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Governor Bill Walker Tuesday announced the appointment of three new members to his Cabinet. Those include Chris Hladick as Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development Commissioner; Ronald Taylor as Department of Corrections Commissioner; and Sam Cotten as Department of Fish and Game Commissioner.
Chris Hladick, who will lead the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, has worked as the City Manager of Unalaska for 14 years, overseeing the construction of the $72 million Carle E. Moses Boat Harbor and a new state-of-the-art $62 million powerhouse. Prior to his work in Unalaska, he served as the city manager in both Dillingham and Galena. Hladick holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology from Eastern Illinois University.
“I sought out Chris because of his track record of success,” Governor Walker said. “I saw what he had done in Unalaska; there was a tremendous amount of infrastructure put into place with industry and government working together. Chris’ years of experience as city manager will prove to be very valuable in heading up a department that works with local governments.”
Ronald Taylor, Governor Walker’s newly appointed Department of Corrections Commissioner, has worked for the State of Alaska for 25 years, including the last seven years at the Department of Corrections. Since 2012, he has served as the Deputy Commissioner of Re-entry and Population Management for DOC, where he oversees inmate transition from institution to probation/ parole supervision and the community. Taylor holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Florida.
“Ron’s depth of knowledge about the department will serve this administration well,” Governor Walker said. “Ron has a good grasp of the changes necessary to improve the operational efficiencies.”
Sam Cotten has been serving for the past two months as Acting Commissioner for the Department of Fish and Game. He was nominated by the boards of fish and game. Governor Walker has approved the nomination.
A former member of the Alaska Legislature and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Cotten has served on a number of fisheries boards, including the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council, the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. He has also been an advisor in fisheries negotiations between the U.S. and USSR.
“Sam’s years of involvement in fish issues give him the depth that we need to ensure we follow our constitutional mandate of sustained yield,” Governor Walker said. “Sam will make an excellent commissioner.”