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Ahtna Kanas Summer 2022

Shareholder Employee Announcements

Destiny Eskilida (AIT, Procurement Tech II)

Ahtna shareholder Destiny Eskilida transitioned from an on-call employee to a full-time receptionist for Ahtna’s Anchorage office and has now been promoted to Procurement Tech II. She is a member of the Udzisyu (Caribou) clan, and her parents are Linda Crandall and Virgil John. Her grandparents are Linda Kline, Roy Eskilida Sr., and Robert and Yvonne John and her great grandmother is the late Dolly Spencer. Destiny’s paternal side of the family originated from Mentasta, and she is the great granddaughter of the late Katie John. She enjoys traveling, fishing, and learning more about her culture. Destiny has spent time with her family fishing and harvesting berries in Chitina, as well as learning about Ahtna culture at her grandmother’s fish camp.

Being trained at the front desk was a beneficial experience for Destiny, as it allowed her to learn about how the Ahtna family of companies works as a whole. Her goal is to connect with a mentor at Ahtna who can help her master all elements of the organization and eventually pursue a leadership career path within Ahtna.

“Destiny was a fantastic addition to the front desk. She is courteous, friendly, and eager to take on projects. She finds solutions to issues without having to be asked and her overall professionalism is amazing! I am thrilled to see her career evolve,” said her previous supervisor Ve’dra Bechtol.

Jessica Rock, CPA (AI, Sr. GL Accountant)

Ahtna shareholder Jessica Rock has joined Ahtna, Incorporated (AI) as a Sr. General Ledger Accountant. She is a member of the Taltsiine (Water) clan and served on the AI Board of Directors from 2011-2017. Jessica’s parents are Clarence and Katherine McConkey, her maternal grandparents are the late Hector and Grace Ewan, and her paternal grandparents are the late Clarence and Marie (Craig) McConkey.

Jessica has over 20 years’ experience working in an office environment, with over 10 years in management positions. With support from Ahtna’s Shareholder Enrichment programs, she earned her Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and a BBA in Management from UAA.

When asked what made her want to work for Ahtna, Jessica replied, “I inherited original Ahtna shares from my grandfather when I was 8 and began listening at Ahtna meetings when I was around 12 years old. Ahtna has been a big part of my life. When choosing where to work, I think about how much time and effort goes into our modern work lives. I am delighted that I can focus my energy and endeavors on furthering Ahtna’s vision for our culture, land, and people.”

Jessica enjoys having a little garden patch and is giving growing blueberry bushes a shot this year. She was taught traditional beadwork by Ahtna Elders and family starting at the age of three and hopes to have more time for projects now that she’s done studying for her CPA license.

Jessica is thankful for the support of her husband Doug and her children Clarence and Angel. “They encourage me when life gets tough and cajole me into taking the time to get out into the world and have fun!”

Corina Ewan Promotion (AITL, Office Manager)

Corina Ewan has joined Ahtna Infrastructure & Technologies, LLC as Office Manager in the Anchorage office. Corina is a lifelong Alaskan raised in the Copper River Region and a member of the Dits’i’iltsiine (Canyon) clan. She has three children and resides in Anchorage with her husband Jaysen (Caa’nii). Corina began working for Ahtna, Inc. as an on-call receptionist and served as Project Administrator for Ahtna Netiye’, LLC. Before working with Ahtna, Corina worked for the Copper River School District, Copper River Native Association, and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve. She is active in her community, and she currently serves as President for her Village Council, Native Village of Chitina. Corina is pursuing her second Associate degree in Tribal Governance and plans to pursue her Bachelor’s degree in Business. Corina enjoys summers, having fun with her family, and practicing her Ahtna traditional ways. She has a passion to help sustain her Ahtna companies, culture, land, and language to keep Ahtna prosperous.

Jason Ashenfelter Jr. Promotion (AI, HR Associate)

Jason Ashenfelter Jr. has joined Ahtna’s Human Resources team based in the Anchorage office. He is a member of the Taltsiine (Water) clan, and his parents are Jason Sr. and Amber Ashenfelter. “I wouldn’t be who I am without my parents’ love and support,” he says. His maternal grandparents are Kenneth and Leona Johns, and his paternal grandfather is Jerry Mahle Sr.

Jason began his career with Ahtna in 2019 as an intern in the Ahtna Special Forces program and was later hired as an on-call administrative assistant. His recent promotion has proven invaluable, giving him exposure to multiple departments. “It has distinguished my character, as well as ambitions,” he says.

Jason earned a vocational accounting certificate from Alaska Job Corps in 2019. In his new HR associate position he performs records management, data screening and entry, as well as specialized project management and versatile position replacement.

“I love learning in-depth how a corporation works and how Ahtna enriches its people and culture. Ahtna, Inc. is a unique corporation that specializes in enriching, preserving, and adapting the Ahtna people and its culture. Ahtna culture, values and our way of life has kept our ancestors alive for thousands of years in one of the most harsh and richest lands; that itself proves it’s invaluable to not only our people, but to future generations and the world to see,” Jason shared.

Matthew Jones Promotion (AC&PPC, Equipment Operator)

Matthew Jones grew up in the Copper River Basin, but temporarily relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma to work as a laborer/operator on a project for Ahtna Construction & Primary Products Company, LLC (ACPPC). The job gave him the opportunity to learn valuable skills that he has brought home to his new position as an equipment operator at Alyeska’s Glennallen Response Base. Matthew’s parents are Anita and Jeremiah Jones. He is a member of the Raven (Saghaani) moiety.

Ve’dra Bechtol Earns BA in Applied Science (AI, Benefits Analyst III)

Congratulations to Ve’dra Bechtol on earning a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Science degree from Wayland Baptist University! She graduated in December, but walked on April 22nd, the day after her birthday. Ve’dra is a Benefits Analyst and part of Ahtna’s Human Resources team. She is a member of the Udzisyu (Caribou) clan, and her parents are John and Carol Craig. Her maternal grandparents are Archie and Mary Bindara, and her paternal grandparents are Oscar and Ella Craig. She is married to Matthew Bechtol, and they have 5 children: the late Joey Trantham, Melissa Trantham, Jason Trantham, Madison Bechtol and Matthew Bechtol II.