Staff Biographies

David van den Berg, Executive Director

David van den Berg came to Alaska in 1989 to help clean up oil spilled from the Exxon Valdez. He moved to Fairbanks later that year. Before joining the Downtown Association of Fairbanks as its Executive Director in July of 2008, he was the Executive Director of the Northern Alaska Environmental Center. Before that, he was president of Arctic Wild, a wilderness guiding company operating throughout Alaska’s Arctic. An avid dog musher, he once traversed the North Slope by dog team from Wiseman via Anaktuvuk Pass to Umiat, onward to Nuiqsut, then by an easterly misadventure through the Prudhoe Bay oilfields to the Dalton Highway. Perhaps surprisingly, he loves being downtown. David is married to Amy Cook; they have two children, Eleanor and Henri.


  Taryn Hughes, Executive Assistant 

Taryn Hughes has been planting seeds and sewing oats in Fairbanks since 1991. She originally relocated to Eielson Air Force Base with her family, and has done several outside stints in Colorado, Alabama, Las Vegas, and Italy. She has settled into a spot on the river in Fairbanks with her husband and three daughters, with two sons residing in Soldotna. Taryn has been teaching yoga in the Fairbanks community since 2015, and is proud to call the city and all its diversities her home base.

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