Movers & Shakers 11/08/15
David Ridge, director, marine operations, for Crowley Maritime Corp., was presented with the 2014 Thomas Crowley award, the company’s highest honor, at a recent ceremony at the company’s Anchorage office. The exclusive employee recognition program was created in 1985 and only 60 of the company’s more than 5,300 employees have received the award symbolized by a limited edition bronze sculpture, which depicts company founder Thomas Crowley ferrying goods to and from ships on San Francisco Bay in the early 1890s. Crowley’s Chairman, President and CEO Tom Crowley Jr., the grandson of the company’s founder, presented the award before more than 70 employees and senior leaders who had gathered from around the world for the event. Included in the audience were two past recipients of the coveted award, Bruce Harland, vice president, marine solutions, and Craig Tornga, vice president, government relations. Ridge, a 30-year Crowley employee, was selected for the award because of his reputation for high performance. He works tirelessly to coach his team in Valdez and consistently exceeds customer expectations. He also has been credited for positively engaging with the Valdez vessel crews to continually improve performance and advance the local safety culture.
Alaska Rep. Charisse Millett was honored with the Foundation for Government Accountability’s 2015 Legislator of the Year Award Oct. 26 for her leadership in the state to stand up to abuses of executive power. Millett rallied her fellow legislators to challenge Gov. Bill Walker when he abused his power by raiding a mental health trust fund to subvert the legislative process and the state’s separation of powers. Millett is one of a handful of state leaders being recognized from around the country for their work in 2015, and they are the first group of legislators to be honored with this annual award.
The U.S. Commercial Service appointed Debbie Franklin as director of the Anchorage-based Alaska U.S. Export Assistance Center to help Alaska firms begin or expand their exporting operations. Franklin is a Certified Global Business Professional with 19 years of international sales and marketing experience. She previously directed the International Trade Center at the Iowa Small Business Development Center where she trained and counseled small businesses on international finance, marketing and global logistics and helped identify export opportunities. The Alaska U.S. Export Assistance Center are ready to help Alaska firms succeed internationally by providing a range of services including: counseling on export mechanics and the development of an export strategy; market intelligence on best export prospects, market conditions, legal and cultural issues and more; matchmaking services to identify qualified foreign distributors and arrange meetings with these pre-screened contacts in the target market; and background reports on potential distributors, agents and partners.
Six Alaskans have been appointed to fill vacancies on the 15-member Bureau of Land Management Alaska Resource Advisory Council, which advises the BLM on public land management issues. Each are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior. Stanley Foo of Eagle River and Gary Morrison of Wrangell were appointed as representatives of energy and mineral interests. Pollack (PJ) Simon, Jr. of Allakaket will represent environmental organization interests and Mark Billingsley of Fairbanks will represent dispersed recreation. Brennan Cain of Anchorage will represent Alaska Native interests and John Hopson, Jr., the Mayor of Wainwright, will represent elected government officials. All six appointee’s terms commenced on Oct. 2 and will continue for three years.
First National Bank Alaska and its Board of Directors recently promoted four banking experts, announced the move to a different position for another and welcomed a new branch manager for the Main Branch in downtown Anchorage. Monica Barton and Mike Scott bring years of experience to the bank’s Mortgage Loan Department. A longtime regional manager in Wasilla, Barton is now First National’s mortgage loan origination manager and was also appointed vice president. After spending the last several years as a mortgage loan originator, Scott is now a regional mortgage manager. A banker for more than 13 years, Ruth Alphin was named branch manager at the Parkway Branch in East Anchorage after spending more than a year working at both the Northern Lights and U-Med branches as an operations supervisor. Xavier Flint returned to the bank as the new branch manager at Main Branch. He previously worked at First National for three years (2010-13). As a business development representative in the Escrow Department, Ervin Hetemi will be a key player in developing relationship-building strategies to assist customers. He started his banking career in 2008 and joined First National as a personal banker last year. In Kodiak, veteran banking expert Mark Lonheim takes over as branch manager. Lonheim started in banking in 1997 and joined First National in 2013.