“Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on May 1, 2009 announced appointments to the Aviation Advisory Board, Alaska Council on Emergency Medical Services, and two Subsistence Resource Commissions” (Board Appointments, 2009, Â¶1).
Aviation Advisory Board
The 11-member board advises the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities on aviation issues, and consults with him on the selection of chief administrative officers of Anchorage and Fairbanks international airports, which comprise the Alaska International Airport System (Board Appointments, 2009, Â¶3).
Biographies of the Aviation Advisory Board Appointees
Governor Palin appointed Judy A. McKenzie and Frank A. Neitz, and reappointed Kenneth J. Lythgoe and Lee M. Ryan, to the Aviation Advisory Board (Board Appointments, 2009, Â¶2).
Neitz, of Bethel, is a utility management specialist for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and an experienced commercial pilot and longtime air taxi operator in Southwest Alaska. Neitz also works occasionally as a hovercraft pilot, delivering cargo and passengers along the Kuskokwim River. He serves on Bethel’s Public Works Committee, is chairman of the Bethel Community Services Foundation, and is a captain in the Civil Air Patrol. Neitz holds a U.S. Coast Guard master mariner’s license, and earned a bachelor’s degree in speech and business from Montana State University. He was appointed to a seat reserved for a representative of the state’s unorganized borough (Board Appointments, 2009, Â¶4)
Lythgoe, of Anchorage, is general manager of the Alaska CargoPort, a hangar and warehouse facilities business at Anchorage International Airport. He has also been a rental property manager, commercial pilot, construction contract administrator, and a municipal facility director, capital projects director, and airport division manager for the Municipality of Anchorage. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1973. Lythgoe has served on the board since 2003, and was reappointed to a seat representing non-airline tenants of the Alaska International Airport System (Board Appointments, 2009, Â¶5)
Ryan, of Anchorage, is an airline captain from a family with long experience in Alaska aviation. He is chief pilot, safety director and Kotzebue station manager for Arctic Transportation Services, Inc., which was founded by his grandfather in 1953 and later run by his father. Ryan has logged more than 3,500 hours flight time. He was a delegate to the Conference of Young Alaskans in 2006, and serves on the Inuit Circumpolar Youth Conference’s executive council. Ryan earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Alaska in 2004. He has served on the board since 2006, and was reappointed to a seat representing Northwest and Arctic Alaska (Board Appointments, 2009, Â¶6)
McKenzie, of Anchorage, is president of Lynden Air Cargo, and has also served as vice president and controller since starting with the Alaska cargo airline in 1999. She previously worked as accounting manager for Alaska West Express, Inc. from 1994-99, and as accounting administrator for Frontier Transportation Co. from 1989-94. McKenzie was appointed to a seat representing a cargo-only airline (Board Appointments, 2009, Â¶7).
Alaska Council on Emergency Medical Services
The 11-member council advises the commissioner of the state Department of Health and Social Services and the governor on planning and implementation of an emergency medical services system in Alaska (Board Appointments, 2009, Â¶9).
Biographies of the Alaska Council on Emergency Medical Services Appointees
Governor Palin appointed Mary Leemhuis to the Alaska Council on Emergency Medical Services (Board Appointments, 2009, Â¶8).
Leemhuis, of Eagle River, is a registered nurse who has been manager of the Alaska Native Medical Center’s trauma program since 1994. She has held various positions in her 33-year nursing career, including critical and emergency care nurse, operating room supervisor, assistant chief nurse and nurse educator, cardiovascular surgery team member, and house supervisor. Early in her career, she established a nursing assistant course for Native Americans and was an adjunct university nursing instructor in Oklahoma. Leemhuis was appointed to a seat reserved for an emergency room nurse (Board Appointments, 2009, Â¶10).
Subsistence Resource Commissions
Subsistence Resource Commissions were established for the seven national parks or monuments created by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 where subsistence harvest of resources is allowed. The commissions prepare local subsistence hunting programs for consideration by the secretary of the U.S. Interior Department and the governor, addressing such issues as eligibility, customary and traditional use, access, impacts of development projects, and regulation of subsistence seasons, bag limits and methods and means. Each nine-member commission includes three governor’s appointments (Board Appointments, 2009, Â¶12).
Biographies of the Subsistence Resource Commissions Appointees
Governor Palin reappointed Miki Collins to the Subsistence Resource Commission for the Denali National Park and Preserve, and Chris Zwolinski to the Subsistence Resource Commission for the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve (Board Appointments, 2009, Â¶11).
Collins, of Lake Minchumina, uses dog sleds, pack horses and canoes and other traditional methods to make a living as a subsistence trapper, hunter and fisher. She is also a freelance writer, producing books and articles often relating to the subsistence life she shares at a homestead with her twin sister. Collins earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1981. She has served on the Denali Council since 2005, and was reappointed to a public seat (Board Appointments, 2009, Â¶13).
Zwolinski, of Fairbanks, has owned and operated a wilderness guiding business in Bettles offering hunting, rafting, and other services in the Brooks Range for more than 20 years. He has served on the Gates of the Arctic council since 2005, and was reappointed to a public seat (Board Appointments, 2009, Â¶14).
Governor Palin has now appointed 46 people to boards and commissions this year, not counting two judicial and one State Senate appointment. In the four months and two days that have passed this year, this is an average of one hiring decision every three days. Governor Palin nominated 99 people to boards and commissions in 2008. Her current run puts her well on the way to exceeding that number for 2009.
Hiring decisions are a staple of executive experience, and Governor Palin’s 17 years in positions of increasing responsibility make these appointments look rather routine and easy, though they in fact require a fair amount of work.
Governor Palin announces appointments. (2009, May 1). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved May 2, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1800