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Rasmuson Foundation Announces 2011 Sabbatical Recipients


Anchorage – Seven Alaska nonprofit leaders have been selected for the 2011 Rasmuson Sabbatical Program, and they are:

Kaye Kanne, Juneau Family Birth Center

Jennifer Burkmire, Matanuska Community Health Care

Elaine Dahlgren, Volunteers of America of Alaska

Kristie Young, Native Village of Tetlin

Emily Ennis, Fairbanks Resource Agency

Mollie Boyer, Valley Community for Recycling Solutions

Ken Fate, Raven Radio Foundation

The Rasmuson Foundation Sabbatical Program supports nonprofit leaders in time away from the job. The program’s goal is to retain top-quality leaders in the sector by providing three- to six-month opportunities for rest, reflection and rejuvenation.

“Rasmuson Foundation believes that healthy nonprofit leaders are crucial to Alaska. Some of these executives lead organizations that deal daily with crisis. And all of them work in environments where the need is great but human and financial resources are thin. As a result, these leaders frequently experience emotional and physical effects from their jobs,” said Sammye Pokryfki, program officer of Rasmuson Foundation.

“The Sabbatical program offers nonprofit leaders an opportunity to step back to gain new perspectives and renew themselves,” Pokryfki said.

Emily Ennis, the longest-tenured executive in the 2011 Sabbatical cohort, agrees. “Regardless of one’s organizational skill level or professional discipline, the nonprofit arena is a demanding venue, often consuming the maximum of one’s time and energy.”

Ennis is executive director of Fairbanks Resource Agency, serving in her position for 23 years. During her three-month sabbatical, Ennis will focus on personal, creative endeavors and reconnect with her family and heritage. The Fairbanks Resource Agency provides services to children and adults of Interior Alaska with developmental disabilities and related impairments.

Mollie Boyer has been totally immersed in the world of trash for the past 12 years. As executive director of Valley Community for Recycling Solutions, Boyer has led a grass-roots movement committed to the ideals of recycling that has resulted in the newly opened Regional Resource Recovery and Training Park, a green building that functions as a collection and processing plant, recovered resources broker, and educational and training facility. During her sabbatical, she plans to travel and pursue personal interests.

Kaye Kanne is the executive director of Juneau Family Birth Center, an organization she started in 1996. The Center provides midwifery care, affordable and accessible health care, parenting education and support, and preventative counseling. Kanne plans to use her sabbatical for rest and rejuvenation, and for reconnecting with family.

Elaine Dahlgren has served as the president/CEO of Volunteers of America since 1996. Under her leadership, the organization recently opened a new substance abuse residential treatment facility for youth. Dahlgren will “rejuvenate mentally, spiritually and physically” during her sabbatical.

For the past 12 years, Kristie Young has served as the tribal administrator of Tetlin Village Council. In her role, she has advanced many projects to enhance the quality of life in her community and preserve its cultural and traditional values and way of life. Young plans to spend time with family and complete personal projects.

Jennifer Burkmire is the executive director of Matanuska Community Health Care (The Children’s Place) where she has worked since 2002. The Children’s Place is a child-friendly facility where personnel from many agencies meet to coordinate investigations of child abuse. Ms. Burkmire plans to use her sabbatical to regain life balance so that she “can continue to do the work I love for as long as possible.”

Ken Fate, the general manager and CEO of Raven Radio Foundation, will soon see the completion of a five-year, top-to-bottom renovation of the Cable House, a historic 1908 structure where his organization, Sitka’s public radio station KCAW, is located. Mr. Fate’s sabbatical comes after 19 years at the station, the past six as general manager. He plans to travel.

The next postmark deadline to apply for a Rasmuson Foundation Sabbatical is October 1, 2011. Details about the Sabbatical Program, guidelines for preparing a proposal and application materials are available online at www.rasmuson.org or by calling (907) 297-2700.  The toll free number within Alaska is 1-877-366-2700.

About the Foundation

The Rasmuson Foundation was created in May 1955 by Jenny Rasmuson to honor her late husband E.A. Rasmuson.  Through grantmaking and initiatives, the Foundation is a catalyst to promote a better life for all Alaskans.

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