Board Members

“Teaming Together, Making a Difference”

President – Pamela Skogstad

Adapted Physical Education Specialist, UAA PACE adjunct instructor, her husband Jim is a wonderful volunteer for special events, activities for The Basics.

Vice President – Courtney Elmer

Courtney is a History/Human Resources Major at UAA, helps run Chugach Chocolates in Girdwood with her boyfriend Marcus. Courtney is dedicated to helping children and adults in needs. Courtney’s dream is to have a ski/snow board program which supplies gear for children in need, giving them the opportunity to experience the world of winter sports.

Secretary – Tom Burgin

Tom currently serves as Secretary for “The Basics” and has been involved as a volunteer within the organization since 2012. Tom attended the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, Texas. Tom retired as Product Line Operations Manager with Halliburton Energy Services after 30 years of service. He is a past volunteer Emergency Medical Technician and Assistant Chief of the Hope/Sunrise Emergency Medical Services.

Treasurer – Joyce Burgin

Joyce is a tremendous advocate for those in need, she and her husband created the local food bank. Joyce is very humble, quietly serving the needs of those who are in need of food, clothing, and shelter. Joyce was eager to join The Basics, bringing her expertise in finance to the treasury position, with prior experience as a treasurer on non-profit boards.

Stacy Fisk

Stacy is the Running Manager for Goldstream Sports in Fairbanks, Alaska. Stacy has an undergraduate degree in Physical Education and has received her Master’s degree in Athletic Coaching Education. During her coaching career, she has led many runners to national level competitions.

Stacy herself has been in running for 20 years and has competed at collegiate levels and during her college years she set many school records which still stand in all major distance events in track and cross country running. She has qualified for the NCAA in cross country running in multiple years, among other notable cross country and track accomplishments. She was inducted into her college Hall of Fame in 2010.

Rick Hansen

Rick is a life time Alaskan, born and raised in Anchorage, with a BS in Engineering and employed by GCI as Sr. Director of Engineering in the Oil and Gas market. Rick has two children in the ASD and both are very active in sports. Passions for both Rick and his wife Kristen, include mountain running, marathons, skiing and watching their kids’ events. You always find him in the mountains. Rick’s passion for running and pursuing a healthy active lifestyle for himself and his family is a great addition for The Basics mission.

Advocacy Committee:

Colleen Franks, Emeritus

Owner of the Aurora Gym on the South side of Anchorage, Colleen’s passionate advocacy for children is reflected by her creation of “Kicks for Kids”, an organization which recycles gym shoes for kids in need throughout the Anchorage School District.

David Mayo-Kiely

Department Chair of the Children in Transition Program with Anchorage School District, David is a tireless advocate for children in need. David is an articulate, well spoken representative for children in need. David monitors the school day schedules for children who are in transition from shelters, foster care, couch surfing for survival, ensuring these children have a consistency in their school day. There are approximately 3,800 students in the Children in Transition program with the Anchorage School District.

Melanie Sutton

Melanie Sutton is Director of the Health and Physical
Education Department with the Anchorage School District. Melanie is a valuable liaison between district staff and The Basics including “Kicks for Kids”. Melanie has done a tremendous job with ongoing communication between The Basics and Kicks for Kids.

The Basics mission is to advocate and support children in need of shoes and winter clothing, which would enable healthy, safe, active lifestyles in school, sports, and recreational setting. Launching the newly formed non-profit began during the fall of 2012, focusing on the needs of the Children in Transition program with the Anchorage School District, serving over 3,800 students. The goal of “The Basics” is to expand statewide within Alaska.

What sets The Basics apart from other non-profits?

1. Efficient, effective process which enables staff to supply gym shoes & winter gear in a timely manner.
2. Children will not be singled out or recognized as a peer in need.
3. Staff working with The Basics will provide quarterly reports to The Basics Executive Board, which then will be disseminated to sponsors, donors and members.

As an itinerant Adapted Physical Education Teacher for over 25 years, I have traveled to many schools in Alaska, both rural and suburb. Many of my specially designed physical education programs for students with disabilities involved peer buddies, students from the regular education classes who would mentor and support students with disabilities in my classes. Some of my best peer buddies were students in Title I Schools. The peer buddies had varying, diverse backgrounds from homeless shelters, foster care, unsafe home situations, and in high need of basic clothing and good nutrition. Theses peer buddies, no matter the situation they were dealing with in their daily routine; (ie; no breakfast, caring for siblings while parents were partying late into the night, in need of winter boots, struggling to find a pair of shoes that would stay on their feet) would never miss their turn to work with the specially designed physical education class. Shoes were without laces, torn, 2 to 3 sizes too big, falling off their feet as they worked with children with disabilities.

Teachers, Nurses, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Specialists, and teaching assistants have purchased many pairs of shoes, winter gear focusing on the students with the highest needs. Over the past ten years the need has grown tremendously, keeping up with the need is a daunting task for educators (a task educators do voluntarily). Joey’s testimonial on the homepage was the catalyst which made the dream I have had for many years to create a non-profit which supported educators/staff who truly know which children are in critical need of basic gear for accessing gym, sports, and recreation programs. Gym shoes and winter gear for children in need offer dignity and respect if not for at least part of their day.