Movers and Shakers

Movers and Shakers

Movers & Shakers for Jan. 9, 2022

Jennifer Bundy-Cobb is the new managing partner for Wilson Albers as of Jan. 1. Since joining the employee benefits firm Wilson Albers in 1995, Bundy-Cobb has served in various roles, promoting excellence in client services and solutions. She most recently served as the Director of Employee Benefits. Bundy-Cobb’s other work in our community includes volunteer time spent supporting nonprofit organizations both in and outside of our industry. She has served as the president of the board for the Alaska Association of Health Underwriters and has been active in supporting health care reform causes. Jennifer was the Board Chair for Anchorage Community Health Services in 2012 when they opened their new building and is currently the Resource Development Chair for Anchorage Project Access Board. Most recently, she has come full circle as a board member for Alaska Youth Orchestras, where she played the French horn as a teenager. Bundy-Cobb assumes the role following Lon Wilson, who served as the firm’s managing partner since 1995. Wilson will be transitioning his leadership responsibilities over the coming months and supporting Alera group as needed in the region. Bundy-Cobb’s new role is accompanied by additional changes in leadership roles, including promotion of Thomas Showalter to head of client engagement where he will lead Wilson Albers’ consolidated employee benefits, retirement plans, and human resource services.   Krystle Burns assumed duties as the chief of workforce management for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Alaska District in November 2021. In her new position, she is responsible for advising the district leadership and executive staff on substantive procedural and policy matters for civilian workforce management functions. Furthermore, she performs ongoing analysis of workforce resources, organizational staffing requirements and recruitment strategies. Prior to her arrival in Alaska, in July 2020, Burns was promoted to serve as the senior administrator for the Fort Bragg Womack Army Medical Center, Department of Medicine, overseeing all administrative activities to include civilian personnel management, manpower utilization, performance management, clinical data management and budgetary control of the department’s operational objectives. Burns began her federal service career in June 2018 with the Fort Bragg Department of Public Health, serving as practice manager of the Epidemiology and Disease Control Clinic. She played a vital role in the execution of the Fort Bragg COVID-19 response process for contact tracing during the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Burns was awarded the Department of Army Civilian Service Commendation Medal for being actively engaged in the DPH’s successful efforts to become nationally accredited through the Public Health Accreditation board and for authoring the first DPH Workforce Development Plan. She earned her master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Kaplan University and a bachelor’s degree in Health Science from South University. Burns is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, which means she is equipped with skills and tools to optimize quality management processes. In 2019, she completed her Army Medical Command Lean Leaders certification at Fort Bragg. Burns is a native of Savannah, Georgia. She has been married to her husband, U.S. Army Warrant Officer Robert Burns, for more than 13 years. Together, they have three children.   McKinley Capital Management, LLC, was named one of the 2021 Best Places to Work in money management. Presented by Pensions & Investments, the 10th annual national survey and recognition program is dedicated to identifying and recognizing the top 100 employers in the money management industry. This marks the second year McKinley Capital has earned the coveted distinction.   The Alaska Railroad Corp.’s year-end Gold Spike employee awards program for 2021 was one of the most diverse, in terms of employee jobs, work environment and location. These top awards are presented to employees who clearly stand out for above-and-beyond demonstration of company values through stellar performance. A number of awards reflected superb performance in reaction to, and in spite of, ongoing pandemic stressors. The 2021 Alaska Railroad Gold Spike Award recipients: Fairbanks Depot Services Team: A trio of hard-working depot service associates met and exceeded the challenges posed by a much larger than expected passenger ridership in 2021. They include: Lead Depot Services Associate Alesia Salmela, and Depot Service Associates I LeaAndrea Smith and Natalie Morgan. Terminal Supervision Team: Working in the Anchorage Railroad Terminal and the Fairbanks Railroad Terminal, these dozen employees are recognized for leading and contributing to the success of multiple rail transportation programs and initiatives aimed at improved efficiency, safety, customer service and employee quality of life. They include: FAIRBANKS: Operations Director Andy Burgess; and Terminal Supervisors Mark Dustin, Katrina Lehse, Joe Mueller, Dale Rageth and Elizabeth Smith ANCHORAGE: Terminal Operations Director Pat Volmer; Field & Train Planning Manager Dustin Kincaid; and Terminal Supervisors Ben Ahrens, Kody Anderson, Rheynan Castro and Wilkie Thompson Facilities Maintenance Mechanic Tony Buma, Real Estate & Facilities (Fairbanks), has taken care of facilities maintenance needs on the north end (Hurricane to Fairbanks), essentially by himself for several months, during an extended co-worker absence. Journeyman Mechanic Steve Conlan, Mechanical (Anchorage), recognized for 30 years of experience critical to diagnosing and troubleshooting locomotive issues, especially traction motors; and a willingness to pass along this knowledge as an exceptional mentor. Contract Administrative Specialist Candice Humphrey, Supply Management (Anchorage), recognized for exceptional performance as a procurement technician, while also serving as the acting fleet manager for eight months until a new fleet manager was named Carman Terry Hunter, Mechanical (Anchorage), recognized for catching a very difficult-to-detect wheel defect on a flat car in the Anchorage Yard, ensuring its removal from the train, thereby preventing a catastrophic and costly derailment. Reservations Inventory Specialist III Erin Kehoe, Passenger Marketing (Anchorage), recognized for admirably performing mission-critical tasks when her workload essentially doubled for a prolonged period as the pandemic forced passenger trains to reduce capacity to 75%.Systems & Analysis Supervisor Willow Peyton, Information Technology (Anchorage), recognized for assisting the reservations team in ways well beyond her duties. Passenger Depot Services Manager John Simmons, Guest Services (Anchorage), for exceptional oversight of depot service staff which allowed ARRC to meet the market demand; while protecting employees and customers through his constant, unwavering approach to work place safety. Retirement & Learning Management System Coordinator Kristine Stone, Human Resources (Anchorage), recognized as an exceptionally valuable and professional pandemic-related resource for the company. Track Repairer Pol Carrera Vilaplana, Maintenance of Way (Portage), recognized for above-and-beyond flagging performance on the challenging MP 52 Rockfall Mitigation project. He demonstrated astounding teamwork, safety and consistent excellence. Transportation Field Manager II AJ Washburn, Transportation (Whittier), recognized for exceptional leadership and data-based efforts to improve Whittier terminal operations.

Movers and Shakers for Oct. 17

Rhonda Lamp has been appointed as the new Human Resources director for Coastal Villages Region Fund. Lamp has more than three decades of experience in human resources. Previously, she was the benefits manager of Chugach Government Solutions and the senior Human Resources manager for Bristol Bay Resource Solutions. Jerel Humphrey has been appointed interim CEO of Bartlett Regional Hospital, effective Oct. 18. Humphrey takes over from Kathy Callahan, who came out of retirement to temporarily serve as interim CEO. Humphrey will serve through the search process and hire of a permanent CEO. Humphrey has served as an interim leader across the country, most recently with a hospital in Pennsylvania. Humphrey’s appointment follows the recent departure of former CEO Rose Lawhorne. The NANA board of directors named John Agnaqłuk Lincoln as president and CEO, based in Kotzebue. Lincoln has served a combined 18 years working for NANA and the Maniilaq Association, the two largest employers of shareholders in the NANA region. He joined NANA in 2016, and most recently served as vice president for external affairs where he worked to ensure the protection of corporate, regional and shareholder interests. Lincoln also served as an Alaska state representative from 2018-21, where he was an original member of the House Special Committee on Tribal Affairs. Lincoln earned his bachelor’s degree in management science and public policy from Stanford University. In 2021, Lincoln was named a “Top Forty Under 40” leader by the Alaska Journal of Commerce.

Movers and Shakers for Oct. 10

The Southcentral Foundation board of directors selected April Kyle as its president and CEO. She has been serving as interim president and CEO since August 2020. Her career with Southcentral Foundation spans two decades. Prior to her year as interim president and CEO, Kyle was a member of Southcentral Foundation’s vice president of behavioral services division. Kyle has been part of building Southcentral Foundation’s Nuka System of Care. She was one of the first graduates of Southcentral Foundation’s Executive Leadership Experience, as well as a member of the Alaska Native Executive Leadership Program’s inaugural class at Alaska Pacific University and the Alaska Journal of Commerce’s Top Forty Under 40 class of 2013. She received her MBA from the University of Washington. Alaska Native Science &Engineering Program Assistant Director Dr. Michele Yatchmeneff recently accepted a position as the executive director of Alaska Native Education and Outreach for University of Alaska Anchorage. In her role as ANSEP’s assistant director, Yatchmeneff has been a faculty advisor to more than 2,500 students in ANSEP’s longitudinal model of education. Yatchmeneff was the first Alaska Native female engineering professor in UAA’s Department of Civil Engineering. She is currently an associate professor in the department where she has spent the past six years as a researcher. Yatchmeneff’s work has earned awards from the National Science Foundation and other distinguished research organizations. Before earning her bachelor’s degreein civil engineering, master’s degree in engineering management and doctorate in engineering education, Yatchmeneff began her STEM education as an ANSEP student. Paula Vrana was appointed commissioner of the Alaska Department of Administration. Vrana has served as deputy commissioner of the department since January 2019. Acting Commissioner Amanda Holland is retiring after 30 years of state service. Vrana practiced law at the law firm of Brena, Bell &Clarkson and has served as the CEO of Copper River Native Association as well as executive director of Hospice of Anchorage. Alexandra Hoyt has been promoted to project manager II with Ahtna Engineering Services LLC. Hoyt joined Ahtna in 2013 as an environmental scientist/biologist. Hoyt holds a master’s degree in geography: environment, society, and development from the National University of Ireland Galway and a bachelor’s degree in community and environmental studies (minor business administration), from Colby-Sawyer College in New London, N.H. Justin Dunn has been promoted to program manager with Ahtna Environmental Inc’s construction services division. Dunn has more than 14 years in the industry and joined AEI in February 2019 as a senior project manager. Ahtna Solutions LLC. announced the addition of Senior Proposal Manager Michelle McGarry. With more than 15 years of proposal management experience, McGarry has led proposal teams across the U.S. Ranging from a few contributors to more than 20 writers, graphic artists, word processors, cost estimators, subject matter experts, senior leadership, and team members, winning over $500 million in new contract awards. Ahtna Global Inc. has added Proposal Coordinator Chase Quinn. Prior to this role, she was with HDR Engineering for four years as a project coordinator assisting on environmental, water and transportation projects. Ahtna Engineering Services LLC. hired Proposal Coordinator Connor Weiss. Weiss is a Washington State University graduate with degrees in management information systems and marketing. Before starting his position as proposal coordinator in the fall 2020, he worked for Ahtna in the field as a laborer on projects in Metlakatla and Shemya Island. Ahtna Environmental Inc. hired Marketing and Communications Manager Katy Kless. She has worked in marketing for 16 years and 11 years in the A/E/C industry. Ahtna Engineering Services LLC. hired Marketing &Communications Manager Laura Reishus. She has more than eight years of experience handling simultaneous graphic design projects and managing marketing campaigns from conception to completion. Prior to joining AES, Reishus served as the Development Director for Habitat for Humanity. Ahtna Global announced Jacob Henkel has joined its construction division as a senior project engineer. Based in the Anchorage office, Henkel has worked as a project engineer for both Alaska Frontier Constructors and Granite Construction Co. and as a heavy equipment operator the 10 years prior.

Movers and Shakers for Oct. 3

Joe Gerace was named director of the Municipality of Anchorage Health Department effective Sept. 17. Gerace has more than 38 years of experience in emergency service delivery and more than 20 years of experience working in disaster response. He has worked as a firefighter, paramedic, Red Cross disaster responder, and as a medical detachment commander for the Alaska National Guard and the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management during the pandemic. Gerace was recently was the Director of Operations for Visit Healthcare which was the sole testing and vaccination provider for the Municipality of Anchorage. Gerace is also currently the chairman of the board for American Red Cross in Alaska. He has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and chemical engineering and an MBA with a focus on supply chain logistics and operations. Amanda Browning was appointed to a vacancy on the Palmer District Court. Browning served as an Assistant District Attorney for the Alaska Department of Law in Kenai and Sitka before serving as a Magistrate Judge IV in both Ketchikan and Kenai. She graduated from the Ralph R. Pappito School of Law at Roger Williams University in 2005. Melinda Meade Meyers has been promoted to Of Counsel for Van Ness Feldman’s Land, Water, and Natural Resources and Native Affairs practices. Meyers’ practice includes the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and other natural resources statutes. She also counsels Alaska Native corporations and Tribes on federal small business contracting and participation in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s business development programs, such as the 8(a) and HUBZone Programs. Before attending law school, she served as director of Communications for the National Park Hospitality Association and also worked with the American Recreation Coalition, where she collaborated in the development and implementation of nationwide programs and initiatives promoting outdoor recreation industries. She holds a juris doctorate from the George Mason University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. Birch Horton Bittner &Cherot announced Bill Falsey and Zoe Danner as two additions to its Anchorage-based team of attorneys. Falsey is the former Municipal Attorney and City Manager for the Municipality of Anchorage. Falsey is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale University Law School. Danner joins Birch Horton Bittner &Cherot after completing two clerkships with the Anchorage Superior Court. Danner graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Russian language and culture and received her juris doctorate from the University of California-Irvine School of Law. During law school, Danner clerked at the Anchorage District Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, where she prosecuted misdemeanor and felony matters.

Movers and Shakers for Sept. 26

The Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska hired Heidi Davis as the staff attorney for the office of the president. Davis will provide legal counsel and representation to Tlingit &Haida in the areas of tribal government, federal-tribal relations, federal-state relations, tribal jurisdiction, environmental and natural resources law and policy, economic development, employment, contracts, code drafting and compliance. Davis graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and political science. She then went on to obtain her juris doctor degree from UA at Little Rock School of Law in May 2021. Prior to pursuing her law degree, Davis worked for the State of Alaska as an in-court clerk for the Juneau Trial Courts.

Movers and Shakers for Sept. 19

Col. Simon Brown II, commander of 49th Brigade, Alaska State Defense Force, was promoted to the rank of brigadier general Sept. 3 at the Curtis D. Menard Memorial Sports Center in Wasilla. Brown, a retiree from both the Alaska State Troopers and the Alaska Army National Guard as a military police officer, leads the ASDF, an all-volunteer organization part of the Alaska Organized Militia, within Alaska’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Movers and Shakers for Sept. 12

Judith Daxootsú Ramos has joined the University of Alaska Southeast School of Arts and Sciences as Project Coordinator for the Haa Yoo X’atángi Deiyí: Our Language Pathway, which is an immersive language program which provides scholarships to scholars across Southeast Alaska who plan to teach their language. She taught for the Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development UA Fairbanks. She is a co-curator for the American Museum of Natural History’s renovation of the Northwest Coast Hall. She holds a master’s degree in teaching-adult education as well as a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. She is working on her Ph.D. in Indigenous Studies on Traditional Knowledge of Tlingit Seal Hunting. Earlier this year Ryan Wark joined UAS as the Director of Equity and Compliance. His responsibilities at UAS include Title IX, Equal Employment Opportunity issues, the American Disabilities Act/504 requirements, and Clery Act compliance. Prior to joining UAS, Wark served as a staff sergeant for the U.S. Air Force, an investigator for the Montana Innocence Project, a criminal investigator for the Montana Office of the State Public Defender-Missoula, and an investigator for the Lane County Public Defenders. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana in sociology with a dual focus in criminology and inequality and social justice. Following an upcoming thesis defense, Wark will soon hold a master’s degree in conflict and dispute resolution from the University of Oregon School of Law. Dr. Mary Lou Madden was hired as interim director for the School of Education at the beginning of July. Madden has served UAS in many capacities over the years, most recently as the Education program evaluation consultant. She earned a master of education degree in education leadership from UAS. She also holds a master’s degree in East Asian studies from Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D in economics from American University. Coffman Engineers Inc. announced that Anchorage mechanical engineer Scott Patterson has earned the National Association of Corrosion Engineers Senior Internal Corrosion Technologist Certification. Patterson has supported integrity management and corrosion control engineering work, including developing advanced integrity management analysis tools and solutions for many major clients. He has also worked on performing critical stress analysis and destructive testing of specialized downhole drilling tools. Patterson is a 2014 graduate of the University of Vermont with dual bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering and mathematics. He joined Coffman as an intern in 2012.

Movers and Shakers for Sept. 5

Janet Weiss and Dennis Michel were appointed to the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. board of directors. Weiss received her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Oklahoma State University and has more than 35 years of experience working in the oil and gas industry in various engineering and leadership roles for ARCO and BP including being as president of the Alaska Region for seven years. Michel received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from University of Southern California Marshall School of Business and his MBA with a concentration in corporate finance from University of Denver. He has more than 17 years of experience working in finance and information services in management and consulting. Weiss term is effective Aug. 23 through Dec. 1, 2025. Michel’s term is effective Dec. 1 through Dec. 1, 2026. Marta Kumle, CH, recently joined R&M Consultants Inc. as a senior hydrographer. Kumle has 15 years of experience in GIS analysis and hydrographic survey. Her skills include project management; hydrographic and GIS data acquisition, processing, quality control and compilation; and GIS database design. She has conducted hydrographic surveys for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and private contractors. She previously worked at the Alaska Ocean Observing System, where she conducted the Alaska Coastal Mapping Prioritization Survey and led development of the Alaska Coastal Mapping Strategy. Projects include bathymetric surveying in Cook Inlet for the Alaska LNG Project; cable route surveys for Arctic Fibre; and NOAA hydrographic surveys in Unimak Pass, False Pass, the Kuskokwim and Nushagak Rivers, Cook Inlet, Red Dog Mine, Kodiak Island, and a variety of locations in Southeast Alaska. Kumle has a bachelor’s degree in oceanography and a master’s degree in GIS and sustainability management, both from the University of Washington. She is a National Society of Professional Surveyors/The Hydrographic Society of America certified hydrographer, a board member of the Alaska Arc Users Group.

Movers and Shakers for Aug. 29

Chad Padgett was named the new state director for Sen. Dan Sullivan in his Alaska office. Padgett comes to Sullivan’s office from the Bureau of Land Management Alaska. As the career senior executive for BLM in Alaska, Padgett was responsible for the management of 72 million acres of federal lands in Alaska ranging from recreational lands to sole responsibility for the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. Prior to joining BLM Alaska, Padgett spent 10 years serving as state director for the Office of Congressman Don Young. He graduated from Seward High School and attended Boise State University, earning a degree in political science and international relations before returning to Alaska in 1994. Noelle Dersé is the newest grants administrator for Alaska Staff Development Network, a statewide partnership administered by the Alaska Council of School Administrators that provides research-based professional development for Alaska’s teachers, school administrators and all education leaders. Dersé previously worked for the Juneau School District as their family engagement specialist, most recently coordinating the remote learning efforts for students and families without internet access. Dersé has a background in public education and government. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a master of arts in communications from the University of Washington. Dominique Johnson recently joined the Alaska Council of School Administrators as their new Public Information officer. He has a background in communications with a bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University. Johnson has worked in public radio as evening news host and in operations at KNAU in Flagstaff, Arizona and at KTOO in Juneau. For the last five years he served as the Director of Communications at the Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau. During his time at the archdiocese Johnson was the editor of two monthly newspaper publications, webmaster and media liaison for the organization. Maj. Virginia R. Brickner assumed duties as deputy commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Alaska District in July. She most recently served as the group engineer for the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., from 2018-21. Brickner enlisted in the Army in 2001 and served as a medium helicopter repairer until being accepted into the Green to Gold Active-Duty Commissioning Program in 2005. Brickner received an MBA from Missouri University of Science and Technology in 2016. In 2007, she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, where Brickner also received her commission into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Her military education includes the Army Engineer Officer Basic Course, Army Engineer Officer Career Course and Army Command and General Staff College. Her awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Basic Aircrewman Badge, Army Basic Parachutist Badge, Army Air Assault Badge as well as the Bronze de Fleury Medal.

Movers and Shakers for Aug. 22

Anchorage Bariatrics hired Dr. Maryna Chumakova-Orin. Orin joins Anchorage Bariatrics from the Duke University Medical Center, where she was a fellow in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery for one of the strongest fellowship programs in the world. She will be Alaska’s first female bariatric surgeon. Originally from Belarus, Orin completed her medical school training at Chicago Medical School of Rosalind Franklin University, earning a medical doctorate degree. She was worked at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic Foundation for her general surgery training, where her passion for bariatric surgery only grew stronger as she worked with some of the leaders in the field. Dr. Pearl Brower will lead the development and implementation of diversity and inclusion strategies at the University of Alaska. Brower will be senior advisor for Alaska Native Success, Institutional Diversity and Student Engagement, and will report directly to the president. She has been tasked with coordinating recommendations developed through the Alaska Native Success Initiative and to foster partnerships between the UA system and the Alaska Federation of Natives, the 13 regional Native corporations and their foundation partners. Brower will be available to advise the president, chancellors and other university system leaders on these critical issues including engaging with the Alaska Native Studies Council, UA for Racial Justice, and other university affiliated groups to develop strategies for progress. Brower holds a Ph.D. in Indigenous studies with an emphasis on Indigenous leadership and has 13 years in higher education leadership, most recently as president of Alaska’s only Tribal College, Ilisagvik College. Prior to her tenure as president, Brower served as Ilisagvik’s Dean of Students and Institutional Development; Director of External Relations &Development; and, Special Assistant of External Affairs and Marketing for Ilisagvik. She also managed the college’s Foundation and was responsible for facilities planning capital campaign and facilities activities. Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced new staff members to both her Washington, D.C. and Anchorage offices. Joining Murkowski’s D.C. office are: Kate Williams Sterne; Aaron Thiele; Chris Griffin; Jamie O’Connor; Maya Becker; Abigail Hemenway; and Brian Dusek. Williams Sterne returns to the office as deputy chief of staff and legal counsel. She graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as a juris doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law. She previously served as Legislative director for Sen. Ted Stevens, oil and gas counsel for the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, deputy chief of staff and legislative director for Murkowski, and counsel for Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn. Kate has also served in a number of roles in Alaska including as an associate attorney, Legal and Regulatory Affairs Manager for the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, business manager for a leading commercial construction company, and most recently assistant attorney general for the State of Alaska. Thiele joined the office in January as a legislative assistant handling Energy and Natural Resource issues. He previously served as a senior advisor in the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs at the Department of the Interior, where he worked on issues pertaining to United States Geological Survey, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Indian Education, and the Bureau of Reclamation. Prior to joining the Department of Interior, Thiele previously worked in the House of Representatives and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in international relations from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. Griffin joins the office as a legislative aide assisting with a portfolio of energy issues, including the Department of Energy, renewable energy, climate change, energy efficiency, and nuclear energy. Griffin previously served as a member of her U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee staff, where he was also a legislative aide working on public lands and natural resource issues. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Tufts University. O’Connor joined the office several months ago as a legislative assistant for fisheries, oceans, and sciences. O’Connor has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public communication from the University of Alaska Anchorage. O’Connor previously served in the office of Sen. Dan Sullivan in 2015-16 as senior staff assistant and internship coordinator. O’Connor previously served as the Working Waterfronts Director for the Alaska Marine Conservation Council in Homer as well as serving on the Advisory Panel to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Becker joined the office as the 2021 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sea Grant Knauss Fellow. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a master’s degree from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California-San Diego, both in earth sciences. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Scripps Oceanography, and her dissertation research is centered on ice–ocean interactions on Antarctica’s largest floating ice shelves. Hemenway recently joined the office as a legislative correspondent. Previously, she served as a staff assistant for the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Miami. Dusek joined the office as deputy press secretary. He graduated from Colorado State University and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing and a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies. Dusek previously was an intern for the CBS News communications team, an intern in Sen. Sullivan’s office in the summer of 2019, and an intern in Murkowski’s office in 2017. Joining Murkowski’s Anchorage office are: Cordelia Kellie; Hannah Ray; Leann Sommer; and Hannah McCue. Kellie joined the office as special assistant for Rural Affairs. Her career has included communications and external affairs, Tribal education, rural community development, legislative affairs on the state and federal levels, language and cultural instruction, and building regional and statewide rural and Alaska Native relationships through grassroots community organizing. She received her bachelor’s degree in English language and rhetoric and a minor in communications from UAA. She is a 2021 NANA Richard A. Baenen Award winner for outstanding service to the Northwest Arctic. For her work in language revitalization and community building, she has also received the 2020 AFN Eileen Panigeo Maclean President’s Award for Education and was 2020 Olgoonik Corporation Shareholder of the Year. Ray is relocating to the Anchorage office after being promoted to deputy Communications director. She has served in Murkowski’s D.C. office as press secretary since 2017. Ray has a bachelor’s degree in communication and public relations from the University of Central Arkansas Honor College. Prior to working in Murkowski’s office, Ray served as the Community Events manager for the American Cancer Society in Anchorage. Sommer joined the office as the Alaska state scheduler. Sommer holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration: tourism and hospitality management from Fort Lewis College. Most recently Sommer was the director of Sales at the Hyatt Place Anchorage-Midtown and received two awards during her time there: The 2020 National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development Native American 40 Under 40 and the Alaska Hotel and Lodging Association 2019 Sales Manager of the Year. McCue joined the office as a staff assistant. McCue recently graduated from Oregon State University with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, specializing in conservation, resources and sustainability with a minor in chemistry. McCue previously interned in Murkowski’s Anchorage office in 2020 and the D.C. office in 2017. Penny Gage is the Tech Deployment Track lead at Launch Alaska, heading up Launch Alaska’s flagship program to help companies from across the world focused in food, water, energy, and transportation deploy their technologies in Alaska. Gage brings a diverse background in economic development, entrepreneur support and training, federal and state government, the nonprofit sector, energy policy and international affairs.

Movers and Shakers for Aug. 15

Kevin Fimon was appointed to the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees. Fimon received his bachelor’s degree in business from University of Minnesota Curtis L. Carlson School of Management. He has owned and operated Fimon Financial Services in Anchorage for the past 30 years. Fimon’s term is effective July 30 through March 1, 2025. Vitus Energy LLC announced three new hires: James Porcelli as systems manger; Kenneth Eickhoff as controller; and Tara Abbott as billing manager. Porcelli has more than 20 years of experience in data communications and enterprise level networking. He is Microsoft Certified System Engineer and has a bachelor’s degree in occupational education with an emphasis in information technology and management. Porcelli comes to Vitus Energy from an Alaska Native corporation where he implemented network security and established IT standards for hardware, software and network infrastructure. Eickhoff is a Certified Fraud Examiner with a bachelor’s degree and more than 20 years of experience in the financial industry. Most recently, he served as the controller for a local transportation company where he oversaw all accounting functions for multiple locations, conducted financial forecasting and budget monitoring and completed regulatory reporting for federal, state and local agencies. Eickhoff leads the invoicing, vendor payment, general ledger accounting, payroll processing, closing processes, and tax and audit preparation. Prior- Abbott recently moved to Anchorage from Kodiak where she worked for the City of Kodiak Harbor Department. as the fiscal specialist in charge of the harbor office and responsible for the monthly invoice billing, record management and budgeting. She has a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems with a concentration in business administration. She is responsible for Billing Department processes, including invoice production, cash collection, posting and sales tax submission activities.

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.

Movers and Shakers for July 25

Mt McKinley Bank announced Paula Kennedy was hired as assistant vice president, Human Resources manager. Kennedy comes to Mt. McKinley Bank with many years of Human Resources experience and a master’s degree in management from Bellevue University. Kennedy holds both the Professional in Human Resources certification and the Society for Human Resources Management Certified Professional certification. Mt McKinley Bank also announced the promotion of Matt Ellis to assistant vice president, Finance. Ellis joined the bank a year ago as the first participant in its Management Associate program. He holds a master’s degree in finance from Northeastern University and served as a Naval Flight Officer in the US Navy prior to moving to Alaska. Tracy Wickham assumed duties as chief of the Contracting Division for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Alaska District in May. In a typical year, this workload involves about $400 million in new contract awards, $1 billion in ongoing construction, engineering and service contracts; and another $1 billion in planning contracts to support the organization’s military, civil works and environmental programs. Prior to his arrival in Alaska, Wickham held multiple USACE assignments in the U.S. and overseas. He served as chief of the contracting division for the Portland District from 2015-21. From 2012-15, he was chief of the construction branch for the Middle East District in Winchester, Va. On two separate stints, Wickham worked as chief of the construction and architectural/engineering branch for the Walla Walla District from 2010-12 and 2005-07. Between these jobs, he served as branch chief for the direct contracting section at the Europe District in Wiesbaden, Germany, and also served a six-month tour of duty as the Gulf Region Central District’s chief of contracting in Baghdad, Iraq, from December 2008 until May 2009. Before his assignments with USACE, Wickham served for 20 years in the Army and retired at the rank of lieutenant colonel in 2005. His final 11 years on active duty were with the acquisition corps where he served in a variety of contracting positions in both Army and joint commands. Wickham earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and holds an MBA from Babson College in Massachusetts. The University of Alaska Southeast announced that Carin Silkaitis has been named as the new dean of Arts &Sciences, effective July 12. She replaces Dr. Paula Martin, who served as the interim dean of the school since April 2021. As dean, Silkatis will provide leadership for the school and its four departments: Business and Public Administration, Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. Silkaitis will alternate between Juneau and Chicago over the next academic year. Silkaitis most recently worked for Columbia College Chicago where she served as the Allen and Lynn Turner Chair of the Theatre Department, serving 91 faculty members and almost 800 students. Prior to that she worked for North Central College as the department chair for both art and theatre, and was also a Title IX Investigator and lead trainer of the Green Dot Bystander Technique. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Indiana University. She holds a master’s degree in theatre performance from Roosevelt University in Illinois.

Movers and Shakers for July 18

Clark Rosencrans recently joined R&M Consultants Inc. as group manager of Special Inspections. A former R&M employee from 2012 to 2016, Clark has 16 years of construction, materials testing and special inspection experience. He has served as a senior special inspector and project manager with responsibility for special inspection and materials testing on a wide variety of public infrastructure projects, including airport, school, harbor and road facilities. Since his time at R&M, Clark worked for the Municipality of Anchorage as a structure inspector and code abatement officer. He also spent time as a senior special inspector at an engineering firm in Colorado, where he performed building and special inspections for a public and private clients. Clark is WAQTC qualified and is an ICC special inspector in structural steel and high strength bolting, reinforced concrete, commercial buildings, structural masonry and spray-applied fireproofing, and an ICC commercial building inspector. He is also certified as a post tension inspector (Level I/II) and American Concrete Institute Field Testing Technician I. Alaska Public Media added six new members to their board of directors for three-year terms: Paola Banchero, Sonya Hunte, Joy Huntington, Gabriel Kompkoff, Ken Miller and Kimberly Kane Waller. Banchero has served as a volunteer on Alaska Public Media’s Community Advisory board for nearly 10 years. Since 2011, Banchero has worked as an associate professor within the Department of Journalism and Public Communications at the University of Alaska Anchorage. With more than a dozen years of experience in social work, Hunte is a former board president for the Georgia Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and currently serves as the inaugural director for the Anchorage School District’s Office of Equity and Compliance. Huntington was born in Fairbanks, and after attending Dartmouth College in 2006, Huntington served in roles on the Fairbanks North Star Borough Planning Commission and Fairbanks City Council. Currently, she serves as the principal consultant and president of Uqaqti Consulting LLC. Kompkoff is a consultant and owner of Two Moon Bay Advisors, and also is vice chair of the Alaska Community Foundation. Prior to his current roles, he served as the President and CEO of Chugach Alaska Corp. Miller is the president and founder of Denali Fundraising Consultants, a nonprofit fundraising and management consulting company located in Anchorage. Miller has been working in nonprofit fundraising development in Alaska since 2010, and is a current member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals global board of directors. Kane Waller is a Gracie Award-winning on-air host and producer with a broadcast career spanning over two decades. Often known locally for her role as a DJ with hip-hop/rhythmic station KFAT 92.9 FM, Waller joined MTV Radio and worked at Power 105.1 FM station in New York for 13 years before returning to her hometown of Anchorage to launch a non-profit. Heather Sealy of NorthForm Architecture has earned professional registration as an architect from Alaska’s division of professional licensing. Sealy, a founding partner of NorthForm Architecture, holds a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Idaho and is a member of the American Institute of Architects. She has 13 years of experience designing building projects across Alaska, including healthcare, higher education, interior design, and scientific facility projects. She is currently working on the new Prince William Sound Science Center in Cordova. Sealy’s expertise includes three-dimensional electronic building information modeling, space planning, and interior design. She serves as NorthForm’s BIM director and assists the firm with marketing and business development.

Movers and Shakers for July 11

The Mat-Su Health Foundation added three new members to its board of directors in June: Tammy Bruce, Marisa Chud and Dr. Barb Doty. Bruce brings with her more than 10 years of experience working in finance with Edward Jones, as well as a history of working in marketing with the Mat-Su Convention and Visitors Bureau. She previously served as the president and has been a member of the Palmer Rotary Club for 20 years. In addition, she was the lieutenant governor for District 5010, as well as served on the Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for three years and the MTA Board of Directors for four years in the past. She graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1998. Chud has experience working in the nonprofit realm with the YWCA and also has 6 years of professional experience working in the legal field in various capacities. She began as a law clerk at the Palmer Superior Courthouse and presently works as an attorney with Denali Law Group. She serves on committees at Northgate Alaska, and has previously volunteered with Triumphant Mercy, a center for refugees in Beirut, Lebanon, as well as Catholic Social Services. Chud has a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from the University of Missouri Kansas City in 2008 and earned her juris doctor from New England Law Boston in 2013. Doty is a board certified family physician who has completed fellowships in Medical Education and Faculty Development, Acupuncture, Integrative Medicine and Rural Health. She joined the MSHF board in June 2021. She has more than 40 years of experience studying, contributing to and working in healthcare. She is presently a WWAMI-Alaska assistant clinical dean with the University of Washington School of Medicine. Barb is currently a member of the Mat-Su College Advisory Board and has served different groups in many capacities in the past including as board chair for Mat-Su Behavioral Health, assembly member for the Mat-Su Borough and as a federal appointee on the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Washington State University in 1977 and has since attended many educational programs at a range of institutions including the University of Washington, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the University of Colorado and the University of Arizona. At the same board meeting where the new members were elected, board officers were named. Lebron McPhail was chosen to continue in his role as chair. Lisa Wade was selected to serve as vice-chair and Teri Namtvedt for the role of secretary-treasurer. Peter Pan recently added Michael De Caro to its team as vice president of retail sales and product development. In this position, De Caro will lead the team developing new retail items and portion control, playing an important role as the company produces more value-added products this year. De Caro comes to Peter Pan with years of experience in the industry. His career began in the restaurant industry where he trained as a chef before he eventually began working as a seafood supplier in Seattle. Most recently, De Caro worked for Eastern Fish Co. Robert Colles, PE, a project engineer at R&M Consultants Inc., passed the Principles &Practice of Engineering Exam to gain his Alaska license in civil engineering. Colles has been with R&M since 2014, originally joining the firm as an intern in R&M’s Materials Laboratory. Now a member of R&M’s Airport Engineering Group, he provides civil design and develops project specifications for airport improvement projects throughout Alaska. His work has included design support for the Newtok Airport Relocation, Bethel Airport Main Runway Reconstruction, and Dillingham Runway Rehabilitation, as well as airport improvements in Ekwok, Nome, Kotzebue, Chefornak, New Stuyahok, Gustavus, Cold Bay and Togiak. Colles has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Movers and Shakers for July 4

Steven Patin has joined First National Bank Alaska as Human Resources director and senior vice president. Patin has two decades of experience as a former U.S. Army officer and more than 10 years of executive experience. Patin graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point concentrating in behavioral science and systems engineering before earning a master’s degree in human resources management and another in administration and supervision. Before joining FNBA, he was the chief Human Resources officer at the University of Alaska System and vice president of Customer Operations at Alaska Communications. Katherine Jernstrom is joining the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development for her second year as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence. During her first year as Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Jernstrom co-created and delivered curriculum for the Upstart Alpha Startup Accelerator, a program managed by UA CED focusing on early stage entrepreneurs; helped provide recommendations for supporting entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 pandemic, and coached and mentored entrepreneurs across the state. In 2013 Jernstrom co-founded The Boardroom, a co-working space and entrepreneur hub in Anchorage. Shortly afterwards she joined Alyeska Venture Management as managing partner, a firm focused on building, funding, and supporting local startups. In late 2015, she co-founded Launch Alaska, a program that invests in and supports early-stage companies where she mainly served in a strategic capacity and as Fund Manager. Jernstrom has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington, an MPA from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and is a graduate of Leadership Anchorage, a Pew Charitable Trusts program. She serves on both private and charitable boards including Spawn Ideas, Heather’s Choice and the Anchorage Downtown Partnership. She is a member of the Alaska Investor Network and is a Rotarian. At age 30, Katherine was named Top Forty Under 40 by the Alaska Journal of Commerce. Anchorage Economic Development Corp. hired Kate Matheson as its new development director. In her new role, Matheson is responsible for all AEDC revenue and event functions, as well as investor relations. She will work closely with AEDC‘s president &CEO, staff and board members to develop strategies for annual fundraising including corporate memberships, sponsorships, and in-kind support as well as planning and executing AEDC’s premier Economic Forecast and 3-Year Outlook luncheons. Matheson holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Auburn University and comes to AEDC from United Way of Anchorage where she worked as the director of workplace giving and as a business relationship manager, collaborating with companies throughout Alaska to implement their corporate social responsibility plans. R&M Consultants Inc. Vice President of Marketing and Business Development Andrea Story, FSMPS, CPSM, was named a fellow by the Society for Marketing Professional Services. SMPS Fellows represent the highest level of experience and leadership in marketing and business development within the design and building industry. Members who have 15 years of experience as a marketer and/or business developer in the A/E/C industries, have been an active SMPS member for 10 of the previous 15 consecutive years, and who have held a current Certified Professional Services Marketer designation for a minimum of five years were eligible to apply for the SMPS Fellows Recognition Program. Story has been a member of the SMPS since 2000. She earned her CPSM desgination in 2001 and played a key role re-establishing the Alaska Chapter in 2011. She has served in leadership roles and on committees at the chapter, regional and Society level, most notably as Alaska Chapter President for which she was recognized as the Society’s Chapter President of the Year in 2014. She also brought the Pacific Regional Conference to Anchorage in 2017 and served as that conference’s chair. During her 16 years at the firm, R&M has more than doubled its annual revenue and number of employees and makes regular appearances on the Engineering News Record Top 500 and Top Northwest Design Firms list.

Movers and Shakers for June 27

Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson was named president of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium effective June 14. Davidson has been serving as interim president since mid-March. With this change, Davidson is stepping down from her role as president of Alaska Pacific University, from which she has been on a leave of absence. In 2018, she became the first Alaska Native woman to serve as Alaska’s lieutenant governor, after previously serving as commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Davidson previously served at ANTHC as senior director of Legal and Intergovernmental Affairs and represented Alaska Native communities and their health needs at federal, state, and community levels. Dr. Hilton Hallock will continue to serve as APU’s interim president while a search is conducted to hire a president. Cornerstone hired Nate Seymour to focus on private sector business development and projects. Seymour has more than 11 years of construction experience, including working key positions for general contractors, mechanical subcontractors, real estate investing companies, and most recently owning his own construction and real estate consulting firm. He earned a bachelor’s degree in construction management from the University of Alaska Anchorage and is currently studying for the Project Management Professional Certification exam. Coffman Engineers Inc. announced the promotion of Matt Stielstra, SE, to principal and Structural Department manager at the Anchorage office. Stielstra received his bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering from Oklahoma State University and his master’s degree in engineering in architectural engineering from Penn State University; his undergraduate and graduate studies focused on structural systems. Stielstra worked at an A/E firm in Springfield, Mo., in his first year after graduate school before moving back to his home state of Alaska and joining Coffman in fall 2008. Stielstra is a licensed civil engineer in Alaska, a license structural engineer in Alaska and Hawaii, and a licensed building systems engineer (architectural engineer) in Washington. Stielstra has worked on an array of building and non-building structures for industrial, oil and gas, commercial, and government clients. His notable recent projects include facility design for one of Alaska’s largest military developments for the F-35 program at Eielson Air Force Base.

Movers and Shakers for June 20

Aminata Taylor has joined United Way of Anchorage as chief financial officer, effective May 24. Taylor, a certified public accountant, most recently served as CFO for Camp Fire Alaska. She has worked in finance, information technology and human resources in both nonprofit and for-profit enterprises, including CliftonLarsonAllen, one of the largest accounting firms in the United States, where she specialized in tax compliance for non-profits. She also has worked in permanent supportive housing at Shelter House in Iowa City, Iowa, and for American Equity, an insurance company, in Des Moines. Taylor is one of 17 children and speaks five languages. She came to the United States from the West African nation of Guinea in 2008. A 2012 graduate of Coe College in Iowa, Taylor earned a master’s degree in accounting at the Kaplan University School of Business in Chicago in 2016. Emery Schramm, CESCL, recently joined R&M Consultants Inc. as an engineering associate in the firm’s Construction Services Department. Emery will provide construction oversight, field inspections and materials testing on a variety of building, bridge, transportation, site development, utility and waterfront projects. Emery is a former R&M employee, originally joining the firm in 2007 as an engineering intern, working during the summer construction season for several years. She joined full-time as an engineering associate in 2013. Since being back at R&M, Emery has been working in R&M’s materials laboratory, calibrating testing equipment, conducting various tests in support of geotechnical field work and preparing for reaccreditation of the lab. Emery is an Alaska Certified Erosion and Sediment Control Lead; American Concrete Institute qualified in concrete, field and aggregate; and Western Alliance for Quality Transportation Construction qualified in aggregate, asphalt, embankment and base, and density. KPB Architects hired Korynn Applegate as project designer and Brad Nygaard, RA, as architect. Applegate brings 16 years of experience as a designer, the majority in Anchorage. Her technical skills include an expertise in various architectural and graphic mediums for K-12 schools, preschools, early childhood development facilities, as well as multifamily and mixed-use housing projects. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Savannah College of Art and Design. Nygaard has more than 28 years of experience in the field of design. Nygaard recently spent most of 2019 and 2020 managing a design and contractor team on large-scale earthquake repairs which included damage assessment, seismic-restraint strategies and implementation of those strategies.

Movers and Shakers for June 13

Helge Eng joined the Department of Natural Resources as director of the Division of Forestry and Alaska state forester, after a 21-year career at California’s forest management and wildlife firefighting agency. At the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Eng had been deputy director for forestry since 2015. He had previously spent two years as assistant deputy director for resource protection, nine years as state forests program manager, and three years as state forest biometrician for the department. He has served in a variety of membership and leadership roles in forestry, including registered professional forester and member of the Society of American Foresters; member of the California Licensed Foresters Association, chair of the Northern California Society of American Foresters, and state representative on the Society of American Foresters Policy Committee. Eng earned a bachelor’s degree in forest resources management from the University of British Columbia. At Oregon State University, he earned master’s and doctoral degrees in forest management, as well as a master’s degree in statistics. Eng succeeds Chris Maisch, who retired as director and state forester in February after 21 years with the Forestry Division. Craig Richards was reappointed to the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. Board of Trustees for the term of July 1, 2021, to July 1, 2025. Richards served on the Board of Trustees from 2015 to 2016 and was reappointed in 2017. Richards majored in finance at the University of Virginia, received his MBA from Duke University and his juris doctorate from Washington &Lee University. After serving as law clerk for Judge Ralph Beistline, Richards worked in private practice with a focus on oil and gas. He served as Attorney General for the State of Alaska from 2014 to 2016 and has since reentered private practice in Anchorage. Jessie Alloway was appointed to the position of Solicitor General for Civil Appeals. In this role, Alloway will serve as the state’s chief appellate lawyer for civil appeals and supervise the Opinions, Appeals, and Ethics Section of the Alaska Department of Law. Alloway joined the Alaska Department of Law in 2011 as a member of the Natural Resources section, where she represented the Alaska Departments of Natural Resources and Fish and Game in state and federal trial court on a range of issues, including the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the Submerged Lands Act of 1953, and other critical federal and state constitutional issues. Alloway also worked in the Special Litigation section of the Department of Law, defending the Department of Administration in cases regarding the Alaska Constitution’s diminishment clause, and worked closely with other colleagues on a wide range of litigation. Since January 2020, she has served as a senior assistant attorney general handling an array of civil appeals. Before joining the Department of Law, Alloway served as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice where she worked for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division, investigating and prosecuting criminal cases throughout the country. Alloway began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Richard C. Tallman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She received her J.D. from the University of Montana School of Law and is a graduate of the University of Montana School of Forestry. Alloway assumed her new position on June 3, 2021.

Movers and Shakers for June 6

Penny Gage joined McKinley Alaska Private Investment LLC as a private equity associate working from the Anchorage office. Prior to joining McKinley Alaska Private Investment, Gage worked at the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development, served as the Director of Special Projects at Alaska Growth Capital, as a Business Development Officer at the State of Alaska Division of Economic Development, and as Deputy Director at Institute of the North. Gage was named a 2019 recipient of the Alaska Journal of Commerce’s Top Forty Under 40 award. Outside of Alaska, Gage previously worked in Equinor’s Washington, D.C. office. She also served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Nicaragua for two years. Gage received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a master’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University with a certificate in international business diplomacy. Ampersand (originally founded as AlasConnect) announced the hire of Keith Ziolkowski as its new vice president of Strategic Initiatives. Ziolkowski comes to Ampersand from his previous position as chief information officer at CIRI. In his new position, Ziolkowski will be responsible for shaping and implementing business initiatives relative to strategic IT/business alignment planning as well as strategic engagement with Alaska Native corporations. Ziolkowski brings more than 20 years of experience and expertise in information technology, leadership, cybersecurity and network infrastructure. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and was named to the Top Forty Under 40 in 2009 by the Alaska Journal of Commerce. The Chugach Electric Association Board of Directors elected new officers on May 26. The complete slate of officers is: Rachel Morse, chair; Bettina Chastain, vice chair; Jim Henderson, secretary; and Harold Hollis, treasurer.


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