Movers and Shakers for Dec. 3
Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey R. Dillingham became U.S. Army Alaska’s top noncommissioned officer in an assumption of responsibility ceremony Nov. 21 at the Buckner Physical Fitness Center on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Dillingham entered the Army in November 1991 and attended Infantry Basic Training at Fort Benning, Ga. He has held a variety of positions throughout his career, ranging from section sergeant to his previous position as command sergeant major for First Army Division West at Fort Hood, Texas. His overseas assignments include six combat tours in Afghanistan and four tours in Iraq. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with “V” device, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Valorous Unit Award, Master Parachutist Badge, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and the Army Service Ribbon.
University of Alaska Anchorage alumna and graduate student Samantha M. Mack is the first student from the UA to receive a prestigious U.S. Rhodes Scholarship. Mack received her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in 2016, with majors in political science and English and a minor in Alaska Native studies, and will receive her master’s degree in English with an emphasis on literary theory in May. An Aleut woman from a remote village in the Aleutian Islands, her family brought her to Anchorage as a young girl for better educational opportunities. She has excelled across disciplines as she brings the lenses of indigeneity and feminism to issues in the development of Western democratic traditions. Her work in Alaska Native studies and political theory reflects her strong interests in equity, respect for different patterns of life, and the prevention of the degradation of nature. Mack is one of 32 students selected for the American Rhodes Scholar Class of 2018 that will commence studies at Oxford University in October 2018. She was selected from a pool of 866 candidates nominated by their colleges and universities.
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has hired Megan Carr, Ph.D., as the supervisor of the Alaska Region’s Resource Evaluation office, where she will supervise a team of about 20 geologists and geophysicists. Carr is a Certified Professional Geologist and comes to BOEM with more than 15 years of experience in the environmental sciences, geological sciences and academia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in geology, with focus on hydrologic modeling, from Baylor University; and master’s degree in environmental science with focus on soils and natural resource management, also from Baylor. Her Ph.D. is in geophysics from the University of Tennessee, with her dissertation concentrating on how to quantitatively combine data sets for improved subsurface imaging and discriminating targets of interest.
Ravn Air Group announced that Derek Shanks, a seasoned airline and travel industry executive, will join the ranks of Ravn’s new leadership team, effective Dec. 4. Shanks will be joining the company as its first-ever chief commercial officer, responsible for leading the airline’s commercial team and all aspects of Ravn’s sales, marketing, network planning and distribution efforts. Shanks brings more than 25 years of experience that has involved every kind of customer, from tourists and travel agents to business travelers and cargo shippers. He began his career at British Airways and his most recent airline role was chief commercial officer of Air Mauritius, the national airline of Mauritius, which he and others took from a loss-making carrier to profitability by implementing a new commercial strategy that grew the airline and its revenue, added successful new routes and introduced new customer products.
Northrim BanCorp Inc. announced it hired Jed Ballard to be chief financial officer following the voluntary transition of Latosha Frye to senior vice president, corporate accounting manager. Ballard is a Certified Public Accountant and has worked for KPMG for 16 years in Alaska and Slovakia. He is currently a senior manager in KPMG’s Anchorage office. Ballard has extensive experience in financial reporting in a wide range of industries, particularly those that make up the backbone of the Alaska economy including real estate, petroleum and natural resource contractors, construction, mining, fisheries, industrial manufacturing, hospitality and tourism. Ballard also has been on the accounting team for multiple acquisitions; including the due diligence process, application of accounting standards, and business valuations. He is a graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a degree in business administration and a major in accounting.
DOWL announced the addition of Denise L. Michels to its Anchorage office as a senior project manager. As the former mayor of Nome, and most recently director of Transportation for Kawerak, Michels brings 18 years of proven success at managing civic, nonprofit, tribal, and private business projects to the firm.