Executive Management

Dr. Pearl K. Brower

President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Brower’s business and employment experience include serving the past year as the Senior Advisor to the University of Alaska focusing on Alaska Native Success, Institutional Diversity, and Student Engagement. Prior to this work, she ran her own consulting business focused on strategic planning and leadership development, and worked for Iļisaġvik College, Alaska’s only tribal college, from 2007 to 2020, eight of those years serving as President.

Pearl received her Ph.D. in Indigenous Studies with an emphasis in Indigenous Leadership from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) (2016); has a Master’s degree in Alaska Native and Rural Development, UAF (2010); and also obtained a double Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and Alaska Native Studies, UAF (2004). In 2018 Brower received her Associate of Arts Degree in Iñupiaq Studies from Iļisaġvik College.

Pearl has served on many boards and commissions throughout Alaska, and the nation including the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Storyknife Writer’s Retreat, The Foraker Group Operations, and Governance Boards; Alaska Airlines Community Advisory Board, and the AlaskaCAN! Network Board of Directors. Brower was an Alaska Top 40 Under 40 Recipient, awarded the First Alaskans Institute Young Native Leader Award, and was recognized by the YWCA as a Woman of Achievement.

Jeevan Pokharel

Chief Operating Officer

Jeevan brings nearly 15 years of successful corporate leadership, and he is well versed in construction, oil field services, heavy-haul trucking, marine transportation, and the government contracting and service industries.

Mr. Pokharel earned both his Master's and Bachelor's degrees from the University of Idaho.

He is a member of the International Rotary Club and participates in their community service and fundraising activities that benefit local, state, national and worldwide causes. In his spare time, he loves traveling the globe.

Joseph Stanich

Chief Financial Officer

Joe began his career with UIC in June of 2010 as its Corporate Assistant Controller. Through the years, Joe has held a number of positions including Financial Systems Coordinator and, most recently, Corporate Controller. Prior to working with UIC, Joe also spent many years working for other Alaska Native companies and has held various different accounting roles.

Joe is also an avid softball player and coach and holds a seat on the Anchorage Sports Association Softball Board of Directors. He even organizes a Fur Rondy Snowshoe softball team which has won back-to-back championships.

Joe’s experience and leadership activities make him a great fit to step in as the Chief Financial Officer. Joe will be a great help in his new role in assisting UIC’s leadership continue to focus on strategies and achieve long-term goals set by the President and the board.

Rick Owen

General Counsel

Mr. Owen received his Bachelor of Science in Business Finance from Brigham Young University, his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Pepperdine University School of Law (Cum Laude), and is licensed to practice law in California, Alaska, and Alaska Federal District Court.

Rick’s work history includes Corporate/General Counsel/Concerns Resolution Program Director for ASRC from 2009-to-2016, General Counsel/Contracts Manager for ASRC from 2000-to-2009, Manager of Commercial Special Credits for the National Bank of Alaska from 1996-to-2000, and Private Practice Attorney for Groh, Eggers & Price from 1987-to-1996.

Michael Hundley

Sr. Vice President of Operations, UIC Government Services

Mr. Michael Hundley has over 30 years of industry experience participating as an active member of the Naval Surface Warfare Center contracting community supporting Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Computer Sciences Corporation since 1989. Mr. Hundley has a degree in Business Administration and his professional background includes a focus in engineering, information technology, business operations, and strategic planning. In previous positions with Bowhead, Mr. Hundley served as a Vice President, Director of Operations, and Business Development Director.

Clayton Arterburn

Sr. Vice President, UIC Commercial Services

Clayton was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and moved to Alaska in 1975 and was raised in Willow, his current home. After graduating from Central Washington University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management, Clayton worked and managed a wide range of construction projects all over the State of Alaska and Washington State. He has worked in the construction field in a wide variety of capacities, from laborer, carpenter and equipment operator. Clayton has been with UIC Construction since 2006.

Clayton involves himself in community support projects such as providing and maintaining the ice rink at the Willow Elementary School - for the community’s use through a 501(c)(3) company he and a friend started four years ago called - Willow Ice. He and a friend also started a skating and hockey program in association with the local PTA, where he participates as an assistant coach.

Jason Strickler

Vice President, UIC Government Construction

Jason has over 18 years of experience in Government Contracting working for and with Alaska Native Corporations (ANC’s). He has a proven track record of success in managing several government contracting companies. He is a strong communicator with effective interpersonal skills, building trust and rapport. Jason leads by example with a sound professional attitude, strong morals and ethics, and pride in personal performance. He leads others to create a shared sense of commitment and accountability to the success of objectives at hand. Jason has successfully led the completion of numerous multi-million-dollar projects through teaming partnerships and building positive rapport with clients, stakeholders, architects, engineers, local officials, and vendors.

Thomas Leavitt

Vice President of UIC Lands

Thomas Leavitt's duties include overseeing the development and execution of business and strategic plans for Shareholder Services which align with the President and Board of Directors’ strategic goals and mission. In addition, Thomas supervises the UIC Foundation which provides funds for scholarships and other benefits to UIC shareholders.

In his role with UIC Lands, Thomas oversees and promotes responsible commercial development and protection of the natural resources within the boundary of UIC’s 220,000 acres of land. This includes issuing land-use permits and the administration of UIC’s Lands Policy.

Thomas, or Tommy as he likes to be called, was born and raised at Barrow and has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Alaska. He has a graduate degree in Public Administration from Temple University. His hobbies include hunting, fishing, golf, and downhill skiing. Tommy has worked in heavy equipment operations, building construction, community planning, capital facilities planning, and has experience in training and development programs.

Mariah Utuga

Vice President of Shareholder Services & UIC Foundation Executive Director

Mariah Utuga was raised in Utqiaġvik, Alaska. A graduate of Barrow High School and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Rural Development with a concentration on community research and Indigenous knowledge from UAF (University of Alaska Fairbanks).

Her most recent work history includes Cook Inlet Tribal Council and the North Slope Borough Health Department. Additionally, she served as Program Manager for the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation Community Economic Development Program from 2012 – 2020 and Administrative Corporate Secretary from 2009 – 2012 working directly with the shareholder base of the Arctic Slope region.