Staff

Michael MungerMichael Munger – Executive Director
Michael Munger has been the Executive Director of Cook Inlet RCAC since 2003 after serving 2 years as CIRCAC’s Director of Operations. Mike brings over 39 years of experience working with the oil industry in Alaska both in Cook Inlet and the North Slope. Prior to Cook Inlet RCAC, he was with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation during which time he served as an Environmental Specialist responsible for regulatory oversight of all Cook Inlet exploration, production, and refining facilities.

Sue_croppedSusan Saupe – Director of Science and Research
Susan Saupe received a B.S. in Chemistry (1985) and an M.S. in Chemical Oceanography (1990) from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. During the mid- to late 1980s, she worked on multiple stable isotope food-web studies in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas, including her thesis “Nutrient dynamics and carbon supply to the north Aleutian Shelf nearshore ecosystem.” In 1988, she moved to Woods Hole, MA, to work with a team developing stable isotope methods for assessing dissolved organic flow through east coast estuarine ecosystems. She returned to Alaska to conduct damage assessment studies for the University of Alaska Fairbanks following the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill until 1996 when she joined Cook Inlet RCAC’s staff. Since joining Cook Inlet RCAC, Ms. Saupe has developed a multi-disciplinary science program with multiple funding sources and partnering organizations. She was also the Lead Scientist for the first surveys of Alaska’s Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program and initiated a web-based ShoreZone coastal mapping program in Cook Inlet and surrounding areas that has since developed into a state-wide program sponsored by NOAA.

Steve "Vinnie" CatalanoSteve “Vinnie” Catalano – Director of Operations
Vinnie assumed the duties as the Director of Operations in February 2006. His background includes a 20-year career in the U.S. Coast Guard with an extensive background in Marine Safety as a pollution investigator, boarding officer, vessel engineer, and operator. He is qualified in all aspects of spill response and as part of his previous duties held a Tankerman’s license and Class “A” Commercial Driver’s License with the hazardous materials endorsement. After his retirement from the U.S. Coast Guard, he worked as a Vessel Manager for Alaska Maritime Agencies; followed by employment with Cook Inlet Spill Prevention and Response, Inc. (CISPRI), as a Logistics Technician and later as an Oil Spill Technician. He and his wife Robin have been residents of the Kenai area since 1990. Residing in Nikiski, they enjoy motorcycling, fishing and spending time with their nine grandchildren.

LGiguereLynda Giguere – Director of Public Outreach
Lynda joined Cook Inlet RCAC in 2012 and brings extensive experience in media, public and government relations. Her career in state government service began as the personal secretary to former Gov. Jay Hammond, followed by public and constituent relations work in both the legislative and executive branches, including six years as Public Information Officer for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. In the private sector, Lynda headed marketing and promotions for Perseverance Theatre, was program director for a national strategic communications firm, a PR consultant, and wilderness guide for Alaska Discovery Expeditions. Lynda has made Alaska her home since 1975.

Jerry RombachJerry Rombach – Director of Administration
Jerry joined the Council staff in 2011. He moved to Alaska from the St. Louis area in 2009 after a long and diverse career in the real estate industry. His broad experience includes trade association management, government advocacy, development of codes and standards and regulatory enforcement, corporate communications, and residential and commercial property development and management. Jerry and his wife, Cindy, live in Sterling and enjoy traveling, exploring Alaska, cooking, sea kayaking, hiking and fishing.

Maritta NewgrenMaritta Eledge, Accounting and Grants Manager
Maritta has worked for Cook Inlet RCAC since 2006 with a background in accounting, contracts, and business management, and is certified in Federal Grant Management.

 

Vaito'a HeavenVaito’a Heaven, Administrative Assistant
CIRCAC’s newest member of the staff, Vaito’a Heaven, joined us in November 2015. Before moving to the United States in 1993, Vaito’a attended College in New Zealand with a major Business Studies and a minor in Accounting. After making her way to Alaska from the San Francisco Bay area in 1994, Vaito’a lived throughout Cook Inlet and Southcentral Alaska, residing in Kodiak, Wasilla, Homer, and Anchor Point. She and her family settled in Kenai in 2005. In addition to her professional experience in the United States, Vaito’a has worked in New Zealand, Australia, Samoa and the Marshall Islands.