Mike Navarre grew up in Kenai, Alaska, and has served the region and the state in public office for many years. He was named commissioner of the state Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development in 2017. He served three terms as Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor including most recently from 2011 to 2017. During his time as mayor, he was president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors. Earlier he served six terms as a state representative in the Legislature, where he held leadership roles that included House Finance Committee chairman and House Majority leader. Over the years he has balanced public service, volunteer posts helping nonprofits and a business career in restaurants and retail. He currently is active on the boards for Kenai Peninsula Boys and Girls Clubs, Kenai Peninsula Youth Foundation and Arctic Power. As commissioner, he serves on a number of other boards including that of Alaska Housing Finance Corp.