Staff and Contact Info
3300 Arctic Boulevard, Suite 203
Anchorage, AK 99503
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Phone number: (907) 562-7380
Fax number: (888) 356-1206
Andy Varner, Executive Director
Andy joined the SWAMC staff as Economic Development Specialist in 2005, and was named Executive Director in February 2010. As EDS, Andy staffed committees, advocated for legislation in accordance with SWAMC's priorities, supported and supervised the organization's AmeriCorps*VISTA projects, and helped southwest Alaska region communities build development capacity. Andy originally ventured to Alaska as an Americorps*VISTA, serving as Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Kenai. Prior to working in Alaska, he taught English abroad for two years. Andy has a B.S. in marketing from the University of Missouri, his home state, and earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Alaska-Anchorage in Spring 2008. He is Vice President of the Alaska Partnership for Economic Development, chair of the AK SourceLink Executive Committee, and serves on the Alaska Municipal League's Land Use, Resources & Econ. Development Subcommittee. He is a member of the Anchorage International Rotary club and the Alaska World Affairs Council. Andy frequently soaks up the hiking, skiing, camping, history, and open spaces offered by The Last Frontier, and currently spends a lot of his time playing with his baby daughter.
Erik OBrien, Economist / Economic Development Specialist
Erik grew up on Kodiak Island and is familiar with what make the SWAMC region great. Earning dual degrees from UAA, working with the State of Alaska on Community Development and operating a small family set-net operation in the summers, Erik is 100% Alaskan. Understanding the importance of the outside world's effects on Alaska, he is both a world traveler and astute student of issues that affect our Great State. Expanding on his interest in factors, Erik has a Masters of Science degree in Economics from UAF. Erik takes great interest in better understanding our region of Alaska, and one of his key qualities is his ability to network with existing resources whileconstantly looking for other opportunities to enhance our most valuable resource, human capital. When not perusing interests in enhancing our economy, Erik is always happy to take an adventure and values the importance of playing outdoors all year long, especially with his baby daughter.
Cameron Dean, S.T.E.M. Education Coordinator/VISTA
Cameron is SWAMC's VISTA volunteer for 2012-2013. He will explore various programs and activities within the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) to incorporate into the Southwest education sector to prepare our younger generations for the future economy. He earned a B.A. in anthropology and Russian from the University of Michigan, his home state, in Spring 2011. While in college he worked in IT support and as an ESL tutor. He is always up for a good hike and can't wait to start exploring Alaska.