2015 Anchorage ATHENA Society Leadership Award

Carolyn Jones

A small town girl from New York, Carolyn E. Jones graduated with distinction from Stanford University and earned her LL.B. from Yale Law School. After working in Italy as a simultaneous translator, she began the practice of law in 1968. She moved to Alaska in 1975 and began her 23-year career with the Alaska Attorney General’s Office representing the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights. She successfully litigated several employment discrimination cases of first impression on the Commission’s behalf.

Jones became a full-time volunteer-humanitarian in 1998. Through her work with Rotary International she has taught in Russian orphanages and universities; administered polio vaccines in India; baby formula in Uganda; clean water assistance in Myanmar and microcredit support in Costa Rica. Her story “The Children of Russia” was published in Chicken Soup for the Volunteers’ Soul. She served in numerous leadership roles within the organization and ultimately became the first woman to serve as a Trustee of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

For her humanitarian and leadership service, Jones has received numerous recognitions including Volunteer of the Year from the Russian Children’s Foundation; the Mercy and Charity award from the Tomsk, Russia Duma; and induction into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame. In October 2014, she was one of 10 women recognized by the White House as Rotary Women of Action.

2015 Anchorage ATHENA Inductees


Kristi Acuff

Acuff & Associates, Owner
acuffassociates@gmail.com  :  350-6397

Kristi Acuff is a lifelong Alaskan with a Masters in Strategic Communication & Leadership and over 30 years Human Resources and Communications experience in the Alaska and Texas oil and gas and energy sectors. She started Acuff & Associates in 2011, a consulting firm focused on strategic planning, leadership selection and development, and communications. She also has a passion to mentor and guide individuals to take on bigger, more important leadership roles.

She has served many community and professional non-profits including being Chair and serving on the national Human Resources Certification Institute Board for 10 years; Big Brothers Big Sisters Alaska statewide and local boards; Hospice of Anchorage Board; ACT-SO Advisory Board; Anchorage United for Youth Advisory Board; Go Red for Women Anchorage Executive Leadership Team, Chair (American Heart Association) and SHRM Anchorage Chapter President.

Currently Kristi is excited about being co-founder of 100+ Women Who Care Anchorage.  In December their first chapter meeting resulted in the chapter’s first donation, an impactful $10,375, to Equine Assisted Therapy Alaska (EATA). There are over 100 ladies in the chapter already, and growing.


Jennifer Bundy-Cobb

The Wilson Agency, LLC, VP Sales and Client Service
jbc@thewilsonagency.com  :  277-1616

Jennifer Bundy-Cobb, an Anchorage resident since 1972, has proved herself a leader throughout our community. As a partner and VP of The Wilson Agency, she strives to build positive relationships with clients, staff, peers and the community. Co-worker Holly Parsons says, “I have worked with her for over six years. During that time, I have seen Jenifer rise to the occasion of every leadership opportunity put in front of her. I find Jenifer to be an impactful role model as well as a promoter of other women.”

A charter member and past president (2006/2007) of the Alaska Chapter of National Association of Health Underwriters, Jennifer was awarded the Bob Hagen Award in 2010. The award honors someone who has “shown consistent dedication to our association and the community we serve.” A former board chair for the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center, Jenifer recently led the center through a capital campaign and the opening of a new facility. She credits strong women in her life as role models, including her talented and inspiring mom, sister, daughter, and a close circle of friends.


Julie Hasquet

BP Exploration (Alaska), Director, Government & Public Affairs
Julie.Hasquet@bp.com  :  564-5231

From the beginning of her professional career nearly three decades ago, Julie Hasquet has worked to promote and mentor women. Starting with her career at KTUU as a reporter/anchor, through her time working for a mayor and U.S. Senator, to her current job at BP, Julie is generous with her time and expertise helping other women become successful in their pursuits.

In addition to her professional life, Julie serves as a mentor and on the Steering Committee for Success Inside & Out, a program designed to help women succeed when released from prison. She served as a Girl Scout leader for six years, speaks to high school and college classes on a regular basis, and is a mentor with the Public Relations Society of America, Alaska chapter. Currently, she is the chair of the Leadership Council for the Lung Association in Alaska frequently advocating for tobacco cessation and smoke-free air.

As the mother of two daughters, Julie knows strong, successful women are key to building strong communities. She models strength and commitment at home, at work, and in the community.


Barbara A. Jones

Municipality of Anchorage, Anchorage Municipal Clerk
JonesBAR@muni.org  :  343-4312

As the Municipal Clerk for Anchorage, Barbara Jones led the rewrite of the Municipal Code Title 28 which deals with elections and was adopted by the Anchorage Assembly.  Barbara works tirelessly to identify and address community concerns and involvement.

As an attorney, she advised clients in employment matters and litigation including a significant Americans with Disabilities case tried in the US District Court. She chaired the Alaska Bar Association’s Law-Related Education Committee and was recognized for her passion for educating the public about the law.

While Director of the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission, she revised Title 5, which deals with equal rights, and made it user-friendly for the public. She established training programs to eliminate discrimination and partnered with the United Way in developing the “Leadership Anchorage” program that teaches young people about discrimination.

Barbara served as Anchorage Ombudsman and has served on numerous boards and commissions. She has worked with Girl Scouts and the YWCA and continuously assists women and girls in reaching their full leadership potential by encouraging their professional growth through continuing education and community involvement.


Alison E. Kear

Covenant House Alaska, Chief Executive Officer
akear@covenanthouseak.org  :  339-4203

One name in this community reflects amazing dedication, results-driven measurements and the art of connecting people: Alison Kear.  CEO of Covenant House Alaska (CHA), she came to Anchorage in 1994. Three years later, she discovered her purpose when she began supporting the homeless youth of Alaska. Her tenacity, ability to make connections and never take no for an answer propelled her to CEO in 2012.

Her most notable success was raising enough capital during the 2010 recession to construct a new building and youth center for CHA. Andrea Kihlsteadt, a national fundraising consultant and author said, “Alison Kear is inspiring. Not only has she guided Covenant House Alaska through a remarkable and successful capital campaign that raised more than $20 million, but she has inspired people all over the country with her courage, conviction and leadership.”

Outside of her tireless efforts with Covenant House Alaska, Alison has dedicated time and energy to Special Olympics Alaska, Soroptimist International of Cook Inlet, Alzheimer’s Association, Breast Cancer fundraising, YWCAAK. She also loves to spend time with her best friend: Lucy, her devoted labradoodle.


Stephanie Kesler

GCI, Senior Technologist
SKesler@gci.com  :  868-5617

Stephanie’s passions include technology, the arts, and community service and she is recognized as a mentor to emerging leaders. With thirty years in telecommunications, she is currently a Senior Technologist at GCI and is one of only a handful of women nationwide leading major cross-disciplinary technology implementations. She also works with national cable industry groups on standards and practices.

Stephanie shares a passion for music with her mother, Nancy King. Like her mother, she has been president of the Anchorage Concert Association.  She has served as president of the Anchorage Concert Foundation since 2011.

She is strongly committed to her community and has been active with the Government Hill Community Council for over 15 years, serving as president for the second time as the Council engages in public discussions on the impacts of the proposed Knik Arm Crossing. Stephanie also serves on the Anchorage Port Commission; is active in Leadership Anchorage; and is an alumnus of the FBI Citizen’s Academy.

Stephanie is married to Peter Partnow and they happily reside on Government Hill with their dogs, Tyge and Echo.


Hilary Morgan

YWCA Alaska, CEO
hmorgan@ywcaak.org  :  644-9601

Hilary Morgan’s contributions to improving the community and the world span a life time of work in Alaska, New York and even in refugee camps in the Philippines. Hilary leads nonprofit groups with a keen business sense and measurable criteria.  She is a composer and musician and most recently, a hockey player and ski patroller.  Above all, Hilary is passionate about social justice and empowering women.

Hilary serves as the President and CEO of YWCA of Alaska.  Under Hilary’s leadership, the YWCA has expanded services and is committed to eliminating the gender pay gap in Alaska.

Hilary dedicated many years to homelessness issues, serving as the first female director of the Brother Francis Shelter, and later developing a cutting edge program for the most chronic homeless that received national awards.  She also earned the Mayor’s Award for Public Service, the YWCA Woman of Achievement Award and was named a Rockefeller Fellow with the Next Generation Leadership Program.

On a personal level, Hilary enthusiastically mentors women and supports her colleagues, making each of them feel special and heard.


Jackie Purcell

KTUU, Chief Meteorologist
jpurcell@ktuu.com  :  762-9202

If you’ve been watching the KTUU evening news long enough, you’ve grown up with her, or maybe you graduated from Bartlett High School together.  When you wonder about the weather forecast, the name that comes to mind is ATHENA inductee Jackie Purcell, Chief Meteorologist.

Jackie’s been broadcasting the weather for 29 years at KTUU with enthusiasm and professionalism. On school tours, she’s the most popular stop.  On her own time, she mentors high school and college students so she can pass on the excitement, values, and ethics of her profession.

Her Dad advised her to “go to work and do the best job that you can” and she’s followed through.

Her mother believed in “helping others because you can”.  Jackie is a tremendous volunteer in our community, serving on dozens of community committees and boards and volunteering for countless non-profits and schools, mostly on her own time, often having several events on weekends.

What Jackie loves is the opportunity to meet and help people.  She is truly a valuable Alaska resource for women of the past, present, and future.


Dr. Robyn Rehmann

University of Alaska Anchorage, Ass’t Professor, Educational Leadership Program
rrehmann@uaa.alaska.edu  :  786-4401

Dr. Robyn Rehmann has dedicated over 45 years teaching children to become successful learners while also coaching and mentoring educators. As an assistant professor, she heads the Educational Leadership Program at UAA’s College of Education. In 2011, the Anchorage Principals Association recognized Robyn for her dedication and commitment to educating children and mentoring principals.

The Alaska Legislature honored her for her lifetime contribution to education in 2010. Robyn was awarded the 2013 Alaska First Lady Volunteer of the Year Award for service to include the Board of Directors for Assets, Inc. and Stone Soup Group.  She currently serves on the Catholic Social Services Program Committee to include Clare House and Brother Francis Shelter. She has mentored over 80 aspiring and novice principals to become successful educational leaders.

Robyn seeks to assist young women to identify their career potential and excel in diverse areas. As a principal and national consultant, she has served in Title 1 schools, the Bush and on Indian reservations where she taught others “how to dream, and to see themselves as winners, anything is possible.”


Cindy Shake

AECOM, Public Affairs Specialist
cindyshake@gmail.com : 244-6617

Cindy Shake is an award-winning professional named 2014 Marketer of the Year by the Alaska Chapter of the American Marketing Association.  Cindy owned a successful graphic design firm for 25 years and is currently Public Affairs Specialist for AECOM.

A life-long Alaskan, Cindy earned her Bachelor of Arts from Alaska Pacific University and graduated Summa Cum Laude.   Her works include a large-scale public art installation “Bicycle Bloom”, “Reading Ravens” at Chugach Optional Elementary School, and the Cook Inlet Housing Authority branding project. Those of you with children may recognize Cindy’s illustrations from the Alaska Animal Alphabet and the Amazing Animal Alphabet books, both selected for Apple iBooks. Countless organizations have benefited from Cindi’s expertise and mentoring over the years.  She was awarded the “Citizen’s Literacy Award for Outstanding Contributions Toward the Promotion of Literacy” from the Cook Inlet Literacy Council.

Most importantly, Cindy is recognized for her beautiful art woven throughout the fabric of our community; her mentoring of young professionals; and her endless passion for making Anchorage an incredible place to live.