CIRI’s virtual mentoring program provides mentorship in several areas—careers, culture and more—and cultivates a reciprocal relationship between mentor and mentee, where each participant develops his/her skills through a two-way transfer of experience and perspective.

The program runs for six months, generally October through April. CIRI offers program orientation, custom monthly workshops, mid-program check-ins and support as needed.

The deadline for the 2023-2024 cohort has passed. Recruitment for the 2024-2025 cohort will begin in summer 2024. Visit this page and follow us on social media for the most current information! 

What are the benefits of being a CIRI mentor? 

  • Engage with and help develop the next generation of CIRI Shareholders and Descendants
  • Hone your interpersonal and coaching skills
  • Network with other professionals
  • Take a deeper dive into your own profession
  • Demonstrate leadership skills
  • Explore new and innovative ways of thinking 
  • Gain personal and professional satisfaction

What are the benefits of being a CIRI mentee?

  • Gain valuable insight from subject matter experts in the area(s) of desired mentorship
  • Form lasting relationships
  • Play to strengths and identify areas of improvement and growth
  • Gain exposure to a variety of viewpoints and perspectives
  • Access professional-development resources and information
  • Accomplish goals and gain confidence
  • Receive customized coaching and encouragement
  • Remove barriers and celebrate successes!


Chris Chord (Aleut/Unangax and Alutiiq/Sugpiaq)

Superintendent, Orcas Island Health Care District
Areas of mentorship: health care/public health, project management
Fun fact: enjoys trail running and snowboarding

Katharine Corcoran (Yup’ik and Athabascan)

Account manager and design project manager, SpaethHill
Areas of mentorship: international branding and marketing, law  
Fun fact: enjoys gardening and volunteers at an apothecary museum

Fred Elvsaas Jr. (Aleut)

General manager, NANA Construction; board vice president, Seldovia Native Association
Areas of mentorship: business management, career development 
Fun fact: avid fisherman 

Brandy Gallagher (Inupiaq)

Manager II, Southcentral Foundation’s Behavioral Health Clinic
Areas of mentorship: management, marketing, exploring career pathways/growth opportunities
Fun fact: enjoys snowboarding 

Ildi Geuss

Senior director of strategic projects and initiatives, Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI)
Areas of mentorship: project management and planning, public relations, marketing, public speaking 
Fun fact: active member and leader of Toastmasters International

Caleigha Gotthardt (Inupiaq and Dena’ina Athabascan)

Business services coordinator, Indigenous Peoples Set Up Shop/Anchorage Community Land Trust
Areas of mentorship: small-business ownership, art 
Fun fact: accomplished ivory carver

Shane Hunter (Athabascan)

Chief financial officer, S&B James Construction; board member, Cook Inlet Tribal Council
Areas of mentorship: finance, administrative operations
Fun fact: can juggle and ride a unicycle at the same time

Daniel Jensen

Director of Energy, Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI)
Areas of mentorship: college and career exploration, professional development, energy development
Fun fact: former competitive skier  

Allison Knox (Athabascan)

Owner, AK Communications & Consulting; board member, 90.3 FM KNBA
Areas of mentorship: health services, administration, public relations, radio and media
Fun fact: Alaska Dance Theatre board vice president

Tonie Protzman (Oneida)

Licensed professional counselor, CEO of Protzman Consulting
Areas of mentorship: counseling, psychology, Indigenous consultation practices, lobbying
Fun fact: enjoys yoga and meditation

Michelle Sparck (Cup’ik)

Director, Get Out the Native Vote
Areas of mentorship: politics, law, consultation with Native entities
Fun fact: owns skin care company ArXotica with her sisters

Rebecca Viste (Pima)

Oil contract specialist, Santos Ltd.
Areas of mentorship: oil and gas industry, contract management, purchasing, management
Fun fact: enjoys volunteering in her community