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May 29, 2015

In unanimous vote, Lawer named Board Chair

First National Bank Alaska’s Board of Directors this week unanimously elected Bank President Betsy Lawer to the position of Board Chair.

Lawer takes over the role from D.H. Cuddy, the beloved Alaskan pioneer who passed away May 12 at the age of 94. Lawer is Cuddy’s oldest of six children, thus keeping Alaska’s largest Alaskan-owned and operated bank in trusted, knowledgeable hands. Lawer had served as Vice Chair.

“I am honored to serve in the position my father held for so many years and performed so well. His commitment to the success of Alaskans and Alaska business will continue to guide our bank and its policies,” said Lawer. “For nearly a century, our bank has played an important role in the communities we serve and we expect to continue to serve Alaskans for a long time to come.”

Lawer joined the bank in 1974. During her 41-year career with the bank, she has worked in all areas of the bank including Commercial Lending, Investor Loan Production, Bank Operations, Electronic Data Processing, and Marketing.

In service to her community, Lawer served as a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Board of Directors, the University Of Alaska Foundation Board Of Trustees, the Smithsonian National board and the President's Community Panel of the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. She also serves as Director Emeritus of the Providence Health Care Foundation. 

Lawer, born and raised in Anchorage, earned her B. A. in Economics from Duke University. She was named U.S. Banker 25 Women to Watch in 2003 and Top 25 Most Powerful People in Alaska, 1999-2003. She received the ATHENA Award in 2001, the Soroptimist International Women Helping Women Award in 1998, and an Alaska State Legislature Commendation in 1997 and 2007.

Lawer’s childhood included accompanying her father on his Saturday morning customer calls. She listened, learned, and developed a strong respect and admiration for the personal aspects of banking.

Under her leadership as president, the bank has grown to more than $3 billion in assets.

Alaskan-owned and operated since 1922, First National proudly meets the financial needs of Alaskans with ATMs and branches in 18 communities throughout the state. Visit for more information about Alaska’s largest locally-owned bank and access to efficient and secure online banking services.


Contact: Marketing Department, (907) 777-3409