Wrede joining council staff; Changes in Anchorage office

Walt Wrede
Walt Wrede

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.

Read moreWrede joining council staff; Changes in Anchorage office

Long-time employee appointed as head of council

Donna Schantz

The council announced at its January 22 meeting that Director of Programs Donna Schantz has been promoted to the position of executive director. Schantz replaces Mark Swanson, who retired from the council in November of last year. Since then, Schantz has served as acting executive director.

“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 board. “I am confident her commitment to our mission and her positive attitude will significantly strengthen relationships within the council, as well as with our industry and regulatory partners, as these relationships are a critical component to achieving our mission.”

Read moreLong-time employee appointed as head of council

Swanson resigns as head of citizens’ council

Mark Swanson has resigned as executive director of the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council. His resignation was unanimously accepted by the council board November 24 during a telephonic meeting.

While the board works to seek a permanent replacement, Donna Schantz, the organization’s director of programs, will serve as acting executive director.

“On behalf of the council, I’d like to thank Mark for his service to the organization,” said board President Amanda Bauer. “We wish him the very best in the future.”

Read moreSwanson resigns as head of citizens’ council

Joe Banta marks twenty-five years of service to the council

Joe Banta
Joe Banta

On October 1, 1990, Joe Banta started a new job managing oil spill planning projects for a young organization, the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council.

“It was really amazing and rewarding to work for an organization like ours, especially in the early, formative days,” Banta said. “The energy was electric. There was a sense of urgency to make the council work, and get the organization’s structure up and running.”

Prior to joining the council, Banta witnessed the oil spill first hand as a Cordova fisherman and helped with the spill response, rescuing oiled wildlife.

Banta has been with the council for 25 years this October. He now works mostly with the council’s Scientific Advisory Committee and manages the council’s environmental monitoring projects.

Read moreJoe Banta marks twenty-five years of service to the council