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Governor Parnell Announces Appointments to Boards and Commissions: August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today announced appointments to the State Vocational Rehabilitation Committee, Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, and Violent Crimes Compensation Board.

State Vocational Rehabilitation Committee

Governor Parnell appointed Margie Medeiros and Stacy Niwa, and reappointed Robert Purvis and Mary Ann Pruitt to the State Vocational Rehabilitation Committee. The committee promotes employment of people with disabilities by creating statewide interest in the rehabilitation and employment of people with disabilities and fosters cooperation with public and private groups in this field.

Medeiros, of Juneau, is the owner of Raven Stiches. She is also an entrepreneur consultant for the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) Center for Human Development, working on the BrainWorks Project. Medeiros is trained in construction management and business. She is appointed to a consumer seat.

Niwa, of Anchorage, is a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the State of Alaska. She has worked in vocational rehabilitation since 2006. Niwa is a member of the Hope Community Resources Board. She received a bachelor’s degree in human services and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from West Virginia University. Niwa is appointed to a seat reserved for a vocational rehabilitation counselor.

Purvis, of Sitka, is the owner of Low Vision Tech Support, providing technology and computer access training for low-vision individuals. He is a retired professor for the University of Alaska Southeast and a former substitute teacher for the Sitka School District. Purvis is a member and chair of Southeast Alaska Independent Living. He received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education from Western Washington University, a master’s degree in counseling from Seattle University, as well as a doctorate from the University of Texas, Austin. Purvis is reappointed to the committee as a community rehabilitation program provider.

Pruitt, of Anchorage, is a managing partner at PS Strategies. Previously, she worked in marketing and sales with a variety of Anchorage media companies, including Morris Communications, New Northwest Broadcasters, KTVA CBS 11, and KYES TV 5. She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and is an active member of the Anchorage community. Pruitt is reappointed to a seat reserved for a business person.

Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee

Governor Parnell appointed Monica Heintzman and reappointed Austin Stevenson to the Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee. The committee assists in strengthening and improving the social services and juvenile justice systems at all levels.

Heintzman, of Wasilla, is a junior at Colony High School and is active in Mat-Su Youth Court. Heintzman is appointed to seat representing a youth under 24.

Stevenson, of Palmer, is currently the talented and gifted coordinator for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. Previously, he worked as an education specialist with the Southeast Regional Resource Center, in addition to prior service as an assistant curriculum director and social studies teacher. Active in the community, Stevenson volunteers with Young Life as a team leader and area director. He received a bachelor’s degree from Houghton College, a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Scranton, and is working toward a doctorate from Grand Canyon University. Stevenson is reappointed to an at-large seat.

Violent Crimes Compensation Board

Governor Parnell appointed Dr. George Brown to the Violent Crimes Compensation Board.  The board facilitates and permits payment of compensation to innocent victims of violent crimes.

Brown, of Juneau, is a pediatrician at Glacier Pediatrics and a medical provider at Juneau’s Child Advocacy Center. An advocate of child protection, Brown is on the Head Start Health Advisory Committee and is a co-founder of the Vermont Safe Kids Coalition. He received a medical doctorate from Bowman Gray Medical School and completed his pediatric residency at the University of Hawaii, Children’s Hospital. Brown is appointed to a seat representing a physician.

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