Around the District: Returning to Alaska for Some Inspiring Community Engagement

As a community-engaged bank, the SF Fed seeks out real-time information on economic conditions by engaging with and learning from businesses, community organizations, and local leaders. These conversations are one of the many inputs into the decisions and policymaking at the Federal Reserve as we pursue our mission.

Here’s a snapshot of a recent outreach visit to Alaska from Christina Prkic, Regional Executive of the SF Fed’s Seattle branch.

One of the most exciting parts of my role is having the opportunity to connect with and learn from community leaders across Washington and Alaska. Recently, I had the privilege of spending time in Anchorage building new relationships, learning more about the local economy, and getting to see our Fed Family in action. It was the second of three trips that I will be taking to Alaska this year.

The trip’s first highlight was seeing our former Seattle Board member, Carol Gore, deliver the opening ceremony keynote at the annual conference of the Pacific Northwest Regional Council, National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials. And Community Advisory Council member, Colleen Dushkin, shared an overview of the work and influence of the Association of Alaska Housing Authorities.

Christina Prkic (center) with Steven Fisher (left) and Chad Marchand (right).

My SF Fed Public Engagement colleagues, Steven Fisher and Chad Marchand also joined the Alaska Tribal Administrators Association and the Alaska Native Village Corporation Association 2024 Symposium, which focused on supporting the success of the people and communities in rural Alaska. The event was well-designed and filled with valuable information and resources.

When we weren’t inside conference rooms, we were taking in some stunning views and enjoying the breathtaking scenery—including my first moose sighting!

Moose sighting! A moose camouflaged behind branches.

During our trip, we also visited the Covenant House of Alaska and were blown away by the team’s creativity and dedication to tackling youth homelessness and helping their residents explore careers and find employment. We toured their new residential facility, the light-filled Covey Lofts, a 22 micro-unit apartment attached to their Youth Engagement Center, as well as Covey Academy, their vocational training and career pathways center. Steven and I explored a few careers ourselves through some of their simulators—let’s just say it was pretty humbling. It looks a lot easier when you’re a spectator instead of operating one (see the pic of me attempting to drive a simulated bus!).

Christina operating a bus in a driving simulator.

My third trip is scheduled for August. Stay tuned for my report on how community and business leaders are demonstrating their unwavering commitment to fostering an economy that works for all of Alaska.

The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the management of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco or of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

About the Author
Christina Prkic is vice president and regional executive of the Seattle branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Learn more about Christina Prkic