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Anchorage International

Peace Through Service

We meet Fridays at 12:00 PM
Coast International Inn
3450 Aviation Avenue
P.O. Box 100516
Anchorage, AK  99510-0516
United States of America
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Ella Goss, MSN, RN
Chief Executive, Providence Alaska Medical Center
Ella Goss, MSN, RN, is Providence Alaska Medical Center's senior executive, overseeing all medical center services at the 401-bed hospital. Prior to her appointment as chief executive, Goss served as the director of the Providence Cancer Center, the state's most comprehensive cancer treatment facility. During her first year as chief executive, Providence Alaska Medical Center was awarded Magnet designation as one of the best hospitals in the country for quality nursing care.
Since joining Providence in 1997 as a staff nurse in the hospital's Emergency Department, Goss has served in a variety of leadership positions, including chief flight nurse for LifeGuard, clinical manager of Emergency Services, director of Medical Staff, Risk Management and Regulatory Services. Prior to joining Providence, she worked in rural emergency departments in Kotzebue and Newfoundland.
Goss is active in the community and has participated in several boards, including the Alaska Immigration Justice Project (2008-2009); Imaging Associates of Providence joint venture board (2012-2017); and The Foraker Group Governance Board (2019). For her work to help empower women and eliminate racism in the community, YWCA Alaska named Ella a 2018 Woman of Achievement.
Goss has bachelor of science and master of science degrees in nursing from Chamberlain College of Nursing, Ill. She also has certification as a professional in health care risk management and health care quality.
Come and join us Friday the 13th ... (Boy is that an omen), as we hear from Past Presidents Joe Zimmerman and Tryg Erickson about the history of Anchorage International Rotary Club. You won't want to miss this club meeting!
Roger Marks is an economist in private practice in Anchorage. His clients include the State of Alaska Legislature, oil and gas explorer/producers, pipeline companies, investment and commercial banks, private equity firms, federal government, University of Alaska, and local municipalities
Between 1983-2008 Marks was a senior petroleum economist with the State of Alaska Department of Revenue Tax Division, where he was responsible for fiscal development and analysis of North Slope natural gas commercialization.
Marks has published on petroleum economics and taxation in the Journal of Petroleum Technology, OPEC Review, Journal of Energy Finance and Development, Oil & Gas Financial Journal, Journal of Economic Issues, Journal of Legal Issues and Cases in Business, and Journal of Economics and Public Finance.
He has degrees in financial economics and accounting from Brown University and the University of Maryland.
On August 23rd we had APD Officer Lonnie Brown join us with K-9 "Aerie". As always, it was a pleasure to have them join our club for the meeting and hear about how these K-9 officers perform their jobs day in and day out.
For almost 40 years, the Anchorage Police Department Canine Unit has been providing protection, expertise, and service to our police department and the community. The APD Canine (K-9) Unit was created in the wake of Officer John Flora's death in 1975, when he was shot and killed in the line of duty while investigating a burglary.  Following his death, Officer Flora's widow created a memorial fund in his name with the expressed purpose of raising money to start a canine unit for APD. Since then, with the invaluable help of sponsorships and funding obtained through the Dollars for Dogs program, our Canine Unit has established a distinguished history of thwarting criminal activity, saving lives, catching suspects, and serving our community.
Today, we will hear from Officer Brown.  Officer Brown joined the Police Department in 1994 and has been with the Anchorage Police Department coming up on 25yrs.
    For the last 20 years he has been working as a K9 handler which puts him as the longest working handler ever in the State of Alaska. 
   Officer Brown’s current working dog is named Aerie and was purchased by the Eagles Club Ladies Auxiliary.  

Michelle Tabler is currently a volunteer for AARP Alaska.

Michelle grew up in Anchorage and has more than 35 years’ experience in community outreach as the Alaska Regional Manager for the Better Business Bureau Northwest, insurance (including 22 years as the owner of an Allstate agency), business development with Wells Fargo Insurance Services, and research-based consulting with McDowell Group.

Michelle does presentations and media state-wide to business and civic groups on Scams, preventing ID Theft, Fraud, and Senior Scams.

Michelle has been a member of Anchorage East Rotary since 2007.

Joining Michelle will be Sarana Schell, Alaska Communications director for AARP.

Kelly Larson has lived in Alaska since the ripe old age of three.   She married her high-school sweetheart, Link, is the mother two, and grandmother of three.  Though she grew up in Anchorage, she resides in the Valley with her husband. She is the Director of Community and Corporate Partnerships for the Alaska State Fair.  She holds a bachelor degree in business management and is pursuing her master’s degree in the same field. She is a graduate of the Institute of Fair Management and holds the distinction of Certified Fair Executive. She is also a second-year student in Institute of Venue Management. Kelly’s favorite part of her job is working with the talented staff at the Fair to build memories and make people happy.  She enjoys serving her community, is a recovering past-president, secretary and treasurer for the Rotary Club of Palmer; and is excited to be a District 5010 2017-19 Public Image Chair.  She is Director on the Greater Palmer Chamber of Palmer Board. In her spare time… she sleeps!
Jim visited us on June 14 and made a fascinating presentation of the upcoming 500th anniversary of Magellan’s voyage.  We learned all sorts of stuff like – How to find a country to sponsor you, how to deal with mutinies, and much more.  But more time was needed to finish the presentation as Magellan had just left the ‘Straits of Magellan’ and was heading into the Pacific.  The only thing is at that time, neither the Straits were named after Magellan nor was the Pacific called the Pacific yet. 
This week Jim will present – Part 2 of Magellan.
James K. Foster is The Magellan Project founder and project manager.  Jim holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geography from Florida State University.  Jim has studied and researched the history of the Magellan expedition since 1993.  This has involved field research in Spain and Portugal, Italy, southern Argentina, Guam, the Philippines, and Malacca.
Jim’s Magellan field and academic research has resulted in a successful application for membership in the Explorers Club, January 2019. Jim is also an active member of the Circumnavigators Club.  Jim currently owns the Sea Monkey, a Crealock 37, sailing out of Seward and Resurrection Bay, Alaska since 1993.  In 2005, Jim crewed on the heavy weather leg of the Mahina Expedition aboard a Hallberg-Rassy 46, the Mahina Tiare, from Auckland, New Zealand to Papeete, Tahiti.
He also served as one of the crew of three sailing the 52' Alden ketch Royono II from Titusville, Florida offshore in the Gulf Stream to St. Michaels, Maryland in 1997.  Jim has bare-boat chartered in the Caribbean, Florida, California, Thailand, and Australia. He is a USCG licensed 25 ton master and also a PADI certified Rescue Diver.  In 2016, Jim served as the ship's medic for a crew of 18 onboard the 348' Dino Chouest, an anchor handling/tug/supply vessel transiting from Dutch Harbor, Alaska to Fourchon, Louisiana via the Panama Canal.
In 2014, Jim served as the ship's medic for a crew of 19 onboard the REM Supporter, a 94 meter platform supply vessel sailing out of Stavanger, Norway to Murmansk, Russia and on to the Kara Sea for an Exxon/Rosneft arctic offshore drilling project.
Jim is a retired 21 year firefighter paramedic and Operations Battalion Chief from the Anchorage Fire Department.  He was adjunct faculty at the University of Alaska Anchorage 1991-2010 and served 2010-2012 as an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Fire and Emergency Services Technology Program.
Mariya Kupchinskaya is a 4th year student at Irkutsk State University, Baikal International Business School.  She is here on a 4 week internship in Alaska.  This program is organized by Rotary.  Mariya is here to study how American business approaches management, marketing and finance.  She has previously visited Homer with the Kachemak Bay Rotary Club.  This week she is in the hands of Anchorage International Rotary Club and next week Anchorage South Rotary.  Thanks to Ted Trueblood for organizing this event and all the gracious members who have invited her to view their businesses. 
Mariya has also visited Australia on a similar mission of exploring businesses.  She is fluent in English and it should be a great pleasure to hear her stories as she learns about business dealings around the world. 

July 19, 2019 Meeting


Our Scheduled speaker for today was Jim Foster with Magellan’s around the world voyage, Part 2.  Unfortunately Jim had to cancel at the last minute due to an unforeseen event in Portugal. He is rescheduled for Aug 2.

Today we will conduct a fun and interactive review of our club.  Where we have been, where we are and where we are headed. We will have a Super Happy Bucks session, plans for the year and visions how we can all get more out of the Rotary Experience.  

Come armed with your own personal history with Rotary and AIRC, fun stories and adventures.  

Let’s get the 2019-20 year started off right!!



Celebration of life for Betty Cronin.


Many people knew Betty Cronin as a conscientious and detail-oriented CPA, a loving family member, or as an avid runner.   I’m sure those are all true, but many of us knew Betty as a Rotarian—an engaged, active, and committed Rotarian. Betty joined Anchorage International Rotary Club in June, 1993 and instantly became a very active member.


Rotarians follow a four way test that helps direct the things that Rotarians think, do, and say.…

  1. Is it the Truth?

  2. Is it Fair to all concerned?

  3. Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?  and

  4. Will it be Beneficial to all concerned? 

That’s a nice charge, but what really makes a good Rotarian? 

Being a good Rotarian takes energy, time, and money. And Betty was very generous with all three! 

  • She was a regular meeting attendee (except when tax season became pressing.) She had a ready smile, a great sense of style, and she always had her lipstick handy! 

  • She was an integral member of the Anchorage International Rotary Club Memorial Scholarship Committee serving as a board member.  She went above and beyond the call of duty, providing extreme detail and review of the product development. She was always down to earth and supported doing what was right every time.  She spent countless hours compiling information and completing the tax returns and never once would she charge for her services. Even after being asked to provide an invoice, she plain and simply wouldn’t do it.  Every year she encouraged members to attend the pie auction to help fund scholarships for King Career Center students. Yes to bid on some of the desserts, but also to witness the spectacle which she thought was great fun!  And she supported the fundraising efforts by purchasing countless desserts which she then shared with her friends. She wasn’t going to be the only one enjoying the treats prepared by the students at KCC!   

  • She was active in distributing dictionaries to 3rd graders in local schools---distributing some herself, and organizing other AIRC members to help with distribution. When members were hesitant to take on this duty she got them a partner!  She gave “tips” on how to interact with the kids. The best tip – don’t give the kids the dictionaries until you are done with your presentation. She loved interacting with children and was also very active with a reading program at Northstar Elementary School for many years.  Some of the kids would come to a Rotary meeting in December as part of a Christmas program, and you would see them greeting her with huge smiles. She had such a positive impact on so many young lives. 

  • She was a longtime supporter of the Rotary Foundation both with her financial donations and her contributions to the AIRC Foundation auction. As a Foundation chair one of the nicest things she would say is “I have a few items for the auction, can you pick them up” and then you drove away with a carload of great donations!  Over the years, Betty became a Major Donor to the Foundation, which meant personal contributions of $10,000 or greater. She was quiet, yet consistent with her support.  

  • And she had a cute sense of humor which was evident when she won a few dollars in the Club football mania program--so tickled and generous that she gave “happy bucks” to celebrate!

Betty’s obvious respect and affection for AIRC and its members made the Club a fun, more vibrant community!    She was a true Rotarian always giving of her time, and financial resources with kindness and grace.


She worked tirelessly in everything that she did.  She shared her kindness and love with everyone she came in contact with.  Everyone was treated with dignity and respect. Betty eschewed retirement even though she more than had earned the right to enter and enjoy that part of her life.  She remains in hearts and minds a figure of what a true Rotarian really is. And she will be forever missed!  

Denali Family Services serves children and youth who have Serious Emotional Disturbances (SED).  These kids have been through severe traumas such as child abuse, exposure to violence, and other extremely negative experiences.  DFS also supervises therapeutic foster homes in Anchorage and the Valley that care for SED children and youth.
Pete Houston will talk Trail Blazers program that provides 3-day camping and hiking trips for SED youth who are aging out of foster care and transitioning to independent adult living. Trail Blazers is an outstanding program that offers unique outdoor experiences in leadership and self-reliance. 
Pete has been in the human services field for about 30 years, providing a range of services across Child Welfare, Domestic Violence, Substance Use and Psychotherapy for SED youth.  Pete holds a Master of Social Work degree from UAA and is currently the Director of Quality Assurance at Denali Family Services.  When he can pull himself away from writing policies and creating spreadsheets, Pete enjoys the Alaskan wilderness through hiking, camping, mountain biking, paddling and back-country skiing. Having originally worked to create a mountain biking group out of our Wasilla office, Pete has joined forces with Jen to develop the broader Trailblazers Wilderness Therapy program.
Jen has been in the community mental health field for 13 years, specializing in working with Severely Emotionally Disturbed (SED) adolescents and young adults.  She is currently attending the University of Alaska, Anchorage in pursuit of her Master of Social Work degree.  Jen’s initial creation of a hiking group for DFS youth laid the foundation for what has become the Trailblazers Wilderness Therapy program.
Thank you all that joined us for the Anchorage International Rotary Club Changing of the Guard evening on June 26, 2019, at the Coast International Inn.
AIR club President (2018-19) Debra Mason thanked her board for the year of service (top photo) before welcoming incoming President (2019-20) Angie Rush. Angie thanked Debra for everything she accomplished and presented her with an engraved crystal award (middle photos) to remember her year by. President Angie then introduced her board for the 2019-20 Rotary year.
Thank you all and to a successful 2019-20 Rotary year!
President Debra and her AIRC 2018-19 Board of Directors at Changing of the Guard celebration June 26th
Dodie and KarlSteve Strait, Terri Hall, Tim Ellis and his brother    Below:  Celebrities Steve Strait and Jackie Purcell with camera man pose for picture...
Shari Showalter and daughter Lucy working hard at Alaska Flag Day celebration!  Kevin and Ric support Lucy's fundraiser.
Jim Szczesniak (says-knee-ak) is the Airport Director at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC).  He is the executive in charge of day-to-day operations of the fifth busiest air cargo airport in the world.  The Anchorage airport processes 2.8 million tons of cargo per year, is the strategic link between Asia and the Americas, and a base of operations for all three of the major integrators, UPS, FedEx, and DHL.  The Anchorage airport is also the hub for Alaskan aviation and welcomes over five million passengers per year.  Szczesniak also oversees the world’s busiest seaplane base, Lake Hood, which is located next to the international airport.

Prior to his position in Anchorage, Mr. Szczesniak was Deputy Commissioner of Aviation for the Chicago O’Hare and Midway International Airports.  He was responsible for the development of O’Hare’s new $200-million, 940,000 sq. ft. air cargo complex.  He led an international trade mission to increase Chicago’s air cargo market and worked closely with Chicago’s air cargo stakeholders to improve air cargo facilities and workforce development.

Mr. Szcznesiak holds a MBA from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor’s in aviation management from Southern Illinois University.  He is also a licensed commercial pilot and aircraft mechanic.
Please join us this Friday, 7 June, at our regular club meeting when we look forward to hearing from Marilyn Pierce-Bulger, the founder of the Alaska Center for FASD, and Tami Eller who works for AK Child & Family and was part of the Rotary International Vocational Exchange team to Australia.
Marilyn Pierce-Bulger, MN, FNP, CNM

Marilyn is a family nurse practitioner and certified nurse-midwife with 40 years’ experience providing care and creating services in the field of maternal and child health.  She worked for many years at the Alaska Native Medical Center/Southcentral Foundation and created Nutaqsiivik, a home visitation program that supports high social risk families. During that work she discovered that 28% of the clients either had an identified diagnosis of FAS/FAE or were living and parenting unsuccessfully due to an undiagnosed cognitive impairment. This led to her present work in the field of FASD.  She has worked as a consultant for the State of Alaska, University of Alaska (UAA), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) prevention projects.  She founded the multidisciplinary Anchorage FASD Diagnostic Team in 2009 and is the owner/medical manager of FASDx Services LLC (the referral coordination hub for the team). In 2017, she founded the Alaska Center for FASD to address the support, service, and advocacy needs of individuals who live with FASD and their families.

Tami Eller

Tami is a lifelong Alaskan whose mission to address FASD is personal.  I truly believe that individuals impacted by FASD can live a life of productivity and fulfillment if provide the right accommodations and an environment where their needs are understood and met.  I appreciate the amazing opportunity that Rotary International provided allowing me to go to Australia and provide education and maybe a little bit of hope to those who work with individuals impacted by FASD there.  Here in Alaska, I have the amazing privilege to work at AK Child & Family supporting our Treatment Foster Parents who provide a safe and therapeutic home to youth, many of whom are impacted by prenatal exposure.



Title:  Dogwoods - Mistbows - Moonbows
Our very own Jules Tileston has been fortunate to have jobs where documentary photography has been an essential skill.  Today he shares his images from a vacation to a photo workshop in Yosemite National Park in May 2017.
We will join Jules on a photographic journey around the Southern Sierras.  Centered on Yosemite National Park, CA, Jules documents his visits to 11 special places and has some tips that can improve your photos!  Learn about “Moonbows” and climbing “Mistbows” and why they are so difficult to capture...
Tuesday night, May 21st our Open World delegation arrived in Anchorage after two days of presentations and touring in Homer.  Some dinner and introductions at The Flying Machine restaurant in The Lakefront Hotel.
Major John Brackenbury was born in Port Huron, Michigan and is a 6th generation Salvationist whose relatives worked with Founder William Booth in London, England.  John is a graduate of Regent University with a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership.
Major Brackenbury has served The Salvation Army in Arizona, California, Colorado and Alaska in various divisional and territorial wide capacities.  He has been serving The Salvation Army Alaska Division since July 2018 as the Divisional Commander, leading and responsible for over 16 Corps locations throughout Alaska and various critical community programs and services provided to Alaskans in need.
Major Brackenbury and his wife, Major Pam Brackenbury, have been married for nearly 29 years, and have been blessed with three children; Ashley, Caleb and Brandon.  Majors Brackenbury have been serving God as Salvation Army officers for over 25 years, Doing the Most Good.
Beth Rose and her husband, John Levy, recently returned from a three-month trip of independent traveling to Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. Beth's presentation will provide photo highlights of the most scenic and memorable parts of the trip, anecdotes of traveling in South America, tips for off-the-beaten-track destinations and recommended apps for independent traveling. If you’ve been lucky enough to have seen Beth's photos on Facebook, this presentation will include more new photos and stories!!
President Debra receives award on behalf of Anchorage International Rotary Club from District Governor Diane Fejes for being a sponsor of the Vocational Training Team trip to Australia.  Rotarian Michael Jeffrey from Barrow Rotary Club and the Vocational Training Team are pictured below at their presentation to Delegates and guests at the  District Convention this past weekend held at Captain Cook Hotel here in Anchorage.
Always one of the best parts of the Rotary District Convention is meeting and getting to know some of the great inbound exchange students.  Here is 7 of the best young people in the world!
The 2019 National Veteran Golden Age Games (NVGAG) will be held in Anchorage June 5th -10th.  NVGAG includes 20 sporting events for Veterans ages 55 and older, who are enrolled with Veteran Affairs. The National Veteran Golden Age Games provides Veterans with opportunities to engage in rehabilitative sport and recreational events.  Approximately 1,000 ambulatory and disabled athletes will travel from all over the nation to participate!
Corrie Dreher is chair of the Local Organizing Committee for this Project.  Corrie Graduated with a Masters in social work in 2002 and has been in Alaska since 2008.  Corrie has worked for the Veterans Administration since 2013 and she is excited to be part of coordinating the National Veterans Golden Age Games.


NVGAG need volunteers starting on June 4, 2019 with greeting the Veterans as they arrive in Anchorage and assisting them with getting their luggage to the transportation buses.  We could use volunteers in several areas including hospitality, sports, medals and more!

The volunteer website for the 33rd NVGAG is Volgistics and listed below:

It was great having Michael Duxbury home for our Friday meeting along with his wife Catherine.  Michael is pictured here receiving his framed Paul Harris Certificate from Foundation co-chair Al Biss and President Debra Mason. Great job Michael!!
September 2019
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Past President
Foundation Chair
Membership Chair
Executive Secretary

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Ella Goss
Sep 20, 2019
Providence Alaska Medical Center History
Anne Adasiak-Andrew / Kern McGinley
Sep 27, 2019
ASD Career Tech / Principal King Tech HS
Jasmine Boyle
Oct 04, 2019
Homelessness in Anchorage
Kenrick Mock / UAA Engineering Professor
Oct 11, 2019
Artificial Intelligence
Anch Intl Rotary Club
Oct 18, 2019
World Polio Day
Andre Layral
Nov 15, 2019
District Governor - Rotary District 5010
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