Lally joins Council staff

The Council is welcoming a familiar face to its staff this spring. Former U.S. Coast Guard Commander Joseph T. Lally has stepped into the position of director of programs. Lally served as commanding officer of the Marine Safety Unit Valdez from June 2014 through July 2017. One of the duties of that position is to represent the Coast Guard as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Council. Lally served the Coast Guard for 27 years, most recently as compliance and analysis division chief at the Coast Guard’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., before retiring earlier this year. Over the years, he held a variety of assignments. Lally has an extensive background in oil spill/hazardous substance response and prevention, including federal policy writing, conducting marine inspections and investigations, and leading emergency responses as the federal on-scene coordinator. He worked with agency and industry partners, and non-governmental organizations to enhance marine safety, prevention, preparedness, and response nationwide. … Continue reading

Council hires director of external communications

Brooke Taylor has joined the council’s staff in the new position of Director of External Communications. She will oversee public relations and media for the council. Taylor has worked in public relations and communications for over 10 years. Most recently, she was the communications director for the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, or AEDC, where she oversaw all marketing, public relations and external communications. Before that, she was the public relations coordinator for the Anchorage Animal Care and Control Center, director of development and public relations for the local nonprofit Victims for Justice, as well as community coordinator for the American Cancer Society’s Alaska Division. Taylor earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of New Hampshire. She moved to Alaska in 2002 as an AmeriCorps volunteer. Taylor was awarded an APR (Accredited in Public Relations) certification in 2015. This accreditation program assesses competence in 60 areas of knowledge, skills and abilities in public relations. … Continue reading

Schantz appointed as head of council

Donna Schantz, long-time staff member, has been named as the council’s new executive director. Schantz had been serving as the acting executive director since the retirement of Mark Swanson, in November of last year. “The council is very fortunate to have someone with Donna’s organizational knowledge and history to lead us into the future” said Amanda Bauer, president of the council’s board of directors. “I am confident her commitment to our mission and her demeanor will significantly strengthen relationships within the council, as well as with our industry and regulatory partners, as these positive relationships are a critical component to achieving our mission.” Schantz joined the council staff in 1999 and served as director of programs since 2001. She is a graduate of Providence College in Rhode Island. Schantz previously served as acting executive director in 2009 after the retirement of John Devens. … Continue reading

Wrede joining council staff; Changes in Anchorage office

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. … Continue reading