On Sept. 4, Alicia Siira, former deputy director of the Alaska Miners’ Association, joined AGC of Alaska as the incoming executive director.
A special committee of past, current and future AGC presidents began the search for a new executive director when John MacKinnon announced his plans to retire in 2019, after more than 11 years spent guiding the association.
Current AGC president Jim St. George said past presidents Dan Hall and Dana Pruhs, as well as incoming president Rod Rodriguez, advertised far and wide for the position then evaluated a lot of resumes before settling on a field of six candidates from which Siira emerged as the best choice for the organization.
Siira was born and raised in Alaska. She received an undergraduate degree from the University of Idaho in both public relations and communications, and in 2014 she completed the MBA program at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Being a lifelong Alaskan helped, and so did her background in the mining industry. Siira said she grew up in a placer mining family and she sees a lot of similarities between mining and construction.
“I am so grateful to the AMA membership for their support and guidance over the years. The expertise I have been exposed to is astounding, and the knowledge I have obtained is a direct result of the membership’s willingness to help me. I am humbled to be just a small part in the growth of an industry with such deep roots in our state. Additionally, the opportunities I have received to travel the state and country to learn about Alaska’s economy, projects and politics have been remarkable. Leaving AMA was a difficult decision. However, I am excited for this new opportunity and have already received an outpouring of support from AGC members and the board to ensure I succeed in my new role,” Siira said.
“I hope to bring that same knowledge, enthusiasm and fresh perspective to an industry equally vital to our state. AGC members are much like miners — salt of the earth, real people, trying to better our state and our economy for future generations. Those are my kind of people — and I look forward to championing the accomplishments of the construction industry, while guiding the organization through challenges and opportunities. I am grateful for the transition period with John, who has done so much for AGC during his tenure and is a wealth of knowledge. There is so much to learn, and I am very excited to begin,” she added.
Prior to her five-year stint at Alaska Miners Association, Siira was the director of operations and marketing for the Alaska Craftsman Home Program for three years and, before that, a marketing and public relations assistant for Great Alaskan Toursaver, which works with Alaska and Seattle businesses and media to promote Alaska travel adventures.
“We just felt that she had the most experience running nonprofits. She has lots of energy and enthusiasm,” St. George said.
Siira and MacKinnon will be attending AGC events and functions together during the next several months, MacKinnon said. The aim is a smooth transition, he and St. George said. There currently isn’t an end-date to the transition period, St. George said, but it will likely last several months. He said the selection committee has shifted into a transition committee to provide oversight and assistance as needed.
“The fall is an important time for us at AGC. We go to (Washington) D.C. and see our delegation, and she’ll go with us and meet all the national folks. Then we have our convention and the fall elections and new board members coming in. Then it’s the Western Chapters meeting and the AGC national convention. There’s a lot to introduce her to. This is a big deal. It will be great to have John on board helping us roll through that,” St. George said.
Rindi White is the editor of The Alaska Contractor.