Right Moves
Alyeska Pipeline
A picture of John Kurz
The operator of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) has a new boss. The major North Slope producers that own TAPS conducted an executive search and selected John Kurz as the next President and CEO of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. Kurz most recently worked as COO for Santos and Oil Search in Papua New Guinea, but he has deeper roots in Alaska. He served as Senior Operations Manager for Greater Prudhoe Bay, and he earned a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Alaska. Kurz is the thirteenth president to lead Alyeska Pipeline since its formation in 1970. He succeeds interim president Betsy Haines, who retired in 2021 but returned to lead the company during the search and transition.
Shee Atiká
A picture of Tim Castro
The urban Native corporation for Sitka has appointed Tim Castro as President and CEO. Castro has been working for Shee Atiká since June 2019, first as president of its subsidiary, Alaska Northstar Resources, and then as president of Shee Atiká Government Services. Under his leadership, the holding company comprising four 8(a) government contractors grew its portfolio from startup to more than $40 million in revenue. Having served in a shared role as Interim Senior Executive since September 2022, Castro is responsible for strategic planning, management, and operations across Shee Atiká’s business platforms. Castro graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in management information systems.
Alan Vierling
A nationwide search for a new top Administrator at Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC) found the winning contender close to home. Alan Vierling has been the hospital’s interim administrator for the past several months. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and Southcentral Foundation, as joint managers of ANMC, concluded that Vierling stood out from a field of more than 230 candidates. Vierling has more than forty years of healthcare experience, including a variety of clinical areas such as emergency departments, surgical services, critical care, pediatrics, behavioral health, and oncology. As administrator, Vierling oversees ANMC’s strategic and annual operating plans, manages day-to-day operations at Alaska’s largest tribal health facility, and updates leadership on hospital operational and financial matters.
North Star Behavioral Health System
A picture of William “Ross” Newcombe
North Star Behavioral Health System named William “Ross” Newcombe as its new CEO and Managing Director. Newcombe previously served as COO of Providence Alaska Medical Center for more than four years after five years as CFO. Newcombe is a twenty-year veteran of the US Army. He served as an aeromedical evacuation pilot and then graduated from the Army Medical Department’s comptroller internship program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Newcombe is also a graduate of the Army’s Command and General Staff College. He earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of New Hampshire and his master’s in business administration from Webster University in St. Louis. North Star Behavioral Health System interim CEO Patrick Wilder is staying on during the transition.
Alaska Communications
Anchorage-based telecom Alaska Communications (ACS) promoted three members of its executive team.
a picture of Patrick Bergt
Patrick Bergt is now Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. In this role, Bergt oversees the legal, compliance, regulatory, real estate, and risk management functions of the company, as well as human resources. Bergt was Anchorage’s municipal attorney last summer when he resigned to join ACS. He is a lifelong Alaskan, graduating from Service High School.
A picture of Kathleen Redmond
Kathleen Redmond is promoted to Vice President, Strategy and Operations. Redmond has been with Alaska Communications for almost nine years and has served in the sales department and most recently as senior director strategy and operations. Redmond has more than thirty years of experience in the Alaska telecommunications industry, beginning with Executone of Alaska and also spending time at PMC Telecom, ASRC Communications, MTA, Alcan Electrical & Engineering, and GCI. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Montana and an EMBA in information communication technology from Alaska Pacific University.
A picture of Heather Cavanaugh
Heather Cavanaugh becomes ACS’ Vice President of External Affairs and Corporate Communications, overseeing internal and external communication, government relations, community relations, and crisis communications. Cavanaugh is accredited in public relations, with twenty years of experience. Cavanaugh has been with ACS for more than thirteen years, leading communications for all corporate transactions, including an acquisition, joint venture, divestiture, and most recently the July 2021 acquisition of ACS by ATN International of Beverly, Massachusetts. Cavanaugh earned a master’s degree in business from UAA.
Northrim Bank
A picture of Jason Criqui
Northrim Bank promoted Jason Criqui to Executive Vice President – Chief Lending Officer. In this role, he joins the bank’s Executive Group, which also includes Chairman and CEO Joe Schierhorn; President Mike Huston; EVP – CFO Jed Ballard; EVP – COO Amber Zins; EVP – CIO Ben Craig; and Mark Edwards, EVP – Chief Credit Officer and Bank Economist. Criqui has been with Northrim Bank since 2014, most recently as senior vice president, commercial lending manager. He has more than twenty-five years of experience in banking throughout Alaska and the Lower 48. Criqui holds a bachelor’s degree from Emporia State University and is also a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School.
Morgan Neff
First National Bank Alaska (FNBA) welcomed Morgan Neff as the bank’s Wealth Management Director and Senior Vice President. In this role, Neff directs all wealth management and trust activities for the bank to help meet the financial needs of Alaskans. Neff brings more than twenty years of executive-level investment, operational, and financial experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Alaska Marine Highway System
A picture of Craig Tornga
The state ferry system has a new skipper in charge. Craig Tornga has been appointed as the new Marine Director of the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS). The position, formerly known as the AMHS General Manager, was left vacant in January when Captain John Falvey retired after leading the service for nearly twenty years. Tornga started his maritime career aboard Crowley’s ocean-going vessels and spent more than twenty years working his way up through Crowley’s Marine Services Division. Since 2017, Tornga has served as the Senior Vice President for Kirby Offshore Marine in Houston, Texas.
Alaska DOT&PF
A headshot of Christopher Goins
Christopher Goins is the new Southcoast Regional Director for the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF). In that position, he oversees a region that spans 1,800 miles from Ketchikan to Adak. Goins started at DOT&PF in 2014 working on infrastructure projects after nearly a decade of engineering experience in Oregon. He is a licensed engineer and earned his degree from Oregon State University in 2006. He lives with his family in Juneau.
A picture of Sara Longan
Sara Longan assumed duties as Chief of the Regulatory Division for the US Army Corps of Engineers – Alaska District (USACE) in March. In her new position, she is responsible for administering and enforcing the USACE regional regulatory program within the Alaska and Honolulu Districts. Since January 2022, Longan served as the deputy chief of the Regulatory Division. Prior to joining USACE, Longan served as deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, overseeing the Division of Oil and Gas, Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, Office of Project Management and Permitting, and Trust Land Office. Longan has a bachelor’s degree in pre-veterinary medicine, a master’s degree in environmental toxicology, and a doctorate in epidemiology from Oklahoma State University.