Right Moves
UAF Bristol Bay Campus
A picture of Director Wahl
The UAF College of Rural and Community Development appointed Wanda Wahl to serve as Director of the Bristol Bay Campus in Dillingham. Wahl had been serving as interim director since May 2021 and began working for the campus in 1985. As director, Wahl oversees a campus that serves thirty-three remote villages scattered over a 55,000-square-mile area, including Bristol Bay, the Alaska Peninsula, the Pribilof Islands, and the Aleutian Islands. Wahl is a lifelong Dillingham resident. She is an enrolled tribal member of Curyung, the tribe on whose ancestral land the Bristol Bay Campus is located. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Linfield University in McMinnville, Oregon.
Juneau School District
A picture of Eldri Westmoreland
The Juneau School District (JSD) selected Eldri Westmoreland as the first permanent Principal of the Tlingit Culture, Language, and Literacy (TCLL) program. Westmoreland takes over for interim principal Molly Box to lead the program that has grown since it was established in 2000. TCLL is a place-based, culture-based “program within a school” that currently serves seventy-two students in kindergarten through 5th grade and is expanding to middle school. Originally launched by Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI), it proved so successful that JSD assumed funding for the program. Westmoreland holds a master’s degree in mathematics education and is pursuing her doctorate in Indigenous Studies with a focus on education at UAF. She began her professional journey in 1993 as a preschool teacher before moving into elementary and middle school as a lead teacher. She began working for the JSD as an elementary classroom teacher in 2009 and since 2019 has served both JSD and SHI as a middle school mentor teacher, instructional coach, and curriculum developer. She also owns and directs her own Indigenous education research and curriculum firm, Math Raven. She is Yeíl, Kaach.ádi (Raven, Frog).
Alaska Dance Theatre
A headshot of Cari Bolt Zawodny
The new Executive Director of Alaska Dance Theatre (ADT) is Cari Boltz Zawodny, a nonprofit leader who has served as program director for the League of Women Voters’ Anchorage Youth Vote since 2012. In her new position, Zawodny is responsible for honing partnerships, identifying and growing funding opportunities, and engaging broader community participation. Chosen from a diverse field of candidates in a nationwide search, Zawodny brings more than twenty years of experience in nonprofit leadership, youth advocacy, and community building. Zawodny received a bachelor’s degree in media and theater arts/film from Montana State University in Bozeman. She already contributes to the arts as a facilitator for Alaska Youth Orchestras and a mentor for Alaska Teen Media Institute. ADT has a staff of six supporting more than twenty instructors.
Discover Kodiak
A headshot of Simmons
A new boss is in charge at Discover Kodiak just in time for the busy summer season. Brock Simmons has taken over as Executive Director of the visitor’s bureau. His own background is in law enforcement, working in Kodiak first as a corrections officer, then with the Kodiak Police Department and as an Alaska State Trooper. He worked as a bear viewing guide at Karluk Lake after retiring from the Troopers. As the head of Discover Kodiak, Simmons says he wants to expand the visitor bureau’s connection with hunters.
Alaska Chamber
A headshot of Kari Nore
The Alaska Chamber has a new Director of External Affairs. Kari Nore, most recently a project manager for the Resource Development Council of Alaska (RDC), is taking on responsibility for the statewide chamber of commerce’s communications and advocacy efforts. Born and raised in North Pole, Nore holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with a double minor in French and psychology from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. Prior to working at RDC, Nore spent six years working in the Alaska Legislature, advancing her career from scheduler to a senior staff position in the Senate President’s office.
United Way of Anchorage
A headshot of Amy DeBruhl
The United Way of Anchorage hired Amy DeBruhl as its new Chief Communications Officer. A seasoned Alaska communications professional, she has eighteen years of experience in strategy and management for nonprofit and Alaska Native organizations, including the past eight years as Corporate Communications Manager at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC). At United Way of Anchorage, DeBruhl helps lead the organization’s strategies to improve the health, education, and financial stability of everyone in Anchorage alongside an expanded communications team that includes specialists in storytelling, visual storytelling, social media, public relations, and advertising. DeBruhl, born and raised in Anchorage, has Dena’ina Athabascan roots from Nondalton and Hän Gwich’in Athabascan roots from Eagle. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Columbia University and a master of business administration degree from Willamette University. During her tenure at ANTHC, she expanded digital marketing and communications across web, social media, and advertising.
Bettisworth North
Bettisworth North Architects and Planners hired two licensed landscape architects and an architectural designer. With thirty-nine professionals on staff, the firm now has more licensed landscape architects than any other locally owned and operated firm in Alaska.
A Headshot of Stephanie Cloud
Stephanie Cloud is a licensed Landscape Architect in Bettisworth North’s Anchorage office. Her training includes study abroad and a master’s degree in landscape architecture earned with her thesis on healthy people and healthy communities. Cloud’s experience as a naturalist with the US Forest Service expanded her knowledge of native plants and the important role they play in creating robust, sustainable outdoor spaces. Cloud has worked on public and commercial projects across the state with clients that include the Anchorage School District, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, and UAA.
A headshot of Laura Minksi
Laura Minski is a Landscape Architect in Bettisworth North’s Fairbanks office. Her fifteen-year professional history includes extensive experience in parks, trails, and playgrounds design. She is a certified park and recreation professional and currently serves as secretary of the American Society of Landscape Architects Alaska Chapter. Minski’s portfolio features public projects both large and small. Examples are Growden Park accessibility, Bluebell Park renovations, John Weaver Memorial Skate Park, Herman Leirer multi-modal trails, Russian Jack Park, and C Street wetlands mitigation.
A headshot of Becca Rorabaugh
Becca Rorabaugh is an Architectural Designer at the Anchorage office. While in middle school, she job-shadowed a Bettisworth North architect, later completing internships and part-time employment with the firm. Rorabaugh trained for the Olympics with the Alaska Pacific University ski team and today is a volunteer coach for Skiku. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, and special expertise in graphic design informs her approach to architecture. Her design experience includes Petersburg Medical Center, Norton Sound Health Corporation, and Lower Yukon School District.
R&M Consultants
A headshot of Lauren Southerland
Lauren Southerland recently joined R&M Consultants as a Staff Geotechnical Engineer in the firm’s Earth Sciences Department. In this role, Southerland supports subsurface investigations and site characterizations, geotechnical and environmental site investigations, and geotechnical analysis, including slope stability, bearing capacity, lateral earth pressures, settlement, axial and lateral pile capacity, structural pavement section design, and liquefaction potential. She is based in R&M’s Fairbanks office, bringing the firm’s Fairbanks-based employees to seven. Southerland went to high school in Fairbanks and earned a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering from UAF. She moved away to earn a master’s degree in geological engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. Since joining R&M, Southerland has conducted geotechnical investigations for the Port of Nome Modification, Phase II.
UA Foundation
A headshot of Alex Slivka
The University of Alaska Foundation has a new Chief Financial Officer. Alex Slivka brings more than forty years of experience in accounting, finance, and investments to the nonprofit that stewards the UA System’s philanthropic support. Slivka most recently served as the director of finance operations for Providence St. Joseph Health, the parent network of Providence hospitals. He previously spent twenty-two years at McKinley Capital Management as a portfolio manager and marketing executive and three years as CFO for the Municipality of Anchorage. Slivka served on the UA Foundation board of directors since 2015, including two years as board chair, and as a member of the board’s investment committee since 2016, serving for two years as chair. Slivka earned his applied baccalaureate degree in economics from Brown University, and he serves as an adjunct professor of finance at UAA.
Girl Scouts of Alaska
Girl Scouts of Alaska has a new CEO. Jennifer Pollard joins the organization from thread, a child care resource and referral organization, where she was Chief Marketing and Fund Development Officer. Girl Scouts of Alaska serves more than 1,500 girls in the state, south of the 63rd parallel.