Special HALF-DAY Diversity EVENT
Willie Hensley & Perry Eaton
This special half-day event will consist of two presentations for a total of 3 hours of actual learning. We will start with AK Native History and Business Impact presented by Willie Hensley and ending with Alaska Native Cultural Awareness and Communication with Perry Eaton.
Meet our presenters:
Willie Hensley was born in Kotzebue, a small community in Northwest Alaska about 40 miles above the Arctic Circle. His family lived on the Noatak River delta and lived by hunting, fishing and trapping.
Hensley was appointed Commissioner of Commerce and Economic Development by Governor Tony Knowles. As Commerce Commissioner, Hensley was responsible for state involvement in tourism and seafood marketing, international trade, insurance, banking and securities as well as occupational licensing. He also served on the Oil and Gas Policy Council, the Board of Directors of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, the Alaska Railroad Corporation and the Alaska Industrial Development Authority.
Hensley was a founder of NANA Regional Corporation, served as a director for 20 years and concluded his career there as President. While at NANA, he directed its involvement in the oilfield services area, most specifically in the environmental services and drilling ventures. He was also active in the development of the world's largest lead and zinc mine, Red Dog. He was a founder of Maniilaq, the regional non-profit representing the tribes in the Kotzebue region, and was involved in the formation of the Alaska Federation of Natives and served as executive director, President and Co-Chairman.
Hensley wrote a paper in a constitutional law course at the University of Alaska in 1966 titled "What Rights to Land have the Alaska Natives: The Primary Issue" which encapsulated the land claims issue and provided the background that many Native Alaskans needed to take action to begin the land claims process.
Hensley graduated from George Washington University in Washington, D. C. with a bachelor's degree in Political Science and a minor in Economics. Following graduation, Hensley was elected to the Alaska State House of Representatives where he served four years and was elected to the Senate for a four-year term. He was appointed by Governor Steve Cowper to the Senate again in 1987. Hensley also served as Chairman of the Capitol Site Selection Committee under Governor Jay Hammond, Chairman of the Land Claims Task Force under Governor Walter Hickel.
Perry Eaton was born in Kodiak, Alaska. He grew up on his father’s fishing boat and his professional life has covered a wide variety of fields. He has worked as a machinist at Boeing Aircraft Corporation, for three different banks and as a community development professional, specializing in rural Alaska. Eaton was the founding president and chief executive officer of the Alaska Native Heritage Center. He also served 17 years as CEO of Alaska Village Initiatives. Prior to retiring, Eaton was corporate relations manager for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.
This program is pre-approved for 3 SHRM PDC & 1.5 General and 1.5 Business HRCI Credits
9:00 – 9:30 Registration
9:30 – 11:00 AK Native History and Current Business Impact, Willie Hensley
11:45 - 1:15 AK Native Cultural Awareness and Communication, Perry Eaton