Proxy Prize Winner Donates to Family In Need

Eliza Meier, Leader from the Region

Storyknife, January/February 2021 edition

Eliza Meier, Calista Shareholder and Proxy Prize Winner, with her grandson.
Eliza Meier, Calista Shareholder and Proxy Prize Winner, with her grandson.

Eliza Meier won a $1,000 proxy prize through the 2020 Calista Corporation Annual Meeting of Shareholders—she donated that money to a friend’s family in need of funeral funds.

“The family appreciated the donation since they were lacking funds. During this unfortunate pandemic, good deeds are needed. Stay safe,” says Eliza Meier.

We commend Calista Shareholders like Eliza whose values match some of our own Core Values. She exemplifies dedication and teamwork to her friends and family, and especially matches our Core Value of Service.

Eliza’s decision to donate even has its own backstory. It began with a call from Calista to inform about her proxy prize winnings from voting online in the Annual Meeting.

“It was uncanny. I had won the prize money. It was so surprising! Then UAA called about donations, and I thought ‘I can do that.’ That got the gears turning, but later I spoke with my son and he suggested donating it to my friend from my Legion of Mary family, so I did,” says Eliza.

Eliza is born and raised in Tununak. She went to boarding school in St. Mary’s and is a retired teacher aide and tutor who has worked
in Tununak, Bethel, Platinum and Anchorage, teaching Yup’ik and tutoring students. Her formative years of growing up in Tununak always bring her back and ground her.

“I really love subsistence. Everything works together,” Eliza says. “You have to know which animals to subsist in each season.”

Eliza loves what most people do, fishing and berry picking, but living in Anchorage has opened her up to utilizing that same ‘live off the land’ mentality in searching for morel mushrooms.

“The family appreciated the donation since they were lacking funds. During this unfortunate pandemic, good deeds are needed. Stay safe.” – Eliza Meier, Calista Shareholder and Proxy Prize Winner

“Before starting the fishing season, I’ve gone out with my sister
to Funny River and Swan Lake in the Kenai Peninsula to find morel mushrooms since that’s where they had the fires,” she says.

Besides picking berries, she also likes to make jam and will try to smoke her fish in Anchorage to be more adventurous, she says. Eliza’s late husband Chris thrived in the new experiences with her.

“We were a team, inseparable,” she says. “And how important it was to have plans to reach our goals of adventuring upon subsistence foraging.”

Eliza’s hunger for new experiences led her to teach and tutor in many villages in the YK Delta and Anchorage.

“My love of adventure for each of those places always tied back to subsistence—connecting with my nieces, aunties and uncles in Newtok and Platinum with their subsistence is just a couple examples,” she says. “Mountain Village was all about the water, because you had to fetch your own water at the well.”

In Bethel, Eliza’s fond memories are linked to fishing at the Johnson River for pike fish. In Newtok, it’s the fishing and harvesting seal. Her cousins in Newtok would hunt for seal and share with her.

“I like to recycle. My mom and I—when I was growing up—we’d always recycle the jars for seal oil,” Eliza says. “In Newtok, I had a whole collection of jars, and I save those jars for one lady in the village. She would always remind me, ‘I really appreciated those jars.’”

Her love of subsistence and new experiences is a theme in her family that continues to this day.

“All our three children and one grandson love adventure as well,” Eliza says. “They are following in our footsteps.”

Did you know? If you vote online, you’ll get immediate confirmation your proxy votes were received by the Inspector of Elections. This option is not available for valid paper proxy votes.

“It didn’t take long to go through and finish the online voting process. I had questions about the candidates—I was grateful to have access the individual history of each candidate in my email,” says Eliza Meier, Calista Shareholder and Proxy Prize Winner.

“The step-by-step voting process was not time consuming at all and very user friendly! Thank you for convenient access to vote online,” Eliza says. “I even told my three children about online voting and the chance to win a proxy prize!”

Want to receive Annual Meeting materials electronically? Shareholders like Eliza Meier chose electronic delivery and reduced paper use by over 1,300 pounds in 2020.

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