Movers and Shakers for March 4
First National Bank Alaska’s board of directors recently appointed many of its top bankers to new or expanded roles on the executive management team. In addition to her duties and role as board chair, Betsy Lawer is now the bank’s CEO. As a third-generation Alaskan banker, Lawer grew up with many of Alaska’s business and community leaders. She learned the banking business literally at her father’s knee, earned her economics degree from Duke University, and returned in 1974 to work her way up to the leadership position she holds today. Lawer previously served on the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Board of Directors and their Audit Committee. She has served on the Smithsonian National Board since 2008. Doug Longacre was named FNBA’s new president. Longacre’s grandparents mined the gold fields north of Fairbanks in 1902 and were original First National shareholders. The West Anchorage High graduate worked his way through college doing construction work before joining the bank in 1974. Working in the fishing industry and as a construction worker before joining First National in the early 1980s, Charlie Weimer was promoted to chief commercial lending officer and appointed executive vice president. Weimer joined the bank’s management associate program, working in Anchorage before finding a permanent home on the Kenai Peninsula in 1984, where he served many years as senior regional manager and most recently as the Branch Lending Administrator. Not far removed from her 40-year employment anniversary with FNBA, Cindi Buzitis was promoted to chief compliance officer and appointed executive vice president. In addition to serving on the executive management team, she is also the Bank Secrecy Act officer and oversees the bank’s Support/Corporate Compliance division. Cheri Gillian was promoted to chief administrative officer and appointed executive vice president. She oversees the bank’s Human Resources and Corporate Communications division. An Alaskan for 40-plus years, Gillian has spent most of those years marketing and promoting Alaska products and services, including more than two decades at First National managing broad internal and external communications initiatives that have led to a strong corporate culture and well-respected bank brand. Chief Information Officer Phil Griffin was appointed to executive vice president. Griffin began his banking career in the early 1980s after graduating from the University of Nebraska with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He arrived in Alaska after holding CIO positions in California and Nevada.
Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative has made some recent hires and promotions. Brian DeMarco, PMP, was hired in February 2017 as senior project manager and in January promoted to director of wireless networks. With more than 16 years of telco project management and network engineering experience, he will lead ASTAC’s wireless network team of eight providing operational oversight, technical direction, and project planning and management across the organization. Nate Yaskell, AC, PMP, was hired in January 2018 as project manager. A lifelong Alaskan, he holds a bachelor’s degree in construction management from UAA and brings five years of construction management and project engineering experience in rural communities across the North Slope. He will be responsible for overall planning, direction and execution of projects relating to our facilities, fiber and wireless networks. Brandon Bowden was hired in January 2018 as project manager. He holds a bachelor’s degree in justice studies and master’s degree in project management from UAA. A third generation Alaskan, Bowden brings five years of construction management experience around Alaskan and six years of Alaska Army National Guard experience. Hank Hutchison, PMP, was hired in January 2018 as senior wireless systems analyst. A lifelong Alaskan, he holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from UAA and brings more than five years of project and data analytics experience. Terraca Goolsby was hired in October 2017 as senior systems analyst. Ashlee Bobbitt was hired in June 2017 as customer service manager. A lifelong Alaskan, she brings over 11 years of customer service and management experience, including eight in the telco industry.
Faith Martineau has joined the Alaska Department of Natural Resources as executive director of the department’s Office of Project Management and Permitting. Martineau has led interdepartmental teams and worked with local, state and federal agencies on large development projects. As a subject matter expert, Martineau has worked with numerous stakeholders to highlight Alaska-specific issues regarding compensatory mitigation. She comes to DNR from Caelus Energy LLC and previously worked for SLR International Corp. and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Martineau is a member of the Alaska Association of Professional Landmen and was appointed in 2017 to the BLM Alaska Resource Advisory Council. Steve Buckley has joined the Alaska Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Mining, Land and Water as its Mining Section chief. Buckley most recently was general manager of minerals for Sealaska Corp. and previously was a senior exploration geologist with NANA. Buckley owned a natural resource consulting business in Whitefish, Montana for approximately 15 years. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geology from the University of Montana (Missoula) and was appointed in 2017 to the Alaska Minerals Commission.