Movers & Shakers 08/17/14



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Kirsten Swanson has joined RIM Architects as marketing assistant. She graduated from UAA in 2014 with dual bachelor of business administration degrees in marketing and management. While earning her degrees, she worked as a freelance professional photographer and provided marketing and event coordination for Davis Constructors & Engineers and for the American Cancer Society in Seattle. Jason Arnold of RIM Architects has earned his Construction Document Technologist accreditation through the CDT Program. As he continues to work toward achieving his Alaska Architecture license, Arnold has provided a variety of services for RIM, including design assistance, contract administration, construction documentation, building specifications and project production assistance. He has worked on numerous projects for RIM’s Building Envelope & Science Technology Studio, which provides forensic, repair and replacement solutions for roofs, doors, windows and exterior envelope issues. Prior to joining RIM, Arnold served in the U.S. Army for 10 years. As an Army Resources Sergeant with several deployments to Iraq, he gained a deep understanding of the administrative, logistical and organizational needs required for large entities to perform successfully. He has a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Iowa State University.

Northrim Bank has promoted four officers: Debbie Bolton, training and development officer; Jeanine Lillo, vice president, controller; Judy Schnese, assistance vice president, audit supervisor; and Linda Uttech, vice president, facilities manager. Bolton has more than 10 years of experience in banking and has been with Northrim Bank for almost five years. She started at the Wasilla Financial Center as a personal banker and was promoted to branch supervisor. She holds an associate’s degree in science from Weber State University. Lillo has been with Northrim Bank for more than 11 years as the assistant controller and controller. Prior to joining Northrim Bank, she worked at Reeve Aleutian Airways. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and computer information systems from Emporia State University. Schnese has more than 25 years banking experience and joined Northrim Bank five years ago. Prior to starting at Northrim, she worked for First Interstate Bank, National Bank of Alaska, and then Wells Fargo. Schnese holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and also is a Certified Internal Auditor and Certified Financial Services Auditor. Uttech has been with Northrim Bank for two years. Prior to joining Northrim, she worked as the facilities manager at the Hilton Anchorage Hotel, with more than 18 years of experience in the hospitality industry. In 2013, Uttech was awarded Northrim Bank’s President’s Award.

Tony Cange is the new CEO of Seldovia Native Association Inc., the Alaska Native village corporation for Seldovia. Cange was most recently the President of Aleut Real Estate LLC, the lands and real estate arm of The Aleut Corp. Prior to that, he was senior business analyst for Koniag Development Corp., the operating arm of the Koniag Inc. Cange is a lifelong Alaskan and serves as a director of the Anchorage Downtown Partnership and as a Director on the Municipality of Anchorage Platting Board. He was a 2011 recipient of the Alaska Journal of Commerce Top 40 Under 40 award.

Luke Hoffmann has joined URS Corp. as a staff geologist. Hoffmann recently graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with his bachelor’s degree in geology. For the last 14 years, he has held various positions in Alaska, all pertaining to remote fieldwork. Hoffmann’s areas of expertise include environmental geology and mineral exploration.

Anne French is the new vice president of marketing and sales Huna Totem Corp. As the first person to occupy this position, French will lead brand development, marketing and sales for the company. She will be responsible for developing the company’s brand in a way that is integral to its future growth and that is consistent with its vision and values. French brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing and brand innovation to her new role. She is a brand strategy executive with a proven record for increasing sales and profit performance across a broad range of businesses, including Procter & Gamble Co., Clorox, the software company Intuit, and Foote, Cone & Belding, an advertising agency. Most recently French led innovation development for a variety of clients, including Colgate-Palmolive, Hormel Foods Corporation, Del Monte Foods and Georgia-Pacific LLC, a paper company. She’s also consulted for Facebook, GoPro and General Electric.

Wells Fargo has named Phillip Izon as an Anchorage small business specialist based at the 301 W. Northern Lights Blvd. location in midtown. Izon has three years of financial services experience in Alaska, serving customers as a teller, personal banker, and small business relationship manager. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Alaska Anchorage. While attending UAA, Izon helped form a financial literacy program for students. He currently serves as an Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals committee member.

Karen Kassik-Michelsohn of Michelsohn and Daughter Construction Inc. was elected external vice president for the American Institute of Building Design at its 2014 National Convention located in Columbus, Ohio. AIBD is an international association for the Residential Design industry and is based in Washington, D.C. She will hold the national office for a term of one year. Kassik-Michelsohn was also awarded the prestigious “Designer of the Year” nomination for her years of service as liaison to the National Association of Home Builders and the homebuilding industry. Kassik-Michelsohn has been designing Custom Homes and Remodeling for more than 25 years and is both a remodeling design and aging-in-place design specialist. She has been featured in many publications and the “Today” show promoting the need for accessible and multi-generational housing. Michelsohn and Daughter Construction Inc. is a full-service design/build construction company located in Anchorage since 1978.

The Alaska Workforce Investment Board has named Daniel Domke the David G. Stone Secondary Vocational Training Administrator of the Year for significantly improving and promoting career and technical education. Nominations for the prestigious awards come from an Alaska business or industry. Domke is career and technical education director for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, but served as principal of Hutchison High School in Fairbanks when AWIB selected him.

Dr. Karen Schmitt has been appointed the Dean of Arts and Sciences and Vice Provost for Research and Sponsored Programs at the University of Alaska Southeast. Schmitt is returning to UAS from a position as dean at University of Alaska Anchorage. Previously she served as UAS dean in the schools of Management and Career Education. She replaces Dr. Marsha Sousa who returned to UAF in Fairbanks after four years in Juneau. Schmitt’s academic background includes a Ph.D. in geological sciences from Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia University, a master’s degree in geology from the University of Otago in Aotearoa/New Zealand and a bachelor’s degree in geology and geophysics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Schmitt was Phi Beta Kappa as an undergraduate student and received a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship while at Columbia. In addition to her recent university leadership roles in Alaska, she served as assistant dean of the College of Ocean and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington, as senior research geologist for Exxon Production Research, and as marine projects coordinator with ITT Antarctic Services. Vickie Williams is taking on the position of interim dean, School of Management. Williams is a longtime accounting faculty member at UAS. Prior to UAS, she was employed with Citicorp in New York and with Arthur Andersen and Co. She is taking on this interim role while the university begins a search for a permanent Management dean. The previous dean, John Blanchard, is returning to his original position as assistant professor of accounting while also maintaining an active presence working with community and industry partners. Pete Traxler will be expanding his role as associate dean for Juneau Programs within the UAS School of Career Education. Traxler is assistant professor of construction technology at the UAS Technical Education Center near downtown Juneau.

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