Movers and Shakers for April 5
Birch Horton Bittner &Cherot announced the hire of Michelle Nesbett, who focuses her practice on federal white collar criminal defense. She also handles civil cases, including professional negligence and complex litigation. She received her law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 2006. After working as a prosecutor, she transitioned into private practice. In 2019, she was awarded the designation of “Super Lawyer,” which recognizes those lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The firm also announced it has hired Ella Morozova as a paralegal in its Anchorage office. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada Las Vegas; she received an associate’s degree from the College of Southern Nevada; and she studied law at California Western School of Law in San Diego. She has worked as a paralegal in Las Vegas since 2010, but recently relocated to Alaska.
AJ Behm recently joined R&M Consultants Inc. as a staff engineer in the firm’s Surface Transportation Group. Behm brings a background in construction to his work at R&M. During college breaks, he interned for Knik Construction and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. Since joining R&M, Behm has provided engineering support for the Nanwalek/Port Graham Airport Relocation, Skagway State Street Rehabilitation and Airport Way West Improvements in Fairbanks. His work has included creating alignment alternatives, quantities estimates and plan sheets. Behm has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Alaska Pacific University announced the appointment of Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson as its next president. When Davidson succeeds current APU President Bob Onders on April 25, she will become the 12th president of APU and the first woman to lead the university. Davidson served as commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and then lieutenant governor under Gov. Bill Walker. Prior to that, she worked for more than 15 years as a national policymaker, focusing on matters affecting Indigenous health. The announcement concludes a nationwide search that included 21 applicants from across the country. Davidson previously served as Senior Director of Legal and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and as executive vice president of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. Her current board service includes the First Alaskans Institute, the Foraker Group, the United States of Care Founder’s Council and the Lancet Commission on Arctic Health. Davidson earned a juris doctor with a certificate in Indian law from the University of New Mexico School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in education with a minor in bilingual education from the University of Alaska Southeast. Davidson is an enrolled Tribal member of the Orutsararmiut Native Council.
The SMPS Alaska Chapter announced its 2019-20 Board of Directors. The Board of Directors includes the following architectural/engineering/construction, or A/E/C, marketing professionals: Katy Kless, communications and marketing specialist, Coffman Engineers, president; Sarah Hall, proposal specialist at Coffman Engineers, past president; Michelle Pasion, marketing director, AMC Engineers, president-elect; Karma Torres, marketing coordinator, Architects Alaska, secretary; Melissa McCarty, proposal manager corporate marketing, Coffman Engineers, treasurer; Joann Mitchell, PE, civil engineer, public involvement specialist, marketing manager, and an owner, Kinney Engineering; communications director; Pearl-Grace Pantaleone, CPSM, business development and marketing manager, Cornerstone General Contractors, programs director; Melissa Branch, PE, owner and principal engineer, Big City Engineers LLC, education director; Karin McGillivray, public engagement manager, Michael Baker International, sponsorship director; Cynthia Oistad, CPSM, Alaska business development and communications, Arcadis, membership director; Kate Hostetler, director of marketing, KPB Architects, outreach director; Andrea Story, CPSM, vice president of marketing and business development, R&M Consultants Inc., chapter advisor.
Bob Warthen has been selected to fill the position of vice president, commercial services administration, business and commercial services for Alaska USA Federal Credit Union. Warthen has more than 25 years of industry experience. He has been employed with Alaska USA since 2005, most recently as credit administration manager.
PDC Engineers announced the addition of Jennifer Kemp and Evan Venechuk to its Juneau office. Kemp joins PDC as a CADD engineering technician. Kemp is a 2002 graduate of Centralia College where she earned her associate’s degree in technical arts. Kemp has more than 16 years of experience with Civil 3D modeling, AutoCAD, GPS and GIS technology. Most recently, Kemp worked as a Crew Chief on a survey crew as well as developing the first-ever initiative to locate utility and light poles using GPS and GIS technology. Venechuk joins PDC Engineers as a land surveyor in training. In this position Venechuk will calculate boundary corner search/staking coordinates and provide technical and CADD support for the Land Survey team. Venechuk has more than five years of surveying experience, as well as extensive experience in the mining industry in Alaska.
PND Engineers, Inc. announced the following new hires. Forrest Savel earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He has a background in construction, having worked previously as a summer laborer with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, and as an intern with R&M Consultants. Most recently he worked full-time as a distribution designer for Chugach Electric Association. At PND, Savel assists on general civil engineering projects. Jake Randazzo brings 15 years of experience in hands-on primary and secondary soil testing, data reduction, and soil lab operations. He is also experienced in geotechnical investigations, pile driving analysis, wave equation analysis, pile driving inspection, concrete testing, and other inspection work. Randazzo has an associate’s degree in process technology from Kenai Peninsula College; holds ACI, NICET, and Nuclear Gauge certifications; and has done field work all over Alaska, including the North Slope.