Movers and Shakers for Dec. 22
First Alaskans Institute announced the hiring of Melissa Silugngataanit’sqaq Borton as Indigenous Advancement Director. Silugngataanit’sqaq was born on Kodiak Island and has ties to Chignik Lagoon in the Bristol Bay Region. She spent the past 25 years working in the Koniag region helping her people, beginning with the Kodiak Area Native Association in the Social Services Department programs for village Elders, youth, wellness, behavioral health, tribal operations and Village Public Safety Officers. After working at KANA, she became the Tribal Administrator for the Native Village of Afognak, where she led the Tribe’s development and operations for over 14 years. Silugngataanit’sqaq serves as the Kodiak Villages representative on the Alaska Federation of Natives board of directors. She has also served as a school board member and as a member of the historic Governor’s Tribal Advisory Council for the State of Alaska under former Gov. Bill Walker.
Compassionate Directions announced that Dr. Stewart McDonald has accepted the position of executive director effective Dec. 2. In the past 27 years, Stewart has been a special education teacher, grant and assessment administrator, assistant superintendent, and superintendent of schools. He has lived and worked across Alaska, including Kodiak, Soldotna, and the North Slope Borough. McDonald most recently served as the North Slope Borough School District superintendent. Prior to that, McDonald served as the superintendent for the Kodiak Island Borough School District for nine years. McDonald holds a doctor of education with a specialization in educational leadership and management from Capella University in Minneapolis, a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and a bachelor’s degree in special education, severe emotional disturbance, and specific learning disabilities from University of North Florida. McDonald replaces Aaron Clements, who led Compassionate Directions for six years.
Benjamin Linford has been appointed president of Linford of Alaska Wholesale Foods Inc. Born and raised in Anchorage, Linford graduated from West High School and has a bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Chicago. He has worked as a quantitative analyst and portfolio manager for major investment firms in Anchorage and Seattle, including McKinley Capital, Russell Investments, and currently with Empirical Wealth Management.
The Anchorage Home Builders Association announced Shawn Hays is the organization’s new executive officer. Hays joins AHBA with more than a decade of leadership in government and the nonprofit sector. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Hays has been an Anchorage resident since 1997. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s of public administration with an emphasis on organizational management.
Cornerstone General Contractors announced the hire of David LaMont as a cost estimator/project manager. LaMont brings more than 37 years of experience in Alaskan federal, municipal, and oil field construction. His estimating and project management experience encompasses a wide range of military, industrial, and commercial building projects including water treatment plants, military hangers, multi-family housing, and higher-education facilities. Before joining Cornerstone, LaMont served as a pipefitter, welder, and heavy equipment operator before transitioning to cost estimation at several Alaskan construction companies.
Lynn Rust Henderson, vice president of the Alaska Group Market for Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, will serve another term as chair of the Anchorage Economic Development Corp. board of directors. Filling out the board’s executive team as officers are Michael Huston, executive vice president and chief lending officer for Northrim Bank, as vice chair; Steven Noble, vice president of Alaska operations for DOWL, as secretary/treasurer; Raquel Edelen, vice president of operations for Hotel Captain Cook, as immediate past chair; and Julie Taylor, CEO of Alaska Regional Hospital, as at-large member. New member Walter Featherly, executive partner at Holland and Knight LLP, will join the 15-member board of directors this year.
Credit Union 1 announced the promotion of Rebecca Sparks to vice president of Risk, Compliance and Back Office Support. In her new role, Sparks will be responsible for developing and maintaining a comprehensive compliance and risk program in accordance with NCUA rules, regulations and statutory requirements. She will also oversee all areas of the credit union’s compliance, risk management and back office support functions as a member of Credit Union 1’s senior management team. Sparks has more than 22 years of experience at Credit Union 1. She started in the organization’s branch system in 1997 before moving to the accounting department and working her way up progressively through roles in finance, accounting and back office operations. She most recently served as the credit union’s back office operations manager.
University of Alaska Fairbanks alumna Amy Steiner, PE, a senior geotechnical engineer at PND Engineers Inc., joined the board of directors for the UAF College of Engineering and Mines Advisory and Development Council. Steiner graduated from UAF with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 2012. She received a master’s degree in geotechnical engineering from Delft University of Technology in Delft, Netherlands, in 2016. She has worked for PND since January 2017, providing geotechnical engineering analysis, design, and recommendations for multiple projects across Alaska, including the North Slope.