Matt-225x300Matt Waliszek – President

Since showing up in Alaska ten years ago with nothing more than a dream and a fishing pole, Matt bleeds Alaska blue by being involved in various non-profits and community events.  he is well known for his ability to produce dynamic marketing campaigns and video productions.  Over the last 8 years he has managed over 2500 events, created dozens of brands, and countless engaging videos.  Most importantly, he is a master project manager that keeps marketing campaigns on time and on budget.  Matt brings giant creative ideas to small businesses.  He pairs this creativity with keen business insights that bring results to his marketing campaigns.Matt currently works as an account manager for Yuit Communications.  He invests his time within the startup community as an organizer for One Million Cups and Startup Weekend.  He is involved within the boards of American Marketing Association and Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, and Big Wild Life Runs.  Matt is also the president of Business Network International’s Peak of Excellence Chapter.

Alexa Dobson – President Elect & Programming VP

Alexa is a Business Marketing coordinator at GCI. She is born and bred Alaskan, obsessed with telling Alaskan stories.  Some are her own. Some are about others. She seeks out projects born of passion, that are big and hairy and ambitious and exciting and scary. She started marketing as a citywide campaign coordinator, then a fundraising account manager. She’s been telling the stories that motivate us to live our values, give generously to our community and express ourselves whole-heartedly.   Alexa oversaw the successful Google Analytics course offered through AMA.

Ross Ross-225x300Johnston – Immediate Past President

Ross Johnston is the Owner of Fine Point, a results-based targeted marketing company. The American Marketing Association-Alaska awarded Fine Point as a “Marketing Visionary” from 2012 to 2014. Fine Point’s online campaigns have proven to be effective in producing quantifiable results for clients like Bean’s Café and Alaska Communications. Before starting Fine Point, a results-based targeted marketing company, Ross Johnston worked as a creative director at GPJ, a global experiential marketing company in Sydney, Australia. He has also worked at HBO Films, where he served as the right-hand man to the president of the film department. He has lived and worked everywhere from Hong Kong to Sydney, but calls Alaska home.



Rachel Kenshalo – Secretary

Rachel brings more 15 years of experience in public relations, marketing, communications and business development. As Business Product Marketing Manager for GCI, Rachel oversees administration, traffic and new business development efforts.

Rachel also works as a freelance writer, assisting an array of clients spanning multiple industries, writing grants, website copy and marketing collateral. She penned a weekly music column in the Anchorage Press, and her editorial work has also appeared in the Anchorage Daily News and Alaska Business Monthly.

Rachel has a unique ability to prioritize and oversee multiple projects simultaneously without sacrificing her commitment to client service. Through years of developing innovative solutions for clients, she has become an expert problem-solver – no matter if the challenge involves boosting attendance at a major community event, producing quantitative results through public relations efforts or securing new business.

Rachel is a life-long Alaskan, raised in Palmer. The only time she has left Alaska for an extended period of time was for a Rotary student exchange, where she studied at Lycee Painleve in Oyonnax, France. She attended the University of Alaska Anchorage with the assistance of the UA Scholar program, graduating in 2002 after just three years.



HAMA Alaska Board 2013olly Parsons – Vice President, Communication & Past President

Holly is Account Manager with Alaska Business Monthly. With over 20 years of marketing experience, Holly has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of marketing concepts, creative and strategies from various industries. She became a member of AMA in 1999 and joined the board six years ago.

In addition, Holly is a past president of Soroptimist International of Cook Inlet, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and children, with which she serves on several committees. Holly received her BA from UAF with a double major in Journalism/Broadcasting and Speech Communication. She then completed her Master’s of Business Administration from UAA in 2005.

Holly enjoys the balance of creative and analytical that marketing provides as well as the constant changes that make her stay on her feet.


Stirling Stirling-225x300Amacker – Vice President, Sponsorship

Stirling Amacker is the Alaska Account Director at National CineMedia, exclusively managing all on-screen marketing and theater lobby promotions for every multiplex movie theater in South Central Alaska.

With 15 years of print, TV, radio, interactive and cinema advertising under his belt, Stirling has a proven record of superior client services and surpassing sales quotas.  From concept development to media placement strategies, Stirling guides clients through all aspects of the marketing process and prides himself on delivering fantastic measureable results.

In his free time Stirling embraces the beauty of Alaska through camping, river rafting, paddle boarding and skate skiing. Most evenings, he can be found cooking and listening to music while spoiling his pug Lucy, or out enjoying the Anchorage nightlife with friends.



Melinda Gant – Vice President, Membership

Melinda Gant manages public relations, marketing and branding for Anchorage Community Development Authority (ACDA) and EasyPark. As a marketing and public relations professional, Melinda has successfully rebranded the City of Anchorage’s parking agency as a positive parking agency for the Anchorage downtown community.

Before joining ACDA, Melinda worked for an Anchorage international accounting firm for 10 years and was a successful sales manager for both an international book company and local computer agency.

Melinda is dedicated to volunteering and serves as the Vice-President of the Government Hill Community Council, Chair of the Government Hill Neighborhood Plan, Usher for the Alaska Center of the Performing Arts, and enthusiastic volunteer for the Anchorage Downtown Partnership.

During Melinda’s spare time (very small window), Melinda enjoys spending her time at the Alaska Club, spending as much time outside during our perfect Anchorage summers, and trying to stay warm inside while admiring our timeless winters.