Posted Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 8:04 pm
Mollie Shackleford has been appointed as an architectural business information modeling specialist at McCool Carlson Green. Shackleford graduated from Virginia Tech in 2004 with a bachelor of architecture degree. In 2008 she began to focus on BIM education, eventually teaching Revit with an Autodesk reseller and consulting with architects in BIM implementation. For the past 5 years she has focused in construction technology, having worked for two large general contractors, including DPR Construction. McCool Carlson Green has also appointed Melissa Grieve, NCIDQ, ASID, CDT as an interior designer to expand the firm’s interior design department. Grieve has eight years of professional interior design experience and is currently working on renovations at Alaska Regional Hospital. As the immediate past president of the Alaska Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, Grieve supports the growth of her local interior design community. She is an advocate for sustainable change in the built environment and has recently become a member International Living Future Institute.
RIM Architects founder and president/CEO Larry S. Cash was elected to fellowship by the 2016 College of Fellows Jury of The American Institute of Architects. Each year, the Jury of Fellows elevates a select number of AIA members to its prestigious College of Fellows. Cash was nominated last fall by the AIA Alaska chapter and its local contingent of fellows. The AIA Fellowship program elevates architects with proven significant contribution to architecture, society, and standard of excellence in the profession. Out of a total AIA membership of approximately 88,000, there are fewer than 3,200 members distinguished with this honor. Cash will receive his Fellowship medal during the Investiture of Fellows Ceremony in May at the national AIA Convention 2016 in Philadelphia.
Kevin Eischens, PLS, CFedS, has joined WHPacific’s Anchorage office as a professional land surveyor. He comes to WHPacific with over 20 years of experience in surveying. His projects have ranged from water treatment facilities and fire station design to aerial and topographic surveys. Eischens is a licensed professional and surveyor in Alaska, and he has a bachelor’s degree in surveying and mapping from University of Alaska Anchorage.
Matanuska Electric Association held its 2016 Annual Membership Meeting and Board Election on April 26. Rresults are as follows: Susitna East District, Robert Doyle (Incumbent); Susitna West District, Bill Kendig.
Jennifer Thompson was honored with the University of Alaska Anchorage Journalism and Public Communications Alumni Award on April 29. Thompson is the principal partner and president/CEO of Thompson & Co. Public Relations, which has offices in Anchorage, New York City and Houston. She personally handles the firm’s most high-level projects, including coordination for national media such as Bravo’s “Top Chef,” NBC’s “Today,” and “Cooking with Paula Deen.” Thompson is an active mentor of young professionals and employs several UAA journalism and public communications graduates. Thompson graduated from UAA in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public communications. She began her career as a public relations intern at Bernholz & Graham in 1999, and went from intern to president in just seven years. Three years later, Thompson purchased the agency, and rebranded it to reflect the change of ownership. In 2015 PR News magazine named Thompson one of the nation’s top women in public relations. Earlier this year, she was inducted into the Anchorage Athena Society. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers, and she sits on the boards of UAA’s Celebrity Chef Invitational and the Public Relations Society of America’s Counselors Academy.
The Mat-Su Health Foundation recently welcomed Kathleen McConnell to its team as a program officer leading the Healthy Foundations for Families focus area. McConnell is responsible for working with the program team to design and implement strategic initiatives to advance the foundation’s goals and vision. This includes reviewing and approving funding recommendations; providing project and grantee technical assistance; and interacting with other grant-makers, not-for-profit leaders and public and private stake holders whose work intersects with that of the foundation. She was previously employed by the Northwest Arctic Borough in Kotzebue as assistant to the mayor, economic development director, and personnel officer. She also previously worked for NANA Development Corp. and Southcentral Foundation. McConnell earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix.
Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 5:16 pm
Tracey Thomas has been promoted to the position of commercial banking relationship manager and vice president for KeyBank. In her new role, she is responsible for providing financial solutions to large commercial clients, maintaining existing client relationships and developing new business opportunities throughout Alaska. Thomas has been in the banking industry for eight years and joined Key in December 2011, serving as relationship manager for the business banking team for the past four years. Thomas has served as chair of the Key4Women committee for Alaska and was recognized as a 2014 Alaska Market Top Performer. She graduated from Western State College of Colorado.
Northrim Bank promoted four bank officers to the level of senior vice president and hired a new vice president. Katie Bates was promoted to SVP, electronic delivery channel manager; Barb Ervin to SVP, core applications group manager; Heidi Moes to SVP, operations manager item processing and loan support
services; and Linda Uttech to SVP, facilities manager. Douglas Frey was hired as vice president, security and business continuity manager. Bates joined Northrim in 2001 as a branch operations specialist. She progressed through the ranks to branch manager in 2004. Bates joined the electronic banking department and was promoted to electronic banking manager in 2007, and later was promoted to electronic delivery channel manager in 2012. She is an alumna of the Graduate School of Banking and holds numerous banking certifications. Bates received the Northrim Bank President’s Award in 2012. Ervin has been with Northrim Bank since 2002. Prior to joining the IT department, she managed significant aspects of the bank’s branch administration and operations. In 2014, she moved to the IT department as the core applications group manager. She has over 35 years of experience in banking and finance. Ervin attended the ABA National Compliance School for Deposit Compliance in 2006 and is a 2012 alumna of the Graduate School of Banking program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 2005, she was awarded Northrim Bank’s President’s Award. Moes was hired at Northrim Bank in December 2001 as a loan servicer. She has been in banking for nearly 18 years, with most of her time spent in lending operations. She received the Northrim Bank President’s Award in 2012. Uttech has been with Northrim Bank since 2012, when she was hired at the assistant facilities manager and promoted to vice president in 2014. Prior to joining Northrim, Uttech worked as the director of property operations at the Hilton Anchorage Hotel, with over 18 years of experience in the hospitality industry. In 2015, she managed the Lake Otis Community Branch build, Ketchikan Financial Center renovation, and the Northrim Building remodel. In 2013, Uttech received Northrim Bank’s President’s Award. Frey joins Northrim Bank after serving with the Department of Defense for the past 34 years. Most recently, he was a senior anti-terrorism and security policy analyst at the Headquarters of U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany. He holds a bachelor’s degree in homeland security from American Public University.
Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 3:45 pm
Ben Bobowski, the acting superintendent for Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, has been selected as the new superintendent at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Bobowski has been the chief of resource stewardship at Rocky Mountain since October 2007. He began his NPS career in 1998 as a student employee and completed graduate work at Utah State University during his tenure.
At Wrangell-St. Elias, Bobowski, 48, will manage America’s largest national park area, 13.2 million acres. The park, which stretches east of the Copper River to the Canadian border, sees about 75,000 visitors a year. Bobowski earned a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University focused on forestry and wildlife management, and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Utah State University focused in range science.
Sandon Fisher has joined the law firm Manley & Brautigam PC as an associate attorney. Fisher’s practice focuses on business and estate planning, entity formation, mergers and acquisitions, transactional law, and estate and probate matters. He earned his bachelor’s degree in government and his law degree from Liberty University in Virginia. His prior work was with the Alaska Office of the Governor, the Alaska Department of Law, and the Juneau Economic Development Council. He was admitted to the Alaska Bar in December 2015.
Elaine Phillipps has been appointed to serve as the new executive director of Habitat for Humanity-Anchorage. Phillipps, a lifelong Alaskan, brings more than 12 years of nonprofit experience to HFHA. She served as executive director for Muscular Dystrophy of Alaska and was a co-founder and executive director of Love INC Anchorage. Most recently she was the Major Gifts director at United Way of Anchorage.
Colleen Huston was hired as senior vice president, sales, in Anchorage by Residential Mortgage. Huston joins Residential Mortgage with 26 years of experience in banking/mortgage lending, 24 years working in Alaska. Most recently, she was the regional VP for Alaska USA Mortgage. Huston is a U.S. Army veteran, where she served as a Military Intelligence agent. She attended the University of Nevada-Reno and holds an associate’s degree from Pierce County College in business management. Huston has served on the board of directors for Mat-Su Regional Hospital and is a former vice president of the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Robin Mason was hired aas a programmer/analyst for Resource Data Inc., a custom software development, geographic information system, and IT consulting firm. Mason has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, and in addition has several certifications including MCSE, MCT, CCNP and CAN, as well as ArcGIS I & II training. Most recently Mason worked as an IT Specialist with the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. in Juneau. She also has experience as a senior network engineer.
Cindy Cevasco was hired by Spirit of Alaska Federal Credit Union for its top management team and will operate out of the Gillam branch in Fairbanks. Cevasco joins Spirt of Alaska after five years with True North Federal Credit Union, serving as the credit union’s senior manager for the Fairbanks market. Previous to that, Cevasco was the business development officer with Northrim Bank from 1997 to 2011, administrative assistant/assistant manager with First National Bank from 1988 to 1997 and began her career working for Bank of the North and Alaska USA Federal Credit Union. In 2012 she won the coveted Leadership ASTRI award from True North FCU for exemplifying their corporate vision of attitude, service, teamwork, resilience and initiative. She was awarded the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce’s George Nehrbas award in 2011 for outstanding volunteer contributions in the community. She is Customer First Service award recipient from Northrim Bank in 2000 and as early as 1983 she was given the Community Commanders award; the highest award given to non-military personnel for work accomplishments on a military post.
Elizabeth David has been promoted to the position of BSA/operations manager at Credit Union 1 headquarters. Originally hired in 1998 as a teller, David later held positions as senior teller and assistant branch manager at the credit union’s University Branch in Fairbanks, the position she held prior to this promotion. In her new position, David will be responsible for operations in risk management, quality control and investigation while ensuring compliance of state and federal regulations and internal policies.
The Society for Marketing Professional Services Alaska Chapter recently awarded its 2016 Continuing Education Scholarship to Michelle Laudert of AMC Engineers. This $1,000 scholarship was awarded to Laudert to assist her in attending the SMPS Pacific Regional conference in Palm Springs, Calif. She is the marketing director at AMC and is responsible for managing the firm’s proposals, project opportunities, database, website development and maintenance, branding, and event planning coordination.
First National Bank Alaska promoted Jason Brown as its newest loan officer and Michelle Wamack to product support manager in the bank’s new Credit Services Section. Brown joined the bank’s Management Associate Program in January 2015 after working many years in civil construction. First hired as a Sitka Branch teller in 2005, Wamack responds to all credit and debit fraud claims and disputes. Her new duties include printing and delivering cards on time, handling requests from commercial card administrators, posting payments accurately, reconciling network billing and regularly updating online credit card banking.
Posted Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 3:06 pm
Three First National Bank Alaska banking experts were recently promoted. Wasilla Loan Officer Chris Longacre was named vice president. Anchorage lending unit team leaders Chad Steadman and Stacy Tomuro were named regional unit managers. Longacre is a lifelong Alaskan who joined First National in 2005 and an avid mountain climber who has reached the summit of the highest peak on each of all seven continents. Steadman holds a degree from Utah State University in finance with minors in financial planning and economics. He has a diploma from the Graduate School of Banking at LSU and was commercial banker of the year for his organization in 2008. He was raised in Soldotna and lives in Anchorage with his wife and four children. Tomuro was one of the 229 banking professionals from 31 states to graduate from the prestigious Pacific Coast Banking School in 2015. A West Anchorage High School graduate who first called Alaska home in 1977, he began working in the financial industry nearly 30 years ago and joined First National in 2001.
Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot announced that Jennifer C. Alexander and Adam W. Cook have become shareholders and Mara E. Michaletz has become a member. Alexander is a fourth-generation Alaskan, and has been associated with Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot since 2000. Alexander is a member of BHBC’s employment and municipal law groups and her practice includes representation of union and non-union employers in all areas of labor and employment law. Alexander also provides counseling to employers on day-to-day personnel matters. Cook joined the firm in 2007. Originally from Anchorage, Cook worked for the Alaska State Legislature and as a clerk for Alaska Superior Court Judge Patrick McKay before joining the firm. Cook’s litigation practice includes construction law, federal contracting, contract disputes, bid protests, municipal law, and general litigation. Michaletz joined the firm in 2013. Michaletz serves the firm’s clients in a wide variety of fields including commercial litigation, construction law, personal injury, and administrative law. In addition, she counsels clients on compliance with state and federal health care law, and her advocacy has enabled clients to achieve successful results in Medicaid audits and certificate of need litigation. Michaletz first came to Alaska to clerk for Superior Court Judge Peter Michalski after graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School, and joined the firm after having practiced as a trial and supervising attorney at the Anchorage District Attorney’s Office for six years.
Anchorage architecture, master planning and interior design firm Kumin has added Eileen Elento to their design team as CAD Drafter. Elento’s education includes coursework at the Art Institute of Seattle, majoring in interior design. She intends to continue pursuit of a bachelor’s degree at UAA this fall, while continuing her position with Kumin. She also holds an associate of applied science in architectural & engineering technology from UAA. Her work experience includes serving as AutoCAD/Revit technician for UAA; draftsperson for Dimond Center Holdings, LLC, where she worked closely with architectural staff; and design intern for Brandt Design Group in Seattle, with a focus on residential projects.
Tiffany Jackson, a member of the Aleutians East Borough School Board, won election as a director of the National School Boards Association. Jackson is the first Alaska Native/American Indian to win a seat on the national organization’s governing body. Jackson will serve a two-year term on the NSBA board as a representative from the Pacific Region, replacing Frank C. Pugh of California, who was named secretary-treasurer. She was also elected as president-elect of the American Indian/Alaska Native caucus of the national organization. Jackson is president of the Association of Alaska School Boards and is president of her local board. She resides in Sand Point. She was elected at the opening session of the NSBA 2016 Annual Conference in Boston.
Bering Straits Native Corp. announced two promotions within the company’s senior management team. Richard Foster was promoted to executive vice president and Laura Edmondson was promoted to senior vice president/chief financial officer. Foster formerly served as senior vice president of Government Services and Edmondson served as chief financial officer. Foster joined BSNC as vice president of Business Development in 2004 following a 28-year career in the U.S. Air Force. Foster served as Command
Chief (Senior Enlisted Advisor) for the 3rd Wing Commander at Elmendorf Air Force Base prior to joining BSNC. Edmondson joined BSNC in 2013. She provides strategic and technical financial advice to the company and is responsible for planning, implementing, managing and reporting all financial-related activities for the company. Edmondson has more than 20 years of financial, operations and risk management experience. Prior to joining BSNC, Edmondson worked for another regional corporation for 10 years in several executive capacities, including chief financial officer and vice president of operations.
Northern Air Cargo Inc. recently named Gideon Garcia as the newly selected general manager for the Anchorage based, all-cargo airline. Gideon joins NAC bringing over 22 years of Alaska travel trade and business operations experience. He has previously served as regional manager for Holland America Tours; and, most recently and more notably as chief operating officer of CIRI Alaska Tourism Corp. where he managed a portfolio of five business units in Southcentral Alaska. Gideon holds a general management MBA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from The Evergreen State College. From 1988 to 1989, Gideon served with HHC, 119th Military Intelligence Brigade in Ft. Lewis Wash. Gideon is currently president of Anchorage East Rotary Club and Anchorage Downtown Partnership, and board member of Resource Development Council.
Posted Wednesday, April 06, 2016 - 3:28 pm
Resource Data Inc., a custom software development, geographic information system and IT consulting firm, has hired James Farmer as a system engineer and Tim Marvin as a senior systems engineer. Farmer’s professional experience includes systems administration experience providing IT support and consulting services to clients. He provided technical assistance and support on a contract basis to the Tesoro Refinery in Nikiski. Marvin received an associate of applied technologies & networking from College America in Fort Collins, Colo. He has multiple technical proficiencies in servers, applications, operating systems, storage and networking. His most recent position at KeyPoint Government Solutions Inc. in Colorado was as a senior systems administrator. Marvin was responsible for design, deployment, monitoring and maintaining the complete IT system. Prior to that he directed all aspects of global technology infrastructure including implementation, testing and maintenance of 150+ servers.
The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. hired Russell Read as chief investment officer. Read’s experience includes serving as the CIO to CalPERS, heading up his own private equity firm, overseeing risk and product engineering programs for Oppenheimer Funds, and serving as deputy chief investment officer for Deutsche Asset Management. Read holds a bachelor’s degree and MBA from the University of Chicago and attended Stanford University to earn an additional master’s degree in economics as well as a Ph.D. in political economy. His first day of work will be May 9, with a starting salary of $400,000.
The board of directors of PND Engineers Inc. has elected Jim Campbell, P.E., to the position of president, and Dempsey Thieman, P.E., S.E., to senior vice president. Campbell and Thieman succeed John Pickering, P.E., and Mike Hartley, P.E., respectively. Pickering, who has retired, joined PND in 1990 and served as president since 2012. Hartley, who has been with PND since 1981, assumed the role of senior vice president in 2012 and also helped lead PND through many transitions, to include expanding the firm’s reach internationally and into new market sectors. He will remain with PND in a consultant capacity, continuing to participate in several ongoing projects and providing expertise on select new efforts. PND’s board has also selected Torsten Mayrberger, P.E., Ph.D., to be a principal in the firm. Mayrberger has 15 years of professional engineering experience, and joined PND’s Anchorage office in 2009. He specializes in geotechnical investigations and deep foundation design in permafrost soils, as well as geotechnical investigations in marine and non-permafrost soils. He was also instrumental in establishing PND’s AASHTO-accredited state-of-the-practice geotechnical lab testing facility in Anchorage.
The U.S. Geological Survey selected Dr. Michelle Coombs as the next scientist-in-charge of the Alaska Volcano Observatory, a cooperative program of the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys. Coombs succeeds John Power, who served as AVO SIC for the past five years and will now rotate to an AVO staff geophysicist position. Following her time as an undergraduate student at Williams College in Massachusetts, Coombs traveled northwest to study at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her interest in volcanoes drew her to study the causes behind the 1953-68 eruptions of the Southwest Trident Volcano in Katmai National Park. After receiving her doctorate in geology in 2001, she began a postdoctoral position with the USGS in Menlo Park, Calif. There, she studied landslide hazards and evolution of Hawaiian volcanoes until 2004 when she returned to Alaska to join AVO. As a research geologist at AVO, Coombs participated in the responses to the 2006 and 2009 eruptions of Augustine and Redoubt in Alaska’s Cook Inlet. She has also studied the evolution and hazards of volcanoes along the expanse of Alaska’s Aleutian arc.
Joseph Murry has been promoted to enterprise banker with KeyBank in Alaska, responsible for developing and managing relationships with Key’s largest commercial clients throughout Alaska. He is also responsible for partnering with KeyBanc Capital Markets in order to bring Key’s full range of investment banking and capital markets capabilities to Alaskan companies. Murry began his career with KeyBank in October 2009, following 12 years in the commercial banking industry in Milwaukee. He graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a bachelor’s degree in finance and The Graduate of School of Banking in Boulder, Colo.. He was recognized in 2007 by the Milwaukee Business Journal in its annual “40 under 40” ranking of local professionals. He was a recipient of KeyBank’s 2013 Signature Circle Award for Outstanding Performance and was an Alaska Market Top Performer in 2014.
Bering Straits Native Corp. promoted Kevin Ivanoff to vice president of information technology. Ivanoff formerly served as BSNC’s senior director of IT. Ivanoff, a BSNC shareholder, joined BSNC in 2008 as its senior systems administrator. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administrative management from the University of Alaska Anchorage and holds a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer certification.
First National Bank Alaska Senior Vice President Charlie Weimer was named the bank’s new Branch Lending administrator. Based in First National’s Soldotna Branch, Weimer will now work closely with bank leaders in Fairbanks and the Mat-Su Valley, as well as those on the Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak, Valdez, Glennallen Bethel and Southeast Alaska. He’s helped Alaskans meet their banking goals for more than 32 years. Upon graduation, Weimer joined First National’s management associate program, working in Anchorage before finding a permanent home on the Kenai Peninsula in 1984.
Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - 2:53 pm
Northrim Bank announced the hiring of AVP Assistant Electronic Channel Delivery Manager James Beasley and VP Systems and Network Manager Ryan Caldwell. Beasley joins Northrim with nearly 10 years of electronic banking experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University and an MBA from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Caldwell joins Northrim with almost 13 years of IT experience. He worked as the Information Systems manager at JBER while he was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army and was a senior project manager for a local IT company following his military service. Caldwell holds bachelor’s degrees in business management and management information systems from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in computer information systems from University of Maryland University College. He also holds a Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification.
Lauren Rocco recently joined McDowell Group’s Anchorage office as a senior analyst and project manager. Prior to joining McDowell Group, she directed the Alaska Humanities Forum’s Rose Cross-Cultural Exchange programs. Her professional experience includes conducting research for the Cook Inlet Tribal Council and Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor; leading experiential leadership courses for the National Outdoor Leadership School; and supporting the U.S. Antarctic Program at Amundsen-Scott and McMurdo stations. Rocco holds a master’s degree in digital media and education from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in Government from Dartmouth College.
Professional Growth Systems added Theo Hunt to the consulting team. Hunt attained her MBA from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2005. She has spent the last 10 years implementing process improvement and project management tools and her work recently culminated with her being awarded a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. During her tenure at Southcentral Foundation, Hunt worked on the management team that implemented a unified, campus-wide Electronic Health Record System for 36 different solutions in over 43 health care clinics, which was awarded the Project Excellence Award. She also supported the successful site visit and the winning of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
Posted Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 2:52 pm
Thompson & Co. Public Relations President and CEO Jennifer Thompson was inducted into the Anchorage ATHENA Society on March 21, along with 10 other members in the class of 2016. Anchorage’s most influential female leaders are invited into the society each year, chosen for their support of Anchorage’s business community and their dedication to helping business women in Anchorage. A program of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, the society works to encourage the potential of all women as valued members and leaders of the business community. Thompson took the reigns of Bernholz & Graham Public Relations under her mentor, ATHENA Society member Robbie Graham, and purchased the PR firm in 2009. As president and CEO of Thompson & Co. PR, she’s more than doubled the agency’s size, diversified its clients, grown the agency’s New York City office and recently opened a Houston, Texas, office.
Residential Mortgage announced the hiring of Wasilla Branch Manager Gwen Greenup, and Mortgage Loan Officer Susan Fitzgerald-Brinegar. Greenup joins Residential Mortgage with 10 years of experience in mortgage lending, most recently working at Alaska USA Mortgage Co. She is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran. Greenup has lived in Alaska for over 28 years, enjoying family, boating, cross-country skiing and hiking. She volunteers with the Valley Board of Realtors. Fitzgerald-Brinegar joins the Residential Mortgage team with four years of experience as a loan originator after a career in real estate. She has been in Alaska for over 20 years and is an active volunteer with Beta Sigma Phi, the Valley Board of Realtors, The Children’s Place and Homeless Connect.
Posted Wednesday, March 16, 2016 - 2:28 pm
The Alaska Air Carriers Association scholarship, underwritten for the last four years by Crowley Fuels in Alaska, was recently awarded to Brandon Smothers, a high school senior at Interior Distance Education Alaska in Fairbanks. Smothers, a Talkeetna native, will enter University of Alaska Fairbanks this fall to pursue a degree in aeronautical engineering. Don King, senior account executive, highway sales for Crowley, presented Smothers with the $3,000 scholarship at AACA’s 50th Annual Convention in Anchorage. Smothers’ love of aviation began at the age of 12 when he joined the nationally-recognized Talkeetna Build-a-Plane program where he learned valuable skills like sheet metal fabrication and repair, riveting, electrical repair and welding, as well as project management and leadership. Soon after joining the program, he began flight training and has since logged over 50 hours. Because of his excellent work and dedication to the TBAP program, Smothers has been selected to attend multiple simulator sessions with both UPS and FedEx, and has worked as an intern for air-taxi company, K2 Aviation. He expects to complete his private pilot training this spring.
The Mat-Su Health Foundation recently welcomed Jim Beck and Vandana Ingle to its team. In addition, Desiré Shepler was promoted to director of a community initiative supported by the foundation called R.O.C.K. Mat-Su (Raising Our Children with Kindness). Beck joined the foundation staff as a program officer, and he is leading the Healthy Aging focus area. He previously served as executive director of Access Alaska Inc. He holds a master’s degree in public administration with a nonprofit management concentration from the University of Colorado at Denver, and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Ingle was hired as a program associate to support the foundation’s program team in implementing grant programs and other strategies to further the organization’s mission. Ingle previously served as director of development and communication at Frontline Mission. She earned a master’s degree in communications media for children from SNDT College, India, a bachelor’s degree in ministry from Nazarene Bible College in Colorado Springs, and a bachelor’s degree in commerce/banking and finance from the University of Poona, India. In her new role as director of R.O.C.K. Mat-Su, Shepler oversees a collaborative project working towards increasing family resilience and creating a culture that supports children and families, as well as reducing child maltreatment and number of Adverse Childhood Experiences Mat-Su Children experience. Prior to her promotion, Desiré was a program officer with the foundation. She holds a master of public health degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage, as well as a bachelor’s degree, also from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and an associate’s degree from Mat-Su College. She received an academic scholarship from MSHF in 2010, the first such scholarship recipient who went on to employment with the Foundation.
Effective Feb. 18, Bill Cohen, PLS, retired from R&M Consultants Inc., where he served as senior vice president of Geomatics since 2008. Bill Preston, PLS, GISP, has been named as the firm’s new vice president of Geomatics. The Geomatics Department includes land surveying, right of way services and geographic information systems. Preston has been with R&M since 2000 and has more than 15 years of experience in field and office work. Preston holds a bachelor’s degree in geomatics from the University of Alaska Anchorage. He is a professional land surveyor licensed in Alaska and a certified GIS professional. Cohen joined R&M in 2008. Over his 40-year surveying career, he participated in hundreds of surveys for municipal agencies and performed surveying and mapping on many large projects throughout Alaska, including projects for Anchorage Water & Wastewater Utilities, Municipality of Anchorage, Parks and Recreation, Heritage Land Bank, Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska Railroad Corporation, UAA and Anchorage School District.
Anchorage Economic Development Corp. added Natasha Price as its new communications coordinator. Price joins AEDC following her role at Spirit of Youth where she was responsible for social media and communications. Born and raised in Anchorage, she earned a bachelor’s degree in languages and journalism from the University of Alaska. Price has immersed herself in the Anchorage community through service on the Anchorage Youth Development Coalition Leadership Team, the 90% By 2020 Community Will-Building team and her involvement in organizing the LovAlaska Youth Pick.Click.Give. campaign.
Posted Wednesday, March 09, 2016 - 2:32 pm
Anna Kohler has been promoted to sales executive in USI’s Commercial Insurance Division at its Anchorage office. In her new capacity, Kohler will consult organizations on risk and insurance programs and will advise them as to the best coverage for potential risks unique to their business. Kohler has been with USI as an account manager since 2014. Kohler’s background includes more than more than six years of experience in insurance and risk management, with extensive knowledge of both health and property/casualty insurance. Kohler is a graduate of Baylor University.
Denali Federal Credit Union has hired Gracia O’Connell as assistant vice president of Call Center Operations and eServices. In this role she is responsible for developing a positive sales and service environment through call center transactions, new account openings and member problem resolution, and creating effective remote access channels for members. Prior to joining Denali FCU, O’Connell worked at Alaska USA for more than 14 years, starting in their Telephone Loan Center and progressing through Consumer Lending and Compliance positions within the credit union. O’Connell is working on a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Alaska Pacific University.
Eklutna Inc., the Alaska Native village corporation for the Anchorage, Chugiak-Eagle River, and Mat-Su has announced three promotions. In January, Mary Duncan became the chief administrative officer of Eklutna. Duncan joined Eklutna in September 2004 as the accounting and office manager. In October 2007, she became the chief financial officer. Nick Francis was promoted to chief operating officer. He joined Eklutna in January 2013 as the director of Construction, Contracting & Government Affairs and oversaw Eklutna’s construction subsidiary Eklutna Services LLC. Before joining Eklutna, Inc. Francis was the senior project manager for the Norton Sound Regional Hospital in Nome for DOWL Engineers. While working at Eklutna, Francis successfully completed the MBA program with Purdue. In January, Noel Aspiras was promoted as the Real Estate and Land specialist for Eklutna’s Land and Real Estate departments. Aspiras joined Eklutna in April 2014 as a project intern for Eklutna’s construction subsidiary Eklutna Services LLC while finishing his construction management degree at University of Alaska Anchorage.
Karen Mansfield, commander of the Alaska Air National Guard and assistant adjutant general, was promoted from colonel to the rank of brigadier general at a ceremony March 6. Mansfield served in the Alaska Air National Guard from 2000 to 2010, and returned last year for her current assignment. As the commander, she ensures the training and equipping of more than 2,000 Alaska citizen Airmen here; and at Eielson Air Force Base and Clear Air Force Station, both near Fairbanks. Mansfield is the second female member of the Alaska Air National Guard to be promoted to the rank of general.
The Arctic Slope Native Association announced Dr. Barbara Medlin has been named chief of staff for Physician Services at Simmonds Memorial Hospital for the second year in a row. Over the 25 years of her practice career, she has provided general medical care as a family practitioner, delivered more than 500 babies, provided hospital care and nursing home care, and worked in emergency rooms and urgent care clinics. Dr. Alanna Small has been named deputy chief of staff for Physician Services. Small began her employment at SSMH in 2015 as an internal medicine physician and has been integral in expanding SSMH inpatient services. After having completed her residency training and chief resident year at the Tulane School of Medicine Internal Medicine program in Louisiana, Small joined the Internal Medicine Hospitalist department at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage.
Posted Wednesday, March 02, 2016 - 2:29 pm
Shawn Uschmann has been named director of External Affairs for AT&T Alaska. Uschmann will spearhead AT&T’s legislative and community affairs initiatives throughout the state and assist with new technology deployment and infrastructure investment. Prior to his new role, Uschmann served as the AT&T sales director in Alaska, where he worked with state, federal, and enterprise business customers. Uschmann attend the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where he studied economics. He will be based at AT&T’s Anchorage office.
Phil Reid has been promoted to a commercial banking relationship manager and vice president at KeyBank. In his new role, he is responsible for providing financial solutions to large commercial clients, maintaining existing client relationships and developing new business opportunities throughout the state of Alaska. Reid has more than 21 years of financial service and sales management experience. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech and a former Alaska Journal of Commerce Top Forty Under 40 award recipient. Reid is currently a member of Anchorage South Rotary, serves on the boards of both the Anchorage Community YMCA and the Community Pregnancy Center Anchorage, and serves in the Navy Reserve as a Commander.
Robert “Nick” Enos, MS, CPG, has joined DOWL’s mining and environmental staff. Enos joined DOWL as a senior environmental project manager based in the Bend, Ore., office. He is a senior geoscientist and environmental professional with over 20 years of experience in the mineral industry, primarily in environmental management, permitting, project management, project development, geotechnical and environmental studies, reclamation and closure planning, and National Environmental Policy Act planning. Prior to joining DOWL, Enos was the environmental manager and permitting manager at Barrick and NovaGold’s Donlin Gold Project in Alaska. DOWL has 25 offices throughout Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.
Coastal Villages Region Fund announced the addition of two new team members to its community benefits staff: Lang Van Dommelen and Lena Aloysius. Van Dommelen will fill the position of community information coordinator. Having grown up in rural Alaska, Lang holds a degree in political science and environmental studies from the University of Alaska Anchorage. He has worked as a research professional at the Institute of Social and Economic Research, Alaska Energy Authority, Alaska Center for Energy and Power, and Intelligent Energy Systems, a renewable energy company providing services to villages in rural Alaska, including the CVRF region. Aloysius will fill the position of community program coordinator. She grew up in Holy Cross and holds an undergraduate degree in political science from Pacific University and an education graduate degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Denver. Aloysius’ passion is education; she has worked as an instructor at a creative arts academy in Colorado and at Mt. Edgecumbe in Sitka where she attended high school. Most recently, she served as a shareholder outreach manager for Doyon Universal Services where she specialized in designing and implementing workforce development programs to advance the careers of shareholders.
R&M’s Senior Land Surveyor John Bennett, PLS, SR/WA was inducted into the 2016 Alaska Surveying & Mapping Conference Hall of Fame. The ASMC Hall of Fame program honors the exemplary contributions of surveying and mapping professionals in Alaska. Bennett was inducted into the Hall of Fame during the ASMC’s Annual Awards Banquet on Feb. 18. Bennett is a Senior Land Surveyor at R&M and has more than 30 years of land surveying experience in Alaska. He is based in R&M’s Fairbanks office and is responsible for tasks relating to the development of surveys and plans to define existing rights of way or new ROW to be acquired by a public agency. Since joining R&M, he has worked on a variety of airport and highway mapping and title research projects for the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, title research for a gas distribution system in Fairbanks, provided support to the Attorney General’s office relating to title and acquisition services, and worked on projects for private clients to resolve title and boundary conflicts. Bennett commenced his career in surveying and mapping with the Alaska Department of Highways in 1972. He spent 28 years with DOT&PF Northern Region ROW, starting as Titles and Plans supervisor and ending with almost 15 years as ROW chief
Posted Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - 1:33 pm
Denali Federal Credit Union has promoted Lily Li to executive vice president and chief operating officer, and Dale Fosselman to chief corporate development officer. Li most recently served as the Credit Union’s chief operating officer, and previously worked as senior VP of central operations, and as vice president, internal audit and compliance. Prior to joining Denali, Li was involved in accounting and auditing with the Municipality of Anchorage, KPMG and several Alaska banks. She is a CPA and a NAFCU Certified Compliance Officer. She received a degree in management science from Alaska Pacific University and an accounting degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She earned a master’s degree in global finance from Alaska Pacific University. Fosselman, who was promoted from the senior VP corporate development position, supervises Denali’s Credit Union Service Organizations. These entities are for-profit subsidiaries of the Credit Union, and include Denali Alaskan Insurance, and two analytics subsidiaries: Denali Analytics and Deep Future Analytics. Fosselman received a bachelor’s degree in organizational administration and a master’s of business administration degree from Alaska Pacific University. He has held the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter qualification and Certified Credit Union Executive credential.
Associate Financial Planner Kailie Abascal has joined Alaska Permanent Capital Management. Abascal attended the University of Washington, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in international studies and in Spanish language and literature. During her time at UW, she studied abroad in Cienfuegos, Cuba, and Quito, Ecuador, and fell in love with the cultures and history of Latin America. Upon graduating, Abascal moved to Oaxaca, Mexico, where she earned the Teacher of English to Speaker of Other Languages certification, and worked as an Instructional Supervisor at Berlitz Language Center. She lived and worked in Mexico for nearly three years, before moving back to the United States to pursue her master’s degree in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University on a full scholarship.
Andrew Niemiec, PE, has joined Stantec as transportation manager in its Anchorage office. He has more than 28 years of in-state project development experience, spending most of his professional career working for the State of Alaska in a variety of capacities. He is an associate of the firm. At Stantec, Niemiec will provide senior design leadership and management for a variety of transportation projects. He will manage Stantec staff working on transportation projects based out of Anchorage, Fairbanks, Wasilla and Juneau. Niemiec was the executive director of the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority for more than six years. Additionally, he worked with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities in its Nome, Anchorage and Fairbanks offices. Niemiec is a graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a charter member of Alpha Kappa Chi, the civil engineering honor society.
Nolan Klouda, executive director of the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development, recently earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer, a national recognition that denotes a mastery of principal skills in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to personal and professional growth. With more than five years of economic development experience, Klouda has led a variety of initiatives to help create jobs in Alaska, including a current effort to develop a five-year strategic plan for economic development on the Kenai Peninsula.
After more than 38 years working in almost all areas of the organization, Cindi Buzitis was promoted to senior vice president at First National Bank Alaska. In addition to serving as one of First National’s 11 senior vice presidents on the executive management team, she’s also its Bank Secrecy Act and Bank Operations support manager. In Buzitis’ current position, she manages the bank’s Corporate Compliance, Customer Support, Deposit Services, Manual and Review units. Buzitis joined First National as a mini proof clerk in January 1977. She spent subsequent years on multiple tasks like installing the bank’s first ATMs and played an instrumental role in the 1997 conversion to a new software and hardware mainframe.
Colleen Harrington Baer of Alaska USA Mortgage Company has been promoted to regional vice president for Alaska, California, and Washington. She began her career with Alaska USA in 2000 as a manager of special credits and transitioned to mortgage lending in 2003. In 2012, Baer was promoted to assistant vice president of the West Abbott office. Baer has been in finance for more than 20 years and involved with Rotary since 1998.
The Arc of Anchorage board of directors announced the appointment of Barbara Rodriguez-Rath to serve as CEO of The Arc of Anchorage. With several decades of experience in social services and most recently, her previous service as The Arc’s chief operating officer, Rodriguez-Rath begins her role as CEO for the organization that serves Alaskans who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities. Rodriguez-Rath has worked in the field of health and human services for over 20 years and is a graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a bachelor’s degree in social work and holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Alaska Anchorage. In 1995 she began her career in Fairbanks working with youth in residential facilities designed to provide support for individuals experiencing severe emotional disturbances.
Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 3:48 pm
Dave Pfeifer, who took on the responsibility of Ukpeagvik Iñupiat Corp., or UIC, Commercial Operations as its new senior vice president last August, is now additionally overseeing the UIC Government Services business. Pfeifer holds a master’s degree in Construction and Real Estate from the University of Denver and a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Minnesota. In addition, he received his bachelor’s degree in Real Estate Business Administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage. His background includes positions with the National Bank of Alaska, Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, and Providence Alaska Medical Center. He also served as president of real estate development for Cook Inlet Region, Inc.
Doris Hugo-Shavings has been promoted by Ukpeagvik Iñupiat Corp. as the chief of staff for UIC Commercial Operations. She was originally hired by UIC in the fall of 2015 as the director of strategy. Prior to joining UIC, Hugo-Shavings worked at Shell Exploration & Production Company for nearly 10 years in public relations, community affairs, operations and social performance. Hugo-Shavings holds two bachelor’s degrees in strategic communication and political science from the University of Alaska, Anchorage and a master’s degree in business administration from the Michael G. Foster School of Business, at the University of Washington. She was born and raised in Barrow.
Keith Burke joins Ukpeagvik Iñupiat Corp. Oil and Gas Support Services as its new manager. Burke brings several years of oil and gas experience from Alaska’s North Slope and Sakhalin, Russia. He has more than 30 years of experience working in the oil and gas industry, he’s worked for Alyeska Pipeline Services Co., Alaska Support Industry Alliance, Natchiq Sakhalin LLC, and CCI INC. His previous work included: managing operations and maintenance of the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline and Terminal; creating a joint-venture between an Alaska Native corporation subsidiary and Russia-based corporations securing high-value industry support contracts; and providing services to environmental, construction, oilfield and government sectors. Most recently, Keith worked in the health and intellectual property industries developing business systems and processes to improve day-to-day efficiencies and effectiveness.
Jack Ferguson Associates announced the addition of Allison Nyholm and Wyatt Perry, as partner and associate respectively. Nyholm’s experience with federal and state legislative and regulatory issues spans two decades. Nyholm most recently worked for Sen. Lisa Murkowski, where she handled budget, transportation and appropriations issues. Previously, she was a policy adviser at the American Petroleum Institute, specializing in federal oil and gas royalty regulation, and a consultant on energy development projects. Originally from Soldotna, Nyholm received a bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Alaska Southeast. While working in the D.C. office for Alaska Govs. Wally Hickel, Frank Murkowski and Sarah Palin, Nyholm earned master’s degrees in public policy and business administration. Perry, a finance and economics specialist, previously served as a special assistant to the Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Revenue under former Gov. Sean Parnell and current Gov. Bill Walker, where he acted as the project leader on developing fiscal initiatives to address Alaska’s budget deficit. Also from Alaska, Perry was born and raised in Anchorage and attended the University of Alaska Anchorage with a double major in finance and economics.
R&M Consultants, Inc. added Emily Benitti to its Anchorage office as an environmental specialist in January. She will be responsible for ongoing regulatory compliance, permitting, environmental baseline monitoring, Phase I and II environmental site assessments, general contaminated sites work, NEPA impact analysis, SWPPP implementation and other related environmental services in support of highway, street, airport, site development, waterfront and other infrastructure projects. Bentti has more than eight years of environmental and public involvement experience. Since joining R&M she has been preparing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits for the Yakutat Ocean Cape Dock Fender System Repairs, and preparing USACE permits and writing agency coordination letters for the Valdez Harbor Municipal Harbor Improvements. Bentti has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and regional planning from Washington State University.
Charles “Chuck” Collins has been selected to manage KeyBank’s Mendenhall branch. Collins has more than 25 years of financial service and sales management experience. He is a long time local businessman and attended Kansas State University. Collins is a former Chamber of Commerce president and Juneau Economic Development Council executive director.
Posted Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 2:20 pm
Darrell Friess and Margaret Nelson each captured the Top Producer Award for earned commissions in 2015, announced Broker Molly Friess of Alaska Real Estate Alliance Darrel Friess is owner and founder of Alaska Real Estate Alliance and Nelson is a sales associate.
Dave Kemp was named the Central Region Director for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. Kemp has 11 years of public service with the department. Most recently he served as director for Statewide Facilities where he showed exemplary performance of managing the programming, design and construction phases of public facility capital improvement projects across Alaska. As an efficiency and cost-saving measure, Kemp will continue to oversee Statewide Facilities in his new role. Kemp will also continue to serve as the department’s Facilities Maintenance Shared Services project director. This project consists of a multi-departmental working group tasked with creating efficiencies to reduce costs and better manage State of Alaska public facilities. Kemp is a licensed professional engineer and project management professional. He holds bachelor’s degrees in business administration and civil engineering.
Explore Fairbanks recently announced the election results and appointments of its 2016 Board of Directors. Executive Officers are: Matt Divens, Chair, Holland America Princess Alaska-Yukon; Dustin Adams, Past Chair, Regency Fairbanks Hotel; Kory Eberhardt, Chair Elect, A Taste of Alaska Lodge; Andy Anger, Treasurer, University of Alaska Fairbanks Community & Technical College; and Irene Meyer, Secretary, GoNorth Alaska Travel Center. Board members are: Communications Chair Jason Avery, Pioneer Park, Parks and Recreation, Fairbanks North Star Borough; Tourism Chair Mok Kumagai, Aurora Borealis Lodge; Meetings & Conventions Chair Patricia Silva, Westmark Hotel & Conference Center; Visitor Services & Partnership Development Chair Buzzy Chiu, Premier Alaska Tours; Audit Chair Kathy Hedges, Arctic Circle Trading Post; Public Policy Advisory Chair Andy Anger, University of Alaska Fairbanks Community & Technical College; Debbie Mathews, Expressions in Glass; Becky Kunkle, Wedgewood Resort, Fountainhead Hotels; Ashley Bradish, Gold Dredge 8 and Riverboat Discovery; Bruce LaLonde, Alaska Railroad; and Ralf Dobrovolny, 1st Alaska Outdoor School.
Alaska Center for Ear, Nose & Throat welcomed Dr. Kaylyn Hum as the newest member of the practice. Hum is a certified audiologist, recognized by both the Academy of Audiology and the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association. Hum earned her clinical doctorate in audiology from the University of Utah in 2013. She is most passionate about pediatric audiology, including evaluations, amplification, Auditory Brainstem Response testing and bone conduction amplification. Prior to joining ACENT, she practiced at Alaska Native Medical Center.
Julie Griffith and Katey Clem have been promoted to retail sales branch managers by Denali Federal Credit Union: Griffith at the Credit Union’s Wasilla branch, and Clem at the South Anchorage Walmart branch. Griffith has spent nearly seven years at Denali FCU, most recently as the assistant branch manager at the Wasilla branch. She had worked at National Bank of Alaska’s VISA department for six years, and owned her own car dealership prior to joining the credit union. Clem has more than five years’ experience at Denali prior to assuming her new position, most recently as the assistant branch manager at the South Anchorage Walmart branch. She is an active member of Business Networking International, currently serving on the membership Committee. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of Alaska Anchorage.
Justin Shaw, PE, has joined the R&M Consultants Inc. Anchorage office. Shaw joined R&M’s Engineering Department as a project engineer in October 2015. As part of R&M’s Water Resources Group, he is responsible for hydrologic and hydraulic analysis and design of water resources, roadway, airport, site development, and hydropower projects. Shaw has more than five years of experience in water resources engineering. He has worked on numerous hydrologic, hydraulic, and erosion control projects for public and private sector clients, including the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Department of Natural Resources, and Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. He is experienced in creating H&H models, analyzing natural and man-made drainage systems, generating flood mitigation measures, and performing sedimentation and erosion studies. His work has focused on one- and two-dimensional modeling of riverine and coastal environments. Since joining R&M, Shaw has worked on a culvert replacement project near Galena to replace the existing, deteriorated drainage structure within limited right-of-way. He is also working on the Little Goldstream project near Nenana to replace an older bridge with a fish passable culvert. Shaw has master’s and bachelor’s degrees in civil and environmental engineering from Mississippi State University. He is a professional civil engineer licensed in Alaska.
Posted Wednesday, February 03, 2016 - 2:35 pm
Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council Director of Programs Donna Schantz has been promoted to the position of executive director. Schantz replaces Mark Swanson, who retired from the council last November. Since then, Schantz has served as acting executive director. Schantz joined the council staff in 1999 and has served as director of programs since 2001. She is a graduate of Providence College in Rhode Island with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Schantz previously served as acting executive director in 2009 after the departure of long time Executive Director John Devens. Notable accomplishments include her recognition by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2015 for her exceptional professionalism, positive demeanor, open communications and contributions in support of the Prince William Sound Subarea Committee, and her work towards the passage of legislation for dual escorts in Prince William Sound under her leadership in 2010. Schantz served as an elected member of the Valdez City Council from 2012-14.
Dean Williams was appointed as commissioner of the Department of Corrections. Williams conducted an administrative review of the department, and identified key areas for improvement in policies and procedures. Williams spent more than 30 years working in the state’s justice system. He worked for 12 years as a juvenile justice officer, five years for the Department of Law and 14 years as Division of Juvenile Justice superintendent overseeing various facilities throughout the state.
Jenifer Burris was selected as the Alaska National Guard Spouse of the Year. Her bio can be found here: msoy.militaryspouse.com. In 2013, Military Spouse magazine expanded the Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year program by introducing an installation echelon. Nominations are now aggregated at the base (Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy), district (Coast Guard), and state level (National Guard). Voters then elected a base level winner at each of these installations. The Base Level Spouses of the Year represent the best of the base, and are a key component in the grass roots level of communication in the military community.
On Feb. 1, Thompson & Company Public Relations opened an office in Houston, Texas, creating the third location for the nationally-recognized firm. The firm promoted Liz Baker to vice president, and she will lead the Gulf Coast office in her new role. Baker joined the agency as a senior account manager in 2012 after moving to Anchorage with agency experience from her home state of South Carolina. She brings an expertise in account planning and business development to the Thompson & Co. team. The new office will serve the agency’s current clients who have operations or partners along the Gulf Coast and will also present new business opportunities for Thompson & Co. As the fourth largest city in the country, Houston offers new leads in the health care industry with the largest medical center in the world and is headquarters of many Fortune 500 companies.
Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 3:09 pm
R&M Consultants Inc. named Len Story, PLS as the firm’s new CEO and Bret Coburn as chief financial officer, effective Jan. 1. This is a planned change as laid out in the firm’s succession plan. Story joined R&M in 1979, as a survey technician. Over the past 37 years, he has worked his way up, filling roles as party chief, senior land surveyor, Surveying and Mapping Department manager, vice president, chief operating officer (2008-2015) and now CEO. In conjunction with assuming the CEO role, he was also voted President of R&M’s board of directors. Coburn served as R&M’s CEO with responsibility for oversight of the firm’s administrative and financial functions from 2002 to 2014. He is moving into the CFO position at R&M and will continue to be responsible for financial matters at the firm, and providing oversight of the firm’s accounting and administrative staff. Coburn was recently voted vice president of R&M’s board. Prior to joining R&M, Coburn worked for the St. George Tanaq Corp. in various positions, ending his 19-year tenure as the corporation’s CEO. His professional experience includes more than 30 years of involvement in professional services, land development, construction and finance.
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced several promotions within her Washington, D.C., office at the beginning of the second session of the 114th Congress. These movements in her personal office include Michael Pawlowski, Nathan Bergerbest, Garrett Boyle and Karina Petersen. Pawlowski, currently the deputy chief of staff, will begin transitioning into the role of chief of staff. Pawlowski joined Murkowski’s team on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in December 2014. Before that, he served as Alaska’s Deputy Commissioner of Revenue. Pawlowski will replace Ed Hild, who has served as Chief of Staff since 2011. Mr. Hild will be leaving the Senate after over 20 years of service. Bergerbest, currently senior counsel and legislative assistant, has been promoted to the role of deputy chief of staff. Bergerbest has served as senior counsel to Murkowski since 2003 handling the national security, foreign relations, judiciary, Alaska public lands, Indian Affairs, public safety and federal civil service portfolios at various times over the past 12 years. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California and a master of public health degree from Harvard University. Boyle, who joined the office last year as Legislative Assistant handling health care, environmental, and rural development policy issues, will take over the role of legislative director. Boyle received his bachelor’s degree from Seattle University and is a graduate of Tulane University School of Law. Prior to joining Senator Murkowski’s staff, he ran his own business dealing with oil and gas and patent law issues, and served as an extern in the Eastern District of Louisiana while in law school. Petersen, who has served as Murkowski’s Alaska communications director for a year and a half, has been promoted to the role of communications director and will lead the senator’s communications efforts in both Washington, D.C., and Alaska. Previously, Petersen worked as the media relations coordinator for Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization that provides aid to victims of war, disaster, and disease in over 100 countries. Prior to that, she was a reporter and weekend anchor at KTVA CBS 11 News in Anchorage for over two years. Petersen holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism in radio-television news from the University of Missouri.
First National Bank Alaska announced two appointments, bringing a new branch manager to the Federal Branch and a new officer to the Trust Department. A 15-year banking veteran, Krissi Estrada takes over as branch manager at the Federal Branch in Downtown Anchorage. Adam Sikorski joined First National’s Trust Department with 12 years of investing experience. He was born and raised in Alaska. As a trust officer, Sikorski will rely on his trust and investment knowledge to assist customers in building customized, tax-efficient portfolios.
Northrim Bank announced the promotion of Veronica Pillans, assistant vice president loan officer-Small Business Center, and the hiring of Bruce Tretzen, vice president relationship manager-Northrim Funding Services. Pillans has over 10 years banking and lending experience. She began her banking career at First National Bank Alaska in 2005 and joined the Northrim team in 2012. She is currently a loan officer with Northrim’s Small Business Center. A lifelong Alaskan, Pillans holds a Small Business Degree from University of Alaska Anchorage and completed the Banking and Finance program through American Bankers Association in 2015. Tretzen joins the Northrim Funding Services team with 17 years of commercial lending experience, nine of which in the asset based lending industry. He is a former business owner who studied accounting and business at Edmonds College and the University of Washington. He is a lifelong resident of Washington State and enjoys traveling.
The Wilson Agency LLC has recently hired Ron Devon to fill the position of retirement plan and financial services account strategist, and Jennifer Prowell for the position of Support Services manager. Devon joins The Wilson Agency with a strong background in business, having been a small business owner for most of his career. Prior to joining TWA, he worked with investors to provide them with financial planning services. His current role will focus on providing employers with the support they need to build a long term retirement strategy. Prowell brings years of IT experience to The Wilson Agency in her role as Support Services manager. This is a new position which has come about as a result of the recent merger of The Wilson Agency and Albers & Company, located in Tacoma, Wash. ConnectHR, The Wilson Agency’s human resource services division, has also had the need to grow its employee base. The company recently hired Mary Anne Aadnesen for the position of HR services senior partner, in addition to hiring a part-time employee and an intern.
Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 1:37 pm
Alaska USA Mortgage Company Senior Mortgage Loan Originator Catherine Donaldson has been recognized as Affiliate of the Year by the Greater Fairbanks Board of Realtors. The board annually recognizes one affiliate member who has provided outstanding contributions to the board and the Fairbanks real estate community. Donaldson has been a resident of Fairbanks since 1983. She started her career in the financial industry more than 28 years ago and has experience managing all aspects of the mortgage loan process including originating, processing, underwriting and closing.
Wells Fargo has named Jess Sarsfield as a business relationship manager serving customers in Homer and the southern Kenai Peninsula. He will focus on meeting the unique financial needs of business owners and managers in the southern Kenai Peninsula and helping their businesses succeed financially. Sarsfield joined Wells Fargo three years ago as an assistant store manager in Denver, Colo. He has spent the past two years serving as a store manager in Juneau and Craig on Prince of Wales Island. Sarsfield earned a bachelor’s degree in international business management from Brigham Young University in Hawaii. Sarsfield originally hails from England, and he is a certified scuba dive instructor.
University of Alaska Fairbanks atmospheric chemistry professor Catherine Cahill is the new director of the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration. Cahill has worked with unmanned aircraft at UAF since 2006. She has extensive experience developing payloads and conducting remote sensing, wildlife monitoring and emergency response activities. Cahill recently returned from Washington, D.C., where she worked for 19 months as a congressional fellow for the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. She received the 2013 Emil Usibelli Distinguished Service Award for helping the public and government officials understand air pollution across Alaska, especially in Fairbanks. One of Cahill’s first actions was to move ACAUSI’s offices to the Akasofu Building onto the Fairbanks campus, to facilitate collaborations with UAF researchers, natural hazard experts and emergency responders. Cahill replaces Marty Rogers, who will continue to serve as ACUASI’s business director. The center will also have a new director of its Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range Complex: John Nevadomsky. He replaces Ro Bailey, who retired this month. ACUASI is part the UAF Geophysical Institute.
Anchorage Downtown Partnership, Ltd. announced the hiring of Jamie Boring as the new executive director. As executive director, Boring directs the actions of ADP staff and board to support and strengthen the organizations purpose of assuring a vibrant downtown. Additionally, Boring leads ADP’s multiple facets of operations including maintenance, security, membership, events, public policy and marketing for Downtown. Boring is a lifelong Alaskan who is passionate about the success of downtown. Having been a business owner in the Downtown Improvement District and board member of ADP, he is aware of the challenges and unique opportunities that face downtown. Boring has a strong background in all facets of construction, development and finance and served in the United States Marine Corps.
Posted Wednesday, January 13, 2016 - 1:48 pm
Long-time Alaska businessman Tom Tougas joined First National Bank Alaska’s board of directors. Tougas’ rich history with the state’s tourism industry started in the 1970s as a tour bus driver while studying in college. Today, he owns Seward-based businesses Major Marine Tours and the 90-room Harbor 360 Hotel, and has helped manage numerous other companies throughout the years. Joining Tougas on the board are Lawer, Vice Chair Lucy Mahan, Adm. Tom Barrett, USCG (ret.) Dr. Maurice Coyle, Perry Eaton, Margy Johnson, Jane Klopfer, Loren H. Lounsbury and Fran Ulmer.
Alice Crow and Cody Troseth have joined the Calista Corp. team to lead the new shareholder enrollment effort. As Shareholder Enrollment director, Crow will work with ANCSA Stock Enrollment Project Manager Cody Troseth to develop and implement a program to enroll descendants of original shareholders and people who were eligible to enroll as Calista shareholders on Dec. 18, 1971, but did not. Crow will serve as a liaison and utilize collaboration, public relations and media coverage related to the expanded Shareholder program and will team with Troseth to create and deliver an appropriate multi-channel communication plan. They will also design a plan for a shareholder services program in Bethel and Anchorage, to include ongoing enrollment, shareholder relations, proxy management, dividend processing and shareholder benefits. An original shareholder of Calista and Bethel Native corps., Maar’aq Crow is also a member of the Orutsararmiut Native Council. Her experience includes work with small, rural and urban Alaska businesses and multinational companies, as well as with regional and statewide Tribal-focused entities. She graduated from Bethel High School and holds an MBA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and an MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Troseth is a descendant and shareholder of Calista Corp. Troseth has experience in project management, including the construction and energy sectors. Most recently, he worked on the Shell Alaska Exploration project in the Chukchi Sea. Troseth has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in project management from the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Dave Zimmerman, Timber and Special Forest Products program manager for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in Medford, Ore., was recently named the new Petersburg District Ranger. His arrival date has not yet been determined. Zimmerman worked for the Forest Service and private sector in both Juneau and Sitka for nearly two decades. In 1980, he became the first timber management assistant on the Juneau Ranger District and prior to that position he served as a supervisory forester at the Sitka Supervisor’s Officer. This was a time in the forest’s history when it was organized into three areas, which were the Ketchikan Area, Stikine Area (Petersburg) and the Chatham Area (Sitka). Zimmerman brings extensive knowledge and diverse experience to the Tongass and Petersburg Ranger District. He has worked in three regions, on five national forests, and seven ranger districts. He earned an undergraduate degree in forestry from the University of Missouri. He also attended a Forest Service-sponsored educational program called the Forest Engineering Institute at Oregon State University. Petersburg is one of 10 ranger districts located on the 16.8-million-acre Tongass.
The U.S. business law firm Stoel Rives LLP announced that James E. Torgerson, a partner in the firm’s Anchorage office, has been appointed firm-wide managing partner, making him the first Alaska-based managing partner of a major law firm in U.S. history. Torgerson, whose appointment went into effect Jan. 1, 2016, succeeds Bob Van Brocklin who served as the firm’s managing partner from 2008 to 2015. Stoel Rives has nearly 400 lawyers in seven states and the District of Columbia. Torgerson joined the firm as a founder and managing partner of the Anchorage office in 2008. He also has served on the firm’s executive committee since 2012. Torgerson has helped to grow the Anchorage office to 15 attorneys representing nearly all of the Native Alaskan companies in the state.
Credit Union 1 announced the promotion of Chad Johnson to information technology projects manager. Johnson was initially hired in 2004. Since then, he has served as a teller, senior teller, member service assistant, member service officer, credit solutions loan officer, staff trainer, marketing writer, information technology support assistant, and his most recent position of information technology business analyst. In his new position, Johnson will be responsible for managing and tracking components of multi-departmental projects that require the Information Technology Department. He will investigate new systems and software within the organization and how they interconnect with departments, vendors and members to ensure smooth and accurate integration. Additionally, Johnson will be responsible for incorporating feedback from staff and members who use credit union systems, mapping solutions and implementing custom programming, testing and production rollouts.
Posted Wednesday, January 06, 2016 - 1:37 pm
Dan Javes was named director of operations for NMS Food & Facilities Management, a division of NANA Management Services, the fifth-largest private employer in Alaska with more than 40 years of experience in the North Slope oil and gas industry. Javes will oversee operations in the education sector, at Fairbanks International Airport and restaurants operated by NMS Food & Facilities Management—The Varsity at the Alaska Airlines Center and MUSE Restaurant at Anchorage Museum. Operations for education clients include venues at the University of Alaska Anchorage and food services provided for K-12 schools. Most recently Javes was director of operations for Gate Gourmet, overseeing catering and facilities management at San Francisco International Airport. There, his achievements include implementing a safety culture that halved accidents, increased labor productivity and improved compliance with audits. Javes previously worked for NANA Services LLC for six years and held positions as president and vice president of operations for the global provider of federal and commercial services. He also has 15 years of experience with Sodexo/Marriott.
Credit Union 1 employee Holly Tabaczka has been promoted to the position of branch manager at the credit union’s Midtown Branch. Originally hired in 2007 as a teller, Tabaczka later held the positions of member services representative, consumer loan processor, member service supervisor and assistant branch manager at the credit union’s Midtown Branch, the position she held prior to this promotion. In her new position, Tabaczka will oversee the branch’s standards for quality in providing service to its members, while ensuring compliance of state and federal regulations and internal policies.
The Alaska Support Industry Alliance announced Hans Rodvik as its new external affairs coordinator. Rodvik was born in Anchorage, and is a lifelong Alaskan. He majored in political science and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Alaska Anchorage in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree. During the 2014 legislative session he worked for Alaska Senate Majority Leader Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole, as a legislative intern. Following that session, he worked as part of the Anchorage field team on the successful Vote No On One campaign. In the fall of 2014 he joined Americans for Prosperity Alaska, working as a field associate during the U.S. Senate race. In January, before graduating from UAA, Rodvik joined AFP-AK full time as field director. As field director, he worked to advance free market policies and limited government by organizing grassroots campaigns, using cutting edge technology, and effectively engaging elected officials. Each summer for the past seven years, Rodvik has also commercial fished for sockeye salmon; three years in Cook Inlet and four years in Bristol Bay. Rodvik joined the Alliance in 2015.
Altman, Rogers & Co., CPA’s announced that Katherine Stachow, CPA, and Yulia Ellsworth, CPA, have been promoted to the position of manager. Stachow is a licensed CPA by the State of Alaska and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as the Alaska Society of CPAs. Stachow joined Altman, Rogers & Co. in June 2009. She has a bachelor’s degree in professional accountancy and public administration. She graduated from Carroll College in May 2009. Ellsworth is a licensed CPA by the State of Alaska and joined Altman, Rogers & Co. in July 2011. She has a bachelor’s degree in professional accountancy from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She also has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in economics and international business from Far Eastern National University, Vladivostok, Russia. She graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage in May 2011.
Posted Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 3:42 pm
The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed Lisa Noland to its team as the director of marketing and business development. In this position Noland will work to increase membership and improve marketing programs at the chamber along with working in the area of administration. She joined the Anchorage Chamber in early December from The Arc of Anchorage where she most recently served as chief marketing officer. Prior to The Arc of Anchorage, Noland worked with Community Connections Inc. in Ketchikan, and has owned and managed two successful small businesses. Noland holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Pacific Union College and a masters of public administration with emphasis in non-profit management and leadership from Walden University.
True North Federal Credit Union is pleased to announce that Lauren Culp has been selected to attend Crash the GAC by The Cooperative Trust and Credit Union National Association and represent the Alaska Credit Union League. Crash the GAC will bring young credit union professionals together, running a tailored program alongside the main event and allowing for mentor sessions with key individuals; previously from the likes of National Credit Union Foundation, Credit Union National Association, Filene Research Institute and CUNA Mutual Group. All Crashers receive a complimentary registration to attend GAC, from Credit Union National Association.
Bran Pollard, civil engineer at R&M Engineering Inc., has earned his professional engineers license in the state of Alaska by meeting the comity requirements as established by the state’s professional licensing board. Pollard joined the R&M team in August 2014, and has more than 13 years of experience working on public and private civil engineering projects. Pollard is a graduate of San Diego State University and holds a bachelor’s of applied science in civil engineering and has been a licensed P.E. in the state of California since 2010.
The Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc. announced that Jacqueline Dailey of Juneau was re-elected president of the board of directors. Dailey, representing the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood Grand Camp, has extensive human resources experience. In addition to the election of Dailey as board president, Ted Angasan of South Naknek representing the Bristol Bay Native Association was reelected vice president, and Margaret Roberts of Kodiak, representing the Kodiak Area Native Association, was reelected secretary/treasurer.
The Arc of Anchorage announced the appointment of Gwendolyn Lee Zaavodnick to serve as interim CEO of The Arc of Anchorage. With decades of experience in social services, Zaavodnick previously served The Arc of Anchorage as the executive director for 12 years. She will provide leadership to the organization until The Arc’s board of directors select a new CEO in 2016. Zaavodnick assumes the role on Jan. 4. She succeeds the previous CEO Dr. Mary Van Haneghan, who served The Arc until December 21, 2015.
Rasmuson Foundation has elected a new member to its board of directors and reorganized its management team, resulting in several promotions and one new hire. Jason Metrokin was elected to the board. Metrokin is president and CEO of Bristol Bay Native Corp. and chairs the ANCSA Regional Association, which represents the presidents and CEOs of the 12 Alaska-based Native regional corporations. Deborah Bitney recently joined the Foundation as vice president and chief administrative officer. Bitney has 30 years of experience as an administrator in a wide range of sectors. Most recently, she was administrative services director for the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., where she worked to establish AGDC as an independent corporation of the State of Alaska. Previously, she was director of the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Division. Sammye Pokryfki has been promoted to senior vice president. Program Officer Aleesha Towns-Bain has been promoted to vice president and chief operating officer. Communications Director Cassandra Stalzer has been promoted to vice president of communications.
Posted Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - 3:59 pm
Michele Brown, President of United Way of Anchorage, has been invited to serve on the National Professional Council of United Ways, a select group of chief executive officers from across the country that focuses on identifying common challenges and solutions for the community-based member nonprofits. She will join just a handful of local United Way executives who are helping advise United Way Worldwide in setting strategy and direction for nearly 1,200 United Ways across the U.S. As President of United Way of Anchorage, Michele Brown leads efforts to mobilize people and resources to make lasting changes in community conditions. She has helped advance United Way of Anchorage as a community development organization dedicated to building the community activism, aligned services, and policies that achieve measurable change. This has led to improvement in high school graduation rates, family financial stability, and access to health care. Brown will serve a two-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2016, and ending Dec. 31, 2017.
Myron Fanning joined NANA Management Services as security manager for NMS Security. The fifth-largest private employer in Alaska, NMS has provided security services for the oil and gas industry on the North Slope for 40 years. Fanning retired in 2015 from the Anchorage Police Department as Deputy Chief of Police after 23 years of service. He oversaw all administrative functions and maintenance of operations readiness for the entire department. His previous supervisory positions with APD include Deputy Chief of Administration and Crime Suppression Division Captain. Before his career in law enforcement, Fanning served almost 10 years as an Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army. Fanning has completed many police and military training programs and holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from University of North Alabama.
Laura Rogers joined NANA Management Services as direct hire manager for NMS Staffing. The fifth-largest private employer in Alaska with more than 40 years of experience in the North Slope oil and gas industry, NMS provides a wide variety of support and management services. Rogers will oversee recruitment and placement of qualified professionals to fill positions in the NMS organization throughout Alaska. She has recruited talent in engineering, science, construction, project management, IT, and technical field support for employee placement businesses and corporate sourcing entities. A former investment advisor, Rogers also brings a decade of sales and marketing management experience in the hospitality industry and has coordinated North Slope oil industry projects for BP Exploration Alaska. Born and raised in France, Rogers studied liberal arts at Sorbonne University in Paris and is proficient in specialized software applications used by recruiters. She has received many awards recognizing sales achievements.
Syl Fowlis took over as First National Bank Alaska’s Eastchester Branch manager after the board of directors recently announced his promotion. Originally from Gambia, Fowlis has worked in banking for more than a decade with roles as a teller, personal banker, business development officer and branch manager. He spent most of the last two years as Branch Manager of the Federal Branch in downtown Anchorage. The Eastchester Branch is located in Midtown Anchorage, near the bank’s Operations Center.