Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has named former Gov. Bill Sheffield to the Alaska Railroad Corporation’s board of directors as chair emeritus. 

Dunleavy announced the list Wednesday. 

“During his tenure, Gov. Sheffield provided important historical perspectives, keen business acumen, and was a stalwart champion of one of Alaska’s most important transportation assets,” Dunleavy said in a statement. “Over the years, Gov. Sheffield has provided invaluable leadership and expertise to assist the board in weathering harsh economic realities and making the changes necessary to ensure the survival of the railroad as a tool for economic development in the state.”

In a letter to current corporation Chair Bill O’Leary, Dunleavy noted that state law does not designate the position of chairman emeritus and thus Sheffield’s title is purely honorary. 

Dunleavy appointed two others to the board: Judy Petry, of Elk City, Oklahoma, to fill Sheffield’s previous management position and Anchorage’s John Shively to the corporation’s board of directors.

Petry has previous experience in the rail industry, working at Farmrail System since 1987 and taking leadership as president and general manage in 2014. 

Shively will fill the expired Third Judicial District board seat previously held by Lind Leary since 2009. Shively served as chief of staff for Sheffield from 1983-85, chief operating office for NANA Regional Corporation from 1992-94 and later Natural Resources commissioner under former Gov. Tony Knowles from 1995-2000.

Contact staff writer Erin McGroarty at 459-7544. Follow her at