Movers and Shakers for Sept. 24
The Rural Alaska Community Action Program Inc. announced three new additions to its leadership team. Cynthia Tisher has been hired as the new CFO, replacing long-term CFO Diane Mathisen, who retires this fall. Tisher has 15 years of experience in accounting for nonprofit and Native organizations, including Bristol Bay Native Corp. and the Alaska Conservation Foundation. She holds degrees from University of Alaska Anchorage and is a Bristol Bay Native Corp. shareholder. Kristin Ramstad has been promoted to Child Development Division director, overseeing multiple programs including Head Start, Early Head Start, Parents as Teachers, and the Anchorage Child Development Center. Ramstad began working for RurAL CAP in 1996 within the Child Development Division, leaving for a brief time to serve as the program manager at Programs for Infants and Children Inc., and as the director of Early Childhood at Eagle County School District before returning in 2009 to RurAL CAP as the Head Start program manager. Ramstad has degrees from University of Alaska Anchorage and University of the Pacific. Val Clark began working for RurAL CAP in mid-June 2017 in the newly-combined position of communications and development director. Clark has worked for Anchorage nonprofits since 1996, most recently as the director of programs for YWCA Alaska. She has also worked in development and fundraising for the Alaska Native Heritage Center, Cook Inlet Housing Authority, and Food Bank of Alaska. She has degrees from University of Alaska Anchorage and Old Dominion University.
Koniag Inc. CEO Elizabeth Perry will resign effective December 2017. Long-time board Chairman Ron Unger will serve as interim CEO and Shauna Hegna has been named Koniag president. Unger will serve as interim CEO for the next two years and remain as board chairman. In his role, he will oversee Lower 48 subsidiary operations from his office in North Carolina. Unger successfully led Koniag’s financial turnaround as interim CEO four years ago. Hegna was born in Port Lions and understands the Koniag region as well as the Alaska Native community.
The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority board of trustees elected new officers at its Sept. 7 meeting. Mary Jane Michael will serve as the board chair. Michael is a long-serving trustee and has been actively engaged in disability advocacy and community development for more than 25 years. She served as the executive director for the Office of Economic and Community Development for the Municipality of Anchorage and also served as the executive director for the Arc of Anchorage for nearly 20 years, advocating for services and legislation for persons with developmental and other disabilities. Vice chair is Christopher Cooke, who lived and worked in Bethel for more than 30 years both as a private attorney and for 10 years as a State Superior Court judge. Secretary is Laraine Derr, a Juneau resident who spent much of her career in public service. She served two years as director of the Alaska Boards and Commissions Office. Prior to that, she was president and CEO for the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association and also previously served as commissioner of the Department of Revenue.
Keith Champagne, a veteran student services administrator at Central Washington University, has been selected to serve as the new vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Champagne’s career spans more than 30 years in positions throughout student services and athletics. He currently serves as the chief diversity officer for intercollegiate athletics at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash. Previous positions include associate dean for student success, associate vice president for student affairs and assistant vice president for leadership and diversity. Prior to his time at CWU, he worked at Clarion University and Loyola University. Champagne has a bachelor’s degree in communications public relations from Loyola University, a master’s degree in communications, training and development from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Washington.
The Arctic Slope Native Association board of directors announced its election of officers following their reorganizational meeting on Sept. 7 in Utqiagvik. They are: Chair Doreen Leavitt (at-large); Vice Chair Nancy Rock (Native Village of Point Hope); Treasurer Lloyd Pikok (Native Village of Point Lay); Secretary Isabel Nashookpuk (Wainwright Traditional Council); Sergeant at Arms Anna Nageak (Naqsragmiut Tribal Council); Members Noreen Kaleak (Native Village of Kaktovik), Hazel Kunaknana (Native Village of Nuiqsut), and Muriel Brower (Native Village of Barrow). Board members are appointed by the eight tribal councils of the Arctic Slope, with one at-large member voted in by the ASNA Board of Directors.
Three First National Bank Alaska banking experts with nearly 100 years of combined experience have been promoted to collectively supervise operations at Anchorage’s 10 branches. Beverly Boyd is First National Bank Alaska’s newest assistant vice president and branch administrator. She’s worked for the bank for more than 37 years in a number of customer service-related capacities. Vice President and Branch Administrator Kim Frensley recently celebrated her 35-year employment anniversary at FNBA. She spent 27 years as the branch manager of the Main Branch in downtown Anchorage and six in the same role at the Dimond Branch. Vice President and Branch Administrator Bill Kaltschnee has more than 23 years of banking experience, including six years at First National and the last three as Branch Manager at the South Center Branch.
Coffman Engineers announced the addition of two new employees. Brian Gastrock, P.E., has joined the civil engineering department as a senior civil engineer and Joshua Shafer has joined as an electrical engineering intern. Gastrock is a registered civil engineer in Alaska with nearly two decades of professional experience working on numerous pipeline condition assessments, design and construction management projects throughout Alaska. Gastrock completed the Pipeline Assessment Certification Program certified by the National Association of Sewer Service Companies and is active in both the North American Society for Trenchless Technologies and American Society of Civil Engineers. Shafer received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Alaska Anchorage and is an Alaskan engineer in training.
Dr. Mark M. Levin, M.D., M.S., has joined the Alaska Heart &Vascular Institute as of Sept. 18. He is board-certified in general surgery and a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Medicine, where he earned a doctor of medicine, as well as a master’s degree in physiology and biophysics. Levin also holds a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience with a concentration in cellular and molecular neuroscience from the Johns Hopkins University. Levin is currently finishing his training at the University of Texas Southwestern as a Vascular Surgery fellow. His training entails the full spectrum of open and endovascular surgery, with an emphasis on advanced endovascular techniques. Levin has been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented his research at various national conferences. His main interests are in carotid disease, PAD, and complex endovascular aortic aneurysm repair.