Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities

ALASKA MARINE HIGHWAY OPERATIONS BOARD

 

Members


Austerman, Alan

  • Public/Restricted/Governor
    Kodiak
  • Current Term: 11/04/2021 to 07/01/2023
    Original Appointment: 11/04/2021

Alan Austerman served as the Majority Leader of the Alaska House of Representatives. He also served on the Fisheries, Military and Veterans Affairs, and Community and Regional Affairs committees of the House of Representatives of the 27th Legislature. Alan Austerman previously served as an Alaska State Senator from 2001 to 2003. He resigned from the Senate to become the Fisheries Policy Advisor to Governor Frank Murkowski. Before that, he represented the 6th district in the House from 1995 to 2001. Austerman and his wife, Ginny, have two children, Carol and Dawn. He is the current owner of Alan Austerman Consulting and Lobbyist Services.


Ayers, Wanetta (Vice Chair)

  • Public/Restricted/Speaker
    Anchorage
  • Current Term: 11/16/2021 to 07/01/2025
    Original Appointment: 11/16/2021

Wanetta Ayers is the executive director of Commonwealth North (CWN), a nonpartisan public policy forum focused on exploring and resolving Alaska's most critical issues. Ayers' prior experience spans the nonprofit sector, public service, and private enterprise. She's led state economic and workforce development agencies, regional and community economic development organizations, trade associations, and business development programs. Ayers received a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Washington and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has also received graduate certificates in economic development and social media marketing. Previous gubernatorial appointments include the Alaska Tourism Marketing Council, the Marine Transportation Advisory Board, and the Alaska Marine Highway Reshaping Working Group. Originally from Anchorage, where four generations of her family live, Ayers has lived and worked throughout Alaska, including Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Kenai, Kodiak, and Utqiagvik.


Berns, Cynthia

  • Alaska Native organization/AMHS
    Anchorage
  • Current Term: 11/04/2021 to 07/01/2023
    Original Appointment: 11/04/2021

Cynthia R Berns is the Vice President of Community and External Affairs for Old Harbor Native Corporation (OHNC), where she works on community strategic planning, economic & infrastructure development, and advocacy in various sectors. She works closely with the management of OHNC in corporate affairs government, and shareholder relations. Cynthia graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a bachelor's degree, the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a master's degree, and Alaska Pacific University's Alaska Native Executive Leadership Program. Cynthia was raised in the coastal community of Old Harbor, Alaska. She is a member of the Alutiiq Tribe of Old Harbor, shareholder of OHNC and a strong advocate for Alaska Natives. She also serves as a Board Member for the Old Harbor Alliance, Salvation Army Alaska Division, Native American Contractors Association, and the Alaska Native Heritage Center. She lives in Old Harbor and Anchorage with her spouse and two boys.


Carpenter, Rob

  • Deputy Commissioner/DOT
    Juneau
  • Current Term: 11/04/2021 to TBD
    Original Appointment: 11/04/2021

Rob Carpenter has been the Deputy Commissioner of DOT&PF since February 2020 and lives in Juneau. Rob has extensive legislative and budget experience. Previously, Rob worked as a senior fiscal analyst with the Legislative Finance Division. In this capacity, he was instrumental on n umerous statewide fiscal issues. While working on analyzing and coordinating the state's entire capital budget, Rob focused on the transportation operating budget. With his keen understanding of transportation issues, complex budgets, and the legislature, he is an asset to DOT. Mr. Carpenter has a degree in business administration and finance from the University of Oregon and an AA from the University of Alaska Southeast.


Carson, Larry "Norm"

  • Public/Restricted/Governor
    Pelican
  • Current Term: 11/04/2021 to 07/01/2023
    Original Appointment: 11/04/2021

Living three miles south of Pelican, Norm is an Alaska State Trooper, retired 1990, then Commander of Trooper operations in Southeast Alaska. He commercially fished from 1990 to 1994. He was Chief of Security at the Alaska State Legislature, 1993-97. Then owner and operator of Pelican Charters 1994 - present, he is a licensed USCG Captain. Norm has been and is a member of many relevant boards, including the Marine Transportation Advisory Board, Pelican Fish & Game Advisory board, US Forest Service RAC, and Pelican Chamber of Commerce. On a personal note, Norm has been married for over 50 years to Linda (Hildre) Carson. They have two sons, both Alaska State Troopers, and six grandchildren. He is a published author, active in research and writing.


Johnsen, Paul

  • Public/Restricted/Senate President
    Petersburg
  • Current Term: 12/07/2021 to 07/01/2027

Paul Johnsen graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy in 1971 with a dual degree (deck and engine). He worked aboard AMHS vessels in 1974-1979 as a third, second, and first engineer. Between 1979 and 1997, Paul worked for multiple maritime companies (both US flag and foreign flag ocean-going ships) as a shipboard chief engineer and a member of shoreside management teams. He was stationed in Taiwan, Florida, Georgia, the Philippines, and Seattle during this period. In 1997, he returned to AMHS as a senior port engineer and later chief engineer until retirement in 2007. Between 2008 and 2010, he implemented and managed the Ocean Ranger Program for Crowley Marine Services under contract with the State of Alaska. Paul lives in Petersburg and has lived in Alaska since 1997. He enjoys boating and hiking, and he is active in the Five Finger Lighthouse Society. Paul is ready to devote his efforts to rebuild a robust marine highway system that will serve the people of coastal Alaska.


Marquardt, Shirley (Chair)

  • Public/Restricted/Speaker
    Anchorage
  • Current Term: 11/16/2021 to 07/01/2025

Shirley Marquardt is the Executive Director of the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference since January 2020. Mrs. Marquardt served as the Executive Director for the Alaska Marine Highway System for approximately one year after serving as the Executive Director for Boards and Commissions, State of Alaska. Prior to this, she was the Mayor of the City of Unalaska/Port of Dutch Harbor for 16 years.


Hillard, Keith L

  • Union - Current AMHS Captain
    Juneau
  • Current Term: 1/26/2022 to 07/01/2027

Captain Keith Hillard graduated from California Maritime Academy in 1993 and began his seagoing career working on a tug and barge hauling fuels in SE Asia. Since 1995, he has worked with the Guemes Island Ferry System, Washington State Ferries, and the Alaska Marine Highway System. He has 27 years of experience moving people, goods, and vehicles in Washington and Alaska. Captain Hillard is currently one of the two permanent captains on the M/V Matanuska. His goals are to create a reliable ferry service the people of Alaska can count on.


Vacant

  • Public/Restricted/Senate President
  • Current Term: 12/07/2021 to 07/01/2027

DOT&PF - Staff Support

Katherine Keith

Tera Ollila