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Congratulations to all the Achievement in Business Community Heroes winners! AIB, presented by Northrim Bank and Anchorage Daily News, is all about recognizing the awesome people who live in our community — it’s our way of giving the many outstanding citizens in Alaska a welldeserved and much-needed pat on the back. With COVID-19 entering our community, many local heroes have emerged to help everyone from neighbors to essential employees to strangers across the state. ADN reached out to the community to nominate their family, friends, co-workers, employees and upstanding citizens, and winners were chosen by the event committee. Keep an eye out for next quarter’s industry and nomination period, as well as event news once our community is able to gather again.

Donna Anthony Santa Cop and Heroes Donna Anthony is a veteran of law enforcement and was injured in the line of duty. With more than 20 years of law enforcement and security experience, she was a duly sworn police officer in Alaska. In 2005, Donna volunteered her time and founded the Santa Cop and Heroes Program, which delivers gifts for seniors, and provides financial aid for utility bills, unexpected expenses and more. Due to COVID-19, she applied for and received an emergency grant to deliver a two-week supply of food and other essential items for Mat-Su seniors age 60 and over. These boxes have been delivered to more than 400 seniors over the course of a month. Said of Donna Anthony, “She’s always looking out for the senior community and finding/funding ways to help those in need.”

Nick Bachman Anchorage Community Land Trust Nick Bachman joined the Anchorage Community Land Trust in April 2019 to help launch the first year of operations at Grow North Farm — an urban farm, community space and foodindustry incubator in Mountain View. Alongside Keenan Plate, Nick has provided a space where Alaskan refugee and immigrant farmers have planted, harvested and built businesses while learning entrepreneurial skills and increasing the health and well-being of the community they call home. Nick’s work at ACLT includes program and project management at Grow North Farm as well as assisting entrepreneurs achieve their goals through ACLT’s Set Up Shop program. Said of Nick Bachman, “(He has) been innovative in project implementation and engaging volunteers from across the Municipality to build community.”

Robert Brewster The Alaska Club

Robert Brewster has been with the The Alaska Club since 1988 and is currently the CEO and President. Under his direction, community is one of the four brand values of The Alaska Club, and he continues to show courage and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The Alaska Club, a fitness company, helped launch the fundraising campaign and is among the companies that have contributed $10,000 or more to Bean’s Cafe and The Children’s Lunchbox feeding program,” Lisa Sauder of Bean’s Café, Children’s Lunchbox said. Robert has rallied his team to help pack over 3000 lunchboxes, deliver food to the pantry, reallocated marketing dollars to raise awareness for this cause, in addition to the $10,000 contribution. He is also working with the Municipality of Anchorage to utilize club locations as potential face covering distribution sites and laundering face coverings before distribution. Said of Robert Brewster: “Because of his leadership, the first thing the executive team asks during any crisis is, ‘what can we do to help?’ Those of us lucky enough to work alongside him, are proud to call him a friend.”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, May 31, 2020


Kate Consenstein Rising Tide Communications

As the principal and owner of Rising Tide Communications, Kate Consenstein has managed national, multi-faceted campaigns offering a collaborative and transparent communication style to clients. She delivers both the conceptual and the analytic thinking, always framed by what moves consumers to act, do, choose and align. Recently, Kate took it upon herself to coalesce local restaurateurs and chefs struggling with the impact of COVID-19 and helped them articulate the assistance they needed from state and federal governments. She wrote a letter and gathered more than 80 signatures, which generated an immediate response from legislators and has allowed for continued productive conversations between restaurateurs and legislators since. Said of Kate Consenstein: “Kate is incredibly supportive as a friend, boss and community member. She is selfless and concerned for other people’s welfare. She’s an inspiration to us all. Kate is Alaska’s gold standard.”

Katie Cornwell Seward Prevention Coalition Katie Cornwell is the Executive Director of the Seward Prevention Coalition. With a passion for collaboration and creative problem solving, Katie directs the coalition to prevent adverse childhood experiences and build resilience across the community. Due to her dedicated efforts all programs and businesses in the Seward area know they have someone willing and able to support them during this hard time. Katie has been coordinating efforts and offering support for programs to bring their skills and classes online, as well as brainstorming ways to support our local small businesses to ensure they feel supported and come out strong. Said of Katie Cornwell, “Katie is an individual that is able to bring people together in a manner that includes people from all demographics and specialties.”

Michael DeMolina Wisdom Traditions Counseling Services Michael DeMolina, Ph.D., is the owner and Director of Wisdom Traditions Counseling Services, an integrative healthcare center whose focus is on holistic, body/mind and trauma-sensitive care, with 30 years of experience as a psychotherapist, trainer and consultant. In addition to a consistent presence in our community, Michael rises to every occasion to support the community during times of crisis and times of emergencies. The COVID-19 public health crisis is no exception: prompt planning and foresight ensured employment retention for his workforce and expanded accessibility for all health care services. Said of Michael DeMolina: “Michael is a compassionate, devoted individual with extensive experience in (the) field of counseling and human development. (He is) deeply interested in integrative health care and whole person well-being, promoting a philosophy of generosity and kindness, and embodies commitment to community as a means of healing individual and collective trauma.”



Trevor Desatoff Costco Trevor Desatoff goes above and beyond to service the community and help those in need through his work at Costco. During COVID-19, he has worked long hours to ensure those in need have access to food and water, created a specific time for his employees to shop and scheduled and implemented a timeframe for seniors and more vulnerable customers to shop. When times get tough, Trevor does not give up. He continues on and always does what he thinks is right. Said of Trevor Desatoff, “His goals include taking care of those around him, always striving for improvement and improving lives all around him.”

Alex France Alex France Design Alex France describes herself as a native Texan, master of gravity, Tex-mex aficionado and visual designer. As dining rooms across the state closed, she made a website to connect local restaurants with hungry Alaskans during social distancing. The website, takeoutak.com, helps efficiently connect open restaurants that provide takeout within the community and customers. Takeoutak.com received more than 6,000 visits in two days and expanded to towns and cities across the state. Said of Alex France: “Alex is an extremely talented graphic designer and a downright wonderful human being. She’s enthusiastic about her community and the essential small businesses that help keep this city running.”

Kay Gajewski Catholic Social Services Kay Gajewski has been volunteering for Catholic Social Services for more than 10 years in a variety of roles. She has served on the Brother Francis Shelter advisory council and has taught job readiness classes at the Refugee Assistance and Immigration Services Welcome Center. Kay is always willing to step in and step up. She has helped raise funds and provided guidance for Brother Francis Shelter, as well as taught classes to new refugee arrivals at RAIS. Said of Kay Gajewski, “She has truly helped so many and the effects of her time and hard work have touched many lives.”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, May 31, 2020


Gwyneth Geiger Anchorage high school student Gwyneth Geiger, age 15, started her own business last year called The Peckish Porcupine. Her goal is to offer handmade products such as beeswax wraps and reusable lunch bags, to name a few, to cut down on one-time-use products. This winter, she designed a reusable mesh veggie and fruit bag to cut down on the plastic bag used at the store and was looking forward to selling them at the Girdwood Forest Fair and other markets this summer. During COVID-19, she has retooled her sewing operation and is making masks full time, along with completing her homework. Said of Gwyneth Geiger, “She is making masks to donate and sell, and loves the idea that she, too, can help her community in need.”

Artie Gorash Great Land Christian Church Artie Gorash is a student at the University of Alaska Anchorage, an employee at the Great Land Christian Church, and a combat veteran who served for 11 years in the U.S. Army as a combat medic. During his service in Alaska, he began to volunteer with the Alaska Chapter of HOPE Worldwide, and in 2019, Artie volunteered over 27 hours with the Food Bank of Alaska, and he and HOPE Worldwide volunteered a combined 720 hours. COVID-19 has impacted more Alaskans than ever, and the Food Bank of Alaska would not be able to continue their mission of meeting the additional food need in the community without volunteers like Artie. Said of Artie Gorash: “He sees a need in society and he wants to be a part of the movement to address these needs. He wants to build a community that works together to lift others up. His goal is really to share the opportunities that are out there for others to serve.”

Ruth Guardo A Touch of Home Childcare & Learning Center Ruth Guardo runs A Touch of Home Childcare & Learning Center, and during COVID-19 has been providing daycare services for essential employees, as well as providing lunches for children in need. She is constantly looking for resources to help her families and staff, and has her door open to listen and provide advice to all who come to see her. Said of Ruth Guardo, “(She) goes on and beyond to ensure people are safe and happy.”



Jamie Hartung JD Interpreting Jamie Hartung received training and a degree in American Sign Language interpreting from Palomar College in 2007, and received national certification in ASL/English Interpreting from the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). She recently started her agency, JD Interpreting, and coordinated all of the ASL access for the press conferences from the Mayor of Anchorage and the Governor of Alaska. Jamie has been taking endless emails and texts, and getting her very small team where they need to be to get access for all Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alaskans, and she does so with respect, grace and a smile on her face. Said of Jamie Hartung: “Working with Jamie, you know you will be treated as a professional, she will keep communication as open as it can be and she will be in many settings quietly getting the job done. A vital job of providing access to Alaskans who need it! Hats off to Jamie and her team!”

Christine Hohf Kiwanis Club of Anchorage Christine Hohf has always had the desire to bring help and a smile to her fellow man. She enjoys spending her time helping others in her community, and with shorter hours at work due to COVID-19, she and her son don inflatable costumes and walk through the neighborhood waving and dancing — he as the T-Rex and Christine as the Unicorn. They have been bringing smiles to faces, made birthday celebrations a bit more special and generally made her neighbors days a little brighter. Christine does not look for accolades, but hopes that her son always remembers making others smile and he carries that smile tradition on. Said of Christine Hohf: “She believes in helping everyone she can without asking for anything. She will rarely say no to anyone.”

Alexis Johnson Bread & Brew Alexis Johnson, General Manager and Owner of Bread & Brew, is a seasoned creative and a passionate leader with a proven track record for translating complex ideas into community magic. Through her work during the last three years Bread & Brew has raised and donated more than $50,000 to local families and charities. She is passionate about everything she does, including serving the Anchorage community and essential staff during these uncertain times, and has been doing her best to keep her small business doors open. Said of Alexis Johnson: “Lex is hard working, generous, vivacious, determined, passionate and extremely competitive. Lex is continuously looking for ways to include and support the community!”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, May 31, 2020


Dave Karp Saltchuk David Karp is the Senior Vice President and Managing Director for the Saltchuk family of companies in Alaska. A lifelong Alaska resident raised in Nome, he is a part of the Saltchuk Giving Committee, a group that focuses on donating money to organizations that have impact in the areas of youth development. Dave looks for the needs around our Alaskan communities and funnels money to these programs. Recently, Bean’s Cafe Children’s Lunchbox reached out for a helping hand and he quickly moved on ensuring they had what they needed to keep feeding our children in the community. Said of David Karp: “He cares about young people and doesn’t hesitate to talk to students about coming from rural Alaska and working in the transportation industry. He is active in the community and quick to jump into fundraisers that raise money for a good cause.”

Carolyn Kostka Anchorage high school student Carolyn Kostka is a 17-year-old junior, dually enrolled at South High and PAIDEIA Cooperative School. While not busy with school or her work at Alaskan Data Solutions and Sunsation, she donates her time to the Anchorage Senior Activity Center. As COVID-19 prevented Carolyn from her usual assistance at the Center, she took it upon herself to pull out a sewing machine and learn to sew masks. A few days later, she started a GoFundMe campaign called, “Adopt A Mask, Make A Difference” to cover the costs of materials with the proceeds going to the Anchorage Senior Activity Center. In a short time, she has made roughly 200 masks and raised $3,000 which was shared between the Center and Children’s Lunchbox. Said of Carolyn Kostka: “Taking the initiative to learn to sew, finding the directions on the correct way to make the needed masks and providing this project and funds for others at no thought for herself says a lot about the way she looks at her part in her community. She is not your average young person.”

Kim Kovol Bean’s Cafe Kim Kovol serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Bean’s Cafe and The Children’s Lunchbox, and has a huge passion for their mission. She planned, oversaw and directed the entire emergency mass shelters operation at the Sullivan Arena and Ben Boeke Arena, housing more than 480 individuals every night and feeding twice that amount three times a day. Kim designed the entire plan in 10 days and worked efficiently to move all clients from Beans Cafe on 3rd Avenue safely over to the arenas without one incident reported. Her operational know-how, hard work, dedication and grit enabled the organization to work quickly to accommodate the needs of the community. Said of Kim Kovol, “Kim has always humbled herself in our community, putting the clients and organization before herself in everything she does.”



Elizabeth Loeffler Alaska Police and Fire Chaplains Stepping up when there was great need, First Responder Chaplain Elizabeth Loeffler performed as a liaison between a family and the hospital when their elderly loved one was transported to the hospital. She brought comfort to the family during a critical time, and was able to retrieve family photographs and a phone, so the loved one in the ICU could communicate with and feel surrounded by family. Said of Elizabeth Loeffler: “She has a large influence on everyone she meets. Her kindness is contagious.”

Jennifer Loofbourrow Alpine Fit Jennifer Loofbourrow is the owner/founder of Anchorage-based outdoor apparel manufacturer Alpine Fit. Jennifer embarked on a multifaceted career in the apparel industry starting in 2007, officially launching Alpine Fit in 2019 to be an outdoor activewear brand in line with her values offering fit options for body proportions, odor resistant fabrics for spending more time outdoors and making products in Alaska. Recently, she quickly turned AlpineFit towards making masks, enabling Alaskans to protect themselves and their community from a fellow Alaskan. Said of Jennifer Loofbourrow, “Jennifer Loofbourrow has successfully been a serial entrepreneur and with her new venture, AlpineFit, is proactively supporting Alaska to manage the effects of COVID-19.”

Ken McCarty Discovery Cove Recovery & Wellness Center As a long time mental healthcare professional, educator and community activist, Ken McCarty has been diligently passionate to help inspire individuals, families and community. He is founder and C.E.O. of Discovery Cove Recovery & Wellness Center, and is very involved in the Eagle River and Chugiak communities. Amid COVID-19, Ken has maintained operations of his counseling agency through tele-therapy/tele-medicine to continue to offer services for clients in the community. He has also maintained employment for his staff, and even sought out ways to employ people furloughed from their jobs. Two goals for Ken are: “life is a hand breath … I want to live it like a massive thunderstorm breath” and “what can I do today to improve myself and make my world a better place.” Said of Ken McCarty, “Ken is known as a passionate and persistent individual to make things happen.”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, May 31, 2020


Candice McDonald-Kotyk Salmon Berry Travel and Tours Candice McDonald-Kotyk, co-owner of Salmon Berry Travel and Tours, has worked to curate a reputation for excellence and success in curated and custom travel itineraries, satisfying visitors from around the globe through her company. During the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, Candice has kept the majority of her staff working, and filled their paid time with volunteer work for the Food Bank of Alaska, delivering senior food boxes to needy citizens of Anchorage. She is working on other options to deliver necessary items to Alaskans, so more people can stay home to help slow the spread of the virus. Said of Candice McDonald-Kotyk: “Candice (has) been an influencer in the tourism industry since right after she started. Her company has grown over the years to one of the bigger independent travel package companies.”

Sarah Oates Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association Sarah Oates has served as the President & CEO of the Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association (CHARR) since 2018, with her recent efforts being focused on mitigating short- and longterm economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Alaska’s hospitality industry through support, advocacy, education and workforce development. Sarah is working and traveling tirelessly on behalf of Alaska businesses, lobbying the legislature and agencies in order to provide a measure of relief for businesses amidst the coronavirus. Her efforts are saving jobs in the hospitality industry, which is one of the hardest hit industries. Said of Sarah Oates: “Sarah is a true public servant. She cares about Alaska’s business community and wants to see it thrive. She gives countless hours of free advice to small and family-owned businesses to help them navigate legal and regulatory requirements.”

Dana Paperman Seward Senior Center Dana Paperman, Executive Director of the Seward Senior Center, was influenced by her mother to help others, and believes it is in her DNA to serve her community. Recently, she has sprung into action and made sure that the senior citizens of Seward are safe and works to make sure they are getting their meals delivered. Dana believes it is important to recognize everyone’s efforts, and for all to work together for the good of the community. Said of Dana Paperman: “She cares deeply about the population with whom she works. She advocates for them and sees to it that they are cared for.”



Steven Plante Organic Oasis Restaurant & Juice Bar Steven Plante is the owner and operator of Organic Oasis Restaurant & Juice Bar. For more than 25 years, he has been dedicated to the health of everyone who comes through the doors of Organic Oasis. The restaurant grows a large variety of sprouts in the kitchen, while the freezer and refrigerators are packed with nutritious ingredients that are carefully and creatively prepared for optimal health and tasty enjoyment. Steve listens to his customers and offers them advice and nutritional options based upon their needs, working to make his community healthy. Said of Steven Plante: “Steve speaks from his heart. He counsels with deep passion and vast knowledge for your optimal health!”

Keenan Plate Catholic Social Services Keenan Plate is the Refugee Agriculture Program Coordinator for Refugee Assistance and Immigration Services (RAIS), a program of Catholic Social Services. Alongside Nick Bachman, Keenan created Grow North Farm in Mountain View, an urban farm, community space and food-industry where Alaskan refugee and immigrant farmers have planted, harvested and built businesses. He is inspired by the Anchorage community and counts himself lucky to be a part of it. Said of Keenan Plate: “Keenan was essential to Grow North Farms beginnings and operations. Without his commitment and hard work, Grow North Farms would not be what it is today.”

Lisa Sauder Bean’s Cafe Lisa Sauder is the Executive Director of Bean’s Cafe and she believes in treatment and care for the whole individual to improve our Anchorage community one life at a time. When COVID-19 hit and new regulations dictated that shelter breeds must be at least 6 feet apart, Bean’s Cafe partnered with the Municipality of Anchorage to run a 24-hour shelter at the Sullivan and Ben Boeke Arena to house nearly double their normal number of clients. Lisa and her team sprung into action: they began organization, additional fundraising, hired staff to cover 24-hour needs for 480 people, while also conducting clothing, blanket and toiletries drives to provide essential items to those who need assistance. Said of Lisa Sauder: “Lisa is very driven and compassionate. She is laser-focused on caring for the homeless population while helping them find paths to independence.”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, May 31, 2020


John Schwartz Perfectionist Auto Sound and Security John Schwartz is the Chief Executive Officer of Perfectionist Auto Sound and Security, starting at the business in 1999 and growing it into a successful, profitable business. With COVID-19 closing their doors, he has not taken the time to sit idle and worry but, instead, has opened up his large remote start shop to use his machinery to make full face shields for the medical community. Without any help from others, John has produced much-needed protective equipment for frontline workers, not just in Anchorage, but statewide. Said of John Schwartz: “John also inspired other businesses in his industry to join him in manufacturing face shields. He has saved countless lives and protected our healthcare workers on his own dime. John doesn’t seek out attention for his good deeds, he just wants to make a difference.”

Krista Scully Alaska Bar Association Krista Scully is the Pro Bono Director for the Alaska Bar Association, coordinating with people who cannot afford legal services to obtain the legal services they need. She is a dedicated public servant and volunteers to feed and clothe the hungry and in-need, as well as fundraising for services. She volunteers almost every moment of free time she has to raise awareness for those less fortunate and supports her community in general. If something needs to be done, Krista is there with hands ready to work. Said of Krista Scully: “She is uplifting all the time, but in times of strife, as now, she is a beacon for others to see the positive in even the worst of circumstances.”

Sean Siegel Castable Ceramics Sean Siegel works at Castable Ceramics, a dental tool repair company, and has gone out of his way during COVID-19 to create face shields when they are needed most.



Moria Smith ENSTAR Natural Gas Company Moira Smith is Vice President and General Counsel of ENSTAR Natural Gas Company. During the uncertain times of COVID-19, she, alongside Christine Hohf, has brought joy to her community. While Christine and her son appear in costumes, Moira organizes caravans of vehicles to parade around their neighborhood. They have bonded together to bring joy to children, seniors and families, and have brought smiles to faces and neighbors closer together during social and physical distancing. Said of Moira Smith: “(Moira and Christine) treasure family and community. They strive to bring smiles and joy to people in these uncertain times.”

Kyle and Megan Steward Alaska Native Medical Center Husband and wife team Kyle and Megan Steward, an Alaska Native Medical Center Radiologist and a case manager, were able to have a local company donate thick transparent sheets and a 3D printer and began to make face shields. They made shields not only for their facilities, but donated face shields to all healthcare workers. Said of Kyle and Megan Steward, “Hospital professionals at their best”

Kassandra Taggart Real Property Management Last Frontier Kassandra Taggart and her husband own and operate Real Property Management Last Frontier and Pivot Maintenance Management in Alaska, managing more than 500 rental properties in the Anchorage bowl, and servicing more than 2,400 work orders a year. During COVID-19, she worked with multiple government departments and landlords to help find a way to protect landlords and impacted tenants. Kassandra testified in front of the Senate and House and organized 2,500 landlords to write in ideas and opinions on how to help everyone impacted. She also helped educate the landlords and tenants on resources and create connections to help the economy. Said of Kassandra Taggart: “Kassandra is very ethical in her approach to business. She loves to share her knowledge with everyone.”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, May 31, 2020


Stephen Thomas Creekbend Cafe and Coldwater Lodge Stephen Thomas and his wife Delaney are the owners and operators of Creekbend Cafe and Coldwater Lodge in Hope. In these difficult times, they have kept their businesses open for takeout and grocery store, providing an essential service to the Hope community. The community has no other grocery store, and by keeping the doors open, Stephen has helped Hope have access to food, as well as a place to do laundry and shower. Said of Stephen Thomas, “He is a kind and ambitious man.”

United Way of Anchorage United Way of Anchorage has been a leader in our community in and out of times of heavy crisis. Whether it has been the earthquake in 2019, crisis’ around education and homelessness, and now the COVID-19 pandemic, UWA is striving to protect and preserve what makes Anchorage/Alaska special: its neighbors. The staff of UWA serve the community in many different capacities as members of many different councils, boards, etc. Their volunteer engagement reaches far and wide. Said of United Way of Anchorage: “United Way of Anchorage advances the common good by mobilizing the caring power of our community. Their focus is on education, income and health — the building blocks for a good quality of life.”



RECOGNIZING OUTSTANDING ALASKANS OF ALL AGES 3rd Quarter Nomination Period Monday, June 8 thru Monday, July 20

Recognizing the men and women in our business community who are doing amazing things in their ďŹ eld and within our community.

Transportation & Tourism AchievementInBusiness .com

Recognizing students across Anchorage who are going the extra mile to better their schools, neighborhoods and community. Nominations open now through mid-October.


we will always bank on alaskans. We’re proud to recognize outstanding achievement in business. At Northrim, we never lose focus on serving the needs of Alaska and our neighbors who live here. We look beyond the numbers and seize opportunities to support our state, whether that be through employing Alaskans or delivering customized solutions to help finance the businesses that power the Last Frontier. We are forever proud to be Alaskan.


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