People on the move


Crystal Koeneman: After serving for 18 legislative sessions as a legislative aide, Crystal Koeneman is now the legislative liaison for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. She worked for lawmakers such as Senators Lyman Hoffman, Donny Olson, Bert Stedman, and Gary Stevens. She also worked for Representatives Nancy Dahlstrom, Mary Peltola, Sara Rasmussen, and Steve Thompson, among others. Her new boss is the commissioner of DEC, Jason Brune.

Gretchen Guess: Former State Rep. and Sen. Gretchen Guess is returning to Alaska to head up the Rasmuson Foundation, upon the retirement of longtime CEO Diane Kaplan. Guess is a born-and-raised Alaskan. Her father (Rep. Gene Guess) was a Speaker of the Alaska State House, and her mother was on the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. Guess worked in the Knowles administration, for Alaska Communications, and for Providence Alaska. She served on the Anchorage School Board before moving out of Alaska in 2013 to join St. Vincent’s HealthCare in Jacksonville, Fla. She starts at the foundation on Feb. 28.

Laura Bess Stidolph: Longtime legislative aide Laura Bess Stidolph is the new legislative director for Gov. Mike Dunleavy. She started her legislative career as front desk for Rep. Kurt Olson, serving the Kenai Peninsula. She also worked as a Transportation Committee Aide and bill runner for Representative Adam Wool of Fairbanks, Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard of Wasilla, and House Speaker Bryce Edgmon of Dillingham. She then moved to the Governor’s Office as deputy legislative director, and then over to GCI.

Anna Dieterich: After seven years with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Anna Dieterich has left the building, joining Covenant House International as the associate vice president of advocacy and policy. Covenant House is dedicated to ending child trafficking.

Lauren Noland: Another departure from Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office is Lauren Noland. She worked for Murkowski for five months, and for Congressman Don Young for nine months and is a U.S. Army veteran.

Jim Matherly: Gov. Mike Dunleavy has appointed Jim Matherly to be his regional director in Fairbanks-Interior Alaska for the Office of the Governor. He was mayor of Fairbanks since 2016 and ran for Senate in 2022, but that seat went to a Democrat in a split-ticket situation. Matherly began working for the governor on Dec. 12.

Shareen Crosby: McKinley Management has a new chief of staff — Shareen Crosby, who worked as chief of staff to state Sen. Natasha von Imhof for the past seven years. She is working with McKinley’s executive team to develop Alaska business opportunities and provide project management, research, and writing support.

Jill McLeod: The new general counsel to McKinley Capital is Jill McLeod, who was previously a partner with Dorsey & Whitney, where she managed the law partnership’s Anchorage office. McLeod was in-house counsel for ConocoPhillips in Anchorage. She has over 25 years of international legal experience with expertise in finance, risk and compliance, and general corporate law in portfolios that include oil and gas, mining, telecommunications, and numerous other business concerns.

Ian Walser: Formerly with Alaska Growth Capital, Ian Walser is now the chief financial officer. He was Vice President of Alaska Growth Capital, as well as controller and compliance director. That company was bought from Arctic Slope Regional Corporation in September and is now one of McKinley’s business units.

Photo: Reywas92, Wikimedia


    • It has always been transparent, and now that women have pretty much taken over, it will be more transparent than ever.

  1. For clarification purposes, I have not worked for “…lawmakers such as Senators Lyman Hoffman, Donny Olson, Bert Stedman, and Gary Stevens…Representatives Nancy Dahlstrom, Mary Peltola…” My original post stated those are the legislators who are still in office from my very first session.

    Here is the original post:
    As I look to my 18th legislative session, only 6 legislators still hold office from my first session. Four are still Senators (Hoffman, Olson, Stedman, and G. Stevens) and two former House members are now Lt. Governor Dahlstrom and Congresswoman Peltola. My two favorite bosses are no longer in the building, Reps. Sara Rasmussen and Steve Thompson, and most of the staff I have worked with over the years have moved on. It’s also time for me to make a change.
    Tomorrow, I begin my new adventure as the Legislative Liaison for DEC. I’m not going far, but I’m very excited to work with my new team and continue to do great things for our state!

  2. Jim Matherly got Tammie Wilson’s previous position as the Governor’s office head in the Interior. Wilson might be gearing up for a run as FNSB Mayor(?).

  3. Too many. Democrats. Nothing going to change. If these elites really wanted to make a difference, they’d all work in the private sector and not for a non profit. Non profits like government don’t do nothing to make money.except sponge up others money. What good
    did any such elites do for alaska? Their careers produced no capital but only took others capital.

  4. Here is the interesting thing.

    Journalism WAS and is SUPPOSED to be based on the basic principals of:

    ‘Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How’.

    Now it is:

    ‘He, She, I, Me, You’.

    Why is there no we?

    When did the idea of journalistic research stop short of the original purpose of ‘we’ as the central point?

    As a simple citizen WHO has been animated and annihilated- I have to ask the elephant in the room question..

    Who is protecting citizens from the media – when the first amendment was originally created to give broad protections for the media to protect citizens from the government?

    Where does gossip column and/or political faction rags versus credible news sources divide themselves?

    Inquiring minds want to…..wait for it…

    • No one protects the citizenry. We do that ourselves by being informed about the world around us and pushing back when the media lies directly to us.

      Most of your issues are as old as journalism itself. The history of journalism has always been much more agenda driven than objective. Both in reporting and how the reports are received. The division between credible news and agenda lies in the mind of the audience.

      Take the Trump re-election mess: there are some people who believe to their core the election was stolen and no information will change their minds. There are also those who believe he lost and nothing will change their minds.

      Despite what the media would tell you, the second amendment covers us all. With all other things, if the Constitution does not specifically state something, the rights/powers/ privilege and RESPONSIBILITY defaults to the people.

  5. Crystal Koeneman definitely uses a lot of me, myself and I, and a “LOOK AT ME” stance in her personal fictation of herself.

    Maybe when she gets to Juneau she can better serve politicians in her own glass lenses and protective bubble from the citizens and people of Alaska? -OR is that the goal and end all be all….

    We are the ones you serve and are supposed to represent for the betterment of our state and most importantly for the betterment of our families NOT YOUR personal 401K….

  6. If DEC has a legislative liaison do all the other departments also have one? What does a liaison do? Lobby the legislators for more money. Do their best to take our dividend money?

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