Board Of Directors, Officers & CEO

Michael E. Curry – Chair and President

Michael Curry has has been an Eklutna, Inc. Board member where he has held the various positions of Chairman, President and Vice-President since 1990. With the establishment of Eklutna Services, LLC., which recently graduated from its 8(a) government certification, he held the position of Vice President and Board member. Michael has also sat on the Knakanan Board of Directors as President, a Board member of Eklutna Utilities Inc., and has held the positions of President and Vice President for Ikluat, Incorporated.

Michael has been self employed since 1982, where Little Bear Construction focuses on site excavation and other earth work. He has been responsible for directing corporate strategy, planning and research, raising capital, insurance and bonding, managing legal, regulatory, administrative, financial, recruitment and human resources. He has also worked on and coordinated projects with civil, structural, environmental engineering and architectural firms, contractors, planners, contract administrators, developers, and others who understand the different professional perspectives held in construction projects and documents.

His experience is also in environmental permitting, regulatory compliance, governmental affairs, agency coordination, project development services, planning, zoning and community developmental procedures from being on various committees and has worked with the Federal and State governmental procurement guidelines and the contracting process. Michael is a member of the NALA Executive Committee, the 12(b) Committee and CIRI Sand & Gravel Committee. He also is a member of Municipality of Anchorage committees, Long-Range Transportation Plan Committee and the Eagle River Comprehensive Plan Committee. Michael is the Chairman of the Powder Reserve Master Association.

Lee Stephan – Vice President & Corporate Secretary

Born December 28, 1954 in Palmer, Alaska, Lee Stephan attended Chugiak Elementary and Chugiak, West and Galena High Schools while obtaining a general education diploma in 1974. He also attended a vocational school in Kenai to become a certified Marine Deck-hand. Lee tried his hand at corporate board service first time in 1982, lasting one term. After gaining a little more knowledge and experience, he returned to serve the Shareholders of Eklutna, Inc. from 1984-2007, a total of 26 consecutive years of selfless service. Besides being a Board Member, he has held the Board officer posts of Treasurer, Vice-President, and President and held the position of interim Chief Executive Officer from November 2005 to May 2006. He was re-elected to the Board at the 2011 Annual Shareholders Meeting and currently holds the position of Corporate Vice President & Secretary.

From 1986 to 1988, he attempted to secure an Associates degree in business administration from Alaska Pacific University and later University of Alaska, but due to the shear volume of responsibilities, family of four children and a wife, work as the Corporation vice-president, and later tribal administrator for NVE, he surrendered his chance at a degree to service the people. In 1991, he began his career as Tribal Administrator and later titled Chief Executive Officer, to the 1984 reactivated tribal government of the Native Village of Eklutna. In that capacity, Lee served 264 tribal members until May 2006.

Lee was appointed to the Rural Governance Commission in 1998-99, during the Tony Knowles administration. He saw through to the completion of what was named the Millennium Agreement, which was signed between tribes and the State of Alaska. Lee served on the Alaska Federation of Natives Board of Directors; Alaska Inter-Tribal Council; Alaska Native Health Board; Alaska Tribal Health Consortium Board and as an alternate on behalf of AITC on the Rural-Cap board. On behalf of the Native Village of Eklutna, he secured them a seat at the Alaska Tribal Health Compact negotiations with the Indian Health Services in which NVE became one of only two actual tribes, of the thirteen Health Compact co-signer of Alaska, taking over management of the Alaska Native Health Care system.

Mr. Stephan enjoys his time with is grandson Jordon Lee Wilde-Stephan and granddaughter Hailee Marie Adams at his home in Eklutna Village, Alaska, as well as attending to his subsistence lifestyle of hunting and fishing.

Kim Zello – Assistant Treasurer

Kim Zello is currently a Board of Director and has served on the Board of Director’s at Eklutna, Inc. for over 25 years.

Photo Compliments of Tarah Hargrove Photography

She has a degree in Management Science from Alaska Pacific University, and has served in various capacities as President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.  Kim has American Management Association Certifications in Executive Leadership, Negotiating to Win, Communication, and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  Kim earned a Certification in Computerized Accounting from Charter College in 2011. In 2019 she completed the Triple Impact Leadership training program via scholarships from the Mat-Su Health Foundation and Eklutna, Inc.  Ms. Zello also received a Certificate in Leadership Advocacy from the Just Leadership USA (JLUSA) organization in  2019.

She has served as a Board Member of Fallen Up Ministries 501 (C) 3 since 2015.  Fallen Up Ministries focus is on the recovery and transitional needs of inmates, felons and addicts. Kim is a member of the Mat-Su Valley Opioid Task Force and served on the Governor’s Statewide Opiate Task Force in 2016, at the appointment of the Mat-Su Health Foundation.  In 2017 Ms. Zello completed training from The McShin Foundation Leadership Training Institute:  Peer Addiction Recovery Training on Substance Use Disorders and Basic Recovery Coach and Peer Leader Skills.  Kim and the Founder of Fallen Up Ministries, Terria Walters, were instrumental in initializing discussions that led to the 2017 building of the new Ernie Turner Drug/Alcohol Rehabilitation Center on Eklutna Lake Rd.

Kim has prior experience in the Real Estate industry and is familiar with Commercial, Residential and Property Management.  She currently resides in Palmer and enjoys horses, dip net fishing, and advocacy work.

Maria D.L. Coleman- Treasurer

Maria D.L. Coleman has served on the Eklutna, Inc. Board of Directors and other positions since 1995, currently serving as Treasurer. She is also part of the NALA Executive Committee with the Municipality of Anchorage and State of Alaska, and serves as a delegate for the Alaska Federation of Natives.

She is Vice President (Second Chief) of Native Village of Eklutna since 1998, and served on the Tribal Council since 1994. Maria is a Lead Judge for the Traditional Tribal Court. The Eklutna Tribal Government has appointed her as a Board Member of Cook Inlet Tribal Council since 2012.

Maria was honored by receiving the 2017 Presidential Award for Volunteer Work from Bridge Builders of Anchorage. She gained valuable experience serving on the Alaska Migrant Education Statewide Advisory Council, Cooperative Extension Service Advisory Board, and JBER Community Environmental Board (CEB). She was named on the Dena’ina Center Plaque as a Cultural Advisory Group member. Maria and her family are privileged to perform Dena’ina songs at public events for nearly ten years.

Education history for Maria includes Alaska Pacific University 2015, Village Management Institute 2004, University of Anchorage 2006 and 1989-1991, Anchorage Community College 1981-1982, and graduated from Copper Valley School in 1971.

Maria is proud to be the daughter of Elizabeth Mills, and a granddaughter/great granddaughter of the honored Ezi Chiefs of Eklutna and Matanuska. Maria was one of ten children adopted by Herlee and Rita Stineburg of Palmer, Alaska, and grew up comfortable with having two mothers. Her five biological children have given her seventeen grandchildren and one great grand child! Maria also has numerous “Spirit Children” who claim her as family and she enjoys providing them a sense of belonging.

Kyle Foster – Chief Executive Officer

In November, 2020, Eklutna Inc. Board of Directors was pleased to announce the promotion of Kyle Foster into the Chief Executive Officer position of the parent Company Eklutna, Inc. Kyle joined the Eklutna team as General Manager in July 2020. 

As the CEO, he will lead the parent company as well as provide leadership and work with the senior management teams of Eklutna’s subsidiaries, Eklutna Services, LLC (dba Eklutna Sand & Gravel), the natural resources division, and Eklutna Construction & Maintenance, LLC, the construction and federal contracting  division.

Kyle received his Bachelor of Arts in International Business from Seattle Pacific University and his Masters of Business Administration from West Texas A&M University. Kyle brings a robust background of business experience, having worked in the Alaska Native corporation industry as the Executive Director of Aleutia and international business experience having worked in management for Trident Seafoods for numerous years including as the Qingdao China Manager for its Southeast Asia office. Kyle is also currently elected to the Board of Directors for Aleut Corporation as well as is appointed to the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights.

According to the Eklutna, Inc. Bylaws, Article V, Section 1, officers need not be directors of the Corporation.