Julie Morris – Bio

District 7 Candidate
Nominated by committee

Primary Residence: 171 North Star
Phone: 907-209-1895
Email: homefireinn@hotmail.com
Years in Alaska: 44 years
Occupation/Employer: Self-employed, Homefire Country Inn; previously professional legislative assistant.
Education: Master’s in Public Administration Management; Teacher Certification

Personal interests/hobbies: Skiing, hunting and fishing.

Organization affiliation: North Star Community Church, Anderson, Alaska – Secretary/Treasurer

Special interest/Community service: I am interested in business and resource development in our state. I would like to see our communities thrive. Small business and those in resource development require access to electrical power to build infrastructure. Affordable power is an important factor in development of any kind.

Meet the Candidate Q&A

Why are you interested in running for a seat on GVEA’s board?

As a legislative assistant working in the interior of Alaska, I have gained knowledge and understanding of the power/grid structure within our state. As GVEA has set a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 26% by 2030, I see the need for balance in the approach to that goal in order that members receive no long-term increase on rates. Affordable and yet reliable power will still be available.

What business, technical and governance knowledge, skills and experience will you bring to GVEA’s Board of Directors?

My business experience includes running two small businesses. Homefire Country Inn, a small B&B in Anderson and Alpine Plumbing and Heating. My husband Chip Morris does most of the heavy lifting while I do most of the paperwork.

The government experience includes work on Government boards such as Juneau School Board and Denali Borough School Board and councils such as Faith-based and Community Initiatives Council. My employment within the administration of the State of Alaska included work for DHSS, DOL, DOA, DEED. I also have extensive experience with the Alaska State Legislature which included committee work in Resources, Health and Social Services, Education, and Finance. I have worked on government contracts, budgets, RFP’s and grants. Good decisions are made from good data.

What do you perceive as your role and responsibilities as a GVEA Director?

The role and responsibility of a board member is to manage a multimillion-dollar business. I have formulated over a billion-dollar budget for the Alaska State Department of Education while working in the Legislature. A board member participates in the hiring of the President and CEO and reviews their performances, establishes strategic initiatives that represent all the members, analyzes and approves plans, and puts into effect policies that make good business sense. A board member is legally bound by GVEA’S Articles of Incorporation, bylaws, policies and procedures. Board members should always communicate to best of their ability to the people they serve, the members.

What specific things would you like to accomplish as a GVEA Director? 

The most specific accomplishment is to provide Alaskans with affordable and reliable power. There has been a great deal of conversation concerning renewable resource such as solar or wind generated power, however, these are limited because sun and wind are not always reliable. These systems require back up when they stop producing power. All options need to be considered.

What do you think should be GVEA’s energy goals and objectives? 

GVEA’s energy goals and objectives should always be to provide affordable and reliable energy. Diesel generated electricity costs significantly more than natural gas. GVEA can and does purchase electricity through the interties, however, the answer is to develop the natural gas resources within the state. This must be done in a reasonable manner so that our mining industries can be developed and thrive.

What would you do to position GVEA for the future? 

The future for GVEA is to provide more power, expand into the rural areas, and to provide the power we need to develop our resources in particularly natural gas. The future is bright with promise, but it takes determination and steadfastness. I know we can develop our resources without damaging the environment. GVEA will play a part in the development of Alaska’s resources. It is my desire to help provide affordable and reliable energy at fair and reasonable rates.

Being positioned for future growth requires a sure foundation. Maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure is necessary for future support. One additional view should also be considered; what can and what should be done proactively that prepares infrastructure to be able to overcome natural disasters. This may require reconfiguring energy producing assets in order to feed the grid from alternate locations.