I am currently the Co-Chair of the House Finance Committee in charge of the operating budget. In 2015-16 I was the Chair of the Health and Social Services Committee. I have served as Chair of the House Fisheries Committee, Chair of the House Education Committee, Chair of House State Affairs Committee and Co-Chair of the Resources Committee. I am the only member who has continuously sat on the Education, Health, and Resources committees. I also sat on a number of finance subcommittees including the Fish & Game Finance, University, Transportation and Public Facilities, and Environmental Conservation. During my time in office I have sponsored and co-sponsored a number of bills including those dealing with health care, fisheries and governmental reform.
Like many Alaskans, I have made a living and a life out of assorted job skills and entrepreneurial adventures. I understand the need for employment opportunities in our towns and rural communities as well as the challenges to small businesses and the self-employed. I know how government actions can affect business, both positively and negatively.
My early work experiences included running a lawn mowing business while in high school, teaching tennis, picking celery, and as a J.C. Penny stockroom worker. In California, I maintained rural roads for several years with a D-6 Cat, and when I first came to Alaska I was a partner in a tree-clearing business.
As a teacher in the late 1960s and early 70s, I taught junior high biological and physical sciences at Fort Wainwright (in the Alaska State Operated School System) and high school sciences in Camarillo, California.
I have now been a commercial fisherman for over thirty years, participating in salmon drift gillnet, halibut longline, Tanner crab and Pacific cod pot fisheries and tendering salmon, herring and sablefish across the State. I presently own and manage an 80 foot fishing and fish tender vessel out of the Homer Harbor and depend on peninsula labor and supplies. My wife, children, and father-in-law have all worked on the boats with me, making fishing a family affair. I have also owned and managed apartments in Seward, Homer and Anchor Point.
Aside from earning a living, I have contributed volunteer work to a number of organizations, commissions, and boards related to fishing, conservation, and civic duty.