Board of Directors

  • Deb Essex

    Founding member of GNSC. 

    Member of Girdwood Trails Committee
    2004-08  Creek Cleanup Coordinator for Anchorage Waterways Council

    2005-present  Manager of Alpine Air Alaska, in Girdwood, and Alyeska Helicopters in Anchorage

    Likes to Groom.

    Nordic and alpine skier, biker, mountain runner (trot, really), sailor...anything outside.

  • Brian Burnett

    Founding member of GNSC.

    Ski waxing guru!

    Member of Girdwood Trails Committee since 2004

    Current Position: Mountain Services Manager, Alyeska Ski Resort
    Duties include: Management of Hiking & Biking Trails Construction at Resort
    1986 – 2007 U.S. Ski Team Staff  Duties included: Ski Technician for Men’s World Cup Speed Team.
    Has attended 3 Olympic Games, 7 World Championships, and 15 seasons on the World Cup tour.

    A lifelong Alaskan lucky enough to grow up skiing at Alyeska (since 1965) and recreating in Glacier Valley.   His life has revolved around outdoor recreation, elite athletics, and the alpine lifestyle. 

    Married to Ellie - another lovely Alpinist!

  • Justin Thomas

    Our trusty bean-counter
    Justin is a CPA originally from the Seattle area.  Skied on the Seattle

    University Ski Team (alpine) and started nordic skiing when he moved to Alaska.

    Loves the outdoors and being part of GNSC. 
    He is married to Mary - also a CPA and also graciously volunteered to help with bookkeeping.
    Our beans are in good hands.

    They also have time to bike a million miles between Anchorage and Girdwood on the weekends

  • Jim Braham

    Avid Nordic and telemark skier and Girdwood resident for the past 30 years
    Girdwood Trails Committee attendee and volunteer
    Participated in the Anchorage Cup race series & Tour of Anchorage for past 11 years
    Competitor in the 2003 National Masters Cross Country Ski Championships
    Charter member & Secretary of Dimond HS Cross Country Running Booster Club 2001-2002.  Charter member, and Secretary of Dimond HS Cross Country SKIING Booster Club 2001 – 2003
    Associate Webmaster of the Dimond Cross Country Cross Country Ski Team 2001 – 2003

    He and his wife are super creative - Kathy runs a pottery studio, and Jim creates half our trail signs and our new snow measuring sticks.

  • Chuck Dorius

    Chuck has lived in Alaska for 38 years, with the last 12 being in Girdwood.

    Lucky for us, after operating heavy equipment, driving off road trucks, and being involved in construction building trades for many years…he now wants to groom trails.

    He researched and helped secure better grooming equipment, and says he’s a good shoveler.

    No – you can’t have him!  Plus, he lives right by the meadow, and unofficially makes sure we all come back from late night grooming runs.

    He is married to Kerry, our local Nurse, friend, and health advocate at the Girdwood Clinic

  • Peter Zug

    30 year resident of Girdwood

    Alpine and Nordic skier - and all things related

    Ski Patrol Director at Alyeska for about 20 years, just retired after 30 years at Patroller

    "My wife and I are avid hikers; we've been walking Girdwood trails since the 80's" 

    He is very familiar with heavy equipment, and road building, and all things trail (yeah for us!)

    One of  NSAA's, and Girdwood's trusty groomers (and a damn good one)

    When hosting a race, Peter and Lin are our secret weapon for a smooth day.

  • Ari Stiassny

    Born & raised in AK

    Grew up Alpine ski racing thru college. Started backcountry skiing after a ski-bum winter in Chamonix, France. Then telemark skiing to get lower to the ground with his kids, Mia & Col. 

    Got hooked on Nordic racing after participating in the Tour of Anchorage. 

    Started Girdwood's Kinder Nordic Ski with FVCS for kids ages 4-6 (pre-Junior Nordic)"When you live this close to a ski resort, you have to start them young if you want them to Nordic ski".

    His main winter work is running the DEVOs alpine ski program with the Glacier Valley Ski Education Foundation (Alyeska Ski Club), for kids ages 7-14. In summer, he and wife Melanee operate Chugach Adventures, a local rafting, adventure tour operator.  He has also worked as a commercial fisherman in the PWS, USFS trail laborer on the Glacier Ranger District, ski guide for Chugach Powder Guides, volunteer firefighter in Girdwood  & ski patroller for Alyeska Resort; all within the last five years.  Oh, and he's fast on skate skis.

  • Briana Sullivan

    While growing up in south central Alaska, Girdwood has always been a favorite place to Briana.  Now that she is fortunate enough to call this place home, being a part of the community through volunteerism seems natural.  An outdoors enthusiast in any season, Briana aims to get outside every day hiking, running, biking, skiing, or walking in rainboots.  She coaches cross-country running, nordic skiing, and teaches yoga through Four Valleys Community School.  Being on the board of the GNSC is a highlight of her time spent regarding the enrichment of the Girdwood community.  When she isn’t outside, she’s often creating meals and desserts in the kitchen. Yum!

  • Kikkan Randall - Honorary Member

    Honorary member of the GNSC
    Current member of the US Ski Team, and APU Team

    Has now won 17 National titles!!

    Attended fourth Olympics in 2014 at Sochi 

    23 World Cup podium finishes

    10 World Cup Victories!!

    Oh, and she is the current World Cup Sprint Champion...again

  • Christina Orlandella - Artist at Large

    New to Nordic Skiing - but she can move on touring skis

    Just learned what Nordic means

    "GNSC are my favorite initials, along with BYOB and WWJD"

    Marketing Guru from Crank Brothers, CA

    When not hiking or skiing with her family, she's answering to her new boss - Eli (1yr old)

    Brilliant artist, Mommy, mountian biker, and runner, writer, and backcountry friend.