Right Moves
Bureau of Land Management
Steve Cohn headshot

The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) named Steven Cohn as the new Director of the Alaska State Office in Anchorage, responsible for managing 70 million surface acres and 220 million acres of federal subsurface mineral estate. Cohn’s career in federal service began with BLM more than two decades ago. He is returning to BLM from The Nature Conservancy, where he was the Alaska state director since 2018. Cohn holds a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University and advanced degrees from the University of California at Berkeley Rausser College of Natural Resources.

Mat-Su Senior Services
Brandi Burchett headshot
Brandi Burchett has been selected as the new CEO of Mat-Su Senior Services, the largest nonprofit senior campus in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Burchett moved from North Carolina to Wasilla in 2019, leaving the role of vice president of behavioral health services at a federally qualified health center. Burchett earned a master’s degree in counseling from Webster University. This year, Burchett is completing an MBA from the University of Mount Olive in North Carolina.
Tamara Maddox headshot

The trade association for the oil and gas industry in Alaska has a new Regulatory and Legal Affairs Manager. Tamara Maddox joined the Alaska Oil & Gas Association (AOGA) after serving as an associate attorney at the Alaska Public Offices Commission. In her new position, Maddox evaluates government actions and coordinates AOGA’s response. Maddox grew up in Anchorage and obtained a bachelor’s degree from Fayetteville State University in North Carolina. She earned her JD from Seattle University School of Law.

Alaska Railroad
Christy Terry headshot

The Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC) promoted Seward Port Manager Christy Terry to the position of Director of External Affairs, responsible for public, community, and government relations efforts. Terry joined the state-owned railroad in 2010 as the Seward operations manager and was promoted to port manager in 2015. Prior to ARRC, she spent nearly a decade working for the City of Seward. Terry’s public service includes three terms as an elected official, most recently as Seward’s mayor; her three-year term expires this year.

Alaska Support Industry Alliance
Catherine Chambers headshot

Catherine Chambers joined the Alliance as the new External Affairs Coordinator, responsible for communications strategy, arranging events, and legislative advocacy. Chambers, whose background is in marketing, returns home to Anchorage after nine years in New Mexico.

Landye Bennett Blumstein
Karl Kaufman headshot

Landye Bennett Blumstein made Karl Kaufman a Partner in the law firm. Kaufman focuses his practice on federal and state taxation, estate planning and administration, tax-exempt organizations, and Alaska Native law. Kaufman obtained his JD from the University of Oregon School of Law in 2007 and a Master of Laws degree in taxation in 2010 from New York University School of Law, where he was a Graduate Editor on the Tax Law Review.

ASL Environmental Sciences
Julek Chawarski headshot

ASL Environmental Sciences brings Julek Chawarski aboard as Biological Oceanographer, responsible for developing consulting services for ocean monitoring clients and developing new tools for hydroacoustic studies. Chawarski completed a master’s degree in marine biology at the University of Maine and is completing his doctorate in fisheries science at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Earlier this year, he traveled by icebreaker to the North Pole as part of the European Fisheries Inventory of the central Arctic Ocean.

The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) hired two new staff members and is hosting two Alaska Sea Grant fellows.
Hannah Wilson headshot

Hannah Wilson comes to AFDF as Development Director after two years as an Alaska Sea Grant mariculture fellow with NOAA Fisheries, where she helped develop the Alaska Aquaculture Permitting Portal. Her work with AFDF includes management of seafood sustainability certifications for salmon and cod, outreach with AFDF members, and collaboration with the mariculture industry. Wilson holds a master’s degree in natural resource management from the University of Montana.

Julie Cisco headshot

Julie Cisco serves as Executive Administrator, supporting the executive director and providing administrative services to AFDF’s partner organization, Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers. Cisco also takes over organizing the Alaska Symphony of Seafood event. Val Motley with FPN Events is transitioning away from the event after approximately twenty years.

Ben Americus headshot
The first of this year’s Sea Grant fellows, Ben Americus, joins as a Science Policy Coordinator. Americus grew up in Cordova, gillnetting chum salmon in Prince William Sound. He earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Montana State University. For the last five years, his graduate studies through Oregon State University have involved the genetics of salmon parasites.
Robin McKnight headshot
A Sea Grant fellowship brings Robin McKnight to AFDF as Mariculture Development Coordinator. McKnight was born and raised in Seward. She has been in the Westfjords of Iceland earning her master’s degree in coastal and marine management while finishing her thesis on women captains in maritime tourism.
Stantec expanded its Buildings practice in Alaska with two hires in its Anchorage office.
Karen Zaccaro headshot
Karen Zaccaro joins the firm as an Associate Architect and Senior Project Manager. Zaccaro has more than twenty years of architectural design experience in Alaska, with a focus on educational and community spaces. Since joining Stantec, she has concentrated on industrial distribution projects. Zaccaro earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Arizona and holds degrees in sociology, child development, and education from California State University, Fresno and San José State University.
Michael Macedo headshot
Michael Macedo joins the firm as Senior Mechanical Engineer. Macedo has more than twenty years of design experience in Alaska, with an emphasis on new construction and renovation projects. Since joining Stantec, Macedo has worked on the Kenaitze Indian Tribe Education Center in Kenai, repairs to the Fort Wainwright Fitness Center, and a renovation to a semiconductor testing facility. Macedo earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from UAF.
R&M Consultants
Cody Beckes headshot

Cody Beckes joined R&M Consultants as a Project Engineer in the firm’s Surface Transportation Group. In this role, Beckes oversees analysis and design tasks related to road and highway projects. Beckes has ten years of experience in design, inspection, analysis, public involvement, and survey work on small- and large-scale road improvements. He is originally from Minnesota and moved to Alaska after college.

Haley Michael headshot

An environmental engineer at Nortech passed the Principles of Engineering exam to earn a Professional Environmental Engineering license from the State of Alaska. Haley Michael graduated from the Northern Arizona University honors program with a degree in environmental engineering. Michael is experienced with hazardous material assessment and demolition design, tank inspections, contaminated site assessment and remediation design, and spill prevention planning. She joined Nortech in 2017 and is now a project manager.

UAA Business Enterprise Institute
Margo Fliss headshot

Margo Fliss is the first Entrepreneurship Development Professional (EDP) certified in Alaska. Fliss is the manager of strategic engagement at the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development at the UAA Business Enterprise Institute. The EDP credential, a new credential offered by the International Economic Development Council, is designed to build the foundational skills of those supporting entrepreneurship in their communities. Fliss holds a master’s degree in public policy from Mills College and a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from UAF.