Movers & Shakers 11/16/14
Josh Van Gorkom has become a shareholder of the firm Guess & Rudd P.C. Since joining Guess & Rudd in 2010, Van Gorkom has represented insurance companies, insurance brokers, banks, Native Corporations, oil and gas companies, mining companies, municipal governments, small businesses, and individuals in a broad range of litigation and administrative matters, including appeals to the Alaska Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition, he works with the firm’s natural resources group on a variety of transactional matters. Van Gorkom is a graduate of Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., and of Valparaiso University School of Law in Valparaiso, Ind.
Resource Data Inc. a custom software development, geographic information system and IT consulting firm, has hired two senior GIS programmer/analysts for its Anchorage branch. Kenneth Gaines has more than 10 years of GIS experience, specifically in oil and gas services and marine sciences. Gaines skills include project management, cartography and Python programming language. Gaines has a bachelor’s degree in marine science and field biology, a master’s degree in mariculture and is completing a master’s degree in geospatial surveying engineering, all from Texas A&M University. Jason Mann has 15 years of GIS and programming experience, with proficiency in project management and computer-aided design, light detection and ranging (LiDAR) processing and .NET technologies. Mann has a bachelor’s degree in geology from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
Anthony Rouen has been selected to manage KeyBank’s 5th Avenue branch. Rouen joined Key in 2012 as the manager of the Palmer branch, bringing with him the experience he gained as a personal banker while at Wells Fargo. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Honors College, and the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Leadership and Executive Advancement Program.
Byron Bluehorse, assistant professor of Tribal management at UAF Interior-Aleutians Campus, received the 2014 Dan Moreno Award. Each year, the Alaska Mobility Coalition presents the Dan Moreno Award at the Alaska Transit Conference. This special recognition award is given to individuals and tribal organizations for significant contributions supporting and developing tribal transportation across the state. Bluehorse administers the Alaska Tribal Technical Assistance Program Center located within UAF Interior-Aleutians Campus’ Tribal Management Program. The program is made possible by a $1.55 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. Bluehorse provides onsite and distance education throughout Alaska helping tribes develop transportation resources, infrastructure, and development opportunities. An enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, Bluehorse earned a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of New Mexico. From 1993-97, Bluehorse served in the U.S. Marine Corps, an experience which led him to Japan, Panama and the Philippines. After receiving an honorable discharge, he returned home to New Mexico to pursue a higher education. While in graduate school, he served as an AmeriCorps volunteer where he helped to establish the University of New Mexico Tribal Service Corps. After moving to Alaska in 2005, Byron began working as a Contracts and Grants Specialist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
McCool Carlson Green has revised its corporate structure and announced principal architect John Weir’s move to president and CEO. Weir has worked at McCool Carlson Green for 22 years and has successfully completed a wide range of projects, including the new Alaska Airlines Center for UAA, the Mat-Su Borough’s new Valley Pathways School, and Anchorage’s first LEED Silver school, Chester Valley Elementary.
Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Pat Kemp awarded four employees with the department’s inaugural Extra Mile Award, which recognizes employees who surpass expectations for exemplary public service. Chandalar maintenance camp foreman Matthew Ellingson and equipment operators Timothy Fickus, Paul Krenzke and Kevin Wood were honored for their efforts in assisting a co-worker critically injured in a fall last winter during a severe storm in Atigun Pass on the Dalton Highway. The incident occurred early in the morning of Feb. 6 as Maintenance and Operations crews prepared to open Atigun Pass. The area was experiencing 40 mph winds, snowdrifts and possible avalanches. Because of high winds and low visibility, emergency response could not reach the injured employee until daylight. For more than three hours, the four men cared for and comforted their injured co-worker. During this time, it became evident that the injuries were life threatening, and the four men performed CPR for more than 90 minutes, until emergency response was on scene.
Jenna White, a physical education teacher at Orion Elementary School on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, has received a Milken Educator Award, a prestigious national recognition. White, who was honored in a surprise ceremony at her school, will receive $25,000. Orion Elementary is in the Anchorage School District. White transformed Orion’s gym into an obstacle course, adding a climbing wall and incorporating themes like the holidays, the Olympics, and the Iditarod into her lessons. With White’s help, students develop an expertise in many diverse skills such as juggling, cross-country skiing, ice-skating, fitness testing, gym hockey and Native skills. She also collaborates with the military to create activities based on real boot camp. White encourages her students to be active outside of the classroom. Recently, she organized a challenging 26-mile bike ride for fifth-graders that was so popular it’s become an annual tradition. She also organizes a very popular Staff vs. sixth-grade basketball game and involves students in numerous community fundraising activities.
Two new associates have joined the Perkins Coie LLP office in Anchorage. Laura Wolff is an associate in the firm’s environment and natural resources practice. Prior to joining the firm, Wolff clerked for the Hon. Jack Smith of the Anchorage Superior Court. She received her law degree from University of Michigan Law School cum laude, where she was contributing editor of the Michigan Law Review, and received her bachelor’s degree in classical studies and English literature from Colgate University. She is also a volunteer with Challenge Alaska, a program that provides sports and recreational activities for people with disabilities. Brian Samuelson is an associate in the firm’s litigation group, focusing on labor and employment, environmental, natural resources, and general commercial issues. Prior to joining the firm, Samuelson clerked for the Hon. Morgan Christen of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for the Hon. Dana Fabe of the Alaska Supreme Court. Samuelson received his law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was articles editor of the Harvard Environmental Law Review, and received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from the University of Wisconsin.