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2017 Annual Economic Summit and Membership Meeting

Date: March 2nd and 3rd, 2017 

Location: The Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage, Alaska

Members receive discounted rate for attendance. Ask us about other discounts.

(907) 562-7380

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Southwest Alaska Economic Geography Report Available

In 2015, SWAMC commissioned an updated Economic Geography Report of Southwest Alaska's economic impact on the rest of the state and beyond. Northern Economics has since successfully delivered an updated report that is now avaialble for distribution. This report is an excellent tool for advocacy and provides a data-rich resource for Southwest Alaska communities looking to highlight the importance of our region.

Download the Southwest Alaska Economic Geography Report now!

Download the Economic Geography one-page handout!

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2016 CEDS Update

A revised version  of the 2014-2019 Southwest Alaska CEDS document is avaialble for review here. Reviewers are invited to submit any comments concerning the CEDS update to SWAMC's Executive Director, Doug Griffin.

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2016 Agenda Available

The agenda for the 2016 Annual Economic Summit and Membership Meeting is available for attendees to look over. Please be advised that this agenda is subject to minor changes as the conference approaches. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Hotel Captain Cook March 2-4. If you still need to make reservations, please contact the Hotel Captain Cook and reference Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference - 2016 Annual Economic Summit and Membership Meeting. This will give you access to SWAMC's special room rate! And if you haven't yet, Register Now.

View Agenda

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Energy Planning Meetings Scheduled

SWAMC and the Department of Energy will be hosting energy planning meetings on Monday, February 29 and Tuesday, March 1 at the Hotel Captain Cook. The session on February 29 is an all-day energy workshop scheduled from 8 am to 5 pm and hosted by the Department of Energy. This session continues into Tuesday, March 1 from 8 am to 12 pm.

Tuesday, March 1, SWAMC will be hosting a regional energy planning workshop in coordination with AEA for the Bristol Bay and Aleutians energy planning committees. This stakeholder meeting is scheduled from 12 pm to 5pm and lunch will be provided.

There are no registration fees for these events! However, please submit a registration form for our records. There is also a draft agenda for February 29 available for review. Contact Erik Obrien or Laura Vaught with further questions.

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2016 Conference Registration Open

Registration for SWAMC’s 2016 Annual Economic Summit and Membership Meeting is now open! Register now, and members get a special early-bird discount on attendance!

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2016 Annual Summit & Membership Meeting

Save the date! SWAMC has scheduled its Annual Economic Summit & Membership Meeting for March 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in Anchorage at the Hotel Captain Cook. This year's conference theme, Making Our Own Way, speaks to our region's economic roots in processing and manufacutring related business. Preparations are underway, and be sure to visit the 2016 Conference Page for updates on registration and the agenda.

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2015 CEDS Update

Contact Doug Griffin, Executive Director, with any comments on our new 2015 CEDS Update.

Visit the SWAMC CEDS homepage for more information.

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2015 Conference Recap

2015 "Seas the Day" Conference Recap

You made your voices heard when we asked for 2014 conference feedback. This year, we asked again for your feedback on SWAMC's annual meeting. SWAMC maintains its reputation as a source of networking and information for the Southwest Alaska region.

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2015 Conference Draft Agenda

SWAMC has released a Draft Agenda for our 2015 Annual Economic Summit and Membership Meeting. Updates will be available on our website and in E-Tidings, our free newsletter. To subscribe, click here.

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Completed 2014 - 2019 CEDS

Southwest Alaska Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

SWAMC completed an extensive re-write of the Southwest Alaska CEDS in June 2014. The 2014 - 2019 CEDS is an 80 page document that will last for a 5 year planning period. SWAMC members may request copies of the complete document on CD by contacting Erik O'Brien.

Click here to download the full report. (large file-3.2 MB)

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2014 Conference Recap


Click here for a recap of the SWAMC 2014 Annual Economic Summit 

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Regional Energy Planning in Southwest Alaska

December 2013 - As we've reported before, SWAMC has contracts with the Alaska Energy Authority to develop regional energy plans for each of the three sub-regions in Southwest Alaska: the Aleutians/Pribilofs, Bristol Bay, and Kodiak. Along with our partners and sub-contractors, we're steadily marching towards those goals. Along with AEA and our stable of partners, SWAMC is seeking recommendations for activities and actions to help reduce the long-term cost of power and energy, and improve the current energy systems in the SW region. That is the goal with all of these plans. Find links to the plans and updates on each sub-region after the jump.  Read More

Cod: A Regional Analysis of this Fall Fishery

November 2013 - Global cod stocks are booming; unfortunately nearly all the increase is coming from the Atlantic Ocean's Barents Sea. The flood of new supply from Russia, Iceland, and Norway (1,197,000 mt vs. 320,000 mt in Alaska) is depressing Alaska prices, and affecting the fall cod season in much of Southwest. John Whiddon, the general manager at Pacific Seafoods in Kodiak, shared his thoughts about global cod stocks earlier this year. "We're (also) seeing a resurgence in the N. Atlantic. So there is cod coming from a wide variety of places around the world, which is creating an oversupply of cod." This oversupply is now having a negative effect on Alaska prices; it is a simple case of supply and demand. High transportation costs from Alaska are also a hit to our competitiveness. Whiddon says, "Right now the cost to get the same cod coming from Russia to China is about half the price of the transportation cost from Kodiak to China." Further compounding the problem is the flood of other whitefish proteins like pollock and tilapia (farmed). Although prices are variable and determined by many individual factors, a general price at Alaska docks for the 2013 fall season is 25 cents per pound - leaving fishermen wondering if it is even possible to run their operations and be able to turn a profit.

In addition to lower prices, biological factors are also a concern...  Read More

SWAMC Board of Directors Meets for Annual Retreat

October 2013 - SWAMC's Board of Directors congregated in Anchorage on October 24-25 to discuss major strategic priorities and issues facing the Southwest region. A good portion of the meeting was spent on energy planning in the region, as SWAMC is working with regional partners to eventually develop energy plans for all three sub-regions. The Board also heard a presentation on a rural/coastal Alaska LNG proposal, discussed the Tustumena ferry situation, got updates on regional fisheries activities, planned some of our 2014 Annual Conference, and outlined an initiative to interact more with our region's business community. Our meeting was capped off by touring Cook Inlet Tribal Council's "Innovation Lab," as well as a visit to the Anchorage Landfill Gas project.  

SWAMC Letter to Governor Parnell Regarding SW Ferry Service

August 2013 - Due to the loss of ferry service the entire summer of 2013 because of maintenance issues with the MV Tustumena, SWAMC sent a letter to Governor Parnell asking for some level of service restored to affected communities by October, as well as construction funds for a replacement vessel. Design funds are being implemented this summer to fund replacement and design studies, but no construction dollars have been identified. This is an issue SWAMC will continue to advocate. See the letter to the Governor here.  

2013 SWAMC Annual Economic Summit Closes




February 20-22, 2013 • Hotel Captain Cook • Anchorage, Alaska


SWAMC's 2013 Economic Summit & Annual Membership Meeting took place near the end of February, and by all accounts the meeting was a success! (click here for the agenda) The conference feedback we received has been overwhelmingly positive, with 97% of respondents reporting that content was valuable and every subject matter received strong overall support. A noteworthy finding from attendees' feedback was that the most important or interesting topic was Energy, taking 67% of all votes; followed by New Development Opportunities, Infrastructure and Fisheries. However, on closer analysis, Fisheries may retain the popular vote, after including importance of Interactive Workshops, which focused on fisheries issues. 

Attendees reported the most important thing about SWAMC is our ability to speak with a regional voice, and network between stakeholders; these collaborative efforts, and investigation of valuable topics is only made possible with the contribution of engaged SWAMC Members. You can take a look at the membership resolutions passed here.

Membership also elected to the Board of Directors a few new members and re-elected a few familiar faces on Friday. Louise Stutes (Kodiak Island - Municipal), Paul Gronholdt (Aleutians/Pribilofs - Associate), and Joe Sullivan (Associate A - At-large) were all re-elected to their seats. Joining the SWAMC Board for their first term are: Michelle Ravenmoon (Bristol Bay – Municipal), from the village of Pope-Vannoy in the Lake & Peninsula Borough; Dan Clarion (Kodiak Island – Municipal), from the City of Ouzinkie; and Dan O'Hara (Bristol Bay – Municipal), from the Bristol Bay Borough. Rounding out the 2013 Board is Alice Ruby, Layton Lockett, Glen Gardner, Shirley Marquardt and Trevor Brown.  Louise Stutes was elected President, Alice Ruby of Dillingham is Vice President, and Layton Lockett was tapped for Treasurer.

Lastly, we'd like to thank our marvelous sponsors for the event. Without them, the conference would not have been possible. Thank you so much!

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Southwest Alaska Broadband Report Released

December 2012 - Regional Applications for a Digital Economy (RADE) is the product of an effort over the latter half of 2012 to explore new opportunities made available by broadband, while also seeking ways to boost access in underserved markets of SW Alaska. The report is full of findings and recommendations for policy and strategy to promote broadband deployment and application development in Southwest Alaska. The document was grounded in research and analysis, but also drew on the experiences and guidance of a Broadband Focus Group made up of a cross-section of folks working in various sectors of SW Alaska, from education to business to government services. Their perspectives on broadband needs, challenges, and opportunities in Rural Alaska informed much of the project work. The report will be used as a guiding document by SWAMC as we continuously seek ways to broaden broadband access and adoption in the region.

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