Commissioners

Chitose, Japan

Hiroko Harada

Hiroko Harada

Inducted into the 2023 Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame and Professor Emerita of Japanese at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Hiroko is a passionate language teacher. Including her graduateschool teaching assistant Gme, she taught K-16 Japanese learners for over 40 years, of which 25 years at UAA. She is a recipient of the 2022 Japanese Foreign Minister’s CommendaGon, the 2021 PNCFL Postsecondary Language Educator of the Year Award, and the 2015 American AssociaGon of Teachers of Japanese Teacher Award. She has been on the Sister CiGes Commission board for many years as a Chitose representaGve and has established a strong bond with Chitose.

Elizabeth Nerland

Darwin, Australia

Robin Brooks

Robin Brooks

Robin Brooks moved to Alaska in 2008 and lives in Anchorage with her husband, two children, and a box turtle. She has a background in international education, including work as a university study abroad advisor and a volunteer with several high school exchange programs. She is delighted to pursue more opportunities for cultural exchange and understanding with all of Anchorage’s Sister Cities. There are great programs in the works between Darwin and Anchorage, and she’s looking forward to strengthening the connections between our communities.

Claudia Farias

Harbin, China

Anna Vernaya

Lucy Bauer

Jin Chen

Jin Chen

Ms. Jin Chen is the COO/CFO and co-owner of Alaska Skylar Travel. Born and raised in China, Jin moved to Alaska after her sophomore year at China University of Petroleum. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in accounting and her MBA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Jin pursued a public accounting career for three years before joining Ms. Skylar Jiang in the spring of 2015 to develop the largest Chinese-focused tour operation in Alaska. Since she joined the company, Alaska Skylar Travel revenue has grown more than tenfold, and staff has expanded from 10 to 50 employees. Jin’s other ventures include a Us-China trade consulting firm, a cosmetic brand and a winter gear rental company.

Jin serves on the board of directors of Visit Anchorage and Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, on the Alaska Tourism Industry Association marketing committee, and as Commissioner for Anchorage’s Sister City partnership with Harbin, China. She regularly appears as a guest speaker at her alma mater the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Incheon, South Korea

Yeon Min

Yeon Min

Yeon Min is from Korea. She has lived in Anchorage since 1983. She worked in the IT field for over 30 years and retired from the State of Alaska. She loves the diversity and natural beauty of Alaska. She is excited to serve as a Sister Cities Commissioner especially for Whitby, England. She is looking forward to sharing the natural beauty of Anchorage and developing a strong relationship with the people of Whitby.

Emily Cho

Emily Cho

Emily Cho was appointed to the Anchorage Sister City Commission in 2023. She is one of the representatives of Incheon, South Korea. Emily has been with Rasmuson Foundation since August 2017, starting out as an intern. She transitioned to a full-time position in November 2017 and currently serves as communications associate. Emily works to stay involved with the Korean Community in Anchorage. She is a member of NexGen, a young Korean/Korean American group, where she volunteers her time at various events and helps connect the younger generation with the older generation. Emily served as Anchorage chapter leader of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum and as a volunteer teacher for high schooler students at St. Andrew Kim Parish’s Saturday school. In June 2023, she was named Young Professional of the Year by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Group. Emily is passionate about helping her community, uplifting young people and connecting with her culture. She lives with her husband, Paul, and their over 30 houseplants in Anchorage.

Magadan, Russia – SUSPENDED

Tromsø, Norway

Tetyana Robbins

Christopher Deen

Whitby, England

Lisa Lansdale

Lisa Lansdale

Lisa Lansdale grew up in Alaska and her interest in the Commission accelerated after she was a Rotary Exchange Student in Anchorage’s Sister City, Darwin, in the Northern Territory of Australia, for a year. Her large Sister Cities Art Mural is hanging in Darwin’s International Airport where she got to see it again when she returned as a School Principal on a Professional Exchange with a school in the Darwin area. As the Commissioner to Whitby, England, Lisa also has ties to the United Kingdom as she exports products from her small business in Alaska to the UK. She has also had a “penpal” in the UK for over twenty years that she has visited; they share common interests in history, photography, and the Royal Family. Lisa has ardently represented Alaska in a variety of overseas settings, both personally and professionally, and she is so excited to be serving now as a Commissioner. She is a parent to seven children and finds great joy through family time, business, writing, and creating art; Lisa lives in Chugiak with her husband, Robert. She is an Investigator for the Human Rights Commission through the State of Alaska and owns Whispering Cricket LLC, which designs, manufactures, and sells gaming accessories, cross body bags, art kits, and bamboo organizers to US and UK markets. Lisa is also a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA,) supporting and representing the interests of individual foster youth when they are in state custody. She highly recommends the Miners and Trappers Ball each March, as the best costume party on the planet, and feels lucky to live in such a beautiful state. She is grateful and honored to serve Anchorage on the Sister Cities Commission.

© 2024 Anchorage Sister Cities Commission.