United Way of Southeast Alaska announces election results

At the Jan. 28 annual meeting, Mary Becker was elected chairwoman of the Board of Directors for United Way of Southeast Alaska for 2012. Becker has been a board member since 2008. Becker is currently an Assembly member for the City and Borough of Juneau, a retired educator and former Juneau School Board President. The 16-member board is the governing body for the United Way of Southeast Alaska.


Other elected officers were:

Mark Bryan, chairman elect, who is the publisher of the Juneau Empire, serves on the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors and is a member of the Juneau Rotary Club.

Mark Mesdag, Treasurer, who is a CPA with Elgee Rehfeld Mertz and a former graduate of the Leadership Juneau program facilitated by United Way of Southeast Alaska.

Chris Gerondale, secretary, who is Southeast Regional Manager of Construction Machinery Inc. and currently serves on the board for Alaska Resource Education and chairs its marketing committee. He is also on the board for the Alaska Miners Association and chairs the Juneau Chapter of the Alaska Miners Association. Gerondale served as chair of the 2011-12 United Way Workplace Campaign.

Current board members Mark Bryan and Corey Pavitt were re-elected to the board. Pavitt and his wife Ellen own Pavitt Health and Fitness.

Three new board members were elected to serve three-year terms, Karen Crane, Bernie Sorenson and Mitch Falk. Sorenson is an education consultant and recently retired from the Juneau School District, having served most recently as principal of the Juneau-Douglas High School. Falk is a local businessman and owner of Bullwinkle’s Pizza. Crane, a 20-plus-year resident, is retired from a career in state government, a long time community volunteer and currently serves on the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly.

Joan O’Keefe was re-elected to serve as the small agency representative on the board. O’Keefe serves as executive director of Southeast Alaska Independent Living and has served on the United Way Board since 2007

Ben Coronell and Steven Samuelson both leave the board with the expiration of their terms.

“We will miss their service,” said Becker, “but know that our new board members also bring with them new energy and talents that will serve the organization well.”

One of the first items of business for the new board will be to review their current strategic plan and set direction for the organization for the coming year, while maintaining the ongoing programs United Way of Southeast Alaska delivers. In addition to its annual workplace campaign, United Way grants funds to partner agencies to provide additional services to the communities of Southeast. The strongest focus of the Community Impact Funds has been on literacy and early learning but funds have also been distributed to aid in increasing independent living skills, parenting classes, and supporting AmeriCorps volunteers.


  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback






JDHS student selected for Murkowski internship

Joseph Monsef of Juneau-Douglas High School has been named a summer intern for U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. Each year, interns from Alaska high schools... Read more

Thanks for supporting Juneau’s only adult day program

Thanks to the funding provided, The Bridge is able to offer services that allow seniors to remain in their homes for as long as possible,... Read more