Chef Mandy Dixon among 2016 Top Forty Under 40

A well-known Homer chef is among the Class of 2016 Alaska Journal of Commerce Top Forty Under 40. 

Mandy Dixon, owner of La Baleine Café on the Homer Spit and executive chef of Within the Wild Adventure Company, was named to the prestigious list of young professionals.

“We have a tremendous class once again representing the best of Alaska from the private, public and nonprofit sectors featuring diverse backgrounds around the state,” said Journal Managing Editor Andrew Jensen. “It’s an honor to recognize the people who will be leading influences in the future of Alaska.”

The group was selected by Journal management out of nearly 130 nominations with members from Anchorage, Dillingham, Fairbanks, Kodiak, Kotzebue, Juneau, Kenai, Seward and North Pole.

“Once again we had an impressive group of Forty Under 40 nominees,” said Journal Publisher Rona Johnson. “And, as always, it was tough to choose only 40 nominees from the many that we received.”

The Top Forty Under 40 recipients will be recognized in a special publication by the Alaska Journal of Commerce and during an awards reception and dinner beginning at 6 p.m. April 8 at the Hotel Captain Cook. 

Marilyn Romano, an alum of the 1999 Top Forty Under 40 class and the regional vice president for Alaska Airlines, will deliver they keynote in an event emceed by Joe Campbell and Dave Stieren of KFQD.

“We look forward to hosting this year’s event to honor these amazing young people and share their success stories,” Johnson said. 

“We have made a major change in the event this year, changing it from a lunch to an evening affair. We hope this will give attendees more time to network and get to know the Forty Under 40 winners.” 

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For individual ticket sales to the Top Forty Under 40 event, contact Michelle Ditmore at 907-275-2178 or For advertising opportunities in the Top Forty publication, table sales and event sponsorships contact Jada Nowling at 907-275-2154 or 

Top Forty

Under 40

2016 Winners

Jamie Abordonado, 39, Program Support Technician, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Anchorage 

Bill Bailey, 39, Fairbanks Community and Communications Manager, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., Fairbanks

John Blasco, 33, Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer, Northrim Bank, Juneau

Matt Carle, 39, Alaska Native Program Director, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., Anchorage

Rachel Cooper, 33, Director of Residential Services, AK Child and Family, Anchorage

Jenna Desmarais, 26, Materials Management Advisor for the Point Thomson Project, ExxonMobil, Anchorage

Pete and Tanya Dickinson, 38, President and Business Manager, All American Oilfield LLC, Kenai

Mandy Dixon, 31, Chef/Owner, La Baleine Café, Homer; Executive Chef, Within the Wild Adventure Co., Anchorage

Luke Fanning, 34, Vice President/Regional Branch Manager, First National Bank Alaska, Juneau

Lars Flora, 37, Executive Director, Skiku, Anchorage

Latosha Frye, 36, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Northrim Bank, Anchorage

Grace Greene, 37, Vice President and Alaska General Manager, TOTE Maritime Alaska

Brix Hahn, 22, Event Director, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce

Tiffany Hall, 33, Executive Director, Recover Alaska, Anchorage

Dr. Melissa Hardesty, 39, Certified Gynecologic Oncologist, Alaska Women’s Cancer Care, Anchorage

Kelly Harrell, 34, Executive Director, Alaska Marine Conservation Council, Anchorage

Erin Harrington, 38, Executive Director, The Salmon Project, Kodiak

Jason Hart, 30, Executive Business Associate, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Samuel Johns, 30, Founder, Forget Me Not, Anchorage

LaFewt Knox, 31, Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis, Alaska Railroad Corp., Anchorage

Amory Lelake, 38, Public Information Officer, Municipality of Anchorage

Allison Long, 33, Nonappropriated Fund Support Manager, US Army Family/MWR, Fort Greely

Sara Longan, 38, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Executive Director, Office of Project Management and Permitting

Maija Lukin, 38, Tribal Environmental Manager, Maniilaq Association, Kotzebue

Wes Madden, 39, CEO, Madden Real Estate, Fairbanks

Tom Marsik, 37, Professor and Program Head, Sustainable Energy, UA Fairbanks Bristol Bay Campus, Dillingham

Michele Parkhurst, 33, Chief Operating Officer, Kaladi Bros. Coffee, Anchorage

Tina Peterson Ferringer, 33, Owner, F&H Fitness Studio, North Pole

Brent Renfrew, 37, Vice President, Corporate Development, Arctic Slope Regional Corp., Anchorage

Gary Scott, 38, Vice President, Director New Media, Thompson & Co., Anchorage

Elizabeth Shea, 37, Regional Coordinator, Alaska Nanuuq Commission, Anchorage

Landry Signe, 32, Associate Professor of Political Science, Director of Rising Leaders in Public, International and Arctic Efforts, University of Alaska Anchorage

Holly Spoth-Torres, 39, Owner/Principal, Huddle AK LLC, Anchorage

Zach Stubbs, 35, Captain, Anchorage Fire Department

Ryann E. Swalling, 33, Architect, KPB Architects, Anchorage

Matthew Theil, 32, Chief Financial Officer, Hickel Investment Co., Anchorage

Joseph Tougas, 30, Owner/President, Catalyst Marine Engineering, Seward

Adrienne Wilkerson, 38, President/Founder, Beacon Media and Marketing, Anchorage

Stephanie Wonchala, 30, Owner/Operator/Director, Studio Pulse/Pulse Dance Company, Anchorage