About Us

Denali Commission Act of 1998

The Denali Commission Act of 1998 established the Denali Commission (Commission) to deliver services of the federal government in the most cost-effective manner by reducing administrative and overhead costs. As part of the act, the Commission’s mission of providing job training and other economic development services in rural communities was established with a specific focus on promoting rural development, and providing power generation, transition facilities, modern communication systems, water and sewer systems and other infrastructure needs in rural Alaska. 

Since its inception, the Denali Commission Act of 1998 has been updated several times expanding its mission to include the planning and construction of health care facilities and the establishment of the Denali Access System Program for surface transportation infrastructure and waterfront transportation projects. 

Most recently, the Denali Commission Act was again expanded to include the authority for the Commission to accept funding from other federal agencies as well as gifts or donations for the purpose of carrying out the act. 

Click here to read the Denali Commission Act of 1998 as amended.

Return to top

Funding

The Denali Commission’s funding has traditionally included federal congressional appropriations through the Energy and Water appropriations committee.  In addition, the Commission also receives funds from sources such as the US Department of Agriculture and from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Liability trust fund for energy projects.  In recent legislation, the Commission acquired new authority within its statute that allows the Commission to accept gifts or donations of services, property or money, from non-federal entities; and the Commission is also able to accept transfers of funds from other Federal agencies to carry out any activities that are authorized in its mission.

For questions about the Commission’s funding please contact Corrine Eilo, CFO at 907-271-1424 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Return to top

Our Staff

  

Chris Allard - Program Manager

Direct: 907-271-4714 - cThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mr. Allard is responsible for coordinating Commission actions associated with rural Alaska community recovery due to environmental disasters.  He is also working on the development of the Environmentally Threatened Communities Program especially as related to infrastructure resilience.

Beth Flowers - Sr. Financial Specialist

Direct: 907-271-1803 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As the Senior Finance Specialist, Ms. Flowers provides administrative support to the Commission and oversees various financial projects.

Chloe Cotton, Program Specialist

Direct: 271-5232 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Chloe Cotton is a Program Specialist in the Energy Program. She leads the Commission's Bulk Fuel Work Group and assists staff on other projects as needed.

Corrine Eilo - Chief Financial Officer

Direct:  907-271-1424 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Corrine Eilo is responsible for directing and overseeing the administrative, fiscal and human resource management of the Commission.  She supervises the administrative, grant and financial staff and has oversight of contracted services that support the agency across all programs.  Ms. Eilo serves as a member of the senior management team.

 

Jay Farmwald, Director of Programs

Direct:  907-271-1413 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mr. Jay Farmwald is responsible for directing and overseeing the programs of the Commission.  He supervises the program staff.  Mr. Farmwald serves as a member of the senior management team.

 

Jodi Fondy - Program Manager

Direct:  907-271-3011 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Jodi Fondy manages the Energy Program. She is responsible for grant development and compliance as well as project oversight.

 

Joel Neimeyer, Federal Co-Chair, Denali Commission

Direct: 907-271-1440 – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mr. Joel Neimeyer serves as Federal Co-Chair of the Denali Commission. He was appointed in January 2010 by the U.S. Commerce Secretary. As Federal Co-Chair Mr. Neimeyer serves as the Commission’s Agency Head. In his role as a Commissioner, Mr. Neimeyer acts as a tiebreaker in any Commission votes and accepts the Commission’s annual work plan.

 

John Whittington, General Counsel

Direct: 907-271-1640 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mr. John Whittington is the General Counsel for the Commission. He is responsible for the agency’s ethics program and serves as the legal advisor to the agency on all matters. Mr. Whittington serves as a member of the senior management team.

 

Karen Johnson - Program Manager

Direct:  907-271-3036 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Karen Johnson is a Program Manager that specializes in the area of workforce development in rural Alaska and in that capacity oversees the Commission’s Training Program. In addition, Ms. Johnson has oversight over the Commission’s Conference Sponsorship initiative that funds conferences specific to the Commission’s priorities.

 

Molly Chapman  - Financial Specialist

Direct: 907-271-1192 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As the Finance Specialist, Ms. Chapman provides administrative support to the Commission and oversees various financial projects.

 

Sabrina Cabana - Public Information Specialist

Direct: 907-271-5239 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Cabana servers as the Public Information Specialist, in that capacity she maintains denali.gov, produces Commission reports, and acts as the contact for media inquaries. Ms. Cabana also serves as the Federal Co-Chair's assistant. 

 

Tessa Axelson - Senior Program Manager

Direct: 907-271-1624 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Tessa Axelson is responsible for managing the Commission’s Transportation Program and staff, which specializes in planning, designing and constructing local road and waterfront development projects in rural Alaska.  Ms. Axelson also manages the Commission’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) program, administers a variety of agency contracts and assists the Federal Co-Chair on an array of management and policy issues.

 

Teresa Cortes - Program Assistant

Direct: 907-271-1414 - tcortesThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Cortes is responsible for greeting visitors in the Anchorage office, answering and directing phone calls and correspondence, booking conference rooms, and providing general administrative support. 

 

Return to top

Meet the Commissioners

The Denali Commission Act of 1998 establishes that the Commission is composed of seven members appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to create the proposed annual work plan for the Denali Commission. Many of these Commissioners additionally serve as part of the Commission’s Advisory Bodies. These Commissioners represent perspectives throughout Alaska and include the Governor of the State of Alaska; the Presidents of the University of Alaska, Alaska Municipal League, Alaska Federation of Natives, AFL-CIO Alaska, Associated General Contractors of Alaska; and the Federal Co-Chair of the Denali Commission.

joelneimeyerreduced

Joel Neimeyer, Federal Co-Chair, Denali Commission

Phone: 907-271-1414

Mr. Joel Neimeyer serves as the Federal Co-Chair for the Denali Commission and in that position acts as meeting chair during Commission meetings. Mr. Neimeyer also serves as Chair of the Transportation Advisory Committee.

Byron Mallott, State Co-Chair, Lieutenant Governor, State of Alaska 

Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott serves as the State Co-Chair for the Denali Commission.

 

john mackinnon

John MacKinnon, Executive Director, Associated General Contractors of Alaska

Phone: 907-561-5354

Mr. John MacKinnon serves as a Commissioner representing the Associated General Contractors of Alaska.

julie kitka

Julie E. Kitka, President, Alaska Federation of Natives

Phone: 907-274-3611

Ms. Julie Kitka serves as a Commissioner representing the Alaska Federation of Natives.

kathie wasserman

Kathie Wasserman, Executive Director, Alaska Municipal League

Phone: 907-586-1325

Ms. Kathie Wasserman serves as a Commissioner representing the Alaska Municipal League.

Dr. Jim Johnsen, President, University of Alaska

Phone: 907-450-8009

Dr. Jim Johnsen serves as a Commissioner representing the University of Alaska.

vince beltrami

Vince Beltrami, Executive President, Alaska AFL-CIO

Phone: 907-258-6284

Mr. Vince Beltrami serves as a Commissioner representing the Alaska AFL-CIO. 

 

Return to top

Advisory Committees

Transportation Advisory Committee

Carvel Zimin, Jr. - Bristol Bay Borough Assembly

Chuck Pool, P.E., R.L.S. - Pool Engineering, Incorporated

Chuck Quinlan - K'oyitl'ots'ina, Limited

Joel Neimeyer (Chair) - Denali Commissioner

Mike Hoffman - Association of Village Council Presidents

Randy Romenesko, P.E. - Norton Sound Health Corporation

Ray Richards - Doyon Limited

Steve Ivanoff - Kawerak, Incorporated

Walter Sampson - NANA Regional Corporation

Return to top

Events

Mon Feb 15 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Federal Holiday - Washington's Birthday
Mon May 30 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Federal Holiday - Memorial Day

News

Denali Commission Grants Announced

The Denali Commission is pleased to announce $18 million in new grants for rural Alaska communities. Together with our partners $29 million is being made available to rural Alaska communities to fund energy and health projects throughout the state. Read the full announcement here

2015 Distressed/Non-Distressed List

The 2015 "Distressed" Community Criteria prepared by the Alaska Department of Labor for the Denali Commission is now available online. Please contact Ms. Karen Johnson, 907.271.3036 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , with any questions.

2015 Distressed/Non-Distressed List

 

Return to top