Movers and Shakers for Aug. 8
Rachel Bylsma is the new external affairs manager for the Alaska Oil and Gas Association. Bylsma most recently served as the director of constituent services for Sen. Dan Sullivan, a role she maintained since he was elected in 2014. Prior to that, she served in a variety of capacities for former Gov. Sean Parnell, working her way up from an executive office assistant to senior policy advisor. Bylsma is a graduate of Dimond High School, and was part of the Japanese Immersion program. She holds a bachelor’s degree from George Fox University and obtained her master’s degree in public policy with an emphasis in public administration from Liberty University while working full-time for Sullivan.
Sitnasuak Financial Services, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sitnasuak Native Corp., announced Sharon K. Elliott has been hired as president, effective Aug. 3, overseeing the operations of both Fidelity Title Agency of Alaska LLC and Mat-Su Title Agency LLC. Elliott’s diverse financial background in Alaska and Washington state includes 18 years of real estate, loan origination, and title and escrow closing background. Her career in the real estate industry includes a seven-year tenure as the President of Alyeska Title Guaranty Agency Inc. Elliott Sharon is the president and founder of Alaska Exchange Corp., now Alaska Exchange Co. LLC., which opened in Anchorage in 1993. Elliott is a certified course instructor for accountants as well as the Alaska Real Estate Commission in providing Continuing Education Classes on 1031 Tax Deferred Exchanges.
The USO announced the establishment of the USO Alaska board of directors. Chaired by Anchorage Economic Development Corp. President and CEO Bill Popp, the USO Alaska board will consist of nine business and community leaders with expansive experience and a commitment to the well being of our troops and their families: Retired United States Coast Guard Vice Admiral and former president of the Alyeska Pipeline Tom Barrett; Kendall Fairbanks, Toyota, Subaru and Honda General Manager Jaclyn Browning; Crowley Fuels Manager of Business Development Trevor Carbaugh; Matson Port of Alaska General Manager Tony Davenport; Paug Vik Contractors Director of Operations and Business Development Bill Huber; Key Private Bank Vice President and Relationship Manager Justin Mills; Transition Management CEO Dr. Mary M. Rydesky; and Hilcorp Alaska Prudhoe Bay East Operations Manager Bo York.
Renne Marsjanik was appointed First National Bank Alaska Wealth Management director and senior vice president. Marsjanik has 30 years of experience in financial services, investments, consulting, development, and risk management, specializing in wills, trusts and corporate tax. A graduate of the Western New England University School of Law, Marsjanik’s experience includes consulting, model portfolios, business development and risk management in New York, Brazil, Boston, Colorado, and now Alaska. In her previous role at Transamerica, Marsjanik served in leadership roles for both the Employee Resource Groups for Black Professionals for Change and Salute Veterans, and was appointed Senior Leader of the Diversity and Inclusion Council. She is a former recipient of the Connecticut Scholastic Achievement Program Grant.
Tiel Smith was named CEO of Rural Alaska Community Action Program Inc., starting in September. During three years as RurAL CAP’s chief operating officer, Smith has been a successful member of the executive leadership team, maintaining operations through the 2018 earthquake, 2019 state budget cuts and COVID-19 pandemic, while carrying out the agency’s strategic plan and expansion of services that benefit Alaskans with low incomes. Smith brings more than 15 years of management and strategic leadership experience to the agency which works to improve the quality of life for low-income Alaskans. Originally from Dillingham, Smith holds a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University and an MBA from Alaska Pacific University.
University of Alaska Anchorage Provost Denise Runge announced the hiring of permanent deans for the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Public Policy and the College of Engineering. Dr. Jenny McNulty was named dean of the UAA College of Arts and Sciences effective July 1. McNulty comes to UAA from Montana, where she served as interim provost and vice chancellor of academic and student affairs at the University of Montana Western and a tenured professor at the University of Montana. Dr. John Nofsinger was selected as dean of the UAA College of Business and Public Policy. He served as interim dean of CBPP starting in spring 2020 and has served as a professor of finance and the Seward Chair in international finance at UAA. He has published more than 70 articles in prestigious scholarly and practitioner journals. He has also been instrumental in developing courses for classroom delivery, online and remote locations. Dr. Kenrick Mock was chosen as dean of the UAA College of Engineering. Mock served as the college’s interim dean starting in fall 2018 and as a computer science faculty member starting in 2000. As interim dean, he led the college through budget reductions, merger discussions and the shift to alternate delivery during COVID-19.
Rasmuson Foundation’s board of directors is transitioning to a new generation of leaders. Ed Rasmuson, a retired banker whose father and grandmother created the Foundation in 1955, is moving into the role of chairman emeritus after 21 years as chairman. He joined the board in 1967 and will remain an active board member. Cathy Rasmuson, who has served as vice chair since 2001 and a board member since 1997, also will continue service on the board. Adam Gibbons will serve as chair. He has served on the board since 2005 and is an investment professional with Latash Inc., an Anchorage-based company that provides investment advice to Rasmuson Foundation and the Rasmuson family. He is a Bowdoin College graduate and holds a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Natasha von Imhof will serve as vice chair. She joined the board in 2005 and has served as secretary/treasurer. Von Imhof is a Harvard College graduate with an MBA from the University of Washington. She previously served on the Anchorage School Board and was elected to the state Senate in 2016. She chairs the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee and is on the Senate Finance Committee. Jay Gibbons will serve as secretary/treasurer. He joined the Foundation in 2015 and, like his brother, Adam Gibbons, brings time at National Bank of Alaska, finance experience and a strong connection to Alaska. He is the founder of Swanson River Capital Management LLC, an investment management firm based in Greenwich, Conn., and previously worked for some of the world’s leading investment firms including Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns. He holds an MBA from Duke University and a Bowdoin College undergraduate degree in biochemistry. The changes took effect Aug. 1, 2021. The Foundation board currently has 13 members, seven from the Rasmuson family and the rest from communities around Alaska. Others on the board are: Rebecca Brice Henderson, Lile Gibbons, Curtis McQueen, Jason Metrokin, Mike Navarre, Judy Rasmuson, Marilyn Romano and Angela Salazar. Diane Kaplan continues as Foundation president and chief executive officer.
Tracy Morris has been promoted to the position of senior vice president in KeyBank’s Commercial Banking Division, where she works with large corporate businesses. Morris has a long and varied tenure with KeyBank. She began her banking career more than 18 years ago on the retail side while attending University of Alaska Anchorage, where she studied business management as a student-athlete. Prior to joining the commercial banking team eight years ago, she worked with Key Private Bank, where she generated, developed and maintained enduring relationships with high-net-worth clients.