Joe Sprague

Senior Vice President, Communications & External Relations, Alaska Air Group

2017 Arctic Encounter Host Partner

Joe Sprague brings over 25 years of experience to his position at Alaska, spanning general aviation, corporate aviation and the airline segment of the industry. Joe has spent 16 years at Alaska, currently serving as senior vice president of communications and external relations with responsibility for government affairs, community relations, sales and community marketing, corporate communications and cargo. He also serves on Alaska Air Group’s executive committee.

Previously, Joe was vice president of marketing with responsibility for marketing and branding strategy, marketing communications, loyalty programs, digital marketing, sales, corporate communications and onboard product. He also served as vice president of cargo for Alaska Airlines where he led the company’s $100 million per year air freight unit, and staff vice president of inflight services where he oversaw the airline’s inflight operations and its team of flight attendants.

Prior to joining Alaska, Joe worked at two regional airlines: Era Aviation in Anchorage, Alaska and Harbor Airlines in the Seattle area. He also served as manager of government and industry affairs for the D.C.-based National Air Transportation Association (NATA), serving the interest of 2,000 aviation businesses.

Joe began his aviation career as a flight instructor and commercial pilot. He flew for Juneau, Alaska-based Wings of Alaska and also in the corporate flight department for Geico Insurance.

Sprague received a Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Joe resides near Seattle with this wife and two teenage children.


Jared wigginton

associate, Stoel Rives LLP

2018 Arctic Encounter Host Partner

Jared Wigginton is an associate in the Environmental practice group of Stoel Rives. As an environmental and natural resources litigator, Jared serves clients in multiple industries, including fisheries, oil and gas, renewable energy, and municipalities. His goal is to help clients successfully resolve legal issues in the most efficient and beneficial manner possible. Jared has both trial and appellate litigation experience. This experience involves, among other laws, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, and Administrative Procedure Act. Jared also has experience addressing the domestic effects of international environmental treaties. In an advisory capacity, Jared has helped clients navigate legal issues involving the Federal Power Act, Federal Land Policy and Management Act, Mineral Leasing Act, Naval Petroleum Reserve Production Act, and Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, among others.

Jared actively participates in Stoel Rives’ pro bono program, providing civil rights and constitutional law litigation services. Before joining Stoel Rives, Jared served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Michael L. Douglas of the Nevada Supreme Court and completed a legal externship for the California Office of the Attorney General in the Public Rights Division. Jared was also a high school teacher at his alma mater, teaching the Multicultural Council course.

dr. brendan kelly

executive director, study of environmental arctic change (SEARCH)

Dr. Brendan P. Kelly is Executive Director of the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) and Research Professor at the International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks. As a marine ecologist with a focus on sea ice environments, he has participated in and led collaborative research in the North Pacific Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, the Sea of Okhotsk, the Baltic Sea, and Antarctica. He has served on numerous national and international science panels and as a science adviser to indigenous organizations in Alaska. As SEARCH Director, Dr. Kelly draws on 40 years of experience in Arctic research and policy to align and coordinate scientific research in the Arctic with the needs of people. His previous positions included serving as a professor, dean, and vice provost at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks and Juneau; Deputy Director for Arctic Sciences, National Science Foundation; Assistant Director for Polar Science in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Chief Scientist of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Currently, he serves on the National Academy of Sciences’ Polar Research Board and as a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Blue Economy, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Dr. Kelly received degrees in Biology from the University of California Santa Cruz (B.A.), the University of Alaska Fairbanks (M.S.), and Purdue University (Ph.D.).

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Fran ulmer

chair, u.s. arctic research commission

former lieutenant governor of alaska

Fran Ulmer is chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, where she has served since being appointed by President Obama in March 2011. From 2007 to 2011, Ms. Ulmer was chancellor of Alaska's largest public university, the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). Before that, she was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at UAA. Ms. Ulmer served as an elected official for 18 years as the mayor of Juneau, a state representative, and as Lieutenant Governor of Alaska. She previously worked as legal counsel to the Alaska Legislature, legislative assistant to Governor Jay Hammond, and Director of Policy Development for Alaska. She has served on numerous state and national boards and commissions, and currently is a member of the Global Board of the Nature Conservancy and the Board of the National Parks Conservation Association.

mead treadwell

president, pt capital

Chairman, Arctic Circle Task Force on Shipping and Ports; President, PT Capital

former lieutenant governor of alaska

Mead Treadwell is President of Pt Capital, the northernmost registered investment bank in the US and the first private equity fund focused on investments across the Arctic. He served as Lt. Governor of Alaska from 2010 to 2014, and coordinated Alaska's work in the Arctic Council.  He was a leader in Alaska's efforts to preserve Alaska Native Languages.  He co-chaired the State Committee on Research and chaired the Aerospace States Association. 

From 2001 to 2010, Treadwell served as Commissioner on the US Arctic Research Commission.  He was designated chair by President Bush in 2006 and, as chair until 2010, worked with both Presidents Bush and Obama to craft and implement the U.S. Arctic policy adopted in 2009. 

Treadwell is a graduate of Yale College and the Harvard Business School.  He is a frequent writer and speaker on Arctic policy, and recently proposed a new Arctic shipping regime modeled after the bi-national St. Lawrence Seaway the U.S. and Canada share as a path from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes.   



official HOST OF THE 2015 & 2016 ARCTIC ENCOUNTER

Dean Kellye Y. Testy was named dean of the University of Washington School of Law in 2009, the first woman to serve in the position. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University at Bloomington and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Indiana School of Law where she was editor-in-chief of the Indiana Law Journal. Dean Testy has published extensively on topics including business law, gender and the law, social justice and legal education.

Dean Testy was recently voted by the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) to be the AALS President-Elect. Dean Testy has been actively involved with the AALS for several years, including serving a three-year term on the Committee on Recruitment and Retention of Minority Law Teachers and Students (2007-2009) and serving as a member of the 2009 Planning Committee for the highly successful Conference on Business Associations. She also chaired the Planning Committee for the AALS Workshop for New Law Teachers (2010). Most recently, she served as co-chair of the AALS Section for the Law School Dean and is a current member of the AALS Committee on Audit and Association Investment Policy and the AALS Executive Committee.

In addition to her work with the AALS, Dean Testy has also served on the Board of Governors of the Society of American Law Teachers as well as several committees of the ABA Section on Legal Education. In 2010, she chaired the ABA New Dean's Workshop and has been a long-serving member of its faculty committee.

Dean Testy is an avid supporter of Arctic policy reform and served as an advisor and official host of the 2015 and 2016 Arctic Encounter Symposia. 

To learn more about the work UW School of Law and the UW Arctic Law & Policy Institute is currently engaged in, please click here. 

beth kerttula, J.D. 

Former Director of the national ocean council, the white house, obama administration

former alaska state legislator

Beth Kerttula recently completed her assignment as Director of the National Ocean Council, where she oversaw the Council’s efforts to implement the National Ocean Policy.  In this capacity, she worked closely with stakeholders and the nine national marine regions to facilitate regional marine planning and other ocean management activities.  She came to this position from Stanford’s Center for Ocean Solutions, where she was a visiting fellow working to bring together policymakers from multiple disciplines to discuss the critical interplay of oceans, climate change, and society. 

Beth is a 15-year veteran of the Alaska House of Representatives, where she served as Minority Leader from 2006 to 2013, and has held positions in the State of Alaska Attorney General’s Office.  An attorney, Beth has served as the Alaska State Bar Board of Governors President and was on its Board of Governors for six years.

Beth was the original sponsor of landmark cruise ship pollution legislation as well as other important environmental bills.  She also led efforts to defend and improve the Alaska Coastal Zone Management Program and supported research efforts by the University of Alaska on ocean acidification and community sustainability.  Beth was also a member of the State of Alaska's first Arctic Policy Commission, which created Alaska's first Arctic policy recommendations for the state legislature. 

John Reeves, P.E., P.M.P.

Project Manager & Senior Engineer, Elliott Bay Design Group

former captain of the uscg cutter healy icebreaker

John D. Reeves joined Elliott Bay Design Group in 2015.  A highly skilled engineering leader and mariner, he brings extensive field experience gained through 23 years of operating and maintaining some of the most complex vessels in the U.S. Coast Guard fleet, including serving as Captain of the USCGC HEALY. 

John's wide-ranging background includes five years as port engineer and manager of four industrial repair facilities, serving as an Associate Professor in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and more than a decade at-sea providing service on and maintenance of a variety of vessels, from salvage ships to the world's most powerful non-nuclear icebreaker.  Operations included living marine resources and law enforcement, search and rescue, icebreaking, and high latitude scientific research.

Megan Alvanna-Stimpfle

Principle, Arctic Geopolitical Consulting

Megan was born and raised in Nome, Alaska. She is of King Island Inupiaq heritage and takes pride in Eskimo dancing and learning her language. She holds a Master’s in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. in Economics from George Mason University. Megan served as a legislative assistant for Senator Lisa Murkowski in Washington D.C. responsible for policies addressing infrastructure & sanitation, housing, health delivery, public safety and justice, land management, as well as fish & wildlife management for Alaska Native and rural Alaskans. She assisted in organizing the Arctic Imperative Summit to bring arctic and coastal Alaskan issues to the forefront of American policy. She currently is the principle of Arctic Geopolitical Consulting advising leaders on rural infrastructure regulatory reform and development.

Dr. Daniel Volland, north star optical

photographer, tinker street*

Creative strategist, arctic encounter

Daniel works as a licensed doctor of optometry in remote Alaskan communities, most of which are not accessible by the road system. He arrives by bush plane, boat, or snow machine to set up portable eye clinics in local schools, community centers, Native Corporation buildings, or just about anywhere that will have him, in an effort to provide access to quality eye care. 

When Daniel is not doing eye exams, he works as a professional photographer and social media strategist. His goal is to help Arctic Encounter Symposium celebrate the beauty of the arctic and the creativity of its communities. 

Daniel is a featured artist with TinkerStreet*, an international collective of professional digital content creators and top social media influencers. Past and present photography clients include: Airbnb, Lincoln Motor Company, DSW, eBay, Mercedes-Benz, Urban Outfitters, Ticla, Warby Parker, American Express, Acuvue, Stanley Brand, and Urban Outfitters.

Keri Scaggs

arctic affairs consultant

Keri Scaggs first came to Alaska in 1998, singing in Nome during the Iditarod. What began as a job became a life-changing experience, due to the hospitality and open-mindedness of the Great Land.

In 2002, as her network grew, some black and white photos she’d taken for fun made their way into the hands of the folks at CIRI. She began marketing artwork exclusive to the Talkeetna Alaska Lodge and had the opportunity to work with Brad Washburn on a recreation of the Alaska Range Mountain Identification Guide.

As that market began to change in 2008, she invented a new and unique way to smoke salmon, combining her Kentucky roots with the implementation of bourbon barrels. During the course of that venture, she connected two dear friends who joined forces with the President of Iceland to form the Arctic Circle. It then became clear that in spite of her creative endeavors her true gift was in consulting and connecting.

To date she works with various clients on issues pertaining to Alaska and the Arctic, including Guggenheim Partners Asset Management and Crowdfunder and is proud to call Anchorage home.