ANCHORAGE,AK - CVRF’s wholly-owned and controlled operations in
the Bering Sea generated significant wealth in 2014,
which we were able to invest in our people by expending
these proceeds on a variety of programs and projects
supporting the fisheries-based economies in our region.
More individuals in the CVRF region received benefits
from CVRF in 2014 than ever before. I am very proud
of the entire CVRF staff who worked hard to make 2014
our best year yet.
CVRF is dedicated to growing our capabilities and
improving our services to help meet the economic needs
of our communities. As the United States struggles with a
huge amount of national debt and the State of Alaska deals
with massive budget shortfalls, CVRF residents must work
together to ensure that we are treated fairly in Juneau and
in Washington, DC so that we can further enhance the
opportunities for work and hope in our region.
CVRF has always believed the CDQ program exists to help
the people living in villages near the Bering Sea fisheries
and that all CDQ residents should be treated equally. Any
different formulation is unfair and ultimately unsustainable.
During 2014 we maintained our advocacy for fairness
and efficiency in the CDQ funding formula. Unfortunately,
when Congress set the current CDQ allocations nearly
ten years ago, it gave little consideration to the population
differences between the regions. Congress also did not
create a mechanism to automatically adjust the allocations
for future population growth and other changes. Now, with
each year that passes, CVRF residents see a significant
and growing imbalance in the distribution of benefits.
What is clear to me is that the CDQ program must evolve
to meet the changes that the CDQ regions and our state
are facing. We must work with policymakers who believe
the program should evolve and change as we adapt to
the changes in our regions. No other federal program
views our region as an out-of-focus snapshot from
2006, and CDQ should be no different. Our region
has a responsibility to ensure that policymakers hear
our voices when we call for change.
This year, residents in six of our communities will elect their
representatives to the CVRF Board of Directors. Democracy
is the foundation of our country and the foundation of our
company’s Board of Directors, all of whom are elected.
As I reflect on the due diligence we committed to a
major seafood investment opportunity this past spring,
I am thankful for our business model, governance
structure and the resulting performance here at Coastal
Villages. These traits have given us the financial stability to
be self-sufficient and the strength to make hard business
decisions. I have been fortunate to have worked with
more than 80 Board members to guide the company
along to where we are today.
We are all looking forward to an even better year in 2015.
CVRF will work hard to deliver benefits to an even greater
number of residents who live, work, fish, hope, and vote
in our great region. We must ensure progress today so we
can build a better tomorrow for the generations to come.
Morgen Crow, CVRF Executive Director