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Governor Walker Announces Appointments to State Boards and Commissions

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Contact: Katie Marquette, Press Secretary – (907) 269-7447
Jonathon Taylor, Deputy Press Secretary – (907) 465-3985

Names picks for Boards of Fish and Game, UA Board of Regents, Mental Health Trust, and more

February 10, 2017 JUNEAU – Governor Bill Walker announced his selections for a number of key boards and commissions today, including the Boards of Fisheries and Game, the University of Alaska Board of Regents, and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees. In letters to House Speaker Bryce Edgmon and Senate President Pete Kelly, Governor Walker put forward his board and commission appointments requiring Legislative confirmation.

In all, Governor Walker made almost 100 appointments and reappointments to over 40 state boards and commissions, which regulate public policy and oversee a wide array of industries in Alaska.

“Serving on a board or commission is one of the most effective ways to participate in, and take ownership of, state governance,” said Governor Walker. “Alaskans have the opportunity to contribute to the public process and make a positive impact in their communities. I thank each of these individuals for stepping forward to serve their state. While many of these boards do not get significant public recognition, the contributions they make to Alaska are invaluable.”

The following individuals were appointed or reappointed by Governor Walker to serve on state boards and commissions:

Alcoholic Beverage Control Board 

– The ABC Board is comprised of five members appointed by the Governor to rotating three-year terms. The Board controls the manufacture, barter, possession, and sale of alcoholic beverages in the state. If confirmed, all appointments will expire on March 1, 2020.

· Robert Klein, Anchorage – Robert Klein is the chief executive officer of Anchorage Distillery, and has over 30 years of experience in the Alcohol Beverage industry. Mr. Klein has served on the ABC Board since 2008.

· Rex Leath Jr., Wasilla – Rex Leath is an Alaska Wildlife Troopers Captain , and has been working for the Department of Public Safety in different positions for 17 years. His is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

Board of Fisheries 

– The Board of Fisheries is a regulatory body of seven members appointed to three-year terms by the Governor. The board is tasked with ensuring the conservation and development of fishery resources. If confirmed, all appointments will expire on June 30, 2020.

· Frederick “Fritz” Johnson, Dillingham – Frederick “Fritz” Johnson of Dillingham founded the Bristol Bay Times in 1980, and has been involved in the Bristol Bay region since then. Johnson served a previous three-year term as a member of the Board, and also served three terms as an elected volunteer director of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association.

· John Jensen, Petersberg – John Jessen has been a commercial fisherman for over 50 years across various regions of the state. He has in-depth knowledge and a wealth of experience in commercial fishing, and has served on the board since 2003.

· Reed Morisky, Fairbanks – Reed Morisky has been a sport fishing guide since 1984, and has advocated for a responsible sport fishing industry to achieve sustainable fisheries. Morisky has served on the fisheries board since 2013.

Board of Game

 – The Board of Game is a regulatory body of seven members appointed to three-year terms by the Governor. This board is tasked with ensuring the conservation and development of game resources. If confirmed, appointments will expire on June 30, 2020 unless otherwise noted.

· Karen Linnell, Glennallen – Governor Walker appointed Karen Linnell to a vacant seat on the Board of Game in November of 2016. She has been a board member of the Copper River Native Association, and is a past president of the Chistochina Village Council. Her family has a long-standing tradition of subsistence hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering in the Ahtna region. Her term will expire on June 30, 2019.

· Thomas Lamal, Fairbanks – Thomas Lamal is an avid hunter, a retired teacher, commercial fisherman and surveyor from Fairbanks. He previously served on the Alaska Professional Teaching Practices Commission, and has been active in many outdoor and hunting organizations.

· Stanley “Stosh” Hoffman, Jr., Bethel – Stanley “Stosh” Hoffman, Jr. of Bethel is a life-long Alaskan, and currently serves as the Director of Corporate Facilities for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation in Bethel. Hoffman has served on the Board of Game since 2008.

· Ted Spraker, Soldotna – Soldotna’s Ted Spraker has served on the Board of Game since 2003. He is a retired wildlife biologist, and holds a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management and a master’s degree in range management from the University of Wyoming.

· Larry Van Daele, Kodiak – Larry Van Daele of Kodiak spent over 30 years as a wildlife biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, retiring as a regional supervisor for Southcentral Alaska in 2015. Since then, he has provided his expertise as a volunteer and wildlife consultant for Karluk Wilderness Adventures and Kodiak Electric Association. Mr. Van Daele holds a PhD in natural resource management from the University of Idaho.

Marijuana Control Board

– The Marijuana Control Board is a gubernatorial-appointed, five-member board which controls the cultivation, manufacture and sale of marijuana in the State. The board is a regulatory and quasi-judicial agency with designated seats for public safety, public health, rural Alaska, marijuana industry, and public/industry. Unless otherwise noted, terms will begin March 1, 2017, and expire March 1, 2020 if appointees are confirmed by the Legislature.

· Nicholas Miller, Anchorage – Governor Walker appointed Nicholas Miller of Anchorage to the vacant public/industry seat on the board in August of 2016. Miller works as a director at a large communications company in Alaska, and is the current chair of the Anchorage Cannabis Business Association. His term will expire on March 1, 2018.

· Peter Mlynarik, Soldotna – Peter Mlynarik of Soldotna has been appointed to the public safety seat on the board. Mlynarik is the Soldotna Chief of Police, and has over 26 years of experience in law enforcement. He has served on the board since 2015.

· Mark Springer, Bethel – Mark Springer is a tribal planner and transportation director for the Tuluksak Native Community. He is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran and has been involved in local government and economic development in rural Alaska. Springer has served on the board since July of 2015.

Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees 

– The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (AMHTA) Board of Trustees is a gubernatorial-appointed, seven-member board. Trustees serve five-year terms, and are tasked with administering the Alaska Mental Health Trust.

· Christopher Cooke, Anchorage – Christopher Cooke of Anchorage has lived and worked in rural Alaska for more than 25 years as an attorney, including 10 years as a superior court judge in Bethel. He has previously served on a number of other boards, including the Alaska Bar Association Board of Governors. If confirmed by the legislature, Cooke’s appointment will be effective March 1, 2017, and expire March 1, 2022.

University of Alaska Board of Regents 

– University of Alaska Board of Regents (BOR) consists of 11 members appointed by the governor, one of whom must be a student. The BOR governs the University of Alaska, formulates policy, and appoints the university president. The student regent is appointed to a two-year term beginning June 1; all other terms begin on the first Monday in February, and last for eight years.

· Karen Perdue, Fairbanks – Karen Purdue is from Fairbanks, and owns Chena Consulting and Chena Collectibles. Previously, she served as the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Social Services, and Associate Vice President of Health Affairs at the University of Alaska. Her term will expire on February 2, 2025

· Mary K. Hughes, Anchorage – Mary Hughes of Anchorage has served on the Board of Regents since 2002. She holds a bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Alaska, and a juris doctor from Willamette University. She served as Anchorage’s municipal attorney and state director for the Office of Senator Lisa Murkowski. Prior to her appointments, she practiced law for 20 years; her term will expire on February 2, 2025.

Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission 

– The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) is an independent, quasi-judicial agency of the State of Alaska. Established under the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Act, the three-member commission oversees oil and gas drilling, development and production, reservoir depletion and metering operations on state land.

· Daniel T. Seamount Jr., Eagle River – Dan Seamount of Eagle River has been the geologic commissioner for AOGCC since 2000. He brings over 27 years of experience in oil, gas, and geothermal exploration and development to the commission. Mr. Seamount holds a bachelor’s degree in geology and a master’s degreein earth sciences from University of California at Riverside.

Read More: Governor Walker Declares State Disaster for December 2016 Storm in Western Alaska

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