Born and raised in Anchorage, Bonnie has been an active leader and influencer in her hometown since she was a young girl. You could find her selling Fur Rondy buttons at age 6, and she won the one-dog Rondy race two years in a row when she was 7 and 8-years-old.
A conference leader and planner, community engagement has been a priority and highlight at every stage of Bonnie’s life. She created, planned, and coordinated the Glass Ceiling Breaking Luncheon in 2005, honoring the women who served as presiding officers of local governing bodies in Anchorage. All proceeds went to Alaska Women’s Aid in Crisis (AWAIC) and Standing Together Against Rape (STAR). In 2003-2004 she served as a mentor with the Alaska Humanities Forum Leadership program, she has founded four investment clubs, and managed or participated in numerous political campaigns at all levels of government.
Bonnie is a founding board member (2009) and treasurer of the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame, and she was inducted into the Anchorage ATHENA Society in 2007. She continues to be the volunteer administrator for the ATHENA Society and, frankly, is the glue that keeps it together every year.
It’s difficult to find a political or civic cause in Alaska that Bonnie has not influenced with her dedication, time, and talent. She is a mentor, motivator, and tireless leader.
Bonnie is the mother of boy-girl adult twins, Leann Jack, Anchorage and Robert Jack, Seattle, and the grandmother of adult grandchildren Suzann Curro and James Curro plus surrogate gramma for Max Hughes.
A lifelong Alaskan, former gold miner and current instrument rated private pilot, Gretchen Cuddy has the familial commitment to her community. She has served on many boards: Anchorage Library Foundation, PAC, Alaska Aviation Museum and as their grant writer. She has been involved with projects that have had an effect on her community, Girl Scout Leader, Anchorage Women’s Club—Free Committee and Symphony of Trees, IACUC committee for the Department of Fish and Wildlife, West High School Auditorium Restoration, Mayor’s Homeless Task Force, Rogers Park Community Council—Crime and Safety and the Fireweed Beautification, and First National Bank Alaska’s Donation Committee.
Gretchen has had the wonderful adventure of helping pets and their owners in many of the Alaskan villages as a veterinary technician. As a businesswoman and builder, her vision to revitalize downtown was the construction of an 18 unit apartment building at the end of 9th Avenue.
Crystal started her career in the Alaska electric utility industry more than 20 years ago as the Public Information Officer for Anchorage Municipal Light & Power. She earned her undergraduate degree in journalism at UAA and returned mid-career to earn a Masters in Public Administration. Crystal has served on the UAA Alumni Association Board since 2017 and is currently vice chair.
Throughout her career, in a male dominated industry, it has been a priority for Crystal to encourage and mentor other women.
Today, Crystal is the Executive Director of Alaska Power Association and Executive Vice President of ARECA Insurance Exchange. She represents the Alaska electric utility industry on the state, regional, and national levels. In her career she has been an extremely effective advocate for the consumer, working with government officials on state and national levels to assure that Alaskans have reliable, secure electric power for their homes and businesses.
Carol Fraser says her most important mentee is her daughter, Carissa.
“Love You Hard.” This is her signature phrase – guiding, supporting and mentoring.
Carol’s passion is embodied by Stars of the Industry, a banquet she brought to recognize local talent. It started with 63 attendees and now has 500.
Nearly 20 years after arson destroyed her Anchorage property, Aspen Hotels now boasts 8 properties, all led by women and supported by female management. Carol is the architect of Aspen’s brand and as VP offers discounted rooms for kids traveling for school activities and free rooms for those undergoing cancer treatment.
Stories of challenge and triumph are common markers in the lives of those who’ve benefitted. Carol is cultivating tomorrow’s workforce, combining community commitment & business acumen, Alaskans are experiencing success they didn’t know possible. She is founder of Trend Alaska that recently raised $130,000 to address youth addiction & suicide.
Michael Fredericks is the President and majority owner of SALT, a firm offering interior design services, strategic stakeholder engagement services and project management. She is an Alaska Native woman of Yupik descent, born and raised in Anchorage. Michael received her Bachelor of Architectural Studies from the University of Washington and her Masters of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Early in her professional life, Michael built on her architectural training to create a unique specialization in complex stakeholder engagement around design projects. For more than 20 years, Michael has facilitated strategic planning, community engagement, complex problem solving and focused conversations around difficult issues. To everything she does, Michael brings warmth, humor, patience, insight and a deep sense of caring and commitment to community. She is a mother, a mentor, and a woman deeply connected to the roots, traditions and cultures that make Alaska powerful and unique.
Joelle grew up in California. She was an AFS Exchange student to Honduras and served in the US Army. She is a two-time graduate of the Defense Language Institute and Airborne qualified. She graduated from UAF with a degree in Foreign Languages. Joelle had her own consulting firm where she worked in public health, housing first initiatives and for the ANCSA CEO’s.
In 2009, she joined the Alaska AFL-CIO as the Director of Operations.
Joelle has served the community on the SERVE Alaska Commission, School Bonds Yes, the Anchorage Park Foundation, the UAF Board of Advisors, Alaskans for Fair Redistricting, the board of Alaska Women Ascend, a mentor in the Leadership Anchorage program, as an AFS host family and liaison, and is a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood.
In 2021, she was elected President of the Alaska AFL-CIO. She is married to Mallie and they have two adult children.
Shauna Hegna is a huntress, skier, administrator, mentor, advocate, and tribal leader. Shauna enjoys the outdoors with her husband Josh, daughter Paxson and college bound son, Kai. They subsistence hunt every year, passing this knowledge onto the next generation. Shauna mentors women encouraging them to reach their highest potential. One employee said it best, “Shauna isn’t afraid of strong women. She embraces and empowers them.” She worked alongside Elders to jump start the revitalization of the Alutiiq language. One of her greatest joys is to see young adults learning their traditional language.
She enjoys serving as President for the Koniag, the Kodiak ANSCA Regional Corporation. In the last twelve months, she advocated tirelessly for Alaska Native Corporations right to receive Cares Act funding, ensuring Congress and the courts provided much needed covid relief funds to Alaska Native communities and families impacted by the pandemic.
Celeste Hodge Growden has a long history of developing and implementing successful community efforts to improve the well-being of marginalized and disadvantaged groups. As the President/ CEO of the Alaska Black Caucus, a nonprofit that advocates for the rights of Black and Indigenous People of Color communities in education, health, economics and justice, and as the former President of the local NAACP for nearly a decade, her roots are deeply intertwined in the trenches of equity, equality and justice.
Through her career, Celeste has personified her favorite motto, “Yes We Can.” Previously, she served as the Executive Director of Shiloh Community Development, a nonprofit that empowers youth, minorities, seniors and the disadvantaged; a legislative aide for the late Senator Bettye Davis; and advisor to U.S. Senator Mark Begich on racial and diversity issues.
Celeste recognizes the ABC Allies for Change as essential partners in the fight to end racism.
Dr. Hurlburt is a lifelong Alaskan from an Athabascan family, born and raised in Naknek. She was a commercial fisherman there before leaving to pursue her medical degree. Her thriving internal medicine practice in Anchorage was established in 2002.
Kathy serves on the boards of Rasmuson Foundation, Providence Alaska Medical Center, Alaska Innovative Medicine and previously, Victory Ministries and Alaska Christian College. She is on the Providence Credentials Committee and was Alaska Regional Hospital chief of staff. She has volunteered at statewide youth camps including as physician for Victory Ministries. She graduated summa cum laude from University of Alaska and earned her medical degree from University of Washington.
Dr. Hurlburt and her husband Ward live in Anchorage. She is passionate about the Bristol Bay region, where her parents, oldest son and his family still live. She loves spending time there with her granddaughters and subsistence fishing in Bristol Bay.
Sonya Kelliher-Combs is a world-renowned artist and businesswoman who mentors the next generation of Indigenous women and fellow artists, supporting them while sharing her own success.
She works in a variety of media and says traditional women’s work taught her to appreciate the intimacy of intergenerational knowledge and material histories. Whether it’s through her mixed-media paintings, drawings, sculpture, needlework, or installations, these experiences and skills have allowed her to examine and show the connections between Western and Indigenous cultures, history, family, and the historical and contemporary struggles of Indigenous peoples. Her use of synthetic, organic, customary, and modern materials is unique and underscores her interest in exploring similarities and differences between cultures, self/other, and humans/ nature.
Sonya is Inupiaq and Athabascan, raised in Nome. Her BFA degree is from UAF and her MFA from Arizona State University. Her work has been shown around the world, with many accolades and awards.
April Kyle is honored to be part of the Alaska Native community who, through self-determination, own and drive their healthcare system. April was born in Anchorage and grew up in Eagle River. Of Athabaskan decsent, she is a Ninilchik Tribal member and CIRI shareholder. Serving as Southcentral Foundation’s President and CEO, April is appreciated for more than 19 years of leadership growth at Southcentral where she supports improved healthcare services for the community and work environments for employees.
She credits successes to the strength ofS outhcentral’s 2500 employees who work in relationship with each other and with the Alaska Native people who own the healthcare system.
April and her family live in Eagle River and enjoy spending time together in Ninilchik. April’s love of family and community drive her to serve her community and the Southcentral workforce to continually improve Southcentral’s healthcare system for future generations of Alaska Native people.
Moira Smith is a decisive, compassionate and experienced leader. A principled attorney with a global perspective on the importance of the rule of law, Moira is a lifelong Alaskan who has devoted countless volunteer hours to better the lives of her fellow Alaskans. Moira worked internationally for a human rights organization in Hungary, volunteered with the Alaska Bar Association’s Lawyers’ Assistance Committee, represented clients pro bono for the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, and recently won an appeal before the Alaska Supreme Court in a child custody determination.
She has also served on the boards of the Alaska Chamber Singers, Perseverance Theatre, Standing Together Against Rape, and most recently served as Chair of the Alaska Humanities Forum. Moira has a unique ability to mobilize action in a crisis, providing hope, relief and justice along the way.
At CITC, Tabetha is committed to creating the best possible workplace so that employees may grow and thrive. In her role as CAO, she oversees Communications, Human Resources, Recruitment and Training/Development.
Tabetha believes in developing people and is especially dedicated to empowering other women to pursue leadership positions and to strive toward personal and professional goals. As shared by a colleague, “Tabetha has the ability to see something in women that they may not see themselves. There’s no negative energy around her. She just wants to see other Native women advance.”
Tabetha also has a passion for building strategic partnerships, connecting people, and serving her community. She has held roles on boards and committees at Alaska Pacific University, Alaska Native Cultural Charter School, Alaska Native Professional Association, ANCSA Education Consortium, UAA’s Alaska Native Success Initiative, Bering Straits Foundation, and Alaska Native Heritage Center where she currently serves as Board Chair.
Anne Zink, MD, FACEP was appointed Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for the Alaska Department of Health & Social Services (DHSS), Division of Public Health in August 2019. Dr. Zink has 13 years of experience in emergency medicine and joined DHSS from the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, where she served as the Emergency Department medical director (2010-18). Dr. Zink is a practicing emergency room physician who is passionate about helping to shape and transform our current health care system. In all the work she does, she strives to create work environments, policies, and practices that build system efficiencies that put patients first.
Her priorities as CMO include building stronger partnerships between DHSS and Alaska’s health care providers and providing support statewide to help establish healthier communities across Alaska. Dr. Zink received her medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine and completed her residency at the University of Utah.