Boosting Alaska’s Economy

A Summit on the Economic Impact of Early Care and Learning

In October 2015, thread hosted Boosting Alaska’s Economy, the very first Summit on the Economic Impact of Early Care & Learning.

The event brought together many early childhood advocates and experts, business leaders, and community members for a conversation around the economic impact of early childhood education. Below you will find resources from Boosting Alaska’s Economy.

Summit Agenda


9:15 KEYNOTE: Making the Business Case for Investment in Early Childhood

  • Michael Petro, Executive Vice President of the Committee for Economic Development (CED)

10:00 GENERAL SESSION: Economics of Early Care and Learning in Alaska: An Overview of Alaska’s 2015 Economic Impact Report & Cost of Quality Care

  • Jim Calvin, Managing Principal and Senior Economic analyst at McDowell Group, and Jonathan King, Principal and Senior Economist at Northern Economics

10:45 GENERAL SESSION: Why Is Early Care & Learning Important? Information on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and Brain Development

  • Dr. Matt Hirschfeld, Medical Director, Maternal Child Health Services, Alaska Native Medical Center

11:40 LUNCH: Enjoy lunch while watching the PBS documentary: The Raising of America: Are We Crazy About Our Children?


My Job, My Life, My Business: A Conversation with Employees & Employers: moderated by Bill Popp, CEO of AEDC

  • Margaret Bauer, Director of Work Life Services, Providence
  • Thea Agnew Bemben, Managing Principal, Agnew::Beck
  • Leigha Ducharme, Community Relations Manager & HR Lead, TOTE
  • April Kyle, Vice President of Behavioral Services, Southcentral Foundation
  • Tom Newins, President/CEO, Credit Union 1
  • Martha Griffin Pearson, Health Promotion Manager, SEARHC
  • Steve SueWing, Parent & Family Advocate from Juneau

Peeling Back the Layers: A Closer Look at Early Care & Learning in Alaska: moderated by Abbe Hensley, Executive Director of Best Beginnings

  • Anji Gallanos , Early Childhood Administrator, Department of Education & Early Learning
  • Brian Holst, Executive Director of Juneau Economic Development Council
  • Meghan Johnson, Learn & Grow Director, thread
  • Doreen Leavitt, Director, North Slope Borough Department of Health & Social Services
  • Panu Lucier, Alaska SEED Director, thread
  • Kameron Perez-Verdia, Senior Director of Education Impact, United Way of Anchorage and President, Anchorage School Board

2:30 BREAK


Part #1: The Challenges We Face

Part #2: Promising Solutions

3:45 GENERAL SESSION: What Do We Do Now? A Call to Action

  • Trevor Storrs, Executive Director of Alaska Children’s Trust


Boosting Alaska’s Economy was sponsored by:
 Tor Daley and Pam Bassett

Lunch Sponsor: