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Staff

Smiling woman stands in a forestBeth Nordlund, Executive Director
907.274.1004 | beth at anchorageparkfoundation dot org

A lifelong advocate for public spaces and civic engagement, Beth has served as Executive Director since Anchorage Park Foundation’s inception in 2004. Many of her greatest joys come from convening with community leaders and working with volunteers, working together to make something magical out of an idea.

Beth lives with her husband Jim and daughter Ella next to a great sledding hill at Balto Seppala Park.

Michelle LeBeau, Director of Philanthropy and Marketing
907.249.6650 | michelle at anchorageparkfoundation dot org

Michelle is a non-profit professional with 20 years of experience strengthening organizations to advance environmental and social causes. Prior to moving to Alaska in 2010, she developed a nonprofit coalition to advocate for eco-friendly landscaping practices in the San Francisco Bay Area. She later spent time teaching nonprofit leaders in Alaska, California, and Central America how to grow their fundraising programs, build an active board of directors, develop strategic plans, and increase efficiencies to encourage organizational growth. In Alaska, she served as Deputy Director of the Alaska state office of the National Audubon Society. When she is not working, she is often found outside exploring Anchorage and the great outdoors with her family.

Diana Rhoades, Director of Programs
907.249.6652 | diana at anchorageparkfoundation dot org

Biking, hiking and advocating for parks and trails as a path to health and happiness has been a lifelong passion for Diana Rhoades. Diana’s career has taken her to Capital Cities and City Halls from Juneau to Washington DC and Anchorage to Tucson, Arizona. She has worked on issues as diverse as downtown revitalization, active transportation, forest bathing, organic farming and wrestling a 58-pound King Salmon from the world-famous Kenai River. She is excited to focus on improving and growing Anchorage’s park and trail system and providing more opportunities for diversity and inclusion.

Meredith Gutierrez, Youth Engagement Manager
907.351.0055 | meredith at anchorageparkfoundation dot org

Working as a whitewater rafting guide in Washington, Meredith found a love for the outdoors. After a graduate degree in an experiential education format, Meredith taught in California, Washington, and eventually here in Alaska. Meredith wants to help educators who also recognize the power of the outdoors and the benefits of getting kids outside. She can often be found at her favorite park, Abbott Loop Community Park, walking with friends and discussing how to improve the world one idea at a time.

Kerry Lynch, Business Manager
907.249.6653 | kerry at anchorageparkfoundation dot org

Kerry joins APF as a Business Manager after many years working in government contract accounting for several Alaska Native Corporations here in Anchorage. She has a strong foundation in compliance and reporting. She eventually developed an interest in nonprofit accounting and spent the past two years working with a number of small nonprofits all over the state as part of a small CPA firm. Kerry brings a diverse background with a degree in Microbiology and a few seasons of fisheries field work in her past that helps her take an interest in the work behind the numbers. Fortunate to work next to Russian Jack Park for five years, she has yet to find a better place to spend lunch hours. She’s a devoted park user and what she lacks in coordination and athletic ability, she makes up for in commitment to spending time outdoors daily in all seasons by biking to work, learning to ski and skate, and finding new places to explore.

Ally Merrill, Program Coordinator

907.215.8354 | ally at anchorageparkfoundation dot org

Ally comes to the Anchorage Park Foundation with a diverse background working as an environmental scientist, an outdoor educator, and a community action advocate. In her role as Program Coordinator, she is excited to improve urban forest health and get youth outdoors. Growing up in New England, Ally developed a deep appreciation for our natural spaces while hiking, skiing, and kayaking with her family. She moved to Alaska in 2022 and fell in love with Anchorage’s parks and trail systems. You can often find her taking walks on the beach at Kincaid Park, using her binoculars to search for belugas off the coast.

 

Gretchen Weiss-Brooks, Community Engagement Manager

907.249.6651 | gretchen at anchorageparkfoundation dot org

Arriving in Alaska at only a few months old, Gretchen cannot say that she was ‘born and raised’ in Alaska, however, she is a lifelong Alaskan with a love for hunting, fishing, and being out in the wilds. Raised with two siblings that are blind, Gretchen has a passion for accessibility. Gretchen has over two decades of experience as a multi-media storyteller producing award-winning communications and designs for the Anchorage Museum, the Alaska State Troopers, the Alaska Commission for Postsecondary Education, plus media including newspapers, magazines, and television. She is also fond of dabbling in creative visual arts and writing pursuits. Gretchen enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and can often be found roaming Far North Bicentennial Park.