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Governor Parnell Announces Board Appointments


March 23, 2011, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Parnell today announced appointments to the Alaska Pioneers' Homes Advisory Committee, Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, Alaska Mental Health Board, Statewide Suicide Prevention Council, Alaska Workforce Investment Board, the Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special Education, and the Board of Directors for the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority/Alaska Energy Authority.

Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority/Alaska Energy Authority

Governor Parnell appointed Hugh Short and Ron Arvin to the board of directors of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) and Alaska Energy Authority (AEA). AIDEA works to promote, develop, and advance economic growth and diversification in Alaska, and AEA works to reduce the cost of energy in Alaska.

Short, of Anchorage, is currently the president and chief executive officer of Alaska Growth Capital, a subsidiary of Arctic Slope Regional Corporation that offers economic development financing and consulting. Prior to his work at Alaska Growth Capital, he worked as vice president of support services for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation in addition to serving as director of the Learning Center. Short also served as the mayor of the City of Bethel from 2002-2004, and was managing partner of Subway of Bethel LLC. A member of the Alaska Humanities Forum and Pacific Northern Academy, Short was named to Anchorage's Top Forty Under 40 in 2006. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Alaska Anchorage and is appointed to a seat reserved for the private sector.

Arvin, of Wasilla, is currently the president of RA Environmental Inc., providing international trade services, design, building contracting and other business development services. He also serves as a member of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly and is the deputy mayor of the borough. Arvin has been a member of the Taiwan-Alaska Trade Investment Cooperation Council since 2004 and is a former commissioner of Port MacKenzie. Arvin was named to the Alaska Journal of Commerce Top Forty Under 40 and is appointed to a seat reserved for the private sector.

Alaska Pioneers' Homes Advisory Committee

Governor Parnell appointed Hollis Hall to the Alaska Pioneers' Homes Advisory Board. The board conducts annual inspections of property and procedures of the Alaska Pioneers' Homes and recommends changes and improvements to the governor.

Hall, of Fairbanks, is the former director of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, an office he also formerly held at South Dakota State University. Hall also served as program leader for legislative affairs with the U.S. Department of Agriculture under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush. He holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University, and is appointed to a public seat.

Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee

Governor Parnell appointed Colleen Sullivan-Leonard to the Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee. The committee assists in strengthening and improving the social services and juvenile justice systems at all levels.

Sullivan-Leonard, of Wasilla, is the owner and operator of CSLeonard & Associates and serves as a member of the Wasilla City Council. She is also a member of the Wasilla Chamber of Commerce, the National Rifle Association and the Sunrise Rotary. A former member of the Mat-Su Boys and Girls Club Advisory Committee, Sullivan-Leonard is appointed to a seat reserved for a local elected official.

Alaska Mental Health Board

Governor Parnell appointed Daisy May Barrera, and reappointed Andrea Schmook, Daniel Meddleton, Barry Creighton and Nina Allen, to the Alaska Mental Health Board. The board is the state planning and coordinating body for federal and state laws relating to health services for persons with mental disorders.

Schmook, of Anchorage, is the director of consumer-driven services for Anchorage Community Mental Health Services. She is also a former contract consultant for the Alaska Psychiatric Institute and a former director of consumer affairs and development for the Illinois Office of Mental Health. Schmook is the co-founder and president of Mental Health Consumers of Alaska and is reappointed to a seat reserved for consumers of mental health services.

Meddleton, of Anchorage, is a retired health and mental health services administrator who has served as the administrator for the Alaska Psychiatric Institute, the Juneau Pioneers' Home and the North Slope Borough Health Department. Meddleton also served as associate administrator for Providence Hospital, and served as an adjunct professor for the University of LaVerne. He holds a master's degree in hospital administration from the University of Minnesota and is reappointed to a seat reserved for a family member of a consumer of mental health services.

Creighton, of Kasilof, is currently the president of Ionia, Inc., a residential and consumer-run therapeutic program. He is also a member of Peninsula Community Health Services of Alaska. Creighton earned a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York, and is reappointed to a seat reserved for a consumer of mental health services.

Allen, of Homer, is the chief executive officer of South Peninsula Behavioral Health Services, which does business as and is commonly called the Center, where she formerly served as the Adult and Emergency Services Program coordinator. She is the former development director and clinical director of Norton Sound Health Corporation's behavioral health services. Allen earned a bachelor's and master's degree in social work from the University of Illinois and is reappointed to a seat reserved for a provider of mental health services.  

Barrera, of Bethel, has more than 30 years of experience in counseling. She has served in numerous roles for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, Cook Inlet Tribal Association, Association of Village Council Presidents and the Tundra Women's Coalition. Barrera is appointed to a public seat.

Statewide Suicide Prevention Council

Governor Parnell appointed Teressa "Tessa" Baldwin to the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council. The council serves in an advisory capacity to the governor and the Legislature with respect to what actions can and should be taken to improve health and wellness throughout the state by reducing suicide and its effect on individuals, families and communities.

Baldwin, of Sitka, is a junior at Mt. Edgecumbe High School, where she serves as secretary of the student body and holds a 3.75 grade point average. Originally from Kotzebue, she also has attended "Mending the Net," a statewide suicide prevention summit, and worked with the Alaska Native Health Consortium on creating a suicide prevention media contest. While a member of the Association of Student Governments, Baldwin worked on suicide prevention programs in Alaskan schools. She formerly worked with Youth Alliance for a Healthier Alaska, and is appointed to a seat reserved for a secondary school student.

Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special Education

Governor Parnell appointed David Flynn and Justine Sheehan to the Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special Education. The council is the interdepartmental planning and coordinating agency of the Department of Health and Social Services, the Department of Education and Early Development, and other departments that deliver services to people with disabilities or provide special education.

Flynn, of Delta Junction, is the father of two children with disabilities and is a missile defense contracting engineer at Fort Greely. He is a committee member for the Deltana Community Services Partnership, and formerly served on its board of directors. Flynn graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in civil engineering, and is appointed to a seat reserved for an Alaskan with relatives who require special education.

Sheehan, of Barrow, received a certificate of attendance from the Kiita Learning Center. She also served her community as a volunteer at the Barrow Hockey and Curling Association as well as the North Slope Borough Veterinary Clinic. Sheehan has participated in the Key Campaign and is appointed as a consumer of services.
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