Rick Castillo

Jed Cox

Rachel Espejo

Jessica Graham

Bill Granger

Janell Hafner

Ben Hofmeister

Aimee Oravec

Jeffrey Robinson

Hanna Sebold

Robert Stone

Meghan “Sigvanna” Topkok

Diana Wildland

 


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. 

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.

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 times.
  • During the lockdown in 2020 I got very interested in houseplants and now have close to 75 scattered around my house.

Name:  Jessica Graham

Position: President

Board member since: 2019

City: Anchorage

Firm or Agency: Alaska USA Federal Credit Union – Chief Risk Officer and General Counsel

Education: Duke University Law School

 

  • My husband Jason and I have three girls ages 18, 16, and 14.  All of our names begin with “J.”
  • I love big dogs and now have three – two Golden Retrievers and a Newfie/Golden mix.  I would have 10 big dogs if I could.
  • I was born in Tallahassee, Florida.  I graduated from Duke Law School in 1997, clerked for a year for Chief Judge Sidney R. Thomas on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and moved to Anchorage in 1999.  I spent several years in private practice at Perkins Coie before starting my in-house journey in 2003 with an Alaska Native Corporation.
  • Including my current role as General Counsel at Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, I have had amazing opportunities to establish the legal department at three different companies.
  • My past Bar experience includes serving as the Young Lawyer Liaison (2000-2002), several years on the Law Examiners Committee, and several years as the Chair and Co-Chair of the Corporate Counsel section.
  • I learned to sew several years ago because I was embarrassed at what I was taking to the Alterations place. I can now replace a button, hem clothing, do some modest quilting, and have made dozens of masks for my friends and co-workers.

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), 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.

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, 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.

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 law school from 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, 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 a 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.

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 to include 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.

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.”

Name: Hanna Sebold

Position: Attorney Member

Board member since: 2008-2014 | 2016-present

City: Juneau

Alaska resident since: 2003

Law School: California Western School of Law

Firm or Agency: Attorney General’s Office

 

  • I was born and raised just north of San Diego
  • I race thoroughbred horses and go home every summer for a few weeks of racing season at Del Mar
  • This is my third term on the board
  • I have a yellow lab named Oliver
  • Current obsession: soundtrack from Hamilton; currently blaring from my car.

Name: Robert Stone

Position: Attorney Member

Board member since: 1997-1999 | 2016-present

City: Anchorage

Alaska resident since: 1970

Law School: Gonzaga University School of Law

Firm or Agency: Law Office of Robert Stone, LLC

 

  • I was raised in Anchorage, graduating from Dimond High School.
  • I was raised flying, hunting, and fishing, and so it was no surprise that I took ground school for flying while at Dimond High.
  • I was a 4-year varsity wrestler for the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!)
  • I was the host of Alaska Outdoors Television, airing on the Outdoor Channel, for 8 years.
  • I have two children, Matthew and Olivia.

Name: Meghan “Sigvanna” Topkok

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 qayaqing. 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.

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 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 I a sea bass for our wedding in September.  (Even if it never arrives, it’s the thought that counts.)