Steering Committee Bios

Allen Hippler, VP of Northrim Bank

Expertise: Commercial and Industrial Loans; Residential Real Estate; Construction; Acquisition and Development

Community Engagement: Vice Chairman/Secretary &Treasurer of Alaska Chamber of Commerce; Treasurer of Alaska Business Political Action Committee, BP Community Advisory Council Member; Commissioner of Alaska Health Care Commission

Bruce Lamoreux, Senior Vice President/Chief Executive Officer of Providence Hospital

Bruce Lamoureux serves currently as chief executive for the Providence Alaska region, including operating entities in Anchorage, Kodiak, Palmer, Seward and Valdez. Bruce joined Providence Health & Services Alaska in 2006, when he assumed the role of chief executive for the Providence Alaska Medical Center. In 2009, he transitioned to the role of chief operating officer, followed by a shift into the chief executive role in 2012.

Providence’s programs range from acute, long-term, assisted living and residential care to ambulatory clinics, as well as joint ventures in imaging technologies, long-term acute care, ambulatory surgery and air ambulance services. The collective services deliver care for more than 17,000 acute care admissions and nearly 500,000 outpatient visits annually. Providence Alaska employs approximately 4,000 people and is the largest private employer in Alaska.

 Lamoureux’ health care career began in Southern California in 1976 and progressed through more than a dozen positions across multiple functions and service lines, including as chief executive officer for a large urban hospital. Lamoureux earned a Bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Redlands, and a Master’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California.

Carol Gore, President and CEO of Cook Inlet Housing Authority

Carol Gore has been involved in the development, acquisition, management, and disposition of residential and commercial real estate for over 30 years. Carol is enjoying her 15th year as the president and chief executive officer of Cook Inlet Housing Authority (CIHA, “See-ha”) in Anchorage, Alaska – the TDHE for Cook Inlet Region Inc. CIHA supports a wide range of affordable housing activities, including the development, ownership and management of affordable rental housing for families and seniors, a homeless shelter, construction and sales of affordable homes for immediate homeownership, third party project management for nonprofit organizations and the establishment and operation of an affiliate Native CDFI, Cook Inlet Lending Center.

Under Carol’s leadership, the CIHA team has more than doubled its affordable rental housing, from 267 units in 2000 to over 1,000 units owned and managed in 2015.

Ms. Gore is a proud Alaskan of Aleut decent.

Curtis McQueen, Chief Executive Officer of Eklutna, Inc.

Eklutna Incorporated is the Alaska Native Village Corporation for Anchorage and the Mat-Su Borough. They are the Largest Private Land Owner in both communities. Among his many responsibilities, Curtis directs and facilitates all Corporate Communications, Public Relations and Shareholder Relations on behalf of Eklutna, Inc. Curtis sets, guides, and drives company strategies; leads business operations, community involvement, and legal and financial matters; proactively seeks and recommends areas for new business development, investments, and operation and financial improvement. Assist Board in developing and monitoring corporate policy, oversees all subsidiaries, including 8(a), real estate, natural resources, and construction. Has financial responsibility for all aspects of the company.

Curtis brings a combination of post-secondary education and 30+ years of business, business development, communications, project management, administrative management and governmental affairs experience and has worked extensively in the Native community. Curtis attended ASU and Gateway Community College in Tempe & Phoenix, AZ from 1987-1989 and the University of Alaska Southeast 1990. From 1989-1994 Curtis worked for (2)-two Governors, Governor Steve Cowper & Governor Wally Hickel with the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities and the Department of Natural Resources.

In his current position Curtis has worked with Alaska Governors Sarah Palin, Sean Parnell, and Bill Walker, Senators Mark Begich, Ted Stevens, Lisa Murkowski, and Dan Sullivan, Congressman Don Young, and Anchorage Mayors, Mark Begich, Dan Sullivan, and Ethan Berkowitz. Curtis also works with many current and past Alaska lawmakers in both the House and the Senate.

Deena Paramo, Superintendent of the Anchorage School District

Regent Paramo is the superintendent of the Anchorage School District and has been an Alaska educator since 1991. Prior to being selected to lead Alaska’s largest school district, she is proud to have served as a teacher, an assistant principal, a principal, an assistant superintendent and the superintendent of the Mat-Su Borough School District.

Regent Paramo holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with a specialization in Bilingual Education, a Master of Education degree in Administration, and a Doctor of Education degree in Learning Assessment and System Performance. Most recently she graduated from the American Association of School Administrators National Superintendents Certification two-year program, of which she was the first cohort.

Regent Paramo’s teaching and educational leadership experiences have shaped her agenda, which has an unwavering focus on student achievement and success. It is her desire that all students in the State of Alaska are prepared for a successful career, military, college, or post-college experience.

Regent Paramo is active in several local and civic organizations including the Education Commission of the States, Alaska Superintendents’ Association, 90% by 2020 Partnership, Anchorage and Chugiak-Eagle River Chambers of Commerce, East Anchorage Rotary, Foraker Group, and United Way. She serves on several non-profit boards and enjoys spending time with her family, snow and water skiing, running, and interior painting. Regent Paramo has two college-age daughters, one of whom is proud to attend UAA.

Dana Thorp Patterson, Executive Director of the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce

Dana holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, Master of Science in Counseling, and an Educational Doctorate in Higher Education Administration. Dana has a background in law enforcement, psychiatric services, and administration in higher education institutions with oversight of workforce/professional development training departments. She is originally from Whale Pass, a former logging community in Southeast Alaska.

Mayor Ethan Berkowitz

Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has lived in Anchorage since 1990. He and his wife, Dr. Mara Kimmel have two children, Ziva and Noah.

Mayor Berkowitz earned an undergraduate degree studying Government and Economics at Harvard University, where he graduated with honors. He received a Master’s degree from the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University, and a law degree from Hastings College of the Law. After moving to Alaska, he worked as an assistant district attorney before serving for ten years in the Alaska State Legislature, eight as Minority Leader. As a state legislator, he supported fiscal responsibility and a more comprehensive and sustainable energy policy. In the private sector, Mayor Berkowitz worked on technology and energy projects, including deployment of fiber optic cables in Alaska and across the Arctic, and a major geothermal project in Northwest Alaska.

Ethan Tyler, Manager of Economic Development in the Division of Economic Development at the State of Alaska.

Ethan has an extensive background in Alaska Tourism, marketing, public relations, and business development. He has been building and growing relationships throughout the state and beyond since 2000, and he continues to engage with community and business leaders around Alaska.

Ethan is a member of the Girdwood 2020 Board of Directors, and was named Top 40 Under 40 by the Alaska Journal of Commerce in 2014. When not on the job, Ethan can be found surfing the Turnagain

Arm Bore Tide, or ski instructing at Alyeska Resort. He lives in Girdwood with his wife and 9 year old daughter.

Grace Greene, Vice President & Alaska General Manager of Totem Ocean Trailer Express Alaska

As Vice President & Alaska General Manager, Grace is responsible for the operation and profitability for Alaska and fostering positive relationships with customers and political and community organizations in the region.

Grace brings over 16 years of professional experience managing a wide range of activities from complex oil and gas exploration logistics, aviation operations and safety in remote Arctic Alaska, to business development and consulting. Most recently, Grace was responsible for leading all aviation logistics operations in the Alaska Venture for the Shell Exploration and Production Company.

Grace received her bachelor’s degree in Oceanography from the United States Naval Academy and served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a helicopter pilot and Aircraft Commander. During her service she held various leadership roles in Operations and Logistics as well as Director of Safety and Standardization.

Grace lives in Anchorage with her husband, Stuart, and her two children, Claire (6) and Patrick (3).

John Parrott, Airport Manager

John attended the USAF Academy and graduated with a BS in Chemistry in 1978. He has a Master’s Degree in Management and Education from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. John enjoyed 20 years in the USAF flying AT-38’s, F-4’s, F-16’s and B-1’s and retired from the US Air Force in 1998.

John began working at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in December of 1998. He has served as the Airport Security Manager (1998-2001), the Operations Manager (2001-2004), Deputy Director (2004-2008) and is currently the Airport Manager.

John is an Accredited Airport Executive, American Association of Airport Executives Board member, Past Chair of the Airports Council-North America Cargo Committee, Armed Services YMCA of Alaska Board of Management member, and an Ex Officio Advisor to Visit Anchorage and the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation Boards.

John is married to Dee Hanson and they have a beautiful 7 year old daughter, Lexus.

Julie Saupe, President of Visit Anchorage

With a 20-year career in promoting tourism in Alaska, Julie Saupe reached the industry’s leadership ranks as president of Visit Anchorage in May 2007. Ms. Saupe first joined the organization in 2002 as Director of Community, Member and Visitor Relations.

She began her career as Director of Tourism at the Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau in 1989. She then worked in various roles at the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce and Alaska Visitors Association. In 1999, she became Executive Director of the Mat-Su Convention and Visitors Bureau.

In 2011, Visit Anchorage reported more than $97 million in conventions booked, 658 events held in the city’s two convention centers, and more than 1.1 million visits to Ms. Saupe also named the filming of “The Frozen Ground,” an action thriller set in Alaska and starring Nicholas Cage, eight arrivals of the ms Amsterdam at the Port of Anchorage, and the opening of new domestic and international flights among Visit Anchorage’s successes.

Ms. Saupe led the team from Visit Anchorage who recently organized a dinner for 400 travel industry representatives at Icelandair’s Mid-Atlantic Conference in February 2013 at the Hilton Nordica Hotel in Reykjavik.

Ms. Saupe studied at the University of Puget Sound.

Katherine Jernstrom, owner and co-founder of The Boardroom

The Boardroom is a co-working and shared workspace for entrepreneurs, freelancers and small businesses. Prior to founding The Boardroom, Katherine has worked in business development, marketing and fundraising for the nonprofit sector for the past 9 years.

Most recently she worked for Bean’s Café developing feasibility studies, completing market research and designing business plans for progressive social enterprise ventures. Not only did she secure over $150,000 through private donations but she also designed successful ventures that did not rely on charitable funding but rather operated on sustainable business concepts. Katherine founded the local chapter of the national Social Enterprise Alliance and organized and presented at educational forums on how to design socially responsibly business models. In addition, Katherine serves on the board of directors for several local nonprofit organizations including Spirit of Youth, United Way of Anchorage, United Way Emerging Leaders Advisory Council Co-chair and she is a mayoral appointed Commissioner for the Anchorage Women’s Commission. She graduated from Leadership Anchorage, an intensive humanities based leadership development course in 2012. Katherine

has an undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Washington and is a candidate in the Masters of Public Administration program at the University of Alaska Anchorage with an anticipated 2014 graduation.

Kirk Rose, Executive Director of the Anchorage Community Land Trust (ACLT).

Kirk has been with the company for six years and has served as Executive Director for two years. During his time as Community Development Manager, ACLT was awarded the National Development Council’s highest honor as the ‘Most Innovative Community Development Project’ in the United States.

He’s led a number of ACLT’s defining projects including development of Anchorage’s first façade improvement program, creating Anchorage’s largest community garden, the city’s first microloan program and the development of the Alaska Regional Hospital Community Health Clinic in Mountain View.

He envisions ACLT as a vehicle for reinvestment in Anchorage’s areas of concentrated poverty, and is configuring ACLT to leverage resources of all kinds, including ACLT properties, to build great places. Having started at the organization as a volunteer, he knows the company and community development work from the ground up.

Lee Thibert, CEO of Chugach Electric

Thibert began working at Chugach in 1987 and has held a variety of senior management positions; most recently serving as senior vice president, strategic development and regulatory affairs. During his long career with the utility he has been responsible for a number of important divisions including regulatory, engineering, operations, telecommunications, power production, and power control & fuel supply.

Michelle Rizk - Vice President of University Relations & Chief Strategy, Planning and Budget Officer

Michelle Rizk joined the Statewide Office of Planning and Budget in 2006 as the Director of Budget. She is responsible for developing the operating and capital budget request guideline recommendations for the President and Board of Regents. In addition, she is responsible for developing the budget request and distribution recommendations for the President and Board of Regents. Rizk works very closely with the Institutional Research and Planning department to assure alignment of resources to strategic priorities and performance-based budgeting.

Rizk came to the University of Alaska in 1993 to pursue a degree in International Business. During her studies she was a student employee at the University of Alaska Museum. Upon graduation, Rizk served as the fiscal officer at the Statewide Office of Information Technology. Her duties included financial management and strategic planning. During her tenure, the Information Technology functions at UAF and Statewide were consolidated and as part of the consolidation team, she led the financial aspects of the Business Plan which provided her a strong campus perspective. She completed her master’s degree in Business Management in 2001.

Peter Pounds, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Secretary, GCI

Pete Pounds was named GCI’s senior vice president and chief financial officer, effective January, 2014. Prior to that, he has been the company Secretary since 2012, and vice president, Finance since 2009. He joined the company in 1997, as a business analyst, from KPMG Peat Marwick. He is both a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Sophie Minich, President and Chief Executive Officer of CIRI

Sophie Minich became CIRI’s president and chief executive officer in January 2013. As CIRI president and CEO, Minich is responsible for the development and implementation of the company’s corporate strategies, programs, policies and procedures. She oversees all the company’s business operations and is the primary contact with the company’s stakeholders.

Minich is Athabascan and a CIRI and Doyon shareholder who grew up in Seward, Alaska. She joined CIRI in 1993 and has served as chief operating officer, senior vice president of business development, chief financial officer, vice president of administration and director of accounting.

Minich sits on the board of directors for the Seattle Branch of the Federal Reserve Board. She is also a current director and former chair of the Anchorage Economic Development Corp.’s board of directors. In addition, Minich serves as a trustee of Alaska Regional Hospital and CIRI Elders’ Settlement Trust.

Minich chaired the 2010 United Way of Anchorage community giving campaign. She was inducted into the Athena Society in 2008, is a 2011 YWCA Women of Achievement Award recipient and the recipient of the 2013 UAA Alumni of Achievement Award. She earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Steve Ribuffo, Director of the Port of Anchorage

Mr. Ribuffo is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day business operations of the Port; interacting as needed with tenants, the U.S. Coast Guard, the military and any new business prospects interested in operating out of the Port. He has been with the Port since August 2007, when he came aboard as Deputy Port Director.

Steve retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel, having served 30 years on active duty. He is an Accredited Marine Port Executive, and a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Maritime and Port Executives. Steve also serves on the University of Alaska – Anchorage’s Global Supply Chain Management curriculum advisory committee, and is Chairman of the Cook Inlet Harbor Safety Committee.

Susanne Fleek-Green, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’s Chief of Staff

Susanne is Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’s Chief of Staff, coordinating the Mayor’s leadership team and strategic initiatives. She previously served as the State Director for U.S. Senator Mark Begich. In that role she oversaw Senator Begich’s six offices around the state. Susanne has a deep background in public service, working for the Municipality of Anchorage in the Office of Economic and Community Development, the United States Senate in Washington, DC, and as a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Susanne was born and raised in Alaska, living in Yakutat, King Salmon, Juneau, and Anchorage. She has worked in a Southeast logging camp, at a remote fish camp for ADF&G and on the North Slope. She is a Sealaska shareholder and tribal member of Central Council of Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. Susanne has a B.A. and Masters of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.

Quotes about the Anchorage CEDS

“The Anchorage CEDS is going to gather all the pieces we need to work on to begin improving the economy at a local level. All these pieces form the picture that is going to set our focus for the next five years.” – AEDC President & CEO Bill Popp

The more we know, the more we grow. In a competitive global economy and evolving Alaska economy, success depends on developing and implementing a good strategy.” – Mayor Ethan Berkowitz

“This survey is a unique opportunity for every Anchorage resident to weigh in on what makes a strong economy. Our diversity of background, experiences and priorities will be very valuable in setting the course for our economic future.”  – Lee Thibert, Chugach Electric CEO

Press Contact

Sean Carpenter, Communications Director

Press Releases

  1. Initial CEDS release – 1/3/2017