Board of Directors
Pat Ivey, President
Pat is a 41 year resident of Alaska and retired from the University of Alaska in 2012 after 37 ½ years, where she was cited by the Alaska State Legislature for her service to the university, community, and state. She is currently president of the Board of the North Star Council on Aging, a member of Aging at Home, a lifetime member of the UAF Alumni Association, and serves in various capacities in other non-profit boards and organizations, including the Salvation Army and the University Women’s Association which raises money for scholarships for UAF students. She is mother of three, grandmother of six and has five great grandchildren. She is an avid gardener and fisherman.
Her vision for the Senior Center: “To help the Senior Center continue to expand with the increasing senior population and provide the requisite level and quality of services, including Meals on Wheels, so that seniors stay safe, healthy and independent.”
Natalie Gaskins Vice President
Natalie has been a resident of Alaska for over 25 years. She has a BA in history from the University of Colorado and is currently employed by the State of Alaska, Department of Labor, Division of Employment Services – Putting Fairbanks to Work. Natalie’s passion is working with seniors in order to create a safe home environment and create events to help keep them actively participating in our community.
Her vision for the Senior Center: “To enable seniors to make an impact on issues of importance to them, voice concerns and to socialize with members of the community.“
Mary Abel, Secretary
In 1952, her family came to Fairbanks from Bath, Maine. She attended local elementary schools, graduated from Lathrop High School, and started college in Anchorage at Alaska Methodist University. After her first year, she transferred to UAF and graduated with a BA in Zoology. She then went to Tacoma, Washington, for training as a medical technologist. She worked as a medical technologist in clinics and hospitals in Fairbanks and on Fort Wainwright for the next 25 years. Glen, and Mary are preparing to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in September of 2016. They have raised three wonderful daughters here in Fairbanks, and now have three grandsons. She was a Campfire leader for nine years, have been involved with the Lathrop Booster club, and helped Glen deliver Meals on Wheels for about 14 years.
Her vision for the Senior Center: “I have no plans to leave the Fairbanks area in the near future. Therefore, I will be here to followup on any ideas or plans that the Board might be working on. I would like to see our Center grow in membership with a new building, or an expansion of the current building, in its future.”
Ron Woolf, Treasurer
Ron has been a resident of Fairbanks for 33 years, is married and has three sons. He graduated from UAF and started in public accounting. He was the Finance Officer for Fairbanks Community Mental Health for 10 years, the CFO for the City of Fairbanks for 7 years and has been the CFO for GVEA since 2008. Ron has served on the Advisory Board to UAF’s accounting program and currently serves on the City’s Finance Committee. He and his wife are currently active in our community.
His vision for the Senior Center: Ron wants to “give back to our seniors due to his mom being in a nursing home in the lower 48 and cannot help her on a daily basis”.
Dorothy Bradshaw, Member
Dorothy has been an Alaska resident for many years. She joined the Air Force just after high school. She worked in South Korea for three years. Dorothy specializes in accounting. Dorothy has served on a few other boards, “but this one is more professional, and striving to improve where needed.”
Her vision for the Senior Center: “To assist in making the community aware of the services we offer.”
Dick Farris, Member
Dick arrived in Fairbanks in 1948. He is a professional trouble-maker and his prior volunteer experiences would fill a page. Dick’s motto is: “It is how you value and treat your seniors that reveals the wealth and true value of the society you live in.” I believe our society could do a lot better in the way we treat, recognize and consider our seniors as valuable citizens.
His vision for the Senior Center: “Simply be for the Board to set a goal of becoming self-sustaining financially, then figuring out how to achieve and work toward this goal. I would like to see the Center upgrade and expand to include a swimming pool that seniors in the Pioneer Home could use. Among its paid members, does the Center have a network established so when a senior is ill or may pass, it can contact other seniors to ask for, and to give support, and love to such a person? I can recall visiting a dear senior friend whose life support system was to be turned off at midnight and simply looking at her and telling her she was my friend forever. She could not talk but blinked her eyes she knew. Six hours later she passed, but I was always so glad to have received a call that she was in the hospital. A network of care could be established, if it is not already established, that could offer an opportunity for seniors to receive kind words and good vibes before they transition.” Just a thought.
Tonia Smith, Member
Tonia has been a registered nurse for 27 years. She is specialized in geriatric care, care coordination, and elderly services and is planning to become board certified in geriatrics. She is currently working as a nurse in Fairbanks and with a 10 bed assisted living facility in Delta Junction. She was awarded nursing excellence awards in both 2012 and 2013. Tonia is new to our Senior Center and would like to learn more about us to see how she can best help.
Her current vision is: “Helping to find out what problems seniors see as a concern and then working to find solutions.”
Don Swarner, Member
Don was born and raised in Fairbanks. He completed his apprenticeship in carpentry in 1964. He attended the University of Alaska from 1961 to 1964 and then transferred to Washington State University to study architecture. He left school and joined the US Navy in 1968, serving 4 years. He returned to Alaska in 1972 and became the first full time Training Coordinator for the Fairbanks Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Program. In 1976, he was advanced to the position of Asst. Business Representative for Carpenters Local 1243. He held that position until he was elected Business Representative Financial Secretary in 1987.In 2002, he was appointed by the International Union as the first Secretary Treasurer of the newly formed Alaska Regional Council of Carpenters. He was subsequently elected to that position in 2003 and served in that capacity until my retirement in April 2004.He and his wife of 48 years, Jo, are the proud parents of three grown boys, with six grandchildren.
His vision for the Senior Center: “It appears that the current board and staff are a very forward looking group, I hope I can help accomplish and continue to formulate the Council’s vision as new needs and ideas arise.”
Nelson Traverso, Member
Nelson has been volunteering in his communities since 1976, when he joined the National Vista program. In 1981, he graduated from Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts and took a job as an intern with the Alaska Public Defender Agency in 1981. Nelson then spent 12 years as an attorney with the Office of Public Advocacy. After 15 years in the public sector, he opened his own practice in 1998. Nelson gained experience with service on a board of directors with the Downtown Association where the goal was to work with the public and private sector to revitalize the economy. Nelson has been married for 26 years and has two children, both who attend UAF.
His current vision is: Nelson believes “polite persistence is the common denominator for work , and yes, home.” As an attorney, Nelson has represented seniors who were in difficult circumstances due to a range of issues: poverty, abuse and health, and he looks forward to assisting the Center to keep a focus on serving our community as the senior population grows, placing a demand on services and resources.
Karen arrived in Fairbanks in 1997 as a UAF Exchange student . Her interest in the areas senior issues resulted in an MA in Gerontology, continued with a BSW and work in Human Services and Community Psychology. She was involved in the creation of many of the senior programs we have available today (too numerous to mention). Karen continues her commitment to the senior community through Nine One Ten with her son, Ramey.
Her vision for the Fairbanks Senior Center is expansion of space, programs and membership. The Meals on Wheels program is essential to the local seniors and should remain a priority for the center.
Darlene Supplee Executive Director .
- Bob Galloway NTS Grant Coordinator/Medicaid/ IT
Laura Saunders Social Coordinator
Laurie Robinson PT Bookkeeper
Rebecca Erickson Homemaker
- Loraine Gaffan Administrative Assistant
- Don Harvell Cook
Chris Mittelstadt Cook/MOW Driver
Laurie Lizotte Lead Kitchen Assistant
- Sylvia Thruston Kitchen Assistant
Alonzo Rivers MOW/Passenger Driver
Lita Carrillo Passenger Driver
- Bryan Fitzpatrick MOW Driver/Roustabout
Kathy Gruenhagen Reception
Michael Kapec Dishwasher
Meals On Wheels Volunteer Drivers; “We Thank You so Much for your Service!”
Craig Persson, Susan McMahon, Glen & Mary Abel, Virgil Severns, Mike & Ann McCann, Ed Murphy, Madeline Nance, Spencer Nace, Richard Hansen, Charles & Donna Lincoln, Uriah Naikak, Walter Hoover, Jackie Lariscey, Lanny Wagner, Cheryl LaFollette, Jennifer Lynch, Patty Olson, Rick Swankie. With all these Winners how could we ever loose!!!
Monthly Volunteers; “We Thank You For Your Service!”
Ken West, Kaethe Foertsch, Geraldine & Gerald Lizotte,Linda Denton, Floyd Ringer, Bryan Locklear, Dick Farris, Strong Women, and the Strong Seniors.