After 20 significant years at the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC), Dr. Tara Riemer announced her departure last Friday. For 11 years, she led as its President and CEO.
ASLC Board Chair Josie Hickel commented on Dr. Riemer’s influential role: “When Dr. Riemer joined the Alaska SeaLife Center 20 years ago, she brought business acumen and a background in scientific research. Under her leadership, the center has grown and developed into a world-class organization providing education, research, and programs that have improved our knowledge of Alaska’s unique marine environment.”
Reflections and Challenges
Sharing her journey, Dr. Riemer said, “I leave with many fond memories of my work at the center. One of the best was my chance to provide hands-on help to rehabilitate a baby beluga whale. For me, that brought our mission to life. To work with our amazing animals and such a passionate staff has been an extremely rewarding experience.”
Addressing the hurdles during the pandemic, she stated, “During COVID we faced a significant funding challenge. To meet this challenge, we launched the Save the Alaska SeaLife Center Campaign. Its goal was to raise $2 million to make up for revenue losses during the pandemic. Without the funds, the center would have closed, and animals would have been moved to other locations. This message reached people in Alaska and beyond, and the center is now more financially secure.”
Emphasizing the future, Chair Hickel added, “Dr. Riemer is leaving the center in a much better position than when she first started working here. She will be greatly missed by the board, our employees, donors, and the whole Alaska SeaLife Center community. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.” The ongoing search for Dr. Riemer’s successor is supported by The Foraker Group. Chair Hickel conveyed optimism, saying, “We are confident that we will find a qualified and dynamic leader to join the board and the center’s strong management team. We expect a smooth transition. Dr. Riemer plans to remain in her position to support a successful transition effort.”