Movers and Shakers for April 9
Christina “Tina” Thibodeaux has left the Alcohol Marijuana Control Office and has joined JDW Counsel’s team where she will assist attorney Jana Weltzin. Thibodeaux worked as a licensing examiner for the State Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office over the past year and a half. During her time at AMCO, she played a major role in the development and implementation of the new marijuana industry license application process and state licensing database, and helped issue the first 65 licenses in the state.
Stantec announced the promotion of three leaders in its Anchorage office. Francis Wiese was named senior principal, Andrew Niemiec was named senior associate and Giovanna Gambardella was named an associate of the firm. Wiese serves as Stantec’s technical leader for marine science in Alaska and Canada. He has 24 years of experience working in the marine environment throughout the world. Wiese joined Stantec in 2013 after working for six years as the science director of the North Pacific Research Board in Alaska. He is currently the technical director for the Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study in the Beaufort Sea. Wiese, who is a technical reviewer for more than 20 international journals, earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Victoria and his Ph.D. from Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Niemiec, PE, serves as Alaska transportation manager in the Anchorage office. He has nearly 30 years of engineering experience on design and construction projects in Alaska. Prior to joining Stantec, Niemiec had management positions with the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority and the Alaska Department of Transportation &Public Facilities. He is a graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and joined Stantec in 2015. Gambardella, AIA, NCARB, is a senior architect in Anchorage. She has 17 years of experience, with 15 of those in Alaska. Gambardella has contributed to the design of buildings of different scope and complexities in various sectors including education, community, industrial and healthcare. Gambardella graduated from the University of Architecture in Genoa, Italy, and joined Stantec in 2015.
Cassie Kosinski, a senior financial advisor for Wells Fargo Advisors based in Anchorage, has been recognized as one of “America’s Top 200 Women Advisors” by Forbes. Kosinski has 23 years of experience in the financial services industry. She holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Alaska Anchorage. The Forbes ranking of America’s Top 200 Women Advisors, developed by SHOOK research, is a ranking algorithm based on industry experience, interviews, compliance records, assets under management, revenue and other criteria by SHOOK Research, LLC, which does not receive compensation from the advisors or their firms in exchange for placement on a ranking. Investment performance is not a criterion.
Bob Williams, a longtime Mat-Su mathematics educator, is the first Alaskan to be inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in Emporia, Kan. He was selected by a national committee of educators, business leaders, and Hall of Fame members. Williams and four other inductees will be honored by ceremonies in Washington, D.C. in April and in Emporia in June. Inductees are permanently represented in the Hall of Fame by plaques and a framed biographical sketch. Born and raised in Palmer, Williams has taught mathematics at Colony High School and Palmer High School, Houston Junior/Senior High School, Nome Beltz Junior/Senior High School, the New York City public schools, and in Gambia as a Peace Corps volunteer. Williams now serves as Director of Educator and School Excellence at the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. Williams has been a Teacher of the Year for Colony High School, the Mat-Su Borough School District, and Alaska. In 2009 he received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching from the National Science Foundation. In 2010 he won the Horace Mann Award for Excellence in Teaching from the NEA Foundation. Williams was one of 20 teachers nationwide selected as an Aspen Teacher Leader Fellow for 2012-13.
Global infrastructure firm AECOM announced that it has hired Dr. Jack Colonell to serve as senior consultant for coastal and ocean engineering for its Alaska operations, effective immediately. In this role, Colonell brings more than 40 years of global expertise in coastal and offshore environments. Since 1980, he has held multiple leadership roles with AECOM-acquired firms, including Woodward-Clyde Consultants and URS. Colonell holds bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering from the University of Colorado, Washington State University and Stanford University, respectively. Prior to his career in consulting, he was professor of marine science at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and professor of civil and ocean engineering at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Alaska USA Mortgage Company has recognized its top producing mortgage loan originators for 2016 by inducting them into the President’s Club: originators who individually close $30 million or more in loans during a calendar year. This year’s honorees include Jeff Stanford, Jason Baer, Lisa Makoni, Kirsten Forbess, Catherine Margolin, Kristin Harding and Tawni Layne-Laxa of Anchorage; Ken Scott of Kenai,; Lyn Bankowski of Oak Harbor, Wash.; and Michael Derrow of Seattle. Combined, the ten originators closed transactions totaling more than $395 million in 2016.
The North Slope Borough School District Board of Education unanimously approved Stewart McDonald to be the next superintendent. His contract will start on July 1. McDonald is currently the superintendent of the Kodiak Island Borough School District, where he worked for 15 years, the last nine in the leadership role. He was recognized as Alaska’s Superintendent of the Year in 2017, and was also honored as one of the final four for National Superintendent of the Year in the same year. In his work on behalf of students, he focused on effective suicide prevention programs, graduation rates, and the success of each student and each school. He led an innovative effort to create a blended digital learning environment to expand KIBSD class offerings, amongst other achievements.