Movers and Shakers for Jan. 6
John Novak was appointed as the Anchorage District Attorney. Novak has worked in the Criminal Division of the Department of Law since 1990 and has worked on everything from homicide cases, to handling federal prosecutions as a Special Assistant to the United States Attorney, to advising the Department of Public Safety. Novak’s career has taken him all across the State to prosecute crimes, including Anchorage, Kenai, Palmer, Seward, Bethel, Dillingham, Naknak, and Unalaska. He has also supervised both the drug and violent crimes units during his tenure and pitched in as Acting District Attorney for the Palmer District Attorney’s office. Novak replaces Richard Allen, who has taken a job with the Palmer District Attorney’s office.
Col. Torrence Saxe was appointed to serve as the new commissioner of the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and to serve as the adjutant general for the Alaska National Guard. As commissioner and adjutant general, Saxe will be responsible for nearly 4,400 personnel in four state divisions, and the National Guard, which is organized within the DMVA. DMVA’s divisions include Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Veterans Affairs, Alaska Military Youth Academy, Air and Army National Guard, Naval Militia, State Defense Force and Administrative Services. Saxe most recently served as commander of the Alaska Air National Guard, presiding over 2,300 Air Guardsmen in the Joint Forces Headquarters Air staff and two wings, located at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage and Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks.
LifeMed Alaska, an Alaska-based ground and air ambulance service with base locations in Anchorage, Bethel, Dutch Harbor, Fairbanks, Juneau, Palmer and Soldotna, announced that Russell L. Edwards has joined the company as CEO. As a former Army MEDEVAC pilot and Alaska Air National Guard rescue helicopter pilot with the 210th Rescue Squadron, Edwards has led teams in the safe and effective conduct of flight operations that resulted in safe evacuation of hundreds in Alaska, the Lower 48, and during multiple overseas deployments. His comprehensive understanding and application of pertinent military and civilian regulations, crew resource management, and team leadership has resulted in multiple awards for rescue operations, including an Air Medal for Heroism for leading a flight of two HH-60s in the rescue of a wounded Special Forces officer in the mountains of Afghanistan. Edwards will retire from the Alaska Air National Guard in the fall of 2019 as a lieutenant colonel.