Rascal the Raven welcomes Shawn Maltby as Care & Comfort Manager, and Max Fjelstad as Cultural & Facilities Manager for the 2006 Arctic Winter Games.
In just about four months the flame of the 2006 Arctic Winter Games will be lit and the call will go out to nearly 2,000 athletes from 7 circumpolar nations to; “Let the Games begin!” In that moment the results of the work and planning of more than three years will be underway. To assist that moment and the entire week of the Games goes as smoothly as possible two new professionals have been added to the full time Arctic Winter Games (AWG) staff. Shawn Maltby has taken on the position of Care and Comfort Manager and Max Fjelstad is the Cultural and Facilities Manager.
It was Cupid’s arrow that brought Maltby to the Kenai Peninsula, “About five years ago I was in Alaska on a fishing trip and ended up loosing our rental car keys and became stranded out there,” says Maltby. The young lady who responded to the distress call, Elisha Brewer, is now Shawn’s wife and the couple gave birth to their second child last week at Central Peninsula General Hospital. Maltby worked with the Marriott International hotel chain for 12 years before coming to Alaska and has an extensive background in the hospitality industry. Among Maltby’s responsibilities as Care and Comfort manager will be accommodations, transportation, medical service, security and food service for the participants involved in the games, “I’m totally excited about this opportunity because it’s a once in a lifetime event for our community, it’s going to be a great event and in reality my new born son is likely to be a grandfather the next time the Peninsula has a chance to host the Games” said Maltby.
Since their inception the Arctic Winter Games have grown into far more than an international athletic competition and has become recognized as a unique cultural experience, “Where else in the world can you go and spend a week where you can see original ethnic entertainment from 7 different nations,” asks AWG general manager Tim Dillon. Each contingency that participates in the games is required by the AWG International Committee to bring a cultural performing group separate from their athletic teams explained Dillon.
Now in charge of organizing those events and the facilities where they will be held is Max Fjelstad, of Kenai, “It’s the cultural performances that make the Arctic Winter Games unique in the world of sporting competition, visitors and spectators to the games will be able to see performances that they may never see again in their lives because cultural contingencies create many of these performances especially for this event, and they may never be seen again,” said Fjelstad. The cultural events will be held nightly during the week of the games and will perform from Seward to Homer, and in Kenai and Soldotna. Fjelstad has nearly a decade of experience in putting on events with groups from all 50 states and recently moved his family to the Peninsula from Metlakatla, Alaska. Fjelstad is busy traveling the Peninsula making arrangements and meeting people from a broad range of cultural experiences, “It’s important for folks to realize that there will be performances nightly and opportunities for local performers far beyond the opening ceremony show. I’m darn excited about this event, and I can feel the enthusiasm building as I meet and talk with people across the Peninsula,” said Fjelstad.
AWG General Manager Tim Dillon is also excited to have two new members added to his team as the days click away to the beginning of the games, “I hope that everyone will understand that we still only have 7 full time people working to make this huge event happen, and they can’t be at their desk in the office all day, they have to be out and about, in or attending meetings daily, so when people call our offices I hope they’ll help us out by leaving messages on our automated system if they don’t get a live voice, because we want to talk with them, their call is important to us, but leaving a message can be quickest way to get in touch with us,” said Dillon.
According to Dillon, the Arctic Winter Games website www.awg2006.org is updated daily and anyone interested in becoming a volunteer for the Games is encouraged to log on and register as soon as possible.
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