Movers and Shakers

Movers and Shakers

Alaska delegation cheers decision to hold off F-16 move

The U.S. Air Force is holding its proposed action to transfer the F-16 squadron from Eielson Air Force base in Fairbanks to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has directed that the Air Force not take action until Congress has completed action on the fiscal year 2013 authorization and appropriations bills. This was especially good news for Sen. Mark Begich, who is on the Armed Services Committee and has been leading the charge against the move. Begich has stated that the Air Force has not been transparent about how the move would save costs. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz sent Begich a letter today that confirms the decision. In the letter, Schwartz states that the Secretary recognized that the House-passed and Senate Armed Services Committee-reported versions of the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act would reject or defer the squadron transfer. In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, a housing study will be completed before a final decision is made about the proposed transfer. Begich has said that Anchorage’s capacity to house the personnel is a real issue. Begich has led numerous efforts to halt the transfer, including introducing legislation with Sen. Lisa Murkowski to bar the transfer, authoring legislation to put a one-year moratorium on the move and holding up the promotion of a three-star general. Begich said he will now release the hold for Lt. Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle. “This is some of the best news I’ve had the chance to deliver to Alaskans: that the Air Force has recognized its proposal to move the 18th Aggressor Squadron was not well-vetted and analyzed, and that there is certainly no support in Congress for such action,” Begich said in a release. “Eielson plays a vital role in the nation’s defense and I’m committed to defending that role.” Begcih said downsizing Eielson will adversely affect the Pacific rim presence as part of the military’s global strategy. “I believe Air Force officials have recognized they have not completed their homework for such a major move,” Begich said. “And they have hit continual roadblocks in Congress as multiple communities have faced this type of restructuring. I continue to believe moving the F-16s from Eielson is a misguided idea, and I’m thrilled the Air Force is backing off this bad idea until we pass defense bills.” Murkowski and Congressman Don Young have also criticized the proposed move and worked on legislation to fight it. “Along with many Alaskans, I am pleased to learn that the Pentagon is delaying the decision to move the F-16 Aggressors from Eielson Air Force Base to J-BER. But while today’s announcement provides us with breathing room, we need to use this time and opportunity to make today’s victory a permanent one for Alaska and the nation’s defense,” Murkowski said in a release. Murkowski said the move wouldn’t have saved the money the Air Force claimed. She also questioned the move’s compatibility with the military’s focus on the Asia-Pacific region. “I think today’s news is vindicating in that we’ve all been heard. The Pentagon knows there are flaws in its reasoning. They see that they need to listen to Congress on this. And they see the wisdom and resolve of Alaska’s military community statewide,” she said. In May, Young passed a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 that would ensure further cost and benefit clarity for such military moves. “I welcome today’s announcement by the Air Force and I am pleased they have decided to suspend their plans to move Eielson’s 18th Aggressor Squadron. As I have long maintained, the Air Force had a responsibility to present all the facts and prove to Alaskans that moving these F-16s was the right thing to do both for the nation and for Alaska,” Young said in a release. “As every Alaskan knows, the military and Alaska have a strong and mutually beneficial relationship. Moving forward, I intend on continuing to work with the Air Force, the rest of the Delegation, the Governor, and local officials to come up with a long-term energy plan for Fairbanks and the surrounding region. Eielson Air Force Base is too important to our national defense for us to continue to neglect the high cost of energy – especially when it seems to be the driving force behind these proposed force moves,” he said.

Native organizations lifting Interior economies

Native organizations are giving the Interior major lift, according to a new study conducted by Doyon Ltd., Tanana Chiefs Conference, Fairbanks Native Association and the Interior Regional Housing Authority. An economic impact report reveals that Interior Native organizations are a significant contributor for the region, accounting for nearly half a billion dollars in economic impact and the fifth-highest employment. About 70 Native organizations were surveyed, including 42 tribal governments, 25 village corporations and some regional nonprofits. Of those, 26 are for-profit organizations and the rest nonprofits. Using 2010 data, the survey found that Interior Native organizations spent $178 million in the region with 46 percent of that on goods and services from Alaskan businesses. Indirect spending brought the total economic impact to $307 million. Dividends from villages and regional corporations to shareholders added $3.7 million to regional household incomes. These organizations paid $3.8 million in property taxes to the Fairbanks North Star Borough general fund and $5.5 million in local property taxes. Employment was a large factor. Native organizations provided 2,725 direct jobs in the Interior, making them the fifth-largest employers in the region following the military, federal government, the University of Alaska and the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. Of those jobs, 1,238 were in Fairbanks and 1,487 in Interior villages. An additional 848 indirect jobs resulted from Native organization spending. Together this accounted for more than 7 percent of civilian wages in the region. These jobs paid $101 million in wages and benefits to direct employees. Indirect payrolls added another $46 million. Statewide, these organizations employed 3,704 and paid $145 million in direct wages and benefits. Doyon President and CEO Aaron Schutt said about 40 percent of those surveyed returned data, which is enough to model the overall impact of the Interior. This includes 10 to 12 village corporations and perhaps up to 20 of the tribal governments. The participating Native organizations cover a broad range of businesses. Doyon is a for-profit Alaska Native regional corporation with an umbrella that covers government contracting, oil field services, tourism, natural resource management and construction. The Interior Regional Housing Authority works in low-income housing development with around 31 tribes. “It was certainly a good sample enough to do some modeling of the overall impacts,” he said. Schutt was pleased with the report. He said it shows Native organizations’ sizable impact and commitment to the Interior and state. He said it also indicates that these organizations are growing. He said the impact is especially strong in Fairbanks and that as the region has struggled with downsizing and high energy costs, the Native organizations are a source of good news and strength in the community. Irene Catalone, CEO for the Interior Regional Housing Authority, agrees. She said that Native organizations provide a strong backbone for the Interior. One part of the study that particularly stuck out to her was that the Native organizations’ current employment numbers for the Interior matched those from the entire state several years ago. She said this shows their strong employment role, especially because these companies hire all Alaskans and not just Natives. “I think that’s remarkable,” she said. The report indicated a few notable points to Schutt as well. One such factor is the $3.5 million in statewide charitable contributions from Native organizations. $2.5 million of that was in Fairbanks. He said this is a significant amount when considering that the majority of the organizations are nonprofit. In comparison, he said companies like BP and ConocoPhillips annually give between $5 million and $7 million. “That’s jut a glimpse of how we support education, social programs, other charitable giving, particularly here in the Interior,” he said. Schutt said something that wasn’t in the report is that multiplier effects from direct spending that turns into indirect spending for the total economic impact is quite a bit less than major municipalities around the country. Fairbanks has a smaller multiplier than Anchorage and rural communities have almost none. Schutt said this is a policy point where data on more dollars staying in the communities can be helpful. Schutt said this is the third such study to be done, however, comparing these results to the previous surveys’ is not exactly “apples to apples” because data from larger business presences like Arctic Slope Regional Corp., Chugach Alaska Corp. and Bristol Bay Native Corp. was gathered but not included in the report as in previous years. “We asked them for that data. And we got a lot of responses this time and that time. The difference is what we’re reporting,” he said. He said that although the data doesn’t offer a good basis for comparison, logic dictates that because Interior-based organizations are growing, their economic impact should be growing proportionately. The reason behind the study is to give the Native corporations an idea of what they are doing for the Interior and the state. Schutt said most only have data on their own specific companies but not about the others. The data is used to help local legislators and chambers of commerce make decisions, as well as internal and shareholder use. He said legislators have previously cited the data. “It’s a very useful tool for us,” he said He gave an example of how legislators used Native corporation information when going to bat for them on the Frontier basins oil and gas tax credits. “We want the general public to know the information. We certainly want influential policymakers to know the information,” he said.

Skagway post office short on workers, long on mail

JUNEAU (AP) — With four authorized post office positions, but only one filled, the historic community of Skagway is facing a backlog in its mail delivery. The population swells every summer with tourists and temporary workers in the town that was the gateway for the Klondike Gold Rush, but the U.S. Postal Service continues to have problems finding people who want to move the mail. "Last week we began sending a couple of employees from Juneau to Skagway to help out with the workload there and we'll continue to do that until we can get some permanent replacements," spokesman Ernie Swanson told the Juneau Empire, City Manager Tom Smith on Saturday went to pick up his mail and spotted 20 people in line to pick up packages. "It was a fairly significant wait," he said. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski also visited and wrote a letter to Postmaster General Michael Donohue with her observations. "Skagway has no pharmacy, so all medications are shipped to the community through the mail," she wrote. Medications have not been delivered in a timely manner, she said. Customers told her mail had stayed in the building for as long as three weeks and it can take 20 days to get priority mail. The USPS first tried to fill Skagway vacancies in-house. "We have been unable to find employees inside the postal service that are interested in going to work there, so we have been advertising on the outside," Swanson said. That too has proved to be a challenge. Skagway a year ago had the lowest unemployment rate in Alaska, with only two dozen unemployed residents of a workforce of 861. "We're having problems getting qualified, interested parties to either apply or take the test," Swanson said. Murkowski on Tuesday set up an email address to hear from Skagway residents about their post office concerns. Swanson said the post office will keep sending Juneau staff to help out. "It may take a bit of time," he said.

New program brings Fairbanks students and unions together

Fairbanks students have a new way to get into the workforce. The school district has teamed up with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Community and Technical College to bring secondary students Partnerships to Pathways, a state-funded program that ensures collaboration and training for these students to further education in postsecondary classes or get started in work or apprenticeships immediately after high school. These partnerships with the district expand to various workforce entities and labor unions to get students involved in work early. Karen Gaborik, assistant superintendant for secondary schools, said this has been a good opportunity for the community and has brought the district into looking at postsecondary options for students while getting counselors and principals involved. “Everyone has the broader picture,” she said. She said the best partnership has been with UAF CTC and the school district. A big part of this effort is developing mutual advisory committees between the technical college and district to give a “K-16 perspective.” Another focus is to develop process technology and health occupation pathways that start in high school. The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development put in $43,400 to fund the program. The idea is to develop partnerships between the state, schools and labor organizations to get students ready for work. The program also helps ensure that high school guidance counselors understand the program and can better advise students about the Career Technical Education program, or CTE. Peggy Carlson, executive director for the curriculum and instruction for the school district, said the program has been a great success so far. She said the community understands the importance of getting students into a working environment and many have helped out. The CTE program began after workforce development studies indicated the state cannot meet its workforce demands, particularly in trades areas. The state determined that better methods of preparing students for work were needed. This led to recognition for cooperative needs between the Labor and Education departments. This led to Alaska Career and Technical Education Plan, or CTE, of which Pathways to Partnerships is a part. CTE also builds from the “Alaska Gasline Inducement Act Training Strategic Plan” by the Alaska Workforce Development Board in 2008 and the “Alaska Education Plan” adopted by the Board of Education and Early Development in 2009. The CTE plan addresses the individual students’ needs for career preparedness with certain goals in mind. Carlson said four labor organizations have joined the program, those of electrical, plumbers, operating engineers and carpenters. Each union has a goal of two students per year and one of those categories is way ahead. Students Michael Reynolds of Ben Eielson High School and Ryan Graham Taylor of Lathrop High School have even been accepted into apprenticeships for the Alaska Joint Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Trust. “This is an amazing program. It gives students like myself an opportunity that would otherwise never be available. I’m excited and thankful to be accepted into this program,” Reynolds said in a release. “I didn’t know this is what I wanted to do until this year,” said Graham Taylor. “I met a guy at my mom’s work and he had been in the IBEW for over 40 years and talked about his excellent retirement and career, and this got me looking at unions. I’m thankful for the opportunity. I don’t have to look for a job now! I don’t know what to say, I’m happy, very happy! Basketball was the only reason I was going to go to college, and I’m happy about this.” Gaborik said students must fulfill a list of requirement for apprenticeship eligibility, such as a high grade point average, teacher references and completing certain courses like algebra. She said the result is a big advantage t the students because it gives them a leg up in these competitive apprenticeships that adults are also seeking. The second CTE goal of strengthening the curriculum is moving along the public comments for the drafts are being reviewed with an adoption expected this month. The drafts include new courses and study programs for health science. CTE also seeks to disseminate programs and options to staff and students. Administrators recently met and counselors were given instruction in the plan to aid this effort. The biggest barrier to the project during the last quarter was determined to be the short time frame in which the school district had to get approval for supplies and material purchases. The district is continuing to work with the Alaska Workforce Investment Board for approvals. All grant funds are expected to be expended if approval is given. A letter from UAF CTC Interim Dean Michele Stalder dated April 9 states that $5,277 has been used for two faculty members for participating on the program advisory committee and assisting with development and site visits. Another $24,128 went to CTC career advisors and a financial aid coordinator. The year-to-date match/cost-share is $32,202. Gaborik said there’s room for advancements as the programs continue. The district would like to expand apprenticeships as well as outreaches to students and parents. She said they would also like to strengthen partnerships with the Fairbanks Pipeline Training Center and Alaska Works Partnership.

Alaskan Brewing wins big at 'Olympics of Beer'

What’s better than frosty cold beer? Award-winning frosty cold beer. With three new World Beer Cup medals to hang around its neck, Juneau’s very own Alaskan Brewing Co. is the place for award-winning beer. With nearly 4,000 beers judged from 54 different countries in 95 categories, the 2012 World Beer Cup, its organizers said, was world’s largest commercial beer competition to date. This marked the ninth meeting of the bi-annual event. “It’s called ‘The Olympics of Beer Competition’ for good reason,” Brewer’s Association President Charlie Papazian stated in a press release. “A brewer who wins a World Beer Cup gold knows that their winning beer represents the best of that beer style in the world.” Alaskan Brewing’s Alaskan Amber Ale won a silver medal in the Irish Red Ale category. Alaskan Stout won bronze in the oatmeal stout category and the Alaskan India Pale Ale took third in the American-style Strong Pale Ale category. “It’s an honor to win at the World Beer Cup, in the presence of so many great brewers from around the world,” Curtis Holmes, plant manager of Alaskan Brewing stated in a release. “To represent Alaska and come home with three medals was just amazing, especially given the number of entries in the competition this year.” The awards were announced at the Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego, Calif. on May 5. Judges from 27 countries, comprised of professional brewers and industry experts, determined winners by blind taste evaluations. “The judging criteria are exacting,” according to a Brewers Association press release. Second or third place in some categories may not be awarded, “if the panel decides that the entries do not merit recognition.” Alaskan Brewing won a bronze in the barely wine category in 2008 and 2010. The brewery’s Alaskan Summer Ale brought home gold in 2008 out of 39 entries in the golden or blonde ale category. Alaskan received another top honor in 2010 with its 1998 Alaskan Smoked Porter in the aged beer category. Alaskan Brewing started with its award-winning Alaskan Amber Ale in 1986. It has since added Pale, White, IPA, Stout, Smoked Porter, Winter Ale, Summer Ale and a variety of limited edition beers in the Alaskan Pilot Series. The Alaskan Birch Bock is the brewery’s current Pilot Series beer — a Doppelbock-style ale brewed with Alaska birch syrup. Alaskan Brewing competed against breweries from Canada, Mexico, Germany and Singapore to name a few. Nearly 4,000 beers from 54 countries were judged in the competition. Haiti entered one beer, an award winner.  

Alaska man plans year on uninhabited island

ANCHORAGE (AP) — Charles Baird is going off the grid for a year. The 40-year-old oil company employee and filmmaker from Anchorage will move to the mostly uninhabited Latouche Island in Alaska's Prince William Sound at the end of May, completing a dream he's been contemplating for 17 years. Baird will build a 12x12 shed to shelter him from the elements, and he plans to hunt and fish and fend off an occasional black bear during his sojourn to the Alaska wilderness. He'll be incommunicado, only allowing himself to send short messages out via a satellite uplink and no way to receive any in. He won't even know who won the November presidential election for six months. He calls his experiment more modern-day homesteading than a survival game, but he's heading into the adventure well-armed. "I may see some hunters and fishermen come by but otherwise I will be on my own, just me and my dog," he said. Latouche Island is a narrow strip of land (12 miles long, 3 miles wide) located about 100 miles southwest of the port city of Valdez. Like many islands in Prince William Sound, people digging into the beach there can still find oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill. The now abandoned Latouche city site once was home to 4,000 people, thanks to copper mining. The mine closed in 1930, and now the island is dotted with occasional seasonal cabins and not much else. The island is mostly used for subsistence hunting. Kate and Andy McLaughlin live in Chenega Bay, a village six miles away on Evans Island, and own a cabin on Latouche. Kate McLaughlin doesn't know Baird, but has heard his story many times. In fact, she's written a book about people coming to Alaska to live the remote lifestyle and is in the process of trying to find a publisher. "We've seen several people of his ilk try to come out and say, 'We're going to build a cabin, we're going to live out here and do it,'" she said. "It's tough." Some abandoned supplies from those people making earlier attempts can still be found strewn on the beach. The challenges of Latouche Island are numerous, and foremost is the weather. "You're fighting the cold or the mold," McLaughlin said of the seemingly constant precipitation, snow and rain. Baird said the island has anywhere from 80-120 inches of snow in a typical winter, along with 70 inches of rain a year. The McLaughlins' two-story cabin on the beach had snow up to the roof this winter. "It's wet, things don't dry out," said Dave Janka, who owns Auklet Charter Services in Cordova. "You get lots of snow." Much like Cordova, he called Latouche Island "paradise with rain." "Heavy weather is going to be a constant companion," said RJ Kopchak, a Cordova businessman and former commercial fisherman. "That's what happens there." Another problem? Black bears. There's a large bear population on the island, and McLaughlin says they "love to get into trouble." Baird said he'll be safe from the bears. He'll carry a .44 with him at all times, has a shotgun "and a few other weapons, as well." The dog will also alert him to any predators. There are building restrictions on the uninhabited island, Baird said, so he will have to construct his makeshift cabin without digging into the ground for a foundation. He plans to have lumber delivered to build his cabin, which will be located about a third of a mile from the beach, about 150 feet up a hill. He'll have plentiful fishing opportunities. "The nice thing about the ocean is twice a day you've got a dinner table set out for you," Janka said. The challenges don't faze Baird, who is ex-military, except perhaps for one. "Probably the biggest challenge is the isolation," he said, adding it was an issue for some of his classmates in an Air Force Academy survival training course. Some "did experience hallucinations and even group delusions, just minor things. But it is kind of a concern, being alone that long," he said. He said he's worked with psychologists at Harvard and the University of Chicago, talking through the things he can expect, like nightmares. "I think I'll be OK, I've done a lot of work on my own, and I'll also have a dog, which probably will help keep things stabilized," he said. He also plans to keep busy by reading, taking a couple thousand books on an electronic reader. He'll keep it charged with wind and solar systems he's taking with him. Baird is planning to keep a diary, which could be turned into a book. He's also thinking of writing an instructional book of how to live in the remote wilderness. Then there's also the filming, day in and day out, of his experiences alone on the Alaska island. Once he returns to civilization, he'll edit the video and try to sell it as a documentary series. Baird is not the first to make or film such an odyssey. Dick Proenneke lived alone in a remote cabin and kept journals published as the classic Alaska memoir "One Man's Wilderness." He moved to his cabin in 1968 at the age of 52. Proenneke lived alone until 1998 in what is now Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. He also filmed his adventures, which have been turned into DVDs and were aired on PBS. He died in 2003.  

Pa. man motorcycling to Alaska for child illness

  SCHWENKSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Though the trip won't be easy, Ted Danforth hopes his 12,000-mile, solo motorcycle ride to Alaska will make life a little easier for the 300,000 children in the U.S. diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. Danforth, who is no stranger to adventure, is hoping to raise $25,000 for arthritis research while getting the chance to travel the country and see the state of Alaska for the first time. While his family has been affected by arthritis ("I've been sworn to secrecy as to who it is," Danforth said in a recent interview), he said he is lucky no one he is related to has been afflicted with juvenile arthritis, commonly referred to as JA. Juvenile arthritis is a blanket term referring to different chronic autoimmune and inflammatory illnesses afflicting children age 16 or younger, according to the Arthritis Foundation, which is handling the donations for Danforth's ride. Children with JA experience pain and inflammation in their joints, intestinal tract, skin, and even their eyes could be affected, according to the Arthritis Foundation. There is currently no known cause for most types of juvenile arthritis. Some children may experience symptoms for a few years or the rest of their life. "I can't help think about what it would be like to be a parent and see your child go through this — each day bringing new challenges to all of those activities that we take for granted," said Danforth, a father of 25 years, in a press release. If there is one thing Danforth doesn't do is take life for granted. The former owner of Hidden River Outfitters operates HRO Adventures Inc. and previously kayaked the waters around Maine. He has also ridden on a motorcycle through Patagonia, but this upcoming ride, which will start on June 10, won't be a "rich man's trip," like that one, said Danforth. He's expecting the solo ride to take him 21 days or more and he plans to cover between 800 and 1,000 miles a day for the first few days on his BMW dual-sport 1200 cc motorcycle. "The first six or seven days, I'll just be trying to get there" (to Alaska), he said. If he's up to it, he'll even ride all the way back. He plans to camp for most of the trip but may take advantage of several offers he's received from other motorcycle riders, outdoorsmen and those who support his cause of raising money for arthritis research. The most interesting accommodations offer he has received so far has been from a brothel museum, which was active in the Gold Rush days. But he'll be camping "about half the time. The disadvantage to camping is you have to pack and unpack," which is time consuming and can be unpleasant if the weather turns ugly. The problems Danforth expects to face on his trip will likely present themselves along desolate stretches of highway in the northernmost state as he rides 500 miles on a dirt road to Prudhoe Bay, his final destination. He's done "everything I could do" to plan for contingencies such as mechanical problems with his bike and bad weather, even practicing changing the tires on his motorcycle. The tires will only last 6,000 to 8,000 miles, so Danforth knows he will have to change them at least once on his trip, which is why he made sure to ship an extra set north in preparation. "The roads are so rough it's not unusual to get a flat" in the north, he said. "It's not fun if it falls over," Danforth said of dealing with the 650-pound motorcycle, especially since he may not see anyone for days on his trip. "Though if there's a problem, it's not going to be the motorcycle, it's going to be the rider," he said jokingly. Or a possible lack of gas. Once he reaches Alaska, it could be more than 200 miles between gas stations. Luckily he accounted for that since his bike, when full, can travel 350 miles. But his biggest concern isn't anything to do with his own abilities or the travel. "My biggest concern is kind of silly, but my biggest concern is Grizzly bears. I do not like bears," he said. Confidence and spirit boosts should be plenty on his journey, despite the obstacles, as he carries the signatures of arthritis stricken children on his bike. Danforth recently visited Camp Victory, a camp for children with chronic health problems in Millville, Pa., which offers a special camp for kids suffering from Juvenile Arthritis. Around 125 children signed his bike as a symbol of those Danforth aims to help with his fundraising ride, and those signatures will remind him that despite the troubles he may find himself in on the road, "they will be small compared to those faced every day by the 50 million adults and 300,000 kids affected by arthritis."

More women are making — and enjoying — beer

A brew and a bro — it’s the classic pairing, right? Not necessarily. From the rise of female brew masters to the growth of women’s tasting groups, women are becoming much more than a pint-sized part of the brewing world. The emergence of women as both beer-lovers and brewers happened as the craft beer scene grew overall by leaps and bounds, and that’s no coincidence, says Lisa Morrison, Oregon-based writer, blogger and author of “Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest.” “I think that women are finally discovering, thanks to craft beer, that beer has flavor,” she says. “When we start getting into the artisan stuff you start realizing that there’s an entire rainbow of flavors that you can enjoy. And because of that you can pair that with all kinds of different food flavors,” Morrison says. “Women love food. We love cooking. We love tasting food. We love sampling different things. So when you put all that together, the cooking with beer, the pairing food with beer, the whole wide-ranging genre of beer styles and beer flavors — it’s something that women can get really excited about.” The marketing message is also different, says Julia Herz, home brewer and craft beer program director at the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association. “Historically, the mass-produced lagers have been marketed as a beverage targeting males in their mid to high 20s, and it seems to me in advertising that I see for craft beer that it’s really not marketed as a gender-specific beverage.” It’s hard to put a number on the trend, but Morrison and others say they’ve personally seen more women take an interest in beer. “It used to be at beer festivals, I was pretty much the only gal. Now it’s definitely venturing more toward 60-40” with women being the 40 percent, says Morrison, who has been involved in the craft beer scene for nearly 15 years. On the business side, beer management remains predominantly male, though there have been changes there, too, says Irene Firmat, founder and CEO of Full Sail Brewing Co. in Hood River, Ore. To support female brewers, a support network called the Pink Boots Society was formed. It includes a consumer tasting group organization, Barley’s Angels, that has chapters in the U.S., Canada, Australia and South America. Being a female beer producer means standing out, says Rosemarie Certo, cofounder and owner of Dock Street Brewing Co. in West Philadelphia. Certo’s interest in beer started when she began making beer at home because she wasn’t happy with what was available domestically at the time. She started Dock Street in 1985 and remembers in the early days going to make a sales pitch to a distributor and being the only woman in a room of more than 50. “I remember not being bothered by it,” she recalls. She sees the craft segment as generally having a different approach to business. “I think it’s easier for women to enter the craft industry only because the craft industry is different to begin with,” she says, pointing out that most people don’t go into the labor-intensive craft beer business with dreams of piling up a fortune. “It’s an industry that is born from a lot of love.” Firmat also started in beer about 25 years ago, a time when there were about 20 craft breweries nationwide compared to today’s 2,000. Back then, it was considered more outlandish to be challenging the big domestic producers than to be a woman in the beer business, she says. As far as operating in a man’s world, she says, “the thing that I always focused on, and it’s what I always tell women in our company, is really focus on being competent. Focus on being good and doing your job and don’t go in expecting to get a reaction.” And, of course, there’s always a silver lining. “You can always tell when you’re at a beer conference because there’s a line in the men’s room and there’s none in the women’s room,” she says with a laugh. One of the things that Firmat sees as a challenge is keeping craft beer accessible to women, which means guarding against the snobbery that can creep in when consumers become very enthusiastic about a product — think wine. “Our responsibility is making sure that the way we communicate is very respectful to men and women,” she says.

Mining initiative moves Alaska Forward

Alaska Forward has developed a strategy to enhance the state’s economic structure. These are called industry clusters, and a committee has just met in Anchorage to get its next one moving forward: that of the mining industry. Industry clusters are sets of firms linked together by services, common customers, geographic areas, shared reliance on labor markets and other commonalities. They complement each other while remaining in competition and draw productive advantages from their mutual proximity. The implementation committee just met in Anchorage to determine the path forward for its mining cluster, the latest one Alaska Forward is engaging. Within this are six action initiatives to be addressed. Mike Satre, executive director for the Council of Alaska Producers, said the difficulty in mining clustering is that mines are spread out, but the work in support of the mining industry, such as those by private companies and the university, help establish the cluster. “Mining being an important part of Alaska’s economy,” he said. A large action initiative was for a workforce development plan to meet the state’s need for a sufficient mining workforce. The need for training students and workers and then keeping them in the state was a key factor. Training was deemed to be essential to provide these jobs to residents. The committee presented how additional mining classes could provide $35 million per year in Alaska wages. Tactical issues for workforce development involve the construction of training plans and the need for instructors. One tactic would be a training center centrally located to mining activity and prospective employers. This would be a cost-effective way to make use of limited instructors. Specific task training and standard basic training to include preliminary federal programs would be needed. The initiative takes workforce needs estimates into account. Such estimates for both mining construction and operations phases include 4,200 for Pebble, 4,000 for Donlin Gold, 900 for Niblack, 850 for Bokan Mountain, 2,400 for International Tower Hill, up to 350 for Chuitna and up to 125 for Wishbone Hill. Funding remains the primary problem for workforce development training. Partnerships, such as those though the University of Alaska, will be needed to help overcome this. Other funding sources could include state and federal grants, contributions and even international support. Other obstacles include lack of coordinated training, public perceptions on mining, Mine Safety and Health Administration regulations, geographic challenges and lack of industry focus. In fact, public perception on mining is another cluster initiative. The purpose is to develop a statewide communication strategy to position mining as a leader in responsible resource development. The committee states that opposition to this stems from public misconceptions that mining must damage one resource to produce another. An action plan would involve developing positive message and media, strategies to leverage initial messaging as a base for a focus on environmentally responsible mining and forming a speaker’s bureau with presentations in different regions. A third initiative is to improve the communication in the mining network and create a collaborative environment for all tiers of industry, producers, explorers and independent mines. An action plan suggests using social media and a mining network. A fourth initiative is to create a single comprehensive place-based website to encourage investment and development. This is to combat numerous websites that are deemed to be incomplete for Alaska’s mining industry. This would compose of both public and private sector phases. The final two action initiatives for mining are potential infrastructure development plus research and development. The infrastructure’s objective is to encourage systematic and rational investments, both public and private, to deliver power and transportation to the mining industry. Better research is needed to help Alaska set a world-class example of mine engineering and expertise. This includes processes for ventilation, remediation and tailings. Research is also needed with a special emphasis on cold climate mining. “I think that’s really what were focusing on is connecting or promoting mining interests and also looking at partnerships with the university in terms of creating some broader base support for the industry,” Satre said. Now that the action initiatives are moving forward, Satre said the next step will be to look at the other industry clusters to examine any crosscutting measures and common ground. “Really from here on out, the chairs, the co-chairs of the cluster group will work with the initiative champions to actually start moving forward on these various things,” he said. Alaska Forward is part of the Alaska Partnership for Economic Development, whose goal is to engage the public and private sector with strategies to improve economic conditions across a variety of venues in the state. This is where clusters come in. Brian Holst, executive director for the Juneau Economic Development Council, is part of the implementation committee. He said the ultimate result is to strengthen these industries in Alaska and to be more productive, which will increase innovation, productivity, employment and wages. Holst said the clusters are a relatively new concept and only four have been engaged. Besides mining, this includes logistics, tourism and clean energy. These are many more clusters than this for Alaska’s industries. Alaska Forward has several partners, such as the Denali Commission, University of Alaska, the governor’s office and several private enterprises. It received $100,000 in the governor’s fiscal year 2011 capital budget.

Movers 04/15/12

Bruce Bustamante, vice president of community and public affairs for Holland America Princess Alaska, has taken the role as president of the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center board of directors. Bustamante has been an AWCC board member since 2006 as president of the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau. AWCC has also added new members to its board of directors. Dennis Brandon, of Brandon Marketing Strategies; Charles Money, of Alaska Geographic; Carl Marrs, of Old Harbor Native Corp.; and Jason Graham have joined the board of directors in the last six months. Bustamante replaces Chris von Imhof, who has been the president of the board since the AWCC moved from a for profit organization to a nonprofit organization in 2004. Paul Davidson has joined Solstice Advertising as a web technician and Jackie Bartz has joined the company as a copywriter. Davidson has spent 15 years working in the communications industry and has a strong background in creative technology. He previously managed the creative production workflow for Leo Burnett/Capps Digital in Illinois and has developed digital collaboration systems for global agency networks. Davidson has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Colorado. Bartz brings her creative writing and storytelling skills from the local broadcast arena. As a reporter for KTUU, she traveled all over the state covering a range of topics and issues important to Alaskans. Bartz holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Montana.

Movers & Shakers 04/08/12

Frank Bickford, lobbyist with Alaska public affairs consulting firm Bickford Pacific Group, was retained by Verizon Wireless. Bickford Pacific Group represents 10 clients statewide that range from Walmart to Dell Computers, and has offices in both Anchorage and Juneau. Jaysen Katasse recently joined First National Bank Alaska in Juneau as a loan officer and was appointed assistant vice president. He’s also managing the bank’s Juneau branch on Front Street. Juneau-Douglas High graduate of Tlingit descent, Katasse brings more than 14 years of banking experience to First National and has worked with customers in Southeast Alaska and in Western Alaska. Veteran CNN Senior Producer Tracy Sabo was named news director of KTUU-TV’s Channel 2 News operation. Sabo, currently based in Dallas, has a 19-year career at CNN producing both domestic and international coverage, as well as holding the positions of national assignment editor and CNN radio anchor at the network’s Atlanta headquarters. Sabo also will oversee Channel 2’s online news distribution and mobile platforms. She has visited Alaska on assignment for CNN and on personal vacations. Sabo is a communications and political science graduate of the University of Tennessee with additional study at the University of California Los Angeles. She replaces Tom Lindner, who has been the interim news director since September 2011. Brent Kimball recently joined First National Bank Alaska as comptroller. Kimball has more than 25 years of banking experience and knowledge of bank operations, financial management and regulatory requirements. Kimball most recently worked as controller of Woodlands Commercial Bank in Salt Lake City. Ron Wille has been promoted to assistant general manager of Kenai Fjords Tours. Wille has been with the company for more than eight years and held the position of operations manager for Kenai Fjords Tours for the past seven years. He will continue his role in operations, as well as expand his involvement in all aspects of the business. After graduating from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., with a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1993, he started working on Alaska waters. Scott Heaton was hired as a behavioral health clinician and as program manager for the Juneau Behavioral Health Clinic of the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Behavioral Health Division. Heaton holds a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Prescott College in Prescott, Ariz. He also has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah, and an associate’s degree from Dixie State College in St. George, Utah. Heaton previously worked in a youth correctional facility, and working with youth and their families in a variety of youth treatment programs. He was clinical director for three programs, and program director at his most recent position, with the Silverado Academy in Utah. He also has several years running his own counseling business, and served as director of human services for the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians in Pipe Springs, Ariz. Heaton and his wife, Traci, also developed and authored the positive parenting Accountable Kids Program. Until he resigned in February, Heaton was serving as mayor of his hometown of Fredonia, Ariz.

Movers & Shakers 04/01/12

Andy Coon has been appointed vice president and general manager of consumer and small medium business sales for Alaska Communications. Prior to joining Alaska Communications in 2012, Coon served as region vice president of Xerox Alaska. Before that he spent 12 years in the telecommunications industry in several leadership roles in both Alaska Communications and GCI. Professional engineer Boyd Morgenthaler and co-founder of AMC Engineers retired March 30. AMC has expanded its management team by adding Ken Ratcliffe and David Shumway to the board of directors and appointing them both to vice president positions. Ratcliffe is a principal electrical engineer with 23 years of electrical engineering and project management experience. Ratcliffe is currently working on the State of Alaska Library, Archives and Museum in Juneau, University of Alaska Anchorage Engineering Building, and Kodiak Library. He was AMC’s Project Manager for the new UAA Health Science Building, which recently won an Illuminating Engineering Society lighting award. Shumway is a principal mechanical engineer with 30 years of engineering experience including more than 18 years of complex HVAC design, construction and field commissioning experience. Shumway joined AMC after serving 10 years as a Line Officer with the U.S. Naval Submarine Force. He is currently working on the Alaska Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory, State of Alaska Library, Archives and Museum in Juneau, UAF Engineering Building and the Blood Bank of Alaska project. Eric Deeg has been named employee benefits program manager for Wells Fargo Insurance in Alaska. Deeg has 25 years of experience managing employee benefits and health insurance programs for organizations in Colorado, Montana, Washington and Alaska, including 10 years as a senior vice president for Brady & Co. Geraldine Simon will serve as the new senior vice president of administration for Doyon Ltd. Originally from Allakaket, Simon is a Doyon shareholder. She will begin her duties April 23. Prior to accepting the senior vice president of administration role, Simon served as vice president of Alaska lands and operations and general counsel for the Tyonek Native Corp. Previously, she was the special assistant to the director of legal and intergovernmental affairs for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium in Anchorage. Simon holds a degree from the Seattle University School of Law and is a member of the Alaska Bar Association. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington. She is a board member of her village corporation, K’oyitl’ots’ina, Limited and a committee member of the Alaska Native Village CEO Association. Joyce Vick has been named the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative for Alaska. Vick will oversee the Alaska Highway Safety Office that coordinates federal and state highway safety programs. Alaska’s safety program focuses on seven main priorities: Impaired Driving, Seatbelt Usage, Speeding or Aggressive Driving, Distracted Driving, Motorcycle Safety, Teen Drivers and the Designated Safety Corridors.

Movers & Shakers 03/25/12

Dr. Steve Guevara, Psy.D has been hired as a behavioral health clinician at the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Behavioral Health Division office in Craig. Guevara will work with the SEARHC Community Family Services program and will complement the services provided by the behavioral health clinicians at the SEARHC Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock. Guevara earned a doctorate of clinical psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology/Argosy University campus in Chicago. He also holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He completed his internship and post-doctoral training with the Institute for Child and Family Health in Miami, Fla. He also completed a practicum with the Family Service and Mental Health Center of Cicero, Ill., while he was studying for his doctorate. Guevara’s health interests include neuropsychology, psychoanalysis and child/family psychology. Timothy Maudsley is the new president of Alaska USA Insurance Brokers. Maudsley has 20 years of insurance industry experience including underwriting, operations, sales and management at large regional insurance agencies. He is also active in the insurance industry serving as a member of the Commercial Insurance Committee for IBA West and as a member of regional advisory councils for Safeco, Chubb Cornerstone and CNA. He also served on the advisory board to the Center for Insurance Studies at California State University, Fullerton. Maudsley earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine, and a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance from the University of Redlands. He will assume his new role April 2. Sandra Velleca of WHPacific has been elected to the Construction Specifications Institute board of directors as institute director from the Northwest Region. Velleca has been a CSI and Northwest Region member for 30 years. She is a Fellow in CSI and is a certified construction specifier and certified construction contract administrator. Owned by NANA Development Corp., WHPacific is an architectural and engineering consulting firm with offices in Alaska, and in six states throughout western U.S. Jeff Arndt has been hired as a behavioral health clinician with the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Behavioral Health Division Gunaanastí Bill Brady Healing Center/Déilee Hít Safe Harbor House adult residential substance abuse treatment programs in Sitka. Arndt holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Alaska Pacific University. Before moving to Sitka, he served as a counselor and executive director for Alaska Human Services, an outpatient substance abuse program in Anchorage. Arndt also formerly lived in Kotzebue and has worked in Latin America. Before entering the counseling field, Arndt spent two decades as a wood turner and sculptor. Kevin Saxby was appointed to the Anchorage Superior Court yesterday. Saxby’s appointment fills another of the three vacancies on the bench due to the appointment of Judge Sharon Gleason to the United States District Court, as well as the creation of two additional positions by the Alaska Legislature. Saxby has practiced law in the Attorney General’s Office since 1989, first in the commercial section, and then in the natural resources section since 1992. In addition to his work as an assistant attorney general, his 26-year legal career includes work at Bradbury Bliss and Riordan in Anchorage. Prior to his law career, Saxby also worked in the forestry and construction industries. He earned a bachelor’s degree in forest management from Colorado State University and a juris doctorate from the University of Wyoming College of Law. Lia Patton of Mikunda, Cottrell & Co. has been promoted to vice president/director in the audit department. Patton was raised in San Francisco and moved to Alaska in 1995.  She graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in accounting. Prior to joining Mikunda, Cottrell & Co., Patton worked in the banking industry for eight years. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and Alaska Society of Certified Public Accountants. In 2005, Lia began overseeing the Employee Benefit Plan Services Group of Mikunda, Cottrell & Co. and currently oversees approximately 25 employee benefit plan audit engagements. Four Doyon, Ltd. board of directors incumbents were re-elected at the recent shareholders meeting. Elected were Michael Fleagle, Jennifer Fate, Christopher Simon and Walter “Wally” Carlo. Each seat is for a three-year term, ending in 2015. The re-elected members join existing board members Andrew Jimmie, Georgianna Lincoln, Josephine Malemute, Esther McCarty, Victor Nicholas, Cheryl Silas, Teisha Simmons, Orie G. Williams and Miranda Wright. All board members are Doyon shareholders. Theresa Carte, Ph.D., has been named administrator of Cordova Community Medical Center effective April 8. Carte comes to Cordova from Providence Health & Services Alaska in Anchorage, where she has served as director of Operational Excellence since 2005. In her prior role, she was responsible for designing and implementing process improvements throughout Providence’s Alaska Region. She is highly skilled in managing people and projects that reduce variation, create efficient processes and achieve results. Prior to joining Providence, Theresa worked for Avery Dennison, a medical supply manufacturer, in process improvement and research-and-development roles. Carte earned a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering as well as a master’s degree and a doctorate in macromolecular science and engineering, all from Case Western Reserve University. She is a member of the American Chemical Society. Rodel Bulaong has been promoted to retail sales branch manager at Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union’s Tikahtnu branch. Bulaong has been with Denali Alaskan for five years, starting as a Branch Specialist and working towards his latest position as Branch Sales Supervisor at the Financial Center. In 2011 he completed Magellan’s Supervisory Skills course, a series of modules designed to educate supervisors on different leadership philosophies and methods for managing employees. The Tikahtnu branch opened March 1 of this year and is located at the Tikahtnu Commons in East Anchorage.

Movers & Shakers 03/18/12

Steve Edwards was recently promoted to communications manager for USKH Inc. Edwards has been with USKH since 2009, formerly as a marketing specialist in the Corporate Marketing and Communications Department. Prior to joining USKH, he worked at the Anchorage Daily News for nine years. He has more than 25 years of experience in communications-related work. In addition to handling the firm’s public relations, including media relations and corporate communication, Edwards will continue to work on proposal preparation. Edwards has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant. Cathy Easter was appointed to the Anchorage Superior Court. Easter’s appointment will fill one of three vacancies on the bench caused by the appointment of Judge Sharon Gleason to the United States District Court as well as the creation of two additional positions by the Alaska Legislature. Easter is currently a district court judge in Anchorage, where she has served since 2008. Prior to that, she practiced primarily in criminal defense with the Office of Public Advocacy and the Alaska Public Defender Agency for more than 20 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in French from Seattle University and a juris doctorate from the University of San Diego. Rhonda Alexander has been promoted to manager of Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union’s Member Contact Center. As manager, she oversees the Contact Center’s 17 employees, based in Anchorage, and is responsible for developing a positive sales and service environment through member transactions, new account openings and member problem resolution. Alexander has been with Denali Alaskan for more than five years. Prior to her promotion she was the contact center supervisor and, more recently, the contact center assistant manager. Alexander is also an ambassador for Denali Alaskan’s Balance Program, a free financial fitness program that provides information to help members achieve their financial goals. The Alaska Community Foundation named the following officers to its 2012 board of directors. Susan Behlke Foley was named as chair of the board. Foley is an attorney with Foley & Foley and has been active in philanthropic and charitable organizations throughout her career. Blythe Campbell was named vice chair. Campbell is the senior vice president of marketing at Northrim Bank and has extensive knowledge of the nonprofit sector as a corporate grantmaker, consultant and policymaker. Kris Norosz was named secretary. Norosz is the government affairs manager for Icicle Seafoods and also serves on several nonprofit boards statewide, including the Alaska chapter of The Nature Conservancy, Marine Conservation Alliance, Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation, Alaska State Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Airlines Community Advisory Board. Bernie Washington was named treasurer. Washington is the chief financial officer at Alaska Public Telecommunications Inc. and currently serves on the governance boards at Bean’s Café and the Foraker Group. Angela Cox was named first vice chair. Cox is the vice president of administration at Arctic Slope Native Association and has served as the acting director of the Arctic Slope Community Foundation. Carla Beam assumed the role of past chair after serving as chair from 2009 to 2010. Beam is the vice president of university relations for the University of Alaska statewide system, and is also the president of the UA Foundation. Other ACF board members include Leo Bustad, Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center; Morgan Christen, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit; Kathryn Dodge, Cold Climate Housing Research Center; Rick Nerland, Nerland Agency; Alex Slivka, McKinley Capital Management; Lane Tucker, Stoel Rives; and Don Zoerb, Mat-Su Health Foundation. The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce announces the following 2012 inductees into the Anchorage Athena Society: Susan Anderson, president/CEO, CIRI Foundation; Carol Butler, owner, Butler & Butler; Barbara Gruenstein, municipal clerk, Municipality of Anchorage; Josie Hickel, vice president, human resources and administration, Pebble Ltd. Partnership; Noelle Kompkoff, staff attorney, Tatitlek Corp.; Julie Millington, vice president, Patron Services, Alaska Center for the Performing Arts; Anne Reed, owner, Read Systems; Julie Saupe, CEO, Visit Anchorage; Colleen Starring, president, ENSTAR Natural Gas Company; Janet Weiss, vice president, resource, BP; Dr. Hope Wing, naturopathic physician (retired). These 11 women will be recognized for their professional excellence, commitment to the community, and encouragement the leadership potential of women during the 18th Annual Anchorage Athena Society luncheon held from noon to 1:30 p.m. on April 2 at the Dena’ina Center. Paul Olson was appointed to the Anchorage Superior Court. Olson’s appointment fills another of the three vacancies on the bench due to the appointment of Judge Sharon Gleason to the United States District Court, as well as the creation of two additional positions by the Alaska Legislature. Olson is currently serving as a district court judge in Anchorage, having been appointed in 2010, and has served as an acting district court judge and magistrate prior to his appointment. Olson has practiced law in Alaska for 34 years, including experience in private practice and work as an assistant district attorney and assistant attorney general. He also served as a hearing examiner for the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. Olson earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from St. Olaf College and a juris doctorate from the South Texas College of Law. Mary Ann Pruitt has joined the Associated General Contractors of Alaska and will become assistant executive director to replace the retiring Monty Montgomery. Pruitt joins AGC following a career in marketing and media representation as well as head of her own sales and marketing business. Pruitt begins work at AGC in April. Pruitt comes to AGC from Morris Communications and the Anchorage Media Group where she was senior account executive. She was responsible for business development and coordination of radio advertising for a variety of businesses. Prior to that she worked for KTVA Channel 11 overseeing all marketing activities.

Movers & Shakers 03/11/12

N. Claiborne Porter has been named the 2011 Certified Graduate Remodeler of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders in recognition of his efforts to raise awareness of this educational designation for remodelers. Porter is president of NCP Design/Build Ltd. and the principal of NCP Architects and Planners, both based in Anchorage. A member of the Anchorage Home Builders Association, Porter has more than 30 years of experience in remodeling and single-family home construction. He has been honored as the NAHB Remodeler of the Year and has twice been named the Builder of the Year by the Alaska State Home Building Association. Porter also holds NAHB’s Certified Green Professional designation and is approved to teach several NAHB courses. Certified Graduate Remodelers must have at least five years of experience in remodeling and must successfully meet specific educational requirements. CGRs also must meet continuing education requirements to keep their designations current. Porter and other leading industry professionals were recognized at NAHB’s Designation Achievement Reception held recently at the 2012 International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla. Diane J. Thompson recently changed positions at AT&T and is now an account manager 2 in the Signature Client group. She will be responsible for working with Alaska Native corporations. Thompson most recently worked for AT&T as an account manager 2 in the Small Business group and has 16 years of experience in telecommunications. Betsy Woolley was honored with the National Lend Lease Incident and Injury Free Employee Excellence Award for Leadership in Collaboration and Partnerships. The award recognizes exceptional working partnerships of lend lease employees and community organizations. Woolley is employed by North Haven, a lend lease community, based in Fairbanks. The Pebble Partnership has expanded its executive team with the addition of Rejean Carrier as chief operating officer. Carrier will lead the Pebble Partnership operations and technical program, reporting to Pebble Partnership CEO John Shively. Carrier’s key responsibilities will include providing leadership for developing, designing, permitting, and constructing a project. Carrier’s duties will also include developing partnerships for power, port and road infrastructure aspects. Carrier, a geological engineer, has 35 years of experience leading large-scale global mineral development and infrastructure projects. Most recently, Carrier was the site director and deputy project director for Koniambo Nickel in New Caledonia, responsible for the management for the construction of a $5 billion nickel metallurgical plant. Prior to that, Carrier worked for SNC Lavalin as a senior vice president, construction division and project manager for the Aluminum Division in Qatar, as well as the set-up of a new business unit in Abu Dhabi. Carrier started his career with Bechtel, where he worked in planning, cost control and contract administration, after graduating from the University of Laval in Quebec, with a bachelor’s degree geological engineering. Bristol Bay Native Corp. announced the promotion of April Ferguson to senior vice president and general counsel, Jeffrey Sinz to senior vice president and chief financial officer, and L. Tiel Smith to vice president land and regional operations. Ferguson has worked at BBNC for nearly 15 years and most recently was vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer for the corporation. She is a shareholder of BBNC, Choggiung Ltd., and a member of Curyung Tribal Council. She holds a degree in linguistics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and a JD from Harvard Law. Sinz joined BBNC in 2007 as vice president and chief financial officer. Prior to joining BBNC, Sinz served as chief fiscal officer for the municipality of Anchorage. His responsibilities at BBNC include accounting and financial reporting, treasury, financial planning and budgeting, tax planning and compliance, risk management, and oversight of all financial activities of the corporation and its subsidiaries. Sinz holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Smith is has worked as the land and resources manager since 2004. He is a BBNC and Choggiung Ltd. shareholder, and a member of Curyung Tribal Council. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University. Prior to joining BBNC he worked at Bristol Bay Area Health Corp. and Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium to train and manage the first telemedicine units to Bristol Bay villages. Smith served as a BBNC subsidiary board member to Vista International Operations. In his new role, Smith remains committed to maintaining the balance between land development and culture preservation. BBNC is an Alaska Native regional corporation for the Bristol Bay region.

Sno-way! Mother Nature pounds city streets, budgets

Snow ain’t free. It costs a lot of money to remove and pile up the vast amounts of snow that Mother Nature has blessed (some would say cursed) much of Alaska with this winter. The state’s and several cities’ snow removal budgets are busted, tallying well above the usual costs set aside to keep up with nature’s weather-related smack downs. The National Weather Service reports higher than normal snowfall for many areas throughout the state. Some storms have made national news, like when the snow reached the rooftops in Cordova. What doesn’t make the headlines is just how individual cities are having to find the money to pay for work to deal with those unexpected snow levels. Anchorage has received more than 108 inches of snow through Feb. 24, close to the 132-inch record set in the 1950s and well above the 74-inch seasonal average. And more snow was in the forecast in the early days of March. The municipality says that if all the removed snow were piled into a five-acre lot, it would reach 250 feet – about the height of a 28-story office building. The J&L Towers building in midtown Anchorage is 14 stories high. That’s a lot to clean up, and that doesn’t count what plow crews have moved off the roads, creating those head-high snowberms off to the sides. With labor, overtime, contractual services, fuel and everything else, Anchorage is looking at clean-up costs of $8.1 million between October and Feb. 12. Last year’s costs were only $4.9 million and that covered October through April. The municipality’s six dump sites are filling up, although officials say there is still plenty of room. “They are at a capacity greater than I’ve seen in over 20 years of working here,” said Dan Southard, public works superintendent. The city is currently exploring an unusual tactic by examining an ordinance to expedite the permitting process for private dump sites. Cheryl Frasca, director of office of management and budget, said there is sufficient money in the budget for the extra, unforeseen costs. Adjustments will have to be made to next winter’s amounts during the annual budget amendment process in April. Frasca said the issues will be addressed to try to avoid shortfalls in next winter’s funding. This can be addressed through a number of measures in April, such as the mill rates for property taxes. And while Anchorage has seen twice as much snow than normal, some places have been even hit harder. In a much-publicized event, Cordova was hit with 278 inches – 23 feet – as of Jan. 31. Cordova normally sees 56 inches in a given winter. City Manager Mark Lynch said all the costs associated with this winter’s pummeling aren’t yet compiled, and could take a month or so. He does know the costs were well above the budget. The city has easily spent at least $500,000 so far this year; the normal snow removal budget is only $25,000. “Beyond that, we really don’t know totals,” he said. The state is currently assessing the damage and costs in Cordova. Lynch said the Federal Emergency Management Agency was supposed to come in late February to make an assessment and the U.S. Small Business Administration may be able to offer some business assistance. Nearby Valdez has been hit with 377 inches rather than the normal of 241 inches. Almost half of that came down in December alone. Valdez street foreman Terry Larson said the city went $720,000 over budget on removal this season. Although the city was prepared, the snow dumps are filling up. Larson said some residents have been panicking though, and hiring contractors that use the city dumps, a tactic that is legal. Juneau has experienced almost twice as much snow as normal at this point, according to the National Weather Service. A Juneau official could not be reached but radio station KINY reported the city has spent at least $50,000 in snow removal overtime and material costs, stretching the budget already. City Manager Rod Swope told KINY the city will need to request a supplemental appropriation if the funds cannot be found in the existing budget. Ice more than snow bollixed things up in Nome. The city made national news with its winter drama involving an unprecedented mission to get vital fuel into the iced-off city after severe winter storms prevented the usual barge delivery. Vitus Marine LLC chartered the Russian tanker Renda to deliver the 1.3 million gallons of fuel with the charter costs running between $10,000 and $15,000 each day from mid-December through early February. Typical fuel costs for the ships were also up to $10,000 each day. Vitus Marine CEO Mark Smith said that other variable costs for compliance, port calls, insurance and oil spill response regulations, response and prevention measures have direct costs to the mission that don’t get reflected in that daily rate. “This was definitely the way to deliver fuel. There’s no question it was way less expensive than flying it in,” he said. The cost of the Healy, the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker that cleared the way for the Renda, was not available, but a Coast Guard spokesman said the costs were already accounted for in its regular operating budget. Nome officials said the snow removal budget likely will surpass $90,000 this year, about $9,000 above the budgeted amount. And that’s assuming there’s not another big storm. The story in Fairbanks is different than most, however. The Interior city has seen only 38 inches of snow, compared to the typical 54 inches. But that doesn’t mean its work crews have been spared any headaches. The city’s was hit with an especially strong, and long cold front — notable even for Fairbanks. The cold actually kept snow removal equipment locked up for long stretches, thus slowing down the snow removal schedule. Mike Schmetzer, Fairbanks public works director and city engineer, said the equipment isn’t used in very cold temperatures, minus 30 degrees or colder, and that put the city about five weeks behind in removal. Fairbanks is used to little snow falling at once, a few inches at a time. Recently, the city got hit with about 9 inches of snow in one swoop. Fairbanks general foreman Brad Carlson said the vehicles are still finishing up with what’s left on the ground, and more is snow likely in early spring. Schmetzer said the lack of total snowfall sort of balances out the costs of not removing it as quickly, and so costs are right on track where they should be for a typical winter. Even with winter’s worst behind us, maintenance is still going on. Dump sites have had to get creative in making room, even running heavy machinery across the tops to compress things down a bit. “We’re still hauling day and night,” Anchorage’s Southard said. Come springtime, all those piles will turn into something else, something many are not looking forward to. Southard said this will all be a lot of water to deal with before long.

Movers & Shakers 03/04/12

Thomas McAleer has joined the Viad’s Travel and Recreation Group as vice president of Alaskan Park Properties Inc. McAleer will be responsible for managing the Denali Backcountry Lodge, Denali Cabins, Denali Backcountry Adventure sightseeing operation, the Anchorage Denali Express Motorcoach Service and Alaska Denali Tours. Jesse K. Frederick has become a principal Enterprise Engineering Inc. Frederick is a registered professional mechanical engineer who joined EEI in 2004. He has nine years of experience specializing in design and assessment of commercial and military fuel piping systems. Frederick’s expertise is in refined product distribution system design and piping integrity management, with specialization in high-level engineering and analysis of pipelines, including hydraulic performance and transient surge analysis. Credit Union 1 has made four major promotions: Deborah Casey as the senior vice president of lending, Davina Napier as the vice president of consumer loans, Brian Welch as the member assistance manager and Brody Patton as account recovery manager. Casey has more than 20 years experience, which includes heading CU1’s Member Assistance Department since 1995. Napier, with more than 16 years of lending experience, has spent a majority of her career as the manager and then assistant vice president of consumer lending for CU1. Welch, a CU1 employee for more than 17 years, has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Alaska Anchorage and multiple certifications from both the Alaska Credit Union League and CUNA. Welch was previously CU1’s account recovery manager. Patton, with six years of prior financial institution collection experience, has worked at CU1 since 2009. He has held various positions within the Member Assistance Department, most recently as an account recovery representative. John Hood and Chad Alonso of AMC Engineers have passed the Construction Specifications Institute’s Certified Document Technologist examination. Certification is awarded to individuals who have advanced knowledge and professional expertise in the preparation and evaluation of specifications and drawings and construction contract administration. Hood is working on the new UAA Sports Arena, Blood Bank of Alaska, UAF Engineering Building and Cordova Community Center.  He also providing construction contract administration and commissioning on the Alaska Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory. Alonso is currently working on the UAA Science Building Remodel, Blood Bank of Alaska, fire alarm replacement for 10 Matanuska-Susitna Borough schools, various ANC term jobs, and the construction contract administration on the McDonald Center Expansion in Eagle River. The Alaska Workforce Investment Board has recognized instructors from Delta and Fairbanks, and an administrator from Anchorage, for their contributions to career and technical education. Gary Hall of Delta was named Secondary CTE Instructor of the Year, John Plutt of Fairbanks was named Postsecondary CTE Instructor of the Year and Rick Rios of Anchorage was named Secondary CTE Administrator of the Year. Hall has spent more than 30 years in the construction trades industry and teaching. In 2002 he was a driving force in implementing a Construction Trades program at Delta High School. Plutt has been an apprentice and journeyman instructor for Local 375 Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee for 13 years. He assists in providing apprentice outreach by attending career fairs and visiting high schools. Rios helped develop two career academies within the school district – the Constructions Academy and Health Career Academy – that are providing more, and better qualified, students interested in two of Alaska’s major industries. Dr. J. Russell “Russ” Bowman has been promoted to the position of medical director for SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Community Health Care Services.  Bowman most recently has been serving as deputy medical director for Community Health Care Services. Bowman, who holds the rank of Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, joined the SEARHC staff in June 2007 when he became the clinical medical director for the Haines Health Center following his transfer from the U.S. Coast Guard to the USPHS Commissioned Corps. Before joining SEARHC, Bowman spent six years as director of the U.S. Coast Guard-Air Station Sitka medical clinic. Bowman also has extensive experience working in emergency medicine, having served as a flight surgeon for 18 years combined with both the U.S. Army National Guard in West Virginia and with the U.S. Coast Guard in Virginia and Alaska. Bowman earned a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from the University of Health Sciences in Kansas City, Mo. In August 2007, he earned a master’s degree in health administration degree from the University of Washington and in December 2008 he received his certified physician executive credential. He completed a residency in family medicine at Marshall University and a fellowship in emergency medicine at the Charleston Area Medical Center and West Virginia University.

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.

Girls Scouts pave way to future scientists

Jania Tumey has had a keen mind for science since longer than she can remember, and she’s only 12. But Tumey has a not-so-secret weapon she’s been using to make the most of her interest. Tumey has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten. She’s now in sixth grade at Rogers Park Elementary School in Anchorage. She’s planning on getting into biology once she reaches high school. But she’s not waiting until then. She participated in the Girl Scouts of Alaska’s recent Women of Science and Technology Day, which provides young ladies access to scientific professionals for some hands-on learning. These professional women come from diverse scientific backgrounds, including engineering, health care, chemistry and veterinary science. And a recent report from the Girl Scout Research Institute states these are interests shared by most girls Tumey’s age. Girls Scouts are well known for their must-have cookies, but the nonprofit organization offers several programs and hands-on learning opportunities for young girls beyond hawking cookies once a year. “I think being a Girl Scout gives you a lot more opportunities like going to the Women in Science event,” Tumey said. “I probably wouldn’t have been interested in science if I had not been to Women in Science.” Apparently, this is a common theme. The report states that while most women are interested in science, technology, engineering and math — referred to in industry and education standards as STEM — women are still underrepresented in these fields. The study finds that 74 percent of high school girls nationwide are interested in STEM fields, yet still are not encouraged enough to enter such fields. It also states that girls interested in these fields tend to be high achievers and are more confident, with many wanting to make a difference in the world. Girl Scouts of Alaska communications manager Anne Gore said the girls, once they gain interest, generally will continue these interests through college. “We were really excited to see this come out and what it does is sort of confirms what we observed in girls being interested in science and math,” Gore said. “We’ve seen other studies that say girls aren’t interested, but this shows they are.” Marge Stoneking, CEO for Girl Scouts of Alaska, said two major things stood out to her in the report. One is that what their work in girls-only STEM projects are working. “Because we now see an increased interest in STEM by girls, and that’s not been found in studies to date,” she said, referring to studies outside the organization. She said the focus over of such studies over the past 10 years has been about how to get girls interested in STEM, while this shows that the Girl Scouts involvement has worked and they are already interested. “And what were doing specifically in Girl Scouts with the Women in Science program in connecting women scientists with girls is particularly effective in helping us get to the next level, which would be having more girls or women go into STEM careers,” Stoneking said. The other thing that struck her was that the demand for STEM jobs, particularly in engineering and technology, won’t be able to be met by men alone. She said this goes nationwide, but is especially true in Alaska. She said she finds it significant that in a natural resource state like Alaska, college students can get a variety of engineering and science degrees, yet many companies still have to look elsewhere to fill engineering jobs. “And so here we have this whole untapped resource of girls who are interested in STEM if we can get them to the next level to choose STEM careers,” Stoneking said. The issue lies in perceived gender barriers that prevent girls from turning science or technology that’s already in their interests into careers. The report states that girls really are interested in math and science, which goes against past studies that stated girls who do well academically are still not interested in these areas. Gore said the study highlights that these girls may be interested in STEM, but may choose other careers that they know more about. She said this may also factor into girls having to work harder than men in STEM fields, which may be a factor in their career decisions. The Women of Science and Technology Day is a program that has combated such discouragement by giving the girls a realistic idea that females in science and math can do these things. The girls themselves connect well to the presenters, asking them what their jobs are like and what it took to get there Tumey said the women she’s met seem really good at their professions and they look happy doing it. “Girls Scouts is using this to focus that there are women who are succeeding in these fields,” Gore said. Of course, what’s a Girl Scout event without fun being involved? Tumey experienced agriculture and moose studies, but one of the most memorable was building structures out of paper, only they had to be strong enough to support a person. “I think it taught us a lot of different jobs that we could have,” she said. “If you love animals or if you love building.” Though she has time to decide, Tumey thinks she’ll opt toward the building part, perhaps architecture, but she hasn’t ruled out marine biologist since she enjoys working with animals. In fact, she’s working on a science project on ocean acidification for both a school fair and a state science fair. Tumey’s been going to the event for several years, which is good for her since, as she says, she’s really serious about her science projects and goes beyond the Girl Scouts to enhance her interests. She’s met scientists through her mother’s reporting work with Reuters. Alice Michaelson, 14, always knew women were involved in such work, but said she knew it by assumption. She never got to see them in action until the Scouts. Michaelson is in eighth grade at Goldenview Middle School, also in Anchorage, and has also been in Girl Scouts since kindergarten and has attended the event for several years. This time, she got to learn about scuba diving and bird treatment. It left an impression, as she said she’s definitely been considering going into a scientific field after this. If anything else, she said it sounds fun. Women of Science and Technology Day takes place in communities both large and small across the state each year and reaches more than 2,0000 girls while involving about 200 women in the science-based professions. This event itself is growing too. The Anchorage day hosted an unprecedented 120 professionals, more than the 77 volunteer presenters last year. Stoneking said STEM is particularly significant focus for girls in the fourth- through eighth-grade ages because that’s an age when many tend to drop out of Scouts, but is also the timeframe when many become interested in their futures and begin eliminating career options. Girl Scouts are for girls in kindergarten through 12th grade, with different participation levels that are appropriate for different age groups.

Movers & Shakers 02/19/12

Patrick W. Duke has been named the new senior vice president and chief financial officer for Doyon Ltd., the regional Native corporation for Interior Alaska. Duke was previously the CFO at Cook Inlet Region Inc. Prior to that, he spent 13 years working in various financial and accounting roles at Sealaska Corp. in Juneau. Duke is a Sealaska and Ahtna shareholder. Duke holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Gonzaga University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. Joanna Reed, traffic records research analyst with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facility’s Alaska Highway Safety Office will join the Association of Transportation Safety Information Professionals Executive Board in October. Trina Landlord has been appointed as the new executive director of the Alaska Native Arts Foundation board of directors. Before joining ANAF, Landlord worked as a liaison with the Alaska Humanities Forum. She was the communications coordinator for the Alaska Marketplace, an economic development initiative of the Alaska Federation of Natives modeled after the World Bank Development Marketplace. Her work on Alaskan issues earned her a fellowship at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, with top leaders from across the globe. She has also worked at the former Alaska House, a cultural embassy in New York City. She has worked at the U.S. Department of the Interior in addition to consulting and freelance writing with clients such as Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, First Alaskans Institute and Shell Exploration and Production Co. Jerry Covey has been named interim president/CEO of the Alaska Humanities Forum. Covey has a long career in public education, leadership development, planning and organizational quality improvement and community service. Covey previously served Alaska as commissioner of education under Gov. Walter Hickel. He also has served on several boards, including two terms on the board of directors of the Alaska Humanities Forum, Alaska Permanent Fund, and D.A.R.E. Alaska. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Alaska Performance Excellence Foundation.  The Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau announced the election and appointments of its 2012 board of directors. Executive officers are: Buzzy Chiu, chair, Bridgewater Hotel; Matt Atkinson, chair elect, Northern Alaska Tour Co.; Terese Kaptur, secretary, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival; Matt Divens, treasurer, HAP Alaska-Yukon; and Suzy Fischer, past chair, Riverboat Discovery and Gold Dredge 8. Board members are: Irene Fuchs Meyer, GoNorth Alaska Travel Center; Angelika Krinner, Arctic Travelers Gift Shop; Robert Hawkins, Alaska Aerofuel; Mok Kumagai, Aurora Borealis Lodge; Mary Richards, All Seasons Bed & Breakfast Inn; June Rogers, Fairbanks Arts Association; Dustin Adams, Regency Fairbanks Hotel; Patricia Silva, Westmark Hotel & Conference Center; Kory Eberhardt, A Taste of Alaska Lodge; Paul Brown, Santa Claus House. Ex-Officio members are: John Davies, Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly representative; and Lloyd Hilling, Fairbanks City Council representative. Chester D. Gilmore, David A. Monroe and Devin W. Quackenbush have joined the law firm of Clapp Peterson Tiemessen Thorsness & Johnson LLC. A former member, Scott Hendricks Leuning, is also rejoining the firm. Leuning, Gilmore and Quackenbush practice in the Anchorage office. Monroe is in the firm’s Fairbanks office. The firm represents clients statewide and concentrates is practice on the representation of businesses, individuals and professional entities with an emphasis on litigation, representation of professionals, product manufacturers, political entities and employers. Arctic Slope Regional Corp. Energy Services promoted Joireen Cohen to HSET director. AES also promoted Erick Schmidt to HSET loss prevention manager. For the past 18 months, Cohen was the HSET loss prevention manager. She is a certified Occupational Health and Safety Technologist with more than 20 years of experience handling workers’ compensation claims in the oil and gas and health care industries. Cohen is pursuing a master’s degree in risk management/insurance, has a bachelor’s degree in technology, and an associate’s degree in occupational safety and health. Schmidt has more than 17 years of construction experience, with 11 in the oil and gas industry. He managed the Anchorage Fabrication Facility’s Safety and Health Program since 2008, and in 2011 his responsibilities expanded to include managing the Nikiski Operations’ Safety and Health Program. Schmidt is pursuing a master’s degree in project management, has a bachelor’s degree in technology, and an associate’s degree in occupational safety and health. Carla Williams was appointed director of quality for ASRC Energy Services Inc. Williams previously served as a quality technical writer and engineering quality manager in her six years with AES, and has more than 30 years of oil and gas industry experience. Williams will manage audits, policies, procedures, performance measures, customer quality, corrective and preventive action programs, and promote ISO 9001:2008 requirements. Shanna Davidson was named supply chain manager for ASRC Energy Services Inc. Davidson comes to ASRC Energy Services with more than 20 years of experience in contracting, procurement, and supply chain management. Most recently, she held the position of category/PSCM specialist with BP Exploration Alaska. Davidson holds a master certificate in supply chain management from Arizona State University, and degrees in marketing, and in business with a management emphasis from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Kathleen Zinn was hired as business unit manager of Independents for ASRC Energy Services Inc. She has also accepted the chair of the Operations and Maintenance Safety Steering Committee, whose mission is to further AES’s commitment to safety. Zinn comes to AES after serving as the senior director of Valdez operations for Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., where she directed operations and maintenance of the Valdez Marine Terminal and the ship escort/response vessel system with a $120 million annual budget and more than 500 employees and contractors. Copper Valley Telecom has filled key management positions. Mitch Vieu has been promoted to senior manager for telecom operations and Shilah Butler has been promoted to senior manager for affiliate operations. Vieu will be responsible for all of the company’s wireline operations, telecommunications network, and engineering. Butler will have responsibility for CVT’s affiliate wireless and internet companies, quality control, and plant records. Mark Shorten has been promoted to the Glennallen plant superintendent. Chris Mishmash has assumed the daily management of Copper Valley Wireless facilities and operations in addition to his current responsibilities for the company’s maintenance and purchasing activities. Tabitha Gregory has been promoted to chief customer relations officer. Sheila Reiswig has been promoted to customer service supervisor. Sue Moeller has transferred from Copper Valley’s Customer Service Department to the Engineering Department.

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