Movers and Shakers for Nov. 10
Amy Gallaway has been named the 2020 Alaska Teacher of the Year. The Alaska Teacher of the Year is the state’s nominee for National Teacher of the Year, and serves as a member of Commissioner Johnson’s Teacher Advisory Council. Gallaway started her Alaskan career in 1993 as an archeologist in Wrangell St. Elias National Park, but it was her seasonal job as a teacher’s aide in Glennallen School that changed her life. She left archeology and earned her teacher certification from the University of Alaska in 1999, and took her first teaching job in Nuiqsut, an Inupiaq village on the Colville River. In 2002, Gallaway started working for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. She currently works at West Valley High School where she teaches history, government, and career education to 9-12 grade students. She is a teacher mentor for the national “We the People” civics program, which emphasizes critical thinking and culminates with a simulated congressional hearing with community judges. Gallaway holds a bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University and a master’s degree in teaching from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Ben Griese has been named the 2020 Alternate Alaska Teacher of the Year. He will serve as Alaska Teacher of the Year if Gallaway is named National Teacher of the Year. Griese has devoted 10 years to serving the communities within Southwest Region School District, most notably as a prek-12 special education teacher at “Chief” Ivan Blunka School in New Stuyahok. Griese teaches self-advocacy and inclusion for all students. He ensures that students with disabilities are included and successful in academic, social, athletic, and subsistence activities. Griese holds a bachelor’s degree in special education teaching from Purdue University.
James Doughty and Jake Kolipano were recently promoted to partner at BDO’s Anchorage office. Doughty has extensive experience performing assurance work throughout Alaska. He serves a variety of clients across many industries, including Alaska Native corporations, government contractors, governmental entities and nonprofit organizations. He is a member of the Anchorage Audit Quality team. Kolipano provides assurance services to Alaska Native corporations, government contractors, construction contractors, and healthcare and nonprofit entities. His responsibilities include managing to completion comprehensive assurance and consulting engagements.
Russell Gingras, EIT, recently joined R&M Consultants Inc. as a staff engineer in the firm’s Utilities Group. Gingras will assist with planning and design of civil engineering projects, with an emphasis in utility design, such as water and sewer improvements. Gingras brings two years of civil engineering experience to R&M, with experience in both public and private utility sectors. He is experienced in construction site inspections, utility conflict review, utility waivers and permitting, feasibility reviews, and agency coordination for review and inspection of wastewater projects. A former AWWU intern, Russell is knowledgeable in Municipality of Anchorage and American Water Works Association standards and specifications. Gingras has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Alaska Anchorage. He was also recently certified by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation as an operator for Water and Wastewater Treatment.
Don Brown has joined PND’s CAD group in Anchorage. Brown earned a bachelor’s degree in science and technology from the University of Alaska Anchorage, an associate’s in electronics technology from the Community College of the Air Force and an associate’s in computer science from Charter College. He retired from the Air Force, where he served as a satellite communications technician and was deployed to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during Operation Desert Storm. He has since worked as a telecommunications worker, computer assistant, electronics mechanic, network technician, AutoCad specialist, engineering technician and adjunct professor teaching Autodesk, Microsoft Office, math and safety classes. Lifelong Alaskan and University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate Levi Overbeck, PE, has joined PND’s Anchorage civil staff. Overbeck holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He spent three years at Jacobs Engineering in environmental and drainage design and modeling. One of his first assignments at PND is to bring his Bentley MicroStation experience to bear on Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and Federal Highway Administration projects. Overbeck’s educational emphasis was in arctic water resources and hydrology; he spent two summers conducting hydrology studies at remote North Slope sites. Sarah Boeckman has joined PND’s Anchorage accounting staff. As a project accountant, she will assist with project setup and reporting, billing, and project closeouts, and other accounting functions as needed. Boeckman is a lifelong Alaskan and graduate of the University of Alaska Anchorage with a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting. She previously worked for Bristol Bay Industrial where she supervised project accounting and billing for Peak Oilfield Services.
Stoel Rives LLP added three associate attorneys to its Anchorage office. Shannon Behm-Bleicher joins the office in the firm’s Environment, Land Use and Natural Resources group; Connor Smith in the Litigation group; and Heather Twitchell in the Corporate group. Behm-Bleicher provides counsel to clients in matters of environmental compliance, land use and permitting. She received her law degree, cum laude, from Creighton University School of Law and undergraduate degree from Creighton University. From 2017-19, Behm-Bleicher served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Judge Frank Pfiffner and to Judge Andrew Peterson of the Anchorage Superior Court. She is admitted to practice in Alaska and Nebraska. Smith represents clients in commercial litigation matters in state and federal courts, and in arbitration and mediation. He received his law degree, summa cum laude, from Seattle University School of Law and bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University. Smith served as a law clerk to Justice Craig Stowers of the Alaska Supreme Court, as a judicial extern to the Judge Morgan Christen of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and as a legal intern at Fair Work Center. He is admitted to practice in Alaska. Twitchell provides counsel on a wide range of corporate transactional matters, largely in the realm of mergers and acquisitions. She received her law degree, cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin Law School and undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Before joining the legal profession, she co-owned and managed a small business, Alaska Backcountry Fishing Lodge LLC, and served as a captain and UH-60 helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army. She is admitted to practice in Alaska and Wisconsin.