Who We Are :: SEAGO Board of Directors
SEAGO’s board has 12 seats – two from each area of Southeast Alaska. Northern outside and inside, Central outside and inside, Southern outside and inside. Our board will represent the interests and concerns of all regions and guided sport business models in Southeast Alaska. As our membership grows, we will fill out the seats.
- Executive Director: Heath E. Hilyard
- President/Chair: Tom Ohaus, Angling Unlimited, Sitka
- Dennis Meier, Tanaku Lodge, Elfin Cove
- Stan Malcom, Magicman Charters, Petersburg
- Mike Wallisch, Alaska Adventures, Sitka and Juneau
- Russell Thomas, Clover Pass Resort, Ketchikan
- Seth Bone, Kingfisher Charters, Sitka
- Tony Phillips, Alaska Farwest Fish Camp
- Ken Dole, Waterfall Resort
- Forrest Braden, True North Sport Fishing
Tom Ohaus, President/Chair
Tom Ohaus is the co-owner of Angling Unlimited which operates 8 boats and two lodge buildings. The business was founded in 1988 and, since 1995, has operated independently in Sitka where Tom and his family live part of the year and are active in the community.
Tom began fishing in the polluted waters of New Jersey just after he began walking. Since that time he has been absent without leave from the “real world” and forever present on the water somewhere having fished extensively in the Atlantic and Pacific, from the tropics to here at home in Alaska.
Captain Ohaus has been running guided trips on the North Pacific for over 20 years, logging over 2000 days in pursuit of salmon and halibut. He has a B.S. in Fisheries Biology from the University of Washington and will talk your ear off on any subject related to our finny friends. Tom is a big believer in light tackle and in conservation based fishing.
Russell Thomas, Board Member
Russell Thomas, born and raised in Ketchikan, is the manager of Clover Pass Resort, one of three Ketchikan properties owned and operated by Alaska Sport Fishing Expeditions.
Russell knows the hospitality industry having worked his way up through his family's hotel business from housekeeper to desk clerk to bookkeeper. After a family decision to cater exclusively to sport fishing men and women he left college to manage the Cedars Lodge for a few years before taking over as General Manager. In 2003 Russell handed the GM reigns at The Cedars Lodge to his younger brother, Rod, in order to assume management responsibilities at Clover Pass.
Russell, his wife Leah, and their four children live year-round In Ketchikan, where he is an active community member, serving for the last seven years on the Ketchikan School Board, two of those years as its President. Russell also serves as the sport fishing representative on the Pacific Salmon Commission's Northern Panel, which advises United States Commissioners on salmon-related Issues.
Following several seasons as a commercial long-line and troll deckhand, Seth was able to purchase his first charter boat, the Kingfisher, in 1991. For more than 17 years he has owned and operated Kingfisher Charters based in Sitka. Seth’s thriving sport fishing operation currently features a lodge and charter bookings for local boat owner/operators.
Seth has been an active participant in the greater fishery management process since 1997. He has been a member of several Council committees, including the Charter IFQ committee, the Charter GHL committee, and the Charter Halibut Stakeholder committee. On the Alaska State management side, he was a member of the King Salmon Management task force, and the State Guide Licensing task force.
Seth’s hobbies include fishing (of course), hunting, hiking and camping in the wilderness surrounding Sitka.
Stan Malcom, Board Member
Stan Malcom owns and operates Magic Man Charters in Petersburg. In business since 1988, Magic Man Charters has two vessels in service and offers sport fishing, whale watching and glacier tours. Stan’s son, Wes, started operating a second vessel in 2005.
In 1979, after working in the charter business out of Ilwaco, Washington, Stan moved his family to Petersburg to work in commercial fishing, including crabbing, black cod, halibut long lining and the salmon purse seine fishery.
As an Alaskan, Stan has been active in charter and sport fishing issues since the early 1990s including: the founding (and current Presidency) of the Petersburg Charter Boat Association; participation in various Board of Fisheries committees; Alaska Department of Fish and Game task force services; thirteen-year membership on the Petersburg Fish and Game Advisory Committee; a three year member on the Pacific Salmon Commission; participation on the Trans-Boundary River Panel; and he currently serves on Sport Fish Guide Limited Entry Task Force.
Dennis Meier, Board Member
Dennis Meier grew up in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Following his graduation from college, Dennis joined Marriott Hotels and Resorts where he spent over 15 years learning the hospitality business. As a Food and Beverage Director as well as a Director of Operations, Dennis came to appreciate the skills and value in customer service working in Minneapolis, Chicago, Vail and Portland, Oregon.
After many enjoyable summers visiting his wife Susan’s brother Jim Benton – a dedicated fisherman and the great grandson of an Alaskan Gold Rush Miner – the couple eventually decided to leave the corporate world behind and partner with Jim in the purchase of the Tanaku Lodge.
Dennis and Susan Meier have three children that come to Elfin Cove during the summer months. Most evenings Haley, Hayden and Hannah can be found down on the dock fishing or in the water swimming, playing with starfish or waiting to catch a glimpse of the fish caught by Tanaku Lodge guests before they head home in the evening.
Mike Wallisch, Board Member
Mike Wallisch has owned and operated Alaska Adventures Unlimited Inc. in Sitka since 1993. He is also part owner in Southeast Sport Fishing LLC which has operated in Juneau since 2004. Both businesses offer ‘day fishing’ trips which cater to the cruise ship passenger market as well as multi-day fishing trips for ‘destination’ driven sports fishermen and women.
With 15 years of community involvement in Sitka under his belt, Mike is a long time member of the Sitka Charter Boat Operators Association, the Alaska Travel Industry Association and the Sitka Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Mike, along with his son and wife, live in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and guide winter fly fishing trips.
Tony Phillips, Board Member
Tony Phillips is manager of fishing operations at Alaska Farwest Fish Camp, a remote float-based camp at Cape Muzon, Dall Island, Alaska, where he operates three boats as well as lodging. Tony is also actively involved in the fishing operations of the company’s two boats in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
After moving to Washington from Indiana to follow his passion for fishing, Tony found himself off the Washington coast on a halibut charter. From then on he was hooked! In 1989, he entered the charter profession as a deckhand and went on to earn his license as a captain. In 1994 when fishing restrictions became too much to make a living in Washington, resort owner Peter Hanson and Tony left for Alaska to pursue a dream.
Alaska Farwest’s business is geared for avid anglers as well as families. They pride themselves in a light-tackle approach to fishing, as well as taking the time to let all enjoy nature’s splendors.
Seeing the same things starting to happen in Alaska as happened in Washington, Tony decided to take a proactive role in saving his livelihood, as well as his profession, that is his passion.
Ken Dole, Board Member
Ken Dole is the President and Managing Partner of Waterfall Resort. Ken came to Ketchikan, AK in 1980. He and his partners purchased the resort in 1982 and ran their first charters in 1983. Currently, the resort operates 27 charter boats and has accommodations for 92 guests. Ken is also the Managing Partner of Promech Air in Ketchikan. Promech operates five turbine Otters and five Beavers on scheduled, freight, mail and tour flights in southern S.E. Alaska.
Ken is an active member in Alaska tourism. He has served on the board of the Alaska Travel Industry Association since its inception as well as several terms on the predecessor organization, the Alaska Visitors Association. In addition to serving a three-year term on the Ketchikan City Council, he has helped start two other sport fishing organizations in Alaska.
Forrest Braden, Board Member
Forrest began his company True North Sport Fishing in Gustavus, Alaska in 1997 after finding his way north from the Southern California ocean sport fishery. His professional fishing experience includes 8 years on day and long range fishing boats out of San Diego followed by an additional 15 years on Alaska waters.
Out of concern for the future management of Alaska’s sport fisheries Forrest became actively involved in standing up for sport fishing rights shortly after his arrival in the state. Through research, letter writing, verbal testimony, and participation in sport fishing advocacy groups he has worked to protect and advance the interests of the guided fishing industry in Alaska for the last ten years.
Outside the fishing arena Forrest is pursuing a degree in business management from Brigham Young University in Utah where he currently winters with his wife and seven children. He enjoys quality family time, learning to play the guitar, and church service.
Executive Director - open position