New director for SAGA

The Southeast Alaska Guidance Association (SAGA) Board of Directors chose Beverly Schoonover as its new executive director. She replaced founder and longtime executive director Joe Parrish. She started on Feb. 20, according to a release.


“Beverly was the unanimous choice for the Board.” Matt Smith, SAGA board chairman, was quoted as saying. “Beverly brings valuable experience to SAGA, including financial management and oversight, fundraising, strategic planning, organizational communication and project management skills. As a two-time AmeriCorps service member, she can also provide good perspective to our staff and Board on the opportunities and challenges of working for an AmeriCorps program.”

Schoonover, a resident of Juneau, previously held the position of executive director of the Juneau Watershed Partnership since 2007. Prior to that, she was the business and community organizer for the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council and served as the community development specialist for the City of Estacada, Ore.

Schoonover holds a bachelor’s degree in community development from Portland State University and a Master of Science in humanitarian aid and development practice from Oxford-Brookes University in Oxford, England.

She serves on the board of directors of the Juneau Economic Development Council and Litter Free, Inc.

SAGA is a federally recognized non-profit organization that states it has “a mission is to improve lives, lands, and communities in Alaska through Service Learning. Through multiple statewide programs, SAGA provides native Alaskans, youth and young professionals with on-the-job training, experiential education and leadership opportunities.” Among its programs is AmeriCorps. It was founded in 1985.

The departure of Parrish and SAGA’s former finance director, Jenifer Shapland, last fall caught many off guard. Both had said they were fired. Readers may find that article online at


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