Tuesday, November 16 & Thursday, November 18
8:30 AM – 12:30 PM both days via Zoom

Presenter Bio-sketches and links to PowerPoints

Tuesday November 16

8:30 – Welcome/Introduction   F. Lawrence Bennett, P.E.

Welcome and brief seminar introduction.  Seminar history.  Agenda review.  Supporter acknowledgements.  Zoom platform protocol.  Seminar evaluation.

Larry Bennett retired from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1997 after 29 years on its engineering management faculty.  Registered in Alaska as a civil engineer and land surveyor, he maintains a part-time consulting practice from his home in Fairbanks.  A veteran of previous Moolin seminars, he is pleased to have a part in organizing and facilitating this fifth such offering.

8:45 – Public Involvement:  What is it, who does it and some key takeaways.   Anne Brooks, P.E

Anne Brooks, P.E., owner of Brooks & Associates, will set the stage for this Moolin Seminar on Public Involvement.  She will draw on her experience as a public involvement practitioner which began in 2002 and continues to this day.  Her projects with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and others have spanned all phases – from master planning through preliminary engineering and environmental to construction.  She will share insights she gleaned from her work throughout the state in her introduction to the topic.

Anne is a licensed professional engineer who has been in private practice since 1993.  She began working on public involvement in the early 2000’s with the then-controversial Trunk Road Reconstruction in the Mat-Su Valley.  Her work has specialized in communicating between the project team and the public, and between the public and the project team.  She has worked on a wide variety of projects, which include highways, airports, oil industry, local and regional plans, and other agency efforts that has taken her all over the state from Ketchikan to Barrow, Kaktovik to Nome.

Anne was raised in southern Arizona and came to Alaska in 1974 after earning an associate’s degree in business administration from Northern Arizona University.  Anne obtained her BS in Civil Engineering from UAA in 1988.  She worked for several consulting firms before establishing Brooks and Associates in 1993.  Her clients include engineering consulting firms, state and federal agencies, and even architects.

In her spare time, Anne like to make things and learn new skills.  She is currently learning how to weave cloth and spin fiber.  A little-known fact about Anne – she bought a one-way ticket to Alaska in 1974, her first flight ever, and has been here ever since.

9:30 – Social Media Engagement   Meadow Bailey, APR 

A graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Meadow began her career in journalism and advertising before working as an independent public relations practitioner. Before GVEA, she worked for the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities for 12 years, first as the Northern Region Public Information Officer and then as Special Assistant to the Commissioner – Communications Director. Meadow received her accreditation in public relations in 2011 from the Public Relations Society of America and is one of 28 accredited public relations professionals in the state. Outside of work, Meadow is a board member with the Midnight Sun Swim Team, an avid cook, reader and yogi. Meadow and her husband Bill have two daughters, Ella and Symone, a dog named Coppet and two cats named Amber and Rico.

Everyone agrees a social media presence is vital for organizations, but social media also requires an investment of time and resources. We will cover best practices and strategies to increase engagement, along with tips for efficiently creating excellent content to take your social media to the next level.

10:15 – Introduction to Community Engagement   Alli Harvey 

Alli Harvey is a Senior Consultant with Information Insights.  She specializes in meeting facilitation, strategic visioning & planning, and organizational development.  Alli is originally from Massachusetts, went to school in New York City to study urban planning with a focus on sustainability, and has been in Alaska for over ten years.  She is also a painter/artist ( and outdoors columnist for Anchorage Daily News. Alli loves pop culture podcasts and Scrabble.This introduction will consider such questions as:
What does community engagement mean?
What are some lessons learned?
What are some successes?
What factors lead to successful community engagement?

10:45 – Coffee break

11:00 – Fairbanks North Star Borough Capital Improvements Program   Mayor Bryce Ward

Bryce J. Ward was born and raised in the Interior and has called the Fairbanks North Star Borough home ever since. He was elected the 12th    Mayor of the Fairbanks North Star Borough in October 2018.  Ward is a graduate of Austin E. Lathrop High School in Fairbanks and received an Associate Degree in Business and a Certificate in Management from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Technical College.
Mayor Ward served on the City of North Pole City Council for one year. He was then elected Mayor of the City of North Pole and served two consecutive (3-year) terms from October 2012 to October 2018.  Ward is also the owner of Ward Alaska LLC, a small general contracting company and also owns residential rental homes in the North Pole area.

His civic activities include volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America in Fairbanks/North Pole.  He is serving his second three-year term as borough mayor, having been sworn in first on October 25, 2018.

Mayor Ward will describe the evolution of the borough’s capital improvement program planning process, which begins by engaging the public in proposing needed projects.  He will outline the process currently in place and then discuss the present status.  This new approach is in its second cycle; lessons learned thus far will be highlighted.

11:45 – Small Group Exercise & Aha’s and Questions (Alli Harvey) 
We assume a project is at the phase where community engagement is required.  Small groups will develop action plans that address the following:

In the final section, attendees will share their aha’s and questions from the small group discussion:

What new insights or learnings have you discovered?
What questions do you have?
What more do you want to discuss?

Thursday November 18

8:30 – The New Infrastructure Bill: An Update    Kaleb Froehlich and Annie Hoefler, Office of Senator Lisa Murkowski

Kaleb Froehlich is Senator Murkowski’s Chief of Staff.  Kaleb is a born and raised Alaskan from Juneau.  He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern California and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.  From 2009-2014, Kaleb served as Senior Counsel to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee under Senator Murkowski. 
Annie Hoefler is Deputy Legislative Director for Senator Murkowski.  She has worked on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee for the past five and a half years, most recently serving as a Senior Professional Staff Member on the natural resources side of the policy shop. She was born and raised in Anchorage. 
Kaleb and Annie will review key provisions of the recently-passed infrastructure bill, will note the bill’s importance to Alaska’s engineering and construction community, and will welcome questions from seminar participants.

9:00 – Rural Alaska Engagement   Robin Reich   

Robin, who founded Solstice Alaska Consulting, has over 25 years of experience with public outreach and planning in rural Alaskan villages, hub communities, and larger towns. Her varied background includes public involvement and facilitation for environmental documents and community and energy planning. Robin grew up in Bethel and after graduating college moved to the Big City (Anchorage). She worked for a regional nonprofit Native corporation before joining the consulting world.

Having worked on technical and sometimes controversial projects, Robin understands the importance of clear communication to a project’s success, particularly in rural Alaska—where community buy-in is especially important. Prior to COVID, some of Robin’s rural efforts included outreach in Bethel, including public meetings, to obtain approvals for Alaska Village Electric Cooperative’s wind turbine; meetings in Mountain Village to gather input on a new road project; and outreach in Kobuk, Noatak, and Shungnak to develop energy priorities.

Robin is going to share some lessons learned from public involvement efforts in Rural Alaska—including some things to avoid, some items to include, and some ways to make your community involvement efforts more successful.

10:00 – Coffee break

10:15 – Cooper Landing Sterling Highway Case Study Katherine Wood

Katherine Wood is an Associate Vice President at HDR.  She leads public communications for complex infrastructure development projects.  Her outreach strategies have resulted in increased public confidence and defensible processes. Key projects include the Sterling Hwy MP 45-60, Anchorage Airport North/South Runway closure and Master Plan, Ambler Access Road EIS, the Interior Energy Project, and BlueCrest’s Anchor Point development. She is a certified member of the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) and has been trained in public outrage management. Katherine is also an educator, having taught English at the University of Alaska.  In her free time she enjoys playing Fleetwood Mac covers on her ukulele and dragging her children on outdoor adventures.

From Milepost 45 to 60, the Sterling Highway through Cooper Landing is the last section not upgraded since originally built in the 1950s.  Multiple environmental efforts stalled in the 1980s and 90s due to the resource rich environment; this section of the Kenai River has been used by wildlife and people for thousands of years.  HDR led the environmental process to closure in 2018, completed design on the first phase, and is now continuing agency and public outreach.  Today, the DOT&PF is several years into phased construction.  Come hear how the public process has shaped outcomes, what values are in play, and how the conversation has changed over the decades.


11:15 – Make it or Break it: How to Get Community Buy-in and Why It Matters Sarah Schacher, P.E., Julie Hasquet, Carl Heim, P.E., and Jonathan J. Hutchison, P.E.

Sarah Schacher is the Northern Region Preconstruction Engineer for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.  She was born and raised in Fairbanks and is a UAF graduate in Civil Engineering.  Sarah has spent 18 years with DOT&PF, the last five overseeing the delivery of an annual capital construction program of about $250M.  Sarah loves travel, exercise and day dreaming about a post-COVID world.

Julie Hasquet is the Senior Manager for Corporate Communications at Chugach Electric Association. She earned a BA in Telecommunications & Film at San Diego State University and has spent the last 35 years working in communications in Alaska. She was first a TV news reporter/anchor, then worked in politics and oil & gas, and is now with an electric utility.  Julie was named the 2018 Communicator of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America, Alaska Chapter.  The mother of two outstanding adult daughters, she also loves hiking, biking, and travel

Carl Heim is an Engineering Manager with the Northern Region of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.  Carl was born and raised in Fairbanks and graduated from UAF with a degree in Civil Engineering.  He has twenty-five years of experience in the engineering industry, the last decade focusing on high-profile Fairbanks area safety improvement projects.  Carl loves riding mountain bikes and winter biking in the Fairbanks area.

Jonathan J. Hutchinson is also an Engineering Manager with the Northern Region of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. He graduated from UAF in 2009 with a B.S. Civil Engineering, and in 2011 with an M.S. in Civil Engineering.  Jonathan has twelve years of experience in the transportation engineering sector with a focus on highway and airport projects in rural Alaska. He loves skiing, mountaineering, playing soccer, and delivering capital projects to the people of rural Alaska.

This panel session will feature brief short experiences from design transportation and communications professionals on challenging projects or initiatives that required creativity to achieve successful public engagement. Panelists will discuss lessons learned, best practices and tips for success in communicating about technical and sometimes controversial topics to members of our communities.

12:15 – Reflections & Wrap-up   Anne Brooks, P.E. and others