As a 5-year veteran of Camp Fire Alaska’s Board of Directors and its current President, I have even more respect for the CFA Staff. The past several years took a toll on non-profits, and it is no different for Camp Fire. What is different is the way Camp Fire’s staff responded—deep-diving into learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion; being first to support COVID responders; leveraging pandemic relief funds to keep staff employed and the maximum number of child care centers open; partnering with Anchorage School District to help those kids and families most at risk. Consistently, I receive from Camp Fire Alaska more than I give, and I am honored to work with such amazing community leaders. Serving CFA has been one of the most enriching and rewarding experiences of my career. I am humbled by Camp Fire Alaska Staff’s unwavering dedication to providing the highest quality child care for Alaskans’ kids and families.
As a 16 year “parent veteran” of Camp Fire programs I was honored to join the board in 2014. With four children, I know first-hand how Camp Fire’s school and summer programs help working parents. I have seen the positive impact Camp Fire had on my kids. As a board member, I have seen the dedication of the staff in empowering each youth they come in contact with. I have also learned how Camp Fire drives programs that meet the needs of the most at-risk kids both in our community and around the state. It is a privilege to continue with this group of professionals in guiding the direction of such a premiere organization, and I hope to continue to contribute and give back as much as Camp Fire has given me and my family.
1st Vice President
Serving on Camp Fire Alaska’s Board of Directors has been an opportunity for me to assist and advocate for an amazing and impactful organization, which has been incredibly rewarding! The effect that Camp Fire Alaska has on our community and its children has lasting benefits and are something that I love to be part of. I’ll continue to leverage my expertise in planning, design, construction, and management to benefit Camp Fire Alaska.
2nd Vice President
I offer my services to continue as a board member for Camp Fire Alaska. Now more than ever, during these challenging times, Camp Fire will need the support of the board and community to help fulfill its mission that “every child will have the opportunity to discover the best in themselves and others in a fun, safe, learning environment”.
I continue to be inspired by the dedication and professionalism of our staff, team and partners. I will continue to strive to give as much as I have received over my past two terms on the board.
I am honored to serve a 3rd term on the board. Camp Fire is an amazing organization that directly benefits children of all socioeconomic classes and has a meaningful impact on the next generation of Alaskans by providing educational support and socialization to youth while allowing parents to continue the pursuit of career goals. I look forward to continuing to work with this excellent organization as we help every child have the opportunity to discover the best in themselves and others in a fun, safe, learning environment.
I continue to be passionate about Camp Fire Alaska’s (CFA) role in our community, and truly believe that the services provided are critical for the wellbeing of the youths. The past 2 years have been difficult as services have been reduced and since we are now in a hiring crisis. It’s clear to me that we need to grow our service levels back to what they were in order to strengthen our community, provide safe childcare options to families, and to serve more youth. I am grateful for the opportunity to support CFA and its leadership through board service.
Melanie (Mel) was born and raised on a small family farm in Ohio and graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with her B.A. in Zoology/Anthropology. She has been with Camp Fire Alaska since 2011, coming from a diverse background in nonprofit youth development and community programming. Mel brings with her almost two decades of leadership experience with programs ranging from outdoor education and recreation, childcare, summer camps, and community-based programs. In her past roles as Rural Program Director and Chief Operations Officer, she spent over a decade working in partnership with Alaska Native communities in rural Alaska to develop and deliver culturally relevant youth and intergenerational programs. In her free time, Mel enjoys gardening, bee-keeping, hiking, fishing, harvesting wild edibles, crafting, and spending time with her husband and two huskies outdoors in Alaska.
I am honored to have to opportunity to volunteer to service on the Camp Fire Board for an additional 2-year term. My initial terms have benefited me personally and professionally. I look forward to updates about Camp Fire, our board meetings and volunteer opportunities that allow me to support Camp Fire kids and staff. I’m also lucky to work for Northrim Bank, a longtime supporter of Camp Fire, this gives me the opportunity to stay engaged in the community and leverage a large pool of volunteers to continue to support important initiates. From organizing a hat and mitten drive to attending Camp K, I look forward to new experiences and new ways to support such a wonderful agency and mission.
What the organization provides, the way they interact with the kids and communities, and the management team that leads the way are top notch. The resiliency, the focus on inclusion and belonging, and continually learning and growing to best serve the communities are a few of so many reasons I serve on the board.
During my first term on the board I have seen how impactful Camp Fire programs are in our community and I am continually inspired by the commitment and dedication of the staff. I believe in Camp Fire’s mission to provide children with a safe, fun, and educational environment and I am inspired by the staff leadership’s ability and willingness to adapt and grow programs to meet our community needs. I am especially eager to continue to support the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work the agency and board have undertaken.
I’m honored to support an organization that helps make children, and parents, feel safe, valued, and supported. I’m an Alaskan-born-and-raised marketing professional currently serving as the Director of Marketing and Communications for NMS (NANA Management Services). As a lifelong Alaskan, I’ve always been familiar with Camp Fire but now, as a mother and aunt of a camper, I know the organization on a personal level. I’m so grateful to access to programs like Camp Fire as it not only enables my son to discover the best in himself but also our family. To me nothing is more important than family (given or created), and I see CFA as an organization that lives that value. If I can help be a part of any Alaskan child feeling safe, valued and supported, I will know it was time and effort well spent.
I am honored and humbled to be part of Camp Fire Alaska, to help with its mission and to be part of the solution for so many Alaska families who rely on CFA programs and activities. I am vested in our community and state. I am passionate about helping families of all backgrounds succeed in raising great kids. As a past volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters, I have seen firsthand the need for childcare support and enriching activities for kids. I have seen the glaring need for more support for families, especially as we emerge from the Corona virus pandemic. I’m ready to focus my energies on our youth and I’m ready to get to work in support of the local and statewide programming that the amazing staff at Camp Fire execute each year.
As a life-long Alaska, and a mother of two elementary age children I have a deep passion for helping children in the Alaskan community succeed. One of my children has several learning disabilities and that drives me to build up every child in our community. I see Camp Fire Alaska as an integral part of raising strong, confident, and resilient kids in our community. I am very passionate about helping and believe that in all aspects of life we should build relationships and find ways to serve those around us. I look forward to being a part of an organization that teaches the children in our community to find the best in themselves while having fun at the same time!
I believe that Camp Fire as an organization and all of its programs are invaluable to the State of Alaska. Building caring, confident youth and future leaders in a way that is respectful and honors each person’s background and individuality is a cornerstone of a community that I would want to raise my kids in. I want to help manifest a future that is bright and hopeful for every young person.
Camp Fire’s mission and core values are in alignment with my passions, interests and professional beliefs. Supporting Alaska’s youth in their social emotional growth and health is essential for a healthy community and Camp Fire is doing this important work. I’m honored to be part of an organization which strives to light the fire within our youth. I value community service and feel it is important to be involved on many different levels and I welcome the opportunity to serve a second term on the board.
I am committed to continuing to support Camp Fire’s mission to provide meaningful experiences for all children and to do so with an approach that includes the natural environment and diversity, equity and inclusion. I find the work of the staff to be very high quality and inspiring, both locally in Anchorage and in Camp Fire’s rural program. I’m a supporter of Camp Fire as a donor and as a parent of a child who has thoroughly enjoyed after care and full-day care programs and will hopefully prepare for Camp K one day soon. Joining the Camp Fire Board of Directors has allowed me to deepen my connection to the excellent staff and fellow board members and I look forward to serving a second term on the board.
Jenifer Nelson was raised in King Cove, Alaska and has a unique understanding of the profound impact that reliable connectivity brings to rural communities. She is a leading member of GCI’s Rural Affairs Committee and GCI’s Arctic working group. Prior to joining GCI, Jenifer worked at the Cook Inlet Tribal Council, a nonprofit. Jenifer’s insight into Alaska Native culture has earned her positions on a number of boards and committees including the Arctic Council’s Task Force on Telecommunications in the Arctic She was also appointed to the Arctic Economic Council to represent the Aleut International Association and serves as the Vice Chair of the Aleut Corporation Board of Directors. Jennifer has two children enrolled in Camp Fire.