The biological diversity and cultural uniqueness of our region is mirrored by the diversity of dedicated individuals on our team.
Interim Executive Director
San Anselmo, CA & Cordova, AK
In 1993 Carol began working with Dune on the public interest litigant lawsuit that stopped a planned 75,000 acre clearcut on Eyak lands in the Exxon Valdez spillzone. This effort started a domino effect of development-rights purchases across Prince William Sound and ultimately more than 700,000 acres of trees and salmon habitat were saved. After that victory, she sold her successful business and started working full-time on Chugach, Copper River and Prince William Sound issues with Dune. She also works closely with the Gwich’in Steering Committee on the Arctic Refuge preservation challenge. A graduate of American University in Washington DC, Carol Hoover is a lifelong environmentalist and is co-founder of the Eyak Preservation Council. Before working with EPC, Carol was the owner and creative director of an award-winning and internationally recognized consulting firm in San Francisco; she developed marketing strategies and brand identities for such clients as British Telecom, Pacific Telesis, Paramount Parks, Firemen’s Fund, Novel, ABC News, Bank of America and Winterland Productions. At Winterland Productions, she met with and directed the merchandising for hundreds of famous musicians.
Emily, a New York native, was drawn to Cordova by the way of the salmon. She has a diverse background and a passion for environmental justice and awareness. Emily works on all EPC programs and conservation campaigns with a special focus on database management, communications, public relations and special events. Emily graduated cum laude from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh with a B.A. in Political and Environmental Science and was inducted to Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Honor Society for Political Science, she is currently pursuing an MBA with Presidio Graduate School. Emily is also a nationally certified Emergency Medical Technician and a member of the Cordova Volunteer Fire Department.
Oshiana Black is the daughter of a Cordova fishing family that for many years has weathered the ups and downs of the Cordova area fisheries, including the devastation of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. With a background in commercial fishing, she also has a Bachelors of Arts degree in English from Western Washington University. Oshiana has a young daughter whom she hopes will be able to grow up surrounded by the incredible beauty of Cordova and Prince William Sound as she herself has.
Jeannie Gambill has been working as an accountant for over 15 years. She received her Master's degree in Accounting in 2010 and has a BA in Education. Her expertise includes non-profit and for-profit accounting. Jeannie is a native New Yorker and made Alaska her home in 2012. Jeannie has previous experience working for charter schools and CPA firms where she handled a number of non-profit clients. Jeannie is responsible for all of the EPC accounting and bookkeeping. She is a mother of three, an accomplished piano player and loves to sing.
Laura Bliss Spaan
Media Director - Eyak Language Program
Laura Bliss Spaan is an EMMY-nominated director, producer and writer who spent the past 18 years documenting the Eyak culture as both a personal and professional passion. She began working with Dr. Michael Krauss and Marie Smith Jones in 1992 which led to the creation of the first and only audio/visual records of this language. Between 2002 and 2005, Laura was the Project and Production Director of the EPC administered ANA grant project. With EPC’s support and the assistance of Dr. Michael Krauss, she worked on organizing, documenting and archiving all that is known about the Eyak and their language. She also created a series of interactive lessons for learning Eyak. Laura has directed and produced a number of award-winning documentaries that have been honored at film festivals across the country. Her first film about the Eyaks, More Than Words... (60 minutes, 1995) is currently being re-authored for DVD release in February 2011. Laura graduated magna cum laude from the University of Utah with a BS in Broadcast Communications with an emphasis in Journalism and was inducted Kappa Tau Alpha National Honor Society for Journalists.
Project Director - Eyak Language Program
Tahoe, CA & Anchorage, AK | Eyak Eagle Clan
Born in Cordova and raised on the East Coast, as a teenager Jenna re-established a relationship with one of the last Eyak speakers, her grandmother Sophie Borodkin. She has actively worked on Eyak cultural and language issues for many years, including participating in the award-winning documentary More Than Words, about the last Eyak Potlatch in Cordova in 1993. She has maintained close connections to the Native community by serving as an employment counselor for Reno-Sparks Indian Colony and developing a program with Upward Bound, University of Nevada, Reno that mentors first generation college- bound Native youth. An award-winning artist, a chef and a passionate lover of outdoor activities, she is a graduate of Goddard College in Vermont, and has an Art Education Teaching credential from the University of California, Berkeley. Jenna has contributed and volunteered much of her time over the years to help make the Eyak language and revitalization work a long-lasting success.