Movers and Shakers

Movers and Shakers

Movers and Shakers for March 5

The Alaska Workforce Investment Board presented the David G. Stone awards to K-12 and postsecondary education professionals who have made significant contributions to career and technical education or apprenticeship in Alaska. The K-12 Career and Technical Education Instructor/Administrator of the Year is Adrienne Voss, a school nurse, who teaches the Personal Care Attendant curriculum at King Career Center in Anchorage, and is a trainer for Alaska Core Competencies, a training program tailored specifically to direct service providers in health and human services fields. The Postsecondary Career and Technical Education Instructor/Administrator of the Year is Wendell Whistler, who is the Apprentice Coordinator at the Kornfeind Training Center, a labor-management electrical apprenticeship training center in Fairbanks. Whistler has provided training opportunities to many Alaskans in the electrical industry and has increased the number apprenticeships in underrepresented and hard to serve populations. The Employer of the Year is Kaladi Brothers Coffee, which has invested time, money and energy in a partnership working with the diverse, high-risk youth population at McLaughlin Youth Center. What began as a paid vendor training evolved to Kaladi Brothers donating their training services for free. Volunteers share their expertise and support, including attendance at award ceremonies for the youth engaged in the program. Many youth participating in the training obtain barista positions in the facility as well as with other employers in the community. University of Alaska Fairbanks assistant professor Andrew McDonnell, with the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, received a five-year, $750,000 Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation. The NSF program is designed to support teacher-scholars who effectively integrate research and education. McDonnell’s project will also aim to educate Alaskans about ocean sciences and what it means to be an oceanographer. McDonnell will use underwater cameras to measure the sizes, concentrations and types of particles and zooplankton in ocean water. This research has implications for how carbon is transported to and stored in different parts of the ocean. McDonnell will create a museum exhibit for the Alaska Sea Life Center focused on the important microscopic world of particles and plankton that are not always seen by aquaria curators and visitors alike. The exhibit will also include information about what ocean scientists do and how they collect samples and data at sea. It will display different sampling technology, as well as videos and photos that illustrate how oceanographers work, especially in the oceans around Alaska. McDonnell’s project also seeks to bring the knowledge displayed in this exhibit to Alaska Native communities with the hope that he can inspire children growing up on Alaska’s coastline to consider oceanography as a career choice. Don Porter, PE, has been named group manager of Utilities and Nicole Knox, PE, has been promoted to group manager of Site Development at R&M Consultants, Inc. Porter has been with R&M for 27 years and was formerly group manager of Site Development. Porter’s experience includes serving as project manager and/or project engineer for a variety of utility, site development, airport and road improvement projects for public and private clients throughout Alaska. Porter recently completed civil engineering design for the Kipnuk K-12 School Renovation and Valdez Harbor Uplands. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Colorado State University and is a professional civil engineer registered in Alaska. . Knox has worked in R&M’s Site Development Group since 2005 and was ready to advance into the group manager position. Over the past 11 years, Knox’s focus has been working on large and small site development projects throughout the state. She was the senior project engineer for site and drainage design for the Alaska Airlines Center on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. She is currently leading civil design for the Anchorage Museum Expansion, as well as two new facilities for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Eielson Air Force Base. Knox holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from UAA and is a professional civil engineer registered in Alaska. The Alutiiq Museum has hired Jeffrey Garcie as its development assistant, a new staff position. Half of his time will be spent as the museum’s representative to the Digital Inclusion Corps, a federally funded pilot program promoting computer literacy skills and broadband infrastructure in remote communities. He will spend one year helping Kodiak Islanders learn computing skills to facilitate Internet use. The Alutiiq Museum is one of five sites in the United States participating in the Digital Inclusion Corps, an initiative linked to President Obama’s ConnectALL broadband initiative. Additionally, Gracie will assist the museum with community engagement. His duties will include stewardship of the museum’s members and sponsors, as well as administrative support for development work and daily business. Garcie began working part time this month, and will become a fulltime member of the museum’s team in May. Garcie studied biology and anthropology in college and worked as a custom furniture builder before joining the U.S. Coast Guard in 2009. He was stationed in Kodiak in 2012, where he was a member of a helicopter aircrew. He will retire from the Coast Guard this spring. Gracie is a ceramic artist and a leather crafter, and owns Kodiak Leather Works. Stoel Rives LLP partner S. Lane Tucker has been elected president of the Federal Bar Association, Alaska Chapter. Tucker is a partner of Stoel Rives LLP, with 30 years of experience in federal government contracts, Small Business Administration matters, white collar prosecution and defense, construction and civil litigation. She represents clients throughout the United States and more than a dozen Alaska Native Corporations. Named among Alaska Super Lawyers since 2011, Tucker also has earned praise in Chambers USA’s annual survey of America’s best attorneys for business for her government contracting and construction litigation experience. She is the Alaska section chair of the Public Contracts Section of the American Bar Association, is the Alaska representative for the ABA’s Small Business Committee, and is the founder and chair of the Alaska Bar Public Contracts Law Section. Prior to entering private practice, Tucker served as the civil chief for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Anchorage.

Movers and Shakers for Feb. 19

Kumin, an Anchorage architecture firm, has promoted staff architect Sarah Salazar to the position of associate, making her the youngest associate in Kumin’s 40-year history. She joined Kumin in 2010, relocating from New Mexico, where she served as a project manager for the Air Force, managing large-scale military projects from programming through construction. Salazar is the 2017 President of the Alaska Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and held numerous other executive board positions within AIA Alaska since 2012. Her current work includes Southcentral Foundation Children’s Dental Clinic/Medical Office Building and Parking Garage on the campus of Alaska Native Medical Center. Previous projects include a major renovation of Boney District Courthouse, West High School/Romig Middle School Career Technical Education Additions, and a major expansion of the Ketchikan Shipyard. A licensed architect in Alaska and New Mexico, Salazar received a bachelor’s of architecture degree from the University of Arizona and is also a certified document technologist. Four new Superior Court judges were appointed to serve the communities of Bethel, Dillingham, Kenai, and Nome. Gov. Bill Walker also announced his selection to fill a vacancy on the Court of Appeals. Nathaniel Peters has been appointed to the Bethel Superior Court. Peters graduated with honors from Ohio Northern University, and has been practicing law in Alaska for almost eight years. He served as a public defender in Palmer and Bethel for six years, and has served as the Bethel District Court Judge since 2014. Christina “Tina” Reigh has been appointed to the Dillingham Superior Court. Reigh graduated magna cum laude from Seattle University Law School in 2003. She moved to Dillingham to work for Alaska Legal Services Corp. in 2004, visiting nearly every village in Bristol Bay as a part of her work. She has served as Dillingham’s Magistrate since 2014. Jennifer Wells has been appointed to the Kenai Superior Court. Wells graduated cum laude from Suffolk University School of Law in 1990. She clerked for Anchorage Superior Court Judge Dana Fabe, and worked as a public defender in Kenai for three years. Since 1994, she has served as a magistrate judge, master, acting district court judge or training judge in communities throughout Alaska. Romano D. DiBenedetto has been appointed to the Nome Superior Court. DiBenedetto has served as a magistrate judge in Fairbanks since 2012, where he presides over family law and probate matters, criminal arraignments and applications for post-conviction relief. He previously served in the Fairbanks District Attorney’s Office and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago. DiBenedetto graduated from Northwestern School of Law in 1993. Tracey Wollenberg has been appointed to the Court of Appeals. Wollenberg is the Deputy Public Defender for the Alaska Public Defender Agency’s Appellate Division, where she oversees statewide appellate litigation for the agency’s criminal and civil cases. Prior to law school, she worked as a financial analyst for Morgan Stanley. Wollenberg graduated from Columbia University Law School in 2005, and clerked for Alaska Court of Appeals Chief Judge David Mannheimer. Patricia C. Miller is First National Bank Alaska’s new vice president and director of Human Resources. Highlights from Miller’s previous 26 years of experience in human resources before joining First National include leading the expansion of an Alaska-based business to 7,000 employees in 45 states and seven countries. She also successfully negotiated more than 37 union contracts. American Income Life Insurance Company-Altig has appointed Joanna Hansen to regional general agent in the Anchorage office. After earning her bachelor’s degree at the University of Alaska, Hansen joined AIL-Altig in August of 2015. Hansen was put on the fast track to management and in less than five months, she was appointed to master general agent in January 2016. That following August, she was selected to attend the AIL-Altig Leadership Society Conference that accelerated her to being appointed regional general agent in February 2017. Andrew B. Erickson has joined the Landye Bennett Blumstein LLP Anchorage office as an associate attorney. Erickson will focus his practice on Alaska Native law, litigation and bankruptcy. He received a bachelor’s degree from The University of Montana, a master’s degree in environmental policy the University of Oxford, and a juris doctor from Lewis &Clark Law School. He is a 2007 Harry S. Truman Scholar. He recently served as the state’s representative for Defenders of Wildlife and was an independent consultant for organizations such as the Center for Biological Diversity, Cook Inletkeeper, and Greater Southeast Alaska Conservation Community. Erickson is a former law clerk for the Alaska Supreme Court and worked as Miles Conservation Fellow in the office of U.S. Sen. Max Baucus.

Movers and Shakers for Feb. 12

Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute hired Jeremy Woodrow as the new communications director. A longtime Juneau resident from a commercial fishing family, Woodrow brings not only communications expertise but also a wealth of industry knowledge to the role. Woodrow most recently served as the communications officer for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. He has previously worked with ASMI both as an intern in the communications program and with ASMI’s former PR agency, Schiedermayer &Associates Alaska. Woodrow has a bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising from Northern Arizona University. The Mat-Su Health Foundation hired Amy Gorn as program officer for the Healthy Foundations for Families focus area and Elizabeth “Betsy” Smith as Upper Susitna Valley community coordinator for R.O.C.K. Mat-Su (Raising Our Children with Kindness). Gorn was previously employed as a community wellness coordinator at Rural Alaska Community Action Programs Inc. Her experience also includes working in public radio in Sitka and Nome, and as a juvenile justice officer for the State of Alaska. She earned bachelor’s degrees in English and communication from College of Saint Benedict/St. John’s University. Smith is working to support day-to-day communication and administration, community engagement, and data functions in her newly-created part-time position. R.O.C.K. Mat-Su is a cross-sector collaborative working to promote family resilience and reduce child maltreatment in the Mat-Su Borough. Smith is also employed as the part-time executive director of the Northern Susitna Institute in Talkeetna. She has previously held a variety of positions in program management and environmental education. She earned a master of education degree in environmental education from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in biology from College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough has hired Paul “Otto” Feather as interim director of Emergency Services. Feather recently worked for U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan as state director and most recently as flight operations director for Alaska Missionary Aviation. He returns to the Borough after a deputy director of fire post he held here in 2013-14. Feather is a retired Air Force colonel with experience in combat command and crisis management. As a command pilot he flew 241 combat sorties while serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. In March 2011, as the Wing Commander of Yokota Air Base near Tokyo, Feather directed the U.S. hub for Japanese relief efforts after the earthquake, tsunami, and resulting nuclear disaster. Credit Union 1 promoted Maria Quick to the senior management team. Quick was initially hired in June 2006 as a financial analyst in the Accounting Department. In November 2007, she was promoted to senior financial analyst and in September 2011, Quick was promoted to financial controller. Quick is a CPA and has 19 years of accounting experience. CRW Engineering Group LLC added Andrea Meeks, PE, Karl Hulse, PE and Matt Edge, PE, PTOE, to its leadership. Willy Van Hemert, CRW’s founder, will continue to serve clients and staff, but is stepping down from his tenure as a principal. Meeks is a licensed civil and environmental engineer with more than 16 years of Alaskan engineering experience. She joined CRW in 2003 after spending three years working in Unalaska, and continues to work for rural Alaska, designing infrastructure and facilities. Hulse is a licensed civil and environmental engineer with 19 years of experience in Alaska. Edg has been part of the CRW team for the past 14 years. He focuses on projects bringing improved energy and sanitation systems to rural Alaska. Edge, a licensed civil and environmental engineer, and certified professional traffic operations engineer, has been contributing to CRW’s design for the past 17 years and led successful completion of transportation, drainage, and sanitation improvement projects throughout Alaska. Coffman Engineers promoted Trevor Buron to principal in the Anchorage office. Buron has 12 years of experience, all of which are with Coffman. He was born in Fairbanks and raised in Healy. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Idaho. Buron specializes in industrial mechanical engineering and is instrumental to the continued development and day-to-day operation of the Coffman Anchorage office mechanical oil and gas work. Buron has managed the design effort for pipeline projects throughout Alaska and Hawaii. His mechanical engineering experience includes the design of process facilities and integrity assessment of oil and gas pipelines in offshore and onshore environments. Buron lends his expertise to facility and pipeline design for numerous clients including Tesoro, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. and the North Slope Borough. Alexandra McKay will join Rasmuson Foundation as vice president of Programs, where she will oversee the Foundation’s grant-making programs and initiatives.McKay brings more than two decades of experience in nonprofit and public sector leadership to the Foundation, including 15 years working in senior roles for major family foundations. She has served in several positions for Casey Family Programs, most recently as executive vice president and chief counsel, and as deputy director for Schultz Family Foundation. She also worked as an attorney in the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education. She has a wealth of expertise in a range of areas important to the Foundation, including nonprofit governance and operations and strategic planning. McKay grew up in Anchorage and most recently supported the development of the Community of Hope Project, a pilot effort of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and community partners to provide timely and culturally appropriate intervention and treatment to children within the foster care system. McKay received a juris doctor from Stanford University, a master of law degree from University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree from University of Pennsylvania. Long-time Anchorage resident and electrical engineer Stuart Parks has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the Chugach Electric Association board of directors. The Chugach board appointed Parks to the seat at its Jan. 26 meeting. Parks is replacing Bruce Dougherty who left in December 2016. Parks has worked for NANA WorleyParsons LLC for the past 12 years and is currently the vice president, director of market and program manager. Parks was selected by the board from a pool of 14 applicants who were interviewed in December. Denali Home Loans has added Tammy Gray as senior mortgage loan originator to its Mat-Su office at 1981 E. Palmer-Wasilla Highway. Gray has more than 28 years of experience in banking, at various Alaska banks and credit unions. Her experience in banking includes construction loans, business/commercial accounts and mortgage lending. She is a founder of the Alaska Businesswomen’s Network, which has chapters in Anchorage, Fairbanks and the Mat-Su Valley, and is a board member of the Food Bank of Alaska. Arctic Information Technology, a wholly owned subsidiary of Doyon Government Group, has appointed Bruce Hellen as president. Hellen served for 24 years in the United State Air Force. After retiring in 2010 as a Colonel, he entered the private sector as the director of business practices for a $1.5 billion company, primarily focusing on marketing, sales, and branding strategies. Next, he led a major RFID research and development project, resulting in multiple patents and international recognition as the world’s number one RFID implementation program in 2015. Hellen has led multiple organizations of various sizes throughout his military and private sector careers, ranging from small teams to large organizations. The Alaska Peony Growers Association gave University of Alaska Fairbanks Professor Mingchu Zhang its Growers Cup Award on Jan. 29 for his research supporting the peony industry. Growers vote on the award, which is given to an individual who provides key support to the peony industry. Zhang has presented regularly at the conference on his research relating to plant nutrition, fertilizer and soils needed for optimum peony growth. Zhang is a professor of agronomy and soil sciences with the School of Natural Resources and Extension. His research has focused on nutrient management, soils, and peony, forage and agronomic field crop production.

Movers and Shakers for Feb. 5

Explore Fairbanks recently announced the election results and appointments of its 2017 board of directors. Executive officers are: Kory Eberhardt, Chair, A Taste of Alaska Lodge; Kathy Hedges, Treasurer, Arctic Circle Trading Post; Matt Divens, Past Chair, Holland America Princess Alaska-Yukon; Irene Meyer, Secretary, GoNorth Alaska Travel Center; and Andy Anger, Chair Elect, University of Alaska Fairbanks Community and Technical College, who will also serve as Public Policy Advisory Chair. Additional board members are: Communications Chair Jason Avery, Pioneer Park, Parks and Recreation, Fairbanks North Star Borough; Meetings and Conventions Chair Patricia Silva, Westmark Hotel and Conference Center; Tourism Chair Becky Kunkle, Wedgewood Resort, Fountainhead Hotels; Visitor Services and Partnership Development Chair Buzzy Chiu, Premier Alaska Tours; Audit Chair Ashley Bradish, Gold Dredge 8 and Riverboat Discovery; Nominations Chair Ralf Dobrovolny, 1st Alaska Tours; Bobby Wilken, HooDoo Brewing Company; Bruce LaLonde, Alaska Railroad; Scot Baer, Golden North Motel; and Lei Guo, Skylar Travel. Ex Officio members are: Andrew Gray, Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly representative, and Jerry Norum, Fairbanks City Council representative. Aleesha Towns-Bain was hired as the executive director of the Bristol Bay Native Corp. Education Foundation. Towns-Bain comes to the BBNC Education Foundation from the Rasmuson Foundation, where she most recently served as the vice president and chief operating officer. She has also served as interim executive director of the Alaska Children’s Trust, and editor of the Colorado-based Crested Butte News. A graduate of Bristol Bay Native Corp.’s Training Without Walls Program and the Council on Foundations Career Pathways Program, Towns-Bain has emerged as one of Alaska’s top philanthropic leaders. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and Native American studies from The Evergreen State College, and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She will begin her new role in May 2017. Plastic surgeon Cindy Wei, MD, will begin offering regular visiting clinics at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center in late February. Wei practices with Seattle Plastic Surgery as well as providing care through Swedish Medical Center. Wei attended medical school at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and then completed a comprehensive plastic surgery residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. As a resident she took a special interest in cancer reconstruction as well as cosmetic surgery. Wei went on to complete two fellowships: one in reconstructive microsurgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and the second in aesthetic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Wei looks forward to offering patients in southern Southeast Alaska a broad range of plastic surgery services including: cosmetic surgery of the face and body such as breast augmentation, breast lift, tummy tuck, arm/thigh lift, facelift, liposuction and more; skin cancer/Mohs reconstruction; removal of moles, lumps and bumps; scar revision; wound reconstruction; non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox and fillers. Most simple and moderately-complex reconstructive procedures will be performed at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center in Ketchikan. Complex procedures and high-risk patients will be cared for in Seattle. Wei begins seeing patients in Ketchikan Feb. 27 and 28. Resource Data Inc., a custom software development, geographic information system and IT consulting firm, has hired Aubrey Campbell as a business analyst and Shaun Wilson as a project manager/senior analyst in Anchorage. Campbell has more than five years of progressive experience in projects for IT, systems and business process improvement, including new implementation and upgrades. Campbell’s background is in marketing, healthcare administration, writing, and graphic design, and she has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa. Most recently, Campbell worked as an administration assistant for Municipal Light &Power, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in project management. Wilson has a bachelor’s of business administration in management information systems from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Previously Wilson worked at GeoNorth starting as a senior programmer and worked his way up to a project manager. Nancy Johnson was named general manager of KTUU Channel 2 and KYES Channel 5. Johnson is a veteran broadcaster who has been with KTUU Channel 2 since 1981 and has served as the station’s general sales manager since 2011. During her tenure, which saw Channel 2 News become Alaska’s most-watched news source, Johnson also managed programming and marketing. In 2015 Johnson was inducted into the Alaska Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the industry. Early in her career, Johnson worked in radio and studied journalism before finding her home in television. Johnson’s term as general manager will begin on March 1. She takes over from Northern Lights Media’s outgoing General Manager Andy MacLeod, who announced earlier this month that he will leave KTUU in March after more than 30 years to run a start-up content development business, Northern Lights Originals. MacLeod will serve as a consultant to KTUU to assist with the implementation of certain long-term initiatives that began under his leadership. Northern Lights Media parent company Gray Television also announced the appointment of Chris Fry as general manager of Fairbanks-based KTVF, KXD and KFXF, and DeeDee Caciari as station manager and general sales manager of those same Fairbanks stations. Alaska USA Federal Credit Union announced that Steve Larson has been promoted to the position of executive director, mortgage and real estate lending. He previously held the position of senior vice president, mortgage finance and servicing. Larson joined Alaska USA in 2012 with more than 16 years of accounting and business management experience. Prior to his time at Alaska USA, he served as vice president, controller and business manager of NORCON Inc.

Movers & Shakers for Jan. 29

Natalie Cale has joined the law firm Garvey Schubert Barer as an owner based in the firm’s Alaska office. Her primary areas of practice include real estate, business organization, commercial and employment law. Cale has more than 15 years of experience representing corporate clients involved in both litigation and non-litigation matters. Prior to joining Garvey Schubert Barer, Cale was an attorney with Turner and Mede based in Anchorage. She has also served as a Superior Court Law Clerk for the Alaska Court System and has worked in the Family Law Division of the Alaska Public Defender Agency. Cale received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and her juris doctor from John Marshall Law School. She is a member of the Alaska and Anchorage Bar Associations. Providence Alaska Medical Center has named Ella Goss, MSN, RN, as director for the Providence Cancer Center, responsible for the entire oncology service line. After serving as a nurse in rural Alaska, Goss joined Providence in 1997 as a staff nurse in the Emergency Department at Providence Alaska Medical Center and later as a flight nurse with LifeGuard Alaska. She has served as a clinical supervisor, assistant clinical manager and clinical manager in the Emergency Department, and staff nurse in the Intensive Care Unit. Most recently she was director of Medical Staff Services, Risk and Regulatory Programs. Goss has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Chamberlain College of Nursing, Ill. She also has certification as a professional in health care risk management and health care quality. Northrim Bank made several promotions in the Retail Banking Department and hired two new branch managers. Promotions in the Retail Banking Department include: Anita DeVore, AVP, regional sales and service manager; Cheryl Fellman, VP, regional sales and service operations manager; Erin Gage, AVP, retail banking operation manager; Tammy Kosa, VP, regional sales and development manager; Jill Milham, AVP, retail banking operations assistant manager; Gerlie Monta-Guevarra, AVP, branch manager II, Ketchikan Financial Center; Darci Ornellas, VP, regional sales and consumer lending manager; Diana Soliday, AVP, branch manager, Wasilla Financial Center. In addition to the promotions, Sarah Newhouse was hired as AVP, branch manager for the Sitka Financial Center. DeVore has been with Northrim Bank for nearly 20 years and has more than 32 years in banking, including 22 years in management. DeVore received the Northrim President’s Award in 2013. Fellman has more than 18 years of experience in banking and joined Northrim in 2014 as part of the merger with Alaska Pacific Bank. She has worked in banks in Massachusetts and Washington before moving to Juneau in 2000. Gage has nearly 20 years of experience in banking and has been with Northrim since 1999. She has worked at several branches throughout her time at the bank and has been in the Retail Banking department since 2008. Kosa joined Northrim Bank in 2004 and has 23 years of banking experience. She co-manages Northrim Investment Services operations and is involved in development and execution of Northrim’s bank-wide training program in addition to her duties as regional sales and development manager. She received the Northrim President’s Award in 2010. Milham has been at Northrim since 2010 and have been in banking in Alaska for 28 years. She was the assistant branch manager at Northrim’s Southside Financial Center before joining the Retail Banking Department in 2015. Monta-Guevarra joined Northrim in 2014 with the acquisition of Alaska Pacific Bank. She has more than 16 years of banking experience. Ornellas has been with Northrim Bank for nearly 20 years and has 37 years of experience in banking. She has held various positions at Northrim including financial sales manager, commercial cash management officer, branch admin support, and branch assistant operations manager. Soliday has more than 13 years of banking experience and has been with Northrim since 2006. She has been the assistant branch manager in Wasilla since 2011. Soliday is also a Northrim Investment Services investment advisor representative. Newhouse joined Northrim Bank after 11 years as a property and casualty insurance agent. First National Bank Alaska announced promotions at the company’s two Juneau branches. Hired as a teller in 1986, Anita Bishop is the new branch manager at the Valley Centre Branch. Bishop has worked as a teller, customer service representative and operations supervisor in the state’s capital city since arriving at FNBA. Lisa Loupe takes over as branch manager at the Juneau Regional Branch after moving over from Valley Centre, where she held the same position. She’s been with First National since 1992. Chugach Alaska Corp. appointed Tim “Hoops” Hopper as its new president of Chugach Government Solutions LLC, effective Jan. 1. Hopper is responsible for leading Chugach’s federal government contracting business line. Hopper has more than 40 years’ experience working for the government as an Air Force officer and as a government services contractor. He began his Chugach career as president of Chugach Industries Inc., which he grew from its infancy as an 8(a) company, to a large business entity. Hopper holds a bachelor’s degree from the United States Air Force Academy and earned his master’s degree in systems management from the University of Southern California.  

Movers & Shakers for Jan. 22

Lt. Col. Penny Bloedel has been named the new deputy commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Alaska District. She assumed duties Jan. 1, 2017. Bloedel manages the Alaska District’s resources, manpower and programs, annually executing military construction, civil works and environmental programs throughout Alaska. She also directs emergency operations during disaster contingencies. She was previously assigned to the 1st Infantry Division from 2011 to 2014 at Fort Riley, Kan. She deployed to Afghanistan from 2012 to 2013 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom; and to Iraq from 2008-09 and in 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She received a master’s degree in geography in 2016 from Kansas State University; a master’s degree in geology and geophysics in 2006 from Missouri University of Science and Technology; and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science in 2000 from the U.S. Military Academy, from where she also received her commission into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Holland & Hart announced today the addition of Kyle W. Parker and John C. Martin as partners, along with the opening of an office in Anchorage. The 500-lawyer firm has the largest environmental law practice in the country, according to Law360. Joining the firm, effective Jan. 17, are: Kyle Parker, John Martin, Tali Birch Kindred, Jon Katchen, Sarah Bordelon and Drue Pearce. Parker has spent his entire legal career in Alaska counseling clients in the energy and natural resource industries with regard to securing approval for and the implementation of major resource development and energy projects at the state and federal level, from project permitting to negotiating complex agreements. Martin is a Wyoming native who has practiced and worked in federal government agencies in Washington, D.C. His natural resources and environmental litigation practice focuses on complex, cutting edge Clean Water Act, wildlife, offshore oil and gas, and public lands issues on behalf of clients in extractive industries. Martin represents clients in administrative proceedings before the Interior Board of Land Appeals and the Environmental Protection Agency, and at all levels of court, including several U.S. Courts of Appeals. Birch Kindred focuses on environmental and natural resource permitting and litigation, natural resource project development, state and federal rulemakings, environmental compliance, and commercial litigation. Birch Kindred brings extensive industry and government experience having served as an Assistant District Attorney for the State of Alaska and in-house counsel at Shell Exploration & Production Inc. Katchen focuses on natural resources project development, defense of governmental and citizen enforcement actions, financing associated with Alaska’s oil and gas production tax credits, and complex commercial litigation. Katchen also counsels investors and resource development companies regarding economic development opportunities in Alaska. Bordelon focuses on environmental permits for major resource and development projects. Sarah also litigates environmental and natural resource matters, participates in proposed state and federal rulemakings, advises clients on environmental compliance and enforcement matters, and conducts environmental due diligence on conventional and renewable energy projects. Pearce joins the firm as a senior policy advisor. She provides strategic legislative and regulatory advice to a wide variety of natural resources, manufacturing, and energy clients as they navigate government relations, as well as legal and regulatory issues at the various state and federal agencies with jurisdiction over resource development projects. Pearce brings a wealth of experience on energy, environment, economic security, and natural resources issues in North America, and specifically in Alaska and Canada. Secretary of the U.S. Army Eric Fanning on Jan. 12 presented U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan with the Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service Award, which recognizes a member of Congress for their distinguished work in the accomplishment of the Army’s mission. The award reads in part that Sullivan’s “advocacy and steadfast support for increased end strength and resourcing was instrumental in ensuring the Army is best positioned to meet the challenges of the future. His exceptional contributions were integral to the Army receiving the necessary resources to support combat, sustain the all-volunteer force and improve the quality of life for Soldiers, Civilians and Families. He vigorously supported Army efforts and worked diligently to overcome the fiscal and political challenges inherent in supporting our national security priorities. His proven leadership, advice, and extraordinary insight into legislative matters produced a record of notable accomplishments that helped make the Army stronger and more resilient.”

Movers & Shakers for Jan. 15

Mallory Walser will assume the role of press secretary for the Alaska House Republicans caucus. During the past six years Walser has worked in television news, primarily as a reporter covering crime, court, resource development, and farming. Her career in broadcast began in Minnesota and brought her to Alaska. Originally from Northern California, Walser graduated from California State University Stanislaus with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and a minor in journalism. Walser will be replacing outgoing Press Secretary Jeremiah Campbell, who has been in the press office for six years. Rasmuson Foundation has elected a new member to its board of directors and has added two new employees to its team. Rebecca Brice Henderson brings her experience as a lifelong Alaskan, small business owner, and advocate for children to the Rasmuson board. Henderson was born at the old St. Joseph’s Hospital along the banks of the Chena River in Fairbanks. She grew up travelling across Alaska by small plane with her father, Al Brice, former owner of Brice Inc., a civil construction company. Henderson received a degree in social work from University of Alaska Fairbanks, and spent the first decade of her professional life working with at-risk children and families. She served as a board member for the Resource Center for Parents and Children and Fairbanks Counseling & Adoption. Lifelong Alaskan Kris Palmatier joined the Foundation staff as accounting manager in 2016. After graduating from West Anchorage High School, he co-founded a local dance studio, Underground Dance Company. Palmatier went on to work in a variety of financial functions with the State of Alaska, Cornerstone Construction Co., and Kimura and Associates. He received an associate’s degree in accounting and bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in finance and a concentration in nonprofit management from Alaska Pacific University. Courtney Brooke Smith was hired as the Foundation’s communications manager in 2016. Smith has more than 20 years of experience as a senior corporate management professional. She has held senior positions specializing in the small business market with Fortune 50 firms, including JPMorgan Chase, American Express and Goldman Sachs. She recently led the Marketing and Communications Department at the University of Alaska Anchorage-Matanuska-Susitna College campus. She also serves as an adjunct professor in the business department at the University. Brooke Smith earned an MBA in marketing from the Martin J. Whitman School of Business at Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in international political science from Wells College. She also received a development certificate in Corporate Community Relations from Boston College and a Management Development Certificate from Cornell University.   Alaska USA Federal Credit Union announced that President and CEO Bill Eckhardt will be retiring in May 2017 after a career spanning over 45 years. Executive Vice President Geoff Lundfelt has been selected to succeed Eckhardt. Eckhardt has been at the forefront of member service, progress and innovation at Alaska USA. He started his career at Alaska USA in 1971 as the Operations Manager — at a time when the credit union had only one facility located in the basement of a military building on Elmendorf Air Force Base, had $36 million in assets, 36 employees, and served 25,411 members. Promoted to president/CEO in 1979, Eckhardt has since overseen exponential growth and expansion at Alaska USA. Today, the credit union has over $6.6 billion in assets, over 100 branches and service facilities in four states, nearly 2,000 employees, and serves over 600,000 members. Lundfelt, began his career at Alaska USA nearly 20 years ago, as a part-time teller before working his way up through branch administration. Lundfelt joined the executive staff at the credit union in 2006.   Dr. Nathan Christensen, MD, has joined PeaceHealth Medical Group in Ketchikan as a visiting ear, nose and throat specialist. He is an experienced otolaryngologists who works fulltime for PeaceHealth at a clinic in Eugene, Ore., and will now begin visiting Ketchikan regularly to provide specialized care for patients with issues such as hearing loss, chronic sinusitis, and tumors. Christensen attended medical school at Oregon Health & Science University and then went on to the University of Rochester where he completed his internship in general surgery and his residency in otolaryngology. Christensen first joined PeaceHealth in 2013 after serving for four years in the U.S. Air Force. Christensen looks forward to providing patients in southern Southeast Alaska with a full spectrum of ear, nose and throat procedures including minimally invasive treatments of sinus disease as well as throat and neck cancer, right here in Ketchikan. His training also prepares him to help with facial traumas and deformities, speech problems involving the larynx, salivary gland conditions, surgical treatment of snoring, and pediatric ENT conditions. Christensen has a special interest in caring for people with thyroid and parathyroid disorders. Christensen begins seeing patients in Ketchikan on Jan. 23. Rep. Les Gara, D-Anchorage, has been awarded a 2017 Casey Excellence for Children Award from Casey Family Programs for his contributions to help improve the lives of foster youth in Alaska.  The national award was announced during a special reception Jan. 9 in Seattle. Casey Family Programs is the nation’s largest operating foundation focused on safely reducing the need for foster care and building Communities of Hope for children and families across the nation. Gara grew up in foster care and is a leading advocate for foster youth and foster care alumni in Alaska. Rhonda Pitka was appointed to the public member seat on the Federal Subsistence Board.  Pitka currently serves on the federal subsistence program’s Eastern Interior Regional Advisory Committee. She is the First Chief of the Beaver Village Council, a federally recognized tribe, and serves on the Yukon River Panel which makes recommendations to the governments of Canada and the United States on fisheries management along the river.  In addition, she is the past chair of the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments, a tribal service provider to 10 villages in the Yukon Flats Region.

Movers & Shakers for Jan. 8

Lt. Col. Benjamin Doyle assumed command of the 168th Operations Support Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard, on Dec. 28. Doyle assumed command of the squadron after serving in several different roles within the operations group and within the 168th Wing. The operations support squadron encompasses aircrew flight equipment, intelligence, airfield management, host aviation resource management, boom operators, pilots, crew communication, scheduling, and administration support. The operations support squadron is part of the operations group, which is responsible for providing early warning of ballistic missile attack against the United States and Canada, as well as the tracking of space objects in low earth orbit for Air Force Space Command and for North American Aerospace Defense Command air sovereignty alert. Additionally, the Interior-Alaska Air Guard unit is responsible for short-notice worldwide contingency operations, supporting global refueling, and airlift taskings throughout the Pacific theater. Judge David Mannheimer was reappointed as Chief Judge of the Alaska Court of Appeals for a two-year term, from Jan. 1, 2017 through December 31, 2018. Mannheimer has served on the Court of Appeals since 1990. He has served as the chief judge of the court since 2013. Prior to his appointment to the Court of Appeals, Judge Mannheimer served as an assistant district attorney in Fairbanks from 1974-76, as an assistant attorney general in Fairbanks from 1976-78, and as an appellate attorney in the Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals (in Anchorage) from 1978-90. He was the chief of that office from 1985 until his appointment to the bench.

Movers & Shakers for Jan. 1

McCool Carlson Green announced Evelyn Rousso, AIA, LEED AP, as the newest member of the design team. Rousso has nearly 30 years of professional architecture experience including a decade of serving as Principal at Northwind Architects in Juneau. She’s also an active member of the American Institute of Architects and has co-chaired two AIA Alaska conferences. The Tatitlek Corp. promoted Dean Clowers to the role of president following the resignation of Martin Hanofee, effective as of Jan. 10. Clowers has more than 25 years of industry experience with the company and other Alaska Native corporations, specializing in government services and construction operations. Prior to joining The Tatitlek Corp. in 2015, Clowers served as Afognak Native Corp. and Alutiiq LLC’s executive vice president. Prior to joining Afognak in 2005, Dean was the senior vice president of operations for Chugach Alaska Corp. Hanofee is leaving the company to take a position in the Washington, D.C., area. He will continue with company through mid-January to ensure a smooth transition. U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan announced that Chere Klein has been hired as their Ketchikan delegation representative. Klein will serve constituents in Ketchikan and other communities in the Southern Southeast region by helping them with specific concerns and problems with federal agencies and offices. Klein replaces Penny Pederson, who served in that role for two years. Klein is a lifelong Alaskan, with deep ties to the communities of Ketchikan, Metlakatla, Wrangell, and throughout Prince of Wales, and as well as experience working across Southeast Alaska. Previously, she served as primary legislative resources aide and constituent liaison for Alaska Rep. Peggy Wilson. The Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Alaska Humanities Forum announced that Juneau memoirist and poet Ernestine Hayes was selected to be the 2016-18 Alaska State Writer Laureate. Among other well-known works, Hayes wrote “Blonde Indian, An Alaska Native Memoir,” the personal story of returning to her Tlingit home. She was born to the Tlingit Kaagwaantaan clan in Juneau at the end of World War II, moved to California at the age of 15, then returned to Alaska 25 years later. Published in 2006, “Blonde Indian” received an American Book Award and an Honoring Alaska Indigenous Literature award, was named a Native America Calling Book of the Month, and was a finalist for the 2007 Kiriyama Prize and the 2007 PEN Non-fiction Award. It was also selected as the first book for Alaska Reads in 2016 – a project initiated by the current State Writer Laureate, Frank Soos, who developed a statewide series of readings connecting Alaskans through the work of a living Alaskan writer. In 2015 Hayes received the Rasmuson Foundation’s Artist in Residence award to attend the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in California, which enabled her to complete her most recent work, “The Tao of Raven, an Alaska Native Memoir.” In this memoir released this fall by the University of Washington Press, Hayes reflects on the prejudices sill facing Alaska Natives in their own land and recounts her story of attending and completing college in her fifties and becoming a professor and writer. Four presiding judges were recently appointed: Superior Court Judge Trevor N. Stephens for the First Judicial District; Superior Court Judge Paul A. Roetman for the Second Judicial District; Superior Court Judge William F. Morse for the Third Judicial District; and Superior Court Judge Michael A. MacDonald for the Fourth Judicial District. The chief justice of the Alaska Supreme Court appoints a presiding judge for each of the four judicial districts. The appointments are for a one-year term and cover a calendar year period, and incumbents are eligible for reappointment. Judge Stephens was appointed to the superior court in Ketchikan in 2000. Prior to his appointment Judge Stephens worked in private practice, as an assistant public defender, and as an assistant district attorney and district attorney. He received both his undergraduate and law degree from Willamette University College of Law. Judge Roetman was appointed to the superior court in Kotzebue in 2010. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Alaska Anchorage and he received his law degree from Regent University School of Law. Judge Roetman has lived in Alaska over 40 years and was raised in Valdez. Judge Morse was appointed to the superior court in Anchorage in 2002. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and his law degree from Lewis and Clark. He worked as an assistant public defender, assistant attorney general, and associate general counsel for the IBEW Local 1547. Judge MacDonald received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College in 1978 and his law degree from University of New Mexico in 1988. He was in private practice in Fairbanks from 1988 until his appointment to the Superior Court in 2007. Six Alaska nonprofit leaders will take part in the 2017 Rasmuson Foundation Sabbatical Program. They are: Stephanie Berglund, thread (Anchorage), has worked for 20 years in the nonprofit sector. With her sabbatical, Berglund plans to road-trip to national and state parks and visit Hawaii with family. Jason Hodges, Anchorage Concert Association, has 23 years in the nonprofit sector. Hodges will spend time in New York City, road-trip through the Lower 48 to check out national parks, and travel around Alaska. During these travels he will fly fish and visit family. Alison Kear, Covenant House (Anchorage), has worked at the nonprofit for more than 20 years. Kear will travel to Greece and spend time with family in the Lower 48. Gerda Kosbruk, Native Village of Port Heiden (Port Heiden), has 23 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector. Kosbruk plans to visit family in Hawaii and Las Vegas and travel to Venice, Italy. Jillian Lush, Sprout Family Services (Homer), has spent over sixteen years in the nonprofit sector. Lush will make her first trip to Europe with a month-long walk on the Camino de Santiago, which is an ancient pilgrimage across northern Spain. She will also spend time with family in the United States. Susan Ohmer, Petersburg Mental Health Services (Petersburg), is the longest-tenured Mental Health Services director in Alaska and has over 23 years in the field. Ohmer will take several months to do a road-trip with her husband. Their trip will include national parks, camping, museums, and reconnecting with friends and family.

Movers and Shakers for Dec. 25

Paul Yang is the new President/CEO of Credit Union 1. Yang most recently served as CEO of University Credit Union in Los Angeles. Yang brings more than 16 years of experience to his new position as president/CEO of Credit Union 1. Prior to serving in Los Angeles, Yang held the position of CEO at Premier Community Credit Union and EVP at Partner Colorado Credit Union. He has also served as AVP of Information Technology at another credit union. Yang holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from UCLA and an MBA from Regis University with an emphasis in finance and accounting, as well as other professional certifications. The Alaska Democratic Party announced Jay Parmley as the party’s new executive director effective Feb. 1, 2017. Parmley brings more than a decade of experience working with state party organizations. He served as chair and executive director of the Oklahoma Democratic Party from 2001-05, and executive director of the South Carolina and North Carolina Democratic parties. He led the Democratic National Committee’s efforts for two years on the ground with the Mississippi Democratic Party at the inception of the national committee’s 50-state strategy. During the 2016 election cycle, he directed the Alaska Democratic Party’s coordinated campaign working with legislative candidates and campaigns. Previously he served as director of a political action committee focused on building the Democratic bench in the South. He got his start in Democratic politics in the 1990s through active participation in the Young Democrats eventually serving as president of the Young Democrats of America. Parmley holds a master of public administration and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma as well as an associates of arts in business administration from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. Parmley will replace Kay Brown, who has been serving as the party’s executive director since 2011. Resource Data Inc., a custom software development, geographic information system and IT consulting firm, announced three personnel moves. Heather Koyuk was rehired as a programmer/analyst to the Juneau branch. Koyuk just moved back to Juneau from Washington to be closer to family. Heather has more than eight years of experience working as a software engineer/programmer and she previously worked in both the Anchorage and Juneau offices of RDI after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Alaska. RDI hired Conor McCutcheon as a senior systems engineer to the Anchorage branch. McCutcheon has a major in chemistry and a minor in computer science from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. McCutcheon is originally from Anchorage and just returned from the Lower 48 with his family. Most recently McCutcheon worked as a senior network engineer at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. RDI also hired Trevor Evans as a programmer/analyst to the Anchorage branch. Evans most recently worked for GeoNorth in many capacities over the past nine years, most recently as a project manager. Evans has his bachelor’s degree in computer science with a math minor from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Evans has worked on various websites and other project work for companies all around Alaska and specializes in the use of open source technologies (PHP, Ruby on Rails), Adobe ColdFusion, and content management systems such as Drupal. Evans is currently adding .NET/C# to his skillset.  

Movers and Shakers for Dec. 18

Jim Jeffords Jr. assumed responsibility as chief of the Engineering, Construction and Operations Division for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Alaska District in August. In his new position, Jeffords oversees the organization’s engineering, construction and operations activities across Alaska and the Pacific Rim. He also serves on the district’s corporate board and is a member of the Corps’ Pacific Ocean Division Regional Management Board. Jeffords has served with the Corps for about 27 years. He was formerly the chief of the Operations Division for the Corps’ Jacksonville District in Jacksonville, Fla. He also served as staff supervisor for the district’s operations and maintenance program, which included water control and management; recreation; invasive species management; hydrographic surveys; government plant and hired labor; and operation and maintenance of government facilities, including locks and dams, recreation sites, flood control structures, maintenance dredging, snagging work and wreck removal. He began his career with the Corps’ Vicksburg District in Vicksburg, Miss., where he served as chief of the River Operations Branch, Operations Division. Jeffords is a native of Greenwood, Miss., and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1988 from Mississippi State University. Dr. Julie Conyers, MD, has joined PeaceHealth Medical Group-General Surgery at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center in Ketchikan. A general surgeon with more than 20 years of experience, her practice encompasses a wide range of procedures but she has particular expertise in advanced laparoscopic procedures for breast cancer surgery. Conyers most recently served as vice chief of staff for Tahoe Forest Multispecialty Clinic in Truckee, Calif. She was also in private practice in California, Idaho, and Colorado, and was chief of surgery at Saint Luke’s McCall Hospital in McCall, Idaho. Conyers received her undergraduate degree from Colorado State University in Fort Collins and her medical degree from the University of Colorado, School of Medicine in Denver. She also completed her residency in Denver at Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital where she was named Most Outstanding Intern. In addition to her medical training, Dr. Conyers has also received a physician executive MBA in healthcare, having completed her MBA with honors at the University of Tennessee. U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski announced several changes within her Washington, D.C., and Anchorage offices, including the retirement of long-time office manager Debbie Kapanoske, who is retiring from the U.S. Senate after 38 years of service. She worked as office manager in Murkowski’s office for 14 years. She previously worked in Sen. Frank Murkowski’s office, from 1993-2002, serving as the correspondence director and office manager. Kapanoske got her start on Capitol Hill working at the Library of Congress as an editorial assistant in 1973 where she worked until making the move to work as a data processor in the U.S. Senate and then later worked as a correspondence director in Sen. Bob Kasten’s office from 1981-93. Murkowski also announced that Angelina Burney will be transitioning from state scheduler in the Anchorage office to the role of office manager in the Washington, D.C., office. Murkowski also welcomed the new hire of Kennis Brady, who is taking over as state scheduler in Anchorage. Burney began working for Murkowski in January 2013 as the state scheduler and administration manager. Previously she had public service jobs in the State of Alaska in the Governor’s Office, Department of Commerce, and Alaska State Legislature. She has lived in Alaska for 21 years in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau. Burney was recognized as a “Top Forty Under 40” in 2002 by the Alaska Journal of Commerce and is the co-founder of the Hispanic Affairs Council of Alaska. Brady, a life-long Alaskan, has a masters in public administration from University of Alaska Anchorage with an emphasis in healthcare. Brady concurrently serves as the Council Director for Girls on the Run Southcentral, and on the board of Team Alaska for the Arctic Winter Games. AECOM announced that it has made a leadership change within its Alaska operations by appointing Laura Young as operations manager, effective immediately. In this new role, Young will oversee AECOM’s operational team in Alaska, focusing on maximizing assets to complete current projects and developing new business opportunities. Young will also continue to oversee the engineering and technical services practice groups, while serving as the federal business development lead for Alaska as well. Young has been with AECOM since 1995. Alaska Travel Adventures Inc. announced that President and Chief Financial Officer Kelli Grummett has parted from the company to expand her real estate company, K Properties LLC. Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Meier has been appointed to succeed Grummett as president and CFO. Meier is a 23-year veteran of ATA; he has served as vice president and COO since March 2009.  

See who is making their move....

Lots going on this week. Here's a who's who of the movers and shakers in Alaska, for the week ending Dec. 10. Gov. Bill Walker made seven appointments to the Alaska Tourism Marketing Board. The seven newly appointed and re-appointed ATMB members include: Bernie Karl, Chena Hot Springs Resort (newly appointed); Bonnie Quill, Mat-Su Convention & Visitors Bureau (newly appointed); Colleen Stephens, Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises (re-appointed); James Minton, Visit Anchorage (re-appointed); Kori Goertz, Premier Alaska Tours (newly appointed, filling a vacant seat with one-year left on term); Linda Springmann, Holland America Line (newly appointed); Ruth Rosewarne Kimerer, RK Consulting (newly appointed). James Harris has been named Alaska Teacher of the Year for 2017, Alaska Education Commissioner Dr. Michael Johnson announced Dec. 6 at a ceremony in Soldotna. The Alaska Teacher of the Year may be called upon to speak at education conferences and participate in various statewide education working groups, and is a member of Commissioner Johnson’s teacher advisory group. The Alaska Teacher of the Year is the state’s nominee for national Teacher of the Year. Harris, a 12-year professional, has taught English at Soldotna High School for seven years. A published writer, editor, and college educator, he chairs the English department and professional development at his school, and coaches youth hockey. Stephanie Cronin has been named Alternate Alaska Teacher of the Year for 2017. She will serve as Alaska Teacher of the Year if Harris is named national Teacher of the Year. Cronin has taught mathematics and engineering at Seward High School for 17 of her 19 years in the profession. Alaska USA Federal Credit Union announced that Rochelle Marshall has been selected for the position of senior vice president, marketing. Marshall has more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience, with the last 11 years leading the Business Marketing department at GCI The University of Alaska Fairbanks has announced recipients of the 2016 Emil Usibelli Distinguished Teaching, Research and Service Awards. Mary Ehrlander, professor of history and director of the Arctic and northern studies program, received the teaching award; David Newman, professor of physics, received the research award; and Laura Conner, research assistant professor of science education, received the service award. All three were honored at a reception Dec. 5. Ehrlander, recipient of the teaching award, began her college career when she already had children of her own, an experience that shapes her now as a professor. Ehrlander received her bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in northern studies from UAF, and went on to earn a master’s degree and a doctorate in government from the University of Virginia. The research award is the second Usibelli Award for Newman, who won for teaching in 2015. Newman joined the UAF faculty in 1998 after working for five years as a Wigner Fellow and then research scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Newman’s research has made significant contributions to several questions in physics, including plasmas, fusion and chaos theory. Newman has a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh and a doctorate in physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Conner won the service award for her work to encourage all age groups — but particularly middle-school girls — to learn about science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics, or STEAM. In addition to many outreach activities, she directs the Changing Alaska Science Education program with the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, through which educators learn how to teach STEAM. Conner has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Colorado Boulder, two master’s degrees from Montana State University and the University of Washington, and a doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona. RIM Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Dave McVeigh, AIA NCARB, was promoted to president. In McVeigh’s new role he will work in tandem with the executive team to implement RIM’s strategic plan and guide growth through a primary focus on business development. This year marks a significant career milestone for McVeigh as he also celebrates 30 years with the firm. Over the past 30 years, McVeigh has contributed significantly to the growth of RIM’s footprint, providing leadership to design staff, taking initiative to manage multiple office locations from the ground up, and establishing long-term relationships. The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium welcomed three new providers to the Ethel Lund Medical Center. Dr. Kathy Wollner, M.D., Dr. Vanessa Herring, D.O., and Alyssa Condon, P.A.-C each recently joined the staff at the Consortium’s Juneau primary care clinic. Wollner received her bachelor’s degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C, graduating magna cum laude. She earned her medical degree at Rush Medical College in Chicago where she graduated with honors. Wollner did her Family Medicine Residency at Swedish Medical Center’s Cherry Hill campus in Seattle. A doctor of osteopathic medicine, Herring received a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Agnes Scott College in Georgia. She then earned her doctor of osteopathy from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Florida and did her residency at the Central Washington Family Residency Program in Yakima, Wash. Condon, a physician assistant, comes to SEARHC after spending several years working for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. in Bethel. She graduated from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, with a bachelor’s degree and earned her master’s of physician assistant studies from A.T. Still University–Arizona School of Health Sciences in Mesa. The following were elected to serve as the executive board of directors for the Associated General Contractors of Alaska at its annual general member and board of directors meeting held at the Captain Cook Hotel on Nov. 12: Dan Hall, Knik Construction Co., Inc., president; Jim St. George, STG Inc., vice president; Cuauhtemoc “Rod” Rodriguez, Coldfoot Environmental Services, Inc., secretary; Chris Reilly, Rain Proof Roofing, treasurer; Sarah Lefebvre, Exclusive Paving, contractor at large; Dana Pruhs, Pruhs Corp., immediate past president.

Meet the first B Corps in the state

A good day’s work is about more than simply turning a profit for a couple Alaskan small business owners. Arctic Solar Ventures in Anchorage and Cordova’s Alaska Glacial Mud Co. are the first Alaska businesses to be certified as Benefit Corporations — B Corps for short. The B Corp certification is often described as “Fair Trade coffee, but for everything else.” It obligates business leaders to not only focus on running a financially successful company, but also have demonstrable social and environmental benefits. Arctic Solar Ventures founder Stephen Trimble said the decision to become a B Corp was an easy one for his company’s small team of three lifelong Alaskans. “You actually modify your bylaws to say you don’t just have a fiduciary responsibility to your stakeholders, but also to your community, the place you live,” Trimble said. “For us, it’s like, of course that makes sense. We should all think like that.” Opened in March 2015, Arctic Solar Ventures is a one-stop-shop for anyone interested in turning the Midnight Sun into electricity. It received its B Corp certification in June. Lauren Padawer started Alaska Glacial Mud in 2006 after quickly falling in love with the salmon-centric lifestyle in Cordova. She harvests the mineral-rich glacial sediments that wash downriver and form the tide mud that is the Copper River Delta for use as skin care products. Her products have been featured in numerous women’s magazines and Padawer pitched Alaska Glacial Mud to investors in a January 2014 episode of ABC’s Shark Tank. She decided to get her company certified in 2014 because it already met many of the B Corp principles. “My business was born more out of a desire to be a philanthropist than it was to be — I wanted to have a business that could work as an economic driver and give back to the organizations that I’d be otherwise working for if my time weren’t spent running a business,” Padawer said. Those organizations are ones that work to protect and enhance the Copper River watershed. Alaska Glacial Mud donates 10 percent of its profits to groups like the Prince William Sound Science Center, the Eyak Preservation Council and the Copper River Watershed Project. “Part of our brand having integrity is supporting the place that provides abundant resources,” she said. “Our raw material comes from the Copper River.” When not harvesting mud, Padawer joins in the more popular Copper River harvest. She commercial salmon fishes in Prince William Sound from her boat, the F/V Canvasback, each summer. B Lab, the Philadelphia-area nonprofit behind the B Corp label, was founded in 2006 by Andrew Kassoy, a private equity investor, Jay Coen Gilbert and Bart Houlahan. Coen Gilbert and Houlahan founded and led AND1, a basketball shoe and clothing company before turning to B Lab. Over the past 10 years, more than 1,600 businesses — Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Patagonia Inc. clothing and King Arthur Flour to name a few — in 42 countries from 120 industries have been certified as B Corps, according to B Lab. Padawer described the certification process as “very rigorous and detailed,” noting that the assessment not only delves into business practices but also product sourcing, packaging, energy consumption and sourcing, even the practices of suppliers. Trimble said the certification doesn’t provide any financial advantages, but “it’s just another tool for businesses to try to differentiate themselves and align their mission with what they do.” It does, however, offer entry into a diverse business network that has its own benefits. Arctic Solar Ventures has been able to reach out to other certified solar panel companies with technical questions. Additionally, Trimble said he believes it will be a growing marketing opportunity as B Corp status continues to gain recognition. Thirty-one states have also passed legislation establishing a B Corp tax designation. Alaska is not one of them, yet. Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, submitted a bill in 2015 to set up an Alaska B Corp tax designation that would not provide tax breaks, but give business leaders more flexibility to meet non-traditional corporate goals. “Corporate law generally requires a corporation to consider the financial impact to their shareholders as the top priority when making decisions. Under the benefit corporation structure, owners and boards have the freedom to take actions which positively impact their communities without fear of violating a fiduciary duty,” the House Bill 49 sponsor statement reads. Trimble said he has been working with Seaton’s office on new legislation for the upcoming legislative session. Padawer hopes her work can inspire other business owners, who hold a significant vehicle for good, to use their companies to give back to their communities and the environment. “It’s important for us as we protect people’s skin that we also — it really sounds cheesy, but protect the earth’s skin too,” she said. “We don’t really have a lot of integrity if we’re not working outside of our business to do good work in the world.” Elwood Brehmer can be reached at [email protected]

Kickstarter for functional and fun fashion

FisheWear has a vision to change women’s outdoor wear forever. Founder Linda Leary, who has a long career in logistics, sales and executive leadership in the state, turned her attention to her lifelong passion — fly fishing — when she started the business last year. Today the apparel company offers products that are designed to be comfortable and colorful, functional and fashionable. But FisheWear — pronounced “fishy wear” with an emphasis on “she” — would like to offer more. So a Kickstarter launch party was held Oct. 4 at the Double Shovel Cider Company in Anchorage to raise money for a new wool collection, including tops, tubes and skirted leggings as well as a “Troutrageous” design inspired by rainbow trout. The fundraising event, which runs through Nov. 3, raised $7,000 towards its $50,000 goal in the first two days alone. To kick off the campaign, patrons packed into the Double Shovel, sampling hand-crafted, hard ciders from long rows of tables. Bear Mace Bites served sweet potato fries and spicy sandwiches from its food truck outside. “I love that it’s all local,” said one attendee, Cari Leyva, a former Miss Alaska and now a photographer and makeup artist. She was referring to the group of women — passionate about fishing and style — who came together to conceptualize the product line. Leary’s biggest fan, however, is perhaps her husband of 32 years, Michael Leary. An avid fisherman since the day he was born, he and his spouse have been fishing together through their entire marriage. While he never had trouble finding suitable clothing, for his wife, he said, it was a labor of love to find gear that would both fit and work in the cold, wet weather.  Waders were especially hard to come by. “You want it to be thin, you want it to be able to move. It’s not like you’re going out on a snowmachine and sitting, you have to physically be able to move,” he said. Michael Leary knows a thing or two about snowmachines, having raced in the Iron Dog, using duct tape on his face to prevent frostbite. Furthermore, the classic idea of “pink it and shrink it” just doesn’t cut it, he said, explaining that it’s not designed for function and fashion and makes little sense for an active woman. It’s just putting pink trim on what is normally made for a man, reducing the waist size, and calling it “girl gear.” Valerie Walsh, who promotes FisheWear through social media, noted that gear for women has always been available, but products are often plain and dull and look terrible after many uses. “It’s just nice to have fun,” she said, enthused about the creative patterns and quality materials that FisheWear takes time to choose. And the entire product line is not just for fishing. Walsh has seen women wearing FisheWear in everyday situations around town, including most recently, both a bartender and a patron who were each dressed completely in the company’s clothes. She also hears similar stories from customers who come in to the showroom on West 41st Avenue in Anchorage. Meanwhile, Linda Leary, who is the president of Fairweather LLC and the Deadhorse Aviation Center, not only wants functional fashion but encourages more networking opportunities for female executives. Fishing can be exactly one of those opportunities. “Just like golfing or attending a sporting event, you get time away from the office to get to know people on a more personal level. Always a good thing!” she said. Stephanie Prokop can be reached at [email protected]

New pharmacy offers unique services in Homer

Scotts Family Pharmacy makes its debut in Homer with its soft opening on Thursday, Oct. 6, and plans to offer services currently unavailable elsewhere. “(Nathan Scott) had an idea he wanted to bring to Homer,” said Gina Scott, Nathan’s wife and business partner. “Customer service is very important and he sees there is a big need for it.” The pharmacy is located at 4014 Lake St. in suite 101 of what long-time Homer residents call the old blue bank building on the corner of East End Road and Lake Street. A banner advertising the pharmacy sits at the corner, though customers can only enter the pharmacy from the doors facing the building’s parking lot. In addition to filling prescriptions, Scotts Family Pharmacy offers medication management counseling sessions for people taking multiple medications. Those sessions are held in a private room in the pharmacy. The goal is to check for duplicate prescriptions, medications that might interact in a harmful way and also discuss strategies for healthfulness outside of the realm of prescriptions. “We’re big on the holistic approach of medicine. I don’t think that medications are always the choice for people. I think that lifestyle changes and incorporating a lot of different things to keep people healthy and make people healthy is the real answer,” Nathan said. “I think natural products are good and I don’t believe they’re the whole answer, but I think there’s a place for those as well as for prescription medications and lifestyle choices like eating healthy. So we’ll be providing different nutritional products to help with that as well.” As of their soft opening on Wednesday, Scotts Family Pharmacy has much more to add. The Scotts expect to hold a grand opening, potentially in November. Currently, they offer prescription services, including the medication counseling. Their up-to-date computer system allows customers to schedule auto-refills for prescriptions they fill on a regular basis and receive updates via phone call or text message. The system also can help simplify the lives of those who have multiple medications that they pick up at varying times of the month, requiring them to take multiple trips to the pharmacy because insurance only allows refills after a certain time period. Scotts Family Pharmacy’s system can schedule medication pickups in a way that over time condenses the pickup dates into one date. The pharmacy also will have Naloxone, the opiate overdose prevention medication commonly known as Narcan, available by prescription, Nathan said. A crash cart for pharmacy use in the case of a medical emergency also will have naloxone in the injection, oral and nasal forms in case an overdose occurs in the pharmacy. Preparing for an opioid-related emergency is important, as opioid use is rampant in the Homer community, Nathan said. Within the next month, Scotts Family Pharmacy will add a drive-through window, an immunization clinic offering flu shots and a selection of retail products. Flu shots will be given in a private room, instead of just behind a curtain out in the open area of the pharmacy. The Scotts hope to have the retail area and drive-through set up soon, but a few bumps in the road, including back-ordered shelving that needs to be barged up and an extra thick wall left over from the former bank’s safe where the drive-through window was meant to go, have delayed their plans. Soon, however, customers will be able to pick up prescriptions without leaving their car — a first for Homer. As the pharmacy grows, Nathan plans to do compounding — the process of using raw ingredients to make medications at different doses for individual customers, a process often used for hormonal treatments since each person’s dose varies, Nathan said. For example, a woman with a prescription for an estrogen cream would go to the pharmacy, and the pharmacy would make that cream at the specified dosage for her individualized needs. In addition to first aid items and over-the-counter medications, the Scotts will carry vitamins, supplements, essential oils, probiotics — both the refrigerated and room temperature varieties — and medical devices such as crutches, walkers and splints. Gina also wants to have an area for Homer-made products, from lotions and soaps to décor and souvenirs. The Scotts moved to Homer from Utah about a year and a half ago, and might be faces already familiar to many community members. Nathan worked in Safeway’s pharmacy and Gina worked at Alaska USA Federal Credit Union. The couple brought two of their three children, who attend Homer Middle School and Homer High School, with them. Their oldest lives and travels abroad. The Scotts dreamed of living in Alaska and, after spending a short time in the Anchorage area, they were drawn to Homer’s small town atmosphere and natural beauty. They plan to stick around, as evidenced by the opening of their new business, Gina said. Nathan received his doctorate of pharmacy from the University of Southern Nevada and has worked in both retail and clinical settings. The majority of his experience comes from working at a hospital between 2008 and 2015, where he gained experience in anti-coagulation monitoring for patients with medications that affect blood clotting, as well as emergency medication and antibiotic infusions. “It’s important that people receive the right medication for the bacteria they have,” Nathan said of antibiotics. “Too often it gets done wrong because people don’t have the right experience.” The pharmacy’s two other technicians are Krista Glanville and her mother-in-law Diane Glanville, who collectively bring more than 15 years of experience to Scotts Family Pharmacy. Gina is also trained as a technician, but will focus mostly on the business side of the operation. “Gina’s really good at creating an atmosphere that’s pleasing and comfortable,” Nathan said. “When people come to a pharmacy, they often don’t feel good. Coming into a pharmacy after a doctor’s appointment needs to be a continuation of care. A doctor isn’t gong to treat them like they are in the way, but often that happens in a pharmacy. We want to be here to help you feel better.” For more information or to reach Scotts Family Pharmacy, visit the Scotts Family pharmacy Facebook page at, or call 907-226-2580. Anna Frost can be reached at [email protected]

Better Business Bureau Recognizes Whitfield Benefit Solutions of Anchorage

Whitfield Benefit Solutions of Anchorage is the Alaska winner of the 2016 Better Business Bureau  Torch Awards for Ethics. The five companies named from the Pacific Northwest region were chosen for “meeting BBB’s Standards of Trust and for their dedication to honoring their employees, clients and the community.” Pamela Whitfield, president and owner, as well as district general agent of Colonial Life, was originally based in the Puget Sound area until 2012. That’s when she won a bid for the Kenai Peninsula Borough. As it turned out, this now 56-year-old was a trapper and fishermen in Kodiak, and used to fish for halibut in Homer decades ago. So when she won the bid to replace Kenai’s benefits carrier at the time, Whitfield felt like she was coming home. She immediately fell back in love with Alaska and its people, the salt of the earth, good, kind working folks. Upon realizing there was an underserved market, with only one carrier for 25 years, she decided to move her agency here. Concentrating on growing the Anchorage office, Whitfield Benefit Solutions now has more than 150 accounts across the state. (Another 150 accounts remain in Washington.) She took a colleague’s advice, to “do what you say you are going to do,” and in 2015, sales doubled from 2014, partly due to securing a key Native corporation client and other businesses. “What creates success? Is it about doing the right thing in the right way every day? I really think that is the case,” she said. Although Whitfield Benefit Solutions does not sell medical, dental or vision, the rising costs of healthcare affects the need for her company’s portfolio of voluntary benefits, making them even more timely. In Alaska, there are tons of out of pocket costs, and unforeseen medical expenses are one of the biggest reasons for bankruptcy, she said. “If you have injury or illness, there is travel cost,” she explained, noting how difficult it is for rural residents to see specialists. The array of products offered, from accident to cancer insurance, are therefore designed to “lessen financial risk for really pennies a day,” she said. Working only through businesses and brokers, Whitfield Benefits Solutions adheres to a high standard of ethics across the board, the main reason the company was recognized by the BBB. Sales reps are required to present options only in informational ways, for example, and never misrepresent what is being offered. After all, the local marketplace does not appreciate pushy salespeople, overselling and heavy sales tactics, Whitfield said. “For Alaska it has to be simple, personal, and modern,” she said. With the fourth quarter approaching, Whitfield Benefits Solutions is gearing up for its busy season, when 50 percent of business takes place. Whitfield is very encouraged going in to 2017, as her agency is talking with significant large public and private sector clients, continuing to build on tech solutions for enrollment options, all while recruiting top talent and getting more involved in the community. “We really enjoy what we do and feel blessed to make a difference in people’s lives,” she said. “And it doesn’t hurt to live in such a gorgeous place.” 

Coulter talks campaign, crisis and Comedy Central at Anchorage event

Ann Coulter, a best-selling author and potential powder keg, depending on which side of the political aisle one sits on, had an entire audience on their feet when she spoke Sept. 17 at the Egan Center in Downtown Anchorage. Comedian Glenner Anderson flew down from Fairbanks to warm up the crowd with homegrown humor, and received an equally enthusiastic response. Sen. Lesil McGuire, who hosted the evening, suggested that Anderson should run the next Comedy Central roast, as the highly publicized Rob Lowe episode that aired recently - in which Coulter was a guest roaster - was a “despicable disgrace.” After a brief speech by Alaska Trump Campaign Chair Jim Crawford, Coulter took the stage and dove into a variety of topics from current events to the firebrand presidential election and the likelihood that the United States is toast should Donald Trump lose to Hillary Clinton this November. Regarding Trump and Clinton Before June 2015, Coulter did not know anything about Trump, and once the campaign progressed, wondered, “Why couldn’t it be someone elegant and well spoken, like Mitt Romney? But as soon as that thought enters your head, you realize, that is a creature that does not exist in nature. Romney could not have survived 30 seconds of the abuse…I can’t believe the attacks Trump has come under.” Trump, who does say “stupid things” at times, does not fall into identity politics, shoots from the hip and speaks to the entire working class, she said. He is “the only hope we had in a long time,” and wants to put America first, “whereas our betters in Washington want to put our country in the Top 10, maybe the Top 20.” On the other hand, if Clinton wins, she said, there will be nine Ruth Bader Ginsbergs on the Supreme Court and tens of millions of illegal immigrants will be granted amnesty changing the political landscape forever. Liberals, however, will probably start loving America because it’s not America anymore, she said. Regarding Immigration While taking a trolley tour during her time here in Anchorage, Coulter was somewhat shocked to learn that 94 different languages are spoken in local schools. “I would say 20 years ago, even Democrats would say that’s insane.” How do people communicate with one another, how is there money for school pageants and textbooks, when funds have to go to English as a Second Language classes? she asked. Unless immigration policies are dramatically changed, the country will turn into the Tower of Babel where Americans are being outvoted by foreigners, she said. Regarding the Media Coulter lambasted the mainstream media for controlling the narrative, citing various personalities and several outlets including a prominent local newspaper. It would be better to buy a V-chip than watch cable news, and better to cancel that subscription, she said. The elites, beside themselves with rage, are trying to destroy Trump, and rarely are they interested in what she has to say, unless it’s criticism of her candidate. “Also, the absolute hysteria on the left, I don’t know if any of you like to hate-watch TV like I did, but I noticed all of the hosts’ voices are getting several octaves higher. I don’t think this is confidence that their gal, the pouty pantsuit, is about to win in a landslide.” Regarding Republicans and Democrats Both parties are for the DREAM Act, what Coulter referred to as ‘Leave No Child Behind in Central America,’ and both parties are for the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal that “will take any job that has not been shipped to Mexico and send it to Asia.”  So Republicans have not been much better than the Democrats, she said. “I didn’t realize it until Trump came along. I suppose I was naïve. I thought my party did care about the middle class.” Also, the RNC and consultant class have been forcing Republican political candidates to take suicidal positions forever, she said. Now, this election is the elite against the people. “For years now, when Republicans would win an election, that didn’t mean you win. No, your kid is still boxed out of college by affirmative action for immigrants, and your job is still outsourced. You still have to train foreign workers taking your job. And your community will still be flooded by illegal immigrants bringing in crime and drugs. That is what a ‘win’ looks like for the Republican party.” Regarding that Comedy Central Roast Thing “I got to advertise my book. Second, now that I have demonstrated to the left what it is like not to be a delicate snowflake who gets upset by words, I can say ANYTHING. No more weeping and fainting when I say ‘illegal aliens.’” Stephanie Prokop can be reached at [email protected]

UAA Leadership Fellows program kicks off

Ask Professor Emeritus Omer Carey, now 87 years old, what the University of Alaska Anchorage was like when he started in 1973. Back then, it was small but the municipality was on the verge of rapid expansion thanks to the oil discovery at Prudhoe Bay. Today, about 17,000 UAA alumni live and work in Anchorage with almost 40,000 alumni statewide. To keep Alaska’s talent pool flowing, UAA’s College of Business and Public Policy kicked off its Leadership Fellows on Sept. 9 at the Student Union Den. Carey, a frequent donor to the CBPP, was in the audience to cheer the students on and wish the best for the program. “I hope it keeps growing,” he said. Now in its fourth cohort, the 2016 Leadership Fellows pairs 21 exceptional students with business mentors from the community representing telecommunications, energy, banking, finance, aviation, Native corporations and economic and regional development. Overseeing it all is Professor Terry Nelson, Ph.D., who took charge of the program in its second year, bringing it from an initial four participants to now five times as many. Quite a few students have already asked about applying for the next cohort, she said, while local businesses have been seeking out opportunities, saying, “We want to give back, we want to mentor students.” How it works The point of the Leadership Fellows is for students to learn valuable skills applicable not only to their degree majors but to eventual careers that will hopefully progress from entry level positions to decision makers and beyond. After an interview process with a two-person panel which mixes UAA faculty with business representatives, senior-level undergraduates and master level students are chosen on their desire and commitment to improving leadership skills. Grade point averages are not the primary point of consideration, as GPAs are not indicative of whether students have the ability to lead, Nelson noted.  The program runs for a full academic year, from September through May. Students are encouraged to meet with their mentors at least twice a month, although many will schedule weekly coffee chats, job shadowing days, resume reviews, and additional dates to attend workshops or networking events. UAA Alumni Association Executive Director Rachel Morse thanked the mentors for making this powerful connection and taking a personal interest in students, giving them a hand up to success. “To the students, what I have to say is this: if you are smart, which I think you are, you’re going to work very hard in this program,” she said. “You’re going to take advantage of the opportunities, build that portfolio, build that network, attend graduate club activities and your calendar is going to be full. And you are going to be tired when you are done — satisfied but tired.” Stand up, stand out Once a protégé, now a mentor, GCI Director of Digital Experience and Business Intelligence Matt Childs spoke fondly of his undergraduate days at UAA, which were “a long, long, long time ago,” but noted that it wasn’t everything it could have been. When he attended, for example, he could not take advantage of all that a university has to offer. (As he worked full time, took only night classes, and completed assignments in between shifts, he rarely had time for anything.) Recently Childs returned to UAA to complete his masters in business administration. Because he wanted to be involved and take part in the networking he missed as an undergraduate, he jumped at the chance to be president of the MBA Student Association. And, since starting his degree, he has received two promotions at GCI, a reflection, he said, of the quality of the university’s curriculum. Advising students to become and stay involved, he said that by joining the Leadership Fellows, “You have already stepped out and above the script and said, ‘I want to do something extra.’”    Words of encouragement The keynote speech was given by Leah Boltz, director of marketing, business development and communications at Bettisworth North Architects, a planning firm with offices in Fairbanks and Anchorage. Having previously served as a mentor, Boltz was able to speak in detail as to what can be expected during the course of the year, advising participants to stay flexible and realistic. She also asked mentors to remember the issues they too once faced when transitioning from graduation to employment. She suggested that now they could help smooth this process for students by developing their strengths and a personal brand that will make them excellent new hires. Her former protégé, Alexa Wolf, would have offered some pointers as well, but was unable to attend as she is now co-managing an insurance agency in Wasilla. “Every time I hear these stories, I get jealous of my own program,” Nelson joked. “When I did my MBA, I did not have these opportunities.” A UAA alumni with a bachelor’s in journalism and a minor in professional writing, Boltz said the Leadership Fellows can be a huge economic driver for the state, connecting industry with students, and connecting students with jobs. She would like to see equivalent programs implemented across all of UAA’s colleges, making a huge impact in Alaska and in the world. As the 2016 Leadership Fellows program progresses throughout the academic year, the Alaska Journal of Commerce will check back with students and their mentors, and find out what each may have learned from the other. Stephanie Prokop can be reached at [email protected]  

Movers & Shakers 09/18/16

Stantec’s Anchorage office recently added four new team members. New employees include Corey Rogers, electrical designer; Jake Alward, civil engineer in training; Riley Bronga, civil engineer in training; and Annamarie Courtright, CAD designer. Rogers brings 15 years of experience to his role as an electrical designer. He has previously worked for design firms in both Fairbanks and Anchorage. Since joining Stantec, he has worked on airport projects in Anchorage and Hughes, the Arctic Valley Water Treatment Plant and the Girdwood Wastewater Treatment Plant for the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility. He is a University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate, with degrees in electrical engineering and applied mathematics. Alward joins Stantec civil engineering team after working in the local design industry since 2014. Since joining Stantec, Alward has worked on multiple projects, including the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport Gate B Reconstruction Project and various projects for Doyon Utilities and the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility. Alward is a Gonzaga University graduate. Bronga, a University of Alaska Anchorage graduate, has worked in the Anchorage design industry as a land surveyor, logistics coordinator and engineering intern. At Stantec, he will provide design assistance in the Transportation group. Since joining the firm, he has worked on projects across the state, including the 100th Avenue Extension in Anchorage and the Kenai Spur Highway on the Kenai Peninsula. Courtright joins Stantec’s Aviation group as a design technician with eight years of experience. She has previously aided in design for water treatment plants, water storage tanks, highway improvements and subdivisions. Since joining Stantec, Courtright has worked on projects for the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and Kotzebue’s Ralph Wien Memorial Airport. She is a graduate of Charter College in Anchorage. Northwest Strategies promoted Elinda Hetemi from account coordinator to the position of junior account executive. Hetemi received her bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2013, is a member of the American Marketing Association-Alaska Chapter and an enthusiastic and active supporter of social causes, such as suicide prevention and awareness. Hetemi primarily works with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, Alaska Center for Ear, Nose and Throat, Cook Inlet Housing Association and the Hotel Captain Cook.  

Movers & Shakers 09/11/16

The Alaska Heart & Vascular Institute added Dr. Mark Willcox, M.D., to its staff of cardiovascular physicians. Willcox, an electrophysiology specialist with a varied background in cardiovascular disease and rural training, will join AHVI at its main Anchorage office. Willcox received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. He then earned his medical degree and graduated cum laude from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 2007. He spent the following three years as an internal medicine intern and resident at Georgetown University before becoming the chief internal medicine resident at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Washington, D.C. After completing his residencies, Dr. Willcox traveled to Peru, where he acted as co-founder and medical director of Sacred Valley Health, a community health worker training program dedicated to serving the rural Andean communities of the Sacred Valley in Cusco. Almost a year later, he returned to the United States to complete two fellowships, one in cardiovascular disease and the other in cardiac electrophysiology, at the University of Washington Medical Center. Willcox is board certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease. With the addition of Willcox, the Alaska Heart & Vascular Institute expands to a team of 28 specialty cardiologists. The Alaska Heart & Vascular Institute operates six locations across the state. Ophelia Faumuina and Rhoda Frei were recently appointed First National Bank Alaska branch managers by the bank’s board of directors. Faumuina is the new branch manager at the North Star Branch on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, while Frei takes over as branch manager of the Northern Lights Branch in West Anchorage. Faumuina first joined First National as a teller in 2003 Faumuina also worked in escrow servicing and in the central vault. Frei joined First National in 2000 and worked as a teller, customer service representative and operations supervisor until the appointment to her new position. Coast Hotels announced the appointment of John Bruce as general manager of Coast International Inn in Anchorage. Bruce brings more than 15 years of hospitality experience to his new position, as he specializes in hotel operations, guest relations and team leadership. Fresh off a nine-year stint in Bellevue, Wash., as assistant general manager of Coast Bellevue, Bruce will continue his Coast tenure as he takes the helm of this property located on the tranquil Lake Hood, in close proximity to the Ted Stevens International Airport. He attended Washington State University. Spirit of Alaska Federal Credit Union announced the promotion of Darrell Clark to vice president-marketing. Clark will operate out of the Gillam branch, located at 1417 Gillam Way in Fairbanks. He will oversee all aspects of marketing/advertising for the credit union which includes managing SoAFCU’s youth financial education Program, Spirit of Alaska’s Society of Smart Youth and the 55 and over member Prestige Program. Clark also takes the lead for all community-based services and projects, including the annual Youth Safety Day. Clark grew up in Fairbanks and attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks, receiving his double major bachelor’s in 1997. Clark was hired as a television reporter by KTVF-11 in 1998 where he wore many professional hats such as director, morning news anchor, production editor and managing news producer. Clark continues to anchor the nightly news broadcasts for the television station. Altman, Rogers & Co. announced that Ryan Johns, CPA, MPAcc has re-joined the firm as tax manager. Johns is a licensed CPA by the State of Alaska and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Johns originally joined Altman, Rogers & Co. in 2012. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in professional accounting.  He graduated from Western Washington University in 2010.  


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