Meet Stacy Barnes, Director of Government Relations and Public Affairs for the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, a self-supporting public corporation owned by the state. This communications pro has used her PR skills and business acumen to drive results for non-profits and for local and state government. As the PRSA Alaska Student/Education Committee co-chair, she gives back to the profession by sharing her experience and insights with tomorrow’s talent.
“I have the privilege of leading a small team of communicators who share stories about families benefiting from AHFC’s programs,” said Stacy. “We’ve been around for 51 years and support Alaskans from homelessness all the way through homeownership, all while generating a solid financial return for the State of Alaska. The work feeds my mind and my soul!”
Hometown: Because her father traveled a lot for work, Stacy lived all over Alaska, However, she claims split hometowns: “Nome and a rural town in Minnesota where I graduated high school.”
• Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism & Public Communications from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2002
• Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Alaska Pacific University in 2008
How does membership in PRSA assist you?
She notes that PRSA has been a support from the beginning of her career journey. As a student at UAA, she was active in Alaska chapter of the Public Relations Society Student Association (PRSSA), and soon began attending national conferences. In 2001, she received PRSA Alaska’s Len McLean Scholarship which is awarded to students actively pursuing PR, journalism and/or communications studies and a career.
“Very early in my career, Alaska’s PR professionals influenced and mentored me, exposing me to new opportunities and refining various communications skills,” said Stacy.
Part of her AHFC job now includes participating in meetings with stakeholders who have a financial interest in the corporation’s work, including Wall Street’s rating agencies. “I’ve earned an MBA but there is no substitute for connecting with colleagues who do similar work,” said Stacy. “So, in 2017, I accepted the chairmanship of PRSA’s Financial Communications Section.”
“While my network with national peers has grown, its Alaskans who I admire most. We need to look no further than the long list of Alaskans with their APR, including Michelle Egan, 2023 chair for this incredible international organization to see that our state is favorably filled with seasoned pros,” she said. “We also have enthusiastic new talent with fresh perspectives and as our profession evolves, I appreciate learning from both.”
Have you volunteered, or are you currently volunteering, in support of the Alaska Chapter?
Stacy is in her second year as co-chair of the chapter’s PRSSA/education committee, co-led by Gary Scott. “Now that students are back in session and our response to COVID is evolving, I’m eager to connect with them and grow involvement in the chapter and next class of Alaska’s professionals,” she added.