Confluence AK

Speakers

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Last update: Sept. 1, 2020

Julius Adolfsson, Alaska Bike & Pedestrian Coordinator, Rural Transit Planner. As the new Statewide Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinator, Julius is responsible for coordinating active transportation efforts across all DOT&PF regions, interested agencies, and the public. This includes implementing the recommendations of the Statewide Active Transportation Plan such as collecting and tracking performance measure data, mapping state-owned pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and tracking investments in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Additionally, there is an emphasis on public outreach including involvement in Safe Routes to School Programs, bike/walk to school/work activities, and other community engagement activities. A native of Sweden, he is an avid Nordic skier and outdoorist. 

Stacy Bare, Adventure Not War, presented by Recover Alaska. Stacy is the Principal of Bare, LLC. A 2014 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, Bare is a climber, skier, and a veteran of the Iraq war, where he was Captain in the US Army. As the Director of Sierra Club Outdoors, Bare got 250,000+ people out each year. He co-founded the Great Outdoors Lab in 2014 to put scientifically defensible data behind the idea of time outside as healthcare in partnership with Dr. Dacher Keltner at the Greater Good Science Center at UC-Berkeley. 

Damen Bell-Holter, Break the BiCycle. The 28-year-old Haida man - a former professional basketball player originally from Hydaburg - will be riding with others from Bellingham, Washington, to San Diego over more than a month to raise money and awareness for inadequacies in mental health care for Black and Indigenous men, which Bell-Holter can speak to as someone who is both Black and Haida. He is director of youth and community development at Sealaska Corp.

Marc Berejka, REI Co-Op. Marc has served as REI’s government affairs director since 2011 and its director of community affairs since early 2013. Marc guides the co-op’s engagement in federal, state and local issues. This includes advocacy on matters that affect retailers in the outdoor recreation sector, such as main-street business regulation, Internet sales and international trade. He has been instrumental in efforts to assure REI’s current and future members can continue enjoy outdoor recreation – whether that be recreating close to home or at the nation’s many outdoor destinations. Before joining REI, Marc served as technology policy advisor to then-Secretary Gary Locke at the US Department of Commerce. 

Dan Blanchard, Small-Boat Operators Coalition/Uncruise AdventuresDan's career began early. Addicted to life at the helm, he has been owner and operator of Blanchard Marine; captained sightseeing vessels at Glacier Bay Lodge; spent 14 years at Alaska Sightseeing/Cruise West working through the ranks from Captain to Vice President of Operations; and in 1999, he joined American Safari Cruises. Dan acquired the company in 2008 and as Principal/CEO, launched InnerSea Discoveries, a new small boat expedition company specializing in active adventures on the water that went on to become Un-Cruise Adventures. When COVID struck the tourism industry, Dan took action forming a new, unified voice for US flagged  small boat operations.

Camille Ferguson, Sitka Tribe of Alaska. Camille is the Economic Development Director for the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, where she is responsible for developing new projects as well as overseeing the Tribes’ tourism programs, gaming operations, the Tribal tannery and the Community House Convention Facility. Ferguson, a citizen of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska and a member of the Kiksadi Clan. She is former Executive Director of the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association, serves on the National Advisory Committee on Transportation Tourism Infrastructure (NACTTI) and the U.S. Travel Association’s Board of Directors. She has 30 years of tribal tourism development experience in variance capacities from customer service, tourism development and administration.

Nick D'Alessio, Alaska Guide Collective/Remarkable Adventures. Nick began skiing and spending time in the mountains as soon as he could walk. A graduate of the Outdoor Recreation Leadership program from Colorado Mountain College and Alaska Pacific University's Outdoor Studies program, he is also an American Mountain Guides Association Certified Ski Guide based out of Girdwood, and one of the few guides living and working in Alaska to achieve this qualification. A sponsored athlete, and owner of his own professional guide service, Nick has been grateful to call Alaska home since 2007. When not on skis he enjoys hiking, mtn biking, packrafting river trips, photography, public land advocacy, healthy living and always learning more.

Ricky Gease, Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. Ricky has deep outdoor roots and a passion for fishing. Before Gov. Mike Dunleavy named Ricky Director of Alaska State Parks and Outdoor Recreation, Ricky was executive director of Kenai River Sportfishing Association and served on numerous nonprofit and fishery boards and commissions. As an Alaska Salmon Fellow, Ricky worked to improve the way Alaskans think and talk about salmon fisheries. He has served on the Southcentral Regional Advisory Council of the Federal Subsistence Board, the Kenai River Special Management Area Advisory Board, and the Resource Development Council. 

Brian Glaspell, US Fish and Wildlife Service. Brian Glaspell has served as Regional Chief for the National Wildlife Refuge System in Alaska since July2019. Between 2017 and his arrival here in Alaska, he served as refuge manager at the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Wyoming where, among other duties, he chaired the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee—a group of federal executives that advises on planning and policy within theYellowstone ecosystem. From 2013 to 2017, he served as manager of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where he was responsible for stewarding about 8 million acres of designated wilderness and ensuring that the wild,natural character on the remainder of the Refuge was preserved as well.

Mary Goddard, Southeast Regenerative Tourism Catalyst. Sealaska partnered with the Sustainable Southeast Partnership (SSP) and Allen Marine to support a new position within SSP, a regional catalyst for regenerative tourism. In this role, Mary's mission is to support the development of small communities around visitor industry opportunities in Southeast Alaska. She was recently appointed to the board of the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association. She is an amazing artist creating contemporary jewelry using traditional & nontraditional materials to Alaska as well as a filmmaker. A trained chef, she blogs about foraged foods and gluten-free recipes. on  forager/chef, and filmmaker. 

Dawn Groth, RD, BSN, MSOEE, State of Alaska Public Health. Dawn has over 25 years as an experienced Registered Nurse and holds a MS in outdoor and environmental education. She provides training, technical assistance, and resources on physical activity and nutrition.  She partners with several state and non-profit agencies to support Anchorage’s Vision Zero community commitment to create activity-friendly routes that safely connect sidewalks, trails, bicycle routes and public transit with homes. Her work is a reflection of her commitment to move; she has biked across Argentina, skied across Finland, and walked across Spain.

James King, US Forest Service Regional Director of Recreation, Land and Minerals. James has enjoyed a long and successful career in public lands management. From 2007 - 2010, James was director of Alaska State Parks. He spent the next four years as director of Bellingham WA parks and recreation department before returning to Alaska in 2015 to accept his current position with the forest service.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Alaska’s senior U.S. Senator, is a third generation Alaskan proudly serving as the first Alaskan born senator. Murkowski was born in Ketchikan and raised in towns across the state, including Wrangell, Juneau, Fairbanks, and Anchorage. She loves spending time in the Alaska outdoors skiing, hiking on glaciers, and enjoying fall duck hunts. A leader on energy and public lands issues, Senator Murkowski has worked tirelessly for Alaskans and earned a reputation in the Senate for her ability to work collaboratively and across the aisle to reach common sense solutions. She is Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and also serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, where she Chairs the Interior and Environment Subcommittee. Other committee assignments include Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee – the first Alaskan to serve on that panel – and a senior member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

Chad Padgett, Bureau of Land Management. Chad Padgett became the BLM’s State Director for Alaska in February 2019. Prior to joining the BLM, Padgett was the State Director for Alaska Representative Don Young for more than 10 years, working closely with many federal agencies, including the BLM. From 2001 to 2009, Padgett served as a Presidential Appointee to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Farm Service Agency, where he served as Alaska State Executive Director. For 2 years, he was a dual appointee, also serving as acting State Director for the USDA’s Rural Development. Earlier in his career.

Rep. Angelica Rubio, NM-35. Rep. Rubio was born and raised in rural southeastern New Mexico and is the youngest daughter of Mexican immigrants. In 2016, Angelica won a seat in the New Mexico State Legislature, where she now serves--focusing on energy policy through the lens of environmental and workers justice. Rep. Rubio is also a champion for equitable outdoor recreation that not only benefits younger New Mexicans, but more importantly working towards the protection of public lands. After her reelection in 2018, Angelica prepared for the 2019 legislative session by organizing a successful 300+mile bike packing trip from Las Cruces to Santa Fe, to raise awareness on the disconnect between the state capitol and the rest of the state, and did so again this past January. 

Michele Stevens, Petersville Non-Profit Community Corp. Born in Talkeetna where her mother owned the historic Fairview Inn, Michele is an avid outdoorist. An accomplished and pioneering snow machine enthusiasts, she was the first woman to compete in the Iron Dog Race, an epic 2,400-mile snow machine race that travels the northern route of the historic Iditarod Race from Big Lake to Nome. She is a hunter, miner and a proud member of the International Union of Operating Engineers. 

Don Striker, National Park Service. Don is the Acting Regional Director of the National Park Service. Prior to being named to that post last year, Striker had been Superintendent of Denali National Park since 2012. During his career with NPS, Don has been instrumental in improving relationships with state government and local partners, building a large cadre of volunteers, and managing significant construction projects. Other parks he has had leadership roles at include New River Gorge, Bluestone National Scenic River and Gauley River National Recreation Area, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Fort Clatsop National Memorial and Yellowstone National Park

Caron Whitaker, League of American Cyclists. Caron serves as the Vice President for Government Relations at the League of American Bicyclists. Caron's work has been instrumental in her work to advocate for increased local control in the Transportation Alternatives Program through the successful passage of the Cardin-Cochran amendment as part of the Federal Transportation Bill, MAP-21 as well as her continued work on behalf of the League of American Bicyclists to advocate to maintain federal bicycle and pedestrian funding for local communities as part of the 2016's FAST Act Transportation Bill.  Earlier in her career, she worked for the National Wildlife Federation on smart growth, international policy, and community engagement.