Movers and Shakers 4/6/2014



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Alaska Communications has added Hannah J. Blankenship to its marketing and corporate communications team as associate manager, corporate communications, effective March 24. Blankenship will manage media relations, internal communications and community relations. Blankenship comes from the public sector, most recently serving as an information officer for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Northern Region, in Fairbanks, where she was born and raised. She received her bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Idaho.

Brett Merboth of Nome was recently awarded the Alaska Air Carriers Association Forrest Jones Memorial Scholarship, underwritten by Crowley Maritime Corp.’s petroleum distribution group in Alaska. Merboth has been accepted to the University of Alaska Anchorage Aviation Technology Center. Merboth is the youngest member in a long line of aviators including his grandparents, Dick and Joyce Galleher, who owned Munz Northern Airlines based in Nome. The airline flew groceries, freight, Alaska residents and state tourists between the surrounding villages with the slogan “Flying the arctic before it’s paved!” At 14 years old, Merboth decided that he wanted to be an aviation mechanic and has since gained 10 years of experience in the mechanical and metal fabrication skills furthering his skills mainly in auto body shops. He also worked for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities out of Nome for two summers.

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Northrim Bank promoted three individuals to serve on its management team. Jim Miller was promoted to administrative senior vice president, and Larry Cooper and Michael Martin were promoted to senior vice president. Miller, ASVP senior credit officer, has been with Northrim Bank for 17 years, but started his banking career in 1974 when he was a part-time teller while attending school. Miller worked as a commercial loan officer at Northrim for about 11 years before helping establish the Loan Quality Assurance Department in 2008. For the past three years, he has been the senior credit officer at the bank and joins four others as an administrative senior vice president. Cooper, SVP commercial loan unit manager, joined Northrim Bank in December 2013 and brings more than 25 years of banking experience from across Alaska and more than 10 years in a senior management role. He has a wide range of expertise form working with various Alaskan industries and Native corporations. Martin, SVP commercial loan unit manager and in-house counsel, has been with Northrim Bank since August 2011. Martin has been licensed to practice law in Alaska since 1996 and has worked in Alaska banking since 1995, when he started at First National Bank Alaska. He has also developed and taught courses in Law and Banking at Alaska Pacific University, Pacific Coast Banking School, and the American Institute of Banking.

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First National Bank Alaska’s Board of Directors recently appointed three bankers to officer positions. Matthew Anderson was appointed trust officer and brings more than 18 years of professional trust and investment knowledge to the bank. Ryan Edwards was named loan officer and appointed vice president. With more than 14 years of banking experience, Edwards specializes in medical and industrial business banking. Ken Hanley, who has more than 15 years of banking experience, was named loan officer and appointed assistant vice president at the Dimond Branch.

Julie Hasquet has joined the American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific board of directors, effective February 2014. Since 2012, Hasquet has been the director, government and public affairs for BP Alaska. She began her professional career as a broadcast journalist and worked as a TV news reporter and anchor for 17 years. Following that, she worked for a newly-elected Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, who later became a U.S. senator. She served as his press secretary for nine years. She currently chairs the Leadership Council for the American Lung Association in Alaska and is deeply committed to the organization’s mission to ensure each person can breathe clean air. Both of her parents died in 2001 of smoking-related cancers, and both of her daughters have struggled with asthma. She is a graduate of San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications and film.

The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce announced the following 2014 inductees into the Anchorage ATHENA Society: Ella Anagick, owner, Law Office of Ella Anagick; Michele Brown, President and CEO, United Way of Anchorage; Heather Cavanaugh, director of corporate communications, Alaska Communications; Joy Chavez Mapaye, associate professor, Department of Journalism and Communication, University of Alaska Anchorage; Kathy Day, owner, Kathy Day Public Relations Virtual; Julie Decker, director and CEO, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center; State Sen. Anna Fairclough, Alaska State Legislature; Abbe Hensley, executive director, Best Beginnings Inc.; B.G. Catherine Jorgensen, Alaska National Guard; Jana Latham, owner, Arctic Rose Gallery and Art Center; Marilyn Romano, regional vice president, Alaska Airlines. The 10 women were recognized during the Annual Anchorage ATHENA Society luncheon held March 31 at the Dena’ina Center.

GeoNorth announced the hiring of several new personnel as additions to their staff of on and off site managers and developers. James Wortley, with more than 20 years of database design, development, and management experience, has joined GeoNorth as their new senior programmer/analyst. Wortley as a master’s degree in electrical engineering from John Hopkins University, and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington. Wortley operates remotely out of GeoNorth’s Fairbanks location. Sean Merritt, operating remotely out of Bozeman, Mont., has recently accepted the position of senior programmer/analyst. Merritt has 10 years of experience with various state government agencies throughout Alaska, a host of utility organizations including natural gas companies and telecommunications firms, railroad companies and gas pipeline companies. Merritt has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Alaska Anchorage. One of GeoNorth’s most recent new hires, Joshua Tester, with a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the UAA, joined GeoNorth as a web application developer.

The AMATS Freight Advisory Committee welcomes Phillip Price. Price is the chair and a professor for the Department of Logistics at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Price has more than 30 years of experience in university instruction and professional training. He began his career in logistics and management instruction with the Irish Industrial Training Authority, both setting up and delivering a wide range of logistics and management-related programs across Ireland. He then served as senior lecturer and director of the Management Development Unit at the University of North London. Finally, just before joining the University of Alaska Anchorage, he was an associate professor of logistics and MBA director at the Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics, and Strategic Planning as part of a European Union initiative to develop an MBA program in post-Soviet Central Asia.

Kathleen Frederick has been appointed as the chief administrative law judge. The chief administrative law judge oversees the Office of Administrative Hearings and carries out statutory duties created to support improvement of executive branch adjudication processes. Frederick, of Palmer, has practiced law for 30 years. She currently is an attorney for the State of Alaska Office of Elder Fraud and Assistance. Frederick previously worked as an associate attorney at Baxter Bruce & Sullivan PC, and also as a managing attorney with Frederick & Associates, specializing in corporate law, real estate law, Alaska Native law, employment law, and mediation. She is a board member for the Palmer Museum and has served as a commissioner for the Alaska Public Offices Commission, and the Alaska Public Broadcasting Commission. Frederick received a bachelor’s degree from Gettysburg College, a juris doctorate from Villanova School of Law, and a certificate of mediation from Pepperdine University.

The Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to workforce development, announced that Matthew Fagnani has accepted the position of executive director. He has more than 22 years of business management, development, and executive leadership experience. Before joining APICC, Fagnani was the vice president of business development at Pebble Limited Partnership in Anchorage. Prior to his position at Pebble Partnership, he was vice president of operations for NMS Workforce Solution Division; and President of WorkSafe Inc.

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