Our Board of Directors
Susan Klein, Anchorage
Susan has been on the board of The Alaska Center since fall of 2013. She enjoys working with board and staff to further the efforts of The Alaska Center to engage the public in issues such as clean water and climate change. She is passionate about changing the make-up of our legislature to one that works to address the villages affected by climate change, that works to protect our salmon and the health of Alaska’s natural resources for future generations.
SShe has a bachelor’s of arts in History from Fairleigh Dickinson University, a masters of science in Library Science from SUNY Buffalo and a master’s of science in Environmental Science from Alaska Pacific University. Susan moved to Alaska in 1985 after canoeing the Noatak River in 1983 and dreaming of living here. Susan was a librarian at Loussac Library serving institutionalized populations as well as the general public. She went back to school for a science degree after which she worked as a Vegetation Ecologist at the Alaska Natural Heritage Program at UAA.
When not working on the board, Susan works too much at three paying jobs, plays and performs on button box accordion, and enjoys reading, traveling and gardening.
Mike Fink, Secretary/Treasurer, Anchorage
Mike is a long time Alaskan, born in Fairbanks and settling in Anchorage after spending some time in the lower 48. He graduated with degrees in finance and accounting from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and left Alaska to see the world. Eventually he came to his senses and made his way back to Alaska where he has lived since 2009. Mike has spent most of his career working for large CPA firms, and holds a CPA license in Alaska and Oregon. In addition to his service as a crossover board member for both The Alaska Center and The Alaska Center Education Fund, he also sits on the Board of Directors for Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis (AWAIC) and the Accounting Advisory Board for the University Of Alaska Fairbanks School Of Management. He joined the board on a dare from his wife, Claire, while attending The Alaska Center’s annual silent auction.
When he isn’t busy working, Mike spends his time trying to keep up with his Claire and the dogs on the running and ski trails around Anchorage, or working on old motorcycles.
Mike is also a cross-over board member with our partner organization, Alaska Center Education Fund.
Brian Conwell, Vice Chair, Unalaska
This is Brian’s first year on the board as a youth member. He has lived in Unalaska for his entire life, and is a Senior at Unalaska City High School. He has been a member of Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (AYEA) since the fall of 2016 and helped start a chapter in Unalaska. He has also attended two summits. On his participation on the board, he hopes to bring a rural perspective.
Last year, he served on his local school board as the youth representative. He has been involved with student government all throughout high school, and is an active member of the local Teen Council and president of the National Honor Society chapter. This summer he attended the Rural Alaska Honors Institute in Fairbanks and had a blast.
With his free time, Brian enjoys playing basketball, travelling, watching movies, and spending time with friends.
Peg Tileston, Chair, Anchorage
Shortly after arrival to the state in 1972, Peg Tileston began volunteering at the Alaska Center for the Environment and during the ensuing years, she served as both a board member and staff person. In addition, Peg has cofounded Trustees for Alaska, Alaska Conservation Foundation, Alaska Women’s Environmental Network, and Alaska Common Ground. Peg was on the board of Chugach Electric Association and the national board of Sierra Club and has served on a number of state and local advisory boards and commissions. In addition to this board, she also serves on the board of Alaska Common Ground.
Peg was the co-owner of InformAlaska, a research corporation, and currently owns Tileston & Associates. Since 1999, she has produced the weekly calendar of natural resource and conservation events What’s Up, which is distributed statewide to over 2250 (mostly Alaskan) email addresses. Peg and Jules have been married for 58 years and have three daughters and two granddaughters.
Peg is also a cross-over board member with our partner organization, The Alaska Center Education Fund.
SALLY RUE, JUNEAU
Sally Rue joined the Alaska Center board in 2018. She has 40 years of experience in Alaska in natural resources planning and policy, community development, youth engagement, and Alaska public education. She worked two stints in the Alaska Governor’s Office (1977 to 1982 and 1995 to 2002), as special assistant for natural resources, and finally as chief of staff to Lt. Governor Fran Ulmer. From 2003 to 2014, she served as director of the Alaska Initiative for Community Engagement, a statewide initiative at the Association of Alaska School Boards to engage adults, organizations, communities and young people in actively supporting youth success.
Sally has been an active volunteer in public schools, served on the Juneau School Board for two terms and on the Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development. She volunteered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters as a Big Sister, and as a board member for Alaska Geographic from 2006 to 2015.
She has a BA in Urban Studies from the U. of Pennsylvania and a Masters in Regional Planning from the U. of Massachusetts. She and her husband Frank live in Juneau and spend as much time as they can enjoying Alaska’s wild lands and waters.