Governor Announces New Board Appointments
August 29, 2011, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today announced appointments to the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve Advisory Council, Alaska Commission on Aging, Alaska Safety Advisory Council, Alaska State Emergency Response Commission, Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board, Prince William Sound Oil Spill Recovery Institute Advisory Board, State Commission for Human Rights, State Council on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, and State Vocational Rehabilitation Committee.
Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve Advisory Council
Governor Parnell appointed Dean Risley to the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve Advisory Council. The council assists the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in the development and monitoring of a management plan for the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve.
Risley, of Haines, has been a commercial fisherman since 1987. A U.S. Army veteran, he is also currently the chairman of the Chilkat Fish and Game Advisory Board and a member of the local harbor advisory board in Haines. Risley is appointed to a seat reserved for a member of the Upper Lynn Canal Fish and Game Advisory Committee.
Alaska Commission on Aging
Governor Parnell reappointed Marie Darlin to the Alaska Commission on Aging. The 11-member commission makes recommendations to the governor and legislature regarding legislation, regulations, and appropriations for programs and services that benefit older Alaskans. Members are appointed based on their knowledge of and demonstrated interest in the concerns of Alaska’s seniors.
Darlin, of Juneau, is retired from a career that included work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Juneau School District. She served on the Juneau School Board and the Juneau Commission on Aging, and is on the board of Senior Citizens Support Services, Inc. Darlin played a key role in forming the Alaska Federation of Active and Retired Federal Employees and served as president. She has been an active AARP volunteer for many years, and she received a First Lady’s Volunteer Award in 1996 and a Lifetime Service Award from the Juneau Chamber of Commerce in 2002. Darlin is reappointed to a public seat.
Alaska Safety Advisory Council
Governor Parnell appointed Corey Baxter and reappointed Herbert Everett, Douglas Tansy, Michael Schowen, and David Talerico to the Alaska Safety Advisory Council. The council works with organizations to promote safety so that resources can be marshaled and used to reduce the menace of accidental death and injury.
Baxter, of Juneau, is the District 8 representative of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 302, a role he took on in 2010. From 2000 to 2010, he was a construction worker with Secon Construction. He also worked as an instructor for the Alaska Operating Engineers Training Trust from 2005 to 2008, and a grader operator for the City of Juneau from 2003 to 2009. Baxter completed his IUOE apprenticeship program in 2000, and received a construction job training course certificate in 1996. He is appointed to a seat reserved for a member of the labor community.
Everett, of Anchorage, has been director of safety and workers’ compensation for Westmark Hotels, Inc., since 1991. He served 27 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring in 1989 as chief of ground safety at Elmendorf Air Force Base. He was a safety engineer for VECO Inc. during the Exxon Valdez oil spill response and later safety coordinator for the Anchorage Telephone Utility. Everett holds safety and security professional certificates from the World Safety Organization, is past chairman of the Alaska Federal Safety and Health Council, and has been a member or officer of many other safety organizations, including the Denali Safety Council, American Society of Safety Engineers, National Safety Council, and International Society for Falls Prevention and Veterans of Safety. He has served on the Safety Advisory Council since 1992, is the current chairman, and is reappointed to a seat representing industry.
Tansy, of Fairbanks, recently became the business representative for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1547. Before his current work at the IBEW Hall, he worked as an electrical superintendent, wireman general foreman, foreman, journeyman, and apprentice through the IBEW Local 1547. In 2008, he was a member of the IBEW Local 1547 Contract Negotiations Committee. From 1996 to 2002, he volunteered as an assistant wrestling coach at Lathrop High School in Fairbanks. Tansy is reappointed to a seat reserved for a member of the labor community.
Schowen, of Anchorage, is a corporate safety officer with Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, a position he took on in 2011. Prior to that, he worked as a senior safety advisor with BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. from 2007 to 2010. He also works as an adjunct professor of safety and health compliance at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Schowen has held numerous positions as a safety professional in Alaska, including safety director for the Municipality of Anchorage, safety manager for Chugach Electric Association, and training officer for the Alaska Department of Labor. Schowen earned a bachelor’s degree in management from Marylhurst College in Oregon, and a master’s degree in business organizational management from the University of La Verne in California. He has served on the council since 2000, and is reappointed to a seat representing industry.
Talerico, of Healy, is the mayor of the Denali Borough. He worked at the Usibelli Coal Mine for 22 years and is the former owner of the Denali Riverview Inn. Talerico was a basketball coach for the Tri-Valley School and served on the Upper Railbelt School Board. He was named the 2009 Sportsman of the Year by the Clear Sky Sportsmen’s Club, and received the 2008 Vic Fischer Local Government Leadership Award. Talerico is reappointed to a local government seat.
Alaska State Emergency Response Commission
Governor Parnell reappointed Thomas Vaden and George Vakalis to the Alaska State Emergency Response Commission. The commission facilitates the preparation and implementation of all emergency plans prepared by state agencies, the statewide, interjurisdictional, and local plans prepared under state law, designates boundaries of emergency planning districts, and establishes local planning committees for each district.
Vaden, of Nome, has worked as a health aide trainer for the Norton Sound Health Corporation since 1999. From 1985 to 1999, he worked as a correctional officer with the State of Alaska. Active in his community, Vaden has also been an adjunct faculty member at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a substitute teacher for the Nome School District, a CPR instructor and trainer for Norton Sound Regional Hospital, and an emergency medical services provider for the Nome Volunteer Ambulance Service. He also served as a captain in the U.S. Army. Vaden earned a bachelor’s in elementary education from Ouachita Baptist University. He is reappointed to a seat reserved for a member of a local emergency planning committee.
Vakalis, of Anchorage, is the municipal manager for the Municipality of Anchorage and the former garrison commander for the U.S. Army in Alaska. He has also worked as the assistant superintendent for the Anchorage School District. Vakalis holds master’s degrees in public administration and personnel management, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is also an inductee into the U.S. Infantry Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame. Vakalis is reappointed to a seat reserved for a member of a local emergency planning committee.
Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board
Governor Parnell appointed Amy Steele and Rick Traini to the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board. The board members serve on quasi-judicial hearing panels that hear and resolve disputed benefits claims.
Steele, of Anchorage, is the senior claims coordinator at Chenega Corporation, where she has worked since 2009. Prior to her work with Chenega, Steele worked as a senior claims examiner with Alaska National Insurance Company. Prior to that, she worked as a principal member of the risk management staff at Allegis Group Inc. Steele is appointed to a seat reserved for an Alaskan from the 3rd Judicial District who represents employers.
Traini, of Anchorage, is the negotiations coordinator for the Teamster’s Local 959, and formerly served as executive director. Prior to that, Traini worked as an information service technician with the United Parcel Service. He attended the University of Alaska Anchorage and Brigham Young University. Traini is appointed to a seat representing the labor community.
Prince William Sound Oil Spill Recovery Institute Advisory Board
Governor Parnell appointed Andres Morales to the Prince William Sound Oil Spill Recovery Institute Advisory Board. The board identifies and develops the best available techniques, equipment, and materials for dealing with oil spills in the Arctic and subarctic marine environment, and augments federal and state damage assessment efforts to understand the long term effects of Arctic and subarctic oil spills.
Morales, of Valdez, was recently named the Ship Escort and Response Vessel System (SERVS) Director for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. He has held a variety of roles with Alyeska since joining them in 2000, including oil movements and storage supervisor and manager. He has also served as a member of the Valdez United Way board of directors. Morales is appointed to a seat reserved for a member of the oil and gas industry.
State Commission for Human Rights
Governor Parnell appointed Christa Bruce-Kotrc to the State Commission for Human Rights. The commission works to eliminate and prevent discrimination. The commission also works to process complaints from the public, hold hearings and order appropriate relief, and make an overall assessment, at least every three years, of the progress toward equal employment opportunity by every state department.
Bruce-Kotrc, of Ketchikan, works for Peace Health of Ketchikan Foundation, although she spent most of her career as a teacher and ultimately retired from the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District. Bruce-Kotrc holds several advanced degrees, including a doctor of humane letters, in addition to master's degrees in music, educational leadership, English, and educational technology. Bruce-Kotrc was a Fulbright Fellow in administration in the Czech Republic and completed graduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University as well as Lincoln College in Oxford, U.K. She is appointed to a seat reserved for a member of the public.
State Council on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
Governor Parnell appointed Jessie Luiken to the State Council on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. The council works to facilitate coordination among state government agencies, local education agencies, and military installations concerning the state's participation in the interstate compact. The compact focuses on removing barriers to educational success imposed on children of military families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents.
Luiken, of Anchorage, is currently home schooled and is a high school senior. Her father’s career in the U.S. Air Force has taken their family throughout the United States and overseas. Since 2006, she has participated in a variety of swimming teams. In 2008, she was a member of the Elmendorf downhill ski team. An avid musician, Luiken is a classical violinist and recently performed in Shane’s Purple Heart Benefit Concert, which raised money for wounded U.S. soldiers. She is appointed to a seat reserved for a student.
State Vocational Rehabilitation Committee
Governor Parnell appointed Miok Wolbers to the State Vocational Rehabilitation Committee, which addresses issues regarding rehabilitation and employment of people with disabilities.
Wolbers, of Anchorage, has worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor with the State of Alaska since 2002. Since 1999, she has also been a teacher at the Anchorage Korean Language School. From 1997 to 1999, Wolbers worked as a bilingual tutor with the Anchorage School District. She holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and a master’s degree in guidance counseling, both from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Wolbers is appointed to a seat reserved for a State of Alaska vocational rehabilitation counselor.