Polly Carr, executive Director
(907) 274-3656 | [email protected]
Polly has been working for social change in Alaska for twenty years. She has engaged in all aspects of our work, beginning as a Trailside Discovery Camp educator in 1997, helping teens launch our Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (AYEA)program in 1998, and volunteering on our election campaigns. She returned as our Executive Director in 2013 and has been leading our team in actualizing our vision of a just and sustainable Alaska for future generations. She served as Rural Deputy Director for the 2008 Begich Senate campaign and was a Program Officer for The Alaska Conservation Foundation from 2009-2013. She has been recognized with an Alaska Chamber of Commerce Top 40 Under 40 award, and the Alaska Tribal Conference on Environmental Management Environmental Excellence award.
Polly has extensive political, fundraising, education, and community organizing experience and is passionate about working with young people, women, and individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. She serves on the Advisory Committee for the Municipality of Anchorage Climate Action Plan, volunteers with Alaska Women Ascend to elect progressive women from diverse communities, and as a mother of a spirited eight-year-old daughter, she is becoming engaged with efforts to support our public schools. She loves Sriracha, writing poetry, running uphill, and perusing restaurant menus.
GRADY JENKINS, JR., Finance and HR Director
(907) 274-3677 | [email protected]
Grady Jenkins, Jr. has been active in the nonprofit sector for over 40 years, first volunteering with “Stepping Stones” a Program for children with special needs, in Oakland, CA. when he was 12 years old (yes, the 1970’s, bellbottoms and ALL!). Grady eventually graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Recreation Administration, with an emphasis in working with special populations, after running Project REACH, a Recreation Program that “mainstreams” children with and without developmental disabilities, which is still in existence 32-years later. After moving to Seattle in 1992, Grady worked for 15 years on the Knowledge Management Solutions team at Verizon Wireless, focusing on a variety of financial responsibilities including Reporting and Analysis, Budget development, and Database development, and also in Human Resources, managing all aspects of employee engagement. Grady has also been a member of a variety of Alaskan non-profit organizations, including the Imperial Court of All Alaska and the Four A’s Board of Directors.
Grady enjoys traveling, cooking and binge watching television shows, and appreciates the value and uniqueness of living in Alaska. After 12 years in local bar and restaurant management, it was time for “MeMe” to return to his roots, working with nonprofits.
Louie Flora, Government Affairs Director
Louie Flora joined the Alaska Center in 2014 after working for over a decade as a staff and committee aide in the AK Legislature. His policy experience includes fisheries, mineral extraction, clean energy generation and transmission, and local citizen participation in the large project permitting process. Louie resides in Juneau during the Legislative Session, in Bristol Bay during the salmon season, and in Homer the rest of the year.
Louie owns and operates a salmon fishing boat in Bristol Bay with his wife and two children.
Jenny-Marie Stryker, Political and Campaigns Director
Jenny-Marie Stryker joined The Alaska Center in 2019 after gaining political experience as a campaign consultant. She previously worked with Ship Creek Group and Copper River Group on a dozen Alaskan campaigns including state legislative, independent expenditure, and initiative and issue. She has a wide range of experience including serving as campaign manager, treasurer, finance director, and canvasser.
In addition to consulting, Jenny-Marie has reported on politics and small town life as a journalist for the Chilkat Valley News in Haines, Alaska, and worked as a special projects fellow for the CFO of the Municipality of Anchorage. She holds a BA from Wellesley College with a major in American Studies and a minor in Economics.
Outside of her work, Jenny-Marie likes to appreciate the wild parts of our home by hiking (slowly) and baking rhubarb pies.
Chantal de Alcuaz, Development Director
Chantal joined The Alaska Center staff having served as Finance Director for Alyse Galvin for US Congress in 2018. She has also worked in Alaska as a carpenter, baker, tax preparer and parish administrator.
Before moving to Alaska, she served as Executive Director of two nonprofits, primarily serving families experiencing homelessness on the southside of Chicago. She earned a BA and MA from the University of Notre Dame.
Chantal is a dedicated grassroots organizer and human rights activist. When not working for a more just world, she loves growing food, playing the banjo, traveling the globe, and sleeping in a tent as far away from civilization as possible.
Leah Moss, Communications Director
Leah began working as our Digital Organizer in 2017 and now leads our Communications team. In that time she has expanded our digital reach and helped us build brand cohesion across our programs and campaigns. She has been the driving force behind our visual presence.
Leah comes to us with a background in journalism, UX design, sustainable development, social justice, art, and production. She uses these diverse skills to ensure that The Alaska Center is and continues to be a useful and engaging resource for community partners and Alaskans as a whole.
Leah loves working with community members on food security and sustainability issues and volunteers her time with the Alaska Botanical Garden. She is a board member of the Susitna Bicycle Institute and the Anchorage International Film Festival. In her free time, she loves taking photos, foraging, and traveling across our beautiful state with her two perfect dogs.
Kyla Kosednar, Digital and Data Manager
Kyla is a lifelong Alaskan and UAA alum. She started volunteering with The Alaska Center in 2015, as a member of the organization’s Volunteer Leadership Committee. Working alongside community organizers, she helped fight the Pebble Mine, the Chuitna Mine, and engage community members during state and local elections. In 2016, she became the Deputy Canvass Director and has knocked on thousands of doors all across the state. She is passionate about giving Alaskans a voice and has spent countless hours talking to community members about the issues they care about. Kyla transitioned into the role of Digital Organizer and is now our Digital and Data Manager. In this role she engages supporters through email and social media.
When she isn’t scrolling through social media, she enjoys fishing, hiking, and solving puzzles.
Alyssa Quintyne, Interior Organizer
Alyssa has been volunteering with local, statewide, and national organizations and forming those ties to the grassroots communities for over a decade. From that work, she's focused her political and communal outreach to support campaigns in a variety of positions; from Internships to Community Outreach Coordinator. Alyssa graduated from the University of Fairbanks, Alaska, with a degree in Political Science, and now uses her organizing skills and passion to focus on communal advocacy, outreach, education, and empowerment. Since being hired as the Interior Organizer in 2018, Alyssa has expanded her connections and helped support the work of the many diverse communities in and around Fairbanks.
When she's not working, Alyssa can be found showcasing in a First Friday, playing music with her friends, or having some quiet time with the cutest dog in existence.
Shanelle Afcan, Anchorage Community Organizer
Shanelle Afcan, or Kavaangsaar, hails from the Yupik community of Nunam Iqua, Alaska. She moved to Anchorage in 2016. Passionate about preserving the Alaskan way of life, she joined The Alaska Center Canvass team to engage Alaskans across the state on topics like the Chuitna Coal Mine, Salmon Beyond Borders, and the Pebble Mine.
Lobbying State Senators and Representatives as a teen in the 2012 Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (AYEA) Civics & Conservation Summit was the first time Shanelle saw the power of grassroots organizing. She couldn’t be more grateful for that empowerment.
Today, Shanelle loves berry picking, camping, and discovering delicious ways to cook salmon. Her mission now is to provide a platform for Alaskans to uplift their voices, ensuring that each community across the state can enjoy the same lifestyle on our lands and waters.
Nabi Qureshi, Eklutna Organizer
Nabi Qureshi is The Alaska Center's Eklutna Organizer. She is studying Environment and Society at UAA and focuses on social sciences, advocacy, and art. Nabi first started volunteering with The Alaska Center in fall 2018. She worked on the Stand for Salmon campaign by reaching out to voters on campus and over the phone. She is interested in connecting communities in creative, interactive ways. She wants to empower all demographics of citizens to have a voice in local and statewide decision-making.
Su Chon, Development Associate
Su Chon (she/her/hers) is Korean American, born and raised in Dgheyay Kaq' (Anchorage), Alaska on Dena'ina lands. She graduated from Ohio State University and studied Environment and Natural Resources with a focus on Policy. With a deep love and passion for her home, community, and the intersections of justice work, she is excited to bridge her years of political and community organizing into the development/funding world.
Between work, life, and community involvement, you might catch her working on art, attempting to learn too many things, and jamming out to music in the car or while hiking about in the mountains.
Emily Leak-Michie , Canvass Director
Emily started her career with the Alaska Center as a canvasser in 2016. She has moved through team lead and deputy canvass director positions before landing in her current position as the Canvass Director in 2018. Emily has lead the canvass in their efforts to engage Alaskans on a multitude of issues including the proposed Chuitna coal mine, the Susitna dam project, efforts to update fish habitat permitting laws through ballot initiative in 2018 and the ongoing fight against the pebble mine among others.
Growing up in Colorado her admiration for wild spaces was established at an early age. She was active in the community, advocating for the preservation of dinosaur bones in the area near her home in the Front Range in grade school and she worked with a non-profit coalition in high school that sought to relocate prairie dog colonies whose habitat was threatened by development. This set her up for her studies in Environmental Science and GIS at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Alaska quickly became her home and she draws her passion for her work from the awe inspiring wild spaces where she enjoys spending her time.
ean tubbs, Canvass- Canvass Field and Digital Manager
As a lifelong Alaskan, Ean’s appreciation for the state and for its environment was instilled in him early on. Growing up in Palmer, some of his fondest memories involving fishing out of the Susitna river and exploring the trails of Hatchers Pass.
Ean’s background is primarily in science and activism, making the work done at the Alaska Center a perfect match for Ean. His scientific background can be seen through his studies in Environmental Science at the University of Alaska Anchorage and in his experience working as an environmental laboratory analyst. In the field of activism and political organizing, Ean has been working in the field professionally for over two years with various organizations and has been volunteering in the space for as long as he can remember.