Movers and Shakers for July 30
Steve Wallace has been appointed as the new Bethel District Attorney, effective July 10, after the retirement of Mike Gray. Wallace began his career in 1982 as a police officer in the City of Kodiak. He went on to serve as a police officer in Barrow and the Village of Wainwright, before becoming an attorney and joining the Department of Law in 1989 as an Assistant District Attorney in Palmer. Since then Wallace has served in Bethel, Anchorage, and, most recently, as the District Attorney in Kodiak.
Paul Prussing was named the state director of Division of Student Learning, which includes the work of several teams of education professionals engaged in ensuring that state and federal education standards are implemented. Prussing has served the department for the past 17 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Oregon State University and is a certified teacher. He initially worked for the department as an Education Specialist, achieving an extensive background in federal programs. He has served as the Deputy Director of the Division of Teaching and Learning Support, now the Division of Student Learning, since 2003. Most recently, Prussing served as the acting division director for the past year as the department underwent a comprehensive reorganization.
Anchorage-based advertising agency Spawn Ideas won gold for the Northwest Region Small Agency of the Year at the 2017 Ad Age Small Agency Awards in Nashville on July 19. Presented by Ad Age, a leading source of news for the marketing community, the Small Agency Awards are the premier honors saluting outstanding work created by independent shops with 150 or fewer employees. Spawn Ideas was founded as The Nerland Agency in 1975 in Anchorage. Transformation came with employee ownership in 2005 and a subsequent rebranding a few years later to Spawn Ideas. The agency has actively diversified its client base through its most recent office opening in Denver in 2015 and projects with clients like Intrawest Resorts, PowerPro, Cable One and the Outdoor Industry Association. Its Small Agency of the Year entry included work for the Alaska Railroad, Ericsson, GCI and Northrim Bank.
Steve Denton joined AECOM Alaska as a senior mining engineer. He brings more than 40 years of experience in mining, consulting and construction to the AECOM team. Denton is a graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Mines. Denton spent more than half of his career at Usibeli Coal Mine, where he held various upper management and vice president positions. In these roles, he was responsible for performing various functions which include design, permitting and management for new mine start-ups, coal process facility construction, international coal sales and marine coal export facility operation. More recently, as an independent contractor, he has worked on a number of projects throughout Alaska in public works/roads, marine facilities, exploration, permitting, mine development/operations, and construction.
Anchorage communications firm MSI Communications received three Telly Awards for the agency’s work for Alaska Airlines and Hilcorp Alaska. This year, the Telly Awards received more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents, including work from large, multi-national media companies. The Alaska Airlines TV commercial is an ongoing campaign that airs throughout the state. It features stop-motion filmography to depict items moving into a suitcase as if packing themselves for a vacation, all set to fun, upbeat music. The spot is re-edited each week to feature a different Alaska Airlines destination. MSI also won Telly Awards for two videos produced for Hilcorp and Alaska Airlines. The Hilcorp video showcased the innovations that made Northstar, a man-made, oil production island off the North Slope, such a success for the past 15 years. The Alaska Airlines video explained the $100 million investment the company is making in upgrades and expansions in Alaska.
Scott Stender has recently returned to The Growth Company, an Avitus Group company as senior consultant following a planned hiatus designed to round out his resume in the non-profit and fundraising sectors. Stender possesses a sound understanding of organizational needs analysis and needs analysis driven design change in addition to excellent planning, networking, coordination, and communication skills. Stender’s proven strategic thinking, planning, design, and implementation skills are additive to his experience in law enforcement, emergency services and as a Dean of Faculty and Curricula Development at the Career Academy in Anchorage. He is planning to focus on the Training Without Walls program. Jennifer Yuhas also recently joined The Growth Company as a senior consultant. Yuhas possesses an extensive background in executive coaching, negotiations, liaison work, team building, group processes, policy assessment, advocacy, communications, change management, crisis management, image consulting, speech coaching, capacity development, and strategic planning. Before joining TGC/Avitus Group, Yuhas served as a Chief of Staff to four Alaska legislators, led a statewide non-profit to its peak membership and effectiveness, and worked for the Fairbanks-North Star Borough mayor’s office successfully negotiating key projects, also serving as the communications and liaison lead for emergency management. She most recently led negotiations strategy for the Pacific Salmon Treaty’s Alaska delegation, and Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex Airspace Planning for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Prior to that role she had served as the department’s communications and legislative director, and later led a liaison team for regulatory policy and interagency coordination. Yuhas will be based in Fairbanks.
Sandy Baker joined Ohana Media Group LLC as the Sales Manager for the South Central Alaska cluster, effective July 24. Baker has spent the past year working in the freight industry and prior to that spent more than 15 years with Morris Communications radio stations (now Alpha Media) in Anchorage and Wasilla. Ohana Media Group is a privately-owned broadcast company based in Seattle with stations in Astoria, Ore., Anchorage and Wasilla. The Alaska cluster includes Adult Hits KBBO-FM, News/Talk KBYR, Rhythmic CHR KFAT, Oldies/Classic Hits KTMB and Traditional Country KXLW in Anchorage and Hot A/C KMBQ-FM in Wasilla.