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Meet the Board

Board Members

Rick Castillo

Name: Rick Castillo

Position: Public Member

Board member since: 2021

City: Anchorage

Education: University of Alaska Anchorage

Firm or Agency: KOTC Consulting

I am a 14-year resident of Alaska and fortunate enough to call Alaska “home”  longer than previous residencies. I was born in Lakewood, New Jersey, and spent my adolescence in Florida’s Space Coast – Brevard County. As a 1-501 IN Airborne Veteran, the army is what initially brought me to Alaska. After exiting service in 2011, I’ve held multiple private sector capacities: transportation and distribution, oil and gas, and telecommunications. In 2020, I was a candidate for Anchorage Assembly, District 6; I learned a lot about the community’s resiliency, myself, and my family as I campaigned during the infancy of the pandemic. My wife, Analisa Castillo, is a Director at Alaska Communications Systems, and our two beautiful daughters are in the Anchorage School District. I look forward to serving the Alaska BAR and Alaska in this role.

  • Organizations I’ve served/serve: Tau Kappa Epsilon Alumni, Rotary Club Hillside, Huffman/O’Malley Community Council, Former NLABC PTA Member, Leadership Anchorage – Alaska Humanities Forum, VFW Post 9981
  • I’m a SEND IT! Enthusiast. When I’m not downhill biking, I’m peeling myself up from the ground and performing first aid.
  • Future Smoking and Barbecuing Champion of the World. Courtesy of my Traeger grill. 

Jed Cox

Name: Jed Cox

Position: Public Member

Board member since: 2019

City: Anchorage

Education: University of Montana (BS) Business Administration, Ashford University (MBA) Finance

Firm or Agency: State of Alaska

  • Lecturer, professor, and teacher in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Republic of Korea, and the People’s Republic of China for eight years.
  • Candidate for Montana House District 99 in 2008.
  • I keep busy hiking, hunting, fishing, fossil hunting, and exploring Alaska.
  • Volunteer arranging the shipment of fictional children’s books to rural Alaska schools and libraries.
  • Employed by the State of Alaska Department of Commerce in the Division of Community and Regional Affairs.

Rachel Espejo

Name: Rachel Espejo

Position: Attorney Member

Board member since: 2021

City: Anchorage

Alaska resident since: 2013

Law School: Thomas Jefferson School of Law (San Diego)

Firm or Agency: Public Defender Agency

5 things you might not know about me:

  • I grew up as a military brat and spent the majority of my life in Japan and Hawai’i.
  • One Valentine’s Day I was walking on the beach and I found a diamond wedding ring.
  • In college (in Hawai’i) I minored in theatre and was classically trained in Jingju head dressing and makeup. Jingju is a type of stylized Chinese opera that dates to the Qing Dynasty. I also took an entire semester of haberdashery (hat-making). Both of these skills have obviously been extremely helpful in my work as a lawyer.  
  • I enjoy baking and making jams and jellies in my free time.
  • During the lockdown in 2020 I got very interested in houseplants and now have close to 75 scattered around my house.

Bill Granger

Name: Bill Granger

Position: Treasurer

Board member since: 2001-2009 | 2011-Present

City: Anchorage

Alaska resident since: 1964

Firm or Agency: Wells Fargo

Education: Gonzaga University (Undergraduate), University of Washington (Graduate Pacific Coast Banking School), Notre Dame University (Graduate Catholic Charity Management, Mendoza College of Business)

  • I have been a pilot most of my life, flying a J-3 while attending Romig junior high school, and today owning a Cessna 185 and a Super Cub. Hunting/fishing and spending time at my cabin consumes most of my non-working time. My wife and I love to travel. Last year we visited Egypt, Israel, and Turkey.
  • I have always had a fascination with the law. In high school while working at Matanuska Valley Bank I would spend my spare time in the law library, studying cases and writing briefs, finding this to be fun and very interesting, but I was the only guy who wore a white shirt and tie to school every day also. Maybe by today’s standards I would be considered a nerd. The middle of my junior year at Dimond High School I was accepted into Gonzaga University. After attending Gonzaga I returned to Alaska and my work in banking. If my love of banking had not been stronger I surely would have attended law school.
  • Married 31 years (Diane Otto), and three children; Suzie, Andrew, and Christopher.
  • Employed by Wells Fargo Bank N.A. Senior Vice President. Every bank I have worked for has been acquired by Wells Fargo. 40 years banking in Alaska. Currently supervise the Credit Management Groups in Alaska, Washington and Oregon.

Janell Hafner

Name: Janell Hafner

Position: Secretary

Board member since: 2020

City: Juneau

Alaska resident since: 2002

Education: Brooklyn Law School

Firm or Agency: State of Alaska, Department of Law

A little about me:

  • I enjoy spending my free time hiking, skiing, and camping with my partner (who’s also a lawyer) and our 7-year-old daughter, and spending as much time as I can running on Juneau’s amazing trails. I love traveling anywhere new, reading, and eating delicious food that other people have prepared.
  • The three best non-law jobs I ever had was being a camp counselor, a bartender, and a used-book store shop clerk.  
  • I’m desperately trying to convince my family that we need to have two 100-pound labs join our family, which my daughter has already named “taco” and “nacho.” I welcome all help in lobbying my partner that this is a great idea.
  • The best thing about my current job is the incredible quality of the lawyers I get to work with—my coworkers are smart and funny, and they really care about public service. They also just make me want to be a better legal writer.
  • I once ate 35 chicken wings in a single sitting, and while I’m both nauseated and proud of this fact, I’m also 100% certain I could surpass that again if I tried.

Ben Hofmeister

Name: Ben Hofmeister

Position: Attorney Member

Board member since: 2018

City: Juneau

Law School: University of Notre Dame

Firm or Agency: Attorney Generals Office

I was born in Spokane, Washington.  I attended the University of Portland for college and graduated from law school at the University of Notre Dame in 2001.  I clerked for the Honorable John Reese after law school and then went on to the District Attorney’s Office in Anchorage.  Since then I have worked as a prosecutor in Dillingham, as an Assistant Attorney General in Anchorage and Juneau (as of August 2018), and I have been the District Attorney in Ketchikan.  I have litigated cases from Ketchikan to Nome and taken jury verdicts in eight different courthouses….I think…

FIVE FUN (MAYBE) FACTS ABOUT ME:

  1. I am not very good at it, but I love to downhill ski.
  2. My favorite condiment is sriracha mayonnaise.
  3. The thing that people like the most about me is my wife.
  4. I am a founding member of two separate book clubs in two different cities in Alaska.
  5. My favorite album in college was Sweet Oblivion by the Screaming Trees.

Aimee Oravec

Name: Aimee Oravec

Position: Attorney Member

Board Member since: 2020, 2021

City: Fairbanks

Alaska Resident since: 1999

Law School: Washington University in St. Louis

Firm or Agency: Doyon Utilities, LLC

Five Things You May Not Know About Me:

  • I grew up in Salt Lake City and have lifelong friends from the Pep Club, which won “best drill team” in the hometown parade, year undisclosed.
  • I was a member of the inaugural All-American Debate Team of the Cross Examination Debate Association.
  • My favorite non-legal job has been building nachos to support youth hockey; I am the Nacho Lady. My second favorite non-legal job was working in a medical implement factory where I glued neonatal catheters together for mandatory 6/10s at $5.00/hour.  I had the best time working on that crew, we got ice cream sandwiches after long days, and I was eligible for rehire.
  • I have worked in many different legal environments including non-profit, small firm, own firm, and in-house. I have served on the CLE and Fee Arbitration Committees of the Alaska Bar Association, as an officer and then President of the Tanana Valley Bar Association, and on the Alaska Judicial Council.
  • I have successfully evaded the “four truths and a lie” requirement of the TVBA since 1999; all of the foregoing claims about me are true, as is this one.

Nick Ostrovsky

Name: Nick Ostrovsky

Position: Attorney Member

Board member since: 2022

City: Anchorage

Alaska resident since: Lifelong Alaskan

Law School: Seattle University School of Law

Firm or Agency: Ahtna, Inc. 

  • I love to go on long mountain runs with my wife. 
  • I have hiked across the entire country of Switzerland
  • I have the world’s laziest border collie. 
  • I have one long-skinny thumb and one short-fat thumb. 
  • I am addicted to true crime podcasts. 

Rebecca Patterson

Name: Rebecca Patterson

Position: Attorney Member

Board member since: 2022

City: Anchorage

Alaska resident since: 2011

Law School: Harvard Law School

Firm or Agency: Sonosky Chambers Sachse Miller & Monkman LLP

  • I told a story at Arctic Entries in an owl-patterned onesie when I was 9 months pregnant.
  • When I first moved to Alaska, I lived in Juneau, in one of the last houses on the road to Perseverance hiking trail.  I encountered both tourists taking pictures of me and black bears out my front door.
  • I came fairly close to having three kids all with the same birthday.  Instead, the birthdays of my four-year-old and two-year-old twins are exactly one week apart.
  • The town I grew up in is often recognized either because of their Supreme Court cases or for being mentioned in the movie the Usual Suspects.
  • When I first arrived in Alaska, I was a snowboarder.  After starting to venture into the backcountry, I got tired of lugging my board up the mountain and learned how to ski.  My husband and I then became big skiers.  Before kids, we used to backcountry ski every weekend there was snow and now we regularly ski (in-bounds) with our kids. 

Jeffrey Robinson

Name: Jeffrey Robinson

Position: Vice President

Board member since: 2020

City: Anchorage

Alaska resident since: 2007

Law School: University of Notre Dame Law

Firm or Agency: Ashburn & Mason

  • I was raised in a small coastal town in Rhode Island and attended undergrad at Boston College.
  • After I graduated from college, and before I attended law school, I lived in Peru.  I love the people, food, history, and vast geography of the country, although I had the misfortune of being bitten by a bat, a wild dog, and a piranha while there. The last incident occurred when I was swimming in the Amazon River. 
  • I first came to Alaska after the summer of my 1L Year to research petroleum issues and to intern at the Public Defender Office in Bethel.  I have lived full time in Anchorage since 2008, and have been with Ashburn & Mason for the last 6 years.
  • I mostly do complex civil litigation, although I have a varied practice that includes white-collar criminal cases, government procurement, and some natural resources work.  Our firm is committed to pro bono work.
  • My wife, Hanley Robinson, is also a lawyer.  We have two daughters, 7 and 5 years old, and live in South Anchorage.  Our arctic entry consists of a mess of skates, boots, skis, Pokemon cards, and dog leashes. We have always had big dogs – the latest addition is a temperamental Old English Sheep Dog named “Dewey.”  We named him after a favorite baseball player for the Boston Red Sox. My twin brother, Kevin, also named his Bernerdoodle “Dewey.”

Ambriel Sandone

Name: Ambriel Sandone

Position: New Lawyer Liaison

Board member since: 2022

City: Anchorage

Alaska resident since: Lifelong Alaskan

Law School: University of Oregon School of Law

Firm or Agency: Landye Bennett Blumstein, LLP

  • I was born and raised in Alaska, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. 
  • I enjoy getting outdoors whenever possible, including trail running and cross-country skiing. My favorite race that I’ve run is the Equinox Half Marathon in Fairbanks, the course is beautiful! 
  • I attended the University of Oregon School of Law, and I am a big Ducks football fan. 
  • I am one of four children in my family, and each of us has a name that begins with an “A”.
  • I really enjoy baking and have a bad habit of starting complicated baking projects at 9pm. 

Meghan “Sigvanna” Tapqaq

Name: Meghan “Sigvanna” Tapqaq

Position: New Lawyer Liaison

Board member since: 2020 – present

City: Nome

Alaska resident since: 2017

Law School: University of Oregon School of Law

Firm or Agency: Kawerak, Inc.

  • My father’s family has lived on this land since time immemorial, specifically around Nome and the Imuruk Basin. I spent many summers and school breaks in Ambler, Anchorage, and Fairbanks as a child visiting family and had several fellowships and internships during college and law school throughout Alaska (Anchorage, Juneau, Nome). There’s never been any question in my mind that Alaska is my home.
  • My partner, Mike Hoyt (who is a high school social studies teacher), and I have four furbabies – two rambunctious dogs (Pamii & Kuvlu) and two cats (Bobby and Charlie).
  • We love spending time out on the land and recently took up kayaking. Over the summer of 2020, we paddled 70 miles from the Kuzitrin Bridge to the village of Teller spending time in the places where my paternal grandfather was born and raised.
  • I am an enrolled tribal citizen of the Native Village of Ambler and my passion is tribal court development and supporting tribes in exercising their sovereignty.
  • In my spare time, I enjoy teaching as an adjunct for UAF Northwest Campus, including teaching college and high school level classes on Inupiaq language, the history of colonization in Alaska, and tribal governance.

Diana Wildland

Name: Diana Wildland

Position: President-Elect 

Board member since: 2018

City: Fairbanks

Alaska resident since: Lifelong Alaskan

Education: University of Oregon

Firm or Agency: Alaska Public Defender Agency

I was born and raised in Fairbanks.  I attended the University of Oregon for undergrad and for law school (I’m a double duck!), and graduated law school in May 2017.  I always knew I wanted to be a public defender, and now I’m lucky enough to find myself doing that exact thing in my hometown.

5 fun facts:

  • I love languages and studied French, Russian, and Spanish in college.
  • I have a fish in my office named Ruth “Betta” Ginsburg.
  • I actually missed Fairbanks winters when I was in Oregon.
  • I was an active member of the North Star Youth Court as a child.
  • Gordon Ramsey has apparently gifted my fiance and me a sea bass for our wedding in September.  (Even if it never arrives, it’s the thought that counts.)
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