Industry Updates Panel Speakers
Wendy Lindskoog (moderator)
Wendy Lindskoog is the Vice President Business Management and Corporate Affairs for the Alaska Railroad Corporation. She also serves as the Corporation’s Board Secretary. Ms. Lindskoog is responsible for Corporate Affairs, Government and Community Relations, Finance and Human Resources. Prior to joining the Alaska Railroad, Ms. Lindskoog was the Communications Director for the Alaska State Senate, part owner of a regional publication, Marketing and Group Sales Manager for a California ski resort and in high school and college worked for a small placer mining operation as a tailings pusher. Ms. Lindskoog has a Bachelor in Science in Journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She serves as a board member and former president of the Resource Development Council, board member and former chair of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, board member for the Alaska Sea Life Center and is a member of the Anchorage Athena Society. In September 2014, Ms. Lindskoog was recognized by the League of Railway Women and Progressive Railroading publication as the 2014 Outstanding Woman of the Year. Ms. Lindskoog resides in Anchorage along with her daughter Tindra Cardwell.
Deantha Crockett is the Executive Director of the Alaska Miners Association, a post she began on June 1, 2012. Previously, Deantha served as projects coordinator for seven years at the Resource Development Council in Anchorage. In that role, she led issues and policy for the mining and tourism industries. She managed RDC’s efforts on the cruise ship head tax and mining shutdown ballot initiative campaigns, and administered the Alaska Alliance for Cruise Travel, an organization promoting Alaskan-owned tourism businesses. Deantha was born and raised in Anchorage and Big Lake, Alaska and is a graduate of the University of Alaska. She is excited to have a career that will ensure she spends a lifetime in Alaska. Deantha is a volunteer for the Alaska Resource Education program and a Board Member for the Armed Services YMCA of Alaska. In 2006 she was one of 55 delegates to the first Conference of Young Alaskans. She enjoys soccer, fishing, hunting, snow machining, and enjoying all that Alaska’s outdoors has to offer.
Twenty years ago, Julie traveled to Ketchikan, Alaska, to work in a cannery during summer break. She has worked in the seafood industry ever since. Her work experience has been varied, from deckhand, to commercial diver, to member of an executive team which re-tooled a salmon cannery. Julie has served on various boards and committees working toward economic development, including the United Fishermen of Alaska, Southeast Conference, and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. In 2013, Julie was elected to the Assembly of the City and Borough of Wrangell. Julie holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and a Masters degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Natural Resource Management from University of Alaska Southeast. Julie was presented the Ernest Gruening Award for “outstanding graduate student” in 2013. Currently, Julie is the Executive Director of the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF). In the summers, she gillnets for salmon with her family out of Wrangell.
Sarah Leonard is the President/ CEO of the Alaska Travel Industry Association, the state’s leading nonprofit, membership trade association for tourism in Alaska. Sarah has an extensive educational and professional background in tourism management with a Master’s of Science (MS) degree in recreation management and tourism from Arizona State University. She earned her Bachelor of Art’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Journalism with a special emphasis in public relations. Sarah joined ATIA after serving in a variety of natural resource, marketing and fundraising positions in Alaska and spanning 15 years. Previously, she has served as an Associate Director of Philanthropy for The Nature Conservancy of Alaska, the Statewide Watchable Wildlife Coordinator for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and the Executive Director of the Alaska Wilderness Recreation and Tourism Association (AWRTA). Ms. Leonard also was one of the founding leaders in Adventure Green Alaska, an Alaska-based nonprofit organization that works to encourage more environmentally friendly tourism practices in response to increased consumer demands. Sarah enjoys many outdoor activities with her husband Chris and 10-year-old son Jacob.
Kimberly Reitmeier is President of the ANCSA Regional Association. The Association’s membership includes the CEOs of the 12 land-based regional Alaska Native Corporations. These corporations are owned by over 100,000 Alaska Native people and were formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (“ANCSA” or the “Act”). The Association exists to promote the understanding and intent of ANCSA and the role of the Regional Corporations in creating a sustainable economic future for Alaska Native People. Prior to joining the ANCSA Regional Association in 2011, Ms. Reitmeier worked for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company; as Chief of Staff. And Prior to that, she was the Director of Alaska Heritage Tours, where she oversaw the tour package operations for CIRI Alaska Tourism. Ms. Reitmeier is a shareholder of Koniag, Inc. and a member of the Shoonaq tribe of Kodiak. In addition to serving on the Alaska State Chamber Board of Directors, she is also Chairs the Providence Foundation, and serves on the board for Best Beginnings, the Minority Business Development Center, the Alaska Native Studies Program, and the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Arts and Sciences at UAA.