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Diary Entries

January 12, 2004:Diary Entry

So on January 5, 2004, I had my second interview – this time with the full board of directors. And if I didn’t mention it, I was nervous.

It went like this on that day:

10 am – we convened a finance committee meeting.

11:30-1:00 – Lunch Break

1:00 pm – the full board meeting began and they interviewed me.

The Secretary of the Board asked the questions, which was comforting since she was from my home region.

The first question was why did I want the President/CEO position and what were my qualifications.

I started by saying I didn’t think I answered this question well in the first interview, and since then I had time to reflect on that question. I stated that I believe a lot of the reasons I want that position also account for my qualifications.

I talked about growing up in McGrath – on the trapping cabin in the winter and the gold mines in the summers. All of my family members were born in Native Hospitals – a foundation for my life. I talked about fish wheels, set netting, basketball, Native Traditions Weeks, villages I traveled to and dog mushing.

I told them that people who continue to choose to live in Bush Alaska have the right to quality health care. I went through my education and experience. I received my Bachelor’s Degree 6 weeks earlier.

I finished my interview stating that any candidate would likely be qualified with their education and experience. I stated the best experience and asset I have to offer is that I grew up in Bush Alaska.

They hired me that day in the role of President/CEO of that statewide Alaska Native organization. I arrived to the place and into the position that I dreamt about as a young girl.

I’m blessed to be here, more blessed that I had a basic idea of where I wanted to go at a young age. The Native Community provided that drive for me. My parents and family ultimately provided the tools, love, foundation, and hope to realize it.

I pray too that I pass those things along to my children so they can feel this sense of accomplishment in whatever they choose to pursue.

Thank you Lord, we a blessed because of Your provisions. Amen.

By Trudy Sobocienski

My blog, "Beyond Leadership" is a creative place to share my personal feelings and thoughts while working in leadership roles for a variety of Alaska Native organizations, both for and not-for profit entities.

An incredible leader and mentor of mine once asked while we were in Washington, DC, "What happened to you between the ages of 7-10 that motivated you to serve in a native leadership capacity". I was struck by that poignant thought and as such, include actual entries from my mother and my diaries beginning in the early 1970's.

I enjoy sharing these excerpts because it captures the parallels she and I were experiencing throughout life, from two separate worldviews. Hers as a young mother of four and mine as her eldest child.
I have never came across a book on leadership that lays bare a leaders personal feelings, thoughts, hopes, fears and dreams they were experiencing.

So for me, my goal is two-fold:

1. Share the incredible life my parents created for my siblings and I growing up in remote Alaska; and,

2) Sharing my humanity, through my personal diaries and journals, while serving as the youngest-ever President/CEO for the Alaska Native Health Board.

There are passages that will include significant policy issues I was working on throughout my career and travels. There are many more passages that do not.

I cannot speak for my mom's passages, because I am reading them as I share them here, with you; with her permission of course.

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