New deputy director for administration to lead council staff in Anchorage

Former Coast Guard commander Stephen Rothchild has been hired as administrative deputy director for the council. Rothchild began work in the Anchorage office on April 1.

He replaced Stan Jones, who retired after 17 years with the council.

“We are delighted to have someone with Steve’s knowledge of Prince William Sound taking over this position,” said Mark Swanson, executive director of the council, “Stan will of course be a hard act to follow, but Steve is so easy going and brings such a great skill set, I’m sure everyone will enjoy working with him.”

Rothchild comes to the council from Juneau where he has been a tour boat captain for the past several years.

In 2008, Rothchild retired from the Coast Guard after 23 years, ten of those years stationed in Alaska. While in Alaska, he spent time as captain of Coast Guard Cutters Sweetbrier and Sycamore in Cordova.

His career experiences include a broad mix of management, vessel operation, strategic planning, and leadership roles.
Patience Andersen Faulkner, council representative for the Cordova District Fishermen United, remembers Steve and his family from his days in Cordova fondly.

“Steve brings with him great skills working with communities,” Andersen said, “In Cordova, he led a crew of Coast Guard recruits who joined in and became part of the Cordova/Prince William Sound community.”

Rothchild combines his familiarity of Prince William Sound with his management skills to fill the critical role of administrative deputy director at the council. He oversees staff administration, provides media relations and public information for the council, and leads the Anchorage staff office.

“Steve’s leadership on the Sycamore was reflected in his crew’s involvement and engagement with Cordova and Prince William Sound residents,” Faulkner said, “I know he will be bringing those relationship and leadership skills to the council.”

Rothchild is a native of New York City. He graduated in 1985 from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

His first taste of Alaska was as a senior Coast Guard academy cadet on a vessel patrolling fisheries in the Bering Sea and Bristol Bay during the summer. As his last duty with the service, he patrolled king crab fisheries on board the Munro, which had just moved to Kodiak.

Rothchild and his wife, Mimi, will be finishing their relocation to Anchorage this summer and are looking forward to learning all about what Alaska’s only big city has to offer.

Staff attends Coast Guard training on incident command system

By ALICIA ZORZETTO
Council Digital Collections Librarian

Five council staff members participated in U.S. Coast Guard sponsored training on how to manage emergencies such as oil spills. The training events took place in late March and early April.

The training focused on the Incident Command System, a standardized emergency management structure first developed in the early 1970’s to manage rapidly moving wildfires, later adopted to manage all types of emergencies and incidents.

During an oil spill, this management system provides the framework for federal, state and local representatives to work with the spiller, and other resource providers, to respond in a highly organized and somewhat standardized manner.

Council staff along with other attendees from the government and private industry reviewed the basic incident command system principles used to manage an effective response to an incident.

Learn more:  What is an Incident Command System or Unified Command?

Long-time staff member Stan Jones to retire

Stan Jones, the council’s director of administration and external affairs, will be retiring after more than 17 years of service to the council.

Born in Anchorage, Jones worked in newspapers and public radio before joining the citizens’ council in 1997. His stories for the Anchorage Daily News on the Exxon Valdez spill helped the paper win several regional and national awards.

Jones spent his first nine years at the council as the public information manager and was promoted to the role of director of external affairs in 2006. In 2010, he was further promoted to the position of director of administration and external affairs.

Jones has been instrumental in ensuring that the public and the media had access to accurate information about the council and its issues. During his tenure, he wrote numerous press releases, guest opinions and other educational and promotional pieces. He also managed the yearly recertification applications to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Jones worked closely with the council’s Legislative Affairs Committee to monitor developments in the Alaska Legislature and the U.S. Congress on matters related to the council’s mission. He worked with elected officials such as Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Mark Begich, and Rep. Don Young to secure passage of federal legislation to permanently preserve Prince William Sound’s system of double escort tugs for loaded oil tankers.

“Stan Jones is in a league all his own with his ability to articulate to the general public why oil spill prevention and response issues matter,” said Mark Swanson, executive director of the council, “Stan can justifiably share a lot of credit for many advances in prevention and response the council has seen during his tenure.”

Jones co-authored an award-winning book, “The Spill: Personal Stories from the Exxon Valdez Disaster,” an oral history of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The book featured personal stories about the spill from over 60 people who experienced the disaster first-hand. The book was released in 2009 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Exxon spill.

Outside of his work at the council, Jones has written a series of four mystery novels about a character named Nathan Active. Nathan is an Inupiat Eskimo and Alaska State Trooper who solves crimes in the fictional village of Chukchi, north of the Arctic Circle.

Jones has quite a few plans post-retirement, including the continuation of the Nathan Active series. He has ideas for more novels, one of which has the working title of “Spenard Road.” He also plans to work two days a week at a federal agency dealing with natural gas projects in Alaska.

“We are going to miss him in the work place but hope to see him around and will certainly be looking for more books from Stan’s ever-fertile pen,” Swanson said.

In March, Jones and his wife, Susan, plan to “try to” drive to the community of Tuktoyaktuk, located on the shore of the Arctic Ocean. The community is only accessible by car during the winter months via the Tuktoyaktuk Winter Road, featured in the History Channel’s program, Ice Road Truckers.

Council hires librarian to manage document collection

The council welcomed a new staff member, Alicia Zorzetto, to the Anchorage office on January 10. Zorzetto accepted the position of Digital Collections Librarian, and will be working in the Anchorage office.

Zorzetto has a master’s degree in information and library sciences from the University of Toronto and a master’s in political science from McMaster University in Ontario. Zorzetto has experience managing digital library collections, most recently serving as a systems librarian for the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering. Zorzetto also served as a reference librarian at York University’s Leslie Frost Library.

Zorzetto moved to Anchorage in early January from Ontario, Canada. She coached and played basketball for many years, and hopes to resume coaching once she settles into life in Alaska.

Zorzetto will take over management of the council’s document management system. The council has an ever-growing collection of approximately 25,000 digital and physical documents, images and audio-visual files related to the council’s mission. Zorzetto will help improve organization of the current system and develop a plan for managing future documents.