Movers and Shakers

Movers and Shakers

11-year wait for Olympics comes with risks for LA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — By 2028, a new stadium being built for the Rams and the Chargers will have been beaten up by nearly a decade of NFL games. The seemingly intractable problems of Southern California — traffic and homelessness — might get better or grow worse. So much can change in 11 years. Los Angeles’ decision to lock in an Olympic Games to far-off 2028 was praised by city leaders Monday as a deal that offers hundreds of millions of dollars in future benefits. But the longest wait time for any Olympics in the U.S. also comes with the risks of the unknown. “It’s a big chunk of time,” noted Jules Boykoff, a Pacific University professor who has written widely on the Olympics. “You just don’t know what’s going to come. The world presents surprises.” History teaches that the economy swings up and down, sometimes with disastrous results. Political scientists foresee an era of continuing upheaval and unrest. Geologists say an inevitable big earthquake in quake-prone Southern California could damage venues envisioned as part of the Games. Mayor Eric Garcetti shrugged off a question about the uncertainty. “Los Angeles is resilient,” said the youthful-looking mayor, who will be granddad age, chasing 60, by the time of the Games. “If the entire earth falls apart, probably the Olympics aren’t happening in Los Angeles. But short of that, we are going to have a great Games here in LA,” the mayor told reporters. In embracing the 2028 date that is expected to be finalized later this year, city Olympic organizers ceded the 2024 Games to Paris, which both cities had craved. But Garcetti and other supporters argued that the four-year delay was advantageous, giving the car-choked city more time to build rail lines. Additionally, the delay comes with financial sweeteners that, among other things, will pump millions of dollars into youth sports. But time rushes on, and major changes are bound to happen. Los Angeles County is home to 10 million people, and that population could increase by more than 500,000 by 2028, state demographers project. The cutting-edge technology in the new NFL stadium, now scheduled to open in 2020, will probably look like the forgotten Blackberry by 2028. Many athletes in their prime today will be in the bleachers in a decade. And how can officials accurately estimate ticket prices and the revenue they will generate? Events that happened 11 years ago can seem part of a faded, distant past. Facebook was a mere two years old. Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was executed. Taylor Swift released her first album, and “Game of Thrones” was years into the future. Consider the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The nearly century-old iconic structure — which would be used in an Olympics for a third time after the 1932 and 1984 Games — was constructed long before modern building codes. It was also severely damaged in a 1994 earthquake. The coliseum is currently undergoing an extensive makeover, but experts have warned it could still be vulnerable to shaking. Estimates vary widely on what the federal government would need to spend on security for the two-week event, by some accounts $1 billion or more. It’s only a guess what the price tag will be in 2028, or the level of threat at that time. Higher construction costs are likely, too. One example of the work that needs to be done: the Coliseum, a football stadium, would need to be converted into a venue for Olympic track events, then back again. Over the years Olympics have been notorious for cost overruns, and studies have questioned if host cities benefit economically. Russia has struggled with costs from the 2014 Sochi Olympics, which have been called the most expensive Olympics of all time. But Andrew Zimbalist, an economist at Smith College in Massachusetts, said LA was better positioned for a longer wait than other recent Olympic cities because its plan calls for no new major construction “They will be able to run an operating surplus,” he predicted. In the shorter term, the private committee behind the LA bid must retool its initial 2024 plans for four years in the future, including renegotiating contracts for housing athletes and temporary venues, which were all hooked to 2024. Another hurdle: With the change in date, LA apparently needs to renegotiate and extend financial guarantees approved by the city and state to cover potential shortfalls connected with the 2024 bid. Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in September that puts California taxpayers on the hook for up to $250 million if Los Angeles were awarded the 2024 Games and they ran over budget, and the city has promised the same. Chicago-based sports-finance consultant Marc Ganis said the overall outcome was favorable for LA, given that Paris was in line for the 2024 Games. Additionally, financial sweeteners will help cover costs over the longer wait time. Still, facilities age, technology advances and costs rise. “There is always going to be financial risk,” Ganis said, “when you are targeting 11 years into the future.”

Movers and Shakers for July 30

Steve Wallace has been appointed as the new Bethel District Attorney, effective July 10, after the retirement of Mike Gray. Wallace began his career in 1982 as a police officer in the City of Kodiak. He went on to serve as a police officer in Barrow and the Village of Wainwright, before becoming an attorney and joining the Department of Law in 1989 as an Assistant District Attorney in Palmer. Since then Wallace has served in Bethel, Anchorage, and, most recently, as the District Attorney in Kodiak. Paul Prussing was named the state director of Division of Student Learning, which includes the work of several teams of education professionals engaged in ensuring that state and federal education standards are implemented. Prussing has served the department for the past 17 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Oregon State University and is a certified teacher. He initially worked for the department as an Education Specialist, achieving an extensive background in federal programs. He has served as the Deputy Director of the Division of Teaching and Learning Support, now the Division of Student Learning, since 2003. Most recently, Prussing served as the acting division director for the past year as the department underwent a comprehensive reorganization. Anchorage-based advertising agency Spawn Ideas won gold for the Northwest Region Small Agency of the Year at the 2017 Ad Age Small Agency Awards in Nashville on July 19. Presented by Ad Age, a leading source of news for the marketing community, the Small Agency Awards are the premier honors saluting outstanding work created by independent shops with 150 or fewer employees. Spawn Ideas was founded as The Nerland Agency in 1975 in Anchorage. Transformation came with employee ownership in 2005 and a subsequent rebranding a few years later to Spawn Ideas. The agency has actively diversified its client base through its most recent office opening in Denver in 2015 and projects with clients like Intrawest Resorts, PowerPro, Cable One and the Outdoor Industry Association. Its Small Agency of the Year entry included work for the Alaska Railroad, Ericsson, GCI and Northrim Bank. Steve Denton joined AECOM Alaska as a senior mining engineer. He brings more than 40 years of experience in mining, consulting and construction to the AECOM team. Denton is a graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Mines. Denton spent more than half of his career at Usibeli Coal Mine, where he held various upper management and vice president positions. In these roles, he was responsible for performing various functions which include design, permitting and management for new mine start-ups, coal process facility construction, international coal sales and marine coal export facility operation. More recently, as an independent contractor, he has worked on a number of projects throughout Alaska in public works/roads, marine facilities, exploration, permitting, mine development/operations, and construction. Anchorage communications firm MSI Communications received three Telly Awards for the agency’s work for Alaska Airlines and Hilcorp Alaska. This year, the Telly Awards received more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents, including work from large, multi-national media companies. The Alaska Airlines TV commercial is an ongoing campaign that airs throughout the state. It features stop-motion filmography to depict items moving into a suitcase as if packing themselves for a vacation, all set to fun, upbeat music. The spot is re-edited each week to feature a different Alaska Airlines destination. MSI also won Telly Awards for two videos produced for Hilcorp and Alaska Airlines. The Hilcorp video showcased the innovations that made Northstar, a man-made, oil production island off the North Slope, such a success for the past 15 years. The Alaska Airlines video explained the $100 million investment the company is making in upgrades and expansions in Alaska. Scott Stender has recently returned to The Growth Company, an Avitus Group company as senior consultant following a planned hiatus designed to round out his resume in the non-profit and fundraising sectors. Stender possesses a sound understanding of organizational needs analysis and needs analysis driven design change in addition to excellent planning, networking, coordination, and communication skills. Stender’s proven strategic thinking, planning, design, and implementation skills are additive to his experience in law enforcement, emergency services and as a Dean of Faculty and Curricula Development at the Career Academy in Anchorage. He is planning to focus on the Training Without Walls program. Jennifer Yuhas also recently joined The Growth Company as a senior consultant. Yuhas possesses an extensive background in executive coaching, negotiations, liaison work, team building, group processes, policy assessment, advocacy, communications, change management, crisis management, image consulting, speech coaching, capacity development, and strategic planning. Before joining TGC/Avitus Group, Yuhas served as a Chief of Staff to four Alaska legislators, led a statewide non-profit to its peak membership and effectiveness, and worked for the Fairbanks-North Star Borough mayor’s office successfully negotiating key projects, also serving as the communications and liaison lead for emergency management. She most recently led negotiations strategy for the Pacific Salmon Treaty’s Alaska delegation, and Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex Airspace Planning for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Prior to that role she had served as the department’s communications and legislative director, and later led a liaison team for regulatory policy and interagency coordination. Yuhas will be based in Fairbanks. Sandy Baker joined Ohana Media Group LLC as the Sales Manager for the South Central Alaska cluster, effective July 24. Baker has spent the past year working in the freight industry and prior to that spent more than 15 years with Morris Communications radio stations (now Alpha Media) in Anchorage and Wasilla. Ohana Media Group is a privately-owned broadcast company based in Seattle with stations in Astoria, Ore., Anchorage and Wasilla. The Alaska cluster includes Adult Hits KBBO-FM, News/Talk KBYR, Rhythmic CHR KFAT, Oldies/Classic Hits KTMB and Traditional Country KXLW in Anchorage and Hot A/C KMBQ-FM in Wasilla.

Longtime Anchorage business wins Made in Alaska Award

Alaska Garden and Pet Supply, a company patronized by backyard farmers, large scale agriculture and most of Alaska’s big box stores, won the Alaska Manufacturer of the Year Award on July 24. Also known as Alaska Mill &Feed, Chief Operating Officer Ken Sherwood and company President Joel Klessens accepted the Made in Alaska Award at the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce’s Make it Monday Forum. Gov. Bill Walker presented the award. He spoke of the company’s 11 trademarks, 65 employees and the many “stories within stories of stories,” that marks 67 years in business. Most of it took place in the distinctive red buildings alongside the railroad tracks in Downtown Anchorage that has become an iconic Alaska business, he said. Britteny Cioni-Haywood, division director of the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, said this year’s lineup of nominees gave one another stiff competition. Yet even so, Mill &Feed stood out for its ability to “innovate and deliver quality products to Alaskans, while also providing jobs for Alaskans in the process.” Alaska Garden and Pet Supply was founded in 1950 on the principles and innovations of Don Donatello, an MIT chemical engineer who trademarked his products. Today, the company operates a garden and pet wholesale distribution business and the Alaska Mill &Feed retail store in Anchorage. It was recognized for its nearly seven decades of operation, adding a feed mill in 1965, a fertilizer blending plant in 1978, and a liquid ice melt facility in 2015. Sherwood and Klessens said Alaskans tend to know Alaska Mill &Feed by its iconic storefront. “The store is the face of our business. Then there are all these products we manufacture in buildings behind the store right here on two square city blocks,” Klessens said. “People are surprised when they realize there’s a lot more wholesale to the operation than the retail operation.” It began with Donatello’s ideas for bleach cleaners and waxes sold to the Anchorage School District and local companies. Later he had the idea to make feed for reindeer herds, horses, cattle, chicken and other farm animals in bulk at the distinctive mill he built and tied into the railroad so that he could receive bulk shipments from out of state needed as ingredients. Hopper cars from the Midwest and Canada continue to supply salt, fertilizers ingredients, and corn and soy for feed meal. “Some guys always make the right decisions and Donatello was like that. He was a smart entrepreneur, a brilliant man,” Klessens recalls of the man who hired him 32 years ago. For example, Donatello was honored as the U.S. Small Businessman of the Year in 1965 in award presented by President Lyndon Johnson. Major customers in the Matanuska Valley and farming communities down the Kenai Peninsula and north to Delta Junction came to depend on the animal feed. The mill sold to distributors throughout the state. In the 1970s, Donatello added the fertilizer blending plant, and the retail operation opened. Later, they added the Arctic Melt and Arctic Grip products. Klessens, with his business-public relations degree from Montana State University when Donatello hired him, focused on wider business distribution. Following in Donatello’s footsteps, he also developed a line of Arctic Birdseed for specific migrating bird species that is now trademarked. In the winter, the company manufactures ice melt. The plant turns to making fertilizer in the spring and summer. All of these products are made in the feed mill and plants behind the store on a spread that takes up more than two city blocks. They also make specialty feeds for musk ox, moose and bison, using nutritionists’ guidance for specific state-sanctioned programs. The items are Alaska specific, a sure selling point since lots of products made Outside fail to suit the subarctic environment. “We’ve been manufacturing fertilizers for farmers that is made in Alaska, designed for Alaska conditions,” Klessens said. “When we talk to a buyer for Home Depot or Walmart or one of the big box stores, that’s important. ‘You don’t want to bring up products from an Outside plant,’ we tell them.” Mill &Feed sells directly to these large box stores in Alaska today, including Fred Meyer, Sam’s, Costco, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Carrs-Safeway, and True Value. Agriculture changed in the past six decades, shifting from big dairy and meat farms to “backyard farmers,” who keep a few chickens and raise their own produce, said Sherwood, who started with his father-in-law’s company in 1973. At that point he was selling cleaning products to the school districts. “Today it’s different, but agriculture also is doing very well. A lot of green houses are going up, a lot of small and big farms are in operation, and a lot of produce is being grown in Alaska,” Sherwood said. The company trademarked 11 products: Arctic Melt, Arctic Grip, Arctic Grow Fertilizer, Arctic Wild Bird Seed and the various animal feeds, including one Sherwood developed that is safe for moose to eat and is sold only to sanctioned buyers. In 2016, the operation stepped into a new ownership configuration under an employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP. When Don Donatello died in 2002, business ownership went into a family trust. The Donatello Family Trust sold all its shares to the ESOP, Klessens said. It’s fitting the Manufacturer of the Year Award, like company profits, is shared with all the employees, Sherwood and Klessens say. “Our 65 employees invest a lot of themselves in their work. I think of the guy who’s worked for us 25 years and he’s out there in minus-20 below when the wind is blowing. I think of the people selling our products to their neighbors. As a result, they build relationships with a customer, which creates positive relationships,” Klessens said. “So for them to reap the benefits of that success is very fitting and that’s what makes us so proud of today’s announcement.” Naomi Klouda can be reached at [email protected]

Movers and Shakers for July 23

Nora Barlow, Leonard Anderson and Constance Livsey left Burr, Pease &Kurtz to form the new law firm of Barlow Anderson LLC located at 420 L Street, Suite 310, in Anchorage. They are joined by associate Martha Tansik and long-term staff. The Barlow Anderson practice deals with workers’ compensation defense, estate planning, probate, guardianship, and business transactions and formation. Due to the pending retirement of PenAir Chief Operating Officer Dave Hall, several changes in upper management have been announced. Current Chief Financial Officer Dave Richards has been named to replace Hall as COO. Richards has been with PenAir for nine months, and brings experience from Era Aviation where he was VP of finance for six years and controller with the Municipality of Anchorage for six years. Brian Whilden, VP, safety and compliance, has been promoted to senior VP, flight operations and safety. Whilden has held many positions in his 29-year PenAir career starting on the ramp in King Salmon. He also served as station manager moving throughout the PenAir’s routes of King Salmon, Dillingham and Dutch Harbor. Murphy Forner, VP, ground operations, has been named senior VP, ground operations and business development. Forner has held various positions with PenAir over the last six years, and spent 11 years with Era Aviation and 20 years at Alaska Airlines, all in the ground operations and station operations arena. Al Orot, has been named VP, ground operations-Alaska. Orot previously held the position of VP of cargo operations until the sale of the all-cargo Saab 340 fleet. Orot, another long-term employee with the company, has held various services position in his 28-year career with PenAir. Dallas Anthony, regional director, ground operations-Alaska, has been named managing director, ground operations-contiguous U. S. His career includes four years with PenAir, including manager of safety and regional director ground operations-Alaska. Nick Aderman, Director of Maintenance, was promoted to VP of aircraft maintenance. Aderman started with PenAir in September 2003 as a night shift aircraft mechanic. During his 14 years prior to becoming director of maintenance he held positions as lead aircraft mechanic, aircraft inspector, and outsource maintenance representative for heavy check aircraft. Chief Bankruptcy Judge Gary A. Spraker of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Alaska has been appointed to the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, which hears appeals of decisions made by federal bankruptcy courts in the western states. Spraker, 54, will serve a seven-year term on the BAP, commencing Aug. 1. Spraker, who maintains chambers in Anchorage, was appointed to the Alaska bankruptcy court in 2012. He is the court’s only full-time judge and assumed the office of chief bankruptcy judge upon his appointment. Prior to coming onto the bench, Spraker was a partner since 2002 at Christianson &Spraker (formerly Christianson, Boutin &Spraker). His practice there focused on all phases of bankruptcy and commercial matters including litigation. Spraker was also an associate at the same law office from 1994 to 2002, when it was known as Bundy &Christianson. He began his legal career in 1988 as an associate in the Denver office of Morrison &Foerster. A native of Baltimore, Md., Spraker received his bachelor’s degree, Phi Beta Kappa, from Stetson University in 1985, and his juris doctcor in 1988 from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, graduating third in the class. The Mat-Su Health Foundation recently welcomed Annie Bill and Lisa Wade to its board of directors. Bill has had successful careers in education and natural resources. She owns Excel Alaska, an education consulting company. Previously, Bill held positions of increasing responsibility with the Mat-Su Borough School District. She was principal at Ron Larson Elementary School, acting assistant principal at Colony Middle School, a teacher, and she served as the district’s coordinator for the Talented and Gifted and International Baccalaureate programs. She earned a master’s degree in teaching from Alaska Pacific University and a bachelor’s degree in recreation and parks/environmental education from Penn State University. Wade became the health, education, and social services division director for Chickaloon Village Traditional Council in 2013. She previously served as the director of health and social services for seven years. Wade is a steering committee member of the Alaska Resilience Coalition and of R.O.C.K. Mat-Su (Raising Our Children With Kindness). She is a member of Benteh/Nuutah Valley Native Primary Care Center’s Joint Operating Board, and an advisory committee member of the Ahtnahwt’aene’ Nay’dini’aa den (Life House Clinic Community Health Center). She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Metropolitan State University. She studied counseling psychology at the master’s level at Saint Mary’s University and completed coursework in a Ph.D. program in clinical and community psychology with a rural Indigenous Emphasis at the University of Alaska. AECOM has hired Corissa Andrews to support its Alaska operations as a student intern. In this role, Andrews will provide project and administrative support to AECOM’s Anchorage office. Andrews is a 2017 graduate of Robert Service High School in Anchorage, where she was enrolled in Advanced Placement studies. Andrews will enroll at Washington State University in Pullman this fall, majoring in environmental engineering. Chris Brown has been selected for the position of senior vice president, special credits, at Alaska USA Federal Credit Union. Brown has more than 23 years of lending and collections experience, including 18 years with Ford Motor Credit. He holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees of advertising and public relations degrees from Michigan State University. The law firm of Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Miller, Monkman &Flannery, LLP, with offices in Anchorage and Juneau, announced that three of its Alaska attorneys have been named to the Thomson Reuters “2017 Super Lawyers” list. Myra Munson was named a “Super Lawyer” in the areas of Native American, heath care and nonprofit organization law. Richard Monkman received the designation in health care, Native American and appellate law. Lloyd Miller received the designation in Native American, appellate and government relations law. Sonosky Chambers was established in 1976 to represent Indian and Native Alaskan Tribes. The firm also has offices in Washington, D.C., San Diego and Albuquerque.

Mover and Shakers for July 16

Coffman Engineers announced that Aaron Morse has obtained his Alaska professional engineering license in civil engineering. Morse is a civil/structural engineer in the Anchorage office. He received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2009. His first five years after college were concentrated in construction management and engineering, including work at two combined-cycle, natural-gas-fired power plants in Canada. Morse’s industrial background as a construction field engineer includes supervision of ironworker and boilermaker crews erecting structural steel and performing structural welding, supervision of industrial painters, crane lift plans, quality control, calculating cost projections and generating RFIs. In 2014 Morse transitioned from construction management to design engineering. His structural design experience has been concentrated mostly in the oil and gas sector, including steel pipe support design, reinforced concrete foundation design and deep foundation design. PND Engineers Inc. announced two professional achievements and a new hire in its Anchorage office. Josh Gray and Daniel King recently obtained professional engineer registrations from the State of Alaska. Gray graduated from Montana State University in 2012 with his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He joined the PND team in 2013, with his engineering duties encompassing general civil site design, roadway design, marine infrastructure, oil and gas development and on-site inspection. King obtained his master’s degree in civil engineering in 2016 from University of Alaska Anchorage. He specializes in structural evaluation and design. King began working at PND as an intern and has been with the company fulltime since 2013. Amy Steiner, E.I.T. (engineer in training), joined the Anchorage office in January. Steiner received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2012. Following that, she worked for PDC Engineering in Fairbanks for 2½ years before returning to school at Delft University of Technology (in The Netherlands) for her master’s degree in geotechnical engineering, completed in 2016. Her engineering duties primarily consist of laboratory testing and the preparation of geotechnical reports. Ravn Air Group announced that Dave Pflieger will join the company as its new president, CEO and member of its board of directors. Bob Hajdukovich, the airline’s current president and CEO, will be elevated to vice chairman of the board. Both new positions will be effective Aug. 8. Pflieger brings over three decades of aviation experience to Ravn. His award-winning career includes prior positions as the CEO of Fiji Airways, Silver Airways and most recently of Island Air, Larry Ellison’s privately held airline in Hawaii. Pflieger was also a founding officer and senior executive at Virgin America, and held senior management roles in operations, safety and legal at Delta Air Lines. While at Delta, Pflieger was also a B757/767 and B737 pilot. Pflieger graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and served in the United States Air Force as a B-52 instructor pilot and a C-130 pilot. He holds a juris doctor and an MBA from Emory University. Seven lawyers from the Anchorage office of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP have been selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2017 edition of Alaska Super Lawyers. The Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists, published by Thomson Reuters Legal, are a research-driven, peer-influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of professional achievement and peer recognition. Each year no more than 5 percent of the lawyers in Alaska are named to the Super Lawyers list, and no more than 2.5 percent for the Rising Stars list. Super Lawyers are: Jon S. Dawson, Business and Corporate; Gregory S. Fisher, Employment and Labor; Elizabeth Pifke Hodes, Employment and Labor; Barbara Simpson Kraft, Real Estate; Joseph L. Reece, Business and Corporate, Real Estate; Robert K. Stewart Jr., Employment and Labor. Rising Star was Anne-Marie Tavella, Construction Litigation. Dr. Mark M. Levin, M.D., M.S., will join the Alaska Heart &Vascular Institute on Sept. 18. He is board-certified in general surgery and a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Medicine, where he earned a doctor of medicine, as well as a master of science in physiology and biophysics. Levin also holds a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience with a concentration in cellular and molecular neuroscience from the Johns Hopkins University. Levin is currently finishing his training at the University of Texas Southwestern as a vascular surgery fellow. His training entails the full spectrum of open and endovascular surgery, with an emphasis on advanced endovascular techniques. Levin has been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented his research at various national conferences. His main interests are in carotid disease, PAD, and complex endovascular aortic aneurysm repair. He is expected to receive board eligibility in vascular surgery in July.

Movers and Shakers for July 9

Littler, the world’s largest employment and labor law practice representing management, has added Renea I. Saade as a shareholder in the Anchorage office. Saade was previously a partner in the labor and employment group at Stoel Rives LLP. Saade counsels employers on a wide range of issues that arise in the workplace and often serves as an independent workplace investigator and trainer on various employment law issues, including the prevention of discrimination and harassment in the workplace. She also represents employers before governmental agencies and local courts. Outside of her legal practice, Saade serves as board president of YWCA Alaska and is a member of several community and legal organizations. Pursuit announced that Fernando Salvador has been promoted to the position of vice president and general manager of the Alaska Collection. Salvador, former general manager of Pursuit’s Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, will be responsible for leading the team in Alaska to deliver unforgettable and inspiring experiences to guests and staff. Prior to his leadership at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, Salvador’s career has developed and grown over many years in a variety of national park resort roles across Alaska and Washington, including notable posts managing the Denali Park Village, McKinley Chalet Resort and the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. Resource Data, a custom software development, geographic information system and IT consulting firm, has hired Carol Campbell Taunuu as a business analyst to its Anchorage office. Campbell recently graduated with her bachelor’s degree in business management magna cum laude from the University of Alaska Anchorage. While going to school she most recently worked as a loan account manager at United Way and as a director/trainer for Pampered Chef. Resource Data also has hired Rowan Bulkow as an intern in Anchorage. Rowan just completed his junior year at the University of Alaska Anchorage where he’s pursuing his bachelor’s degree in computer science. McCool Carlson Green announced that Cara Rude, ASID, and Melissa Pribyl, ASID, have both passed the rigorous test to become the first WELL-accredited professionals in Alaska. Passing the test signifies a comprehensive understanding of the WELL Building Standard, which is a program dedicated to advancing human health and well-being in buildings. Rude has 13 years of interior design experience. Educated at The Art Institute of Portland and graduating with a bachelor’s degree in interior design, she currently serves as the president for the American Society of Interior Designers, Alaska Chapter; member and ambassador presenter for the International Living Future Institute; and is a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional Building Design and Construction. Rude has led on projects such as the Anchorage Museum Expansion, Gladys Wood Elementary School and Alaska Airlines Hangar. Pribyl joined MCG’s interior design team in 2016. Born and raised in Alaska, she has 10 years of professional design experience. Pribyl is also a construction specification institute construction document technologist.

Movers and Shakers for July 2

Resource Data, a custom software development, geographic information system and IT consulting firm, hired Lynelle Davis as AP/AR specialist at its corporate office in Anchorage. Davis recently graduated with her associate’s degree in business management from Alaska Pacific University and has her business offices specialist degree from Alaska Career College. Most recently Davis worked as a program assistant for the CIRI Foundation, where she worked with Resource Data on TCF’s online application. Northrim BanCorp Inc., the parent company of Northrim Bank, named Joe Schierhorn as president and CEO effective June 26. Schierhorn will also continue to serve as Northrim BanCorp’s chief operating officer and Northrim Bank’s president and CEO, while Joe Beedle will continue to serve as chairman of the board of directors of Northrim BanCorp and Northrim Bank. Schierhorn’s entire professional career has been in Alaska. He started working for Marc Langland at Alaska Pacific Trust during college breaks. After graduation, Schierhorn’s professional experience included working at Peat Marwick Mitchell &Co. (now KPMG) where he was a tax accountant and later as a loan officer at Key Bank. Schierhorn is a charter employee of the bank and started his Northrim career as vice president, commercial loan officer and regulatory compliance manager in 1990. He was promoted first to senior vice president then elevated to executive vice president and chief financial officer, chief operating officer and finally president and CEO. A life-long Alaskan, Schierhorn grew up in Fairbanks and graduated from Lathrop High School. He is a CPA and has a juris doctorate/master of management degree from Willamette University School of Law and Atkinson Graduate School of Management, having received his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University. He is also a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School. Native Voice One recently welcomed Bob Peterson to take on the role of manager. Originally from Bethel, much of Peterson’s broadcast background comes from producing and hosting a podcast called “Eskimo Bob Lives” where he interviewed musicians, authors and more. He volunteered at KYUK in Bethel and at his college radio station and brings a history of business experience to his new role at Native Voice One, the distribution division of Anchorage’s Koahnic Broadcast Corp.

Alaska’s ‘Chief Encouragement Officer’

Allan Johnston has a theory about the cyclical attempts at new business ideas. Institutional knowledge tends to turn over every eight years. Then the knowledge disappears — maybe in the form of a discouraged entrepreneur moving on to a new idea or to the Lower 48. Alaska attracts talented people possessing good ideas who seek to set a plan in place, but few have the longevity to know what’s already been tried. “An idea will come up and someone will say ‘it’s never been done before. No one is aware of it,’” Johnston said. “In reality, it has been done. But nobody who’s working there was part of it or is aware of it.” Whether rescuing orphaned business plans or finding new connections, nearly every recent Alaska investment program to help entrepreneurs has seen the stamp of Johnston in one way or another, his champions say. As far as encouragement and institutional memory, Johnston supplies both. Since retiring in 2012 from a 36-year career as regional manager for Wedbush Securities, he’s become a CEO, but not of any particular company. Instead, he’s the Chief Encouragement Officer for a whole lot of people and projects involved in a modern-day ecosystem for startups. The ecosystem isn’t restricted to an Alaska pond, either. Global entrepreneurship helps Alaskans look outward — or in that Alaska lexicon “Outside” — where their true markets may be located, he says. “If all we do is look inside Alaska, there may not be much of a market and the idea won’t realize its potential,” Johnston says, in what sounds like a walking TED talk to journalists, investors, business strategists, technologists, planners and public officials. “If we can identify the ‘been there, done that’ people and pair them with a new entrepreneur that has the same idea, there’s an opportunity,” he says. Shake down the former plan that didn’t work, take it apart and figure out why. Usually, the infrastructure and logistics weren’t complete. But to say it’s never been done here before or it’s been tried and failed is another way of discouraging hopeful ideas. “We have to get these ideas into a positive environment,” Johnston said. “In a negative environment you feel like nothing works or it will never work or you can’t do anything right.” Alaska has critical reasons for trying. Third World countries are usually extraction economies and most decisions impacting them are made outside of that country with their wealth based on a single resource. “Alaska is like a Third World extraction economy since we receive 80 percent of our revenue from oil. That is a real danger,” Johnston said. “You would never invest in just one type of stock.” He believes oil was a godsend, but the future of Alaska will be built on the dreams of innovators and entrepreneurs. Making his own history A college-age Johnston spent the summer of 1968 in Alaska, by then not even a decade into statehood. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System hadn’t been built. He and a friend drove part of the Alcan Highway in a Volkswagen Bug thinking they would commercial fish in Ketchikan. But they arrived too soon for the season, and decided to take the ferry to Haines. On the drive toward Delta Junction, a huge forest fire broke out. “We were conscripted to fight fires,” he said, “and never did get out on a fishing boat.” At the University of Vermont, Johnston was studying finance, destined toward what he thought involved corporation finances. That summer in Alaska “lived up to my expectations as a good place to raise a family, and it had everything to make for a good quality of life here,” he said. In St. Johnsbury, Vt., Johnston’s dad was an internist/cardiologist whose practice was about 30 feet from the house. He didn’t see the East Coast as offering the same types of wide-open opportunities. The town of his birth was established in 1760, a “shire” town or county seat for Caledonia County. St. Johnsbury is famed for Thaddeus Fairbanks’ 1830 invention of the platform scale and as the center of manufacturing candlepins, better known as bowling pins. Maple syrup is a primary industry. “You’re always living someone else’s history,” he said. “In Alaska you’re creating history every day. There, people ask: ‘Where did you go to school? Who were your parents?’ Without saying anything about yourself, you’re pigeon-holed.” In that part of the country, if the “dad’s a U.S. senator and the son is a jerk, he’s still considered someone special,” he said. “If your dad’s a senator here and the son is a jerk — he’s still a jerk.” Several things interrupted Johnston’s return to Alaska. He was drafted during the Vietnam War in February1970. First at Fort Monmouth in New Jersey, then in Germany, Johnston worked Army communications for two years. His education had also been interrupted, so upon discharge he returned to his finance studies at UV. “I found that I got really restless and wanted to come back to Alaska. I never finished my degree,” he said. In the summer and winter of 1974-75 in Fairbanks, Johnston worked for Bechtel as a payroll timekeeper a few months, then took a construction job out of the Labor’s Union in Happy Valley. By the time he married his wife Jennifer on Jan. 2, 1976, the couple was ready to move permanently to Alaska. The newlyweds drove a Dodge pickup truck-camper from Vermont cross-country and up the Alcan Highway, carrying not much more than a few duffle bags of clothes, wedding gifts and a “bit of maple syrup,” as his wife puts it. They settled in Fairbanks where Johnston was the regional manager for Wedbush Securities, a position that brought them to Anchorage in 1988. He retired in October 2012 after a 36-year career. After they raised three children, Jennifer Johnston was voted to the Anchorage Assembly where she served three terms. Now she represents District 28 in the Alaska House of Representatives. The impetus for his retirement, Johnston said, was to assist the Municipality of Anchorage in creating the $13 million State Small Business Credit Initiative or the SSBCI, awarded to Anchorage in 2012. It is now known as the Municipality of Anchorage 49th State Angel Fund and has attracted more than 20 investors who help set startups on their way to success. Angels and accelerators The major programs Johnston is credited with launching include the Alaska Business Plan Competition in 1999, the 49th State Angel Fund in 2012, the Global Entrepreneurship In Residence Program in 2016, Startup Weekend in 2012, The Alaska Energy Prize contest (now set to take place in 2018) and the Alaska Innovation and Entrepreneurship Support network. He also helped develop Launch Alaska. The Alaska Business Plan Competition was one of the first projects of The Entrepreneurs and Mentors Network, or TEAM, which Johnston formed with like-minded innovators and investors such as Mike Haines and Eric McCallum. “Not a single one of these would have been started without Allan Johnston,” wrote Forrest Nabors, a UAA Political Science professor, in an email. “He has been helping to shape Alaska’s innovation and entrepreneurial culture for over 15 years. A lot of the opportunities and networks have in some way been seeded by his efforts.” Nabors is a co-founder of Alyeska Venture Management and the Alaska Accelerator Fund, a firm that now has four partners and 19 investors. “Allan was instrumental in helping us start our fund. Without him, AVM and AAF would not exist. I have also worked with him on the Alaska Business Plan Competition. He has been a tireless advocate for new business startups in our state,” Nabors wrote. Nabors credits him not only as Alaska’s Chief Encouragement Officer but also as “godfather of Alaska entrepreneurship.” One of Johnston’s visions was to set up a funding pot for well-vetted business startups. Lucinda Mahoney was the chief fiscal officer for the Municipality of Anchorage under former Mayor Dan Sullivan when she sought the $14 million in funding from the federal government for establishing the 49th State Angel Fund. “Allan and I worked long hours together to create an application for Anchorage. He guided me through the entire process,” Mahoney said. “We received the money and finally Anchorage had some funds to create a culture of angel investing in startups. This would not have happened if not for Allan.” The programs may sound Alaska-centric, but Johnston is active nationally in a network of entrepreneurial mentors. He taps international mentors to help Alaskans and is a financial supporter of the new Global Entrepreneur In Residence at UAA, Nigel Sharp. “As you know diversification of our economy is critical and startups play a critical role. I attribute this new community’s existence to Allan. It was his vision, his tenacity and he made it happen,” Mahoney said. Isaac Vanderburg, the executive director of Launch Alaska, said he met Johnston about a decade ago. “I’m sure he reached out to me because he’s a connector. I don’t remember the exact moment, but it was back when I was running the UAA Small Business Development Center,” Vanderburg said. “He’s always working behind the scenes to put together the right people.” Johnston’s vision for how the community should look in the future “is pretty compelling,” he said. “He thinks at a pretty high level.” Somehow, entrepreneurship ties everything together. “He is like a classic community builder: Extremely selfless as he gives his time and his money and his expertise to a lot of people. He’s also got a pulse on events and people coming together – it’s almost uncanny,” Vanderburg says. At Launch Alaska, Johnston was able to see a business accelerator program put to work after he invested some of his own money toward the $25,000 grants that go to each company chosen to participate. This is how Launch Alaska works for those accepted into the program: “We give them $25,000, they sign a note, and the investors have a right to convert the note into stock or equity in the company if they chose for a possible return on the investment,” explained Lance Ahern, a business advisor for the Alaska Small Business Development Center. In the “accelerator,” the company commits to four months of intensive training and contact with mentors. At the other end of the training, they emerge as investment-ready companies that are looking to scale quickly, Vanderburg said. The first graduating class of the Launch Alaska program are Aquilo, which provides drone services for large companies; Kwema, a team marketing “Smart” jewelry; and Heather’s Choice, which developed a line of dehydrated organic foods for outdoor adventures. Back before there were these programs though, Johnston’s original work setting up the Business Plan Competition in 1999 provided a place to start a good business plan. To get it launched, Johnston went to university business professors at the Schools of Business at UAA, University of Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska Pacific University. In the contest, entrepreneurs from across the state vie to attract investors, validate their business ideas and win prizes. Teams pitch their startups to a panel of judges and attendees for a chance to be named creator of the year’s Best Business Plan. It’s supported by a network of businesses, such as Northrim Bank, First National Bank Alaska, Wells Fargo Foundation, Team Network Inc., Alaska First Community Bank and Trust, Anchorage Economic Development Corp., UAA College of Business and Public Policy, APU Hickel Leadership and Entrepreneurship Fund, and the Anchorage International Rotary Club. “It started out as being for business students, an act of learning, or experiential learning,” Johnston said. Gradually, the competition became a welcome mat for the winning business plan — and for the runners-up — into that community ecosystem that would nurture a new entrepreneur. Most of these programs also have connections to the University of Alaska Schools of Business, both at UAA and UAF, as well as the Business Enterprise Institute, said Director Christi Bell. Universities have long played a role as economic engines, Bell said. Johnston has seen the value of connecting university expertise with community business leaders to expand the network: the Global Entrepreneur in Residence Program just welcomed its first faculty member June 19. “Universities have their research arms and they partner with industry so it’s commercialized that way,” Bell said. Industry can benefit the university as a funding mechanism as well. Johnston and Bell point out that all these programs are paid for from private funding – not through the beleaguered state budget allocation to the UA system. A great example of a university generating its own funding comes out of the University of Florida. Gatorade was created in 1965 by a team of scientists at UF, College of Medicine, Bell noted. “They’ve received $12 million a year in recent years from royalties.” The money goes back into the school through a foundation. A holy grail for universities, ever since Florida’s success, is to find their own “Gatorade” by nurturing the intellectual talents of faculty and students. “If enough seeds are planted in nourishing soil,” Johnston said, one day we may see a successful venture that will allow the university to self-fund to some extent. For Johnston, seeing these developments come to fruition has made his job as a CEO rich and rewarding. “It’s fun getting up in the morning if you think you can make a difference,” he said. ^ Naomi Klouda can be reached at [email protected]

Movers and Shakers for June 25

Jason Omedelina joined Sitnasuak Native Corp. as land technician on June 5. Omedelina was born and raised in Nome. Omedelina graduated from Nome Beltz in 1996 and attended college at Green River Community College in Auburn, Wash., and Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo. Prior to joining Sitnasuak, Jason worked with Alaska Airlines over the past 16 years, and continues to work with Alaska Airlines part-time. Two senior managers have been named to positions in the Alaska Region of the National Park Service. Susanne Fleek-Green will be the new superintendent of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, a four million-acre unit southwest of Anchorage. Christina Caswell will be the new associate regional director for administration, an Anchorage-based position that leads contracting, human resources, budget, concessions and information technology programs. She begins her job in late July. Fleek-Green has served as Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’s chief of staff and was previously state director for U.S. Sen. Mark Begich. Caswell, a former Anchorage resident, comes to the NPS from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, where she serves as the assistant regional administrator/administrative officer for OSHA Region 10 in Seattle. Prior to working at OSHA, she served as the chief of strategy and mission support with the Army Corp of Engineers. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in workplace learning and organizational development. Fleek-Green’s public service background also includes working for the Municipality of Anchorage in the Office of Economic and Community Development, the United States Senate in Washington, D.C. and as a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Department of the Interior. Fleek-Green has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in public policy from the University of California Berkeley. The Alaska Chamber promoted Ben Mulligan to vice president. A lifelong Alaskan, Mulligan most recently served as the legislative liaison to the Department of Fish and Game under Gov. Sean Parnell. That along with his 12 years of experience in state government made him a perfect fit for the position. Mulligan has been with the Alaska Chamber since January 2017. He attended the University of Wyoming where he received a bachelor’s degree in fisheries biology and he serves as a board member of the Alaska Outdoor Heritage Foundation. Credit Union 1 promoted Melissa Aningayou to Abbott branch manager in Anchorage. Aningayou was initially hired as a teller I at the Nome branch. She has also held the positions of teller II, teller III, member service representative, member service officer, senior teller II, member service supervisor and assistant branch manager, the position Aningayou held prior to this position. Angie Kemp was appointed as the new Juneau District Attorney, effective June 19, after the retirement of James Scott. Kemp is a life-long Alaskan who began her career in the Juneau District Attorney’s office as an office assistant. After her second year in law school, she returned as a legal intern. Following her graduation from the Seattle University School of Law in 2008, Kemp joined the Juneau District Attorney’s office as an assistant district attorney. She has prosecuted offenses ranging from residential burglaries to homicides and sexual assaults.

Movers and Shakers for June 18

Northrim Bank announced several promotions and new hires. Promotions include: Donna Fountain, associate vice president, call center assistant manager; Sarah Gaines, associate vice president, human resources operations manager; Jyah Gitomer, vice president, call center manager; and Jared Shary, associate vice president, marketing and sales manager. New hires include: Tiana Allen, special credits associate officer; Melissa Brigden, marketing analyst; Derek Lovvorn, vice president, core applications manager; and James “Jamey” Young, vice president, commercial loan officer. Fountain joined Northrim in 2006 and has more than 18 years of experience in the banking experience. She has held various positions at Northrim and has been with the call center since October 2016. Gaines has been with Northrim since 2002, where she started working at the Huffman Branch. She has been with the HR department since 2007. Gaines holds a bachelor’s degree with an HR emphasis from the University of Alaska Southeast. Gitomer has been with Northrim since last August. She has worked for 7-Eleven for the past 18 years in a variety of positions. Gitomer has her MBA from Texas A&M University, Commerce. Shary has been with Northrim Bank since 2009, when he was hired as a teller at the West Anchorage Branch. He moved to the Marketing Department in 2011, where he has since held a variety of marketing roles. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance as well as an MBA in leadership from the University of Alaska Anchorage, where he served as both a protégé and mentor of the school’s Leadership Fellows program. Allen joins Northrim with 15 years of experience in financial services, banking and mortgage. She was born and raised in Anchorage and has returned after 21 years of living in the Lower 48. Allen spent the last seven years with Bank of America where she held various positions, and is currently pursuing her degree in business administration with an emphasis on finance. Brigden comes to Northrim with five years of marketing and social media experience and having worked as a universal banker at a bank in Washington. She holds a bachelor’s degree and is pursuing her MBA from Wright State University. Lovvorn joins Northrim Bank with 19 years of experience in IT, including applications development and support. He spent 12 of those years in the oil industry and the other seven in the financial services industry. Lovvorn holds a bachelor’s degree in management information systems from the University of Alaska Anchorage and holds multiple IT certifications and a Project Management Professional certification. Young comes to Northrim Bank with 27 years in financial services and banking. He has worked in banks throughout Alaska including Juneau, Dillingham and Fairbanks. Young holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Pacific Lutheran University. Cassie Magwire has been promoted to the position of branch manager at the Credit Union 1 Debarr Branch. Magwire was initially hired in December of 2006 as a teller I at the Eagle River Branch. She held the positions of teller II, teller III, senior teller, member service representative, Anchorage Area assistant branch manager, Downtown Branch manager and Abbott Branch manager, the position she held prior to this promotion. Brooke Johnson has been promoted to the position of branch service manager. Johnson was initially hired in 2010 and has worked as a staff development trainer, assistant branch manager and branch manager, the position she held prior to this promotion. Before coming to CU1, she worked for several years in branch management and operations at other credit unions.

Movers and Shakers for June 11

Dale Smythe joined Bettisworth North Architects and Planners Inc. as a senior architect. Born and raised in Anchorage, Smythe brings 17 years of experience in support of Bettisworth North’s commitment to sustainable, comprehensive design solutions for the Alaskan environment. His dedication to meeting clients’ needs through unique facility design has resulted in award-winning designs for the Eielson Fitness Center at the Eielson Air Force Base. In the last five years, Smythe has designed and managed nearly $100 million construction dollars in rural Alaskan school projects. He was recently appointed to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development Bond Reimbursement and Grant Review Committee. Bob Cox was appointed as president and CEO of Bristol Bay Industrial Fuels, a newly-formed member company of Bristol Bay Industrial LLC. Cox is a 22-year veteran of the downstream fuel industry, having held senior management positions at Crowley Fuels and Petro Marine Services. In his new role, Cox will have executive oversight of BBI member companies, Bristol Alliance Fuels and PetroCard, and will be responsible for developing and executing a strategic plan to grow BBI’s fuels sales and distribution. Cox came to Alaska from San Francisco in 1991 after a 14-year career with the Southern Pacific Railroad to join the Alaska Railroad as vice president, operations. He holds a master’s degree in transportation engineering from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in aerospace and ocean engineering from Virginia Tech. Terry Gryting, EIT, recently joined R&M Consultants, Inc. as a full-time staff engineer. Gryting joined R&M’s Water Resources Group in May 2017, after graduation from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. As part of this group, she will assist with water resources design, and provide hydrologic and hydraulic analysis support on roadway, street, airport, site development and hydropower projects. Gryting has worked with R&M as an intern since January 2017. She is currently working on the Seward Highway MP 17-22.5 Rehabilitation, where she has been responsible for delineating watershed basins and documenting drainage patterns, and the Kalifornsky Beach Road MP 9.6 Repairs, where she delineated the watershed basin, conducted flood frequency analyses, and assisted with culvert and riprap design. In addition to her degree from UAA, Terry has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a bachelor’s degree in teaching Spanish, both from the University of Minnesota Duluth. Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced that Morgan Griffin, Madeline Lefton and Krystal Edens have joined her staff in her Washington, D.C., office. Griffin joins the office as a legislative assistant covering healthcare policy issues. Originally from Juneau, Morgan went to Portland State University for undergraduate school and has her juris doctor from Gonzaga University School of Law. After graduating from law school, she clerked for Superior Court Judge Phillip M. Pallenberg in Juneau and then joined the civil litigation firm Hoffman &Blasco, LLC. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C., Griffin served on the Board of Governors for the Alaska Bar Association as the New Lawyer Liaison and on the Juneau Human Rights Commission. Lefton joins the office as a legislative assistant handing policy issues including transportation, telecommunications, and finance. Originally from Homer, Lefton attended Dartmouth College and then worked as a legislative aide in the Alaska State Legislature from 2008-2011. She then attended Lewis and Clark Law School where she was editor-in-chief of the Environmental Law Review. She worked as a consultant to various private equity and development groups prior to coming to Capitol Hill. Edens joins the office as assistant to the chief of staff and intern coordinator. Edens previously worked on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and interned for Rep. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania’s 16th District. Edens studied at the Christ for the Nations Institute and graduated from Homer High School in 2011.

Movers and Shakers for June 4

Resource Data Inc. has hired Breck Craig as a project manager/senior analyst to its Anchorage branch. Most recently Breck worked as a senior program manager for GCI Education. He has his MBA in IT from Western Governors University and his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Colorado and is a certified project management professional Daniel White was selected to become the eighth chancellor of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. White will succeed UAF Interim Chancellor Dana Thomas and will assume his new position on July 1. White, a Fairbanksan with a long university career, is currently vice president for academic affairs and research for the University of Alaska System. He joined UAF’s faculty in 1995 as a professor of civil and environmental engineering. He then served in successive administrative roles within UAF. In 2005, White accepted an appointment as interim director of the Institute of Northern Engineering, the research unit of UAF’s College of Engineering and Mines. After a national search, he was hired as director of INE in July 2006. In 2010, he was appointed as the associate vice chancellor for research. With this appointment, he became head of the Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization. In late 2014, White was named interim vice chancellor for research at UAF and in March 2015 he became the UA System vice president for academic affairs and research. Michael Huston was hired to serve as executive vice president and chief lending officer of Northrim Bank, effective immediately. Huston will manage all loan production including commercial lending, commercial real estate and residential construction lending for the bank as well as Northrim Funding Services. Huston was formerly with First Interstate BancSystem, Inc. headquartered in Billings, Mont., rising to the level of executive vice president and chief banking officer after serving as regional president in Wyoming overseeing the Casper, Jackson, Riverton, Cheyenne, and Laramie markets, as well as serving as a commercial loan manager earlier in his career. Huston earned a bachelor’s degree in finance, graduating magna cum laude, with a President’s Scholarship from Arizona State University. He is also a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School. Alaska USA Federal Credit Union has hired Mike Klopfer to serve as financial advisor in Anchorage. Klopfer holds a degree in biology from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and has more than 15 years of experience in the financial services industry. He has served as a financial planner since 2003. First National Bank Alaska recently hired loan officer Zac Hays and announced his appointment to vice president. A lifelong Alaskan, Hays has spent more than 20 years working as a banker in the state. At FNBA, he will work to provide commercial banking opportunities and financial solutions to Alaska businesses. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s announced that Steve Wackowski will be his senior advisor for Alaskan Affairs. Wackowski grew up in Anchorage and graduated from Bartlett High School before attending St. Mary’s University in California. He is a major in the Air Force Reserve, with service in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries. Wackowski previously worked for the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, Fairweather Science, and as campaign manager for Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s successful 2016 re-election effort. Wackowski, who was a named to the Alaska Journal of Commerce Top Forty Under 40 in 2015, will be based in Anchorage.

Movers and Shakers for May 28

Angela Cox, a lifelong Alaskan from Barrow, will join Rasmuson Foundation as vice president of external affairs on June 5. She is currently the vice president of administration for Arctic Slope Native Association, a nonprofit tribal health organization that operates the hospital in Barrow. Previously, Cox served as director of foundation and endowment development for Arctic Slope Regional Corp., where she set up and served as acting director for the Arctic Slope Community Foundation. She has also worked as a research and communications consultant for Ford Foundation in New York. Cox earned an MPA from the New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a bachelor’s degree in communication with honors from the Washington State University Edward R. Murrow School of Communication, where she served as a student member of the board of regents her final year. Cox serves as a member of the Alaska Community Foundation Board and as a member of the Foraker Operations Board. Cox began her career as a communications intern with Rasmuson Foundation in 2004. Chugach Electric Association members elected Stuart Parks and re-elected Harry Crawford to the utility’s board of directors. Crawford, Parks, and Ron Stafford ran for the two seats that were open this year. Crawford will serve a three-year-term, and Parks will serve a four-year term. Following the annual meeting, the board met to elect officers to serve for the next year. Janet Reiser and Sisi Cooper were re-elected as board chair and treasurer, respectively; Bettina Chastain was elected as vice-chair; and Jim Henderson was elected as secretary. RE/MAX Dynamic Properties welcomed Stefan Hajdukovich, Perla Cruz and Aurora Courtney to the team. Hajdukovich is a lifelong Alaskan with family ties going back three generations. He was a collegiate cross-country skier at University of Alaska Fairbanks and completed his bachelor’s of business administration/finance. Cruz was born and raised in Puerto Rico and moved to Anchorage at the end of 2009. She is currently attending University of Alaska Anchorage to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administrative management and marketing, focusing on her long term goal to become a philanthropist. Alaskan born and raised, Courtney has a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences from UAA. She previously worked as a project manager permitting, maintaining regulatory compliance, and securing right of way for over 110 large-scale Alaskan projects. As a side venture, Courtney has been managing her own corporate rentals and working with friends to buy and sell real estate for 14 years and recently left the oil and gas industry to pursue her passion in real estate full time.

Movers and Shakers for May 21

Sitnasuak Native Corp. promoted Lucille Sands to corporate compliance officer. Sands was originally hired in October 2016 as a project administrator working primarily in contracts administration. Sands’ previous positions include staff accountant and customer service manager with Bering Air Inc.; accounting specialist and stockholder registrar with Bering Straits Native Corp.; Eskimo Walrus Commission specialist and accounting specialist with Kawerak Inc.; franchise business consultant with Subway Development of Southwest Washington Inc.; staff accountant with PenAir and most recently as contracts administrator with Bering Straits Native Corp. Sands is Inupiaq, and originally from Nome and Teller. She received a bachelor of business administration with a minor in Alaska Native business management from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association hired Bob O’Bryant to lead all operational and marketing efforts at Cannon Fish Co., a seafood processing and marketing firm located in Kent, Wash. O’Bryant is succeeding Pat Rogan as president. Rogan will continue his work into June to help ensure a smooth and successful transition. O’Bryant is a seasoned professional known throughout the industry for his management and ability to produce, brand and market value‐added seafood products. He most recently served as vice president of sales and marketing for Bellingham, Wash.‐based Bornstein Seafood. The majority of O’Bryant’s career had been spent at Pacific Seafood Group, where he served in many capacities including the general manager of Starfish, a consumer packaged goods brand known for developing and launching a successful gluten‐free breaded seafood line, general manager of Salmolux, the smoke salmon division and as the PSG marketing director. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced several promotions and additions to her Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee staff. The promotions are Severin Wiggenhorn to senior counsel, Brianne Miller to senior professional staff and energy policy advisor, Annie Hoefler to professional staff member, Melissa Enriquez to executive assistant, and Jason Huffnagle to digital content manager. The new hires are Lane Dickson and Dr. Ben Reinke as professional staff members, Barbara Repeta as a Bevinetto Fellow, Robert Ivanauskas as a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission detailee, Sean Solie as a staff assistant, and John Starkey as a non-designated staff assistant. The University of Alaska Southeast announced that the following faculty have been selected as this year’s Faculty Excellence Award winners. Teaching Award: Reid Brewer, Ph.D., associate professor of Fisheries Technology, Sitka; Adjunct Instruction Award: Roby Littlefield, adjunct instructor of Alaskan language, Sitka; Faculty Advising Award: Leslie Gordon, M.S., associate professor, health information management, Sitka; Research Award: Brian Buma, Ph.D., assistant professor of forest ecosystem ecology, School of Arts &Sciences; Service Award: Math Trafton, Ph.D., assistant professor of English, Sitka.

Movers and Shakers for May 14

Coffman Engineers promoted Tony SlatonBarker to principal of energy and sustainability. He was born and raised in Alaska and has been a principal since the beginning of 2016. SlatonBarker first started at Coffman Engineers in 2000. He is a licensed civil engineer and structural engineer in Alaska and a U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design accredited professional. He has more than 24 years of project management experience in civil/structural engineering, building, and environmental engineering industries. SlatonBarker has worked on many alternative energy projects that have required integration with conventional heating systems including wind, solar and other systems. Coffman is currently working on: Lithium ion battery storage facility projects in Alaska, Canada, Hawaii, and California; microgrid projects in Oregon and Alaska; solar projects in Alaska, Hawaii and Guam; a flywheel project in Alaska; combined heat and power projects in Alaska and Oregon; and, Coffman has recently completed a biomass district heat system in Alaska serving 15 buildings. Bristol Bay Alaska Tourism announced three executive position changes. Sarah Fullhart is adding to her responsibilities as general manager of Mission Lodge and will now serve as vice president of guest services for BBAT. Sean Petersen is the new director of flight operations for Katmai Air and Suzanne Lohr has taken on the role of accounting analyst. As BBAT director of flight operations, Petersen will oversee the eight aircraft in Katmai Air’s fleet, as well as pilot hiring and training. He grew up in and around Katmai Lodge and served as chief pilot for Katmai Air. Petersen will be based at Kulik lodge for most of the summer and will oversee the air operations for the popular King Salmon to Brooks Lodge flights. As BBAT accounting analyst, Lohr will manage payroll and financial forecasting for all of the Katmai business units as well as Mission Lodge. She comes to BBAT from the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. where she was its subsidiary and trust accountant. Prior to that, Lohr worked in various accounting positions at the Alaska Energy Authority, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and Kakivik Asset Management. Resource Data Inc. has hired Alec Zoeller as a GIS programmer/analyst to its Anchorage branch. Zoeller has a master’s degree in the GIST Program from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Maryland. Most recently he worked for Leidos Corp. as their geospatial analyst, engaged in the collection and production of high-resolution 3D foundational geospatial data. Hughes White Colbo Wilcox &Tervooren LLC added two associate attorneys to the firm. Chad and Elle Darcy joined Hughes White in August and November of 2016, respectively. Chad Darcy graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2014 where he twice made dean’s list. He was also recognized by the The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction with a CALI Award for Writing in Law Practice. Before entering law school, Darcy spent nearly nine years serving in the U.S. Marine Corps earning the rank of captain as a Cobra helicopter pilot and joint terminal attack controller. Based out of Marine Corps Air Station New River and Camp Lejeune, he served overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and the Middle East. Elle Darcy graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2014. Winner of the law school’s Susan McCrary Scholarship in 2013, Elle Darcy was also published in the South Carolina Journal of International Law and Business that same year. Hughes White Colbo Wilcox &Tervooren, LLC was founded in 1939, as Davis &Renfrew in Anchorage. Matthew Duffield, LPN, has been named a Regional Caregiver of the Year by Maxim Healthcare Services, an established provider of home healthcare, healthcare staffing, behavioral care, and population health and wellness services. The nurse and resident of Anchorage is being recognized for providing more than two years of quality, personalized care to a quadriplegic and ventilator-dependent nine-year-old patient. Under Duffield’s care, both in the home and at school, the patient is able to participate in extracurricular activities that improve his quality of life. In school, Duffield is part of the class, helping his patient gain confidence and independence. A panel of judges selected Duffield and three other regional winners, all of whom will be recognized at a special awards ceremony hosted by Maxim Healthcare Services in Baltimore, Md., on July 25. Crowley Fuels has funded four Alaska Air Carriers Association 2017 Forrest Jones Memorial Scholarships. The students — Zelek McNeilly, Levi Michael, Taylor Harvey and Jayden Wilson — will receive scholarships to support their educational pursuits in aviation maintenance, professional piloting or aviation administration. McNeilly, class of 2019, is a University of Alaska Anchorage sophomore from Anchorage, who has declared a major of professional piloting, with intentions of pursuing a career as a commercial pilot in Alaska after graduation. Michael, from Nikiski, is a University of Alaska Fairbanks senior pursuing an aviation technology degree, with plans of starting a career in aviation maintenance. A third-generation pilot, Michael has a goal of first completing his two-year degree, then continuing to earn an associate’s degree (to become a commercial pilot) as well as a Federal Aviation Administration Airframe and/or Powerplant certification. Harvey, class of 2019, is a UAF sophomore from Unalakleet, majoring in aviation maintenance with the intent of becoming both a commercial pilot and aircraft mechanic in Alaska. His plans include completing his two-year degree and then attending ATP Flight School, in Las Vegas before returning to Alaska to work. Wilson, class of 2019, is also from Unalakleet. He is a UAA sophomore pursuing an aviation maintenance degree, with the goal of becoming both a commercial pilot for Ravn Airlines and a bush pilot. Exposed to flying at the age of eight when he rode aboard his father’s assistant’s plane, his plans now include completing his two-year degree while also earning his A&P certification and pilot’s license. He intends to return to his hometown to work after graduation.

Unlikely pair taking Alaska hospitality to next level

Partners Jason Motyka and David McCarthy are changing what it means to pass on Alaskan hospitality one plate at a time. As what they call the “third generation” of Alaska restaurant owners, they’ve formed partnerships with lettuce growers, fishermen and meat producers. They helped a restaurant down the street — a potential competitor — just as in the old Alaska when neighbors helped neighbors. And they incorporate unique stories of the frontier to help customers walk away in understanding of what they hope is a deeper experience. That’s the philosophy of Denali Visions 3000 Corp., owners Motyka and McCarthy, and it earned them Small Business Administration Small Business Persons of the Year Award for Alaska in 2017. Under the heading of DV3 Corp, the partners own Prospectors Historic Pizzeria &Alehouse, Denali Crow’s Nest Cabins, the Overlook restaurant at the Crow’s Nest, the Denali Park Salmon Bake, 49th State Brewing Co., Miners Market at McKinley RV and Campgrounds in Healy, and the 49th State Brewing Co., in Anchorage located at the former Snow Goose Restaurant on Third Avenue. “By far, DV3 stood out among the other competition,” said Scott Swingle, the U. S. Small Business Administration Northern Area manager. “Their job creation and what they’ve provided, and not just rural Alaska but for the state, was amazing. They are a brick in our economy.” Their achievement is especially notable in a state wavering in its dependence on government and oil, Swingle said. Each business was reinvented or created anew. Community networking to help other small businesses succeed is a keystone SBA value. Another one is job creation. Between Denali Park, Healy and Anchorage, they employ upward of 600 people each summer season. Distinguishing their “brand” from big international chains at work in the Alaska tourism market, DV3 seeks out the small state producers and transporters to fill its daily fare at venues and give patrons a truly Alaskan meal. How this nest of companies came about is all under the heading of a “Alaska Hospitality,” McCarthy said, that seeks to go beyond what the cruise ship lines and chain companies market as Alaska. The first generation of café owners of the homesteading days are long gone now. A second generation that created many of the beloved establishments of the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s are retiring now, “and there’s not a lot of young entrepreneurs to step in and take their place, Moytka said. “We pick unique historical businesses, like the cabins in Denali, and the history of that. If there aren’t enough companies like ours to preserve unique Alaska businesses, then they will be bought by chains or phased out,” Motyka said. “They’ll (chains) bring in their own labor force. There won’t be a lot left for young entrepreneurs.” But these unique Alaska businesses often need new ingredients for success based on how tastes changed over the past decade: a hamburger and fries isn’t just that nowadays. It’s a “brand” or needs to be an existential experience every bit as memorable as the filet mignon at a five-star restaurant, McCarthy said. The ol’ Salmon Bake start Under the ownership of Jason Motyka, 26 years old at the time, the business began with the Salmon Bake in Denali Park in 2005. The restaurant he purchased began with a dirt floor in 1984 by “two guys in the park.” A few cabins out back were rentals. In the ‘80s, people brought their own buckets of water to flush the toilet. The menu was written on paper plates. Its rustic frame was atop permafrost, which shifted above each frost and thaw so “there weren’t many 90-degree angles,” said Ellen Maloney, promotions director for DV3 Corp. But it was tall on Alaska character as a Denali landmark. Under Motyka, it was a thriving restaurant and the hub of nightlife at Denali Park, but the food had “quality issues.” The Salmon Bake had a flush toilet and a real floor by the time Chicago culinary artist David McCarthy rode up on his motorcycle in 2006. He had taken a trip north for a vacation. Conversations led to McCarthy taking over the kitchen at the Salmon Bake that summer. But as he set about revamping the menu, the graduate of Kendall College in Chicago with a degree in culinary arts questioned parts of the operation. “I asked ‘why were we buying Alaska fish from a Washington business that then ships the fish back to us?’” McCarthy said. Motyka, a lifelong Alaskan raised in Anchorage’s Airport Heights area, labored to explain that’s how it goes with Alaska caught fish processed Outside then sold back in-state. McCarthy wanted none of that. They began contracting with Homer fisherman Billy Sullivan for salmon, crab and other seafood. (Later they would buy all their produce from local farmers and meat from local producers.) “David was just what we needed,” Motyka recalled. “In the fall when he was heading back, I told him he could go back to Chicago and open his own restaurant, or he could stay, be a pioneer and become part of dynamic changes.” McCarthy, 32 at the time, chose to become a pioneer. It was in 2008 that Motyka and his partner won their first SBA Small Business Persons of the year award. At the time, the SBA press release stated: “During the three years since the team incorporated their business and leased the facilities, (The Salmon Bake) has shown a 350 percent increase in revenues over the previous owners’ best year and added sixty-five new full- and part-time seasonal jobs to the area.” Between 2009 and 2014, Motyka and McCarthy established the other businesses in Denali Park and Healy to serve the seasonal crowds coming from all over Alaska and via tour buses and the Alaska Railroad from cruise ships. Three years after McCarthy attended a Master Brewing program at the Siebel Institute in Chicago, they installed a 15-barrel system and started the 49th State Brewing Co in Healy, in 2013. By their own admission, they made an odd team. The big city chef whose urban upbringing taught him not to trust strangers thought that the object in business is to beat your competitors out of the market. A more trusting Motyka, who graduated with a business degree from Western Washington University, believed in the spirit of welcoming newcomers and that Alaska people tend to take care of one another. “On the way to Washington, D.C., (for the SBA award ceremonies,) I thought about that,” McCarthy said. Together they seemed to meld a new mentality for conducting business: “We need to help our neighbors succeed, then we succeed,” McCarthy said. Swingle said DV3’s operations fall under the category of “exports” in a new way to think of small tourism niches. “Dollars are coming into the state from exporting the Alaska experience,” he said. “Kudos to them for what they work so hard at.” Exporting the Alaska experience Food isn’t only about what’s on the plate for travelers, McCarthy said. All the DV3 businesses aim to export an intangible experience that travelers take home. “It’s all about authenticity — the cutting edge of food and all these things. But it’s also what the background came from. The historic value is a huge part,” he said. At their newest endeavor, the 49th State Brewing Co. in the home of the former Snow Goose in downtown Anchorage, DV3 purchased a 1918 building loaded with intrigue and past. In the basement of a basement, a tunnel leading somewhere in the direction of the old Federal Building across Third Avenue ends abruptly. Why is it there? “We don’t know. It’s covered with rebar,” Motyka said. “This was the Elks Lodge for a lot of years. We’re told that one out of every six pioneers who came to Alaska was a member of the Elk’s Lodge. The building had a bowling alley, three bars, a theatre where they had something called the Purple Bubble Ball. “Some of the most influential men of the day met here. It’s a very fascinating historic building, built like a bomb shelter. It survived everything since 1918 and the 1964 Earthquake as well.” After operating in Interior Alaska for the past 12 years, taking on an Anchorage business was a big plunge, Motyka and McCarthy said. The property overlooking Cook Inlet and Sleeping Lady Mountain came with the brewery when Snow Goose owner Gary Klopfer sold it to them. DV3 set to work transforming the 28,000-square foot interior to the 49th State Brewing Co. They went to Alaska materials artists for ambiance. Grady Keyser built antler chandeliers for each room out of caribou antler sheds he gathered in Bush villages. Keyser fashioned a greeter’s desk for the front entrance from repurposed wood and antlers, something he’d never done before, said Maloney. Just as the two men have a story for everything, their Anchorage establishment is a chapter in each corner you look. A whiskey wall behind the bar was built from old shed parts taken from Motyka’s childhood home by friend and artist Mark Wedekind. River stone and slate stonework mural, walls, and the pizza oven were done by Mitch Fairweather. (He gathered the stones from creek beds and other Alaska places.) A chalk mural by Abbie Cleek shows the brewery process from beginning to bottling. A large format photograph Front Range Mural by Charlie Renfro took several months to capture — and permission from the owners of downtown’s tall buildings. While an older Alaska is plenty represented, the 21st century is as well. Plug-ins for laptops and other digital equipment are beneath the bar. An interactive screen allows patrons to say what beer they’re drinking through their phone. Trending on jobs It takes a staff of 250 to run the Anchorage 49th State in the summer. It takes another 400 to fill jobs at the Denali and Healy businesses. They hire from their own website at Denali Visions 3000 Jobs and from walk-ins. “We’re an entry level employer and so we are training them and helping them in the direction we’re going. But today’s young people are looking for more than a paycheck in a job. They are looking for something that defines them or this chapter in their lives,” McCarthy said. Being on top of trends that energize the business also draws new employees. That means training them in the hospitality trade, as it’s envisioned by Motyka and McCarthy, to see fellow employees “as a family that is also a team.” McCarthy interviews chefs through the “stage” process; a full day’s pay to work alongside him showing them how they cook. If each side likes the other, there’s a hire. Passing on their “Alaska” entrepreneurial philosophy is another training tool. “If you break down on the side of the road someone else will be there to help you. Our unique relationship with others is you try to be savvy with things you learn in a big city and combine with what you learn about Alaska hospitality,” Motyka said. A case in modeling that concept came a short time ago when a restaurant down the street found its liquor license permit hadn’t been filed in time for an event. 49th State Brewery came to the rescue by hosting their event at the restaurant. “This is a competitor, but looking at the greater good of downtown business success, we wanted to help,” McCarthy said. As for winning the Small Business Person of the Year Award 2017, the men say it validates their vision in a powerful affirmation. “At the Washington, D.C. awards, something they said was very powerful,” McCarthy said. “They said ‘you spend your life thanking all the employees working for you, and now it’s our turn to thank you for doing for our country.’” Vice President Mike Pence delivered a speech about the importance of small businesses as a critical block in the American economy. The president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, also gave a speech on entrepreneurship. All politics were set aside during the April 30 to May 6 National Small Business Week in D.C. “In hospitality we love everyone,” McCarthy said. “We don’t talk religion and politics in restaurants and bars. They talked about how we are the backbone, that small business drives America.” “It’s a tremendous honor especially after growing up in Anchorage, being able to write the next 20 years of Alaska history,” Motyka said. Naomi Klouda can be reached at [email protected]

Movers and Shakers for May 7

The U.S. Small Business Administration 2017 Alaska Small Business Persons of the Year are David McCarthy and Jason Motyka, owners of DV3 Corp. in Denali Park. Since the Denali Park Salmon Bake was founded in 2005, DV3 has grown from one restaurant with 40 seasonal employees to two brewpubs, three restaurants, one gas station/campground and one hotel which total 120 year-round and 600 seasonal employees. In 2008, Denali Park Grocery was added and operates as a seasonal market. In the spring of 2009, Miners Market and McKinley RV &Campground — a gas station, deli, and campground — joined the family. In winter 2010, Prospector’s Pizzeria &Alehouse was built using local craftsmen and opened that spring in the small tourist strip in Denali across from corporate hotels. Growth continued in 2010 with the August opening of 49th State Brewing Company — a restaurant, craft brewery, beer garden and concert venue. In 2014, DV3 purchased, rehabilitated, and reopened the Denali Crow’s Nest Cabins. The Crow’s Nest boasts 40 log cabins overlooking Denali Park and operates a fine dining restaurant called The Overlook. Demand for the 49th State beer combined with the desire to join the community in Anchorage became reality when DV3 purchased, remodeled and reopened one of Anchorage’s most historic downtown buildings as their newest brewpub on Third Avenue. Julia Niziolek has been selected for the position of executive director, insurance and investment services, for Alaska USA Federal Credit Union. She previously held the position of manager, administration and compliance at Alaska USA Trust Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Alaska USA Federal Credit Union. Niziolek has more than 13 years of experience in different sectors of the financial services industry. She holds a bachelor of business administration degree in finance, as well as a master of business administration degree, both from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Ash Grove Cement Company, the largest American-owned cement company in the United States, hired Lydia Gallagher as sales administrative assistant. She will be the point of contact on orders and shipments for the state of Alaska and will work from Ash Grove’s Bellevue, Wash., sales office. Gallagher comes to Ash Grove from Ferguson Enterprises, where she spent the last three years as client services representative providing expert product knowledge and helping customers with their orders. Dr. Kersten Johnson-Struempler, principal of South Anchorage High School, has been selected as the South Anchorage High School Alaska Secondary School Principal of the Year by the Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals. Johnson-Struempler has served as principal at for seven years. She will be honored during the 2017 Alaska Principals’ Conference at the Anchorage Sheraton Hotel Oct. 22-24. Alaska Travel Adventures announced three new executive appointments. Mike Wallisch has been selected to succeed Chris Meier as vice president and chief operating officer. Sarah Lowell is ATA’s new director of sales, and Tor Wallen will be joining ATA as Skagway director of operations. For 22 years Wallisch owned and operated Alaska Adventures Unlimited, a charter sport fishing business in Sitka, before selling in 2015. Most recently he served as senior manager of operations for Steamboat Resorts, a division of Wyndham Vacation Rentals in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Lowell joins ATA after an extensive career with Era Helicopters, where she most recently served as Juneau base manager. Lowell currently serves as president of the Juneau chapter of the Alaska Tourism Industry Association. Wallen, a 15-year travel industry veteran, brings a combination of operations and logistics experience. ATA’s Skagway presence includes; Alaska Motorhome Rentals, Ship Creek RV Park, self-driven Hummer tours, a Stampede hike and eat tour, and the Liarsville Trail Camp and Salmon Bake. Wallen has worked for several cruise and maritime security companies; including, Princess Cruises and Tours, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Coast Cruise Line, Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska and American General Services.

Movers and Shakers for April 30

Blake Phillips joined Alaska Permanent Capital Management as director of institutional sales. Phillips began his career in finance as a research analyst at the global investment bank Fox-Pitt, Kelton (now acquired by Macquarie) in New York City. After five years at FPK, Phillips was recruited by the investment firm Philadelphia Financial Management of San Francisco, where he quickly rose from an analyst to portfolio manager and partner at the fund. Prior to joining Alaska Permanent Capital Management, Blake was also vice president at Oksenholt Asset Management in Oregon. Phillips is a CFA charterholder and earned a bachelor’s degree in finance at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Simon’s Anchorage 5th Avenue Mall hired Ashlee Schneider as the center’s new director of marketing and business development. In her role at Anchorage 5th Avenue Mall, Schneider will lead overall marketing strategies such as event programming, social media, guest services, public relations and advertising. Additionally, she will manage various business functions encompassing tourism, revenue generations, marketing budgets and tenant and partner relationships. Most recently, Schneider was the marketing and sales coordinator at Anchorage Downtown Partnership. Prior to that, Schneider held the position of account coordinator at Anchorage’s Spawn Ideas. Schneider earned two bachelor’s degrees in business administration, one in marketing and the second in management from the University of Alaska Anchorage. The Mat-Su Health Foundation has promoted Jim Beck to senior program officer and hired Telsche Thiessen as Chickaloon/Sutton community coordinator for the community collaborative project R.O.C.K. Mat-Su (Raising Our Children with Kindness). As senior program officer, Beck takes on new duties, while also continuing to lead the foundation’s Healthy Aging focus area. Beck holds a master’s degree in public administration with a nonprofit management concentration from the University of Colorado at Denver, and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Thiessen is working to advance the mission of R.O.C.K. Mat-Su in the Chickaloon/Sutton area. R.O.C.K. Mat-Su is a collaborative project to promote family resilience and reduce child maltreatment. Thiessen has previously held positions in program coordination and administration, and she currently works as a library aide and program coordinator for the Teen Arts and Wellness Program at the Sutton Library. She earned a bachelor’s degree in theater arts from Carleton College. Resource Data has hired Jonathan White as a project manager/senior analyst to its Anchorage branch. White has a master’s degree in organizational management, a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and his PMP. He has more than 15 years of experience, with a strong background in management, software development and technical process management. Most recently he worked remotely as a project manager for a California company, and prior he worked for several years in different departments for Washington Sate. He recently relocated to Anchorage from his home in Olympia, Wash. For the third year in a row, GCI’s Tina Pidgeon and Bob Ormberg have been named to the Cablefax 100 list of top influencers in the nationwide cable industry. As general counsel, senior vice president of governmental affairs and chief compliance officer, Pidgeon is a member of GCI’s eight-person executive team and has helped position the company as a leader in the telecommunications industry. Ormberg has more than 30 years of experience in the cable industry and has spent the past 18 years with GCI. He is a board member for the National Cable Television Cooperative and also serves as head of its programming committee. His accomplishments include the launch of many advanced GCI products, growth in GCI’s customer base and spearheading successful negotiations with major companies such as TiVo and Netflix to offer GCI customers new, high-demand services. Pidgeon and Ormberg were awarded spots in the regional section nominations category, announced in the April edition of Cablefax: The Magazine.

Entrepreneurs awarded at UA competition

Congressional budget cuts mean fewer federal funds will be flowing to Alaska projects, but a 30 percent tax incentive for private enterprise on infrastructure investments lends a potential ace for rural Alaska. That’s one of the concepts behind a winning idea at the 2017 Alaska Business Plan Competition April 21 at the Beartooth Theatre hosted by the University of Alaska Anchorage Business Enterprise Institute. Piper Foster Wilder carried away first place in her plan to help far-flung Alaska communities create their own mini renewable energy grids, and find private funding to do it. The idea also is to ease reliance on government funding. Wilder, currently deputy director of the Renewable Energy Alaska Project, leaves her position this summer to launch 60 Hertz full time. She won $2,000 prize money for her plan. Another idea caught the six-judge panel’s attention: a trio of Alaska Pacific University students who came up with a shoe that expands for swollen feet won second place. Pandere Shoe inventors Laura Oden, Cecila Crossett and Ayla Rogers also carried away the Best Student Business Plan, InnovateHER, and the Manufacturing Kicker awards. Backed by Reebok, Pandere would market a new kind of shoe that isn’t restricted by length and width measurements dominating shoe design since the Middle Ages. “Traditional sizes don’t address volume: swelling from pregnancy, diabetes and edema,” Oden said in her Beartooth stage presentation. “These are dimensionally expandable shoes that expand vertically and outwardly around the ankle.” Shown in fashionable designs, the footwear also avoids any similarity to the unattractive orthopedic shoe. The Alaska Business Plan Competition attracted 64 entrants, more than double previous years. Contestants hailed from Unalaska, Ketchikan, Juneau, Fairbanks, Akiachak, Anchorage — and Afghanistan. Marine Keith McCormick delivered his “Quick Cup” pitch via Facebook Live from Afghanistan at the event. (more about him in a minute.) Of the 41 who qualified for review, nine finalists selected by a panel competed on April 21. Entrants submitted plans to overcome current entrepreneurial hurdles. Your Kitchen Startup, a business plan for connecting small food providers to commercial kitchens, took third place for solving a “kitchen problem.” Conceived by Tammas Brown, the plan helps small culinary businesses contract with commercial grade kitchens. “A lot of these aren’t big enough to build kitchens yet and several commercial kitchens aren’t being fully used,” Brown said. “We will have standardized contracts and checklists to take the risk out of renting out the commercial kitchen for a business. We would qualify each kitchen and provide (or screen) information on the startup.” All the resources are in place. Brown, with her husband Lance Ahern, opened with a small pilot group to work out the kinks and grow from there. The idea is to be running by June. Because the 2017 competition attracted more than twice the usual number of participants, the competition illustrates how many people are interested in starting their own businesses, said Gretchen Fauske, associate director of the University of Alaska Anchorage Center for Economic Development, and the competition’s organizer. “I think there is an upswing of people interested in their own startups for two reasons: many people in Alaska have been working to advance entrepreneurship for many years and we’re starting to see that pay off,” Fauske said. “And as jobs are going away, people get creative with business ideas. During challenging economic times, startups are more important than ever and will play an essential role.” The panel of judges consisted of Northrim Bank’s Kelly McCormack, JL Properties’ Jimmy Miner, angel investors Eric McCallum, Gary Klopfer and Angela Astle, and First National Bank Alaska’s Chad Steadman. First place winner Wilder’s business concept carries particular gravity at a time when state funding for remote Alaska infrastructure projects could be left dangling in the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts that would shut down the Denali Commission. Wilder cites overcoming obstacles such as the 200 villages currently disconnected from traditional energy grids in Alaska’s vast geography. “Dependence on diesel fuel is expensive. People are looking for renewable energy as a way to decrease reliance and costs,” Wilder said. At the same time, Alaska spends more per capita on renewables than any other state, garnering $259 million for renewables that has enabled 70 remote communities to have a renewable input. That’s a good start for each of those to areas to gain its own mini-grid. “We have a good distance to go. There’s a lot we can do to increase penetration or bring renewables to communities that don’t have it,” Wilder said. “A community is a mini-electric grid. They have traditional powerhouses and can upgrade diesel generators, adding solar array and wind to the fuel mix.” Blended with other financials such as federal investment tax credit of 30 percent on wind and solar, investors should see a good return on their dollar. Wilder doesn’t believe this tax credit will go away under Trump. “(President Trump) signaled early on this tax credit wouldn’t be touched since it’s in the name of infrastructure investment,” she said. 60 Hertz, which partners with McKinley Capital, would also supply maintenance software along with a checklist and structure to make the required reporting to the Alaska Energy Authority easier. “I am grateful for the (competition’s) endorsement,” Wilder said. “I will use the $2,000 prize in the startup budget. It means a lot to me to have the affirmation and support of business people who understand the concepts. That’s what meant the most to me.” As for McCormick, the Marine based in Afghanistan, his Quick Cup concept didn’t win a prize, but it captured the audience’s and judges’ attention. His business plan cuts the wait and waste time for coffee buyers and sellers by utilizing an app he invented to assist both sides of the coffee cart. It would allow a customer to order coffee using the app, even pay for it, then arrive at a designated time to pick it up. The coffee business doesn’t lose as much money because it cuts down on the waste of unclaimed, unpaid orders. App users would pay 10 cents per cup to Quick Cup, as would the individual business that signs on. He figures start up costs are $30,000, he told the audience from his Afghan quarters. It was a good week for McCormick. He left Afghanistan on April 24. As he was flying out, he told his Facebook friends, “Good bye Afghanistan… forever. And thanks for letting me leave alive and intact.” McCormick is headed for Anchorage. He wrote to the Journal that he has served in the Marine Corps Infantry for five years and one month. Most currently he worked in Afghanistan as a private military contractor for the Department of State as a combat medic on security detail for the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan. “I was born and raised in Anchorage, and so was my wife. We graduated from South (High School) in 2009 and married right after. We now own a home in the Klatt area where we raise our 2 children,” he wrote. “I did concept the idea while in Afghanistan. I was sitting in my armored vehicle texting with my wife about how (do) shops accept ‘text-in orders.’” Fauske, the competition’s coordinator noted there were so many “side stories” in this competition. “Each one is a great story,” she said. Naomi Klouda can be reached at [email protected]

Movers and Shakers for April 23

The Renewable Energy Alaska Project launched the Alaska Network for Energy Education and Employment in March and hired Chris McConnell as director. McConnell joins REAP from Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska where he was responsible for communications and outreach. McConnell draws from a background in writing, teaching and film production. First National Bank Alaska announced two new hires. With nine years of banking experience, Danielle Nicklos is the new branch manager at the North Star Branch on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Nicklos has previously worked as a teller, customer service representative, personal banker and operations supervisor. At North Star, she will be responsible for business development, consumer loans, branch operations and customer service. Debra Whitbeck is the Accounting Unit’s loan servicing supervisor. She will oversee a team of six who are responsible for ensuring accurate and timely servicing of the bank’s loan portfolio and the production of loan documentation relating to the opening, servicing and closing of all loans. Her team also ensures loans and agreements comply with state and federal laws, regulations and bank lending policies and procedures. Whitbeck’s banking career began in 1988. Workforce solutions provider Kelly Services announced Christopher St. John as the new district manager in Alaska, based out of Anchorage. Kelly Services has been servicing Alaska for 28 years. St. John is responsible for the overall sales and operations for Kelly Services in Alaska. St. John joins Kelly with eight years of experience in the staffing industry. Previously, St. John worked as an account manager in the marketing and advertising industry. St. John is an Alaska American Marketing Association board member and holds a bachelor’s degree in business management. Sitnasuak Native Corp. announced that Roberta “Bobbi” Quintavell has been selected as the new president and CEO. Quintavell will start the position on May 8. During the past 20 years, Quintavell has contributed her expertise in helping Alaska Native corporations and their subsidiaries grow in shareholder equity and operational profitability by establishing financial controls, formalizing business processes, aggressively pursuing acquisitions, and building teams of highly skilled and forward-thinking leaders. Over the course of her career she has served as executive director of Arctic Slope Native Association; president/CEO of Arctic Slope Regional Corp. Constructors and ASRC Construction Holding Co.; president/CEO and board member of ASRC; and subsequently as chief operating officer of Doyon Ltd. She has also served on the boards of various nonprofits including the Alaska Federation of Natives, Alaska Municipal League and the Rasmuson Foundation. Quintavell is Inupiaq and originally from Utqiagvik. She received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Alaska in Anchorage and graduated with an executive master’s in business administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Business.


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