United Way SEAK welcomes 3 new board members

United Way of Southeast Alaska recently elected three new board members: Erin Hester, Rustan Burton and Ann Gifford.


Hester, Business Relationship Manager with Wells Fargo Bank, was elected to fill the unexpired term of Mark Bryan. The term expires in January 2015.

Prior to her current position, Hester worked in Wells Fargo’s Investment Management and Trust Department where she partnered with a team to help individuals achieve financial success. With this background, Hester will bring a strong financial literacy influence to the board. Through partnering with United Way and the local community, Hester will be able to use her talent to provide educational guidance and resources on a broad spectrum of finance.

Hester is not only passionate about financial literacy, but also about early education. As a mother of two, Hester knows the value of educating children from a very young age and continuing through high school and secondary education. Erin feels that the more opportunities we create, the better prepared children will be for success later in life.

Burton, Publisher of the Juneau Empire, was elected by the board to fill the unexpired term of Corey Pavitt, DC. The term expires in January 2016.

Burton has been involved in many aspects of the newspaper business since 2008, working for the Anchorage Daily News, the Daily Republic in Mitchell, S.D, and now the Juneau Empire. He studied Business Administration with an emphasis in Communications at Brigham Young University-Idaho. Burton brings strong experience in growing and managing business operations. Prior to his involvement in the newspaper business, Burton worked extensively in management of large properties. He has significant volunteer experience running a youth program for teenage boys. He has sports league management experience and has served as a Scout master and coach.

Gifford, an attorney, after serving as a law clerk to Senior Justice John Dimond and Justice Allen Compton of the Alaska Supreme Court joined Faulkner Banfield P.C. in 1984. Her practice focuses on representation of school districts, non-profit organizations and businesses. She is noted for her ability to provide quick, practical solutions for her clients’ educational and management dilemmas. She brings strong writing and editorial skills to the board that she uses to develop policies and other official communications. Gifford is a frequent speaker at seminars and conference on education and employment law topics, including recent presentations on cyberbullying and random drug testing.

Past Chair Mary Becker welcomed all three new members to the board, noting that since 1974, United Way of Southeast Alaska has been working to “advance the common good” by recruiting people and organizations throughout the region to identify community issues, focus a response and effect change. With its recent “Live United” movement — based on the idea that extending a hand to one improves society for all — the United Way outlines a simple strategy for those wishing to take part in Southeast Alaska’s philanthropic process: “Give, Advocate, Volunteer.”

Learn more about United Way and its 33 partner agencies, visit www.unitedwayseak.org. To donate online, visit www.unitedwayseak.org/donate. To volunteer, visit getconnected.unitedwayseak.org.


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