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Achievement In Business

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, March 17, 2019

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, March 17, 2019

Achievement In Business


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orthrim Bank is proud to sponsor the Achievement in Business Awards with the Anchorage Daily News. At Northrim, we strive to provide Superior Customer First Service to each of our customers. We have a sincere appreciation for our customers. We want to build lasting customer relationships through professional, prompt and caring services. This commitment and passion our employees have for this core value can be seen every day, whether they are interacting with customers on the phone or in the branch, assisting other employees in departments throughout the Bank or engaging in our community. We know that there are many other businesses who have the same commitment to customers and felt that our partnership with the Anchorage Daily News was an excellent way to honor people providing outstanding service throughout Anchorage. We look forward to celebrating the Alaskan Workforce through the Achievement in Business Awards. It is the perfect way to honor those who have the same high standards for customer service that we do at Northrim Bank.


For over 36 years Trailside Discovery Camp has been providing awardwinning, quality, outdoor, adventures and education to young Alaskans. At Trailside we believe that every kid deserves to be a camper so this year we have expanded our class selections, locations, and scholarship opportunities.

Please check out our list of classes, adventures, overnight camps, and trips to find the right camp for your camper.


Save The Date: May 3 A Future Worth Fighting For

The Alaska Center Annual Auction Join us for a live and silent auction, local bites, great music, and more! get your tickets online: akcenter.org Help support youth education and engagement into the future. Support The Alaska Center Education Fund.


Achievement In Business

Brooks Banker Brooks, Youth Program Manager with Identity Inc., works closely with LGBTQIA youth as a function of his day job and turns his focus to issues presented to the community at large. He works in the Anchorage community to raise funds for a variety of causes, from scholarships for Alaska students to LGBTQIA-centric issues. Brooks holds the title of Empress of All Alaska in the Imperial Court of All Alaska, Alaska’s oldest LGBTQIA fundraising organization, and spends his volunteer hours coordinating, hosting and performing in fundraisers for causes including animal fosters, AIDS awareness, sexual assault awareness and more.

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, March 17, 2019 Tony Bannock Tony developed an interest in aviation at a young age and began to follow his passion shortly after taking an aviation science class at Service High School. Tony has grown with Regal Air, starting from being a dock boy to becoming operations manager; he began working seasonally at Lake Hood and for Regal Air in summer 2004 and returned to the company full time in 2009. Tony enjoys working at Lake Hood and for Regal Air because of the people he works with, and the people he works for.

Said of Brooks: “He is a pillar of Anchorage society, and his non-profit work is something to be admired and recognized.” Said of Tony: “Tony has always gone the extra mile to get the job done and does it with a smile and great wit.”

Peter Bastke Peter has patiently worked through difficulties and personnel challenges, financial management struggles and leadership issues throughout his career. He, alongside his wife Sara, has flown all over the world with Mission Aviation Fellowship and served missionary and humanitarian projects in communities in Indonesia,Central Asia and Africa. In September 2014, Peter was asked to become the director of Mission Aviation and Repair Center, where he continues to encourage and be a role model for his team, displaying care, compassion and support.

Luba Belavtseva Luba has worked for the Catholic Social Services Immigration Network for 20 years and is currently a refugee relocation coordinator. She has helped countless numbers of people start their lives over in Anchorage after coming to the city as a refugee. She works for the greater good of her community.

Said of Peter: “(He is a) Caring Christian wanting to love God and others, and wanting to serve the people of Alaska through aviation.”

Luba’s quote: “Love thy neighbor.”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, March 17, 2019 Tristan Bellotti Tristan has a number of personal philosophies, but the one that encompasses him the most is “life is too serious be taken too seriously.” As the Owner of Warehouse 49, his goal is to open a gaming bar that welcomes gamers into a safe space where they can express themselves while enjoying high quality food and drink. Currently, while looking for the appropriate building to settle into, he hosts numerous charity gaming events across HONOREE Anchorage and Wasilla, which have benefited many non-profits. Warehouse 49 is growing and spreading Tristan’s message of inclusivity and how gaming can assist in bringing on incredible change. He is known for fixing problems on the fly, with a smile on his face, and spending entire events weaving in and out of the crowds to make sure everyone gets a top-notch experience. His positive and upbeat personality blooms when he is at work, and he really stands up for the average gamer. Tristan’s quote: “I’m inspired by anyone and anything, that has helped to make the world better than it currently is.”

Al Bolea Al, a distinguished Visiting Professor at University of Alaska Anchorage School of Business and Public Policy, has spent a decade quietly teaching and coaching leadership to more than 1,000 Alaskans, young and old. Of his role bringing leadership training to Alaska, Al says: “A leader is something you become. I think Alaska is going through a very big transition from one steady state to another, and I think the key is leadership. We need to build leadership into everything we do - my goal for the last 10 years. I think I can make an impact one leader at a time. I’ve trained over 2,500 people who have sat in my 5-day training program, and that’s great, and I’m not even close to being done!”

Achievement In Business

Jessica Bjornstad Jessica sacrifices every ounce of energy and every second of time to see that Special Olympics Alaska meets its goals and mission, and supports the incredible athletes of Alaska. As Director of Communications and Development, her strong work ethic and detail-oriented mind allows her to handle everything from large scale events to small tasks, and she will gladly take on any challenge. Jessica is an active member HONOREE of the Public Relations Society of America-Alaska Chapter, where she previously chaired the Aurora Awards.

Jessia’s quote: “In everything you do, let it be done to the best of your ability.”

Bradford Bunnell Brad has dedicated his life to the service of veterans and their families. As Outreach Coordinator for the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Alaska Military Order of the Purple Heart Commander, he is responsible for numerous community service events throughout the Fairbanks North Star Borough. After 24 years in the U.S. Army, Brad has continued to serve his community through the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce Military Appreciation for Service and Support for Veterans, the Fairbanks Stand Down Committee working to support homeless veterans in Fairbanks and the Veteran Committee for Fairbanks, among other organizations.

Bradford’s quote: “Leaders lead. Always get through the day. Always have a positive attitude.” Al’s quote: “I want Alaska to be a better place for the future, one leader at a time.”



Achievement In Business

Suzanne Cherot Suzanne, a significant member of Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot law firm, has represented private and public entities in negotiating and structuring a large number of sophisticated real estate transactions, including the representation of two public housing authorities in low-income housing tax credit projects. Other representative transactions include the purchase and financing of shopping centers, mobile home parks, residential subdivisions and commercial buildings. Suzanne was selected for inclusion in the 2013 to 2017 editions of Chambers USA, America’s Leading Business Lawyers, in the area of real estate.

Said fo Suzanne: “Ms. Cherot focuses her practice with Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot on real estate and commercial transactions, and is one of the top real estate attorneys in Alaska.” through aviation.”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, March 17, 2019 Ryan Cropper Ryan, a young entrepreneur with a thriving landscaping business at the age of 22, decided to take on a challenge: he purchased Able Body Shop, a repair shop operating since 1969 that had begun to struggle. Through the sale of his landscaping business, small loans and a strong work ethic, Ryan was successful in not only re-establishing Able Body Shop, but expanding to include three locations and 65 employees over the course of HONOREE 17 years. Seeking to continue to find ways to positively impact the community, Ryan also began a nonprofit, Empowering Destinations, which has so far given eight vehicles to local families in need of a boost.

Said of Ryan: “He is very generous as a business owner and philanthropist.”

Emily DaLuz Emily has been educating Alaska’s young adults through the Anchorage School District for five years, including teaching at Dimond and Eagle River high schools and UAA, before building her classroom at King Tech High School. Her program there supplies the future workforce for the local information technology industry and helps support post-secondary IT programs. Her goal is to see students succeed in whatever they dream of pursuing. Outside of the classroom, Emily is a member of the Anchorage Technology Forum and the Alaska Association for Career and Technical Education, where she also serves as treasurer.

Emily’s quote: “Education is so important. We can never stop learning.”

Donna DeMarco Donna is dedicated to improving the life of the hearing impaired. By keeping up-todate on hearing aid technology and working with various agencies, Donna as owner of Accurate Hearing Systems, has provided free hearing aids to those who could not otherwise afford them. Donna is a Tinnitus Care Provider, holding a certificate from the International Hearing Society, and a strong supporter of the community they serve.

Donna’s quote: “I am committed to earning your trust, listening to your concerns and identifying your symptoms.”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, March 17, 2019

Achievement In Business

The nomination period for our June Achievement in Business breakfast will be open on April 8th, 2019, and we will be highlighting INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY. Do you know someone who has been a true innovator in Alaska? Or has helped to push the technology sector forward as our fast-paced world continues to rely on these technological advances? Then NOMINATE them and let’s recognize their hard work!



Achievement In Business

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, March 17, 2019

Kirsten Dixon Kirsten has been cooking in the backcountry of Alaska for more than 20 years. Along with her husband, she owns and operates two award-winning remote lodges, a cooking school and a small cafe in Homer, serving as chef and housekeeper for their businesses. After 35 years in the business of hospitality, Kirsten still works hard and handson every day, and promotes and models healthy sustainable tourism within the state.

Lyle Fibranz Lyle came to Alaska more than 50 years ago and received the 132nd Alaska Pharmacy license in the state. He worked for Pay ‘N Save and other pharmacies before owning and creating the successful Hewitt’s Drug. He has since retired, but continues to do contract work for various pharmacy entities, including the Alaska Neighborhood Health Center.

Said of Kirsten: “Kirsten strives to show visitors the Alaska we love with the hop that they will go away with a renewed sense of wonderment and respect for the fragility and complex beauty of wild places.”

Lyle’s quote: “Customer first, employees second, then business.”

Brent Fisher Brent is not just a businessman - he cares about his community and about all Alaskans. His goal is to bring medical care in the world of sleep to all Alaskans, while educating on how important sleep is to their overall health. Brent currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Denali Education Center and Alaska EHR Alliance, and recently served on the Board of Equalization for the Municipality of Anchorage and the Telemedicine Workgroup State of Alaska HDSS. Alaska Sleep Clinic was named Best Sleep Lab in Alaska by CEO Magazine and is the Better Business Bureau’s 2018 recipient of the Torch Award for Ethics.

Kirk Garoutte Kirk has 40 years of experience in heavy equipment operation and oil field construction, and is the only renewable energy dealer in Alaska who lives with and uses the products he sells - living off-grid at Flathorn Lake for 20 years. As he began work on his offgrid cabin, Kirk noticed the products he needed were not available in the state at the time and created Susitna Energy Systems, a small grassroots company that employs Alaskans and strives to help those in rural Alaska who are burdened by high fuel costs by providing power, communications and security systems, including installations of wind, solar and small hydro systems. Kirk has installed more wind turbines systems in Alaska than any other dealer and has been involved with the effort to get a net-metering agreement established so Alaskans can sell excess energy produced from their systems back to the utilities they are connected to.

Brent’s quote: “I am here to take these high quality, comprehensive services to all Alaskans.”

Said of Kirk: “(He) sets an example as to how business should operate to serve the customer.”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, March 17, 2019

Achievement In Business


Mandy Hawes Mandy has been appointed by Pomeroy Lodging as Alyeska Resort’s General Manager and will assume the position on May 1, 2019. She has spent 16 years at Alyeska Resort, starting as the Controller in 2003, and has helped facilitate the sale of the resort twice. She serves the Girdwood community as Treasurer of the public transit system, and is a member of the Public Safety Advisory Committee to the Girdwood Board of Supervisors. Mandy is a champion of the work-life balance and wellness, and has set a vision for making Alyeska Resort the best place to work in Alaska.

Kyle Howell Kyle knew, after graduating dental school and completing an externship with Indian Health Service in Barrow (Utquagvik) that Alaska would become home and where he practiced dentistry, joining The Libby Group and providing dental health to Alaskans. He believes being a general dentist provides the opportunity to develop relationships in the community and watch his young patients grow, and enjoys being able to provide all aspects of dental care and developing healthy smiles. Kyle is a believer in giving back to the community, and works with the Donated Dental Services program and the Alaska Mission of Mercy, as well as abroad in Costa Rica.

Said of Mandy: “Mandy is an exceptional leader, both in our organization (Pomeroy Lodging and Alyeska Resort) and in the Girdwood community alike.”

Kyle’s quote: “I am dedicated to providing the best dental care I can, and am also committed to lifelong learning.”

Magen James Magen has positively impacted more than 5,000 Service Members and Veterans in Alaska through her role as Executive Director at the Alaska Coalition for Veterans & Military Families. A member of the 2015 class of Alaska’s Top 40 Under 40, Magen was also a recipient the Outstanding Veterans Honor Coin in August 2017. Her goal is to create a system of capacity sharing to better serve Alaska’s Service Members, Veterans and their families in the communities in which they live.

Lon Johannes Lon’s role as Senior Electrical Engineer with Coffman Engineers Inc. includes leading multi-discipline design teams providing safe, reliable and energy efficient solutions to clients cross Alaska. Specializing in automation and controls with more than 15 years of experience in the engineering and construction industry, he has successfully served a range of clients. He enjoys connecting with his community and has been an HONOREE integral part of the Eagle River High School coaching staff and youth clubs for both football and baseball, and supports other community organizations. Said of Lon: “Lon is an individual who deserves recognition for helping our youth grow into strong individuals, and for providing exceptional service to the companies hiring his services.”

Magen’s quote: “My personal philosophy is to be of service to those in need and those who have served our country.”


Achievement In Business

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, March 17, 2019

Lessie Kincaid Lessie began working with The Odom Corporation as a sales coordinator and was promoted to her current role as District Sales Manager in 2014. She tirelessly manages key account customer and oversees all merchandisers for Alaska, a tea, of more than 45 employees. She was selected as one out of 12 employees to have a distinguished spot within Odom University’s “Class of 2019” and became a vital component to the HONOREE class’s success. Lessie is a strong supporter of her community, volunteering her time and resources for many events and causes, including Fur Rondy, the Iditarod, Habitat for Humanity and Special Olympics.

Victoria Long-Leather Vicki has been directing Trailside Discovery Camp for two years, enhancing it’s partnership program, adding a new location and streamlining the registration process. Post-earthquake, Vicki spearheaded a free pop-up camp, supporting local families during the school closures. She strongly believes camp brings community, learning and play together in a safe environment, where children and adults can step out of their comfort zone and be who they want to be.

Said of Lessie: “(Lessie is) a key leader in the organization and has a drive for success.”

Vicki’s quote: “I strongly believe that investing in our youth of today is fundamentally important for the future of tomorrow.”

Zoi Maroudas Zoi is driven by family and nurturing a healthy future for our children. Her medical background has helped her to open Alaska’s only baby food company, Bambino’s Baby Food. The food she makes uses local ingredients and helps support small farms in Alaska, and has been featured on the Today Show. Zoi, a honoree of the Top 40 Under 40 in 2015, has shared her knowledge of nutrition and healthcare to young Alaskans through her delicious food.

Alex Marqueda Alex has given much of his time to help others, and is often spotted sharing knowledge and advice to all his team members, customers and vendors at Ollin Cafe. Always looking out for others, as the executive chef for the same business, then known as Ready Made Dinners, Alex brought his personal life experience after a life-changing diabetic event and created a prepared meal service for his customers to help others HONOREE control their diabetes, and is always seen hard at work with a smile on his face. Alex believes in helping at-risk youth through a personal growth program he created called “The 4 Pillars to Success” with the goal of developing more young entrepreneurs and giving at-risk youth a new hope through love and care.

Zoi’s quote: “I just really want to showcase the amazing abundance of healthy, clean, good for you food, we have here in Alaska.”

Said of Alex: “(His) personal philosophy is to always help others before himself, volunteering his free time to give conferences to youth programs, the VA shelter and rehab programs.”


Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, March 17, 2019 Robert Marx Robert is a fierce advocate for those classified as the vulnerable homeless in Anchorage. As Housing Supervisor for RurAL CAP, a position Robert has held since 2014, he has helped the organization follow the Housing First model, providing full property management, operating services, as well as full clinical services for tenants in a supportive, harm reduction-based model accepted worldwide. Roberts cares about the peoHONOREE ple he serves and works hard to provide safe housing for tenants; he doesn’t go home until the job is done and has never been known to use the phrase “that’s not my job.”

Robert’s quote: “I believe the strength of our country and its communities are based in the ability of everyone to eat, to have safe shelter, to have quality education, to have quality healthcare and to feel a part of the community they live in.”

Achievement In Business


Elizabeth McCarty Elizabeth grew up in a home with an Operating Room Nurse and an Audiologist, her parents Minnie McCarty and Dr. Thomas McCarty, naturally becoming intrigued by helping people in the medical field. She began assisting her father at a young age and began on the path to a career she takes pride in. Through her work with Audiology Associates, Elizabeth is part of an annual humanitarian mission to the Dominican Republic, bringing 138 hearing aids to people in need in La Ramona in a single year. She enjoys being able to assist Alaskans with their hearing health care needs through cerumen management, hearing testing and the most current hearing, tinnitus and protective technology and services.

Elizabeth’s quote: “I enjoy watching people stay connected to their loved ones and helping them achieve their personal hearing health care goals.”

Joy Merriner Joy is passionate about her career and the Alaska business community, as well as helping and nurturing BDO employees in their professional careers. A member of the 2018 Top 40 Under 40, she is known for coating and mentoring the next business leaders in her workplace and in the community. Joy exemplifies the BDO Core Values: helping people thrive every day; people first; grown and help others grow; exceptional every day, every way.

Sophia Metters Sophia, through her work at the Arc of Anchorage and in Health and Social Services field for the State of Alaska Division of Public Assistance, gained enough knowledge and experience to create Envision EES in December 2013. The business assisting individuals with disabilities find employment and expanded in 2016 to include youth and elderly programs. Sophia then started a youth program called GAP - Graduation Assistance Program - designed to assisted high school aged youth in becoming active in their communities, build healthy relationships with others and build skills needed to be successful upon high school completion. She continues to promote the growth of the businesses around her, and strives to be a positive role model within her community.

Said of Joy: “Simply put, Joy is a great leader in the community.”

Said of Sophia: “She’s always going the extra mile for these kids so they can reach their full potential into adulthood after graduating high school.”


Achievement In Business

Jon Nauman Jon has been driving horses for the Horse Drawn Carriage Company for 36 years, enriching the lives of many in Anchorage for decades, and sharing the city with visitors from all over the world. Jon loves to give people the experience of an “honest to goodness Gentle Giant.” He has been a member of the Carriage Operators of North America since 1983 and received the Downtown Anchorage Heart of the City Award in 1995. Jon is a one-man show, taking care of all 10 horses by himself.

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, March 17, 2019 Cherie Northon Cherie has dedicated her time, energy and considerable talents to protect the water quality of Anchorage’s lakes, creeks and wetlands. She has been the Executive Director of the Anchorage Waterways Council since 2010, where she has spearheaded the effort to have pet waste disposal stations in every park and works in connection with the Municipality of Anchorage and the Alaska Department of Environmental ConservaHONOREE tion to improve the quality and health of local creeks and lakes. Cherie oversees a team of volunteers for the annual Creek Cleanup event, a program which earned Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling “Outstanding Litter Program” award.

Jon’s quote: “I enjoy providing a wonderful experience into yesteryear.” Said of Cherie: “Cherie is one of those individuals who makes Anchorage such a wonderful place to live and work.”

Tracey Parrish Tracey, owner of Alaska Pacific Insurance, has been in the insurance industry for more than 20 years. Through hard work and determination has opened offices in Alaska, Nebraska, Georgia and Nevada. Her desire to reach back to uplift others in the community is always on display. She is a mentor for the 20-Something Mentorship Project by Women’s Power League of Alaska; Women HONOREE Entrepreneur of the Year in Leadership for Jack and Jill of America, Anchorage chapter; and a trained mentor for Alaska Military Youth Academy.

Tracey’s quote: “I’m driven by the opportunity to grow and support people by providing them with knowledge, skills and opportunities … and showing our youth through actions and activities that they can be who they work to be.”

Ellen Reeder Ellen is a Certified Pediatric Nurse and a Certified Critical Care Nurse-Pediatrics, working 12 years in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Providence Hospital. She has cared for hundreds of Alaskan children and families, helped to train dozens of new PICU RNs and has been a Charge Nurse for more than seven years. She is a rock solid nurse, with superb skills and a very gifted charge nurse. She is patient with all staff and is seemingly never getting ruffled with the hectic pace of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. She is honest, quick on her feet, and even-tempered with patients and staff.

Said of Ellen: “It is impossible to summarize in a few words what kind of nurse Ellen Reeder is to the Providence Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, March 17, 2019 Sarah Riffer Sarah has been the Executive Director of the Armed Services YMCA at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson since 2017, and in her tenure has helped increase the amount of private donations by more than 30% and has enriched the lives of many of our enlisted military members. She feels blessed to be serving the best and bravest in our country through her role at the Armed Services YMCA of Alaska. Along with her staff, Sarah has helped make the challenges of military life easier to overcome.


Said of Sarah: “Ms. Riffer has a heart of gold while having the stamina of a boxer dealing with tough issues that sometimes are transparent to the public.”

Alfred Romaszewski Al has been a business leader in the Eagle River community since he retired from the Army around 1976. Since then, he has been a realtor and has owned RE/MAX of Eagle River since 1991. Through Al’s leadership, the company participates enthusiastically in all business activities within the community. His goal has been to promote the growth and well-being of the community and its citizens.

Said of Al: “I (cannot) adequately explain this man’s impact on the business community of Eagle River - his impact has been remarkably positive.”

Achievement In Business


Lance Robinson Lance began his career with the U.S. Customs Service in 1989 as an Inspector in Boston before accepting a supervisory appointment in Anchorage in 2000. He was selected as the Area Port Director for Alaska in 2006, and oversees 15 full-time and seasonal Ports of Entry throughout Alaska. In May 2018, he was awarded the 2017 Governor’s North Star Award. Lance is certified as a Master Emergency Practitioner through FEMA and has designed and assisted with tabletop and disaster scenarios throughout Alaska, and is a member of the Alaska Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council.

Said of Lance: “His positive leadership and true desire to help make Alaska a better place for every Alaskan always drives him.” OR Lance’s quote: “True leaders stand in the front and in the back.”

Heather Sealy Heather began her professional career at a large Anchorage Architecture firm, learning how the profession can help shape Alaska communities. In 2017, Heather and three of her colleagues created NorthForm Architecture, a six-person firm centered on cost-effective design solutions and innovative ideas. Heather serves as architectural designer and Building Information Models (BIM) Director. She has assisted both nonprofit and HONOREE public clients via 3D renderings and images to support funding requests and public support campaigns, and has worked on many significant projects during her 10 years in the Alaskan architectural community, including the UAA Engineering Building, Blood Bank of Alaska and renovations to the AWAIC facility. Said of Heather: “Heather brings high energy and total commitment to everything she touches.”


Achievement In Business

Joyce Sexton Joyce has been helping Alaskans of all ages hear since 1981. She began her career in Fairbanks before joining the Anchorage School District in 1983. Joyce opened Northern Hearing Services Inc. (NHS) in Anchorage in 1988 and over the years has grown the business, extending to Wasilla and even providing contracted services to Kodiak schools. NHS now has a staff of 10, with four doctors of audiology and two technical hearing instrument specialists, and Sound Choice Alaska Inc., a walk-in hearing solution option for adults, has opened its doors.

Joyce’s quote: “The business and professional journey of helping people hear has been an amazing and rewarding adventure!”

Alexandra Taitt As Program Specialist/Event Planner, Alex has been an involved member of the Anchorage Museum staff since finishing her coursework for her Masters in Cultural Anthropology in 2017 from UAA. She involves herself in local event and, keeps up with Museum activities and programs, while finding time for family events here and back home. Alex has frequently volunteered for additional duty during and after hours.

Said of Alex: “She is focused on making her Museum work successful for staff and participants.”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, March 17, 2019 Torrey Smith Torrey has been a successful naturopathic doctor treating individuals and families in Alaska since 1992. It has been his pleasure to help restore health and balance to thousands of great Alaskans. He treats the mind, body and spirit with many different modalities using his expertise and compassionate bedside manner to treat and heal his patients, and looks over all labs, tests, imaging and symptoms his patients have had, past and present, to figure out how to achieve wellness. Torrey dedicates his free time and advice to those who call on him, incluidng his own colleagues regularly asking for his input when dealing with tough cases. His goals are to go from frail to fantastic, no matter the age or condition. Said of Torrey: “His expertise and professionalism sets him apart from many other healthcare providers because he goes the extra mile researching each patient’s case to give them the best treatment plan possible.

Pam Throop Pam has worked tirelessly as a volunteer who has been elected twice by Fairbanks area voters to her board position with the Interior Gas Utility, with the goal of bringing affordable natural gas to the Fairbanks and North Pole area. She expends an incredible amount of energy to the project while also owning Alaska Commercial Construction since 2004, providing extensive experience in industrial construction and maintenance, commercial construction and project management. Pam is a broker of Alaska Commercial Properties Inc., with vast experience in commercial sales, leasing, property management, construction and development.

Said of Pam: “Her (volunteer) job is very stressful due to the intense demands different vested interested impose on the gas utility. Her years of hard work deserve recognition.”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, March 17, 2019

Achievement In Business


Ruth Villanueva Ruth is a business owner who has continued to sacrifice her time to serve the community for the past 11 years, and who continues to today. Her passion is to give back to the Alaska community where she grew up, and wants her customers at Infusion Boutique to feel beautiful. She is a member of the Greater Wasilla and Greater Palmer Chambers of Commerce, and often donates clothing items for fundraisers.

Eric Visser Eric is passionate about improving housing in Anchorage, and construction & home design are in his blood. In 2016, Eric noticed a void for clean, modern, affordable homes that are efficient and easy to maintain in the Anchorage housing market and created Visser Construction. He is involved in the community and always willing to lend a hand, supporting community volunteer projects through the Anchorage Home Builders Association Endowment Fund while serving as Vice President of the association.

Ruth’s quote: “I believe it is important that all people feel loved.”

Said of Eric: “He is a true professional, very knowledgeable, and has worked hard to establish Visser Construction in the home building industry.”

Holly Wells Holly goes above and beyond as part of the Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot firm’s municipal law team. Holly routinely acts as lead counsel to municipal boards and commissions regarding ethics disputes, conditional uses, variances and other matters. She also represents Native and private corporations, as well as individuals in various actions involving complex litigation, construction, contracts and land use, and provides general counsel services for healthcare institutions with emphasis on the unique needs of government-owned healthcare facilities.

John Yoakum John wears many hats, including owner of Maddux Consulting and Software Deployment Engineer for UAA. His business, named after his son, a testament to the importance his family has in John’s life, became a reality four years ago and has grown to serve clients including Older Persons Action Group and Partners for Progress. His work with UAA allows him to be the “IT Hero,” someone who can walk in and fix any electronic program. John has become successful, turning a rough background into an asset, using an age-old method: hard work, hope, attitude and fairness.

Said of Holly: “Ms. Wells is a valued member of the Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot team.”

Said of John: “John’s determination to put his less-than-sterile experience to good use and to both further his business and contribute to the community is worthy of a Pulitzer.”





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