Alaska Chapter Board
2013 Alaska Chapter Board Members
Beth Johnson, CFRE, President
United Way of Anchorage
Originally from Washington state, Beth visited Alaska in 2004, fell in love with the great state, and moved here in 2005. She is the Director of Individual Giving at United Way of Anchorage, and has served on the AFP Alaska Chapter Board as Secretary, Program Chair, Philanthropy Day Chair and is currently President. She served on the Coalition of Alaska Leadership Development, and has also been a Big Sister and literacy tutor. Beth has over 15 years experience in non-profits including membership, marketing and development. She has worked for the Anchorage Concert Association, Emergency Food Network, Tacoma Actors Guild, Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, Point Defiance Zoological Society, and provided contractual services for the Tacoma City Ballet. She received her CFRE certification in 2008. Her areas of specialty are: program development, donor segmentation, fundraising/strategic planning, communications and mission-driven events. She is passionate about philanthropy and volunteerism, and is interested in cultivating those traits in future generations.
Chrissy Bell, CFRE, Immediate Past President
Credit Union 1
A life-long Alaskan, raised on the Kenai Peninsula, Chrissy moved to Anchorage in the spring of 2000 to finish her BA in English at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. She spent over 10 years in the non-profit world working in Development at the Anchorage Museum, Boys and Girls Clubs and the Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association (Four A’s). She obtained her CFRE in September of 2009. She’s worked for Credit Union 1 since November 2010 and is currently the Community Engagement and Education Manager, where she facilitates the credit union’s expansive community involvement, external financial education efforts and internal employee training. Chrissy believes everybody has the power to be a philanthropist, all it takes is the passion and desire to change the world for the better.
Sheena Cummings, MBA, Engagement Chair
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Currently Sheena connects donors with opportunities to assist student-athletes in achieving their academic and physical potential at UAF as the Director of Development for Athletics. She is a lifelong resident of North Pole and earned a bachelor's degree in sport administration at Fort Lewis College in Colorado. She was introduced to AFP as a member of the development team at KUAC FM and AlaskaOne TV, where she helped advance the local public broadcasting mission through corporate donor relationships. In 2011 she graduated from both Leadership Fairbanks and UAF with a master's degree in business management. She and her significant other Jason are building their first home in North Pole with their two dogs Molly and Piper. As the Engagement Chair, she is the resource for AFP members who are interested in giving their time, talent, and energy to support development professionals in Alaska as a board, committee, or event volunteer.
Gretchen C. Gordon, CFRE, Youth in Philanthropy Chair
KUAC FM 89.9/Alaska One TV 9
Gretchen moved to Fairbanks in 2003 to lead the development efforts at KUAC Public Radio and Television and is now KUAC's assistant general manager and director of development & outreach. Gretchen is a CFRE, was honored as the 2008 Outstanding Professional in Philanthropy by AFP Alaska, has served on the AFP Alaska board of directors since 2006 as Interior Representative, Philanthropy Day Co-Chair, is a past president, and now serves as the chapter's Youth in Philanthropy Chair. Gretchen's international service includes the Committee on Directorship, Education and Training, and Youth in Philanthropy committees and serves on the AFP PAC Board for AFP International. Gretchen began her career in development and fundraising at the Dayton Area Chapter of the American Red Cross in 1999 after spending 10 years as a licensed Social Worker in Texas. She held positions at the Red Cross in database management and employee giving campaigns; at Junior Achievement managing a small development program; and back at the Red Cross directing the major and planned giving program prior to moving to Alaska.
Her areas of expertise include: major giving, fundraising plans, strategic planning, ethics and volunteer development. However, she has experience in most areas of fundraising.
Ann M. Hale, MA, CFRE, AFP International Board
Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center
Ann Hale has lived in Anchorage since the age of four. She is a graduate of Bartlett High School, holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Utah and a Masters of Arts in Philanthropy & Development from St. Mary University of Minnesota. After three years of working in the advertising field, Ann began her career in fund raising and development at Providence Alaska Foundation where she worked for five years. In 1997, she became Director of Development at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, and Director of University Advancement at Alaska Pacific University in 2002. She worked previously as Chief Development Officer at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska, and now is Advancement Director at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center.
Ann is a Past President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals - Alaska Chapter. She is a member of the AFP International Board of Directors, serves as Vice Chair, Member Services and is on the Executive Committee. Ann received her CFRE designation in September of 2001 and was also honored with receiving AFP Alaska Chapter's Outstanding Development Professional Award for 2001.
Kelly Hurd, Diversity Chair
Kelly Hurd is the Development Director of Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) and is responsible for stewarding relationships and raising funds to sustain the organization’s critical programs and services. Established in 1983, CITC administers 35 culturally-appropriate programs designed to assist individuals and families achieve their endless potential. Prior to that, Kelly served with the American Red Cross of Alaska for 9 years in the capacities of Community Relations Manager (2001-2005) and Director of Development (2005-2010).
Kelly serves in several volunteer capacities with the American Red Cross, including membership on the Advanced Public Affairs Team, acting as a Red Cross spokesperson with national media during high visibility disasters and is an instructor for International Humanitarian Law. In addition, Kelly is a member of the International Response Team of the American Red Cross, and has been assigned to relief operations in Kosovo, Turkey, Sri Lanka, and Haiti. Kelly served in the US Peace Corps as a Health Educator in Cameroon, West Africa from 1992-1995. She is an Honorary Commander with Elmendorf Air Force Base and in 2005 was awarded the Top 40 Under 40 by the Alaska Journal of Commerce. Kelly received a BA in Political Science from the University of Maine and an MA in Philanthropy and Development from St. Mary's University Minnesota.
Kelly is a firm believer in the power of philanthropy to strengthen communities -- and loves the quote by Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does."
Ken Miller, PR Chair
Raised in New York, Ken Miller originally moved to Anchorage in 1975. After graduating from Bartlett High School ’80 and Dartmouth College ’84 he began a career in the corporate world transferring to Washington state in 1988. He returned to Alaska to marry his high school sweetheart in 2009 and began work at Bean’s Café as their Director of Development in 2010.
Harry Need, Program Chair
University of Alaska Anchorage
As a Development Officer for UAA, Need is pleased to guide organizations, friends and alumni as they meaningfully engage and philanthropically support the Colleges of Health, and Arts and Sciences. Need was formerly the Assistant Director of Annual Giving for UAA and the Development Director for Habitat for Humanity – Anchorage. He is a M.P.A. candidate at UAA, the Program Chair for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, a trustee for the Denali Ski Patrol, a Big with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of AK, and a graduate of Leadership Anchorage.
Nora Ortiz Fredrick, CFRE, Membership Chair
Nora is a nonprofit consultant in the areas of resource development, leadership development and church stewardship. She is from "all over" and has lived in Anchorage since 2004. Nora has worked in development since 1995 and has served nonprofits, churches, Christian schools and denominational offices as both staff and as a consultant. Nora holds degrees in Business Administration, Management Information Systems, and Systematic Theology. Her work has extended throughout the U.S., as well as Russia and South East Asia.
Wanda Peros, CFRE, Interior Region Representative
KUAC FM 89.9 TV 9
Wanda is corporate support manager at KUAC in Fairbanks. She received a BS degree in office technology at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan and while attending school worked in the development office. Wanda later worked for annual giving at the University of Michigan, serving as a team leader in customer service for development staff involved in gift administration, alumni records and annual giving. She continued as team leader while moving on to serve as manager of donor recognition programs for the University of Michigan. Wanda has over 12 years of development experience including work on a successful $1 billion campaign, leading teams and meetings and offering training and presentations.
Beth Rose, President-Elect
University of Alaska Anchorage
Beth Rose is a life-long Alaskan who is passionate about growing philanthropy in this state. Beth is the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Development at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and is proud to work with a fantastic team of fundraisers and stewardship professionals. Beth brings more than 20 years of development, non-profit management, public relations and strategic planning skills to her job. She has previously served as UAA Senior Development Officer, Executive Director of Alaska Junior Theater, Communications Director for the Alaska Humanities Forum, and Account Manager for Northwest Strategies, the state’s largest PR firm. Beth earned a BA in History from UC Santa Cruz, a BA in Journalism/Public Communications from UAA, a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Washington, and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). Beth is one of those Alaskans who thought she'd never return to Alaska after completing college. However she met her husband-to-be on a trip back to Alaska and now loves all that Alaska has to offer, including hiking, skiing, biking and running surrounded by spectacular scenery. She and her husband, John-Levy, have two college-age children.
Meredyth Richards, Youth In Philanthropy Co-Chair
Alaska Conservation Foundation
Seeking a total life change, Meredyth moved to beautiful Alaska from Chicago in October 2011. She currently works as the Development Officer at Girl Scouts of Alaska, managing all corporate partnerships, major gifts, a capital campaign, and grant writing. A graduate of the University of Chicago with a background fundraising for political campaigns and groups, Meredyth sees AFP's Youth in Philanthropy program as a wonderful opportunity to connect Alaskans with their communities and cultivate the next generation of creative, ethical philanthropists. As someone who "fell" into the world of development and is very grateful for such good luck, Meredyth hopes to use her position on AFP's Board to expose young people to the endless professional opportunities the fundraising field offers. Outside of the office, you can find Meredyth and her dog traipsing around Alaska's great outdoors on foot or skis, eating her way through Anchorage's restaurant scene, volunteering at her church, or buried in some sort of campaign work.
Katherine Jernstrom, Secretary
Katherine was born and raised on Whidbey Island, Washington, attended high school in The Netherlands, and graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Communications. After serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer and backpacking through Asia, she relocated to Anchorage in 2009 to join her husband, a lifelong Alaska resident. Katherine is a graduate of Leadership Anchorage (15), and is an MPA candidate at University of Alaska Anchorage. Along with her work for AFP she volunteers on the Board of Directors for Spirit of Youth and sits on the Advisory Council for the United Way Emerging Leaders Program.
Katherine is currently the Community Outreach Director at Bean’s Café where she works to prepare feasibility assessments, market research and analysis, budgets, policies and procedures, and business planning, all to develop and expand social enterprise ventures.
When not working, volunteering, or studying, Katherine and her husband enjoy hiking, biking, skijoring with their dog, and an endless amount of home renovation projects.
Jennifer Smerud, Philanthropy Day Chair
Anchorage Community Mental Health Services
Jennifer is the Director of Community Relations for Anchorage Community Mental Health Services. Previously, she was the Grants Administrator for Hope Community Resources, Inc. Originally from the Midwest (Go Green Bay!) Jennifer has called Anchorage home for 14 years and graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a BA in Anthropology. Jennifer lives in Anchorage with her husband and children. Jennifer has more than five years experience in the development field with experience in grant writing, corporate sponsorship, event planning and volunteer management.
Eileen Floyd, Scholarship Chair
Eileen is the development director at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, it is a position she has held since 2007. And yes, she is having a wild time. She comes to development work after 16 years in public communication. She spent 3 years in marketing and advertising. Prior to that she worked at KTVA, the CBS affiliate in Anchorage. She spent 13 years at the station, starting as an intern and leaving as news director, a position she held for 4 years. She has a BA from the University of Alaska Anchorage in Journalism, Public Relations and Communications.
Marge Stoneking, CFRE, Treasurer
American Lung Association in Alaska
Marge has more than a dozen years of experience in non-profit leadership and fund development in Alaska. She has been a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) since 2008, and has been successful in corporate, government, foundation, and individual fundraising for health and human services agencies. Marge is a graduate of The Foraker Group/UAA Certificate in Non-Profit Management program, which augments her undergrad philosophy degree.
Marge has a nine-year history with the American Lung Association in Alaska (ALA) culminating in serving as CEO and playing a lead role in merging the state organization into a regional non-profit with other northwest states. Marge then served as CEO of Girl Scouts of Alaska from 2009 - 2012, where she grew membership by 9 percent and increased corporate donations by 25 percent. She recently rejoined the ALA as Alaska Director, where she focuses on fund development and advocacy. Marge also does some independent contracting as a fund development consultant as Stoneking Non-Profit Solutions.
Marge is well versed in coalition work and community organizing and was centrally involved in the passage of the Anchorage Smoke-Free Workplace Law, tobacco tax increases in Anchorage and the Mat-Su Borough, defense of the Anchorage I/M Carbon Monoxide Monitoring Program, defeat of a coal-fired power plant in Mat-Su, defense of Smoke-Free Workplace Law in Juneau, development and passage of the Alaska Self-Carry Medication Law, and the annual appropriation of Master Settlement dollars to fund a comprehensive tobacco control program in Alaska. She is experienced in working with policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels.
Marge has been a Rotarian, Sunday School Superintendent, PTA officer, and continues to serve as a Girl Scout leader for a troop of older girls including her own two teenage girls.
Jamie Newsom Eaton, Alaska Chapter Administrator