Movers and Shakers 2/07/16

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: 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.

02/03/2016 - 2:35pm