Community Catalyst Program
Skagway has recently welcomed its first community catalyst, who is part of the Sustainable Southeast Partnership (SSP) - a collaborative organization that brings together a range of skills and viewpoints to promote cultural, ecological, and economic resilience throughout Southeast Alaska. The SSP comprises various groups, including regional, community-based, and international organizations, tribal governments, land managers, entrepreneurs, native corporations, individuals, and experts in fields such as food sovereignty, land management, local business, energy systems, and storytelling.
The program manager position for the community catalyst role in our area is the outcome of a partnership between multiple organizations, such as the Sustainable Southeast Partnership, the Skagway Traditional Council, Audubon Alaska, the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition, the Taiya Inlet Watershed Council, and the Skagway School District. The Skagway Development Corporation serves as the host organization for this collaboration.
The Skagway Community Catalyst has focused on economic development and positive community outreach. Dedication to promoting regenerative tourism, cultural understanding and respect for the land we inhabit.
Meet our Catalyst
My name is Eliza Russell. Growing up my backyard was the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, the ancestral home of the Timucua people. For nearly five years, I embraced an unconventional lifestyle, living out of a used van and exploring the vast beauty of BLM lands across North America. It was during this time I first visited Skagway.
I hold a Bachelor's Degree in Business Supervision and Management from Florida State College of Jacksonville. I actively volunteer my time and energy as a member of the Skagway Arts Council and serve as the President of the Skagway Child Care Council. Beyond my professional and community-oriented pursuits, I am creative at heart. In my free time, I enjoy writing and performing music, as well as spending time in nature with my furry companions. Specifically, I am passionate about harvesting and preserving the unique local plants and foods of Southeast Alaska.
“With a passion for innovation and economic development, I work towards expanding sustainability and cultivating creativity in our communities. "