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Governor Announces Appointments to Boards

December 21, 2012, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell announced appointments to the Alaska Railroad Corporation Board of Directors, Emerging Energy Technology Fund Advisory Committee, Alaska Workforce Investment Board, Denali Access System Advisory Committee, and Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation Board of Trustees.

Alaska Railroad Corporation Board of Directors

Governor Parnell reappointed Jack Burton to the Alaska Railroad Corporation Board of Directors. The board manages the Alaska Railroad Corporation and its assets.

Burton, of Moose Pass, has worked for the railroad since 1964 as a track foreman, track laborer and track inspector. He served 14 years as president of the labor union local now known as the Alaska Railroad Workers, and represented railroad workers during the railroad’s transfer from federal to state ownership in 1985. Originally appointed by Governor Hickel, Burton has been reappointed by every governor since his initial term, and he is reappointed for a fifth term to a seat reserved for a member of a union that represents railroad employees.

Emerging Energy Technology Fund Advisory Committee

Governor Parnell reappointed Stephen Trimble to the Emerging Energy Technology Fund Advisory Committee. The committee, created by the Legislature, makes grants from the fund for demonstration projects of technologies that have a reasonable expectation to be commercially viable within five years and that are designed to test emerging technologies or methods of conserving energy, or improve existing technologies.

Trimble, of Anchorage, is a business development specialist and geologist for MWH, a consulting firm in Anchorage specializing in water infrastructure, renewable energy, and fossil fuels. He is also the vice president of the Alaska Museum of Natural History, and holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). Additionally, he is the vice chair of the UAA Geological Sciences Department Advisory Board and a member of the both the UAA College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board and the UAA Economic Geology Fundraising Committee. He is appointed to a seat representing the fossil fuel sector.

Alaska Workforce Investment Board

Governor Parnell reappointed R. Michael Woods, Corey Baxter, Michelle Zenger, John Cannon, John MacKinnon, Joey Merrick II, and appointed Florian Borowski to the Alaska Workforce Investment Board. The board works to develop and oversee the implementation of a comprehensive state human resource investment system. The board also promotes an efficient, effective, and integrated system of employment education and training programs and services so that all Alaskans have the skills and opportunities necessary to earn a living wage, and to meet the future business needs of the state.

Woods, of Anchorage, has been an instructor at King Career Center since 1990. He has also been a tour guide training inspector for the Alaska Railroad Corporation since 1993, an emergency services instructor at UAA, and an incident coordinator for the state Division of Forestry since 1996. He is a member of the Association for Career and Technical Education, the American Association of University Professors, and the National Education Association. Woods earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Boise State University, and is reappointed to a public education seat.

Baxter, of Juneau, is the District 8 Representative for the Operating Engineers. He has previously worked with Seacon Construction, the Alaska Operating Engineers Training Trust, the City and Borough of Juneau, Houston Contracting, and Channel Construction. Baxter was also an operating engineer apprentice with Coogan Construction. He is reappointed to a seat reserved for a member of the labor community.

Zenger, of Juneau, is human resources manager for Coeur Alaska. Formerly the senior human resources representative for Hecla Greens Creek Mining Company, she took on her new role in late 2011. Zenger holds a certification as a senior professional recognized by the Society of Human Resource Management; was awarded an Advanced Employment Law certification from the Institute for Applied Management and Law; and championed a successful electrical apprenticeship program in the mining industry. She is reappointed to a seat representing business and industry.

Cannon, of Wasilla, has been executive director of Mat-Su Services for Children and Adults, Inc. since 1987, providing community living services for people with developmental disabilities. He has been an adjunct faculty member at Matanuska-Susitna College since 2003. Cannon earned a bachelor’s degree from Iowa Wesleyan College and a master’s degree in human service program administration from UAA. He is reappointed to a seat reserved for a person with personal or professional experience with developmental disabilities.

MacKinnon, of Anchorage, is the executive director of the Associated General Contractors of Alaska, a nonprofit construction trade association. MacKinnon, formerly of Juneau, served five years as deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. Prior to that, he was a building contractor and served four terms on the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly. He is reappointed to a seat reserved for a member of the private sector.

Merrick, of Eagle River, serves as the business manager and secretary/treasurer for the Laborers’ Local Union 341. Prior to that, he served as a business representative for the union in Anchorage. Working around the state since he started in the union as a skilled construction craft laborer, Merrick worked on the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), and as a general foreman, general superintendent and operations manager for Houston Contracting Company at the TAPS Valdez Marine Terminal. Additionally, Merrick serves as president of the Alaska District Council of Laborers, an executive board member of the Northwest Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Team, secretary-treasurer of the Alaska AGC Construction Industry Progress Fund, and a vice president representing the Laborers’ Union with the Alaska AFL-CIO. He is reappointed to a seat representing organized labor.

Borowski, of Anchorage, is currently the human resources director for CH2M HILL - Alaska. Prior to joining CH2M HILL, he worked in a variety of senior human resource positions with BP in Alaska, the U.K. and across the Lower 48. In addition to his work, he has served as an adjunct instructor in human resources at Loyola University Chicago. Borowski, who earned his bachelor’s degree in personnel administration and his master’s degree in labor and industrial relations from Michigan State University, is appointed to a seat reserved for a representative of business and industry.

Denali Access System Program Advisory Committee

Governor Parnell reappointed Walter Sampson and Michael Hoffman to the Denali Access System Program Advisory Committee. The committee members advise the Denali Commission on the surface transportation needs of Alaska Native villages and rural communities. Projects include construction of essential access routes within remote Alaska Native villages and rural communities, and construction of roads and facilities necessary to connect isolated rural communities to the road system. The committee also advises the commission on considerations for coordinated transportation planning among the Alaska Native villages.

Sampson, of Kotzebue, is a lifelong subsistence hunter who works as vice president of lands and regional affairs for NANA Regional Corporation. A Vietnam-era veteran of the U.S. Army, he has served in the Civil Air Patrol, in local search and rescue efforts, and with Kotzebue’s volunteer fire department. Sampson served as president of the Northwest Arctic Borough Assembly and vice chair of the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, and was a member of the Alaska Board of Game. He is reappointed to a seat representing rural Alaska regions or villages.

Hoffman, of Bethel, is the owner of Kuskokwim Wilderness Adventures and a longtime pilot. He also serves as the vice president of the Association of Village Council Presidents. Hoffman is reappointed to a seat representing regional Alaska Native corporations, nonprofit entities, or tribal governments.

Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation Board of Trustees

Governor Parnell appointed Gary Dalton to the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation Board of Trustees. The board of trustees manages and invests the assets of the Permanent Fund.

Dalton, of Anchorage, has been the president of Latash Investments LLC since 2001. He previously served as chief financial officer and executive vice president at National Bank of Alaska for more than 20 years. Dalton is a board member of the Alaska Museum Foundation, and he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Puget Sound. He is appointed to an at-large seat.

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