2016 Anchorage ATHENA Society Leadership Award

Karen King


Karen King visited Alaska on a ski vacation more than 17 years ago. She liked the friends she made and their commitment to an outdoor lifestyle so much that she took a sabbatical from her job in Minneapolis the next fall — and never went back.

After spending her first two years in Alaska as a marketing consultant, Karen joined then Nerland Agency in 1999. The agency became an employee-owned company in 2005 and Karen was promoted to president in 2008. During Karen’s leadership as its president and CEO, Nerland Agency rebranded itself as Spawn Ideas in 2013. Spawn was named “Alaska’s Top Shop” by AdWeek Magazine in 2013 and has been among Outside Magazine’s “100 Best Places to Work in America” for four years’ running, rising to #4 (in America) in 2015. Spawn was also voted among America’s Best Places to Work for Millennials that same year.

An active volunteer, Karen finds rewarding work in the arts, environment, suicide prevention and development of special needs adults. She is immediate past president of Anchorage Rotary Club and a member of its board of directors. She is a trustee of the Nature Conservancy Alaska and a long-time board member for Erik’s Ranch & Retreat, a unique live/work community for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Montana and Minnesota).

Karen is married to Michael King and enjoys the outdoors in Alaska by gardening, skiing and hiking with her two Australian Shepherd dogs.

2016 Anchorage ATHENA Inductees


Michelle Egan

With nearly three decades of experience in communications, marketing, and management, Michelle Egan is recognized as a leader in the field of public relations. Her career began in the non-profit sector working for Junior Achievement of Alaska, and over the years she has brought her communications skills and expertise to the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, the Anchorage School District, and currently as corporate communications director for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.

Michelle mentors other women in the workplace and in the public relations community — many who are now in leadership roles. She is considered an expert on message development, crisis communications, ethics, and advising leaders; and is accredited in public relations by the Public Relations Society of America. Michelle has led special workplace initiatives on topics such as culture change, conflict resolution, and collaboration.

Michelle’s passion for the community and social justice runs deep as she volunteers her time with Catholic Social Services, Special Olympics, Campfire USA, and Covenant House. She is a strong, successful woman who is caring and compassionate about the people and places around her. 


Joanie Meyer Hope

No Evidence of Disease. That simple phrase always bring a smile to Joanie Meyer Hope, not only because it means a cancer patient is moving toward a cure, but also because it’s the name of the rock band in which she performs with five other doctors who seek to bring awareness to women’s cancers through their fundraising concerts.

This woman is one of only two board certified gynecologic oncologists in Alaska, the founder and managing partner of the Alaska’s Women’s Cancer Center, the Director of Gyn Oncology at Providence Alaska Cancer Center and the Alaska Native Medical Center.

Joanie received the YWCA’s Woman of Achievement Award and helped form Let Every Woman Know, a non-profit dedicated to promoting awareness and education about gynecologic cancers, and is the mother of 8-year-old Ari, an avid athlete, and passionate about her music.

A graduate from Stanford with a B.A. in Economics, Masters at Antioch University in Intercultural Relations, and Joanie received her MD from State University of New York, Brooklyn plus completed postgraduate training at New York University Medical Center.


Linda “Jay” Jackson

Linda “Jay” Jackson envisions communities where all have the opportunity for a better life.  She empowers others — especially women — to help themselves.

A national award-winning teacher, she led student groups overseas.  Prior to travel, she instilled a deep understanding of and respect for these countries. Her first year at Bartlett, one student told her he would become a doctor, donate his time in developing countries, taking her with him as his documentary photographer. Twenty years later he took her on his medical mission to Nepal. Upon returning home, determined to help one of the world’s poorest and least developed countries, Linda founded Helping Hand for Nepal, an all-volunteer nonprofit, doing humanitarian projects in medicine, education, water, sanitation, and now earthquake relief. HHN has received national and international recognition. Some of her former students serve on HHN Boards.

Linda has served on municipal boards and commissions, and volunteers at Anchorage Animal Care and Control as a neonate/kitten foster mom.  She is an Honorary Member of Anchorage East Rotary.

Kara Moriarty

Kara Moriarty

Kara Moriarty is a remarkable example of how women in business can achieve professional success while staying firmly grounded in life’s most important themes of family and community. In her professional life, as President and CEO of the Alaska Oil & Gas Association, Kara is the voice and force of the state’s largest economic driver — the oil and gas industry. A compelling speaker and writer, she is frequently asked to testify on resource issues critical to Alaska, from Juneau to Washington, D.C.  Her expertise and reasoned, non-partisan approach to solving problems have gained her the respect of state and federal policy makers.

Prominent as she is in her professional life, Kara is equally respected for her community involvement: her service with Anchorage Rotary, Catholic Social Services, Breast Cancer Focus; her mentorship of young women professionals; her quiet acts of kindness — making blankets for children at Clare House, delivering food to the homebound.

When asked about her priorities, Kara will tell you the cornerstones of her life are her faith and family, especially her children, Joseph, Margaret, and Garrett.


Juliana Osinchuk

Juliana Osinchuk, internationally renowned concert pianist and President of JLOD Music Enterprises, Inc., is known for her devotion to excellence, her sense of community and her commitment to public service.

She has a steadfast dedication to “giving back” to the citizens of Anchorage. For her efforts, she was honored as a YWCA Woman of Achievement for community service.

For 15 years Juliana worked as artistic director of the Anchorage Festival of Music.  Her concerts have benefited Breast Cancer Focus, Inc., Catholic Social Services, Lumen Christi High School, and Cancer Care Alliance. Perhaps her most illustrious accomplishment is as Founder and Director of the Young Alaskan Artist Award Program. Talented upcoming musicians, many of them women, need performance opportunities and scholarships.

From Juliana’s efforts with Senator Ted Stevens emerged the Young Alaskan Artist Award. This annual competition selects a worthy performing artist who is entering the professional field. The results are tangible; many winners are now members of orchestras, college faculties, and are actively performing. The Young Alaskan Artist Program has provided enormous benefits for these artists, thanks to Juliana Osinchuk.


Julie Robinson

To describe Julie Robinson, one must say dentist, lieutenant colonel, humanitarian, dental services chief, clinic instructor, volunteer of the year, Woman of Achievement, Big Sister, role model, natural leader, wife and mom. Whether taking time off from her successful dental practice to serving with the National Guard, providing a home to foster children, hosting foreign exchange students, coaching girls’ sports, or raising money for local education, Julie demonstrates sustained leadership, integrity, dedication, and motivation professionally.

From the heart of Anchorage to rural Alaska and the far reaches of Mongolia and Africa, from public schools to assisted living facilities, Julie makes the lives of children, elders, and those less fortunate, better one tooth at a time. She has proven her ability to lead at a state and national level through her participation in professional societies, legislative committees, and through mentor programs.

Serving in the leadership role in 2014 and 2015, Julie along with 1848 volunteers provided over $2 million worth of free dental care to 2475 underserved Alaskans. This year’s event will be in April and she again is seeking volunteers to participate.


Stacey Shubert

At age 23, Stacey Shubert became the youngest president of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce in this organization’s 90-year history. From those august beginnings, Stacey has gone on to work on behalf of the municipality and is currently director of Government Relations and Public Affairs at the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation.

As a communicator, Stacey has successfully designed and implemented programs aimed at growing awareness about a range of AHFC programs from public housing, to senior living centers and assisting first time home buyers.

Stacy has a personal passion for the economic empowerment of women and has successfully partnered with domestic violence and sexual assault nonprofits to provide housing vouchers to families affected by domestic violence and sexual assault.

Stacey has volunteered with numerous associations and organizations ranging from the United Way to Providence’s No One Dies Alone program.

 As a devotee of Scottish poet Robert Burns, she and has delivered the toast at the annual Robert Burns dinner. So to Stacey we say: “Oh would some power … the gift [give] … to see ourselves as others see us.”

Julie Taylor 2014

Julie Taylor

When Julie Taylor arrived as Alaska Regional’s CEO two years ago, she immediately began to partner with Anchorage residents and the business community, investing in resources beneficial to healthcare, economic development and quality of life. She has already developed a reputation for reshaping Alaska’s healthcare industry and creating new models of care for better outcomes.

Recognizing the importance of primary care, Julie acquired the state-supported Senior Clinic to continue the provision of care for one of Alaska’s most vulnerable populations. She also collaborated with the Anchorage Community Land Trust to develop a healthcare clinic in Mountain View. When Tanaina Child Development Center lost its home, Julie worked to donate space on the hospital’s campus to meet their need, and the desire of employees to have childcare nearby. A perfect example of a “win-win,” it will become reality by fall 2016.

Julie believes it is the responsibility of emerging women leaders to work harder not because they have to, but because they want to. It is about moving the team in the right direction with discipline and focus, while earning trust, communicating and instilling confidence.

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Jennifer Thompson

Jennifer Thompson is president and CEO of Thompson & Co. Public Relations. Starting as an intern at Bernholz & Graham PR in 1999, Jennifer worked her way up to president. In 2009, she purchased the company and made it her own. She now has offices in New York City and Houston.

Promoting Alaska as a destination is her professional passion. Sharing its stories on media outlets like the Today Show and Top Chef has taken her to nearly every corner of this great state.

Jennifer became the dynamic leader she is today by mentoring under female leaders. She returns the favor tenfold by mentoring each woman in her office and others in the profession. Jennifer has an innate sense of how to coach, support, and push her protégés into leadership roles.

Nothing is more important to her, though, than family. As a mother of two daughters, she believes it’s as important to make time for family dinners and family vacations, as it is to be at client meetings and events.

laurie website

Laurie Wolf

Laurie Wolf, The Foraker Group’s President & CEO, has worked in the nonprofit sector for 30 years. Laurie is passionate about the sector’s power to change lives, improve our environment, secure our economic opportunities, provide essential arts, cultural and educational experiences and help ensure healthy communities.

Anchorage born and raised, Laurie earned a BA from Scripps College and an Executive Master’s degree in Not-for-Profit Leadership from Seattle University. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive.

Laurie was named one of “Alaska’s Top 40 Under 40” by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce in 2005 and “2006 Outstanding Professional in Philanthropy” by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Alaska Chapter. She is a trusted leader and mentor to other women in Alaska’s nonprofit community.

An experienced runner, Laurie completes half marathons around the country. When not running half marathons, Laurie’s running a life with her close-knit family and many friends.

Her outstanding leadership, excellence in the field of philanthropy and development, and community service make Laurie Wolf a gem of an ATHENA Society addition. She is extra honored to be inducted alongside her mother, Pat Wolf.


Pat Wolf

Architects discuss whether a building has “good bones.” Thanks to Pat Wolf’s passion, intelligence and creativity, the Anchorage Museum has “great bones.” For three decades, Pat introduced many innovative programs that enhanced the cultural, artistic, and educational experiences for the public.

Pat started at the museum in 1974 as the Curator of Education. 42 years later, Pat’s legacy of engaging children in arts education remains a staple of Anchorage life.

Pat’s service as Museum Director started in 1987 until she merged the position into a nonprofit in 2003 where she served as the CEO until 2007. During her tenure, the Museum’s collections doubled in size, funding stabilized and she spearheaded the recent expansion that includes the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center and the Imaginarium.

Pat’s distinguished service has been recognized nationally and twice by the Alaska Legislature. The Anchorage YWCA named her a 2003 Woman of Achievement. Pat entered the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011.

Pat remains an active arts volunteer. Her commitment to Alaska artists is only out shined by her love of her children and husband of 55 years.