Gustavus Community Center Board Members

Katy Dighton, President

Katy Dighton first came to Gustavus to work in the neighboring Glacier Bay National Park, where she is currently employed as an interpretive naturalist. Speaking to audiences as large as 1,000, Katy finds power in educating the public about wilderness conservation and human impacts on wild ecosystems. Living in Gustavus has been formative for Katy and has influenced her passion for community engagement. Katy believes that the Community Center is a place that uplifts Gustavus culture and wellbeing of the community and its residents. She is proud to be a part of it.

Gus Martinez, Vice President

Gus Martinez came to Alaska in the fall of 2001 as the Bay District Ranger for Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve stationed in Bartlett Cove. During his 14-year tenure he oversaw the Law Enforcement, Structure Fire, Emergency Medical Services and Marine Safety and Boating Operations. Then as the Deputy Chief Ranger for Yosemite National Park Gus was responsible for the Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue and EMS services for Yosemite; this included overseeing the Yosemite Medical Clinic which provided services to the residents and visitors of Yosemite National Park. In 2019 Gus returned to Gustavus as the Safety Officer for Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Sitka National Historical Park, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Gus raised his children in Alaska and he and Sylvia decided to return to Gustavus to enjoy the quiet life of our community. Gus looks forward to being a part of the board and taking the next steps in fulfilling the vision of the Gustavus Community Center.

Barbara Sheinberg (Treasurer)

Barb Sheinberg joined the board in late 2020; she helped with the GCC Capital Campaign before that. Barbara splits her time between Gustavus and Juneau. In addition to the GCC Board, she serves on the KTOO Legacy Foundation Board and is a member of the City and Borough of Juneau Board of Equalization. Barbara brings strategic planning, budgeting, and organizational skills to the GCC Board. Her profession is urban planning. She has been providing planning services to cities, tribes, towns, businesses, and nonprofits throughout Alaska for over 30 years through her consulting business.  In 2020, Ms. Sheinberg was nominated by her peers and inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP). Barbara and her family built a home in Gustavus in the late 1990s and spend time here regularly.

 

Bekah Mitrea, Secretary

Rebekah Mitrea’s love for National Parks, traveling, and her career as a National Park Ranger is what first brought her to Gustavus in 2015. She returned several of the following summers, filling in between seasons working at a variety of State Parks in Arizona, with US Fish and Wildlife in Kodiak, and a non-profit in Anchorage.  Now she and her family call Gustavus home and are busy working on their homestead. Rebekah continues to learn and grow through working at Glacier Bay National Park, as a preschool teacher, and in her own sewing business; Bear Den Quilt Co. Bekah brings skills and pieces of each of these ventures to her role as Secretary.

Dawn Walker

Dawn Walker graduated high school in Gustavus and has seen many changes, small and big, take place over the years!  She has worked in a variety of professions here including owning a restaurant, secretary for the Gustavus School, and currently with the Glacier Bay National Park administrative team as a Budget Technician.  Dawn and her husband are raising their family here, teaching them to love the outdoors and their community as much as they do.  She is very excited to be helping the community center move forward and provide a much needed centralized gathering space for a town with a big heart and unique views!

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Lillian Ruedrich

Lillian Ruedrich joined the GCC Board in spring 2021 as a way to begin re-engaging with the community after a year of Covid-19 isolation.  She brings experience as a past board member of the Alaska Public Health Association and Juneau’s AWARE women’s shelter; past member of the Fairbanks Health & Social Services Commission; past adjunct faculty member in the Division of Population Health Sciences at the University of Alaska Anchorage; and former director of Student Services department at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. She has also owned and operated several small businesses. From her first visit to Gustavus several decades ago, Lillian was charmed by the pace of life as well as the peace that comes with living amidst forest friends. Finally, when retirement became possible in 2016, Gustavus became her year-round home.  Lillian looks forward to helping GCC host a wide range of events and activities to enrich the community culture and nurture the web of connections between us all.

Susan (Meadow) Brook

Since moving to Alaska, Meadow Brook has worked as a forester, bed and breakfast proprietor, and program manager for the Alaska Coastal Management Program. She also helped spearhead the Gustavus Land Legacy campaign, which resulted in The Nature Conservancy’s purchase and protection of the town’s unspoiled shoreline. She has a forestry degree from Utah State University and a Master’s degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Meadow first came to Gustavus in 1977 and lived in a leaky tent while building her cabin. The tagline of the Gustavus Community Center, “Refuge from the Rain,” has a deep, visceral meaning to her.

Megan Bishop

Megan has called Gustavus home since 2013; raising her family with her husband and creating a homestead in our beautiful community. She has deep roots in Gustavus and her primary focus is supporting the next generation. Megan has been teaching in Gustavus since 2014. Starting with a local non-profit Preschool to teaching Middle School and PreK at our public school. If you don’t catch her in the classroom, you can likely find her out in the field where she coaches two varsity sports, Cross Country and Track. In addition to the many hats she wears, Megan is a First Responder with GVFD and the President of the GVFDA. She believes the GCC will become the heartbeat of Gustavus, where we will come together to celebrate our beautiful community. 

Jeff Irwin

“Jeffi”, as he is called, moved to Juneau, Alaska in 1994 where he served with the Jesuit Volunteer Corp (JVC) for one year, which led to a 16 year effort in the social services field and a life long love of this amazing land. He moved to Gustavus in 2009. Jeff has served on the AWARE board, on the Gustavus City Council, as a volunteer Fire Fighter and EMS responder both in Juneau and Gustavus, and is currently on the SAIL board, serving as vice-chair. One of the goals or values in the JVC was to focus on community, which has become a larger focus over the years. As a board member for the GCC, he’ll continue to broaden that focus so that this fantastic place can evolve into a space where all of our wonderful community can gather and feel welcome.