Leadership

Dr. Sandra Ehrlich-Mathiesen, CFRE

President

Professor, Management and Marketing—UAA College of Business and Public Policy
sgehrlichmathiesen@alaska.edu
CFRE Ambassador for Alaska and the Pacific Northwest

Sandra is a full Professor of Management & Marketing at the College of Business and Public Policy at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She is a management, leadership, and fund development consultant with more than 35 years of increasing responsibility in the private and public sector.

Sandra received the CH2M Hill Alaska Leadership Development Program (ALDP) award for accelerating development and extending leadership opportunities in a public-private partnership. She crafted and delivered a series of presentations on building core competencies, mentorship, and volunteer opportunities for emerging leaders.

In her leadership role as the UAA Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence (CAFÉ) Team-Based and Collaborative Learning Faculty Associate, she champions and advances innovative, evidence-based, high-impact initiatives at UAA. This expertise extends to her service on the UAA CAFÉ Advisory Council. Working alongside CAFÉ leadership and faculty across the university, she identifies key programming needs and recommends strategic courses of action. 

As the only certified Team-Based Learning trainer-consultant in Alaska, she facilitates workshops and intensives for University of Alaska faculty. She serves as a mentor, liaison, and conduit to pedagogically orient, ground, and immerse faculty in team-based and collaborative learning. She is an AFP Master Trainer and she received the AFP Alaska Chapter's Outstanding Fundraising Professional of the Year in 2018.

For her exemplary commitment and dedication to teaching excellence, she received the UAA CAFÉ Faculty Excellence Award, as well as the College of Business and Public Policy Teacher of the Year award.


Melissa Williams

President-Elect

Annual Giving Manager—Camp Fire Alaska
mwebber@campfireak.org

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Melissa currently serves as the Annual Giving Manager at Camp Fire Alaska. After graduating from California State University, Sacramento, with a BA in Communication Studies, Melissa made the move from California to Alaska in 2014, to serve for one year as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Food Bank of Alaska. It was in that year of service that she discovered her passion went beyond general communications, into the field of Development and Donor Relations. When her year of service came to an end, Melissa, to the surprise of most who knew her, chose to stay in Alaska and continue following her passion, connecting people to causes they care most about.

Melissa grew up in California, experiencing the best of the ocean and the mountains. She prefers the mountains and loves the Alaska summers. Some if her favorite things include getting cozy with a good book and a cup of tea, going to brunch with friends, watching movies, kittens, family time, traveling, and spending time with her husband Tyrel.


Cynthia Libby, CFRE

Immediate Past-President

Director of Operations—Providence Alaska Foundation
libby.cj@gmail.com

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Cynthia is the director of operations at Providence Alaska Foundation. She is excited to work where her two boys were born and finds it fulfilling to assist in the mission that promotes compassionate care to all people. Her previous philanthropy experience comes from working at Loma Linda University & Medical Center, a campus specializing in healthcare education located in California.

Since 2015 she has enjoyed serving on the AFP Alaska Chapter Board in various capacities. She also is a member of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy.

Cynthia was imported here by a third generation Alaskan with ties to Dillingham and Anchorage. She then survived the family initiation of commercial salmon fishing in Bristol Bay, which continues every summer. Together with husband, Dr. Warren Libby, they are thankful to pass on the unique Alaskan life of adventure to their two boys. 


Chris Deen

Treasurer

Assistant Director of Advancement for Donor and Alumni Relations—Alaska Pacific University
cdeen@alaskapacific.edu


Chris grew up in Chattanooga Valley in northwest Georgia. Following high school and graduation from Alaska Pacific University in 2014 with Bachelors of Science he served in the U.S. Army as a logistician. At the end of his service, he received his MA in International Relations from American University.

During his graduate work, he worked with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences to help strengthen the bilateral relationship between the universities. Following his graduate work, Chris adopted his son and moved back to Alaska to work at APU in their Office of Advancement to help revitalize the department.


KaLynn Coffey

Secretary

Development Officer for Scholarships—University of Alaska Anchorage
kc@alaska.edu

KaLynn is the development officer for scholarships at the University of Alaska Anchorage and previously worked as a donor relations officer for the University of Alaska Fairbanks. With a total of 18 years at the University of Alaska, she has work in many aspects of development from gift manager, to drafting fund agreements, planning donor events, and fundraising. An alumna of UAF, KaLynn will now earn a bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in digital journalism. KaLynn is honored to also serve as a board member with Katie’s Handprint.

Originally from Seattle, Washington, KaLynn’s first years in Alaska were living remotely while working in Cordova, Alaska, and at salmon hatcheries around Prince William Sound. KaLynn has made Alaska her home for the last 30 years. 



Becky More, CFRE

VP - External Affairs

President & Owner—Ember Consulting, LLC
becky@emberconsultingllc.com

Becky More 2021

Becky is an experienced Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) with a demonstrated history of creating long-term, sustainable, relationship-based funding in the nonprofit sector, as well as corporate community relations strategy in the for-profit sector.

Becky is the President and Owner of Ember Consulting, LLC, a multi-faceted consulting firm specializing in fundraising and philanthropy consulting, corporate community relations strategy, communications, training, and public relations. She spent almost a decade in the nonprofit sector leading fundraising and donor development programs for AWAIC (Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis), Alaska Pacific University, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska. She was also the Vice President of Community Relations for Wells Fargo in Alaska.  

In addition to her role as Vice President of External Affairs with the AFP Alaska chapter board, Becky also serves as the Board President of Beacon Hill and as a planning committee member of 100+ Women Who Care Anchorage.

Becky received her B.A. in Business Administration and Management with a Nonprofit Management Emphasis from Alaska Pacific University. She earned her Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) designation in March 2016.

A lifelong Alaskan, Becky currently resides in Anchorage and spends her free time volunteering, traveling, attending performing arts productions, camping, hiking Alaska’s beautiful mountains, and spending quality time with her husband James and their son Logan.



Julia Martinez, CFRE

VP Education

VP of Philanthropy and External Affairs—Alaska Children’s Trust
jmartinez@alaskachildrenstrust.org

Julia 2020Julia currently serves as Vice President of Philanthropy and External Affairs for the Alaska Children’s Trust (ACT). She brings more than 20 years of development, nonprofit management, communications and public relations experience to ACT and is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).

Prior to returning to Anchorage, Alaska and joining ACT, Julia lived and worked overseas in the United Arab Emirates as the Director of Advancement for the American School of Dubai. During her six-year tenure in Dubai as their first-ever Director, she launched comprehensive programs in strategic communications, marketing, fundraising/development, community relations and alumni relations. Earlier in her career Julia served in Advancement at the University of Alaska Anchorage in a variety of capacities, most recently as Senior Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving.

Her deep sense of commitment and passion for nonprofit management and fundraising has led to a variety of credentials, including CFRE since 2008, a Masters of Arts in Philanthropic Studies and graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University Purdue University Indiana (IUPUI), an MBA from the University of Denver, a BSBA degree in marketing from Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa and teaching credential from the University of Houston, Texas.

Julia previously served on the Alaska AFP board from 2010-2012 and is excited to return. again.  She is a year six graduate of the Alaska Humanities Forum Leadership Anchorage, member of Downtown Rotary and founder of the Alaska Alumnae Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta.

Sara Schultz

VP Education - NPD Education

Philanthropy Officer—Providence Alaska Foundation
sara.schultz@providence.org
Sara_1_5.jpgSara is a philanthropy officer at Providence Alaska Foundation working in major gifts. Sara joined the Foundation team in 2016 after being in Medical Staff Services for nine years at Providence Alaska Medical Center. She has a strong connection to the mission and core values of Providence and feels honored to support the work of serving the poor and the vulnerable in Alaska. 

Originally from Houston, Texas, Sara considers Anchorage her home after living here since 2002. Being a mom to her 10-year-old son, Anduin, and 3-year-old English Shepard, Tacosauras Rex keeps her very active. She enjoys getting out with friends and loved ones and exploring all that this beautiful state has to offer including yoga, Nordic skiing, fly fishing, and hiking. 



Peter Host

VP Membership

Development Manager—Alaska Public Media
phost@alaskapublic.org

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Peter is the Development Manager for Alaska Public Media. Before entering fundraising, his primary background was in children’s behavioral health, having risen in the field from direct service provider to a Director of a remote branch of a statewide organization. He attained an Associate’s in Accounting while serving the organization in this capacity. He is a recipient of the Foraker Certificate in Nonprofit Management and a recent Veritus Scholar.

Over the past seven years, Peter has participated as Secretary of the Mat-Su Agency Partnership Board, Member-at-Large of the Anchorage Waldorf Board of Trustees, and Policy Committee Co-Chair for R.O.C.K. (Raising Our Children with Kindness) Mat-Su, and currently, as a member of the Winterberry Charter Council at his children's school.

This is his first year leading the Membership Committee after four years leading the Education Committee for AFP Alaska Chapter. He believes that lacking great skill and expertise does not excuse him from the responsibility of service above self, and that humility, dedication and curiosity have been his most helpful tools in supporting his community to the best of his ability. 

Peter is a voracious consumer of audiobooks and podcasts and suggests the books The Kingkiller Chronicles as well as anything by NK Jemisin, and podcasts More Perfect, Revisionist History, and Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend. Peter is the father of two beautiful little girls, Sophia (12) and Violet (9), and the husband of another rare beauty, Alicia (age not provided ;^).

“I hope you’re proud of yourself for the times you’ve said ‘yes,’ when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to someone else.” – Mister Rogers


Nancy Anderson

Programs Chair

Development Director—Alaska SeaLife Center
nancya@alaskasealife.org
Nancy_1_5.jpgNancy is the Development Director at the Alaska SeaLife Center.  She and her family moved to Seward in 1992.  Nancy spent 10 years working for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District as the School Secretary at Seward Elementary.  In 2005, she was hired by the Alaska SeaLife Center as the Executive Assistant.  This position introduced her to work in the non-profit sector.  In addition to other traditional assistant duties, she began building her own set of relationships with the organizations that interacted with the Center.  She also assisted the development and events departments with various fundraising activities.

In 2014, Nancy transitioned into the Center's development lead position, and the role of fundraising and relationship building began full-time.  It has been a rewarding change of duties as she has leveraged her knowledge and passion for the Center and its mission into a more finely-tuned, successful program.  As Senior Development Manager, Nancy understands the value of a team dynamic, and often promotes everyone on staff at the Alaska SeaLife Center, as well as ASLC Board members, as part of “Team Development.”

 

Jenny Di Grappa

National Philanthropy Day Chair

Director of Development—Food Bank of Alaska
jdigrappa@foodbankofalaska.org
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Jenny currently serves at the Director of Donor Relations and Communications at the Food Bank of Alaska. She has worked and volunteered in the non-profit sector for over 14 years, focusing her efforts on organizations that serve Alaska’s youth. She received her master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Alaska Southeast and a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

She was born and raised in Fairbanks, where she grew up helping her mom train for the Iditarod and Yukon Quest. Jenny is currently serving as Assistant Director of the Alaska Ski for Women after leading the event for four years. She is also on the ASD School Business Partnership board and Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific Advisory Committee and helps grant wishes for Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington.



Lynne Johnson, CFRE

Government Affairs Chair

Director of Development and Alumni Relations—University of Alaska Southeast
lejohnson@alaska.edu
Lynne_1_5.jpgLynne was born in New York City but moved to Alaska in 1980. She spent her first summer in Nome and then went on to Fairbanks where she attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Lynne began her professional work with fundraising at the University of Alaska Foundation in July 1989.

Her fundraising experience also includes positions as Campaign Director of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Nikiski Pool Foundation (including a $3 million capital campaign) and Executive Director of the Kenai Peninsula United Way. She has been at the University of Alaska Southeast, serving as Director of Development and Alumni Relations, since January 2000. She has been a CFRE since 1991.

  

 
Mariko Sarafin

I.D.E.A. Co-Chair

Affiliate Community Officer—Alaska Community Foundation
msarafin@alaskacf.org

Mariko_1_5.jpgMariko is an Alaskan born singer-songwriter that looks up at the sky to stare at stars and loves being outside. She shares her life with a loving chocolate Lab, Mirrah, and her wife, Erin. At The Alaska Community Foundation, Mariko manages the statewide affiliate program, and has the great privilege of supporting 11 affiliate community foundations and their advisory boards. Mariko leads affiliates as they grow community endowments and operating endowments, which helps local nonprofits through grantmaking. Additionally, Mariko supports affiliates in providing community leadership through training opportunities and by convening people to make lasting impact in their hometowns. 

Mariko has been a member of the Alaska Chapter of AFP for 3 years and has been involved in numerous training opportunities and activities. In 2019, Mariko is excited to serve as the IDEA Co-Chair for the Alaska Chapter AFP Board.

Jamie Newsom Eaton, CFRE (she/her)

IDEA Co-Chair

Development Officer—Anchorage School District
jl.news@gmail.com

Jamie currently serves as the Development Officer for the Anchorage School District, where she also attended grades K-12. She previously served as Executive Director with Hospice of Anchorage, and in several positions in membership, development and grants with the Anchorage Museum from 2007-2019. She earned her CFRE in 2015 and completed the Certificate of Non-Profit Management with the Foraker Group in 2019. Jamie is also proud to serve as a current board member with the Alaska Botanical Garden. 


Jennifer Brown

At-Large Member

Development Manager—Standing Together Against Rape (STAR)
jbrown@staralaska.org

Jennifer has been working for STAR (Standing Together Against Rape, Inc.) in Anchorage since November 2017.  Prior to that, Jennifer worked in various roles for Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska for 15 years. As STAR’s Development Manager, Jennifer oversees all fundraising activities including individual donors, corporate sponsors, workplace giving and foundation relationships.  She also manages all fundraising events as well as social media and marketing for the organization.

Born and raised in Anchorage, Jennifer has had two failed “escape attempts” - one to Palm Springs, California and another to Seattle, Washington.  Lessons learned; Alaska is her forever home.  Jennifer loves spending time with her friends and her family, which includes three sisters and their families and four grown kids – Tayler (27), Cameron (25), Triston (23) and Emily (21) – and her “youngest” Moxie the chihuahua.  She also enjoys her side-gig as the lead singer of the local cover band, Danger Money.


Tammy Tragis-McCook, CFRE

Statewide Engagement Chair

Director of Development and Outreach—UAF School of Management
tjtragismccook@alaska.edu

Tammy Tragis-McCook 2021

Tammy has a breadth of experience in the UAF system including time as Director of Orientation & First Year Students, and Marketing and Communications Manager for KUAC public broadcasting. Since 2009, she has been part of the UAF School of Management team as the Director or Development and Outreach, facilitating relationships with students, businesses, alumni and donors. Tammy achieved her CFRE in June 2011, and in addition to her staff position, teaches marketing and social media marketing.

It’s not all work and no play for Tammy; she makes time to ATV in the summer, cross country ski in the winter and practice yoga and cook healthy meals year-round.


Laura Gutierrez

External Communications Chair

Fundraising Manager—Habitat for Humanity 
lgutierrez@habitatanchorage.org

Laura sees fundraising not as a job, but as a calling. She serves her calling as the Development Director for Habitat for Humanity Anchorage by stewarding individual and corporate giving, grant writing, special event planning, marketing, and program strategy. 

Since joining Habitat for Humanity in 2015, Laura utilizes her graphic design and past marketing experience to connect our community to Habitat’s mission. The biggest accomplishment with her time at Habitat was successfully acquiring a special certification called Community Housing Development Organization, which gives Habitat for Humanity the ability to apply for HUD grants to develop affordable housing in Anchorage. The most rewarding part of her job is seeing the homeowner's children excited about having a room of their own.

Laura is new to the Alaska Chapter of AFP and serves on the Habitat for Humanity International Resource Development Expertise Hub Advisory Council, and Secretary for National Association of Women in Construction. She received her Associates degree in Business Administration from University of Alaska.  

Outside of the office, it might be hard to find Laura because she is fishing on a “secret” lake, foraging for mushrooms, or hunting to fill her freezer. She also enjoys gardening, long dog walks with her lab, Drake, and home improvement projects. 


Denise Brown-Chythlook

Scholarship Chair

Executive Director—Alaska Youth Orchestras
ed@alaskayouthorchestras.org


Denise was born in the Pacific Northwest and raised in the lower mainland of British Columbia, Canada, she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and communications from Walla Walla University where she met her husband, Gary Chythlook. 

Gary and Denise spent their early married years in the PNW before moving to Anchorage, AK, in 2003. They have three children and are active in the Anchorage community. In 2005 Denise combined her passion for music, her entrepreneurialism, and her degree to establish Adventures in Music, a music education business teaching private lessons as well as classroom music and music appreciation, largely serving the homeschool community. 

After 13 years in the for-profit world, Denise accepted the position of executive director of Alaska Youth Orchestras (AYO), a music education and performance 501c (3) nonprofit organization, which has been the home of the Anchorage Youth Symphony for several decades. Since then, Denise has led the organization through a restructuring of the board and bylaws; expanded their programs to reach statewide; instituted a holistic educational philosophy; increased giving, sponsorships, and grants by 300%; started a leadership development program; established a legacy fund; and actively advocates for the arts locally and nationwide.

Denise enjoys creating music and spending time with her time family and friends, riding and caring for her Icelandic horses, and relaxing with her dachshund, Walton.

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Ken Miller, CFRE

Chapter Administrator

President—Denali Fundraising Consultants
ken@denalifsp.com