Movers and Shakers for Aug. 18
The Mat-Su Health Foundation has announced leadership changes for R.O.C.K. Mat-Su (Raising Our Children with Kindness). Kathryn Swartz will serve R.O.C.K. Mat-Su’s interim director for the next six months, and Lindsay Prunella has been promoted to the position of operations manager. Swartz comes to R.O.C.K. Mat-Su from her permanent position with the Mat-Su Health Foundation where she serves as special assistant to the CEO and board liaison. Swartz was previously a consultant for the World Bank. She received a Ford Foundation Social Justice fellowship and worked for the Cultural Heritage and Education Institute in Fairbanks. She earned a master’s degree in international development studies and anthropology from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in sociology/anthropology and Spanish from Kalamazoo College. Prunella has been with the R.O.C.K. Mat-Su staff since 2017 and was recently promoted to operations manager. Prunella was previously R.O.C.K. Mat-Su’s program coordinator. Prior to that she was employed as director of a community coalition and prevention specialist in Michigan. She was also a behavioral health clinician and coalition coordinator at Alaska Community Island Services in Wrangell. Prunella earned a master’s degree of social work from Loyola University and a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in interdisciplinary studies.
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute has named two new directors. Megan Rider is the new domestic marketing director and Ashley Heimbigner is the new communications director. Rider joined ASMI in 2013, working with the international program, and most recently served as the domestic marketing manager. Prior to joining ASMI, the lifelong Alaskan worked in the Office of the Governor, as well as for a lobbying firm. The domestic marketing program is responsible for executing strategic Alaska Seafood promotions with foodservice and retail partners across the United States. Rider was named interim domestic marketing program director in November 2018. Heimbigner joined ASMI in January of 2018 as international marketing specialist. Prior to joining ASMI, Heimbigner worked as tourism and sales manager at Visit Anchorage, and also held the communications manager position at Alaskan Brewing Co. in Juneau. As communications director, Heimbigner will oversee the brand and messaging priorities of the whole organization, act as a spokesperson to press and trade media, and manage ASMI’s domestic consumer public relations, in-state and fleet communications. Heimbigner replaces Jeremy Woodrow, who was named executive director in June of this year.
Mat-Su Health Foundation Vice President of Programs Dr. Melissa Kemberling has been selected for the prestigious Change Leaders in Philanthropy Fellowship. This national program is conducted by Grantmakers for Effective Organization. It is a 10-month peer cohort program for senior executives who are responsible for developing and guiding key change efforts in their organizations. In her role as vice president of programs, Kemberling oversees grants, scholarships, and community systems change, and manages research and evaluation for the Mat-Su Health Foundation. She began her career as a pediatric physical therapist in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Boston City Hospital in Massachusetts, as well as working in local schools. Kemberling holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Tulane University and a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University. During graduate school she worked as an education director at a Head Start Program in northern Manhattan and was a Center for Women in Policy Fellow at SUNY Albany. Her career in public health began with international work evaluating HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in Central America, as well as health clinics in Trinidad and Tobago. When she first arrived in Alaska she taught in the Sociology Department at UAA. She also spent six years at the Alaska Native Epidemiology Center at ANTHC where she served as the senior epidemiologist.