CIRI president and chief executive officer Margie Brown was inducted into Junior Achievement of Alaska/Alaska Business Monthly 23rd Annual Alaska Business Hall of Fame on Jan. 30 at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center. This prestigious distinction recognizes individuals who have made important contributions to Alaska business. More than 400 business and community leaders honored Brown and fellow 2009 laureates Andrew Eker, Willie Hensley and Jim Jansen at the event.
Event attendees were treated to a presentation on Brown’s life and accomplishments. It highlighted her efforts to implement the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) by working to help CIRI, one of the Alaska Native corporations formed by the Act, succeed in its early years. Brown was particularly instrumental in the company’s efforts to acquire the land granted to it in the Act, which was no easy feat in a region where most of the viable land had already been taken.
The presentation also emphasized the challenges Brown overcame in her extraordinary journey from the Interior Alaska village of Takotna as a child to earning a bachelor’s degree in biology and a Master of Business Administration degree and leading one of Alaska’s most successful corporations. These challenges ranged from cultural adjustments to being a woman in male-dominated environments.