Walt Wrede will be joining the council’s staff as Director of Administration. He most recently worked as city manager of Homer, where he served for over 12 years. Before that, he served the Lake and Peninsula District in southwest Alaska as borough manager from 1994-2002, and as city planner for Cordova from 1990-1994. A significant component of Wrede’s job in Cordova was helping the community adjust to the social, economic, and environmental impacts associated with the Exxon Valdez oil spill. He has a master’s degree from Washington State University, and a bachelor’s from Monmouth University, both degrees are in sociology.
“I am excited and encouraged to have Walt join our team” said Donna Schantz, executive director of the council. “Walt has a broad background in organizational planning, policy development and financial management, and comes with a glowing reputation as an effective leader and collaborator. Walt’s experience, coupled with his understanding of the council’s mission and strong appreciation for the nature and beauty of Prince William Sound, makes him a near-perfect fit.”Wrede’s first day with the council will be May 23, and he will be based out of the council’s Anchorage office.
Wrede is replacing Steve Rothchild, who resigned in January. Rothchild served as the council’s Administrative Deputy Director since 2013. He brought years of experience working as a captain in the tour industry in Juneau, as well as many years of service with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Rothchild was engaged in the council’s Legislative Affairs Committee and Board Governance Committee, the annual recertification, and annual report. He was a part of the delegation of council representatives who visited elected officials in Juneau and Washington, D.C. each year. He also helped update many of the Board’s policies and procedures.
The council’s digital collections librarian, Alicia Zorzetto, resigned in April. While at the council, Zorzetto was instrumental in developing a new system for digitizing and organizing the council’s extensive collection of historical documents. She also teamed up with the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Oral History Program to create the Exxon Valdez Project Jukebox, an online archive of video and audio stories from people directly affected by the Exxon Valdez spill. “I feel very grateful that I had the opportunity to work for the citizens of the Prince William Sound in an effort to protect our environment,” said Zorzetto. “My time at the council has been wonderful, and I will always remember the beauty of the Sound and the kindness of Alaskans.”