ACF consists of employees with diverse backgrounds and interests who are committed to a common goal of protecting Alaska for the long-term, and working hard to achieve it!

Michael Barber
Executive Director

Michael started as a Program Officer at ACF in 2013; he now serves as Executive Director. His professional career in conservation began at the Municipality of Anchorage as the LED Lighting Project manager, a project that saved the city millions of dollars and reduced energy consumption by 60%.

Prior to joining ACF, Michael co-founded an energy efficiency development company to engage utilities, cities and military facilities in large-scale efficiency retrofits. As a research economist for renewable energy projects, he applied his energy efficiency experience across rural Alaska. Michael also managed the complex merger of Alaska Center for the Environment, Alaska Conservation Alliance and Voters and Alaska Youth for Environmental Action, a project supported by ACF. Prior to that, he served as Board Treasurer for Alaska Conservation Alliance.

Born in Anchorage, Michael is a fourth generation Alaskan. He received his undergraduate degree from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, and his MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio School of Management in San Francisco. He is an avid winter sport enthusiast and musician. 

Mike Coumbe
Deputy Director

Mike joined ACF in 2013 to lead a team of grantmaking program staff. Born in Seward, raised in Anchorage and the Southwest U.S., he returned to Alaska at age 19 to find his roots, and then went about replanting them here. 

He worked for the Alaska Legislature during pipeline construction days and again in recent years. He’s been an active participant in the political process throughout his life and an organizer in campaigns to protect Kachemak Bay State Park and the Anchorage Coastal Trail. His years with the League of Conservation Voters bolstered and connected conservation groups, Alaska Native organizations, Labor unions and others across Alaska. He served as Alaska Conservation Alliance and Alaska Conservation Voters Interim Executive Director for a stint. 

Hiking in the mountains, biking the Coastal Trail and traveling globally are some of the ways he enjoys life.

Anna Dalton
Grants Manager

Anna, a born and raised Alaskan, joined the ACF team in 2014. She facilitates the grantmaking activities of the organization in addition to managing the Ted Smith Conservation Internship Program. Anna is thrilled to be working for an organization that is committed to protecting the state she calls home.

Anna graduated from Occidental College with a degree in Urban & Environmental Policy and minors in Biology and Sociology. Four years of dwelling in the urban jungle of Los Angeles left her itching to come home to mountains she had taken for granted as a child. Prior to ACF, Anna worked as a grantmaker at the Alaska Community Foundation, where she engaged with non-profit organizations across the state.

When not working, you’ll find Anna on Anchorage’s trails while training for marathons and half marathons. If she’s not running (unlikely), she’ll be outside doing some other form of physical activity.

Kate Gerlek
Director of Finance and Operations

Kate joined ACF in late 2014. In her role as Director of Finance and Operations, she is responsible for managing all aspects of ACF’s financial management and general operations. Kate brings over 20 years of experience in non-profit accounting to ACF, including 8 years as chief financial officer of Alaska’s largest community foundation. She holds a degree in Business Economics from UCLA.

Kate was born and raised in Anchorage and has seen a lot of changes in the State over the years. While she values being able to get a decent meal at Sacks Café, she misses being able to pick berries at what is now the busy intersection of Muldoon Road and the Glenn Highway, cheering for George Attla when Fur Rondy really was the biggest thing to happen all year, and the kind of leaders who wrote the best state constitution in the nation.

In the summer, you can find Kate on the trails hiking or biking. In the winter, she breaks out her knitting needles and curls up with her cats–unless someone drags her out to ski. 

Ricardo Lopez
Program Officer

A life-long Alaskan with family ties to the Bristol Bay region, Ricardo joined ACF in January 2016. He manages both the Alaska Native Fund and Tongass grantmaking programs. He grew up in the Anchorage area and graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a BS in Biological Sciences and a Minor in Art. In 2007, Ricardo earned a Certificate in Nonprofit Management through the Foraker Group. 

Ricardo brings 13 years of Alaska philanthropy experience to his role. Before joining ACF, he served as a Program Associate for the Rasmuson Foundation and as a Program Officer at The CIRI Foundation and The Alaska Community Foundation. He was also the Marine Mammals Coordinator for the Bristol Bay Native Association and worked at the Alaska Federation of Natives. He served on nonprofit boards for Thread Alaska, Native Americans in Philanthropy and Koahnic Broadcast Corporation.

Outside of work, Ricardo is happiest digging in the garden and hiking in the Chugach with his partner. (But when the weather is bad, he is usually looking for hidden treasures at the local thrift shop.)

Vicky Parks
Finance & Development Assistant

Vicky started at ACF in the spring of 2015. She supports finance and development functions and assists with various administrative activities, including front desk coverage. Vicky is currently attending classes at the University of Alaska and is completing a BA in Accounting. Prior to joining ACF, she worked for four years at The Alaska Community Foundation as their Accounting Assistant.

A life-long Alaskan, in her spare time, Vicky enjoys hiking, skiing and dog training.

Danielle Williams
Director of Communications

Danielle has a strong conservation ethic and a profound sense of environmental justice. She joined ACF in 2008 because its mission was a perfect match. After serving three years as Director of Philanthropy and Communications, she now directs ACF’s communications program. Her experience includes more than 15 years as a fundraising professional and seven years in communications.

Danielle earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of Michigan and a BA from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to ACF, she was Director of Grants and Justice Partnerships for Boys & Girls Clubs of Alaska where she was part of a leadership team responsible for a dynamic statewide expansion effort. She also spearheaded a successful effort to expand services to justice-involved youth.

Danielle hails from Chatham, New Jersey. She moved to Alaska in 1993 and soon after achieved a goal to earn her private pilots license. She lives in Anchorage with her husband and their two dogs. Her interests include backpacking, the challenge of year-round bike commuting and sustainable investing.

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