CIRI shareholder Robin Murphy had been teaching in the Anchorage School District for more than 20 years, but it took her sister, Heather, from Pittsburgh, Pa., to ignite the desire to become more involved in her Alaska Native corporation. At the time, Heather Summers sat on one of the CIRI Shareholder Participation Committees. It wasn’t long before Robin was tagging along to the meetings, learning more about CIRI and its many business operations.
CIRI spotlight: Robin Summers Murphy
The more Robin learned, the more she wanted to know. Eventually she found herself at the CIRI Shareholder Relations Department, applying to join a Shareholder Participation Committee and filling out the questionnaire.
“It’s really a simple process,” Murphy said. “The questionnaire requires a little research, but it’s a lot easier than people think and the CIRI website is very helpful.”
In May of 2013, Robin stepped down as the chairperson of the Alaska Shareholder Participation Committee (there are two other committees, the Anchorage Shareholder Participation Committee and the Lower 48 and Hawaii Shareholder Participation Committee) after serving a three-year term.
“The educational experience of participating on the committee was incredible, and it gave me a lot of pride in being part of my corporation,” she said. “I truly enjoyed getting to hear about everything CIRI is involved in and it was a great opportunity to interact with other shareholders, the management team and Board of Directors.”
Now in her 25th year with the Anchorage School District, Murphy has taught art at 14 different schools. She is currently the art teacher at Alpenglow and Ravenwood Elementary Schools in Eagle River. In 2000, Robin was recognized as the Art Teacher of the Year for the entire state of Alaska.
Murphy’s passion for art and a motivation among committee members to increase the participation of youth in CIRI activities led to the new CIRI Youth Art Contest that was introduced this year. The contest invites shareholders or descendants, 5 to 12 years of age, to submit artwork for a chance at winning prizes.
Murphy is Inupiat and inherited her CIRI shares from her grandmother, original shareholder Meta Muller from Teller, who moved to Anchorage in 1964.