Advertising consultant Mike Porcaro named CFEC commissioner

Advertising consultant Mike Porcaro, who has worked on Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s campaigns and hosted the governor on his radio talk show, was appointed recently by Dunleavy to serve as a commissioner overseeing commercial fishing permits for the state of Alaska. 

The Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC) is an independent agency from the executive branch, said Glenn Haight, the other CFEC commissioner and former executive director of the Alaska Board of Fisheries. The mandate of CFEC commissioners is to provide due process hearings and appeal processes for disputes related to limitations on fishery participation.  

The governor’s office never made a formal announcement of Porcaro’s appointment, which occurred on Aug. 9. 

The job, which pays $136,000 if Porcaro works full time, runs through March of 2025. Porcaro, who has no background in commercial fisheries, fills the seat vacated by Melvin Smith, who resigned for personal reasons in May of 2022. Requirements do include that the applicant have no vested interest in fisheries. 

Haight said that job requirements include broad professional experience, but not necessarily in fisheries. 

CFEC licensing staff issue some 17,000 permits and about 8,000 commercial fishing vessel licenses annually, Haight said. 


CFEC used to have three commissioners, but in 2015, after a legislative audit, recommendations were made to reduce the number of commissioners, Haight said. 

Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, said she was optimistic about the appointment of Porcaro.   

“If he is willing to learn, to listen, and to educate himself, that would be great,” Stutes said.  

That would add to the CFEC “an independent set of eyes that are not already convinced which way is up or down,” she said. 

Stutes said she also felt that Haight would be an incredible asset to Porcaro in meeting the demands of 

the job. 

Independent journalist Nat Herz, of the Northern Journal, noted in an article on the appointment that Porcaro, who has had Dunleavy as a guest on his radio talk show, will work from his home in Anchorage, and continue to operate his advertising agency outside of work hours. 

Haight said it was not clear whether Porcaro would work full time as an CFEC commissioner. If not, he would be paid only for hours he reported having worked, he said. 

Porcaro’s resume, as released by the governor’s office, states that Porcaro established Porcaro Communications in 1981, with a focus on clients in telecommunications, media, tourism, transportation (railroads and airports), retail, health care, distilling, quick service restaurants, construction, oil and gas, pipelines, mining, and political campaigns. 

A 1969 graduate of Rockford College, in Rockford, Illinois, Porcaro was inducted into the Alaska Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2009.