Leadership Anchorage Alumni Award

Leadership Anchorage 19 Team

The Leadership Anchorage Alumni Award recognizes an LA alum who has made significant contributions within their chosen profession and/or volunteer activities, has impacted their community, or the public at large; whose work supports connecting Alaskans and strengthening communities; and who has shown a commitment to ethical, compassionate leadership.

In 2019, in partnership with the Leadership Anchorage Advisory Board, the Forum gave out the very first Leadership Anchorage Alumni Award to honor an alumna/alumnus.


2024: Ayyu Qassataq (LA13)

Ayyu is a mother of four, daughter, aunty, and sister raised between Denai'ina ełnena and Iñupiat nunaat in Alaska. Ayyu (who is Iñupiaq & Yup'ik) has dedicated her life to growing strategies that advance healing, awareness and advocacy around the issues that impact our communities. She is also a Leadership Anchorage graduate and has served as an LA Guest Faculty for several years!

Her nominator Tafilisaunoa Toleafoa wrote: "Ayyu Qassataq is a shining example of an individual who embodies the essence of love and unwavering dedication to her community and Alaska Native people...she personifies relentless engagement and possesses a profound understanding of the challenges facing our community today. Ayyu's leadership is characterized by empathy, integrity, and an unwavering dedication to effecting positive change. Her ability to inspire others, coupled with her strategic vision and tireless work ethic, make her a truly exceptional leader in every sphere with which she engages."

Ayyu is also our incredible keynote for Celebrating Leadership 2024.

Hugh Short

2023: Hugh Short (LA 2)

Hugh S. Short co-founded Pt Capital in January 2013. Mr. Short has 20 years of executive level experience and has closed $920 million in debt and equity investments in oil and gas, telecommunications, hospitality, real estate, and infrastructure throughout the target region.

Prior to co-founding Pt Capital, Mr. Short was president and CEO of Alaska Growth Capital BIDCO, Inc., a subsidiary of Arctic Slope Regional Corporation. Alaska Governor Sean Parnell appointed Mr. Short to the Alaska Industrial Development Authority (AIDEA) and the Alaska Energy Authority in 2011. He was appointed chairman of AIDEA and led the multi-billion state-owned investment bank.

Mr. Short is an Inupiaq, also served as the mayor of Bethel, Alaska from 2002 to 2004, and is a board member for Rural Energy Enterprises. Mr. Short received a Bachelor’s in political science from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Ken Miller Photo

2022: Ken Miller (LA13)

Ken Miller, CFRE is the president and lead consultant for Denali FSP Fundraising & Grant Consultants, a fundraising and grant management consulting firm.

Gloria O Neill CURRENT sq

2021: Gloria O'Neill (LA1)

While in her early twenties, Gloria O’Neill began working at CITC where she was drawn to the organization's purpose and mission. Her experience in the first cohort of LA supplied the confidence and support needed to find her voice in her forthcoming role as CEO and in her career as an unrelenting servant leader.

Jason Metrokin

2020: Jason Metrokin (LA2)

Jason Metrokin was born and raised in Anchorage. As a beneficiary of his late grandfather's shares in BBNC, Jason is a Bristol Bay descendant and is the first non-original shareholder of an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) regional corporation to become President and CEO. Learn More

Janie Leask

2019: Janie Leask (LA1)

Now retired and living in Homer, Janie Leask is a servant-leader whose career includes roles within a number of statewide organizations. Born to a Haida Tshminshian father and an Irish German mother, Janie grew up in Metlakatla but always had a foot in both worlds. Learn More


Read More About Leadership Anchorage Alumni

LA has over 400 alumni across Anchorage, and Alaska. An Alumni Advisory Board hosts a range of activities and events for networking and continued learning. Find the full list of alumni here.

Alaska Humanities Forum

The Alaska Humanities Forum is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that designs and facilitates experiences to bridge distance and difference – programming that shares and preserves the stories of people and places across our vast state, and explores what it means to be Alaskan.

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