Movers & Shakers 02/26/12

Lauri Strauss of kpb architects has relocated to the firm’s Everett, Wash., office. Strauss is a senior project manager and kpb architects’ sustainability and LEED coordinator. She is currently the executive secretary on the board for the Cold Climate Housing Research Center, a past director of the Cascadia Green Building Council, chair of the Green Building Track planning team for the Alaska Forum on the Environment, and a juror for the International Living Future Institute’s Living Aleutian Home Design Competition. Strauss is the project manager for the $28 million Alakanuk School and the design project manager for the $34 million Battle Command Training Center at Fort Richardson, JBER, both currently under construction.

John Aho, chairman of the Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission, has been selected to receive the 2012 lifetime achievement award in seismic risk reduction from the Western States Seismic Policy Council. The council noted Aho’s 35 years of public- and private-sector leadership in earthquake engineering and seismic risk reduction. Aho was instrumental in the formation of the Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission, created by the Alaska Legislature in 2002, and has served as its chairman since 2005. The commission’s recent work includes assisting the Department of Education and Early Development with new procedures to use capital funds for safety evaluation, prioritization and rehabilitation of schools with the highest earthquake risks. The commission is also partnering with the Kodiak Island Borough on an effort to develop an earthquake planning scenario for the Kodiak area.

The National Society of Marketing Professional Services formed an Alaska chapter in 2011 and has elected its first board of directors. They are: Skip Bourgeois (UIC Construction Services), president; Leah Boltz (Bettisworth North Architects and Planners), president-elect; Cheryl Jemar (USKH), treasurer; Jessica Taft (Enterprise Engineering), secretary; Andrea Story (R&M Consultants), director of membership; Louis Gire (PCL Construction Services), director of programs; Shannon Kinsey (ECI/Hyer Architecture and Interiors), director of communications; Crystal Barnes (McCool Carlson Green Architects), director of sponsorship; and Don Love (Architects Alaska), director of scholarships.

Attorney Scott J. Gerlach was admitted as the newest shareholder in Delaney Wiles Inc. Gerlach joined Delaney Wiles Inc. as an associate attorney in June 2008. His practice focuses on business and commercial law, complex litigation, natural resources, health care law, and medical malpractice defense. Gerlach received his juris doctor from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, cum laude, in 2007 and he is admitted to practice in both state and federal courts in Alaska.

Bart Dean has recently joined AT&T as a member of the Alaska Signature Accounts Team based in Anchorage. Dean began his telecom career in Alaska more than 30 years ago selling phone systems to oil and gas customers and has continued to provide voice, data and wireless solutions to major customers in the Pacific Northwest, most recently handling federal and tribal government accounts in Washington and Idaho.

The Alaska Ocean Leadership Awards Committee presented awards to five organizations and individuals who have made significant contributions to awareness and sustainability of the state’s marine resources. This year’s award winners include: Kurt Byers and the Alaska Sea Grant Education Services staff received the award for Ocean Literacy. Byers has led the national award-winning Alaska Sea Grant Education Services team since 1988. Deborah Mercy will receive the Ocean Media Award for excellence in journalism that has raised public awareness of Alaska’s oceans. Mercy has been a commercial fishermen, an Anchorage television reporter and, for the last 25 years, video producer for the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Jan Straley of the University of Alaska Southeast was awarded the Marine Research Award. Straley has studied the behavior and population dynamics of large whales in the North Pacific for more than 30 years. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council was recognized with the Ocean Stewardship and Sustainability Award. The Lifetime Achievement Award for exceptional contributions to the management of Alaska’s coastal and ocean resources over a period 25 years or more was posthumously awarded to Caleb Pungowiyi and accepted by his wife, Gladys Pungowiyi. Originally from the village of Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island, Caleb Pungowiyi spent much of his life working for Alaska Native groups and other organizations on the management and science of marine resources, including work on subsistence, Native issues, ecosystem health, climate change, and education.

Benjamin Burgener has been named Wells Fargo Soldotna store manager and Steve Manley as a business relationship manager focused on helping central Kenai Peninsula business customers. Burgener has five years of financial services experience as a Wells Fargo store manager, service manager, personal banker and teller in Wyoming and Utah, and he earned a bachelor’s degree in recreation management from Brigham Young University. Manley is a lifelong Kenai Peninsula resident with eight years of experience in accounting and financial management, including six years as an accountant and controller for Central Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Miles Baker, a former Alaska Legislature aide and a current member Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s Washington, D.C. staff, was named legislative assistant for tourism. Raised in Alaska, Baker will now assist Murkowski on tourism-related matters, in addition to his current responsibilities on economic policy. Nearly 2 million visitors travel to Alaska every year, providing $3.4 billion in direct and indirect spending, $200 million in state and local tax revenues, and about 40,000 jobs for Alaskans.

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