Movers and Shakers

Movers and Shakers

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.  

Movers & Shakers 09/04/16

The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center welcomed Robin Randich as the new sales and marketing manager. Randich will oversee tour operations, marketing efforts and communications for AWCC. Randich adds a strong business background and diverse skill set to the AWCC team. She holds an MBA degree from Alaska Pacific University and an undergraduate degree from Arizona State University in business and communications. Randich came to the Wildlife Center from NANA Management Services as marketing manager. Susan Matson was named associate vice president-branch manager at Northrim’s Lake Otis Community Branch. Matson joins Northrim Bank from Cadence in Florida where she was the branch manager for the Sun City Center Office. She has 18 years of experience in banking as well as five years as a realtor. Anchorage School District teachers Joey Jigliotti of Rogers Park Elementary School, Catherine Walker of Romig Middle School and MaryLee Tung of Sand Lake Elementary received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The 213 awardees represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity schools. The educators will receive their awards at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 8. The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion, and are invited to Washington for an awards ceremony, as well educational and celebratory events and visits with members of the Administration. Kodiak Island Borough School District Superintendent Stewart McDonald was named Alaska’s 2017 Superintendent of the Year by the Alaska Superintendents Association. McDonald is in his ninth year as superintendent of the Kodiak Island Borough School District. During these years, Mr. McDonald has provided exceptionally visionary leadership for the district and has contributed to statewide efforts for the good of students and K-12 education. He is knowledgeable and insightful regarding all aspects of K-12 instruction. Alaska Chamber President and CEO Curtis W. Thayer has been appointed to the United States Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. Thayer is one of 10 newly appointed executives to join this elite group of chamber CEOs to represent the perspectives and needs of chambers and their members to the U.S. Chamber. Four lawyers from the office of Manley & Brautigam PC have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Peter Brautigam was named as Anchorage “Lawyer of the Year” in Trusts and Estates and Tax Law; Robert Manley-Litigation-Trusts & Estates, Tax Law and Trusts and Estates; and Charles Schuetze-Tax Law. Steve Mahoney was named as Anchorage “Lawyer of the Year” in Oil and Gas Law. He is also included in the practice areas of Energy Law, Tax Law, Litigation & Controversy-Tax Law, Natural Resources Law and Non-Profit/Charities Law. The University of Alaska Foundation Board of Trustees and University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen announced the appointment of Susan Behlke Foley as president of the University Foundation. Foley, an Anchorage-based attorney, brings substantial executive and non-profit leadership to the position. She will join the Foundation on Sept. 6. Raised in Fairbanks, Foley earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Whitman College and a juris doctor from Lewis & Clark Northwestern School of Law. She began her law practice in Fairbanks and moved to Anchorage in 1981. Foley succeeds Carla Beam, who retired in December 2015, and Interim UA Foundation President Megan Riebe. Stephanie Butler has been named executive director of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education. She will also serve as the executive officer for the Alaska Student Loan Corp. Prior to joining the commission, she worked in a variety of higher education roles in government and in higher education institutions. Butler is a Certified Internal Auditor, and her education credentials also include a master’s degree in business administration and management from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Barry University. Northrim BanCorp Inc. has promoted Michael Martin to serve as chief operating officer of Northrim Bank, effective immediately. Martin assumes the role of COO of Northrim Bank and remains an executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary at both the corporate and bank levels. He is taking over the COO role from Joe Schierhorn, who remains the president and CEO of Northrim Bank, and executive vice president and COO of Northrim Bancorp. Martin has been with Northrim Bank since 2011, and has been in the financial industry since 1995. He worked for First National Bank Alaska before joining the Northrim team, serving as a commercial loan officer, commercial loan unit manager, in-house legal counsel and business and community development officer, general counsel and corporate secretary. He has taught many courses through Alaska Pacific University, Pacific Coast Banking School at UW, the American Institute of Banking, and is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Martin holds a juris doctorate from Ohio Northern University and is a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School. He is a current board member and past-president of Alaska Public Media as well as the secretary/treasurer of the Alaska Bankers Association.  

Movers & Shakers 08/28/16

Lt. Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach became commander of Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, Alaskan Command and Eleventh Air Force during a change of command ceremony at JBER on Aug 16. Gen. Wilsbach’s previous assignment was as Director of Operations, U.S. Central Command, at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. He replaces Lt. Gen. Russell J. Handy, who is retiring after 34 years of service to the U.S. Air Force. Alaskan Command integrates activities of more than 22,000 military members from all services in Alaska as a sub-unified command of U.S. Northern Command. Eleventh Air Force oversees the training and readiness of five Air Force wings and Air Force installations located in Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam. The Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region directs bilateral air operations with Canada within Alaska to ensure defense against all hostile airborne threats. The Mat-Su Health Foundation recently welcomed Keith Kehoe and Lebron McPhail to its board of directors. Board members serve three-year terms, and each term may be renewed for two additional three year terms. Kehoe has been a physician assistant in the Upper Mat-Su for almost 20 years. He began working at Sunshine Community Health Center in 1997, providing acute, chronic and preventative medical care. Prior to his employment at Sunshine, he worked as a physician assistant in several other Alaska communities, as well as overseas. His previous board experience includes eight years with the Alaska Primary Care Association from 1998-2005, the Jessica Stevens Foundation since its inception in 2007, and with Talkeetna’s local community radio station, KTNA. Kehoe earned his physician assistant certification from the University of Washington, a master of arts degree from Lesley College, and a bachelor of science degree from Illinois Benedictine College. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army. McPhail worked full-time for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District from 1984 to 2013. During his 29-year career, he served as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal and executive director of instruction with an enrollment approaching 18,000 students. Since his retirement in 2013, McPhail has worked for the MSBSD part-time overseeing students who are on long-term suspensions. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Eastern New Mexico University and a master’s degree from the United States Sports Academy. The MSHF board of directors also chose officers for 2016/17. Scott Johannes was elected as the board’s chair, Mary Olson as vice chair, and Ken Kincaid was reelected as secretary/treasurer. Michael C. Geraghty of Oles Morrison Rinker Baker LLP was selected for inclusion in the 2017 edition of Best Lawyers in America, the legal profession’s oldest and most respected peer-review publication. Geraghty is listed for construction law and personal injury litigation. He returned to private practice after serving for three years as Attorney General for the State of Alaska from 2012-14. Debbie Hahn of PIP in Anchorage was named Salesperson of the Year for the western region. The award was announced at the annual PIP Convention July 21-23 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. PIP is a marketing, signs and print services provider with a worldwide network of nearly 400 franchise locations and affiliates. The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce’s 59th Annual Gold Pan Awards “A Night to Shine” will begin at 6 p.m. on Sept. 9 at the Hotel Captain Cook. The Gold Pan Awards will recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of 12 nominees. The 12 finalists in four categories are: Business Excellence, Timothy Hall, RSA Engineering, Inc.; Jim Udelhoven, Udelhoven Operating Cos.; Chris Dunn, Renewal by Andersen. Distinguished Community Service of a Large Business with over 30 employees, Alana Humprey, Boys & Girls Club; Raquel Edelin, Hotel Captain Cook; Michelle Engelke, Denali Express Chevron. Distinguished Community Service by an Individual, Organization or a Small Business with fewer than 30 employees, Magen James, Army One Source; Kristin George, Sullivan’s Steak House; Ted Sadtler, Mattress Ranch. Entrepreneurial Excellence, Donna DeMarco, Accurate Hearing Systems; Zoi Maroudas-Tziolas, Bambino’s Baby Food; Stephen Trimble, Arctic Solar Ventures. Tickets for the 59th Annual Gold Pan Awards are now on sale. Cost is $100 per person or $1,000 for a table of 10. Make your reservation at Deadline to RSVP is 5 p.m. on Sept. 2.  

Movers & Shakers 08/21/16

The Alaska Army National Guard’s 38th Troop Command welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony at Bryant Army Airfield on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on Aug 7. Col. Joseph Streff, (middle) commander of the Alaska Army National Guard, presided over the ceremony where Lt. Col. Wayne Don (left) took command of the unit. Don has served more than 22 years in the Army, nine of which were with the Alaska Army National Guard. He has served in a number of command and staff assignments, most recently as commander of the 103rd Civil Support Team, where he led a multi-component unit of Army and Air Guard chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialists. Don also deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom where he served as a staff officer in support of Mongolian Armed Forces in Afghanistan. Col. Jeffrey Roach (right), commander of 38th Troop Command since 2012, has served more than 30 years in the Alaska Army National Guard. His next assignment will be director of logistics for the joint staff. The board of trustees of The Nature Conservancy in Alaska elected J. Michael Johnson and Greta Schuerch as two new trustees. Johnson, of Alamo, Calif., is former executive vice president and group head of Wells Fargo’s Corporate Banking Group. He has more than 35 years of experience in finance, commercial real estate, investment management and capital markets. He also serves on the The Nature Conservancy’s California Leadership Council. Greta Schuerch of Kiana, Alaska, is external and government affairs liaison for NANA Development Corp. Her professional experience includes roles with the Alaska State Legislature, Inuit Circumpolar Conference, the Alaska Humanities Forum and the North Slope Borough. She has comprehensive knowledge of rural issues and extensive experience in Northwest Arctic Borough communities. Phavana Kovin was recently named First National Bank Alaska’s newest loan officer by the board of directors. In her appointed position, Kovin will focus on loan processing and underwriting. Experienced in lending, administrative and operational aspects of banking, Kovin first joined First National as a teller in 2007. Three years later, she was promoted to the bank’s Mortgage Lending Department. Century 21 Realty Solutions announced that Realtor Vahn Ki has joined their roster of professional real estate agents serving the Mat-Su Borough Area.
Vahn has lived in Alaska for 23 years, specifically in the Mat-Su Valley. After five years as president and CEO of ASRC Energy Services, Jeff Kinneeveauk has tendered his resignation effective Aug. 19. Concurrent with Kinneeveauk’s resignation, ASRC announced a series of subsidiary management changes. Doug Smith, president and CEO of Little Red Services and ASRC Construction Holding Co. will assume the role of president and CEO of AES effective Aug. 19. Prior to being the CEO of LRS and ACHC, Smith was a vice president and business unit manager of AES. Joe Curgus, the long-time vice president of operations for LRS will take over as president and CEO of LRS concurrent with Smith’s transition to AES. Curgus has been an essential member of the LRS team for more than 30 years and has played a critical role in the successful transition of the company into the ASRC family of companies. Brady Strahl, the current president of ASRC SKW, will take over as president and CEO of ACHC. Strahl has been with the ACHC family of companies since 2009. Strahl graduated from Gonzaga University in 2003 and was an Alaska Journal of Commerce Top 40 under 40 award recipient in 2008.    

Movers & Shakers 08/14/16

Rich Kleinleder of AECOM was selected as a recipient of the 2015 National Marine Fisheries Service Team Member of the Year award. Team Member of the Year award recipients are honored for their outstanding contributions in advancing the NMFS mission. Kleinleder was recognized by his peers in the program management, scientific and technical category. Kleinleder is a senior biologist who has more than 35 years of experience with all aspects of wildlife research throughout Alaska. Since 2009, he has served as project manager for the NMFS Regional Fisheries Science Center Environmental Compliance Project. In this role, Kleinleder is responsible for coordinating with each of the six regional Fisheries Science Centers and numerous other NMFS offices and contractors to develop programmatic environmental assessments and applications for letters of authorization under the Marine Mammal Protection Act for each center. Katie Bausler was hired as Bartlett Regional Hospital’s Community Relations director. She replaces Jim Strader, who retired after seven years directing internal and external communication. Bausler most recently served eight years as Public and Media Relations director at the University of Alaska Southeast Juneau campus. She brings more than 25 years work experience as a broadcast and social media producer, public information officer, spokesperson, event coordinator, press liaison, writer, emcee, host and guest on commercial and public radio and television. Eric B. Fjelstad, a partner in the Perkins Coie Environment, Energy & Resources practice and managing partner of the Anchorage office, has been named president of the board of directors of the Resource Development Council of Alaska for the 2016-2017 term. Fjelstad was named to the position on June 30 at the 41st Annual RDC Membership Luncheon held at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage. Fjelstad leads Perkins Coie’s Alaska environmental and resources practices. His work focuses on oil and gas, mining, project development, litigation and strategic counseling for industrial projects. He earned his juris doctor from the Lewis & Clark Law School and received his bachelor’s degree from Marquette University. Cara Rude (formerly Mazurek), director of Interior Design for McCool Carlson Green, has become an associate principal of the firm. Rude has 13 years of interior design experience. Educated at The Art Institute of Portland and graduating with a bachelor’s degree in interior design with high honors, she currently serves as the president-elect for the American Society of Interior Designers, Alaska Chapter, member and ambassador presenter for the International Living Future Institute, and is a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional, Building Design and Construction. During her tenure with MCG, she has exemplified the MCG principles with her leadership on projects such as the Anchorage Museum Expansion, Gladys Wood Elementary School, and the Alaska Airlines Hangar. Lauren Driscoll has been appointed MTA’s director of Community Development. Driscoll comes to MTA from the Matanuska Susitna Borough, where she served as chief of planning for the past four years. Driscoll was recently elected to the MTA Board of Directors. She has stepped down from that position, and was replaced by Nicholas Begich, III. She received her bachelor’s degree in public administration from Grand Valley State University, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Driscoll had been with the Mat-Su Borough since 2006, beginning her career as a planner, ultimately becoming the chief of planning in 2012. Her accomplishments include receiving honors as the 2014 Planner of the Year for the state of Alaska; and serving as president of the Alaska Chapter of the American Planning Association, a role she started in 2012 and holds today. Begich, CEO and Founder of FarShore Partners and DashFire, has been involved in advising and guiding dozens of technology and communications startup firms. His business, FarShore Partners, has delivered web, mobile, and eCommerce technology solutions to hundreds of clients across the globe. FarShore presently employs about 150 people globally. Through Dashfire, Begich has invested in more than 40 technology-supported startups in the past five years. A graduate of Baylor University, he earned his master’s degree in business administration at Indiana University. He has an extensive background in operations and management, as well as finance and business growth. Mark Parrott, PE, has joined Stantec’s Fairbanks office as a senior mechanical engineer. He has more than a dozen years of in-state industry experience. Parrott’s experience includes design and construction support throughout northern and interior Alaska, primarily focused on commercial and public buildings, utilities and power plant support systems. At Stantec, Parrott will focus on military and utility projects. Since joining Stantec, he has worked on projects for the City of Homer, Doyon Utilities and the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Parrott earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and his master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers; and the National Fire Protection Association.  

Movers & Shakers 08/07/16

Rosemary Timmerman, DNP, RN, a clinical nurse specialist at Providence Alaska Medical Center, has been elected to a three-year term as director on the national board for the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. Timmerman is a clinical nurse specialist for the Intensive Care Unit, Cardio-Thoracic ICU, Cardiac ICU, and Intermediate Medical Care Unit, and began her board tenure on July 1. The AACN is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world with more than 100,000 members. As a member of the AACN Board of Directors, Timmerman will be responsible for ensuring effective planning and management of resources to support the vision and mission of the organization. Michael Burrell, PE, has joined Stantec’s mechanical engineering team in its Anchorage office. He has more than a dozen years of in-state industry experience. Burrell’s experience includes design and construction support throughout Alaska, primarily focused on oil and gas production and transportation. As a piping/mechanical engineer, his work has included the design of facility modules, pipelines, well tie-ins, fire hydrants and diesel fuel valve stations. Burrell is a graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, with bachelor’s degrees in both mechanical and electrical engineering. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Becca Carroll, PE, has joined Stantec as mechanical engineering manager in its Anchorage office. She has more than a dozen years of in-state industry experience and is an associate of the firm. Carroll’s experience includes design throughout Alaska, construction administration, commissioning and building energy modeling for a variety of project types, including schools, libraries and the Alaska State Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory in Anchorage. For the crime lab, she designed a ventilation system that includes individual room pressurization control and air-handling units with heat recovery to support the unique needs of various labs. At Stantec, Carroll will provide senior design leadership for building projects, overseeing a team of five mechanical engineers and designers.  Carroll is a member of the Greatland Section of the Society of Women Engineers, currently serving as the chairwoman of the scholarship committee, and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, Air-Conditioning Engineers. She is a graduate of the Milwaukee School of Engineering, with a degree in architectural engineering with building mechanical systems specialty.  

Movers & Shakers 07/31/16

Department of Administration Commissioner Sheldon Fisher was appointed to the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. Board of Trustees. Fisher will fill a board seat reserved for one of the Governor’s cabinet members. Fisher has more than 20 years of experience in private sector management; most recently as chief operating officer for McKinley Capital Management in Anchorage. Prior to McKinley, he spent 15 years in the telecommunications industry, including six years as senior vice president of sales and marketing at Alaska Communications. Fisher holds an economics degree from Brigham Young University and a law degree from Yale University. Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot announced that William A. Earnhart and Carissa D. Siebeneck have become members, Jack R. McKenna has joined the firm as an associate, and Jason M. Brandeis has become of counsel to the firm. Earnhart joined the firm’s Anchorage office in 2015 and his practice focuses on labor and employment law, commercial litigation and appeals, and municipal law. Earnhart has more than 20 years of trial experience in state and federal courts. He received his bachelor’s degree from Williamette University in 1990 and his juris doctor from University of Washington in 1994. Siebeneck joined the firm’s Washington, D.C., office in 2011.  Siebeneck’s practice focuses on government contracts law, natural resources law, and alternative dispute resolution matters.  She has expertise in small business government contracting and Native American Law. She received her bachelor’s degree from Marymount Manhattan College in 2000, her MPA from University of George, School of Public and International Affairs in 2002, and her juris doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in 2009. McKenna is an associate attorney with the firm’s Anchorage office. His practice focuses on civil litigation and construction law. Prior to joining the firm, McKenna was an assistant District Attorney at the Anchorage District Attorney’s Office. McKenna received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkley in 2001 and his juris doctor from the University of California-Davis in 2007. Brandeis has joined Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot’s Anchorage office in an Of Counsel position. His practice focuses on advising businesses and government entites on regulation of the marijuana industry. Brandeis has extensive experience with Alaska marijuana law and policy. He has litigated cases involving the legality of marijuana in Alaska and has published several articles on this topic, including the only comprehensive history of the development of Alaska’s unique marijuana laws. His marijuana law and policy research has been cited in national and local publications and has been presented at international academic conferences. He has been recognized as “a leading scholar on the subject of marijuana laws in Alaska” by the Alaska Law Review. Brandeis is also an associate professor of Justice and Legal Studies at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He teaches courses on the American legal system, constitutional law, and civil liberties.  He received his bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in 1997 and his juris doctor from Vermont Law School in 2001.  PND Engineers Inc. announced several Anchorage staff professional achievements. Alexandra West and Corey Roche obtained professional engineer registrations by the State of Alaska. Both are lifelong Alaskans and graduates of the University of Alaska Anchorage with bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering. West specializes in hydrology and hydraulic projects consisting of field work (breakup and reconnaissance studies), desktop analyses, and hydraulic design of bridges, culverts, erosion control, site drainage, miscellaneous drainage structures, and fish passages. Roche’s engineering duties have been primarily in the areas of structural/ civil design, inspection, construction administration, and material testing. Prior to his engineering career he worked as a certified welder and heavy equipment operator for six years in remote Alaska. Feifei Bai recently passed the NCEES Structural Exam and now is a registered structural engineer for the State of Alaska. Bai joined PND in 2007 after earning a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Alaska, Anchorage. She recently transferred from the firm’s Anchorage office to the new Houston location and continues to support Alaska projects. Bai currently holds professional engineer licenses in Alaska, California, and Texas. Food Bank of Alaska welcomed Jim Baldwin as the new executive director. Baldwin most recently served for 15 years as executive director of Community Food Share in Boulder County, Colorado. Before that he was executive director at the Hawaii Foodbank. Food Bank of Alaska acquires and distributes food to people in need statewide through its 300 partner food pantries and meal programs. Last fiscal year, the organization distributed over 6.8 million pounds of food, amounting to 5.7 million meals. Food Bank of Alaska is a member of the national Feeding America network, the country’s leading anti-hunger organization. University of Alaska Southeast Chancellor Dr. Rick Caulfield was appointed to serve as Vice Chair of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Presidential Committee on Teacher Education. The committee is charged with advising AASCU on initiatives in public policy, both federal and state, aimed at improving teacher education and improving credibility and integrity of university education programs nationwide. Professional Growth Systems welcomed Liz Miner to their Anchorage-based team. Miner attained a bachelor’s degree in public health from Cornell, with minors in both environmental and Latin American studies. Miner’s recent experience included work as a healthcare coverage specialist with Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage, educating customer-owners on their healthcare options and assessing eligibility for healthcare plans. She continues to volunteer with several health and social service organizations in town.  

Movers & Shakers 07/24/16

Goldbelt Inc. announced Elliot “Chuck” Wimberly as the president and CEO after serving six months as the interim in that role. Wimberly has served as a senior vice president since 2010 and was Goldbelt’s interim President and CEO in 2011. Wimberly has 10 years of experience as a senior executive with Alaska Native corporations. In his career, Wimberly served as the vice president of corporate development and government relations for the Southern Ute Tribe as part of their GF Private Equity Group in Durango, Colo. Additionally, Wimberly has more than 20 years of experience in government service, having retired from the U.S. intelligence community. The shareholders elected three directors to the board: incumbent board member Trudy Skan, Lisa-Marie Ikonomov and Derek Duncan. Joseph Kahklen was elected chair of the board and Andrea Cadiente-Laiti was elected vice chair. Skan was elected corporate secretary and Randy Wanamaker was elected treasurer. Eric Veach, chief of natural and cultural resources at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, has been selected as superintendent at Kenai Fjords National Park. Veach has been in his current assignment since 2006 and has held multiple acting positions with higher level responsibilities. Veach has been responsible for a $2 million resources budget and diverse staffing devoted to specific disciplines ranging from archeology to fisheries in America’s largest national park. Most recently, Veach served in a detail as superintendent of Wrangell St. Elias with the responsibility for day-to-day management of the park and a $5 million budget. Veach worked intensively to initiate development of a Backcountry and Wilderness Stewardship Plan for the nation’s largest wilderness area. He also oversaw planning for future rehabilitation of the Kennecott Mill site. Veach has also recently served as the acting deputy superintendent at Denali National Park, and as superintendent at Katmai National Park and provided key leadership during critical transitional periods. Veach holds a bachelor’s degree in fisheries science from Oregon State University. Prior to working in Wrangell-St. Elias, he worked as a fisheries biologist for a number of national forests, including the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, the Payette National Forest in Idaho, as well as for the Nez Perce Tribe in Oregon. Northrim Bank announced the promotion of Joe Moran to associate vice president, loan officer III and the hiring of Danicia Shiryayev as small business loan officer. Moran joined Northrim Bank in February 2013 and has been a key member of the Construction Lending department since March 2015. He started his banking career at First Bank in Ketchikan where he held several positions before he moved back to Anchorage. Moran has a bachelor’s degree in business finance from the University of Portland and is working to complete his MBA at Alaska Pacific University. Shiryayev joins Northrim Bank with more than seven years of experience in the banking industry, most recently at KeyBank in Anchorage. She has also worked for Cook Inlet Housing Authority and Wells Fargo. Resource Data Inc., a custom software development, geographic information system and IT consulting firm, has hired Gary Tancik as a senior programmer/analyst at its Anchorage Branch. Tancik previously lived in Colorado and worked for Travelport as senior systems engineer for 18 years leading teams and designing travel and rail ticketing systems and more. Col. Steven deMilliano took command of the 176th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard during a change-of-command ceremony on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on July 12,. DeMilliano took over from outgoing commander Col. Blake Gettys, who relinquished control to deMilliano after serving as the 176th Wing’s commander since 2014. Most recently, deMilliano served as the vice director of operations at Headquarters North American Aerospace Defense Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Longtime Chugach Electric Association senior manager Lee Thibert has been named CEO. Thibert replaces Brad Evans, who retired as CEO in mid-July after serving eight years in that role. Thibert began working at Chugach in 1987 and has held a variety of senior management positions; most recently serving as senior vice president, strategic development and regulatory affairs. During his long career with the utility he has been responsible for a number of important divisions including regulatory, engineering, operations, telecommunications, power production, and power control & fuel supply. Born in Minnesota, Thibert has a bchelor’s degree in organizational management from Alaska Pacific University. The Alaska Heart & Vascular Institute recently appointed Robert T. Craig III as its CEO, overseeing operations for the company’s six locations statewide, effective July 18. Craig joins the Alaska Heart & Vascular Institute team from Missouri, with more than 20 years of professional experience as an executive leader in the health care industry. Craig holds a master’s degree in business administration from Baker University in Kansas as well as a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southeast Missouri State University. He began his career in the medical field in 1990 as the chief of ambulatory care at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Kansas City following three years as a platoon leader and tactical control officer in the U.S. Army. Since then, Craig has managed regional operations for various health care entities in several states to include Missouri and Kansas. For the past 14 years, Craig served as the principal of Comprehensive Professional Resources, LLC, where he oversaw the expansion of multiple health systems and opening of seven new health care practices.

Movers & Shakers 07/17/16

Altman, Rogers & Co. CPAs, announced that Sasha Barcheski has been promoted to audit manager in Anchorage. Barcheski recently received her CPA license from the State of Washington. Her wealth of experience includes working with nonprofit and governmental organizations throughout Alaska. Barcheski graduated from Western Washington University in June of 2011. Spirit of Alaska Federal Credit Union announced that President and CEO Mike Lombardino will retire effective Dec. 31 and Anthony Rizk, an internal candidate, has been named as successor. Rizk assumed the role of president as of June 1 and will gain the title of CEO upon Lombardino’s departure. Lombardino has been the credit union’s president and CEO since 2002. Under Lombardino’s oversight, SoAFCU has enjoyed over a decade of stable growth and success in serving its members during some of the most challenging times in the financial industry. SoAFCU has grown from $65 million in total assets to the current level of around $150 million in total assets. Pamela Kauveiyakul joined Anchorage Economic Development Corp. as business and economic development director and Allison Meyers was hired as operations coordinator. As business and economic development director, Kauveiyakul will be responsible for creating and executing strategies to help grow and diversify Anchorage’s economy. Kauveiyakul holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and communications from Loyola University New Orleans. She brings a wealth of experience from leadership positions across different sectors, including positions at BP Exploration, Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge and Camp Fire USA Alaska Council. As operations coordinator, Meyers will execute the day-to-day operations of the AEDC offices and assist the vice president with human resources and accounting duties. She will also support division directors in driving AEDC’s key strategic initiatives and visions. Meyers is a lifelong Alaskan and hails from Bethel. She graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a degree in investment finance. Meyers came from a long line of entrepreneurs and owned her first business at the age of 17.  

Movers & Shakers 07/10/16

Dr. Karen Carey joined the University of Alaska Southeast last week as provost. Carey earned her Ph.D. in school psychology from University of Cincinnati. She comes to UAS from the California State University Channel Islands, in Ventura, where she served as the dean of Arts & Sciences. In that role she was responsible for strategic planning and student learning as well as managing academic programs with more than 200 faculty. As UAS Provost, Dr. Carey collaborates with faculty to support the teaching, research, and service missions of UAS and also serves as the academic liaison with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and University to maintain UAS’ accreditation, and is responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable standards and reporting expectations. Chancellor Rick Caulfield selected Carey after a year-long national search process. University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen has appointed Dana L. Thomas as interim chancellor of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Thomas will begin on Aug. 14, succeeding outgoing UAF Interim Chancellor Mike Powers, and will end his term on June 30, 2017. Johnsen nominated Thomas on June 6 after reviewing nearly a dozen applications. Thomas was born and raised in Fairbanks and is an alumnus of UAF. He was the statewide vice president of academic affairs and research from 2012-14. Thomas served six years as chair of UAF’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He is recognized for his interdisciplinary research on the design and analysis of studies assessing food and habitat selection by animals. In 2005, Thomas received the Emil Usibelli Distinguished Teaching Award. From 2006-12, Thomas served as UAF’s vice provost and accreditation liaison officer.  


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