Board of Directors:
Joe Kahklen – President
Joe is a Tlingit member of the Raven Moiety Dog Salmon Clan. He grew up in Angoon, attended high school at Sheldon Jackson in Sitka, and in Snoquomish, Washington. He graduated from Northern Arizona University in 1962. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Goldbelt, Inc., where he was been a director for over 15 years. Joe is a retired Alaska Liaison Officer with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He has two sons, Keith and Craig. He enjoys fishing and skiing.
Rosemary Hagevig – Vice President
Retired Executive Director of Catholic Community Services, Rosemary is also a former Juneau Assembly member and Planning Commissioner. She has lived in Juneau since 1962. Rosemary is a former president of the Alaska Municipal League, Southeast Conference, League of Women Voters, Juneau Gastineau Rotary Club, United Way Board, and Catholic Community Services. Rosemary serves on the Alaska Committee and worked for 27 years for the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, ten years as executive staff to the State Board of Education. Proud mother of three adult children raised in Juneau/Douglas and grandmother of five.
Frank Bergstrom – Treasurer
Having lived 30 years in Juneau, Frank has been the permitting manager for the AJ and Kensington Gold Mines. He is the owner/operator of Amerikanuak Alaska, LLC. mine services company and has been a Senior Land Manager with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office. Frank holds an M.S. in Geological Sciences, volunteered as a Big Brother, and is a ballroom dance instructor.
Corey Baxter – Secretary
Corey is a born and raised 4th generation Juneau resident. Graduated from Juneau Douglas High School in 1996 and attended the University of Alaska Southeast. Started his career as an apprentice with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302 and has been a heavy equipment operator for 22 years, operating for both private contractors as well as serving as an operator for the City & Borough of Juneau at the Juneau International Airport for seven winter seasons. Additional service includes working as a pipeline training instructor for the Alaska Operating Engineers Employers Training Trust in Fairbanks for four years as well as operating on the North Slope for four winters. He is currently the Southeast District 8 Representative for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302. Corey is married to Christa Baxter who owns Fusion Dance Company. They have two children Brayden and Haylee.
Don Habeger – Executive Director
Don Habeger has lived and worked in Juneau, Alaska, for more than forty years. His career includes executive management roles in small businesses, corporations, and state government. Habeger owns RiverRock Alaska, LLC, a government and community relations service company; First Things First Alaska Foundation is one of his several clients. Habeger is developing a start-up company, Appanage Fishing, bringing to the sportfishing market a new lure called Scent StrikerÒ. Habeger has a B.A. degree in Behavioral Science from North Central University in Minnesota.
Neil MacKinnon – Director
Neil graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School in 1967 and from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1972 with a degree in Mining Engineering. Neil has been general manager and president of the family business, Alaska Laundry and Cleaners, since 1979. He is president of Hyak Mining Company and is managing partner of MacKinco, the family partnership that leases commercial property in Juneau. Neil has been a director and officer of both the state and local miners associations, Alaska Light and Power, Alaska Energy and Resources Co, Douglas Volunteer Fire Department. He is married and has three grown children.
Denny DeWitt – Director
Denny DeWitt has been active in government relations from outside and inside government for over 40 years. He came to Alaska in 1980 to head the state hospital and nursing home association. He has served in the Hickel, Murkowski and Palin administrations as well as 8 years as senior staff to the Alaska State Legislature. DeWitt has also done a stint in Washington DC serving in the Reagan administration and as an employee benefit consultant. DeWitt is owner of DeWitt & DeWitt, LLC, a government relations consulting firm. First Things First is one of his several clients. DeWitt is a graduate of California State University at Sacramento with a degree in State and Local Government and a minor in Economics. DeWitt is married and has 5 children, all married.
Wayne Coogan – Director
Wayne Coogan grew up around his father’s construction business in Juneau and began his trade apprenticeship in 1968. After becoming a journeyman in 1974 he continued working in the trades gaining field experience on projects in Alaska and Washington state. Mr. Coogan graduated from University of Washington (BS-1979) and is both a mechanical and residential administrator.
Since 1979, Mr. Coogan has been co-owner/general-manager of a regional construction company, Coogan Construction, based in Juneau. During that time, he was responsible for bidding, management, and completion of over $350-million in public works and infrastructure projects with over $100-million in payroll throughout Southeast Alaska.
Mr. Coogan also co-owned and managed local gravel pits. He co-founded and manages a real-estate investment firm that now owns and manages over 270 residential and commercial rental units.
His pastimes are hunting, traveling, art, history, and striving to enable others to have a fulfilling life in Juneau.
Richard Burns – Director
Richard is CEO of Alaska Broadcast Communications, which operates eight radio stations broadcasting from Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka and serving all of SE Alaska. He was named the Juneau Chamber of Commerce 2010 Citizen of the Year. He is a board member of the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau. His wife is Sharon Burns.
Naomi Hobbs – Director
Naomi is third-generation, born-and-raised Southeast Alaskan. Her great-grandfather came to Southeast during the Gold Rush, her grandfather was a commercial fisherman, and her father is an engineer, finishing up his career as State Harbors Engineer. Naomi graduated JDHS in 1990 and acquired a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks in 1994. Immediately after graduation she came home and went to work for R&M Engineering, Inc. After ten years of designing and inspecting construction projects, she decided it was time to see what it was like on the other side. Naomi spent three years with Marion Hobbs Construction, Inc. working as pipe layer, laborer, equipment operator, and engineer in three design-build contracts. Naomi joined DOWL in 2007 as an associate engineer, and was promoted to Manager of the Juneau office’s Engineering Department in 2010. Naomi served as President of ASCE and ASPE early in her career and stays involved in the organizations activities throughout the year. She also manages the Adlersheim Wilderness Lodge and occasionally helps her husband, Marion Hobbs, on construction projects. Naomi also enjoys snow machining, jet skiing, and spending time with family and friends.
Scott Spickler – Director
Scott has been a Juneau resident since 1959. He is married to Sandy (Kendler) a third generation Juneauite. Their son Kyle is a miner at Greens Creek and son Kasen is a sheetmetal worker at Behrends Mechanical. Scott has been an agent with New York Life since 1984 and owner of Spickler Insurance Agency. He is past president of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce and Bartlett Regional Hospital board of directors. Scott enjoys skiing, fishing, spending time at their cabin, photography, and spoiling his three Grandkids.
John Sandor – Director Emeritus
John Sandor worked for 39 years in various U. S. Forest Service assignments. Sandor was appointed Alaska’s Regional Forester from 1976 to 1984. After “retiring” from the Forest Service he became the Executive Director of the Alliance for Juneau’s Future and was one of the founders of the Juneau Gold Rush Commission. Governor Walter J. Hickel appointed Sandor Commissioner of Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation from 1990 to 1994 during which time he was also a member of the Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council.
Sandor received the Alaska Federation of Native’s 1994 Denali Award for efforts to preserve Native values. He also received the Alaska Public Health Association’s Health Achievement Award for water-sanitation and clean air act initiatives. He also worked cooperatively with Canadian officials in British Columbia and Yukon Territory on conservation, water-sanitation, and hydro-electric issues.
In 2007, the Society of American Foresters awarded John Sandor the Gifford Pinchot Medal “To recognize outstanding contributions by a forestry professional in administration, practice and professional development of North American forestry.” Sandor was also recognized as Juneau’s Citizen of the year in 1999.
When John moved to Sitka in 2017 and left active Board membership, the Board honored him and his contributions by naming him Director Emeritus.