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Governor Parnell Announces Board Appointments


May 18, 2011, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell today announced appointments to the Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, Alaska Retirement Management Board, Alaska Workforce Investment Board, Citizens Advisory Commission on Federal Areas in Alaska, Community Service Commission, Natural Resources Conservation and Development Board, Wood-Tikchik State Park Management Council, and Alaska Aerospace Corporation Board of Directors.

Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

Governor Parnell appointed Enlow Walker to the Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. The board acts in an advisory capacity to the Legislature, governor, and state agencies in the following areas: concerning matters regarding special problems affecting mental health that alcoholism or drug abuse may present; providing educational research and public informational activities; studying social problems and legal processes affecting rehabilitation; and the development of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation programs.

Walker, of North Pole, has been a family practice physician at Fairbanks Clinic since 1988, where he also currently serves as vice president. He is also the former health authority at the Fairbanks and Bethel youth facilities. Walker has worked with Fairbanks Pioneer Home, Fairbanks Medical Association, and Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Walker is the former commander of the 168th U.S. Air Force Clinic at Eielson Air Force Base. He is appointed to a seat reserved for a physician.

Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education

Governor Parnell appointed Andrew McConnell to the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education. The commission administers student loan programs; coordinates the development of comprehensive plans for the orderly, systematic growth of public and private postsecondary education; and advises as to the efficiency and effectiveness of all consortia and other cooperative agreements between the institutions of public and private higher education in the state.

McConnell, of Palmer, is a freshman at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and was nominated by the student body to serve on the commission. While in high school, McConnell served as the lead attorney, presiding judge, and president of the Mat-Su Youth Court, an organization dedicated to reducing recidivism rates among first-time juvenile offenders by operating a court system managed by their peers and supervised by the legal community. McConnell also works part-time as a graphic design assistant at UAA. Additionally, McConnell was the captain of the Palmer High School Ski Team and is the assistant manager of Alaska Motorcycle Adventures. He is appointed to a seat reserved for a student.

Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee

Governor Parnell appointed Maura Barry-Garland to the Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee. The committee advises the Department of Health and Social Services in strengthening and improving the social services and juvenile justice systems at all levels.

Barry-Garland, of Fairbanks, is the vice president of the Fairbanks North Star Youth Court, where she was named the 2010 youth attorney of the year. A junior at Lathrop High School, she is a straight-A student and is taking three advanced placement courses, and completing additional coursework through the University of Alaska Fairbanks via the AHEAD program. Barry-Garland is also active in student life, serving as the vice president of the Lathrop High School Key Club and the founder of the Lathrop High School Change for Change chapter, which raises money for charity. She also volunteers with the Fairbanks Literacy Council and the Fairbanks Food Bank. Barry-Garland is appointed to a seat reserved for an Alaskan under the age of 24.

Alaska Retirement Management Board

Governor Parnell reappointed Gail Schubert and Kristin Erchinger to the Alaska Retirement Management Board. The board's primary mission is to serve as the trustee of the assets of the state's retirement systems, the State of Alaska Supplemental Annuity Plan, the deferred compensation program for state employees, and the Alaska retiree health care trusts.

Schubert, of Anchorage, was first appointed to the board in 2005 and had previously served on the Alaska State Pension Investment Board since 1993. She has served as the president and CEO of the Bering Straits Native Corporation since 2010, and prior to that, served as the corporation's executive vice president and general counsel. An attorney, Schubert also served as counsel to Amodio, Stanley and Reeves LLC, and was a partner with Foster, Pepper, Rubini and Reeves, LLC. She was also a senior associate with Birch, Horton, Bittner and Cherot. Schubert's involvement in civic life includes service as a member of the board of directors of the Alaska Federation of Natives, the Alaska Native Heritage Center, the Alaska Native Justice Center, Akeela Treatment Services Inc., and as a member of the Alaska Rural Justice and Law Enforcement Commission. She earned a law degree and a master's of business administration from Cornell University, and earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Stanford University. Schubert is reappointed to a seat reserved for a member of the public.

Erchinger has served as the finance director for the City of Seward since 2000 and was acting city manager in 2002 and 2003. From 1989 to 1999, Erchinger served as the City of Seward's controller. She is a member of the Seward Community Health Center's board of directors, secretary of the Providence Alaska Region Ministry Board, and is a former Alaska Municipal League board member. Erchinger holds a master's of public administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage and a pair of bachelor's degrees from the University of Washington in international studies and in language and literature. She is reappointed to a seat reserved for a finance officer participating in the Public Employee Retirement System or the Teacher Retirement System.

Alaska Workforce Investment Board

Governor Parnell appointed Krisha Ross to the Alaska Workforce Investment Board. The board develops and oversees the implementation of a comprehensive state human resource investment system. The board works to promote an efficient, effective, and integrated system of employment education, and training programs and services so that Alaskans have the skills and opportunities necessary to earn a living wage and to meet the future business needs of the state.

Ross, of Anchorage, has worked for 13 years in the transportation industry, and is currently the human resources manager for Carlile Transportation Systems, Inc., an Alaskan logistics and transportation company. She has worked as a legal secretary and holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Montana. Ross is appointed to a seat that represents the private sector.

Citizens' Advisory Commission on Federal Areas in Alaska

Governor Parnell reappointed Sandor "Alex" Tarnai and Frank Woods III to the Citizens' Advisory Commission on Federal Areas in Alaska. The commission considers research and holds hearings on the management, operation, planning, development, and additions to federal management areas in Alaska to ensure consistency with federal law and congressional intent.

Tarnai, of Fairbanks, was first appointed to the board in 2007. He works as a hunting guide, trapper, subsistence hunter and fisherman, and has lived and worked in the Nowitna area for more than 33 years. Tarnai also works as a weather observer in Tanana for the National Weather Service and is a private pilot. He is reappointed to a public seat.

Woods, of Dillingham, was also originally appointed in 2007. He is a traditional hunter and commercial fisherman in Bristol Bay and works as subsistence coordinator for the Bristol Bay Native Association. Woods is a member of the Qayassiq Walrus Commission, a state-federal-Native cooperative group that manages the Round Island Walrus Hunt, and a member of the Bristol Bay Marine Mammal Council. A regional director of the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society and a director of Dillingham's Village Native Corporation, Woods is also a member of the Dillingham Search and Rescue squadron. He is reappointed to a public seat.

Community Service Commission

Governor Parnell appointed Myrna Gardner and Barbara Nickels to the Community Service Commission. The commission prepares a national service plan that develops a state system for recruiting and placing participants into service programs as well as providing outreach to community-based agencies that serve under-represented populations.

Gardner, of Anchorage, is currently the president and CEO of 3R Products and Services, a renewable energy resource provider, and the managing member of MGM Properties, LLC, a commercial and residential real estate company. Gardner was formerly vice president of Development for Gana'A-Yoo Services Corporation and served as the president and CEO of Kakivik Asset Management, a non-destructive testing and inspection firm. Previously, Gardner served in leadership capacities at a number of Alaska Native corporations and organizations. She holds a master's professional certification in federal contracting from George Washington University. She is appointed to a seat reserved for a member of the business community.

Nickels, of Nome, is the director of the Nome Chamber of Commerce Meetings and Conventions Division. She also served as the president and CEO of Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation Education Foundation. Active in the Nome community, Nickels is a past president and current member of the Nome School Board, the Nome Preschool Association, and the Nome Parent Teacher Student Association. Additionally, she was a past supervisor of the AmeriCorps VISTA program in Nome, and served as director of the Alaska Regional Development Organization. Nickels, who is appointed to a seat reserved for members of a community-based organization, is also a founding member of the Alaska Partnership for Economic Development.

Natural Resources Conservation and Development Board

Governor Parnell reappointed Bernie Karl and Carol Kenley to the Natural Resources Conservation & Development Board. The board deals with use of Alaska's soil, water, and land resources, and works to facilitate effective and orderly development of agricultural, forest, and grazing land.

Karl, of Fairbanks, was first appointed to the board in 2005. He has owned Chena Hot Springs Resort since 1998 as well as K&K Recycling, Inc. since 1984. Karl, who has a long history of project management in Alaska, managed the North Star Inn, oversaw temporary housing barges for Exxon Valdez Oil Spill cleanup teams, and managed a winter logging operation. Karl is the former vice chairman of the Alaska Reforestation Council, and is a member of the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Support Industry Alliance. He is the recipient of the North Slope Environmental Achievement Award, and is reappointed to a seat representing the Yukon and Tanana Valley area.

Kenley, of Palmer, was first appointed to the board in 2008. She is the owner of Kenley's Alaskan Vegetables and is a member of the Alaska State Fair Board of Directors. She has maintained a variety of leadership roles in the Palmer agricultural community, having been the president of the Mat-Su 4-H Volunteer Leaders, chairman of the Mat-Su Livestock Committee, president of the Palmer FFA Alumni, and a member of the Mat-Su Farm Bureau. Kenley, who is reappointed as a representative of Southcentral Alaska, is also a member of the Palmer Lion's Club and a coach for the state FFA Parliamentary Procedures teams. She was named Alaska Mother of the Year in 2008 by American Mothers Inc.

Wood-Tikchik State Park Management Council

Governor Parnell appointed Jody Seitz to the Wood-Tikchik State Park Management Council. The council develops a management plan for the park with advice and assistance from the Department of Natural Resources.

Seitz, of Dillingham, is the planning director for the City of Dillingham, a capacity in which she has served since 2007. Prior to her work for the city, Seitz was KDLG Radio's news director, a position she held beginning in 2001. A longtime journalist and researcher, she also worked for the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Department of Fish and Game. She was also an independent journalist with Alaska Coastal Currents, in partnership with Alaska Public Radio Network for the Exxon-Valdez Trustee Council. Seitz holds a master's degree in rural sociology from the University of Wisconsin and a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Beloit College. She is the recipient of numerous awards from the Alaska Press Club and other news media organizations. Seitz is appointed to a seat reserved for a representative of the Dillingham City Council.

Alaska Aerospace Corporation Board of Directors

Governor Parnell appointed Drue Pearce and James Underwood to the Alaska Aerospace Corporation Board of Directors. The corporation allows Alaska to play a leading role in the exploration and development of space, in enhancing human and economic development, and in providing direction for space-related education and research.

Pearce is the president of Spill Shield Anchorage and a senior policy advisor at Crowell & Moring. From 2006 to 2010, she served as the federal coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects. Prior to that, Pearce was the senior advisor for Alaska to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. A longtime Alaska legislator, Pearce served twice as the president of the Alaska Senate. She has extensive board service experience, including service as a legislative ex-officio member of the Alaska Aerospace Corporation Board.

Underwood has worked as a federal contractor, providing engineering and support services for the past six years. He is currently a vice president for Business Development with URS Federal Services, Inc. and prior to that, worked as a vice president for EG&G Technical Services Inc., a subsidiary. Underwood retired after 33 years of service with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), having achieved the rank of rear admiral as well as district commander of the Seventeenth Coast Guard District. He served in a variety of notable roles as an officer in the Coast Guard, including director of operations policy, director of the Office of Intelligence and Security, chief of operations of the USCG Atlantic Area, and chief liaison to the U.S. House of Representatives. Active in civic life, Underwood was a member of the board of directors of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce and served on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. He holds a master's of public administration from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
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