The Lovely Board of Directors
Britta Hamre (Board of Directors, Secretary and Volunteer Story Coach moved to Anchorage in 2008 and it has been the best thing that has ever happened to her. She graduated with a BA of Sociology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2016 and has worked as a baker, refugee case manager, and food advocate. Britta enjoys running, skiing, meeting new dogs, good food, good books, and good company. She has been a Story Works Alaska volunteer for over a year and believes community happens when we take the time to listen.
Darla Graham (Board of Directors, Member and Volunteer Story Coach) was born in Homer, Alaska and works as CIRI’s Shareholder Programs Manager. Darla holds a Bachelors in Business Administration and a graduate certificate from the Alaska Native Executive Leadership Program at Alaska Pacific University. She loves helping youth reach their full potential and is passionate about instilling hope in our next generation. Her work largely focuses on human resources, youth programs and community engagement. In her free time she loves spending time with her family and friends, especially her spunky daughter Kaydence, attending yoga and cycle classes, and traveling whenever she can! She believes telling stories is healing, therapeutic and inspiring – for both the storytellers and the listeners!
Kirsten Anderson (Board of Directors, President and Volunteer Story Coach) was born in Portland, Oregon and has lived in Anchorage and other northern countries for over 15 years. She is the owner and writer of Bookplate, Inc., a small business focused on the written word. She was formerly Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Anchorage Museum, and has also worked in cultural resource planning and research, with work in archaeology, tribal and community coordination and cultural resource preservation at private, state and federal organizations in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, Norway and Scotland. She has edited and contributed to exhibition catalogues and publications, and has published poetry, non-fiction, and scholarly articles on culture, history and art. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from University of Alaska Anchorage, an M.Phil. in Archaeology from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and a BA in English and Art History from Willamette University in Oregon. She loves how northerners come together to tell stories during the darkest and coldest times of the year.
Nelson Carpluk (Board of Directors, Treasurer and Volunteer Story Coach) is originally from Mountain Village in Southwest Alaska, but grew up mostly in Fairbanks. Nelson attended UAF for his Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees in Business Finance. He currently works at Alyeska Pipeline in the Oil Movements Department. Nelson loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking, biking, running, skiing and traveling. He is very excited to begin to help more with Story Works, and really enjoys seeing the power of stories change lives and bring communities together.
Regan Brooks (Board of Directors, Member, Volunteer Story Coach, Co-founder, and former Executive Director) was born and raised in New York City and has called Anchorage, Alaska home for eleven years. She first developed her love of storytelling and the humanities in high school* but took a multi-year detour into the sciences because birds, plants and physics are awesome too. A former science teacher, ornithology research assistant, fry-cook, and costume character, Regan holds a BS in Government from Cornell University and an MS in Botany from the University of Vermont. She loves being a mom to her two kids, taking them hiking even when they don’t want to go, and hearing them tell stories about it later. She believes storytelling helps us make sense of what matters most and she’s grateful to all who have collaborated, through storytelling and listening, to make Story Works possible.
*Thank you, Mrs. Frosch and Mme. Krauthammer!
Issa Spatrisano (Board of Directors, Member, Volunteer Story Coach, and Education Partner) was born in Michigan but has called Alaska home for 8 years. She holds a BA in History and Political Science from Western Michigan University and a M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She is the Program Director/State Refugee Coordinator of Catholic Social Services Refugee Assistance & Immigration Services. Through refugee resettlement and classroom experience as an English as a Second Language teacher, she has served individuals from over 65 countries. Issa believes that Alaska is the best place to be a lover of storytelling because you can travel the globe without ever leaving your community.
Chance Wilcox (Board of Directors, Member) grew up in Anchorage, Alaska but always thought that Alaska was “too small” for someone like him. So he ran away, got a degree, and joined the Peace Corps, which led him to Paraguay. There, he found joy in connecting with the community, digging in the dirt, working with youth, and going birding in the thick Atlantic Rainforest. But something always tugged at his gut and he knew he missed the mountains and woods of Alaska, the warm and loving people, the unique culture, and especially the seafood. So he came back, as most runaways usually do, and now works for Pride Foundation, working to establish equity for all LGBTQ+ people in Alaska. He lives in a bright blue bungalow in downtown Anchorage with his partner and their cat, Darwin. He loves exploring the mountains, picking berries, making jam, and eating jam on toast.
Jeannette Lee (Board of Directors, Member and Story Coach) was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai’i and has lived in Anchorage for 10 years. Jeannette spent most of her career as a journalist at news outlets including The Associated Press, Atlantic Media Company, and the ADN. Her articles have appeared in publications around the world including The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Columbia Journalism Review. She now works as a senior researcher at the Sightline Institute, a public policy think tank that works for sustainable, socially just communities in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Her research and outreach focuses on strengthening democracy and enabling affordable, inclusive housing policies. She has also worked as a World Bank consultant for the Adaptation Fund and at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Jeannette earned her B.A. in history from Yale University and her M.A. from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where she focused on energy and climate issues in the Arctic. A full-time working mom, Jeannette tries to get out on the ski trails and singletrack whenever she can.
Ann Rembert Safranek (Board of Directors, Member) adopted Alaska as her home 20+ years ago after falling in love with the mountains, waterways, and life as an Anchorage parent and emergency medicine physician. She currently leads educational partnerships, fundraising, and financing as a board member and adviser for several Alaska nonprofits (Anchorage Park Foundation, Inian Islands Institute, Arete Project, Tidelines Institute) focused on youth leadership development, ecological education, and outdoor wellness, in addition to her research on improving health in diverse populations. Ann Marie has led strategic direction and support in Anchorage for Blue Zones, Live Breathe Alaska, and the Erg Ed Rowing Program. She received her B.S. in Molecular Biology from Vanderbilt, an M.D. from University of Texas, and her imminent M.P.H from UC Berkeley. She is a huge fan of the outdoors, particularly education and empowerment outside the classroom. When she’s not building bridges and promoting wellness for all, she loves to hike, surf and swim in open water.
Rachel K Lescher (Board of Directors, Member and Volunteer Story Coach) learned to love storytelling from her father, aunt, and grandmother, all well-known for their elaborate and not-totally-true stories. She enjoys working with kids and teens as a volunteer story coach and in her career as a pediatric endocrinologist. After she completed both her B.A. in International Studies and her Medical Degree at University of Missouri-Columbia, she moved to southern California for her pediatric residency at UC-Irvine, then back to Missouri for her pediatric endocrinology fellowship at Washington University. When she and her husband packed up their dogs and moved to Anchorage in 2011, they came to love all Alaska has to offer and even bought an off-grid, run-down, remote cabin on a lake. Rachel also spends time reading, running, hiking, camping, nordic skiing, and is learning the tricks of Alaska gardening.