William Sheffield came to Alaska in 1953 as a young sales representative for Sears Roebuck and built a successful network of hotels. He served as Governor of Alaska from 1982-1986. He was Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Alaska Railroad from 1985-1997, was its President and CEO from 1997-2001, and has continued to serve on their Board of Directors. He was key to getting the railroad transferred from federal to state management. In 2001, he became Director of the Port of Anchorage and has overseen a multi-million dollar expansion project.