Cheryl McKay – President-Elect received the Judge Nora Guinn Award.
Nora Guinn established a benchmark as the first Alaska Native woman to be appointed as the Alaska District Court Judge. Cheryl McKay upholds the standard of integrity and public service worthy of Judge Guinn”s legacy. Dr. Shirley J. Holloway who nominated Cheryl, stated: “I was delighted to nominate Ms. McKay for this prestigious award. She epitomizes the hard work, values, and achievements of Judge Gwinn in focusing her professional and personal life to forward the achievement of Alaska Native and rural Alaska residents. Ms. McKay worked her way through school to become an accomplished lawyer working with Alaska Native Corporations, Tribes, and rural school districts to advocate on behalf of rural and Alaska Native youth. And I had the honor of working alongside her in some of these important endeavors.
Ms. McKay is Inupiaq, with family in Unalakleet and Utqiagvik (Barrow), Alaska. She is a frequent public speaker, presenting continuing education programs on corporate governance and Alaska Native history, lands, and education issues. Her enthusiasm and dedication to learning her clients ‘ history, culture, and future goals have helped Cheryl enjoy long-lasting business relationships and communications with Alaska’s Congressional delegation and State and Federal entities. She has traveled extensively throughout rural Alaska, often volunteering time and community participation to encourage youth to achieve their goals. She was instrumental in forming Alaska’s only federally certified Tribal College.
Ms. McKay was honored as one of Alaska’s Top 40 under 40 for her commitment to the community and professional excellence.