SCF Advisors are passionate about supporting our community and those that call it home!

At the Seward Community Foundation, we work to strengthen our community, now and forever. We focus on supporting the efforts of those working to build and develop communities across the state. When the lives of some of our community members are not valued, it degrades every community member’s value. We stand with those working to eradicate oppression and racism and to remove the barriers that have so long stood in the path of equity.

Do you have questions? Please feel free to email or any member of our Advisory Board. We want to hear from you! 

Are you passionate about making a difference in your community?  If so, you might consider serving on the Advisory Board.  

2024 Seward Community Foundation Advisory Board Members

Mark Kansteiner, Chair and Grant Team Lead

Seward has been Mark’s home since 1979. Mark worked as an aquarist at the SeaLife Center for seven years, preparing for the grand opening and collecting and caring for the fish and invertebrates in the center. Mark then joined Kenai Fjords National Park as a logistics coordinator for 12 summer seasons. Mark retired in 2017. Mark says, “I am glad to be a part of SCF because it’s an opportunity to be involved in the improvement of the overall health and welfare of our community. The SCF endowment helps all the nonprofits in the Seward/Moose Pass area by offering the financial support that they need to meet their mission. Being able to participate in this process is an honor.” Email Mark.

Tekla Seavey, Treasurer

Tekla was born in Seward and is still happy to call it home. While growing up, her family lived on remote Knight Island for several years, where she was homeschooled with three brothers. During these years, Tekla could be found in the woods and on the water. Tekla married Tyrell Seavey in 2008, and after he survived a couple of summers commercial fishing for salmon with his father-in-law, the couple bought their boat and permit. Summers were spent working on boats, and winters were usually spent backpacking around the Southern Hemisphere. Tekla switched to summer guiding for a couple of years before having two kids who currently occupy most of her time. When she does get a chance to escape toddler life, she loves climbing mountains, trail running, the ocean, and reading good books. Tekla is excited to join SCF and looks forward to working with an organization with such a positive, local impact on our community. Email Tekla.

Katie Shepard, Secretary

Katie is originally from North Atlanta, Georgia. She and her husband, Morgan, honeymooned on the Kenai peninsula and immediately fell in love with Seward. An opportunity arose to move to Alaska shortly after, and all the pieces fell into place very quickly. After a short time in Talkeetna, they settled in Seward and have never felt more at home. Katie’s professional background is in secondary education, but now she spends her days with her two sons, Neely and Turner, and volunteers around Seward. Katie is passionate about participating actively in her community and is excited to finally have found the perfect place to put down her family’s roots. Email Katie.

David Paperman

Dave was raised in the hustle-bustle of northern New Jersey. A summer job in Denali National Park between studies at Indiana University brought him to Alaska in 1991. Summers in the interior with occasional excursions to southcentral and northern Alaska while finishing two degrees solidified his love of the wilderness and all things Alaskan. After living and working in Hoonah in Southeast Alaska for several years, he moved to Seward in 1999. That year, he met the love of his life, Dana, and they have two children, Sam and Edna, who are being raised on the shores of Resurrection Bay and embody Seward at its finest. Dave was raised in a family that valued community involvement and helping others – and he was an active community volunteer from a very early age. He was a charter Board member of the Seward Community Health Center, served as President of the Seward Little League, and created the Seward Winter Family Movie Series as a Board Member of the Seward Arts Council. He was named Seward’s Person of the Year in 2016. Professionally, Dave manages the Department of Residence Life at AVTEC. Dave enjoys doing all things outdoors with his family in his free time – especially sea kayaking, walking on the beaches and local trails, and working with others to make Seward an even better place. Dave is particularly fond of the Community Foundation concept because of the endowment model – where donations create a sustainable fund that will outlast the donors and spread love and support throughout the community forever. Email Dave.

Ryan Fisher

Ryan moved to Seward 18 years ago from West Virginia and was immediately devoted to the mountains and glaciers. After graduating from West Virginia University, he came north, seeking larger mountains and less crowded spaces. While the rugged terrain of Seward was the initial inspiration, the community soon became his home.   What inspires Ryan about the Seward Community Foundation is that it allows him to be involved and give back to the community outside of the purview of the business. The Foundation’s humble, broad approach to giving resonates with how Ryan considers an active community to be. Ryan says, “I look forward to meeting and connecting with locals through the foundation, furthering a connective education of the communities’ needs and strengths.” Ryan co-founded Exit Glacier Guides. Email Ryan.

Ginger Allen

Virginia (Ginger) Allen arrived in Seward in 1975 after adventurously traveling with her friend from Michigan. That year, she met her husband Jim while he was working for Bay City Motors when she and her friend asked him to keep a junk station wagon they had bought running. She and Jim eventually married and had two wonderful children. She and her family have lived here on and off ever since. Ginger has frequently served in the nonprofit sector and is especially proud to be a part of the Seward Community Foundation. This style of local grant governance is very effective in meeting community needs. Having a local board guide the grants ensures the donations remain in the community and contribute to our fabulous area’s overall health and well-being. Ginger especially likes the endowment aspect of the Seward Community Foundation, which allows legacy funding for generations to come. Email Ginger.

Marc Swanson

Marc came to Alaska in 1980 to teach in several rural village settings. It was a time when oil money flowed thick, and as a result, Alaska schools were innovative and looked to change the face of bicultural education. In this setting, he met a fellow ‘bush’ teacher, Letty. Together they continued to teach in rural Alaska until they moved to Seward in 1992 with newborn Tara, and later, son Jerry joined the clan. After retiring as a teacher, Marc continued his passion for education as a consultant for various environmental and historical-focused nonprofit organizations. It was through these experiences that Marc realized the power of philanthropic foundations.   The generosity of these foundations provided the needed grease to create and implement programs and projects that benefited others. This is why Marc is excited to be part of the Seward Community Foundation, which has the power to encourage positive visions for Seward’s future. Email Marc.

Jennifer Boyle

Jennifer is a proud resident of Moose Pass and an active community member. She is deeply committed to improving the lives of those around her, and her involvement in various local organizations is a testament to that. In addition to her community involvement, Jennifer is a local small business owner. When she is not working or volunteering, she loves spending time in the great outdoors with her husband and daughter. Moose Pass is a truly special place, surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, and she feels grateful daily to call it home. Jennifer says, “In the time I have lived in Moose Pass, I have been overwhelmingly impressed with how so many people are willing to help each other and our community. By serving on the Board of the Seward Community Foundation, I am excited to have the opportunity to represent this core value of our town. I love what our community is today, and I want to make it even better for tomorrow.” She believes that together, we can make a difference in the lives of those around us and is proud to be a part of such a dedicated and passionate group of individuals. Email Jennifer.

Sarah Spanos

Sarah came up to Seward to work summers at Seward Fisheries during college. After graduating, she continued working for Icicle Seafoods as a quality assurance manager onboard a crab processor near the Pribolof Islands and eventually transferred to Seward Fisheries full-time. A cannery romance developed, and 30 years later, she and her husband, James, are still going strong with two grown sons. Connor is currently a D2 collegiate swimmer studying to become a physical therapist. Peter graduated from AVTEC as an Industrial Electric Apprentice and travels the world with his current employer. Sarah has volunteered with various groups in Seward, including Seward Little League, Seward PTA, Providence Advisory Board, and Seward Schools Site-Based Council. She loved being a team mom for her boys’ sports team, especially feeding swimmers, including our hometown gold medalist, Lydia Jacoby. Her favorite team mom experience was being called to the big league at the 2022 National Junior College Athletic Association swim meet in Fort Pierce, FL. Sarah currently works as the procurement coordinator for the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The majority of her work supports the research vessel Sikuliaq, and she loves it! Sarah is genuinely happiest helping others. Her philanthropic attitude and love for the community of Seward are apparent to everyone she knows. Email Sarah.

Sara Platt, SCF Program Manager

Email Sara.

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