Dr. Niki Tshibaka and Karen Melin have been appointed to leadership positions within the Department of Education and Early Development. Tshibaka has been named assistant commissioner, and will lead DEED’s health and safety team. Tshibaka is an attorney and has been advancing civil rights, human rights, and social justice causes in government, non-profit, and private sectors for more than 16 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Amherst College and a juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School. Tshibaka will coordinate the efforts of multiple state departments to address safety and well-being issues. This work will include collaborating with students, school districts, tribes, community organizations, non-profits, and families to maximize educational opportunities. Melin has been named deputy commissioner. Melin previously served as an education administrator and education specialist at DEED, most recently serving as the project coordinator for the Alaska’s Education Challenge and the Every Student Succeeds Act. Previously, Ms. Melin worked for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District as an assessment and multi-tiered system of support coordinator. She holds certification in Alaska as a teacher, and has experience both as a reading specialist and an elementary teacher. She holds an associate’s degree in early childhood education from Evangel College and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Alaska Southeast. Rounding out Commissioner Dr. Michael Johnson’s executive leadership team is Brittany Hartmann. Hartmann has wide-ranging legislative, public relations, and research experience in public education policy in Alaska, having previously served as a legislative aide and member of the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce Education Committee. Hartmann will serve as DEED’s legislative liaison, and the primary point of contact for Johnson.
After four decades at R&M Consultants Inc., Senior Vice President of Earth Sciences Charlie Riddle, CPG, and Group Manager of Structural Engineering Duane Anderson, PE, have retired. Riddle and Anderson joined R&M in its infancy: Riddle in 1974 as a field geologist assigned to work on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System and Anderson as a structural engineer in 1975, working on the Gulkana River Pipeline Bridge for TAPS. Riddle became director of R&M’s Earth Sciences Department in 1992, taking over management and responsibility for the department’s growth and direction. His notable projects include the U.S. Navy Over the Horizon Radar Facility in Amchitka, numerous projects in support of TAPS, multiple versions of the proposed gas pipeline, the Susitna Dam Project and Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Project. Over his lengthy career, Anderson has designed numerous facilities valued in excess of $75 million. His experience has been varied and diverse, but has largely been focused on waterfront, bridge, military, utility and school projects throughout Alaska. Anderson became Group Manager of Structural Engineering in 1993, where he has been responsible for building the firm’s structural business line. In 2016, Anderson was recognized as a Fellow with the American Society of Civil Engineers and was nominated for Engineer of the Year that same year. He has worked on numerous projects throughout the years, most notably the Kodiak Ferry Terminal and Dock Improvements, Kotzebue Shore Avenue, Port of Alaska Engineering Services Term Contract, Elmendorf Airforce Base F22 Weather Shelter, U.S. Navy Submarine Acoustic Measurement Facility and Thompson Pass Highline Design for TAPS.
CRW Engineering Group LLC, a local engineering and land surveying firm, recently promoted two long-term employees to the position of principal. Justin Keene, PE, is a lifelong Alaskan and began at CRW in 2000 as a summer intern before joining full-time in 2003. Since then, he has served as a project manager/engineer on a variety of civil engineering projects throughout Alaska involving transportation, site, and utility (water, sewer, and storm drain) infrastructure. Keene is currently a member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers and holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Montana State University in Bozeman. Anthony Robinson, PLS, CFedS, is a senior land surveyor and certified federal surveyor with more than 22 years of experience leading field surveys and mapping for design, right-of-way, land/site development, and construction projects. He is also CRW’s chief drone officer and a FAA-certified unmanned aerial vehicle pilot. Robinson has worked throughout Alaska specializing in land surveying in remote areas. He graduated from Michigan Technological University with a bachelor’s degree in land surveying and an associate’s degree in civil engineering. He joined CRW in 2008.
Daniel Mitchell of Cook Inlet Region Inc. and Dr. Thomas Yetman of Providence Medical Group Alaska have joined the board of directors of United Way of Anchorage. Mitchell is chief financial officer at CIRI, where he oversees the Finance and Accounting and Business Development departments. Before joining CIRI in 2018, Mitchell was a managing director at KPMG LLP’s Anchorage office. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage and is a certified public accountant. Yetman, a Navy veteran with more than 30 years in the health-care field, is chief executive officer of Providence Medical Group Alaska, which provides primary and specialty care through Providence Alaska Medical Center and The Children’s Hospital at Providence. Before joining Providence here in 2018, he served as CEO and chief medical officer at Providence Medical Group Northwest Washington. An obstetrician/gynecologist, Yetman holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California San Diego and a medical degree from George Washington University. The United Way board’s new officers are Belinda Breaux, chair, of Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.; Natasha Pope, vice chair, First National Bank Alaska; Beth Stuart, treasurer, KPMG; and Mike Dunn, secretary, Hilcorp Alaska.
Bob Griffin of Anchorage and Sally Stockhausen of Ketchikan were appointed to the state Board of Education and Early Development, and Tiffany Scott of Kotzebue was reappointed. The two new members and Scott were sworn into office at the board’s meeting in Juneau on Feb. 4. Griffin was appointed Jan. 15 to fill the seat for the Public At-Large, replacing Barbara Thompson, who resigned. Griffin’s term expires March 1, 2024. Griffin is an airline captain with Alaska Airlines and a retired U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. He is a current member of the Anchorage School District Capital Improvement Advisory Committee and the former chair of the ASD Budget Advisory Commission. Griffin holds a bachelor’s degree in professional aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Stockhausen was appointed Jan. 15 to fill the seat for the First Judicial District, replacing Rebecca Himschoot. Stockhausen’s term expires March 1, 2021. Stockhausen has served as a special education teacher in Alaska for more than 15 years. She currently holds certification in Alaska as a teacher, and serves as a special education teacher and department chair with the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District. Stockhausen holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from John Brown University and a master’s degree in special education from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Scott was reappointed March 1 to fill the seat for the Second Judicial District. Scott’s term expires March 1, 2024. Scott is employed by the Maniilaq Health Center as a registered nurse in the emergency department. She holds an associate’s degree in nursing from the University of Alaska Anchorage and a bachelor’s degree in extension studies from Harvard University Extension School. Scott is a former member of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School Board.