Storyknife is pleased to welcome in 2020 with a new Advisory Council member, Jo Michalski.
Jo is an entrepreneur, community activist and philanthropist. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota and taught 9th grade social studies for the Minneapolis School District. She moved to Alaska in 1971 and traveled the state developing environmental education curriculum for the Alaska Department of Education and organized the first and second Governor’s Conference on Environmental Education in the mid-70’s.
In 1980 she launched her business career creating and running multiple successful retail businesses over 32 years. She is the recipient of the Athena Award and the YWCA Woman of Achievement award.
In 2015 she was inducted into the Alaska Business Hall of Fame.
Jo was a Trustee and Chair of the University of Alaska Foundation Board for 10 years. She also served on the Alaska Community Foundation Board and chaired that board. She chaired a successful 100 million dollar Endowment Campaign for the Alaska Community Foundation that concluded in January 2019 with the creation of the Alaska Fund. She was a founding board member and chair of the Anchorage YWCA and in 1998 received the Women’s Entrepreneur Award given by the YWCA of the United States. She has served on and chaired numerous non-profit boards throughout Alaska and is known as a highly successful fundraiser. In 2016 she was inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame. Jo currently serves as a member of the Smithsonian National Board.
Jo and her husband Peter have two sons, two daughter-in-laws and two grandchildren. Peter is a retired Judge and their sons are attorneys in Anchorage.