Joy Steward, Executive Director
Joy has worked in the non-profit sector since 1987. She joined the Homer Foundation board in 1994, becoming the first Executive Director in 2000.
Lauren Seaton, Executive Assistant
Lauren has joined the Foundation in 2018 after leaving the education field, where she has worked since 2011. She is the first Administrative Assistant for the Homer Foundation.
Jane Miles, Volunteer
Julia Clymer, Accounting
Board of Trustees
Bonnie Jason, Board Chair and YAC Advisor: Bonnie joined the board in 2002. She is the Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) advisor, guiding participants as they learn about the culture of philanthropy through hands on experiences. Bonnie is currently a teacher at Homer Middle School and brings her passion for learning and growth to the Homer Foundation.
Philemon Morris, Investment Committee Chair: Phil has been on the Board of Trustees since 1991. He is currently the Chairman of the Investment Committee and has served on the Foundation’s Book Project Committee. Phil was President of Alaska Ferry Adventures, a local tour packager, until his retirement in 2013. He served as Mayor of Kachemak City and on the Kachemak City Council for many years. Phil has prior experience as a municipal bond trader and registered investment adviser with extensive experience in the securities industry.
Carol Swartz, Board Vice Chair and Audit Committee Chair: Carol has served on the Board of Trustees since 1991. Carol served as Director of the Kachemak Bay Campus of the Kenai Peninsula College-UAA from 1986-2018 and honored by UAA with the lifetime title of Director Emerita. She was inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame and received other local and statewide awards. She is actively involved in numerous non-profit organizations and was the founding director of Haven House/South Peninsula Women’s Services.
Steve Albert, Treasurer: Steve became a member of the board in 2011 and also serves on the Investment and Distributions committees. Prior to moving to Homer, Steve was a biologist with Alaska Dept. Fish & Game for 27 years. Steve was a former stock/futures broker in New York City and Frankfurt, Germany with many years of experience to help in the Investment Committee.
Flo Larson, Leadership Development Committee Chair: Flo has served on our board of trustees since February 2011. Born and raised on a farm in North Dakota, Flo and husband Peter moved to Alaska in 1969, raised two sons, Erik and Bjorn, both graduates of HHS. Flo taught elementary, middle school, and high school mathematics, became a certified childbirth educator (13 years) and received her masters from APU before moving to Homer in 1985. After six years of teaching mathematics overseas in Jakarta, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, she returned to teach math in Homer for five years before retiring. Flo has served on numerous boards and holds a special interest in foreign exchange students and teachers. Grandchildren, garden work, reading and writing keep her busy when not volunteering.
Denise Pitzman: Denise has graciously welcomed the invitation to return to the Homer Foundation, originally serving on the board from 2012-2017. Denise is a wonderful real estate agent and has many connections due to her active business in the greater Homer area. Denise and her husband Gordon, a teacher at Homer High School and commercial fisherman, can be found at various sporting events and charitable events in town.
Paula Martin: Paula is our newest member, joining in May of 2019. Paula lived in Homer since 2007, but has been working at various universities as faculty or administrator since 2007. Her husband has worked in Homer, they plan on living here far into the future. She has also started a consulting company that has already proved a strong resource of the non-profits in the greater Homer area. Paula has a love for science education, aquatic insects, fly fishing, and travel.
Terri Spigelmyer, Vice Chair: Terri joined the board in 2015. She is a partner in the law practice of Haas & Spigelmyer, Inc. with her husband Andy Haas. Terri has served on several nonprofit boards including AFS Foreign Exchange, Infant Learning Program, Center for Mediation and Community Dialogue, and Kenai Peninsula Youth Court. Terri and Andy have raised their family in Homer and have special interests in many youth oriented organizations. Terri also enjoys outdoor activities and travel.
Paul Seaton: Paul has returned to Homer after serving 16 years in the Alaska State House of Representatives. He and his wife Tina are long-time Homer residents who are actively involved in philanthropy within the Homer area and are excited to be here year-round to contribute in a more local capacity. Paul also still owns a fishing tender, the Totem, that runs in Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound and always has projects on the boat or at home in the garden to keep him busy.
Tom Kizzia: Tom is a professional journalist and longtime resident of Homer. As a reporter, he avoided direct involvement in public service. After retiring as a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, he chose to join the HF board in 2016 because he was drawn to the breadth and high mindedness of the Homer Foundation’s mission. Tom is also a musician, playing piano for the local contra dances.
Liz Downing: Liz has a strong background in education. She moved to Homer in 1987, working at the Kachemak Bay Campus as the Student and Enrollment Services Manager. She currently works for the Kenai Peninsula College as the Title III Project Director. She was also a member and Vice President of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education, where she received the recognition of the Outstanding Board Member Award from the National School Board Association. We are already benefiting from Liz’s extensive board experience.
Matt Clarke: Matt started volunteering for the HF in 2015, serving on the Development Committee, and then joining the board in 2017. Matt has a 17 year career as Deputy Harbormaster for the City of Homer. Both through his volunteerism and employment, Matt has a desire to serve his community and improve quality of life. Matt lives in Homer with his family. He enjoys participating in school activities, boating, hiking, sport fishing, scuba diving and team sports.
Van Hawkins: Van is a born and raised Homerite. Educated outside, he has returned to Homer working for Raymond James as a financial advisor. Van is also a member of the Homer Kachemak Bay Rotary Club, serves on the finance council for St. John’s Catholic Church, and is well known in the community for his involvement in Pier One Theatre. We are pleased to have Van’s financial expertise, community knowledge and youthful perspective on the Homer Foundation board.