Journal of Commerce 2013 TOP FORTY | UNDER 40® ★ PAGE 1
People, Performance, and Commitment—for Alaska
Congratulations to CH2M HILL’s Amanda Finnegan, Regional Health, Safety and Environment Manager, for being recognized as one of Alaska’s 2013 Top Forty Under 40. Her dedication mirrors CH2M HILL’s culture that is committed to safely delivering our clients’ most challenging programs and complex projects.Because of outstanding people like Amanda, CH2M HILL can help Alaska meet its energy, transportation, water and environmental needs. Anchorage Office 949 E. 36th Avenue Anchorage, AK 99508
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© 2013 CH2M HILL DENJW201302.054 EC022813052221ANV
The Alaska Journal of Commerce takes great pleasure in presenting this year’s Top Forty Under 40® recipients. Every year we honor the talent and outstanding efforts of individual Alaskans in their professions and in their community involvement.
Telephone: 907-561-4772 Fax: 907-563-4744 www.alaskajournal.com Regional Vice President
Congratulations to the 2013 recipients!
The Top Forty Under 40® recipients are: Justin Atteberry Chris Bond Michael Campbell Patrice Hanson Case Kate Cessnun Justin Charon Jason Dolph Colin P. Fay Amanda C. Finnegan Brian Flemming
Jake Gerondale Chad Graham Kyle Hampton Brian Hanson Sarah Henning Lisa Herbert Heath E. Hilyard Joe Jolley John David Kauffman Denali Kemppel
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Erin Kinavey Matt Kropke April Kyle Angela M. Major Raven Riddle Michelle Rizk Zuzana Rogers Ann Schaack Humphrey Micah Shilanski John Sims
Andrew Jensen (907) 275-2165 firstname.lastname@example.org Production
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Maree Shogren (907) 275-2162 email@example.com
Nadya Gilmore (907) 275-2163
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Tim Bradner (907) 275-2159
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Brandon Snodgrass Page Dena M. Sommer-Pedebone Page Stephen Trimble Page Jeffery C. Trotter Page Tiffany Tutiakoff Page Xh’unei Lance A. Twitchell Page Bill Vivlamore Page Gretchen Wieman Fauske Page Kristina Woolston Page Kevin Wright Page
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Elwood Brehmer (907) 275-2161 Reporter
Molly Dischner (907) 275-2158 Advertising Director
Tom Wardhaugh (907) 275-2114 Account Executives
Ken Hanni (907) 275-2155 Steve Sauder (907) 275-2153
2013 TOP FORTY | UNDER 40® ★ PAGE 1
SPONSORS FORGET ME NOT SPONSOR
Past and present Chenega Top 40 Under 40 Recipients Karen Rogina, Robb Milne, Kristina Woolston and Janet Waldron.
Chenega Corporation congratulates Kristina Woolston on her induction into the 2013 Top 40 Under 40.
CONGRATULATIONS Joe Jolley
You are in good company!
We areCOMMERCIAL proud of your leadership BOND PROPERTIES AlAskA’s newest commerciAl reAl estAte brokerAge
and dedication to building Alaska’s future!
our firm offers An extensive rAnge of commeriAl reAl estAte services, speciAlizing in the sAles And leAsing of lAnd, office, industriAl/wArehouse, And retAil trAnsActions. chris bond is the Broker of Bond Commercial Properties and has over 10 years of comprehensive commercial investment, property management, and marketing experience. In addition to managing and bringing together an all-inclusive commercial real estate firm, Chris oversees several real estate investment portfolios (907) 360-2318 in excess of two million square feet in both Alaska and throughout the lower 48.
stuart c. bond, CCIM, SIOR manages the Bond Commercial Properties’ commercial sales and leasing branch. Over the past twenty-eight years, Stuart Bond successfully completed over 2,000 leases for a combined total of in excess of seven million square feet and sold over 200 commercial properties valued at over $500,000,000. Currently (907) 786-7303 he exclusively represents over thirty commercial properties throughout the Anchorage area. Cornerstone General Contractors, Inc.
g ry efforts
ngs in any community takes tremendous effort. What each life better for everyone.
reciated and admired every day. achievements.
mark filipenko has over 10 years of commercial real estate experience and is considered one of the top brokers in the field selling and leasing over 500,000 square feet. He has been a guest speaker at several local BOMA events, teaches classes at the Alaska Small Business Development Center, and regularly volunteers his time to many (907) 786-7353 local business and community events and youth programs. Mark is also candidate of the prestigious Certified Commercial Investment Manager designation.
2609 A street, AnchorAge, Ak 99503
5050 Cordova Street, Anchorage, AK 99503
Yvette lund is a Licensed Assistant to Stuart P (907) 561-1993 F (907) 561-7899 Bond and is a great asset to the firm. Yvette has extensive experience in large scale commercial property management, accounting, and complex brokerage transactions, assisting many large national clients entering the Alaska market.
bond commerciAl properties is proud to hAve some of the best And brightest reAl estAte professionAls in the stAte.
Congratulations to this year’s recipients! Business, Community, Life, Travel,
Telling Alaska’s story for more than 75 years.
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Director of Operations, Medical Services Division, Southcentral Foundation
Justin Atteberry age 39 Favorite quote:
Leadership is half form and half function. Education: Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Master of Business Administration from Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, Wash.) Community work: Youth ministry, small Bible and study groups at the Chapel by the Sea; Relay For Life volunteer; Thanksgiving food drive volunteer; Youth soccer coach; Cook Inlet Soccer Club board member Family: Wife, Allison, and two daughters, Grace (9) and Ella (7) Hometown: Palmer Current city: Anchorage
Adam Elliott Photography
What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? I enjoy the mountains and the opportunities to explore them with my family, whether we are camping, backpacking, hiking, canoeing, etc. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? A few years ago, my Dad and I took a few days and backpacked across Kesugi Ridge. The weather was beautiful and Denali was out every day. It was an experience I will never forget. Name the person you most respect and why. The Apostle Paul – coming from an unlikely background, his devotion to the Gospel is inspiring. His sacrifices played a major role in the spreading of Christianity during the important early years of the faith. He ran the good race until the end. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? First and foremost, spending time with family. I also enjoy soccer, running and reading. What was your first job? I owned my own lawn-mowing business. Who is your favorite superhero? Sheriff Andy Taylor – he protected the town with common sense and respect for others. What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? I have been very fortunate and have not yet experienced many major challenges. The toughest thing has been to consistently do the things I should, day in and day out, even when they might not be exciting or glamorous.
Southcentral Foundation has received the highest national honor for its rollout of electronic health records. What can the health care industry learn from this success at Southcentral Foundation and the Alaska Native Medical Center? To be truly successful, health care facilities need to think outside of the box and outside of what has typically been the norm. Health care is really about relationships with the customers and providing the best situation for them. More important than the national recognition, our smooth transition into electronic health records at Southcentral Foundation and the Alaska Native Medical Center (which is jointly owned and operated by Southcentral Foundation and Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium) provided stability for our customers and a reliable, up-to-date system for them to depend on. You have visited all 50 states and 40 countries. Of all those experiences which one stands out most? My time in Northern Africa: the people there experience abject poverty, yet are incredibly happy and friendly.
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Broker, Bond Commercial Properties
Chris Bond age 32 Who is your favorite superhero? Adam Elliott Photography
Batman Education: Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania; CCIM Candidate Community work: President, Midtown Community Council; Parks and Recreation Arctic Benson VIP Committee; Secretary, Certified Commercial Investment Managers Alaska President, Mount Vernon Commons Condo Association Family: Happily married Hometown/current city: Anchorage What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? The family cabin on Kenai Lake, built by my grandfather, Lu Liston, over 60 years ago. Some of my earliest and happiest memories are of spending time there with him and my cousins – prowling around the woods on scavenger hunts, going fishing, roasting marshmallows, looking in on neighbors, playing board games and wondering at some of the artifacts he had collected throughout his life. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? Any of the winter camping I did with my Boy Scout Troop. It was always frigid, exhausting and painful but we came prepared and learned to work together well. The week afterwards the hard work never seemed to matter as much as the fun we had. Name the person you most respect and why. My Father, Stuart Bond. This is a man who built multiple successful businesses literally from the ground up – he earned seed money surveying for the pipeline. And, through an uncanny combination of hard work, preparation and experience always knows the best time to get in or to get out of a business venture. His motivation was never the pursuit of wealth for wealth’s sake, but instead the joy of putting together a perfect deal and the ability to provide for his family. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Games of skill or strategy, and spending time with friends and family Favorite quote: A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes. – Mahatma Gandhi What was your first job? Filing and Warehouse work with British Petroleum What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? It is more of an ongoing ordeal than a challenge overcome, but keeping control of my weight and physical fitness. Seizing that control came down to making the choice to do so and backing that choice up with
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as much determination, willpower and, failing that, stubbornness as I could muster. I also learned how important it is not to quit in the face of a setback or even outright failure. That is a strategy I’ve since discovered works well to achieve my other ongoing goals. You have been active in reestablishing the Certified Commercial Investment Manager Association in Alaska. What does a CCIM do and why is it important for a market to have an active membership? Selling or leasing a commercial building is almost nothing like selling a residential building, which, unfortunately, is what most of the real estate license testing in Alaska is geared towards. The CCIM Designation tells a landlord or a tenant that they are working with a real estate licensee who has undergone rigorous training in commercial sales and leasing and who has the experience to support that training. CCIM Alaska gives all those licensees – many of whom work for different companies – a chance to network with each other and give the property owners or tenants they represent more exposure to opportunities in the market. As President of the Midtown Community Council, what is your vision for what Midtown Anchorage can be? I want Midtown to be more of what it already is – the Center of Anchorage. I see Midtown undergoing even more of the positive development that has happened over the past 10 years. It will be full of busy office buildings and thriving retail centers as well as renewed parks and attractive residential developments. I see the people here prospering and creating a vital community in which they can live, work and play. I want people who aren’t here yet to say, “Let’s go to Midtown!”
Commercial Sponsorship and Advertising Manager, USAG Fort Wainwright Family And Morale, Welfare And Recreation
Michael Campbell age 32 Education: Bachelor Of Business Administration-Marketing from the University Of Alaska Fairbanks; Bachelor Of Technology from the University Of Alaska Fairbanks.
Todd Paris/Paris Photography
Community work: Filipino-American Society of Fairbanks, Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, KUAC Public Broadcasting Station, Association of the United States Army-Polar Bear Chapter, Boys & Girls Club of the Tanana Valley, University of Alaska Fairbanks Northern Leadership Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks Alumni Association- Fairbanks Chapter, Fairbanks Children’s Museum, Festival Fairbanks, Fairbanks North Star Borough School DistrictBoard Diversity Committee. Hometown: Plattsburgh, New York Current city: Fairbanks What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? Fairbanks is my favorite place in Alaska because of the vast natural beauty, and because the people are genuinely kind, honest and friendly. Fairbanks summers are majestic, and definitely worth the frigid winter weather. Around town, there is always a familiar face, and a smile from strangers. I get to live in a place that people save their whole lives to visit…Fairbanks is my home. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? My most memorable Alaskan experience is the Fairbanks Summer. We endure the extreme winter weather, for this magical season! There are activities to satisfy everyone’s curiosity under the midnight sun! I look forward to riverboat rides, cultural activities around the Interior, four-wheeling, fishing, camping, bonfires, and all-night adventures with family and friends…we are the lucky ones. Name the person you most respect and why. The person I most respect is my sister Barbara Maglaqui (Campbell.) A single mother to my awesome nephew Gabriel, she serves our country as a Master Sergeant in the 168th Air Refueling Wing of the Alaska National Guard. She has instilled patriotism and a strong work ethic in Gabriel, as well as volunteers throughout our community. We’ve overcome adversity throughout our lives, but through mutual encouragement and inspiration — we have become the proud Americans we are today. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? My favorite hobby is volunteering. I live my mantra that you can’t build strong communities without volunteerism and philanthropic efforts by applying my skillsets to various organizations for a better tomorrow. Favorite quote: “We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” General George S. Patton Who is your favorite superhero? Michelangelo of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it?
My biggest challenge in life has been my weight. It has restricted many aspects of my life, and handicapped me in more ways than I care to acknowledge. I have recently chosen to live a more balanced life, with regular exercise, healthier food choices, and plenty of laughter with great family and friends. Please describe your role at Fort Wainwright with Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation. I currently establish, maintain, and strengthen military and civilian partnerships with local businesses, corporations, and educational institutions to support the Army mission Fort Wainwright and Fort Greely through first choice programs, services, and events for all Soldiers, Families, Retirees, and Civilians. What is the most rewarding part about working with the military? The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that I’ve made a positive impact on soldiers and families lives while they continue to make sacrifices in defending our freedom and providing our liberties. How did it feel to be honored with the Department of the Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service in 2011? I was completely taken aback by this honor because I only did what I felt needed to be done to achieve the greatest possible impact for our Soldiers. The garrison command recognized that I live the Army values and did everything within my power to support the Army community during a deployment cycle.
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UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
Congratulates the following UAF Alumni for the Honors of Top Forty Under 40: MICHAEL CAMPBELL KATHRYN CESSNUN
The spirit of healing at its finest.
t PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, we work hard to provide our community with the best care possible— right here at home. The best way to do that is to make sure they have access to the best caregivers; caregivers with a heart for the people and community they serve. We are extremely proud of the caring, committed service of our registered dietitian, Kate Cessnun. She is a fine example of the spirit of healing in action as she passionately spreads the hopeful message of making healthy choices to our entire community.
(907) 225-5171 3100 Tongass Avenue, Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 www.peacehealth.org/ketchikan
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BRIAN HANSON RAVEN RIDDLE MICHELLE RIZK DENA SOMMER-PEDEBONE HEATH HILYARD
UAF is an AA/EO employer and educational institution.
President, Florcraft Carpet One
Patrice Hanson Case age 36 Job title and company: President of Florcraft Carpet One.
Todd Paris/Paris Photography
Education: Studied Japanese at University of Alaska Anchorage and have Executive Masters in Business and Strategic Organizational Development from University of Villanova. Community work: Breast Cancer Detection Center Board Member and Board Chair, Breast Cancer Focus Inc.; Rotary Club of Fairbanks, Commissioner of the Port of Anchorage; Tote Community Advisory Board, Go Red for Women & the Wounded Warrior Project. Family: Husband of 18 years Jason Case, daughter Madison (14), dog Bella. Hometown/current city: Born and raised in Fairbanks What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? Harding Lake in Fairbanks, so many amazing memories as a child and an adult.
him know the world hadn’t ended.” So very true!
What is your most memorable Alaska experience? I went to Homer a few years back with my family and friends. In all my life here I had never been. I was taken aback by how beautiful and surreal it was. Looking at the spit from up in the hills was breathtaking and seeing the road end and the vastness of the ocean was incredible. Growing up in Fairbanks you don’t get those million dollar views!
What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Losing my parents before the age of 30 was a tough pill to swallow. I can’t say that I’ve totally overcome it but I have learned that they aren’t completely gone. They are a part of me and with their great parenting skills I learned a lot about life at an early age and that I can do whatever I set my mind to. It just takes hard work and you have to learn to walk before you run.
Name the person you most respect and why. My father Bob Hanson, who passed away almost 7 years ago. He was the most caring and giving man. The communities of Alaska were so important to him and he instilled those values in me and my siblings at a young age. He was a strong businessman and was loved by all his customers and employees. He left a great legacy behind and I’m proud to be following in his footsteps.
As a Port of Anchorage commissioner and Community Advisory Board member with Totem Ocean Trailer Express Inc., what have you learned about transportation and logistics in Alaska? I’ve learned that Alaska has many challenges to overcome when it comes to shipping. Not only do we have to worry about extreme weather conditions but we also need to take into consideration remoteness, size and political issues. The freight and shipping industry has to be flexible and constantly pay attention to all these factors and how they affect their business and the business of their customers.
What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? I love reading and spending time with my family and friends. Favorite quote: When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile — Anonymous What was your first job? Working at Florcraft as a receptionist. Who is your favorite superhero? Well being a Commissioner of the Port of Anchorage I would have to say Batman, ha-ha! The Commissioner would just have to summon Batman with the Bat-Signal and Batman would arrive to save the day. I have my own Batman in my life and that’s my Store Manager in Anchorage, Evan Hall. I call him up when we have a crisis and we talk through it and solve the problem. He refers to me as Commissioner Case and I refer to him as Batman Hall. Everyone needs a batman in their life. I believe it was Batman that said “A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy’s shoulders, to let
What has been the key to growing your business during the challenging times of the past few years? Change and adaptation. You have to change the way you do business and adapt to economic climate, it may be uncomfortable at first but it’s essential if you want to continue to thrive. What has been your most memorable community service in Fairbanks? I have to say there are many but the one that came to me when I read this question was, when Florcraft partnered with the Breast Cancer Detection Center and we did mammograms at both stores. BCDC drove their mobile mammo truck to Anchorage and we were able to do over 15 mammograms in our parking lot regardless of ability to pay. The following weekend we did the same at our Fairbanks location and saw over 20 women. One woman said to me “You are truly changing lives and giving women the chance to find out early if they have signs of breast cancer, I’m forever grateful.” That made me tear up instantly and realize what an impact nonprofits make on our communities.
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Clinical Dietitian & Program Coordinator, Nutrition Services, PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center
Mischa Chernick/PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center
age 25 What is your favorite place in Alaska and why?
Ketchikan is my favorite place because it is truly an amazing and welcoming community. Education: Bachelor’s degrees in Biological Sciences and English from the University of Alaska Fairbanks; Master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Completion of dietetic internship at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Community work: Tongass Community Foods Alliance, Ketchikan Wellness Coalition Family: Mike (father), Marna (mother), Megan (sister), Eric (brother), Kojo (fiancé), Al (grandpa) & Xela (my canine niece) Hometown/current city: Ketchikan What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? Ketchikan is my favorite place because it is truly an amazing and welcoming community. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? Living in a dry cabin in Fairbanks Name the person you most respect and why. It is a tie between my dad and my mom because I have seen them overcome serious obstacles these past few years with courage, grace and a sense of humor. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Spending time at the new library! Favorite quote: “Work is love made visible.” – Khalil Gibran What was your first job? Folding t-shirts at the Ketchikan Mining Company Who is your favorite superhero? Captain Planet What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? My biggest challenge was attending high school in Bangkok, Thailand, as a Rotary Exchange student in 2003. I overcame this
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challenge by making good friends, staying busy and appreciating the experience for what it was, not what it wasn’t. You studied Arabic in Tunisia on a State Department scholarship and were one of just six people accepted to the MSPH/RD program at Johns Hopkins. Please describe what you learned from these experiences. Both of these experiences taught me to pursue opportunities that come my way because you never know what doors will be opened for you. Daring greatly is much better than always wondering “What if?” When did food environment and diet become a passion for you? I became interested in nutrition while working for Dr. Andrea Bersamin at the Center for Alaska Native Health Research as an undergraduate at UAF. Did you always plan to return to Ketchikan after finishing your studies? I had actually planned to move to New Mexico since there wasn’t a job available in Ketchikan when I first looked. On a whim I decided to call human resources before accepting the job offer in New Mexico and a job for a clinical dietitian had been posted 2 hours earlier! I applied immediately. I have found that no matter how far I travel Ketchikan always has a way of pulling me back and I can think of no other place that I would rather call home.
President, Vitus Marine
Justin Charon age 37 What was your first job?
Adam Elliott Photography
Blowing up balloons for games at the state fair. This was before they had air compressors so it was all done the oldfashioned way. Education: Bachelor’s degree in Management from the University of Alaska Anchorage; Certified Management Accountant Community work: Long time Food Bank of Alaska donor Family: Wife Laura Hometown: Palmer Current city: Anchorage What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? Anchorage. Great mix of services without the overcrowding in the lower 48. What was your first job? Blowing up balloons for games at the state fair. This was before they had air compressors so it was all done the old-fashioned way. What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Success in any major endeavor requires a variety of skills. Securing and managing a diverse team has been critical in every business I’ve been a part of. Vitus Marine organized the 2012 fuel delivery to the iced-in Port of Nome. Please give an insight into what the experience was like for you and your company. The winter delivery to Nome was exceptionally challenging and forced all of us at Vitus to rise to the occasion. The coordination behind the scenes was truly global and required us to gain the trust of partners who struggled to quantify the operational and financial risk involved. We were pleased the world got a chance to see what our Alaskan team at Vitus was capable of doing. How is Vitus Marine changing the way rural Alaska is being served? Vitus Marine is owned by the former executives at Yukon Fuel Company (which was acquired by a competitor in 2005). We took
the best parts from Yukon Fuel and added things we would have liked to have done at Yukon but were not possible with Yukon’s ownership structure and incorporated them into Vitus Marine. One of our core values is having strategic partnerships with major customers. These include providing what the customer expressly needs, like: transparent pricing, quality confirmation, and assistance in selecting the right energy products. How long have you been practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and what do you enjoy about teaching it? For 17 years it has been satisfying to see how discipline and dedication can bring confidence to my students. My experience has reinforced that success comes to those who strive to excel and don’t quit.
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Captain, Anchorage Fire Department
Jason Dolph Adam Elliott Photography
age 39 Education: Associate of Applied Science, Fire Science, Kansas City Kansas Community College; Associate of Applied Science, Fire Administration, University of Alaska, Anchorage; Bachelor of Science, Technology Management, Pittsburg State University Community work: Learning for Life, Explorer Post 264; Boy Scouts of America; Muscular Dystrophy Association; American Cancer Society; Breast Cancer Focus; American Heart Association; St. Baldrick’s; Anchorage School District, School Business Partnership; Every 15 Minutes; IAFF Local 1264 Family: Wife Bree and daughter Jillian, age 5. Hometown: Kodiak Current city: Eagle River What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? Anchorage. It has all the amenities of a progressive and modern metropolitan area, yet just a few steps away are dense forests, pristine rivers, peaceful lakes, majestic mountains, and the vast ocean. There are few places where you can have it all in one package. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? The Kodiak Crab Festival. The once a year event is a wonderful community, friend, and family gathering. I loved it as a child and am enjoying it even more as a parent, watching my daughter experience the same adventures and joys I once did. I look forward to heading home every May. Name the person you most respect and why. My late mother Linda. She was the most patient, compassionate, positive, and selfless person I have ever known. As a child, she was the perfect role model; however, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned the most from her. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in 2004. Never once during her seven-year courageous battle did she become angry or complain. She continued to put others before herself, especially her family. She refused to give up and lived life in the moment and to the fullest each day. Her faith, attitude and action were truly inspiring and continue to drive me in all that I do each and every day. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Spending time with my family doing just about anything. If my wife and daughter are with me, it’s the best time ever! Favorite quote: “Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” — George Sheehan What was your first job? Paperboy for the Kodiak Daily Mirror. Who is your favorite superhero? The Human Torch
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What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Becoming a professional firefighter with the Anchorage Fire Department. Each time AFD tests, candidates compete with 6001000 other applicants for only a handful of jobs. I applied three times before I finally succeeded. While I was discouraged with each failure, I told myself that I would not LET failure happen TO me, rather I would MAKE success happen FOR me. I stayed determined, worked harder and vowed never to quit until I achieved my goal. Did you always want to become a firefighter? What was the most dangerous situation you have seen or been a part of? I grew up in a firehouse in Kodiak. My father Mike was a firefighter and retired as Fire Chief, giving 30 plus years to his community. I knew from a very young age that I would someday carry on his good name in the fire service. Every time a firefighter responds to an emergency there is some form of danger, whether it is the traffic on the highway as firefighters cut a victim free of a car, or the fire that is ravaging a house as firefighters enter to extinguish the fire or save a victim. I remember working on a vehicle accident patient on 5th Avenue. As we removed her from the car, a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed grazed me as it passed by. I will also never forget the I Street fire. It was one of the biggest fires in recent history. I stood on the top floor fighting fire overhead. I opened up the ceiling and hot, burning tar came pouring out as the fire blazed past us overhead. More recently, I was fighting a fire in a house when a cylinder filled with compressed gas exploded. As a fire captain and volunteer for many organizations in the community, what has been the biggest improvement or success in Anchorage you have seen? Success surrounds us in Anchorage in so many ways. No matter what the endeavor, I believe that the city of Anchorage enjoys success because of the community. People in Anchorage, and Alaska in general, are involved, caring and giving. Whether I am engaged in a fundraiser or community service project, or am on the scene of a dire emergency, I can always count on the citizens of our great city to be there and come through.
2013 Top 40 under 40
Colin P. FaY, EiT
lEED® aP BD+C, o+M
Congratulations on your “Top Forty under 40” award!
Your contributions to PDC’s success and your work in the community are very much appreciated!
Frontier Supply Company
Colin Fay was engineer and sustainability specialist for the CRna Regional Health Clinic in Tazlina, alaska
The Frontier Supply Company Team from Fairbanks, Anchorage and Guam Congratulates Bill Vivlamore as one of Alaska’s Honorees for the 2013 Top Forty Under 40 Business Leader Award.
All the best to you, your family and future endeavors! 2013 TOP FORTY | UNDER 40® ★ PAGE 11
Mechanical Engineer and Sustainability Specialist at PDC Inc. Engineers
Colin P. Fay age 26
Adam Elliott Photography
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University; Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional in Building Design and Construction; LEED Accredited Professional in Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance; Association of Energy Engineers Certified Energy Auditor Community work: Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; Cascadia Green Building Council; Gold Nugget Triathlon Race Committee; National Ski Patrol; Iditarod Family: Wife Danielle Fay Hometwn: Eagle River Current city: Chugiak What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? My favorite place in Alaska is my home. There’s a reason I choose to live there every day. I’m close to friends, family, and I still have access to the amazing Alaskan wilderness. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? My most memorable Alaskan experience was when I took my first patient down the mountain in a sled as a ski patroller. There is nothing quite like skiing down a double-black diamond ski slope with an injured skier in a toboggan behind you. It is amazing to reach the peak of a mountain, having conquered nature; yet it is so humbling to realize that we as humans aren’t as powerful as we think. Name the person you most respect and why. The person I respect most is my grandfather. He always speaks his mind, and does what is right. He also taught me that it is more important to listen than to speak. Though he is in his 90s he is still very independent, and has taught my entire family how to be independent (although some may call it being stubborn). He served country, and taught my father, my sisters, and myself how to be upstanding citizens. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? My favorite hobby is triathlon. You get to swim, bike and run in the same event, and each race is a physical and mental challenge just to finish. Favorite quote: “A ship at harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” – John Shedd What was your first job? Cleaning up the back of Picture This Art Gallery (Age 14). Who is your favorite superhero? James Bond. (We had to look it up, but he is technically a superhero) What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? I am fortunate to not have faced much adversity in my life. My biggest challenge so far has been self-imposed and it was to
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complete and Ironman triathlon. I learned that all you can do is prepare, and then stop worrying. The more you panic, the worse things get. As a specialist in sustainable building design, how can engineering improvements transform the way Alaska uses energy? Alaska has the potential to use much less energy than we do at this moment. The biggest and easiest change can occur when people think about the long-term costs of a building, rather than the initial capital costs. We are all driven by tight budgets, but building costs are incurred over the entire life of a building. By designing for the life-cycle cost of a building rather than the first cost you usually end up with a higher capital cost for the building; however, with proper operational and maintenance strategies that initial cost is saved within the first few years, leading to savings of our natural resources and to a business’s bottom line. We are then given the opportunity to reinvest the savings into our local economy. How did sustainability become a passion for you? Sustainability became a passion for me, because I live in an environment which has been built by the generations before me. In order to preserve the beauty and economy of this great state we need to make changes in the way we live, so that my generation and future generations will enjoy Alaska. I became passionate about sustainability to preserve that Alaska that I know and love. What did it mean to become the youngest person to ever be honored with the Outstanding Community Service Award by the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce in the 42-year history of the honor? It came as a complete surprise to me. I didn’t even think that I would be considered for the award, but it shows one of the most wonderful things about the Chugiak- Eagle River area. I live in a community full of amazing people who wanted to thank me for what I have done, and for what I can and will do for my community in the future. When I look at the list of previous recipients, I realize that there are some big shoes to fill. I hope that I can continue to give back to my community like the recipients before me have.
Regional Health, Safety, Environmental Manager, CH2M Hill
Amanda C. Finnegan age 37 Education: Bachelor’s in Animal Behavior from Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas; Bachelor’s in Occupational Safety and Health, Montana Tech, Butte, Mont.;Certified Safety Professional Community work: March for Babies Co-Chair 2013
Adam Elliott Photography
Family: Married to Michael Scott Finnegan. Together we have two children, Aidan who is 3 ½ and Quinlyn who is 20 months. Hometown: I was born in Anchorage, but spent most of my childhood moving throughout the US and overseas. Current city: Anchorage What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? I love visiting Matanuska Glacier. Large glaciers are really a destination that can’t be described and need to be experienced. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? I had the opportunity to audit one of our pipeline feasibility study projects in remote Alaska. I was able to hike with the team through parts of Alaska that I would otherwise never have the opportunity to see. Not only was I in awe of the vast wilderness, I gained a healthy respect for the hard work required by the team of experts. Name the person you most respect and why. My parents are the natural choice. They are distinctly different individuals who have taught me the value of hard work, to treat people with respect, enjoy the arts and sciences, and don’t always take myself too seriously. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? I am just learning to quilt, which is a relaxing past time perfect for the type of winter we are experiencing this year. Favorite quote: You must be the change you want to see in the world. –Mahatma Gandhi What was your first job? Driving a buck rake during haying season in the Big Hole in Montana. My dad did the same job when he was growing up and assured me it would be a ‘character building experience’. Who is your favorite superhero? Super Aidan. What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? There were complications around the birth of our first child, Sophia, and she was stillborn. This tragic event has very much shaped who I am today. I am very fortunate to have such a strong support system in my life. It opened my eyes to opportunities to help in my community that I may have never learned of otherwise. It also allows me to work with teams of amazing people who dedicate so much of their lives to helping others. Which Alaska safety improvement are you most proud of during your time at CH2M Hill?
We have focused on personalizing safety within our organization. Within the last year we have worked to develop a safety leadership training course for our employees, Everyone Returning Home. This course teaches employees effective communication skills, conflict resolution, and positive reinforcement. Everyone is a safety leader, and this two day course helps give our employees the tools they need to be a successful safety leader. Why did you decide to get involved with the effort to create a health, safety and environmental education program at the University of Alaska, and how will the state and its industries benefit from it? For the HSE profession, demand definitely exceeds supply when you are looking for employees with both advanced education and experience. Over the last few years we have increased our basic qualification requirements for our HSE professionals, and found it difficult to find the talent we need to support the industry in Alaska. This often leads us to hire “outside” rather than locally. We have had the opportunity to provide internships to several talented individuals seeking an Associate’s degree within the University of Alaska system. For these professionals, there isn’t an option in Alaska to acquire the advanced degrees many of the employers in the oil and gas industry require. If the University of Alaska was able to provide a Bachelor’s and/or Master’s of Science in Occupational Safety and Health or Industrial Hygiene, we could hire local talent that we know received a high level of education. As the HSE profession is experiencing an overall shortage of qualified, educated professionals, any graduate from the potential program at the University could work worldwide. We have had very productive meetings within the industry as well as with the University and hope to continue to work towards a program that is successful for everyone.
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Vice President, Big Street Construction, Inc
Brian Flemming Todd Paris/Paris Photography
age 35 What was your first job?
McDonald’s Education: Bachelor’s degree in Forest Management and Fire Science from Colorado State University. Community work: Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce Board Member; North Star Volunteer Fire Department Board President; Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival – Former Board Member; Former Fairbanks North Star Borough Planning Commissioner Family: Patricia Flemming – wife of 11 years, daughters Amaris (6) and Piper (4), and son Liam (2) Hometown: Manchester, Conn. Current city: North Pole What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? McCarthy. My wife and I traveled to McCarthy several times since we have lived in Alaska. McCarthy is one of the most beautiful places in Alaska and is very special to us. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? Building my first home. It was always a dream of mine to move to Alaska and build my own home. The success of building my own home enabled me to start Big Street Construction, Inc. Name the person you most respect and why. My father. My father taught me how to work hard, provide for a family, and respect and love a spouse and most importantly, how to love your children. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Running trail races. I have completed the Equinox Marathon in Fairbanks and several other races. I am running in the Racing the Planet Atacama Desert seven day, self-supported (I have to carry all of my gear and food for the week), 155 mile Ultra-marathon in San Pedro, Chile (March 3-9, 2013). I am running the race to raise money and awareness for Medical Mission Outreach. They provide free healthcare to the poorest of the poor around the world. Favorite quote: John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Who is your favorite superhero? He-Man What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? My first child was killed in a tragic accident in 2005. Because of my
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faith in Jesus Christ and His divine grace and mercy, I was able to overcome this tragedy. My wife and I have been blessed with three beautiful children since then. What was the hardest you were ever hit during a rugby match? I was hit so hard one time that I broke my orbital ring and nose. When I finally was able to stand up I thought I was levitating! What did working with Habitat for Humanity as a youth in Connecticut and during college teach you about community service that you apply today as a construction company owner? I fell in love with construction and fell in love with helping people in need. I am grateful that God has blessed me with the ability to work with my hands and provide services for people in need. There is nothing in life more enjoyable and satisfying than giving to people in need. What is your favorite project to which you have donated your time? I completed a project in Barrow this past year for a church in need. The church was taken advantage of by a local contactor. The church body felt ashamed that they allowed themselves to be taken advantage of by someone they trusted. As soon as I was made aware of what had happened, I flew myself and several of my employees and subcontractors to Barrow to complete their construction project free of charge.
Survey and GIS Division Manager, USKH Inc.
Jake Gerondale age 31 Favorite quote:
Adam Elliott Photography
“Better days are coming.” — Great Grandpa Norm
Education: Associates Degree in Civil Engineering Technology from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Community work: United Way of Alaska; Ducks Unlimited Family: Wife, Erin Gerondale; yellow lab, Ellie Hometown: Marinette, Wisconsin Current city: Eagle River What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? Seward, Alaska has become a favorite spot for my family and I. We enjoy spending time on our boat out on the water. We love the small town atmosphere and the accessibility of this beautiful town. that has allowed me to overcome any challenge. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? Summer 2007, I was taking my now wife, Erin, along with my dog Ellie, on our second date, which was a last-minute fishing trip to the Kenai River, where I borrowed a net from a friend, just in case. Minutes after setting the lines off my riverboat just downstream of Eagle Rock, we hooked into something. We soon realized the net we borrowed was too small and the king salmon too big. As Erin reeled, I netted its giant head, and wrestled the body into the boat, amid cheers from neighboring boats. What a great Alaskan Day! Name the person you most respect and why. The person I most respect is my Dad. He taught me to never give up on anything. I learned through him the importance of determination. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Fishing. What was your first job? Commercial Fishing on Lake Michigan Who is your favorite superhero? Batman What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? There have been many significant challenges in my life, but I don’t see any one of them defining me more than the other. Throughout all the challenges I have encountered, I believe it’s been my optimistic nature and my belief that things will always get better
How did you become interested in surveying? What are some of the unique aspects of this work in Alaska, particularly on projects such as the Akutan airport? My interest in surveying began with a random summer job during high school, as a surveyor’s field technician. I quickly became interested in the laws and measurements of surveying. I love surveying because it’s a profession that allows you to travel, to see and explore. More than anywhere else, Alaska holds an immense geographic diversity, where every job is different, every location unique. What do you enjoy most about mentoring new professionals in your field? Who were some important influences in your own career? I enjoy helping people, and seeing someone grow as a professional is rewarding. My first mentor Tom McGuire not only taught me about the profession but entrusted me with great responsibility very early in my career. I valued this characteristic of Tom and his trust in me and thus I try to do the same for the young professionals who I am privileged to work with. What has been the key to growing your division revenue from $100,000 to $4 million in such a short time at USKH? The key to my success so far has been my team. Surrounding myself with exceptional professionals whom I can trust and count on allows me to use my entrepreneurial spirit to find the perfect fit for our team’s next challenge. Time and time again, it’s been the knowledge, technical ability, creativity and work ethic of the team that gives rise to the successes and solutions our clients have come to know and now seek out.
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Graham Commercial Real Estate Consultants Inc. & Keller Williams Realty Ak group
Chad Graham age 35
Adam Elliott Photography
The people you most respect:
The four people who have had the most positive influence on me are: my father Jim Graham Curt Nading Dean Nading Abraham Gallo Education: Graduated From Bartlett in 1996 and attended Eastern Arizona College Family: Fiancée Andrea Schulze; parents Jim and Tina Graham; brother Jeff Graham; and Howard Greg, Shane White Hometown: Born in Fairbanks, grew up in Anchorage
What was your first job? I was 12 snowplowing my neighbors driveways with my brother Jeff.
Current city: Anchorage What is your most memorable Alaska experience? Fishing with my father and friends Donny Delanay and Austin Metcalf in Homer Name the person you most respect and why. My Father Jim Graham, Being a single parent to me, and raising me showing how hard work pays of and to have a strong work ethic. The four people who have had the most positive influence on me and helped me to develop myself both professionally and personally are: My Father for teaching me a strong work ethic Curt Nading for giving me the opportunity to work in commercial real estate Dean Nading for having the patience to teach me legal language that goes into contracts Abraham Gallo for being my first client and believing in me What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Driving around town and looking at property and taking classes at wisdom tradition taught by Michael DeMolina Favorite quote: “I love the smell of napalm in the morning”
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Who is your favorite superhero? Batman What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Staring a business with partners and realizing that the partnership was not going to work and having to start a business on my own. What did you enjoy about coaching Pop Warner football? Teaching young men how you can take what you learn from football and apply to every aspect of life. What are some of the real estate projects you’ve been involved with? Is there a project you are most proud of? The development of the 110 W. 38th Ave., Anchorage, Bella Vista Center and currently the Gallo Center. The project I am most proud of is Bella Vista Center, which was a 16,000-square foot strip mall and I was able to lease it for our asking price before it was built in a down economy. What was the key to being taken seriously, and eventually successful, when starting out in a tough business at age 20? The key was being persistent even when told “no.” I kept calling and eventually was able to come to an agreement between my clients and outside parties.
The University of Alaska proudly recognizes Top Forty Under 40 award recipient
DOWL HKM Congratulates Brian R. Hanson, P.E. A Top 40 Under 40!
Michelle Rizk for her contributions and dedication to excellence
building a stronger Alaska GCI congratulates all Top 0 Under 0 recipients for their professional achievements and community engagement that help create a brighter future for all Alaskans.
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Assistant Professor, Economics, University of Alaska Anchorage
Kyle Hampton age 37
Adam Elliott Photography
What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work?
Bicycles. Riding them. Fixing them. Building them. Education: Bachelor’s in Economics, University of South Carolina; Bachelor’s in Philosophy, University of South Carolina; Doctorate in Economics, George Mason University Community work: Alaska Council on Economic Education, Board; UAA Center for Economic Education, Director Family: Wife, Caroline Wilson, wife; Gaffney, dog; and Leo the diabetic cat. Hometown: Born in Raleigh, N.C., but raised mostly in Mauldin, S.C. Current city: Anchorage What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? Palmer Creek Road. Coming from Outside, it is hard to believe a place with such easy access can feel so remote. Best car camping in the state. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? While mountain biking down the P-39 trail last summer, I rounded a corner and suddenly found myself riding along parallel with a moose in full sprint about six feet away. She was as terrified as I was. Name the person you most respect and why. Vernon Smith was my mentor and graduate advisor. There are great scientists and there are great men. He is both. That’s rare. Favorite quote: “Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?” — Friedrich Nietzsche What was your first job? Hawking hot dogs in the grandstands for the Greenville Braves. Who is your favorite superhero? The Wonder Twins, Zan and Jayna, and their space monkey, Gleek. What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Honestly, I would be embarrassed to name any of the minor challenges I have overcome. I feel like I have caught every beak in life. I simply could not be more lucky.
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How have you developed your methods for teaching economics? What have you found are the keys to strong student engagement in the subject? Those who have been lucky enough to study economics know that teachers of economics have it easy. I have spent half my life reading and watching great economic communicators. The key is to simply convince students that economics can shine a light on the vexing complexity of their world. Once they see it, they can’t not see it. What have you found to be the most common misunderstanding of economics, either among students or the general population? I think the biggest misunderstanding of economics is the belief that studying it will allow you to invest your money more profitably. In fact, economics demonstrates that no course, advisor, or late night infomercial can improve your investing prowess. What do you believe are the components of strong K-12 economics curriculum? How is Alaska doing in this area? Economics is definitely not boring. But it can be taught as though it is. The single most important component of economic education at the K-12 level is the enthusiasm of those teaching it. In this respect, economics students in Alaska are well-served by the remarkable economic educators who teach our students. Not every student in Alaska gets this opportunity, though. Unlike almost half of U.S. states, Alaska high school students are not required to pass an economics course before graduating. Outside of the railbelt, opportunities for high school students to be transformed by economics are far too rare. The good news is that there are number of people passionate about economics who are working hard to change this.
Manager, Aviation Engineering, DOWL HKM
Brian Hanson age 39 Education: Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering, University of Alaska Fairbanks 1997 Community work: Anchorage Hockey Association; Gladys Wood Soccer; State of Alaska Board of Registration for Architects; Engineers and Land Surveyors Junior Yukon Quest Board; Junior Iditarod Board of Directors; YMCA Soccer; Mighty Moose Hockey Association.
Adam Elliott Photography
Family: Wife, Monica Velasco-Hanson; Three wonderful daughters, Kaddie (11), Kristal (8), Mckena (3); and dog Alivia. Hometown: Born and raised in Anchorage Current city: Anchorage What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? It is hard to pick just one having lived and worked throughout the State of Alaska. I like Fairbanks summers, Anchorage’s winters, Southeast has tall trees and big mountains. The sea life in Prince Williams sound is spectacular, the scenery in the Denali and Talkeetna area is amazing and Nome, well there is no place like Nome. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? Dog mushing. At 13, I began running dogs in Willow and went on to run the Junior Iditarod four times, winning once and receiving rookie of the year and sportsmanship award along the way. There is nothing more “Alaskan” than being 50 miles from anyone at minus-40 with the northern lights dancing over your head while standing on the back of a dog sled. Name the person you most respect and why. John Bergelin has been an outstanding mentor for me in business and engineering. John is an engineer, pilot and entrepreneur. John mentored me in engineering and helped me obtain my professional mining engineering license. John is a practical thinker and problem solver. Based on his mentoring I developed a similar approach to solving engineering and life problems. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Hockey and flying. Favorite quote: “The only true wisdom is knowing that you know nothing.” — Socrates What was your first job? Dog handler, I made $100 a week to care for, feed, cleanup after and run 60 dogs for an entire summer. Who is your favorite superhero? Batman, he is mysterious, helps those that can’t help themselves and has lots of cool gadgets. What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? I graduated with a mining engineering degree and immediately got a mining job in Livengood. Three years later the price of gold sank to around $300 per ounce and we ended up closing and reclaiming mine. The economy was slow at the time and it was very difficult to
find a job, I either had too much or too little experience. I was looking for a mining job but quickly realized I was not going to be able to work in that field. I started looking for something else I enjoyed. I got a job with the State of Alaska doing aviation design. It was difficult to change fields but it turned out to be a great journey. How did you become interested in aviation? Aviation has been a part of my family for three generations. I grew up around airplanes and flying from Merrill Field in Anchorage. I obtained my student pilots license and soloed at 16 before I got my driver’s license. What have you enjoyed most about coaching youth hockey and soccer? I enjoy teaching kids and seeing them grow in their talent while having fun. I believe sports provide a good path for kids to learn responsibility, competition, dedication and working through challenges. These are all traits that are important for kids as they grow up and throughout their lives. What are your responsibilities as an appointed member of the State of Alaska Board of Registration for Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors? To protect the public health, safety and welfare by ensuring that those entering these practices meet minimum standards of competency and maintain such standards during their practice. This is done through review, regulation and enforcement. Over the last year, I was the Board chair and served on several committees that help us carry out our mission including, licensure implementation, mining and geologists, investigative advisory and continuing education. You also volunteer at elementary schools in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math. How do you manage your time and what advice would you give to other busy people? It’s important to surround yourself with supportive family, friends and employer; and to communicate constantly with them to manage and balance life.
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Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center
Sarah Henning age 35 Education: Bachelor of Arts, English and Journalism, Minnesota State University Moorhead Community work: Alaska Literacy Program, Renewable Resources Coalition
Adam Elliott Photography
Family: Husband Doyle Woody, sports reporter extraordinaire (adn. com/hockeyblog) Hometown: Grenville, South Dakota (pop. 64) Current city: Anchorage What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? Eklutna Lake. My bliss is always there, waiting for me. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? Some friends and I were taking a water taxi back to Homer after a kayaking trip, and suddenly there were humpback whales everywhere. Our captain cut the engine and one of the whales surfaced just feet from our boat. This is probably going to sound very “Bridesmaids” — “And I swear to God, that dolphin looked not at me, but into my soul” — but when I looked into that whale’s huge liquid eye, I felt profound awe. Name the person you most respect and why. My mom. When she was my age she had four children, worked full time, helped run a farm AND still found the time to do her fabulous Barbara Mandrell hair for her Friday night bowling league. She’s smart and a whiz with numbers, but she didn’t have the opportunity to go to college, so she’s worked at a textile factory for 25 years. My life is easier because hers was so hard.
What was your first job? The first time I remember feeling a sense of responsibility and duty was as a little girl, when I was allowed to help bottle-feed baby calves on our farm. But that was not a paid gig. My first job that resulted in an adult-sized paycheck was at The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota. I wrote obituaries. (Insert joke about dead-end job here.)
What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Last year I took up the guitar. I am no Jimmy Page. My poor neighbors probably think I keep Gilbert Gottfried in a cage and poke him with sticks for an hour every night. But that cheap Takamine is the love of my life. (Don’t tell my husband.)
Who is your favorite superhero? My friend Cole in his Thor costume
What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Being an arts and entertainment reporter was my dream job, and I gave it everything I had for a decade. When McClatchy Newspapers laid me off from the Anchorage Daily News in 2008, I was destroyed. Daily papers nationwide were slashing and burning their features departments: I had no hope of ever having that job again. I turned to industry mentors for advice, and then (the hard part) I actually took it. I put on work clothes every morning, clocked in at my home office, and worked as hard for myself as I had worked for those newspapers, hunting for a new occupation until I found the perfect fit. The museum’s mission is so meaningful and powerful, I’m proud to be a part of it. Favorite quote: “Writing is easy. All you do is sit staring at the blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” – Gene Fowler, American journalist and screenwriter
What led to you teaching English as a second language for a year in South Korea? I was young, curious and excited to experience life outside my Midwestern comfort zone. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I struggled with the societal expectations (pantyhose with shorts? really?). But I loved my students, and I left Korea a more patient, open-minded person. A person with an embarrassing affinity for norae bong singing rooms and corn on pizza. As a former reporter, how have you used those skills to become an effective marketing and public relations manager? I think one of the greatest assets that former reporters bring to the public relations field is the understanding of this key truth: Journalists work like dogs. So, I don’t waste their time. When I pitch a story, I give them everything they need and nothing extra. Admissions to the museum have doubled at the same time visits to the website have also doubled. What have you found to be the correlation with effective digital marketing and admissions? Although resources at nonprofits are always tight, Anchorage See HENNING, Page 50
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Executive Director, Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce
Lisa Herbert Education: Bachelor’s degree in marketing and an Associate’s degree in Advertising/Public Relations from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. Community work: Breast Cancer Detection Center; Fairbanks 2014 Arctic Winter Games; Consumer Energy Alliance; Rotary Club of Fairbanks; Co-Chaired 2012 Salute To Our Military Parade; Literacy Council of Alaska Family: Husband Master Sgt. Pete Herbert; sons Aidan (9) and Landen (5 ½), daughter Madison (3); expecting in September; Father Chief Master Sgt. David Cassino, step-mother Marcia Cassino and sister Erica Cassino; mother Susan Cassino; sisters Christine and Breana Cassino Hometown: Born in Hampton, Va., near Langley Air Force Base; raised in upstate New York in Verona until 4th grade; graduated from Blackstone-Millville Regional High (Mass.) in June 2000. Current city: North Pole What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? My favorite place in Alaska is the outdoors, in the summer of course! Two years ago my husband and I purchased a fifth wheel camper so we can travel across the state under the midnight sun. Hunting, fishing, hiking and camping with our children, family and friends is the highlight of our summer. I love the waterfalls of Valdez, the rolling hills of the White Mountains and fishing in the Kenai. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? Our annual Memorial Day camping trip in 2011. It was a beautiful weekend at 39.5 mile Chena Hot Springs Road and the sun was shining and the temperature was about 85 degrees. We were camping with 10 of our closest friends and all of the children, about 12 kids in total. The weekend was filled with laughter, fishing, fourwheeling and more. It was the last summer that many of us would spend together before moving away to other bases in the lower 48. Name the person you most respect and why. The people that I most respect are our military service members and their families. The unselfish sacrifices they make daily to protect our freedoms and liberty is a debt that I can never repay. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? I took up hunting this fall — I am really looking forward to taking my first moose, bear or caribou this year. I also enjoy fishing and hanging out at the lake near our house with my husband and kids. Favorite quote: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” — Ferris, from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off What was your first job? Dunkin’ Donuts Who is your favorite superhero? Superman – who wouldn’t want to save all mankind?
Todd Paris/Paris Photography
What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? My biggest challenge in life was being raised in a divorced family. From the time my parents divorced at age 3 to the time I was about 9 years old and in the fourth grade, I was used to seeing my dad at least every other weekend. But one day, my dad received orders to Hawaii. That day forever changed my life. For me, it meant that my mom, sister and I would move to Massachusetts to be closer to her family; it meant that my dad would miss out on birthday parties, holidays, watching my soccer and basketball games, and well … the boyfriend interrogations too! However, that adjustment at just 9 years old has shaped who I have become today. My mom often worked two jobs; [and] my parents expected that we worked just as hard, too. I am thankful for the work ethic they instilled in me back then because it is something that I credit for my professional successes today. Several nominators mentioned a financial turnaround for the chamber under your leadership. What have been the keys to improving in this area? When I took over managing the financials for the Chamber in mid2008, the Chamber had budgeted to end the year with a shortfall of about $67,000. However, after working extremely hard to reign in the expenses for the last half of the year, we closed out the books with a positive net income of $12,000. In 2009, I recommended that financial management be brought back in-house and volunteered to take that challenge on personally so that I could definitively answer questions of the Finance Committee regarding income and expenses. Since 2008, the Chamber has successfully closed out each year in the positive and has even repaid investment withdrawals that were made over the last ten years to cover shortfalls in less successful years. As a military spouse, describe the challenges of balancing work and family. This past year served as particularly challenging for me because my husband volunteered for a one-year, unaccompanied, remote tour at Kunsan Air Force Base in Korea with the hopes that he would be able to return to another 3-year tour at Eielson following his remote tour and then retire here in Alaska. We knew this was going to be a hardship on our family; however, it was a sacrifice we were willing to make if it meant that we’d have an opportunity to remain in Alaska forever. When it comes to work-life balance, my family always comes first
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Executive Director, Southeast Alaska Guides Organization
Heath E. Hilyard
Adam Elliott Photography
age 39 Favorite quote:
“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” – Gen. George Patton Education: Bachelor’s of Arts, Political Science and Communication, University of Alaska Fairbanks; Graduate Studies in Political Science, California State University Fullerton Community work: New Hope on the Last Frontier, Covenant House, Changepoint Church Family: Clarence Hilyard, father; Joyce Hilyard, mother Hometown: Born Los Angeles, hometown Fairbanks Current city: Anchorage What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? Anchorage. I love Anchorage. It is a great city that encompasses the best of Alaska and the best of an urban experience. I’m proud to have lived in various areas of our State … but I love Anchorage. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? Fishing for silvers out of Seward with my dad. We had a glorious day and it was one of the best experiences in my life. Also, the first time I witnessed the Aurora in Fairbanks was amazing. Alaska is a land of extremes. I truly love this State. Name the person you most respect and why. Several people for several reasons. This is hard. Jesus Christ: His love for all mankind. My Dad: Spiritual guidance. Nancy Plaxico: High School teacher who gave me my love of politics. Dr. Gerald A. (Jerry) McBeath: One of my Political Science professors who made me who I am today. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Cooking, poker, exercise What was your first job? Pre-college; McDonald’s; Post-College; Project Expediter–ARCO Products Co. Who is your favorite superhero? The Dark Knight, Batman You represent charter fishing operators in Southeast, where there has been plenty of controversy over management between sport and commercial users. What has been your strategy for working with
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divergent groups and achieving solutions to these tough issues? This has been a point of personal pride. I am proud that I have been able to craft fair compromises in the past 18 months. I approach these issues through the lens of “what is best for Alaska”. The fact that I have a cooperative relationship with counterparts in the commercial sector suggests that I’ve created an effective strategy. What have you learned over a career in politics that you apply to your job today? One thing I’ve learned that I learned many years ago was this: “in politics, you have two things … your word and your friends. Go back on either and you’re screwed.” Was there anything about your experience at the University of Alaska Fairbanks that inspired you to get involved with efforts to improve retention and keep students in the state after graduation? Absolutely. As student leaders, we were talking about this more than 15 years ago. As Alumni leaders we’re talking about this today. I’ve been talking to alumni about what we could do to advocate to get some of those “best and brightest” to come back to Alaska. We need to revisit the Alaska Student Loan Program to incentivize people to come back to our state. I hope my position on the UAF alumni board and being part of the “40 under 40” allows me the opportunity to bring these people back.
Principal, Cornerstone General Contractors, Inc.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Construction Management, Arizona State University, 1999. Vocational certifications in Project Management (AGC of Alaska), Quality Management (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), and Construction Outreach (OSHA). Community work: Vice President, Habitat for Humanity Anchorage Family: Parents Joe and Christine; wife Elizabeth; brother Tim. Hometown/current city: Anchorage
Adam Elliott Photography
What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? Depends on the season. In the summer it’s Bristol Bay. In the winter it’s Girdwood. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? My wife and I spent our first date in Bristol Bay. We beachcombed, fished, and saw the bears at Brooks Camp. We’ve been going back ever since to do all these things and more, including flying, boating, and exploring the region. Name the person you most respect and why. I’d have to pick two people: my parents. Individually, they each moved to Alaska in the late 1960s from their home states of Arizona and New York. Upon meeting in the early 1970s, they got married, built their own home, started a family, and risked it all by going into business for themselves (construction of course!). Their sense of adventure, entrepreneurial spirit, and their legacy of hard work, doing things right, and volunteering in the community provided me with the best role models a son could ask for. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Again, that depends on the season. Hockey and skiing in the winter. Running, flying, and fishing in the summer. Favorite quote: “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going because you might not get there.” —Yogi Berra What was your first job? Laboring for Terra Construction. Who is your favorite superhero? Wolverine. Your nominator wrote that you often speak of “building a new Alaska.” Please describe what building a new Alaska means to you. At Cornerstone, the bulk of our work is for public entities like the Anchorage School District, State of Alaska, the universities, and others. These organizations are committed to doing right by the people of Alaska every day and their projects have a huge positive impact on thousands of people. Since Alaska is still a relatively young state with a growing population, we find projects for the “new Alaska” especially rewarding. It’s not just a matter of “new” business; it’s about being part of the new growth that will sustain the state for decades to come. As a lifelong Alaskan, that’s work to be especially proud of.
You’ve been a part of projects all Alaskans would recognize such as the Whittier Tunnel and Concourse C at Stevens Airport. What is the most memorable project you have worked on and why? All of them. Each project is unique and involves a mix of great people. I’m fortunate to interact with impressive project owners, architects, engineers, subconsultants, vendors, and others every day to tackle tough challenges and make things happen. Higher profile projects like the new UAA Seawolf Sports Arena or the Service High School Renewal will definitely be memorable, but then again, some of my best projects in terms of success and relationship building have been much smaller in scale. Our work at AVTEC in Seward has helped the State build state-of-the-art facilities, including the new Alaska Culinary Academy. That’s one I’m particularly proud of. Also, there’s our work for Cook Inlet Housing Authority and NeighborWorks Anchorage. Each project is memorable for different reasons. Having lived in Anchorage all your life, what has it been like watching it grow and what does it mean to you to be able to help shape the future of the community? I’ve been impressed by Anchorage’s growth ever since I was a kid. That’s partly what attracted me to the construction industry. Buildings are tangible contributions. Whether you’re managing a project or swinging a hammer, there’s nothing quite like standing next to a new or renovated building and knowing you had a hand in it. It’s no secret that builders are proud of what they do. At Cornerstone, that pride runs deep. We like to say we’re “Alaskan building for Alaskans,” and for us that distinction influences all we do. We care about the kinds of projects we pursue as a company because we want our hard work to be about more than just business success. We want to play a lead role in shaping the future.
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CONGRATULATIONS, John from your friends and colleagues at Stoel Rives
Kamatchapaluktugut! We are proud of you
Congratulations to Denali Kemppel, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for ASRC for being named Top Forty Under 40 in 2013!
John Kauffman corporate law partner community volunteer
Stoel Rives salutes the hard work and community spirit of all the 40 Under 40 honorees.
(907) 227-1900 Alaska
Idaho Minnesota Oregon and Washington, D.C.
CONGRATULATIONS Joe Jolley We are proud of your leadership and dedication to building Alaska’s future!
Cornerstone General Contractors, Inc. 5050 Cordova Street, Anchorage, AK 99503 P (907) 561-1993 F (907) 561-7899
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Partner, Stoel Rives law firm
John David Kauffman age 38 Community work: Trinity Presbyterian Church, Alaska Public Telecommunications, Inc., Anchorage YWCA, Anchorage ATHENA Society, Sister Connection (supporting war windows and orphans in Burundi), pro bono asylum cases Family: Wife Kirby; children Kieran (12) and Lorien (10). Hometown: Mercer Island, Wash. Current city: Anchorage
Adam Elliott Photography
Education: Bachelor’s degree in Government from The College of William & Mary. Juris Doctor from Stanford University.
What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? Kincaid Park. We love to run, ski, bike and play at the dunes. Living in South Anchorage Kincaid Park is right in our backyard. An awesome city park, and a real gift to all of us who live in Anchorage. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? Seeing moose in my yard. I know this is not the most exotic thing, but I love that we all experience it on a regular basis and for me (having grown up right outside of Seattle) it never gets old to see such huge animals up close. Name the person you most respect and why. My wife Kirby. She has the eyes to see, the heart to feel and the will to act for the hurting, the mournful and the marginalized. She is always the most enthusiastic person in the room, while others hold back for fear of being uncool. She gives people the benefit of the doubt, and supports them unconditionally. She reminds me of the beautiful character of Alyosha Karamazov from Dostoyevsky’s novel. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Running with my wife any yoga with my kids. At the end of a run with my wife, we have talked through my worries. After yoga with my kids, I have forgotten my worries. Favorite quote: “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!” — Jacob Marley’s Ghost in A Christmas Carol. What was your first job? One of my first (and most memorable) jobs was working the graveyard shift in a furniture warehouse with my brother. It was like the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was school vacation so we did not sleep – we played all day then moved furniture around in a daze at night. We used to play mind games with each other late at night. I remember falling asleep on a couch and waking up in the back of a truck about to be shipped off to eastern Washington. Who is your favorite superhero? The Flash. I used to run track as a kid, so he appealed to me as a
runner. Other superheroes have powers that were hard to relate to and never really seemed real (or were just rich guys who could buy gadgets like Batman). Everyone can relate to running. I had not thought about Flash in a long time, until I was watching Usain Bolt at the Beijing Olympics. What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? I have been blessed to not have faced huge challenges in my life. For me, an ongoing challenge is being perceptive of the challenges faced by others, and supporting them in those challenges. What does it mean to you to have served as counsel to many Alaska Native corporations on mergers and acquisitions as they mature, grow and diversify? Whenever I negotiate a deal for an ANC client I am mindful that I am ultimately representing the interests of the ANC shareholders, and am proud to have the opportunity to use my legal skills and training to complete acquisitions that support the ongoing success of the ANCs for each of these individual shareholders. Which transaction was the most complex or time-consuming? Superlatives are hard, and all deals have complexity, but NANA Development Corp.’s acquisition of Grand Isle Shipyard, Inc. had a higher than normal level of complexity due to a variety of factors including diligence investigation of the target company given its location in Louisiana, the size of the transaction and the fact that the seller was a sophisticated private equity fund. Fortunately, I worked with a great team of other Stoel Rives lawyers and the NDC internal team of sophisticated lawyers and business executives. What has inspired you to provide so much pro bono work to nonprofits and organizations such as the ATHENA Society? My first reaction to this question is that I don’t feel like I do as much of this work as I could. My motivation for serving is as an expression of gratitude for all the gifts and blessings I have received in my life. Another motivation is to connect with others in shared service. There are so many things that divide and pull us apart. Serving others seems to be one thing that we can join together in as a city, state and nation.
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Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Arctic Slope Regional Corp.
Denali Kemppel age 38 Who is your favorite superhero?
Adam Elliott Photography
My dad. Education: Bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in American Government from Dartmouth College; Law degree from Duke University School of Law Community work: Dartmouth College Alumni Interviewer; O’Malley Elementary PTA, Member of Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage; Supporter of various charities in Anchorage Family: Husband Kevin; Sons Logan (5) and Liam (2) Hometown/current city: Born and raised in Anchorage. What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? I’d say it’s a tie between Prince William Sound and Anaktuvuk Pass. I grew up exploring Prince William Sound with my family. I was fortunate enough to go to Anaktuvuk Pass as part of my job, and I think it may just be one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in Alaska. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? There are probably too many to name, but one would likely be camping out the night before Mount Marathon in Seward with Nina and wondering why anyone in their right mind would run straight up a mountain and then free fall down three times faster than going up. I’m not sure that race would be held any place else but in Alaska. Name the person you most respect and why. My sister, Nina Kemppel. Not only is she a talented athlete, but she is a remarkable person who has been a steadfast point in my life. Her work ethic and courage to tackle new challenges are an inspiration to me. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Cross-country skiing with my family. My parents didn’t learn how to cross country ski until later in life, but they have made up for lost time and we do a lot of skiing as a family.
for giving me a chance to demonstrate the value I could bring to the company. I was fortunate enough to work for a large law firm in Boston before joining ASRC, and the firm gave me a lot of responsibility, training and experience. I was also able there to work with general counsels at companies like Timberland and Carter’s, which gave me some insight into what the job entailed. And, of course, I had help from several key mentors along the way, in Boston and when I took the job at ASRC, and those mentors helped to show me the ropes.
What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Managing work-life balance is always challenging. Being a mother and an executive are both very important and demanding jobs. I am not sure I have “overcome” this challenge, but I try to manage it on a daily basis with the support of a great husband.
With issues involving the Endangered Species Act, the 8(a) contracting program, Arctic offshore drilling and the NPR-A plan, please describe the challenges of practicing law in Alaska. The issues can be more varied and more complex in Alaska. It is one thing to talk about climate change, but it’s another to have an area the size of the state of California declared off limits for development because of the Endangered Species Act. One thing that is no different about practicing law in Alaska in that hard work, substantive knowledge and attention to detail are important.
What was it like becoming general counsel for Arctic Slope Regional Corp.? How did you prepare for that much responsibility at the largest Alaskan-owned company in the state? It was and is an amazing opportunity, and I am thankful to ASRC
What has been your strategy for guiding ASRC through these complex issues? Staying true to who we are as a company, using the Inupiat values as a guide and working as a team with talented employees.
What was your first job? My first real job was as a legislative aide to Senator Ted Stevens.
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Health Program Manager: Early Intervention, State of Alaska
Erin Kinavey age 37
Family: Husband Anders Wennerstrom; son Kai Wennerstrom; dogs Bo and Katmai Hometown: San Francisco/Marin County Current city: Anchorage What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? Anywhere in the Chugach. I love having easy wilderness access so close to the city. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? Hiking lost lake/primrose trail and being woken up by a bear-sniffing outside (to get inside?) the tent. We could hear my big dog and his bear bell about quarter-mile away…. Name the person you most respect and why. Toddy Risley is someone I respect immensely. Among other subjects he wrote seminal works on children’s social and language development. He was a forerunner in researching and illuminating the complex and comprehensive nature of children’s development in the context of their caregiving environments. As an undergraduate, I was extremely fortunate to work for Todd and his team, an experience which shaped my professional development totally. When I knew him he was frequently sought after as an international expert- yet he remained curious and extremely generous with his time and support for students like me- who were just starting out. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Being outside with my family and horseback riding. Favorite quote: “If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse gift will find a fitting place.” — Margaret Mead What was your first job? I worked as a nanny after graduating from high school. Who is your favorite superhero? The Green lantern — limited only by the power of imagination What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Work-life balance. I am still working on it. Please describe what a Part C Coordinator does. In each State and territory the “Part C Coordinator” implements the system early childhood special education/early intervention services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. What has been your approach to dealing with this job? Systems change is hard and takes patience. Know the federal
Adam Elliott Photography
Education: Bachelor’s degree in psychology; Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Russian; Master’s degree in Education, all from University of Alaska Anchorage.
rules and implement them through a process that engages both the families and children which receive the services and those that stand on the front line and directly interface with the recipients. Supports should not only benefit in the immediate, but also allow integration of information into the routines and culture of that family – in a way that makes sense to them and thereby becomes a sustained benefit for years. How can technology improve delivery of care, and what sort of strides is Alaska making in this area? Telehealth service delivery has the potential to increase access to educational and therapeutic supports in urban, rural and remote communities throughout Alaska. By necessity, Alaska has a history as a pioneer in telehealth-such as health aides working under the guidance of physicians via long distances. Increasingly we have access to improved video technology which allows better care and supports in the home and community settings-in turn improving long term outcomes. How can care continue to improve despite constraints of state and federal budgets and regulations? In the field of early intervention, we moved from clinic-based therapies to home/community and family centered services many years ago. Although this results in significant barriers from both logistical and financial perspectives, there is extensive research which shows this is the best way to achieve improved outcomes. I don’t know which direction it will take, but I know that the right way of improving the services is by listening to the families we serve and the folks on the ground. By building feedback systems through which families and direct providers can tell us how we’re doing and by engaging those same groups in the planning work, we don’t have to know. Our job is to know the regulations and to fully understand the system that is built through this collaborative process in order to provide technical support. What is the most rewarding part about your job? Seeing the positive impact early intervention has with families. Also, I have the privilege of working with some of the smartest, most dedicated professionals in the field, here in Alaska and across the country. By intervening early and effectively, the work we do has the potential to impact quality of life throughout the entire life span.
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Executive Director, Safe Harbor Inn
Matt Kropke age 39 What is your most memorable Alaska experience? Adam Elliott Photography
Being chased up a tree by a moose on Power line Pass. That, and my wedding, of course. Education: Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Vermont. Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Community work: Mayor Sullivan’s Taskforce on Homelessness; Member of United Way coalitions: Beyond Shelter and End Hunger Anchorage; Member of the Anchorage Coalition on Homelessness; Past-President of Anchorage Gateway Rotary club Family: Wife Candace; children, Norah and Shaffer; dog Kendrick Hometown: Grew up on the Jersey Shore in Sea Girt, N.J. and yes I do find the reality TV show offensive. Current city: Anchorage What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? I love to be in the mountains in the winter. I enjoy the scenery, the quite, and especially the ski down. Name the person you most respect and why. I most respect the people who I can’t name because they are not famous. Every day, most people wake up, go to work, love their families, help their neighbors and fight the good fight. Many of the people who are famous, I’m not sure why they became famous. It’s the people I meet and work with every day that I respect the most. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? When not working I most enjoy skiing at Alyeska Resort or Turnagain Pass Favorite quote: “He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” — Sir Winston Churchill What was your first job? Lifeguard Who is your favorite superhero? Aquaman, because he can scuba dive without paying for oxygen tanks. What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Raising newborn twins and working while going to graduate school.
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I succeeded with the help of a supportive wife, lots of patience and plenty of coffee. What inspired you to become involved with helping the hungry and the homeless in Anchorage? I wanted to become involved as soon as I learned the extent of the problem. When I first learned that thousands of families right here in Anchorage were struggling to eat, secure housing and other basic needs, I knew I wanted to be involved. What is the most rewarding part of helping the less fortunate? Seeing the excitement people have when they learn that they have found a place to move in to. How to help the homeless in Anchorage has been a very difficult issue. How do you stay optimistic and what do you believe the community can do to find lasting solutions that work for all residents? Actually, it is not hard to stay optimistic because helping those in need pays off more often than not. At Safe Harbor Inn we have found that 70 percent of the homeless families that come to us are able to successfully find permanent housing within a few months. What the community must do for lasting change is to make sure that we have adequate space to house the homeless at each stop on the way back to self-sufficiency. This means the emergency shelter beds, the transitional units and finally the low income housing apartments. When families are turned away from shelters and placed on long waitlists for housing it becomes very difficult for them to stay hopeful and to make it back on their feet.
Director of Human Resources, Southcentral Foundation
April Kyle age 35
Education: Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Montana State University. Family: Three amazing boys, Jason, Sean and Stephen. Hometown/current city: Eagle River
Adam Elliott Photography
What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? Our homestead in Ninilchik. It’s the perfect escape from the city. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? Eating s’mores around the campfire. Name the person you most respect and why. My kids – they see the world in an amazing, honest way. They question the things we forget to notice and they aren’t afraid to disagree. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Sledding with my boys in fresh snow. Favorite quote “Teach a child how to think, not what to think.” — Sidney Sugarman What was your first job? Babysitting — income without any bills, those were good times. Who is your favorite superhero? I’m with Jerry – Batman, Spiderman and Superman are not fantasies, they are options. What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? My biggest challenge is always giving an honest answer to my children. It’s easier said than done. Please describe what the Nuka System of Care means at Southcentral Foundation. Southcentral Foundation’s relationship-based Nuka System of Care is comprised of organizational strategies and processes; medical, behavioral, dental and traditional practices; and supporting infrastructure that work together — in relationship — to support wellness. A set of operational principles (that literally spells out “R-E-L-A-T-I-O-N-S-H-I-P-S”) influences everything from employee hiring practices to facility design, as well as job progressions, information support, quality improvement, team design, work flow across teams, etc. In short, we put relationships at the forefront of what we do and how we do it. In your role, how do you implement Nuka? Southcentral Foundation has designed its Human Resources policies, approaches for recruitment and selection, criteria for job progression and career ladder advancement, and other workforce development initiatives to encourage and improve relationship building. As the Director of Human Resources, I collaborate with others to make sure we are hiring, training, promoting and rewarding employees in accordance with our relationship-based Operational Principles. We work together to establish family-friendly policies
and to attract and retain a workforce that fits into our organizational culture. As a result, we have 1,600+ employees who know the value of relationships in everyday work and life, and are capable of helping us build and maintain strong relationships and strong, collaborative teams. What lessons can the health care industry learn from the Nuka system? Better relationships can mean healthier customers, as well as healthier employees and a healthier organization. Through relationships, providers are in a better position to understand the needs of individuals and families, ask better questions, have meaningful conversations about risks and benefits, and partner with each customer on their individual wellness goals. Strong and effective relationships are also necessary across the organization to accomplish goals, objectives and workplans. Building a culture of trust, based on relationships, encourages shared decision making and supports innovation and creativity.
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Southcentral Foundation congratulates our Director of Human Resources April Kyle and Operations Director of Medical Services Justin Atteberry for being named
2013 Top Forty Under 40
Past and present Chenega Top 40 Under 40 Recipients Karen Rogina, Robb Milne, Kristina Woolston and Janet Waldron.
Chenega Corporation congratulates Kristina Woolston on her induction into the 2013 Top 40 Under 40. You are in good company! Thank you for your commitment to working with the Native Community to achieve wellness.
56_07754 7x4.875 4c
Recognizing extraordinary efforts Achieving great things in any community takes courage, vision, and tremendous effort. What each of us does can make life better for everyone. Raven, you are appreciated and admired every day. We celebrate your achievements.
wellsfargo.com © 2013 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. (843056_07754)
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Chief, Plans, Analysis and Integration Office, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Wainwright
Angela M. Major age 34
Todd Paris/Paris Photography
Education: Associate in Applied Science, Dietetic Technician; University of Minnesota, Crookston; Bachelor of Science, Applied Studies; University of Minnesota, Crookston; Masters of Public Administration; University of Alaska Southeast (projected graduation Spring 2013) Community work: Association of the United States Army; Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee; Farthest North Girl Scout Council; Tanana Valley Kennel Club; Fairbanks Young Professionals Council Family: Husband Steve Major; Boxer dogs Grace, Slugger and Tess Hometown: Minneapolis, Badger, Minn. Current city: Fairbanks What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? I’ve always thought there is something so special about the view driving north from Talkeetna to Healy when the landscape is changing to its fall colors. I love when the sun catches the mountains, rocks and foliage — such beautiful surroundings that make me wish I could freeze the moment in time. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? Watching my nieces and nephew experience Alaska (and the wildlife!) for the first time when they came for a visit two summers years ago. They all keep asking when they can come back! Name the person you most respect and why. My Great Aunt Jeannie Evans. She has faced more adversity in her life than anyone should, yet she maintains such a positive outlook on life and is always the first to help others. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Spending time outdoors with my dogs; the hills around Fairbanks are perfect for hikes and walks! Favorite quote: “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” — Jack London What was your first job? When I was 14, my friends and I were selected to represent our school at the Future Leader’s of America national conference. Two of us started working at the local Hardees to raise money for our trip. I ended up working there for three years and was even promoted to supervisor before I left! Who is your favorite superhero? I’ve always thought having the powers of the Invisible Woman could be a lot of fun What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Realizing that it is ok to ask for help and graciously accepting it when offered. Growing up, I was taught to be independent and associated asking for help as a sign of failure. Now I realize that
being able to ask for and accepting help is a real sign of maturity! Please describe your role in developing the U.S. Army Alaska’s Family Flagship Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Strategy, and how this program will help military families. Being part of the team that developed USARAK’s Family Flagship Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Strategy was definitely one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I worked alongside military and civilians from across Alaska, including both Army and Air Force and represented the entire garrison from Fort Wainwright. We came together with a mission to improve resiliency across Alaska and the only constraint we were given was that our solutions could not result in increased human or financial resources. We took a joint approach to how provide programs and services to Soldiers and their Families; we focused on the synchronization and integration of services that were once considered separate and distinct. We’ve improved communication across providers and broken down barriers to services and support, by bringing people together we are able to focus on the total person. Other military installations are starting to look at what we’ve done and we’re making a real difference. How has Lean Six Sigma training helped you improve processes and efficiencies at Fort Wainwright? The greatest value in Lean Six Sigma is how it transforms the way a person approaches problem-solving (attempting to solve problems through gut instinct rarely actually resolves the issue). By applying Lean Six Sigma methodologies to improve processes, the Army has implemented real solutions that have been sustained over time resulting in cost savings and improvements to quality. Processes that we’ve improved include how managing our logistics operations, our hiring processes and even how we bring new Soldiers on-board to Fort Wainwright.
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Branch Manager II, Wells Fargo
Raven Riddle age 28 Favorite quote: Todd Paris/Paris Photography
Shoot for the moon. If you miss you will land among the stars Education: Associates degrees in Entrepreneurship and Human Resources in Applied Business from The University of Alaska Fairbanks. Community work: North Pole Economic & Development Corp. board member, North Pole Chamber of Commerce board member; North Pole Rotary Club; Volunteer Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters, a 354th Comptroller Squadron Honorary Co-Commander on Eielson Air Force Base; educates local fire fighters, police officers and Air National Guardsmen about financial topics ranging from retirement preparation to budgets and credit counseling. Family: Husband Daniel P. Riddle, Dog Axo Hometown/current city: North Pole What is your most memorable Alaska experience? I born and raised in North Pole, in a dry cabin, and grew up as a true Alaskan with a hunter-gatherer background and an undying love for the 49th state. Living off of Alaska’s natural recourses, learning to have an attitude of gratitude while living beneath our means. Name the person you most respect and why. My Dad, Robert Keyes, from him I got my “can do” attitude and perseverance in work ethic. My husband, Danny Riddle, is my rock and best friend. I can trust him through and through and he always has my back with no judgement. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Going to the motocross track. What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? My home, because it’s my place of rest. I am constantly on the move and when I am at home I am at rest. What was your first job? Ice Cream Scooper at Hawks Greenhouse. Who is your favorite superhero? Storm from X-Men
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You have already been a branch manager at two Interior locations, and also earned Business Banker of the Year for Alaska from Wells Fargo. What do you believe has been the key to your early success in banking? It is because I have a passion for business. Small is business is big business to me. I believe my word is my bond and I will never tell a customer something I wont follow through with. My key to success is returning phone calls. What motivated you to get involved with teaching financial planning to local firefighters, police and the National Guard? What have you found most rewarding about this experience? The reason why, is because I think that our first responders don’t get as much credit as is due. Its important to me to satisfy all my customers financial needs and help them succeed financially. I truly believe that it’s not the bank, it’s the banker, and building life long relationships one customer at a time. Wells Fargo encourages and gives me the freedom to act this out daily. Being from North Pole, how does it feel to be able to serve the communities where you grew up? I just feel that its easy for me because I am familiar with most of the community.Whether they were in my childhood as a coach, teacher, a friend of my parents, or a kid I used to babysit that now has their own family. What I love most about the interior of Alaska is the people have a “we’re in it together” attitude, and when you are connected you truly are in it together.
Associate Vice President Budget, Interim Chief Human Resources Officer, University of Alaska System
Michelle Rizk age 38 Favorite quote:
Todd Paris/Paris Photography
“Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great.” — Orison Swett Marden Education: Bachelor’s degree in International Business from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Master’s degree in business from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Community work: Fairbanks Competitive Soccer Team Treasurer; Jennifer Templeton Memorial Tournament Treasurer; Randy Smith Middle School Parent-Teacher-Student Association PTSA; Fairbanks Middle School and Elementary School Volunteer; University of Alaska Fairbanks Alumni Association Family: Husband Anthony; sons Kobe and Drew; dog Jazz Hometown: North Pole
the ability to be invisible, make others invisible and create powerful force fields? What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? My biggest challenge is how to balance work and family life while still finding time to get in a good run. I don’t think finding the perfect balance in life is something that you can overcome but you learn to figure it out and adjust as you go to make it work.
Current city: Fairbanks What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? My favorite place in Alaska is Denali National Park. It is so beautiful and peaceful and cell phones don’t work on the Savage River trail. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? My most memorable Alaska experience is watching a grizzly bear in Denali National Park walk right next to our car and seeing the excitement in my kid’s faces. Name the person you most respect and why. There are a lot of people I respect but my dad is the person I respect most. He taught me at a very young age the value of hard work, never comprising what you believe in, and finding something good in every person you meet. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? My favorite hobbies away from work are running and reading What was your first job? I am the oldest girl of 5 kids, so I started babysitting at a very young age. However, my first real job was at the North Pole McDonald’s. Who is your favorite superhero? My favorite superhero is the Invisible Woman. Who wouldn’t want
What did you learn from your experience as an intern for the late Sen. Ted Stevens that you still apply today? Even though we were young interns, Senator Stevens made us feel like our role and input as interns was important and we could make a difference in the world. I try to apply the same principles in my job today by listening to input throughout the organization and spending time listening and talking to students. Please describe your approach to managing the budget for three major campuses as well as dealing with the state legislature on appropriations. What have you found to be the most effective way to balance all the competing needs within the UA system? It is very tough sometimes because there are so many great programs at the University that could use additional funding to become even better. However, recognizing that resources are limited, I work very closely with the campuses to balance the competing needs and to think about what is best for the students we serve. Along with your duties as vice president for budget, you also recently accepted a role as interim chief human resources officer. How do you manage this additional responsibility and what advice would you offer for to others for time management? To manage the additional responsibilities, it is very important to work as a team, ask for help when you need it, find really good mentors, and make what you are doing as enjoyable as possible.
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Vice-President, Physical Therapist, Advanced Physical Therapy of Alaska, LLC
Zuzana Rogers Education: Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy from the Texas Tech University (expecting to graduate in May of 2013); Advanced Certification in the Orthopedic Manual Therapy from the International Academy of Orthopedic Medicine in the Spine and Extremities; Master’s in Physical Therapy from the University of Washington; Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences from the University of Alaska, Anchorage Community work: Volunteer Physical Therapist for local athletic organizations (World Cup Nordic Women’s Ski Team, APU Ski Team, Fast and Female, Alaska Dance Theatre, Alyeska Ski Club, and Alaska Triathlon Club); Volunteer Instructor, Becoming Outdoors Women-ADF&G; Volunteer Junior Nordic Coach; Mentor for young and aspiring physical therapy students; World Special Olympics Ski Coach and Translator; Ski Coach for the Alyeska Ski Club; Member of Slovak Association of Visually Impaired Athletes and Guide for visually impaired athletes (skiing and cycling)
Adam Elliott Photography
age 40 (BORN January 25, 1973)
Family: My husband Andy (who was named Top 40 under 40 in 2009); children Lucas (6) and Eva (3); two dogs Hometown: Born and raised in Liptovsky Mikulas, a small town in Northern Slovakia. Current city: Anchorage What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? Any place in Alaska where the mountains meet the ocean. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? It was the second day after I arrived in Alaska. It was a perfect lateAugust day in 1994, and I spent it with new friends on a boat in Prince William Sound. That was also the day that I realized I would call Alaska my home. Name the person you most respect and why. The person I respect the most is the person I married. My husband, Andy, has been instrumental in what I have achieved. He stood by me and encouraged me through my endless studies and athletic endeavors — juggling family, school, work, and hobbies. What amazes me is that he can switch between playing princesses and superheroes with our kids, to taking about Alaska’s economic future, to singing the Lion King soundtrack, and then top it off by making a kid-friendly and nutritious dinner in a blink of an eye. I love him very much and there are no words that can describe how thankful I am to have him in my life. Favorite quote “You haven’t failed until you’ve quit.” – Norman Vaughan What was your first job? I got my first job at 16. I was waiting tables at a communist party retreat in Czechoslovakia. I earned a little bit of money and a whole lot of motivation to stay in school. Who is your favorite superhero? I had to ask my 6-year-old son for some help on this one. I’m
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sticking with his answer. Me: Lucas, who is mommy’s favorite superhero? Lucas: Ironman. Me: Why Ironman? Lucas: Because he has a smart brain and can build anything. That sounds like a fine set of superpowers to me. What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? I think my biggest challenge was leaving my native Slovakia with a one-way ticket to Alaska in 1994. I was 22 years old and had just signed a scholarship letter with the University of Alaska Ski Team. I didn’t know anyone in the United States, let alone Alaska. I focused on the present with a plan for the future, found amazing friends, and now I call Alaska my home. What inspired you to get involved with Special Olympics and serving as a ski guide for visually impaired athletes? I volunteered for a Special Olympics camp one summer. I was a Physical Therapist Aide and the camp fulfilled my volunteer hours for Physical Therapy school. I fell in love with the program and felt that volunteering my skills and experience might help the athletes to fully enjoy the amazing event. I am fluent in Slovak, Czech, and conversational in Russian, so I served as a coach and translator during the World Winter Special Olympics in 2001. I started working with visually impaired athletes in Slovakia during my training with the Slovakian National Ski Team. I was very athletic, which allowed me to assist in high-level competitions in downhill skiing and cycling. It was an amazing experience. I compare it to having See ROGERS, Page 50
Director of Business Development at North Star Behavioral Health; Representative for The Jason Foundation
Ann Schaack Humphery Education and Credentials: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, minors in Sociology and Education, University of Nebraska; Masters in Social Work, Colorado State University; Certificate in Social Work Management, University of Alaska Anchorage; Licensed Clinical Social Worker, State of Alaska Community work: The Jason Foundation, All Alaska Pediatric Partnership, Anchorage Suicide Prevention Coalition, participant in Suicide Prevention Data User group
Adam Elliott Photography
Family: Husband Yohancé Humphery; two dogs, Wing Nut, our 15-year-old Husky mix, and Ludwig, a 3-year-old American Bulldog mix. Family in Alaska, Hawaii, California, South Dakota, and Iowa. Hometown: Born in Marshall, Minn., grew up in Pierre, South Dakota. Current city: Live in Eagle River, work in Anchorage. What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? There are so many places that I love in Alaska! I enjoy any adventure in Alaska that I can share with friends and family. Homer has provided many fun family memories! What is your most memorable Alaska experience? I was fortunate enough to be part of the advocacy efforts related to the passing of SB 137, The Jason Flatt Act, which requires mandatory training on youth suicide and awareness for school personnel. It was fulfilling for me to work together with other dedicated individuals throughout Alaska toward the common goal of heightening awareness, expanding education related to suicide prevention, and promoting community wellness. Name the person you most respect and why. I have tremendous respect for my parents, Kenneth and Karon Schaack. They instilled important ethics and values through example, encouragement, and commitment. My mother was a strong female leader for the State of South Dakota, maintaining integrity and kindness throughout her career. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? I enjoy spending time with our dogs outdoors. Favorite quote: “This day is a journey, this very moment an adventure.” — Rebecca Pavlenko What was your first job? My first job was cleaning golf clubs and picking up range balls at the golf course. My siblings and I also used to sell vegetables from our garden to neighbors out of a wagon. Who is your favorite superhero? My husband! He undertakes challenges, strives for growth and change, and evolves into a stronger person. What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it?
One of the biggest challenges that I have undertaken in life was moving to Alaska in my 20s. I loaded my vehicle with a few belongings and my dog and headed north to explore adventure and opportunity. Moving so far from my family was challenging, but I learned that love does not fade with distance. I appreciate my family more and more every day. What moved you to get involved with The Jason Foundation to prevent youth suicide? I was presented with the opportunity to get involved with the Jason Foundation about a year and a half ago. The Jason Foundation, a national youth suicide prevention foundation, wanted to open an affiliate office and we were excited to be the chosen site! North Star has been a strong supporter of The Jason Foundation and prevention efforts. Having worked as a clinician in crisis intervention with youth throughout most of my career, I am dedicated to identifying challenges, plans, and solutions to safety and healing. It is rewarding to have the opportunity to work on a broader scale of suicide prevention and education for youth, parents, and providers. What stands out for you about your visits to rural Alaska in your work to prevent suicide? The suicide prevention outreach efforts that my team has had the opportunity to participate in have been incredibly fulfilling. The resiliency, strength, and resolve of the communities throughout Alaska leave a lasting impression. Further, the collaboration among groups and agencies in the suicide prevention arena has been instrumental. Why did you get involved with the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership, and how is the AAPP transforming children’s health care for the state? I became involved in AAPP because it is a group of progressive individuals that work together to advance child health priorities through innovative partnerships and cross-agency collaboration. I recently joined the executive team and we will continue work to increase communication, as well as expand education and training opportunities to share best practices while improving healthcare access for all of Alaska’s families. Some of the initiatives that AAPP has been instrumental in over the years include reducing Alaska’s Neonatal Mortality Rate, supporting the implementation of Denali Kid Care, immunizations, and of course supporting access to behavioral health care.
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CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional at Shilanski & Associates, Inc.
Micah Shilanski age 30
Adam Elliott Photography
Education: CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification from CFP Board, Registered Financial Consultant from International Association of Registered Financial Consultants Community work: Anchorage Downtown Rotary board of directors, Technology Committee; Anchorage Light Speed Planet Walk Committee, Directory Committee; Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America Family: Wife Kelly; children Gabriel, Milana and Baby No. 3 on the way! Hometown/current city: Anchorage What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? Rivers in Western Alaska when the salmon are running — it’s some of the best fishing in the world. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? I was a hunting guide in remote Western Alaska when we started to wonder why we hadn’t seen any small planes flying overhead. The day before — plenty of planes, then the next — none at all. It was strange. After almost a week of seeing no planes, a State Trooper helicopter landed nearby. It was only then that we learned the reason the planes had stopped flying — the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Name the person you most respect and why. My parents Rosa & Floyd Shilanski. The things they have overcome and accomplished (and continue to accomplish!) still amaze me. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Flying and fishing in Alaska. And when I can fly to go fishing – that’s even better Favorite quote: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” – Declaration of Independence What was your first job? Sweeping up hair clippings at a salon when I was 15. Shortly after I got my first paycheck, my Dad informed me I would now owe $600/ month rent for my room (I’m serious). And I paid it every month until I moved out. Who is your favorite superhero? Captain America What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? In elementary school I was diagnosed with Dyslexia. All through Elementary, Junior High and even into High School I was told I had a learning disability. When I became an adult, I made a decision to become successful. And that meant that I would not allow it to stand in the way of what I wanted to accomplish. Today, I’m an avid reader and I rarely even think of Dyslexia. You received the designations for Certified Financial Planner and
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Registered Financial Consultant at age 23, and have been the youngest to earn the national President’s Club honors for Summit Brokerage from 2010-12. What have been the keys to such a fast start in your career? I feel fortunate to have literally grown up in the financial planning business. Thanks to my parents, Rosa and Floyd Shilanski who started Shilanski & Associates, Inc., I had a chance to see how you can genuinely help people and to see the level of commitment that’s required to be successful. But it wasn’t until I made the decision to become a top financial planner that I really began to excel. And once you make a decision like that, you must pursue it whole-heartedly. Financial planning is not just something I “do” – it is who I am. Has your young age ever been a disadvantage in your career? Yes… only when I allowed it to be. When I believed that my age was a disadvantage, it was. But once I came to appreciate my age as an asset — it has become a tremendous advantage. For example, many people seek out a financial planner as they approach retirement. Some people specifically look for a planner “close to their age.” What they usually forget is that a planner “close to their age’ is probably starting to think about retirement for themselves. One of the things my clients appreciate is that I’ll still be there for them in their retirement. When did you become a pilot? What has been your most difficult flying experience in Alaska? See SHILANSKI, Page 50
Director, Business Development, ENSTAR Natural Gas Co.
John Sims age 35
Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing management from Hillsdale College; Master’s degree in business administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Community work: Chugiak/Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, Chugiak Youth Sports Association, Junior Achievement Family: Wife Kai Sims; children Fischer (6), Emerson (5), Sullivan (2) Adam Elliott Photography
Hometown/current city: Eagle River What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? The Chugach Mountains. Sometimes you just need to “get away” and in 15 minutes I can get away from it all. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? Ten days, 11 people, floating the Noatak River in August. We saw two other people on the entire trip and truly felt removed from civilization. Name the person you most respect and why. My father. The biggest reason is his dedication to family. Despite having an inconsistent schedule I never remember him missing anything important to me. I always remember him being there. As a kid, you don’t realize how hard it is to never miss family activities. As an adult, with a demanding job, you quickly realize the challenge. I want my children to look back and remember how supportive I was, because there is no better show of support than to be there. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Anything that involves my family. Hiking, sports, traveling, or just playing a board game. I love to sit and watch them all interact with each other having fun. Favorite quote: “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan What was your first job? The first job I remember was digging out a garage foundation with a shovel and a pickaxe for one of my parent’s friends. Every other swing of the pickaxe was a big rock. It was truly miserable. The only saving grace was working with my best friend. Who is your favorite superhero? Batman. He has the coolest toys of all the superheroes. What were the major hurdles to overhauling the Enstar billing system and what were the keys to implementing the new system? Our biggest challenge was communication. It was easy to get wrapped up in the project and forget to communicate to the rest of the company what was happening, what challenges we were addressing, and what our plans were moving forward. This lack of communication resulted in significant frustration across the organization causing issues we are still resolving today. The key piece to implementing this system was a change in mindset. While visiting colleagues from another company, I heard the phrase “make it work, make it right, make it better.” Our team had become
so focused on trying to make the system better we had forgotten to “make it work” first. This became the theme of the project and helped us accomplish our goals. How has your position with ENSTAR allowed you to give back to your home community of Chugiak/Eagle River? The most valuable thing you can give to your community is time. ENSTAR’s president understands and encourages employees to give their time and support to the communities they live in. What do you enjoy most about coaching youth soccer, baseball, and hockey? There is a moment for every child when it “clicks” and it happens in different ways for each child: hitting the baseball, passing the puck, putting the ball in the back of the net, or simply completing a drill correctly. It can happen at different times, but as long as the coach pays attention to individual personalities and skills it will always happen. The best part of coaching is when it “clicks.” You recognize it immediately because a slight smirk starts to grow on the child’s face. It is a smirk of confidence. This is why I coach, I enjoy seeing children gain that confidence that will be with them for the rest of their lives. I love to see it “click.”
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Loan Officer-Construction Lending, First National Bank Alaska
Brandon Snodgrass Adam Elliott Photography
age 40 (BORN March 3, 1973) Education: Bachelor’s degree in Education from Bemidji State University Community work: Anchorage South Rotary; Anchorage Home Builders Association; Alaska State Homebuilders Association; Rotary International Youth Exchange; Alaska Travel Industry Association; United Way; Alaska School Activities Association; American Red Cross Taste of Mardi Gras; Youth soccer Family: Wife Jennifer; 3-month-old son Nolan; Black Lab Libby, Pug Cleopatra Hometown: Palmer Current city: Anchorage What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? My favorite place is our cabin on the Kenai River. Time seems to stand still there, and it is so peaceful and relaxing. It helps that the fishing is decent as well. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? A few years ago on the Kenai River, my dad, my brother, and a couple of friends watched a moose calf try to climb a cliff over and over to reach its mother. After awhile he was too exhausted to move and was stuck between two log jams. He was next to fast water and would never be able to get out of there. We pulled the boat up next to him, tied his legs, and loaded him into the boat. We drove him upriver, carried him up the cliff, and stayed with him until he had the energy to walk away to find his mother. It was a very rewarding experience. Name the person you most respect and why. My Grandpa Len. He lost his leg as a teenager when a tree fell on him while working as a lumberjack. He never let it slow him down and continued to work hard for the rest of his life and enjoy the activities that made him happy. I was always impressed that he refused to use the handicap parking spaces because he believed that other people needed them more. He was the strongest man I have ever known, but also the gentlest, kindest, and most patient. I try to use the examples he set for me as I live my life. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Fly fishing for Rainbow Trout Favorite quote: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. What was your first job? Farmhand at a potato farm in Palmer Who is your favorite superhero? Spiderman. I like that he was brainy but was also a wiseguy. He had the total package — brains, super strength, could climb walls, and swing from building to building.
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What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? It is not something that needs to be overcome, but the birth of my son in January is a great challenge. There is so much to learn and so many things to worry about. My challenge going forward is to be the best father I can be and help him have a happy and successful life. First National Bank Alaska has long been known as “the contractors’ bank.” What does that title mean to you and how do you apply it as a construction loan officer? First National Bank Alaska has been a part of building Alaska for over 90 years. We were the first company to commit to rebuilding after the ’64 quake. It is very important to us to help Alaska and its people grow. Whether that is by helping someone build a business or build a dream home, it is something I take to heart. I love watching a new home go up, and I am proud to have had a small part in helping my customers’ dreams become a reality. How does your financial background aid in your multiple fundraising efforts for organizations such as Toys for Tots and Food Bank of Alaska? It helps with organizing the effort and tracking the results. I feel that the biggest factor in having a successful fundraiser is having an enthusiasm and passion for the cause. What have you enjoyed most about coaching youth soccer for the past 23 years? My biggest joy has been watching kids succeed as a team and instilling in them a life-long love for the game. Winning is nice too.
Congratulations on your achievement
Anchorage 700 G Street Suite 500 t: (907) 562-3366
Fairbanks 3504 Industrial Ave. Suite 125 t: (907) 374-0303
ENGINEERS • PLANNERS • SCIENTISTS • CONSTRUC TORS
Ann Schaack Humphery
For decades, young Alaska business leaders have been active in building the state we know and love. First National Bank Alaska is proud to know one of its own, Brandon Snodgrass, is among those leaders. He works closely with construction companies, builders and property owners to meet their banking needs and help them complete projects and build dream homes. The bank congratulates Brandon and every member of the Top Forty Under 40 class of 2013. Your intelligence, initiative and enthusiasm will ensure Alaska continues to grow and thrive.
2013Top ForTy Under 40
THE HIGHEST STANDARD IN
Initiative and Enthusiasm
We are proud of your dedication to
Thank you for your commitment to youth and families in Alaska.
FNBAlaska.com EQUAL HOUSING
First National Bank Alaska is an equal opportunity employer.
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Senior Manager, Housing Services, Cook Inlet Housing Authority
Dena M. Sommer-Pedebone age 39 Adam Elliott Photography
Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Alaska Fairbanks; Housing Certified Compliance Professional; Certified Occupancy Specialist Community work: Rural CAP; Anchorage Homeless Coalition; Klatt Elementary School Parent volunteer; ANTHC Board of Directors; Substance Abuse Directors Association; United Way Executive Partners; Anchorage Council on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders; Alaska Women’s Recovery Project; Anchorage Regional Behavioral Health Coalition Family: Husband Macoy Pedebone; children Austyn Bernadine (14) and Sunny Malia (9); parents Dene and Fred Sommer Jr.; grandparents Audrey Steel O’Leary, the late Fred Sommer Sr., Dorothy Sommer Hometown: Fairbanks and the Yukon River Current city: Anchorage What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? Fishcamp. In the mid-80s my grandparents, dad, aunts, uncles and cousins had camps set up on the Yukon half way between Nulato and Kaltag. Everyone, no matter how young (or old), had a job there [and] everyone worked in symmetry. The work was hard but there was time for visiting and play, my cousins had this long rope hung on a tree branch over a small cliff, all of us kids would take turns swinging out over their camp. When I envision this place I am at peace. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? I spent one and a half summers working at Kantishna Roadhouse in the Denali back country. One evening 5 or 6 of us took air mattresses and drove about 3 miles up the road and floated on them down a creek back to the roadhouse, my closest experience to whitewater rafting. There was also a time I was about 4 miles away from the roadhouse and realized I was running alongside a bear. Name the person you most respect and why. My grandmother, Dorothy Sommer, her knowledge, strength and familial values mean the world to me. Grandma was raised in a traditional life style in Nulato by her grandmother, Anna Stickman, a healing woman. She and my grandpa had 15 children and raised numerous nieces, nephews and grandchildren. Her confidence and encouragement has been a huge motivator throughout my life. What was your first job? I started watching my grandma’s store, Sommer General Store, during my summers in Nulato when I was 9 years old. Sometimes I’d have to be the cashier using an old-time cash register that had a handle you pulled towards you after you entered the price of something on round push buttons. Who is your favorite superhero? Optimus Prime What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Losing a child, my son, Elijah, was stillborn at 32 weeks during my
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senior year of college. At 24 weeks pregnant, I learned that he would have Downs Syndrome. The entire experience, pregnancy through his death, led to a time in my life with self-doubt, limited self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy. Overcoming those feelings is a continual process. My husband’s encouragement, my amazing daughters’ and my mom, have been an immense component in healing. What has been like to play a role in the effort to improve Mountain View? The last couple of years my co-workers and I have participated in the Faster than a Falcon run, an annual event to sponsor the Mountain View Boys and Girls Club. As we walk/run through the streets of Mountain View it’s rewarding to see our work. Most significant to me is the affect on children. Over the last several years the Anchorage School District reports less transience in Mountain View schools, families are residing longer, allowing their children to establish themselves within the schools. How have you been able to eliminate a two-year waiting list for affordable housing? Under our President Carol Gore’s direction, “no more business as usual.” She gave us all permission to challenge “cherished beliefs” within our company and our individual departments. We needed a model of business that matched how people actually looked for housing: you look when you need it, not two years ahead of time. Now, our process allows for quicker turnaround on approving prospective tenants and they are applying for vacancies, so once they are approved they can move in. By encouraging ownership in the application process and putting more of the responsibility for providing required documents and verifications on the customer, we found that we are truly serving those applicants and building relationships with those who need housing now. See SOMMER-PEDEBONE, Page 50
Mining & Power Business Leader, URS Corporation
StephEn Trimble age 31 Education: Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from University of Alaska Anchorage.
Adam Elliott Photography
Community work: Vice President of Alaska Museum of Natural History (2001-2012); Geology instructor at Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program Summer Science Camp; Alaska Miners Association Social Responsibility Committee; Co-Chair, University of Alaska College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board; Co-Chair, University of Alaska Department of Geological Sciences Advisory Board; Commissioner, Arctic Policy Commission; Commissioner, Alaska Minerals Commission; Vice Chair, Emerging Energy Technology Advisory Committee; Director, Alaska Ratepayers; President, Gold Cord Development Corporation; Trustee, Nature Conservancy. Family: Wife Jackie Trimble; Parents Fred and Sue Trimble; In-laws Jack and Tommie Savina; Sisters-in-law Mary and Carolyn Savina. Hometown/current city: Anchorage What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? At our mine - the Gold Cord Mine in Hatcher Pass. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? The many expeditions we’ve undertaken in Hatcher Pass – from exploring new mountain peaks – to touring underground mine tunnels throughout the vastness of the Talkeetna Mountains. Name the person you most respect and why. My parents and my wife. My parents for instilling values for success in my life – and my wife for continuing to nourish those values for our future family. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Cycling and photography. Favorite quote: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” — Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, 1865. What was your first job? 16 years old, detailing cars at Budget Rent-a-car. Who is your favorite superhero? Superman. Great power – great responsibility. What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Overcoming shyness as a child to become an outgoing person. What have you learned as a member of various commissions on minerals, Arctic policy and emerging technology?
I have been blessed to work with the brightest minds in Alaska. The greatest thing I have learned from these valued opportunities to serve is in the sharing of knowledge from and with my peers. You’re currently working on the Donlin gold mine project and the Skagway ore terminal, and have also worked on Point Thomson, the in-state gas line, Susitna dam, Usibelli coal mine and Fort Knox gold mine. Of all these projects, has one stood out as the most challenging? Which one have you most enjoyed working on? The most challenging tasks often offer the greatest rewards. The great thing about Alaska is that there is much work to be done. The challenge to that great opportunity is to answer it with great responsibility. That’s our greatest challenge as Alaskans — and the same challenge I have faced working on these diverse projects. To do things right — with lasting and meaningful benefit for future Alaskans. Why did you get involved with UAA advisory boards for both geology as well as arts and sciences? Being a University of Alaska Anchorage alum, I always wanted to give back to the University. Our education is our greatest investment. Through maintaining contact with mentors, I was able to reengage with the University to help guide the programs that gave me the tools to achieve professional success. The opportunity to help provide those tools to others remains a deeply rewarding experience.
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Owner-Frontier Therapy; Head Football Coach-East Anchorage High School
age 39 Education: Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Physical Therapy from Nova Southeastern University; Bachelor’s of Physical EducationExercise Science from California State University, Fresno Community work: Anchorage School District, Lion’s Club, Donate to various other organizations.
Adam Elliott Photography
Jeffery C. Trotter
Family: Wife Tami Trotter; children Keira Trotter (5) and Hayden Trotter (1); Bernese Mountain dogs Oden and Brodie Hometown: Chicago Current city: Anchorage What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? Homer. The small, coastal town atmosphere. The scenic drive there and the city itself. The slower pace of life and recreational activities. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? My wife and I were hiking when we saw a large moose near the trail. We chose to turn around and find another trail. After getting 20 to 30 yards away, we heard a loud noise coming up behind us. We turned around and were shocked to see a bear chasing the same moose toward us. Luckily prior to the moose reaching us, it panicked and turned into the woods with the bear still in chase. Once they were gone, we did not stop running until we reached the trailhead. Name the person you most respect and why. The person I respect the most is my wife Tami. Tami is one of the hardest working and most sincere people I know. Every day she strives to be the best parent, spouse, daughter, sister, and friend she can be. She endears herself to the people she meets in a way I believe few can. Tami is a very successful teacher, whose students seek her out years later to say “thank you.” She sacrifices so much in order to ensure my family’s happiness. Seeing all of this, she makes we want to work to be a better person. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Coaching and playing with my children. Favorite quote: Move on, don’t dwell on. What was your first job? Mowing lawns Who is your favorite superhero? Hulk What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? I was in a serious car accident in March, 2009 when someone ran a red light and hit me. I ended up with multiple herniated discs in my neck and lower back that required injections into my spine, two displaced broken ribs, and my right knee required four surgeries with potentially more in the future. Except for the pain that I experience daily at multiple areas, I’m grateful for the incident.
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It completely changed the way I look at everything in my life. I appreciate everything much more and learned to be grateful for everything I have. I think you overcome things like that through a positive attitude and realizing there are many people that have things much worse. What motivated you to get into the field of physical therapy and personal training? I was always involved with sports. Having had injuries myself I wanted to be able to help others recover. What have you learned about Alaska’s young people by serving as a football coach for 18 years, currently as the head coach at East High? As a coach today, we are an extension of the classroom. It is our responsibility to assist in preparing the young men and women we work with to deal with both success and adversity in an appropriate manner. It seems to me that young adults today have to deal with many more issues than I did at their age. The athletes that I have had the privilege to work with always amaze me with their resiliency and innovation. Is there a person you’ve helped, either through offering care to someone who couldn’t afford it, or a player who needed help finding a job to buy football equipment, that you found to be the most rewarding experience? I’ve been extremely lucky to have many rewarding experiences. When I was first hired at East High as football coach, I found a situation where a great deal of equipment was unaccounted for and much of the equipment that was remaining was dilapidated. The school and booster club did not have funds available to correct the situation. My wife and I decided that we would not put our own child in much of the equipment. Luckily we were in a position that we could help. We personally replaced the majority of the equipment that the players are using each season. This has allowed the program to outfit as many players that wish to come out for football in the safest equipment available. East High School has many students who are economically disadvantaged. There are costs associated with playing sports. To assist in offsetting some of these costs, we set up a “Work for Relief” program to help. Each offseason we find jobs that businesses and/ See TROTTER, Page 50
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President, Northwest Strategies
age 34 Education: Bachelor candidate in Journalism and Public Communications, minor in Alaska Native Studies at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Community work: Steering Committee member, Alaska Tobacco Control Alliance; Alaska Native Health Board for the Alaska Tobacco Control Alliance; Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis
Adam Elliott Photography
Family: My nine-year-old daughter, Matilda, and my pug, Rosco. Hometown/current city: Anchorage What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? Heart Lake on Adak Island. There are no major predators on the Aleutians, and on a rare sunny day you can go for a hike and take a nap in the grass. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? When I was 14 my mother was a pilot for a small commuter airline. I hitched a ride on a cargo run with her the day before Christmas Eve. On the way from Fairbanks to Bethel an engine caught fire and we were forced to make an emergency landing at Lake Minchumina, population 3 (on a good day). The actual “crash” was surreal, but the best part was hanging out waiting for the maintenance crews to arrive from Anchorage. I really got to know my mom as a friend. Name the person you most respect and why. My cousin Solveig Pedersen. I have never known anyone more positive or genuine than she. She has an incredible disposition and is an inspiration for happiness. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? My first thought? I need more hobbies! Seriously, most of my time outside of work is spent with my daughter. She is such a creative and engaging soul. I am a believer that you can never be too young to appreciate the world and all it has to offer. We travel quite a bit, and when we’re not exploring we’re reading, playing and imagining. My life is full. Favorite quote: “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” — Aristotle What was your first job? In the second grade I started helping transplant flowers in my Grandma’s greenhouse after school—Thiele’s Greenhouse. From that point forward I worked for her after school and every summer until I finished high school. I credit her and my mother with instilling in me an incredible work ethic and personal life balance. Who is your favorite superhero? Mighty Mouse. Hands down. You’ve risen from an intern at Northwest Strategies to the company president in less than 10 years. What sort of goals did you set for yourself that led to your new title as president? A lot of elbow grease. That, and a boss who recognized in me a desire
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to grow and succeed. Honestly, I credit Tim Woolston with providing me opportunities that allowed me to try new things and discover what I excelled at and what needed more work. It was a guided, hands-on approach to learning the business. As an intern I wasn’t limited to sending out press releases and coordinating photos; I was doing everything from brainstorming concepts and working on short-form video to writing creative briefs and TV scripts. Over the years Tim and I worked on my career goals together; I moved from intern up five positions to where I am now, and with each step came something new and an increase in responsibility. Your mom was a commercial pilot for American Airlines. How did seeing your mom in this role inspire you? My mom taught me a few very important life lessons that have greatly helped me in my career. We never discussed them, she lived by them. The first is to do what you love. My mom is so passionate about aviation. At 16, she received her pilot’s license. At 20, she was the youngest female air traffic controller to work for the Federal Aviation Administration. And at 34 she began her career as a commercial pilot. Regardless of the measly pay, terrible hours and time spent away from home, she had her flying and it was something she could rely on when she couldn’t rely on anything else. I am doing what I love, and it is my wish for Matilda to do the same. The second lesson some may not agree with, but I live by it: As a professional woman it isn’t enough to be as good as your male counterpart, you have to be better. You have to be smarter, work harder and be tougher. Perhaps it was because my mom grew up in the 50s or maybe it was her line of work, whatever the reason, she was successful in her career and at home because she lived this mantra. I really wish in 2013 it wasn’t this way, and I feel the world gets better every day, but I’m a realist. You have to be scrappy. The third, and perhaps most important lesson, is to never let life get you down. This is a tough one, but if anything I teach Matilda sticks, I hope it is this one. There is always a new day, a new beginning and another chance. Of the many campaigns you have worked on, which results are you most proud of? Leading the State of Alaska’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Program’s media contract has been the most rewarding work of my career. In fact, I don’t know what could be more personally and professionally satisfying than contributing to saving the lives of Alaskans.
Assistant Professor of Alaska Native Languages, University of Alaska Southeast
age 39 Education: Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, University of Alaska Fairbanks; Bachelor of Arts in English; Minor in American Indian Studies, University of Minnesota; Certification, Village Management Institute Sheldon Jackson College Community work: Alaska Native Studies Council, Co-Chair; Alaska Native Heritage Center, Language Advisory Committee; Haa Yátx’i Daakahídi (Our Children’s House), Founding Member; Jinéit Art Academy, Instructor; Perseverance Theatre, Cultural Advisor
Michael Penn /Juneau Empire
Xh’unei Lance A. Twitchell
Family: Wife Miriah Twitchell, son Cody Dennis, daughter Kiana Twitchell Hometown: Skagway Current city: Juneau What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? There is a place in Skagway where I used to go to clear my mind, and it is called Yaakwdeiyáa.aa (Canoe Packing Trail). I have walked there many times from my grandparents’ house, and my favorite place in the world is the path between those two points. On the way there, I usually had something to think about while watching the water and birds. On the way back, I often came up with something to share with my grandparents. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? I was asked to respond to the words of Khaajakhwtí (Walter Soboleff) during the five-year anniversary of the Sheet’ká Khwáan Naakahídi (Sitka People Clan House). The place was completely full, and Khaajakhwtí was cloaked in a naaxein (chilkat blanket). His words were still with me, and when I looked at him and then out at the crowd, I could think of nothing to say. I started with the standard, “please forgive me, I am just learning the Tlingit language,” a favorite learner’s line, to which L’éiwtu Éesh (Herman Davis) responded, “yéi kghwatée (It will be)!” Suddenly, I knew what to say. I was comforted in that moment by the words of a kind elder, and I will never forget it. Name the person you most respect and why. It is hard to choose one, but if I had to I would say Ruth Demmert. She has incredible knowledge of our language and culture, and she is always willing to share things with those of us who are hungry to learn more. Everywhere you go in Tlingit country, you find people who love her because her desires in life seem to be absent of politics and personal gain. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Northwest Coast Artwork. I love to draw, paint, and make things in ways that our ancestors once did. The rules of design help me give patterns to life, and to nudge things together in ways that make sense. Favorite quote: Ch’a yéi gugénk’ áwé a kaaxh shukaylis’úxh haa tlagu khwáanx’i aadéi s khunoogu yé. — Kichnáalxh We have uncovered only a tiny portion of the way our ancient people used to do things. — George Davis
What was your first job? An intern at the Environmental Protection Agency. I had a window! And then someone realized I did and I was moved to the middle and kind of forgotten. Who is your favorite superhero? Batman, ever since my brothers and I ran around in underoos with handkerchiefs for capes. What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Drugs and alcohol were prevalent throughout my entire life, and affected me in terms of my surroundings and my decisions. In addition, several authorities in my life told me that I could not do the things that I wanted to — that I was too distracted and trying to do too many things at once, or that I was just not good. A combination of factors resulted in low self-esteem and self-worth, but spending time with my grandparents and realizing the power and intelligence of a life of sobriety helped me make stronger decisions and realize my own capabilities and value. On top of that, there is so much lateral violence and hardship that comes from generations of cultural oppression and attempted genocide. It has taken ceremony, discussion, and constant attempts at balance to be able to look at those things reflectively. I do not think I have answers for them yet, but there are moments when words come to questions that arise, and I think they come from being in tune with place, ancestors, language, and clarity. How often do you get to practice your Tlingit language? I practice daily now that I am a parent. I speak in Tlingit with my daughter every day as I challenge myself to not use English with her. It was always my goal to practice daily, to just live with the language, whether I was speaking to myself as I prepared for the day or drove somewhere. I visit with speakers often, which is the best way in the world to learn, and I often document them telling stories or speaking with each other and then transcribe and translate their words, which is always a humbling experience. What are your goals for the Alaska Native languages program within the UA system? Speakers. We are stuck in a numbers game, where we need to start creating speakers because we are losing so many. At some point, you begin to worry about the critical mass, and we passed that point already. But we have amazing faculty in Alice Taff, Marsha Hotch, Lyle James, and Ben Young. It would be wonderful if we See TWITCHELL, Page 51
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President, Frontier Supply Company and Vivlamore Companies
Bill Vivlamore age 37 Education: Lathrop High School, Fairbanks
Todd Paris/Paris Photography
Community work: Alaska Scottish RiteCare Foundation, Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, Community Clean Up, HIPOW, American Heart Association Family: Amazing Wife Danielle; daughters Riley (12) and Jordyne (9), and son Spencer (7) Hometown: Born in Saranac Lake New York and grew up between in New York, Florida and Fairbanks Current city: Fairbanks What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? Spending quality time at our family cabin at Harding Lake What is your most memorable Alaska experience? July 4, 1986. We had moved to Alaska from Florida less than a month prior. We took a family trip to Denali and got snowed on! I was only 11 years old, but I was pretty sure at that point that my parents were crazy. (In 100 words or less) Name the person you most respect and why. My father Mike. He has been my mentor in the business world for many years. As a young man, if asked what I was going to do when I grew up, my answer was, “anything but work for my old man!” I was already working in the business when I graduated and decided to give it a shot. The rest is history. I like to joke about the fact that he works for me now! The biggest thing that he instilled in me was a strong work ethic! In the end of the day, if you set your sights and give it everything you have you will be successful. It rings true in all parts of life. I appreciate the opportunities I have been given and hope that I’ve earn everything I’ve received along the way. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Traveling and spending time with my family Favorite quote: “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” — Vince Lombardi What was your first job? Warehouse helper at Frontier Plumbing Supply What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Overcoming the perception of the being the owner’s kid! I’ve overcome it by years of being the first one to work and the last one to leave and earning the respect of people by working for it. Your company is involved in supplying nearly every producing mine in the state. How have you achieved this? By hiring the best people and giving them the resources they need to do the best job for our customers! Besides Fairbanks and Anchorage, you also have as store in Guam.
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Please describe how this venture came about, and the similarities between needs in Alaska and a remote island like Guam. What first attracted us to the Guam market was the relocation of Marines from Japan to the Territory of Guam. We are very strong in construction material supply to projects that require domestically manufactured products. The Guam market is similar in many ways to the Alaskan markets, remote logistics, domestic requirements and the importance of quality service. What did you learn working your way up in the family business after starting as a laborer? I’m not sure that it’s the same for all family businesses, but I was held to a much higher standard than any other employee. It forced me to succeed or move on; and it allowed me to build respect of the people who worked with me. As a major fundraiser in the community, what experience has been most rewarding for you? The Alaskan community has been very good to me and my family!! It feels great to be able to give back in so many ways. Seeing funds at work… hearing from the parents of the children we are able to help and knowing the benefits are changing their lives. As a parent and Alaskan this is very important to me.
Business Development Officer, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development
Gretchen Wieman Fauske age 32 Education: Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.; study abroad at James Cook University, Townsville, Australia; and, School for the Field Studies, Turks and Caicos, British West Indies. Community work: Municipality of Anchorage Library Advisory Board, United Way, Anchorage Downtown Partnership Marketing Committee.
Adam Elliott Photography
Family: Husband D.J. Fauske; French bulldog Grover; parents Joel and Kay Wieman; brother Eric Wieman; in-laws Dan and Elaine Fauske Hometown/current city: Anchorage What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? My favorite place in Alaska is wherever my family is. I love everything that Alaska offers, but it’s richer and more special because of the people I get to share it with. Name the person you most respect and why. My husband, DJ, lives with Type 1 diabetes. Before meeting him I hadn’t been close to someone with a chronic illness, and had always taken good health for granted. I’ve learned how much something like diabetes can impact every part of someone’s life, and I have so much respect for people like my husband who don’t let it define them. Although some days are harder than others, DJ manages his diabetes with humor, hard work, and a great team of healthcare providers. It’s a part of who is he is, but it isn’t all that he is. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? A year ago I started a blog, www.GretchenLovesAnchorage.com. Blogging has been an adventure since I first clicked “publish.” It’s somewhat terrifying to put yourself out there, [but] once I started “doing” I never regretted it – I’ve learned so much about Anchorage, met so many fascinating people, and am constantly inspired by our amazing community. I fall in love with Anchorage again and again, and there is still more to discover. Favorite quote: “The aim of life is to love, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.” — Henry Miller What was your first job? Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking doing everything from watering the flowers and going on coffee runs to doing inventory and helping customers pick out cross country skies. It was a wonderful first job, and taught me that good customer service and treating your employees well are two of the most important things to get right in business. Who is your favorite superhero? Although I had an affinity for She-Ra when I was five, I’m more inclined to be impressed by everyday superheroes. A friend of mine, Leah Boltz, is a mother and full-time professional. She learned that Anchorage didn’t have a fully inclusive park for children with disabilities, so she formed a group called Parks for All, raised the necessary funds, and spent her free time advocating for the project. The park will be finished and ready for play this summer! Helping
improve our community is so much cooler than having x-ray vision or being able to walk through walls. What did you learn about Alaska while working for Sen. Lisa Murkowski D.C.? There was just so much that I didn’t even know that I didn’t know! One of my biggest takeaways was the importance of bi-partisanship. This seems to be happening less and less as our political parties grow more rigid, but I see Alaska’s senators leading the way in reaching across partisan lines and it makes me proud of our state for electing such reasonable representatives! I also learned that the federal government plays an inordinately large role in deciding the future of Alaska, sometimes without understanding the unique challenges that we face. We have some of the best-managed natural resources in the country, and instead of limiting our ability to develop these resources, the federal government should use Alaska as an example of responsible resource development. Finally, I learned that no matter where I go or how far I travel, Alaska is and always will be my home. Describe your efforts in the Commerce Department to promote Alaska-made goods. Almost any business success story makes me want to skip around the office with joy — I love learning about people who have the guts, grit, and belief in themselves to turn a dream into reality. Cities like Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks already have similar “buy local” programs in place, and by expanding to a statewide level we will encourage even more Alaskans to spend their money in-state and keep it circulating in our economy. As the chair of the Anchorage Library Board, how do you see your role in the current effort to remodel Loussac Library? Libraries are changing, and although the way we use libraries has changed, the building structure of Loussac hasn’t. I hope to see our libraries become a true “third place” for our community – a place that isn’t work, and isn’t home, but where you are always welcome. I believe that with the Loussac Generational Renewal, the library will become even more of an anchor destination for creative, intellectual, and just plain fun community life in Anchorage.
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Vice President Government Relations, Chenega CorpORATION
Kristina Woolston Adam Elliott Photography
age 39 Education: Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Native American Studies from Dartmouth College. Community work: Breast Cancer Focus, Inc.; Fur Rondezvous; ChangePoint Cold Weather Emergency Shelter; Downtown Soup Kitchen; YoungLife; Junior Achievement Family: StudHub, Tim Woolston; Remarkable Children: Noah (7), Charlotte (6), Stepdaughters Savannah (18) and Shelby (14). Spastic dog, Hudson Hometown: Born in Anchorage, raised in Naknek Current city: Anchorage What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? My favorite place would have to be the beaches of the Naknek River in my hometown. I say this because of an observation my husband shared with me a few years ago. He said all the layers of work, travel and running a hectic household seemed to wash away with the ebb and flow of the Naknek River tide. That seems like a pretty great place if it can have such an effect on a person. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? Call me cheesy, but it truly is my first date with my husband. I will forever remember that day, which marked the beginning of our journey. The Beatles summed up our journey in their classic song “The Long and Winding Road.” Name the person you most respect and why. Ten years ago my oldest brother, Tom, died in a plane crash. Everyone in my family handled this tragedy with grace, love and faith. But my sister-in-law, Lucy, has inspired me as she has raised three incredible children, who at the time of my brother’s death were 8, 9, and 12. Lucy focused on instilling honesty, integrity, a great work ethic, and love and compassion, in my nieces and nephew, despite the loss they, and our entire family, struggled to cope with. Today, my nieces are in college and my nephew is in a master electrician’s apprenticeship with the IBEW. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Downhill skiing with my family. Favorite quote: “Generous to a fault? I don’t think that is possible.” — Tim Woolston What was your first job? As with everyone in my family, I worked in our family commercial fishing operation in Bristol Bay. I started by hauling one fish at a time up the beach, working my way up to running an operation. My scars and bad back are a daily reminder of what a hard day’s work really means. Who is your favorite superhero? Wonder Woman. (Disappointed Nordstrom still doesn’t carry the deflecting bangles).
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What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? My biggest challenge is the struggle of being a working mom who travels a great deal. My job takes me regularly to Washington, DC, and many locations around the globe, which I love. But it also means I sometimes miss the finer points of my childrens’ experiences-nuances and details you cannot glean from Skype or FaceTime. At the end of the day, I can only hope my children see the enthusiasm and energy I invest in their hopes and dreams and education, as well as my work, and that they have something they are passionate about in their own lives. Please describe how your background growing up in an Alaska village has driven your career. My parents were/are a part of every facet of my community…like so many in a small village, they did everything; they started a church, served on the school board, hosted youth groups, volunteered as firefighters and foster parents, and my Dad served on dozens of statewide and federal boards on fisheries, economic development, subsistence, and the Bristol Bay Native Corp. Board of Directors. For many years I accepted professional opportunities, not realizing until I came to Chenega there was a common theme of working toward economically healthy communities. The focus of my career started with my parents and my community, and my goal going forward is to be more intentional and strategic about supporting economic independence in Alaska’s rural communities. What is the most memorable observation you’ve heard from a visitor from Outside who you have taken to a rural Alaska village? How have these visits helped change attitudes about the unique needs of Alaska? In my profession I am often given the opportunity to host Senate and Congressional Member and Staff delegations from Washington, D.C., to rural Alaska. On these fly-in trips to villages there is an unmistakable “aha” moment for Outsiders. It could be when they learn there is no grocery store, or the price tag of a round trip ticket to a hospital, or the barriers to economic development. In that See WOOLSTON, Page 50
Director, Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center, U.S. Forest Service
Kevin Wright age 33 Education: Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from UA Fairbanks Community work: Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center, a non-profit community partnership with the U.S. Forest Service
Adam Elliott Photography
Family: Wife Paula; son Tasman (7 months) Hometown/current city: Born and raised in Anchorage What is your favorite place in Alaska and why? The numerous places I haven’t yet explored. What is your most memorable Alaska experience? Traversing Denali in 2003. It was my second trip to Denali and my first time summiting. We got to the top, a moving experience by itself, then descended down the north side to the road. In 3 days we dropped 17,000 feet, going from severe winter temperatures, dropping off the glacier into dry summer tundra, and walking the last 18 miles out to Wonder Lake. The trip involves difficult river crossings, caribou and bear encounters, mosquitoes, and miles of wilderness. Name the person you most respect and why. Gov. Jay Hammond — for being a complete Alaskan and statesman. He was a politician and leader, but never lost his bush Alaskan ties. Hammond didn’t have the traditional background of a politician and that showed in his ability to put the people’s interests before business interests. Following his civic service he retired to the true bush Alaska that he always loved. What is your favorite pastime or hobby away from work? Anything that gets me outside and covering ground. Skiing, mountain biking, hiking, rafting, rock climbing, scuba diving… Favorite quote: “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” What was your first job? Paper route, the Anchorage Times. Who is your favorite superhero? Spiderman – He was a photojournalist and climber, both of which I can relate to. What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Professionally, one of my biggest challenges has been building experience in a field where experience is all that matters. No matter how smart you are or how much education you have, if you don’t have years of first hand experience under your belt then you don’t have much credibility as an avalanche specialist or climbing ranger. With just over 10 years in the industry, I’m just now getting to the point where my experience is adequate to take a leadership role. In a high consequence job, getting that experience requires making mistakes and keeping those mistakes in the non-fatal category. The way to overcome that challenge is to work under experienced mentors, study and understand how others have made mistakes in the mountains, and never be afraid to turn around if something isn’t right. The mountains will always be there, and we can always come back on a safer day.
What is it like being lined out of a helicopter on a rescue attempt at 18,000 feet at Denali? The mission was a roller coaster of emotions ranging from fear of the inherent risks, to a strong desire to complete the mission and hopefully save a life, to incredible awe of the beauty around me. The pilot and I were able to rehearse the flight approach multiple times and feel the high altitude winds, easing my fears. When I clipped to the line underneath the helicopter and was picked up, all the training made the sequence second nature. Despite the stressful nature of the situation I was able to look around at the stunning scenery, a view nobody gets except from the comfort of pressurized aircraft. The stillness and quiet, cold air, evening alpenglow reflecting off the mountains, and a mile of open air beneath my feet was a unique and amazing experience. How did you get involved with the Avalanche Center? What do you enjoy most about getting out in the field? I worked full time for 8 years on the Alyeska ski patrol and snow safety teams, the best full immersion avalanche job available. The Chugach NF Avalanche Information Center is one of the primary avalanche resources in the Girdwood region, so it was a natural move to go from ski area avalanche mitigation to backcountry recreational forecasting. Avalanche forecasting is a very dynamic, hands on kind of work that combines scientific thinking with manual outdoor labor. We can be working outside in driving rain, whiteout fog, minus-20 cold, 50 mph wind, or beautiful calm sunny winter days. Every day is different and challenging. What has inspired you to do so much volunteer work on educating skiers and snowmachiners about avalanche danger? I was a first responder to an avalanche in Girdwood in 2006. A young man with a pregnant wife died after triggering an avalanche while backcountry skiing. I realized how difficult it was to predict that event, despite having all the best information available. I believe in our need to enjoy the mountains, challenge ourselves, and take calculated risks, but most avalanche deaths are preventable. Just by following a few simple rules will reduce avalanche exposure dramatically, and a little more education will bring it down even further. The real tragic deaths are when people don’t even realize that they are taking a risk, and that’s where we need to focus most of our education resources.
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Museum leadership has wisely chosen to invest in our website. We treat the site like sourdough starter: We constantly refresh it so it stays active. Since 2009 we’ve redesigned the site, added online ticketing and fundraising, and undergone search engine optimization. In 2012, the museum’s website drew 222,500 unique visitors, a 290% increase over the last five years. As our web traffic steadily increases, our online box office purchases increase proportionately, so we know our site is inspiring people to enjoy our educational exhibitions and programs. How have you used social media and other strategies to generate interest in the museum? What has been your most effective technique? At the Anchorage Museum, social media metrics tell us that our followers are most excited about behind-thescenes posts. People want to know: How’d they get that airplane inside the building? What happens when the baby alligators get too big for the tank? How much money do you collect from the atrium’s wishing fountain, and what do you do with that money? These types of posts require the marketing team to do a little reporting, but the engagement with our community is absolutely worth it.
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I got my pilot’s license and bought my first small plane in 2002 (which was before I bought my first house — my Dad convinced me that I could sleep in a plane, but I couldn’t fly a house.) So far, the most difficult flying experience I’ve had has been teaching my Dad to fly! We’re both used to being in charge — so flying together with two sets of controls for one plane keeps it interesting. What is the coolest thing you’ve seen flying across Alaska? The expression on the face of the Mig pilot who flew under my Cessna. One day I was flying with my Mom across Cook Inlet. About half way across the Inlet, ATC radioed me to “Climb immediately!” My first plane was a Cessna 150, and they’re not exactly a performance aircraft. ATC’s calls became more urgent, but I explained I was already climbing as fast as my plane could go. We soon learned the reason for ATC’s urgency —when we saw a Mig headed straight for us. Elmendorf was hosting an international training exercise — and the Mig passed so close that we could actually see the pilot’s face for a split second!
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a Porsche engine attached to your tandem bike or racing behind you on a ski course. These athletes are exceptional in their motivation and drive. What did it mean to you to become the first UAA Hall of Fame inductee for Alpine sports? I was honored, of course. It was a mix of being humbled and proud. More importantly, I felt that this recognition would inspire, motivate, and empower more female athletes — especially those from abroad — to dream big dreams and to reach for their goals. How does being an athlete yourself aid in your career as a physical therapist? As an athlete, I’m able to bridge the gap between physical therapy, injury prevention, and peak performance. I attend my clients’ training sessions to consult on technique and performance enhancement. I stay involved in the Alaska sports community and I’m able to reach out to a wide population of athletes. My athletes know me, and they are comfortable talking to me about their musculoskeletal issues. They know that I’ve been in similar situations myself. How has physical therapy advanced since you were a collegiate athlete? Physical therapy as a profession has changed tremendously since I was a collegiate athlete. Physical therapists have became experts in movement related dysfunctions, musculoskeletal issues, injury prevention, and wellness. We work side-by-side with physicians to help our clients reach their goals and to help them return to sports and active lifestyles.
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Please describe the affordable housing success story you are most proud of. Leasing 120 units of mixed income housing at Loussac Place in mid-town Anchorage. This is the largest development that I have been involved in and by far the most complex, with multiple compliance requirements and a variety of income eligibility guidelines for each of the 30 buildings. We leased the property in phases, as the contractors turned completed buildings over to us; we moved residents in, while construction on the site was still on going. The entire lease up process was a juggling act for my team, making sure we had the right families ready to move in to the right units and on a tight timeline as dictated by the construction schedule and by some of the regulations that came with the financing of Loussac Place. We did it! Our last building was turned over to us in December and we moved our last family into their home in January. Today we are at full occupancy with 120 families now living in quality, energy efficient, affordable housing.
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or individuals need to be completed. We work with those entities to determine a cost to complete the job. We then advertise the job to our players until we have the adequate number to complete the job. Coaches and/or booster club members supervise the players while they perform the work to satisfaction. Player accounts were created to record each player’s earnings from these jobs and fundraisers. The players may use these funds toward any football related item, such as paying for shoes or their Starter Pack for example. I have been very proud that the program has grown each year. I hope to have all of our players eventually working to earn what they need in order to play.
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were teaching all three languages in our region, and classes were full, and our people did not have to pay to have their language back. There is so much work to do in the realm of public perception about what has happened to our languages, what we can do about it, and how much current and historical value there is in our languages. We are our languages, so without them we are nothing. Please describe your experience in helping produce Shakespeare’s Macbeth performed in Tlingit that was seen in both Juneau and Washington, D.C. I was a language coach, first of all, and a hack of an actor secondly. A group of elders, led by the late K’oox (Johnny Marks), translated a paraphrased version of the play into Tlingit, and one of the most important roles I had was translating that back to the actors. When the language went through the Tlingit way of seeing the world, it changed a lot of the concepts and completely overhauled the way language was functioning in the play. I also brought some ceremony into the play. We were talking about dangerous things (murder, witches, kóoshdaakhaa), and people were having strange dreams and bad feelings. The ceremonies helped keep us even, focused, and away from danger.
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moment Alaska gains an individual of influence who “gets it.” Alaska needs as many Outside enlightened policy and lawmakers in our corner as possible. With Naknek as your hometown, how do you feel Alaska can balance environmental concerns with resource development? Alaskans are resilient and aren’t afraid to face challenges. Regardless of whether Naknek is my hometown, the question we, as Alaskans, should consider is how we strike the appropriate balance between the environment and development to address the social and economic challenges within my region. While you cannot conserve or develop your way to independence, a balance must be struck to continue to provide for the social, environmental, economic, and educational needs in my region. It will take everyone working together to find a pragmatic solution. I challenge people to look at other models that have worked across the state; good things happen in different regions because people are working together to find a solution. They may agree to disagree on the philosophical points, but the political jousting will alienate groups of stakeholders. Instead, it is important to find the strength to work together, which is one of our inherent valuescooperation. The future viability of our families, communities and region are at stake. While these are complex issues, it will take many solutions to address the underlying challenges in our communities.
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The easy oil on the North Slope is gone, and getting to the remaining oil will be a challenge that will require the state and the industry to work together – for Alaska’s future. 2013 TOP FORTY | UNDER 40® ★ PAGE 53