Aiming to reduce conflicts, Iditarod Trail Committee names new board members

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Iditarod Trail Committee announced Monday the addition of four new board members. The news comes as the ITC has been working towards removing any conflicts of interest from the board, along with working toward recommendations from a Foraker report.

“I think we’ve had a few speed bumps within this last year,” said Iditarod CEO Stan Hooley on Monday. “I genuinely feel the future of the Iditarod is going to be a bright one.”

A three-person recruiting committee was chosen to find five new board members, and Iditarod is awaiting paper work before announcing the fifth and final member.

The new members do not appear to have any mushing backgrounds, and Hooley said they were chosen because they bring different types of expertise to the table, including law, advertising, and public relations.

“There was a long period of time where the board members were elected by the membership,” Hooley said. “In a lot of cases, that became a popularity contest, but it didn’t necessarily get the diverse skill sets.”

Joining the ITC board are Nina Kemppel, Karen King, Mike Mills, and Ryan York.

Learn more about the new board members below:

Nina Kemppel – Nina’s career began as an Alaska cross-country skier and four-time Winter Olympian. Since retiring from competitive racing, she has dedicated her energy to making a difference in Alaska communities. She currently serves as the president and chief executive officer of the Alaska Community Foundation.

Karen King – Karen is president and CEO of Spawn Ideas, Alaska’s largest advertising agency. Under Karen’s leadership, the agency has received broad recognition and awards such as Alaska’s Top Shop by Adweek Magazine, Outside Magazine’s 100 Best Places to work in America for six years running, as well as Small Agency of the Year NW by Advertising Age.

Mike Mills – Mike serves as legal counsel for Dorsey & Whitney, LLP. His practice covers a wide variety of business and finance specialties, and he serves as outside general counsel consulting on strategic issues for many of his clients. Mike has been recognized by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America every year since 2003.

Ryan York – Ryan serves as senior vice president and chief financial officer at Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC). He came to BBNC in 2014 and has had the opportunity to work on a number of diverse projects during his tenure.

Channel 2 Sports Director Patrick Enslow contributed to this report.

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