Movers & Shakers 06/15/14



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Two Bureau of Land Management-Alaska volunteers were honored, one as the BLM’s National Lifetime Achievement Award winner and another as the National Youth Volunteer. Verna Pratt received the 2014 BLM Volunteer Lifetime Achievement Award for her work over the last 20 years at Campbell Tract. Over the last two decades, Pratt has provided expert advice on plant species at the facility. She led the first inventory of plants at Campbell Tract in 1993 and mentored other volunteers on native plant species. She was instrumental in turning a newly constructed Campbell Creek Science Center in 1996 from a building surrounded by construction grade soil and fields of weeds into the thriving gardens that exist today to showcase Alaska’s native wildflowers. Volunteer Mark Kreider was presented with the BLM’s first-ever Making a Difference Youth Award. He serves primarily as a maintenance technician with the Anchorage District Facilities Branch, working on a variety of facilities and landscaping projects, in all weather conditions and situations. Kreider served more 1,000 hours of time over the last year, and taught hundreds of kids how to pan for gold during this year’s Outdoor Week program and was instrumental in helping to prepare for the Iditarod Ceremonial Start at Campbell Tract.

The Chancellor’s and Dean’s List for the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus Spring 2014 semester has been announced. Angela M. Craft was named to the Chancellor’s List, and Braden L. Shoemaker, Madalyn A. Campbell, Nastasha E. Robidou, Anastasia S. Anisimova, Chaix J. Johnson and Ryan J. McCutcheon were named to the Dean’s List. The University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus serves approximately 1,140 students.

Brian O’Dowd, PE, Morgan Welch, PE, Matt Majoros, PE and Brian Mullen, PE, of R&M Consultants Inc. have received their professional licensure. They each passed the Principles & Practice of Engineering Exam, gaining their Alaska licenses in civil engineering. O’Dowd has been with R&M since 2010. He is a project engineer in the firm’s Construction Administration Department and has been involved with CA for transportation and airport projects throughout Alaska. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Welch joined R&M in 2010 and is a project engineer in the firm’s Surface Transportation Engineering Group. Welch holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Massachusetts. Majoros has been with the firm since 2009. He is a project engineer within R&M’s Airport Engineering Group and has five years of engineering design experience, nearly all of which has focused on airport improvement projects. Majoros holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the UAA. Mullen has been with R&M since 2011. He is a geotechnical engineer in R&M’s Earth Sciences Department and has more than five years of experience in geotechnical investigations and drafting recommendations. Mullen holds a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering from Missouri University of Science.

During MTA’s annual meeting business meeting, two directors were elected to serve on the MTA Board. Winning a three-year seat was incumbent Catherine Fosselman with 2,516 votes. Winning a two-year term with 2,510 votes was incumbent Earl P. Lackey. As decided by a special board meeting immediately following the election, Lackey will serve as the chief governance officer of the MTA board of directors. Fosselman will serve as secretary of the board. Rounding out the five-person board are Al Strawn, George Trabits and Larry Wiget.

The Rural Alaska Community Action Program Inc. hired Corrine O’Neill to serve as the supportive housing division director. O’Neill is responsible for managing the agency’s Supportive Housing Division, which includes Homeward Bound, Community Bound, Anchorage Homeless Outreach Program and Housing First. O’Neill has worked in the field of homelessness and affordable housing for more than 10 years. She was formerly employed by Anchorage Community Mental Health Services where she managed outreach programs, transitional housing programs, and permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless and seriously mentally ill. O’Neill holds a master’s degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis with a concentration in social and economic development.

Mike Gordon has been named president of Denali Alaskan Insurance. Formerly the brokerage’s general manager, he is responsible for all operational aspects of the insurance brokerage and its 14 employees. Gordon has nearly 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, beginning in 1986 as a claims examiner in Arizona. He moved to Alaska in 1989 as a claims adjuster, and has experience as a producer for local branches of national brokerages. Prior to joining Denali Alaskan Insurance in 2009, he worked at Wells Fargo Insurance Services, where he focused on small commercial business insurance accounts. Mellisa Welle and Donald Shoopman, Jr. have been named retail sales branch managers at Denali Alaskan’s Eagle River Walmart and Tikahtnu Commons branches, respectively. Welle has been a Denali Alaskan employee for more than five years, working within the credit union’s operations department. She had been the branch sales supervisor at Denali Alaskan’s City Hall Branch prior to her promotion. Shoopman has been with Denali Alaskan for two years, most recently serving as the branch sales supervisor at the Tikahtnu branch. Prior to joining Denali Alaskan, he spent two years working at a bank in Alaska.

Five Anchorage-based FedEx Express drivers placed among the top finishers at the 2014 Alaska State Truck Driving Championship held recently in Anchorage. Kitiona Afusia earned his first state title after finishing first in the Straight Truck class. Rebecca Nelson captured first place in the Step Van class for her first state title. Doug Rickel finished second in the 3-Axle class. Completing the sweep in the Step Van class were Airnoy Keodouangdy and Cathryn Bailey with their second- and third-place finishes, respectively. Afusia and Nelson will go on to compete at the American Trucking Associations’ 2014 National Truck Driving Championships, known as the “Super Bowl of Safety,” Aug. 12-16 in Pittsburgh. In addition, each state winner will be recognized by FedEx as part of its safe driving initiative, The Chairman’s Challenge.

Josh Stewart has joined Sen. Mark Begich’s staff as the deputy press secretary. He will be based in Begich’s Washington, D.C., office.

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