Concern for the health and well-being of living creatures is a top priority for Kristen Guinn, one that she is dedicated to promoting personally and professionally. Guinn currently serves as CIRI’s employee benefits specialist and since 2001, she has volunteered with the Anchorage Bird Treatment and Learning Center while working full-time in the human resources, benefits and payroll fields.
What began as a road trip with a friend to Haines in 2000 to see the largest annual gathering of bald eagles in the world turned into serving as a fulltime caretaker of a great grey owl named Gandalf by 2002.
During the trip to Haines, Guinn learned about the Anchorage Bird Treatment and Learning Center (Bird TLC), a nonprofit organization that rehabilitates sick, injured and orphaned wild birds. In 2006, she took in another wild bird, a bald eagle named Sparkie. Guinn buys most of their food herself to ensure that the birds are properly cared for. The remainder is provided by Bird TLC donations.
As part of the foster agreement with Bird TLC, Guinn shows Sparkie and Gandalf at least a dozen times a year, taking them to the Campbell Creek Science Center to meet with school groups, Girl and Boy Scout troops and tourist groups. During these visits, she educates attendees about the different species, their backgrounds, nutritional needs and natural habitats.
Guinn has traveled with these birds throughout the state, from King Salmon to the North Slope and many places between. Guinn is from Bethel and is Yup’ik and Athabascan. She is the descendant of the late Elizabeth “Cookie” Rose and Charles “Stuffer” Guinn. After watching her relatives struggle through the health-care maze, Kristen Guinn became devoted to helping others navigate their way through the system. Now, with more than 20 years of experience in human resources, benefits and payroll, she joined the CIRI team in October. Guinn, who also served as the insurance analyst for the Municipality of Anchorage, joined CIRI to help increase awareness among CIRI employees about the wide range of resources available to them.
CIRI welcomes Kirsten Guinn to the team. As a member of the Alaska community, CIRI encourages its officers, directors and employees to share their time and expertise with charitable organizations through volunteerism, personal giving and sharing.