The Lovely Board of Directors

Britta Hamre (Board of Directors, President 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.

Kirsten Anderson (Board of Directors, Vice 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.

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.

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 PostThe 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 FoundationInian Islands InstituteArete 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.


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