. 19 to name an interim executive director.

“I will work with that person over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition,” Tonkovich wrote in her message to the organization’s committee members. “I am leaving behind one of the strongest, most committed teams ASMI has seen, so I know the organization and our important work is in great hands.”

ASMI Board of Directors Chairman Jack Schultheis, general manager of Kwik’Pak Fisheries, said the board accepted Tonkovich’s resignation “with a heavy heart.”

"Her dedication to Alaska and the Alaska seafood industry is unparalleled,” Schultheis said. “While she will be missed, we also support her decision and wish her the very best in what is sure to be a very bright future.”

Domestic Manager Megan Rider has stepped in as acting Domestic director following Parr’s exit, while ASMI recruits for the position.

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Jessica Hathaway is the former editor in chief of National Fisherman.

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