Board of Directors

Photo of Betsy Lawer

Betsy Lawer

Board Chair and CEO/President

Lawer shapes the bank’s vision, strategies and goals today and moving forward. As a third-generation Alaskan banker, Lawer grew up with many of Alaska’s business and community leaders. She learned the banking business literally at her father’s knee, earned her economics degree from Duke University, and returned in 1974 to work her way up to the leadership position she holds today. Lawer previously served on the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Board of Directors and their Audit Committee. She currently serves on the Smithsonian Alumni Board.

Photo of Lucy Mahan

Lucy Mahan

Vice Chair / Owner, Transitional Counseling

A licensed professional counselor, Mahan is a lifelong Alaskan whose family fishes commercially in Homer. She graduated from Anchorage’s West High and earned degrees from the University of Colorado and Alaska Pacific University. Mahan has dedicated her life to helping Alaskans achieve their dreams, both through her work with the bank and as owner and facilitator of Transitional Counseling, LLC. She chairs the board’s Compensation & Benefits Committee and Nominating Committee.

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Admiral Tom Barrett, USCG (Ret.)

Business Community Member

As the former President of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, Barrett focuses on building a high-performance culture. He previously served as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation and the first Administrator of the U.S. Pipeline Hazardous Material Safety Administration. He also spent 35 years in the U.S. Coast Guard where he commanded operations in Alaska and the North Pacific. Barrett chairs the board’s Wealth Management & Trust Committee and Compliance Committee.

Photo of John Binkley

John Binkley

Chairman, Godspeed Inc.

A lifelong Alaskan from Fairbanks, Binkley has an extensive record of local, successful business ownership. Shortly after moving to Bethel in 1977, Binkley founded a shipping business and became involved in public service, first on the Bethel City Council in the early 80s and then representing the region in the Alaska House of Representatives. He subsequently served in the Alaska State Senate, and was Chairman of the Alaska Railroad Corporation from 1997 to 2011, a board he still serves on today. Binkley was president of the Alaska Cruise Association from 2007 to 2019.

Photo of Perry Eaton

Perry Eaton

Lead Director and Artist

Eaton was born in Kodiak and grew up working on his father’s fishing boat. He is a shareholder and director of Koniag, Inc. He worked as a commercial lender for First National early in his professional career, which included serving as founder and CEO of the Alaska Native Heritage Center, and as an officer in various capacities at Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. Eaton has also established his name internationally as a talented artist, photographer and mask-maker. He serves as chair of the board’s Audit, Risk & Trust Audit Committee.

Photo of Darren Franz

Darren Franz

President - Lending Division, Chief Credit Officer

Franz brings decades of banking experience to First National. During his career, Franz has successfully overseen the management of retail and business banking in 16 Alaska communities with broad geographic, economic, and cultural diversity. As President of the Lending Division, Franz uses his proven expertise to lead the bank's full complement of lending managers and officers across the Great Land. He also provides oversight of branch operations in bank communities outside Anchorage and the bank's loan processing team. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics and is a graduate of the renowned Pacific Coast Banking School. Franz is a board member of the University of Alaska Foundation Finance and Audit Committee, and the Alaska Support Industry Alliance.

Photo of Jane Klopfer

Jane Klopfer

Business Community Member

Klopfer, a lifelong Alaskan, is an active member in the local business community. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, a Master of Business Administration in Finance and has extensive experience in investment management. Before joining the bank’s board, Klopfer worked for the investment firm McMorgan and Company and served as a senior vice president for the Alaska Permanent Capital Management Company. Klopfer chairs the board’s Investment Committee.

Photo of Doug Longacre

Doug Longacre

Former President, Business Community Member

Longacre’s grandparents mined the gold fields north of Fairbanks in 1902 and were original First National shareholders. Longacre continued that tradition at First National for nearly 48 years by mining the potential of Alaskans and Alaska businesses. The West Anchorage High graduate worked his way through college doing construction work before joining the bank in 1974. Longacre chairs the bank’s Wealth Management Investment Committee.

Photo of Pat Pitney

Pat Pitney

President, University of Alaska

As a longtime leader in the University of Alaska system, Pitney knows firsthand how valuable an education is to shaping a brighter future for Alaska students and the Great Land. Appointed president of the University of Alaska (UA) in February 2022, Pitney brings with her more than 23 years of experience working in the UA system, in addition to her time serving Alaska as the state budget director. She earned her MBA from University of Alaska Fairbanks and an engineering physics degree from Murray State University in Kentucky. Before moving to Alaska, she was a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team and won a gold medal in women’s air rifle.

Photo of Tom Tougas

Tom Tougas

Owner, Major Marine Tours

Tougas started his career in tourism as a tour bus driver while studying in college. Today, this longtime Alaska businessman owns Seward-based businesses Major Marine Tours, Harbor 360 Hotel and Hertz Rent-a-Car. A teacher of small-business classes in Seward, he has helped manage numerous companies since he started in the tourism industry in the 1970s and remains active in the community, having won many accolades for his efforts. Tougas serves as chair of the board’s Strategic Planning Committee.

Photo of Janet Weiss

Janet Weiss

Business Community Member

Weiss has more than 30 years of industry leadership expertise, including serving as the regional president of BP Alaska where she was responsible for the company’s oil and gas development and production. With firsthand local experience running a complex business, her perspective is invaluable to the bank and its mission to support communities across Alaska. Weiss received her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Oklahoma State University. She began her career in Alaska in 1986 as a process engineer before moving into reservoir engineering.