Our People

About Our People

The Ninilchik Village Tribe is the modern Alaska Native tribe of most of the southern Kenai Peninsula. Its descendants trace their roots from ancient peoples within its tribal boundaries. The tribe’s governing organization, the Ninilchik Traditional Council (NTC), is the presiding body over tribal affairs and maintaining tribal sovereignty. Headquartered in Ninilchik, the Ninilchik Traditional Council provides services and outreach for both tribal members and the public residing in tribal boundaries.

Board of Directors

Executive Director

Departments & Staff

Elections

Employment & Volunteers

Ivan Z. Encelewski

Executive Director

iencelewski@ninilchiktribe-nsn.gov

Ivan Z. Encelewski is a tribal member who serves as the Executive Director for the Ninilchik Traditional Council and oversees the executive branch of all NTC departments and services. He has over 20 years of experience working in the NTC organization including 6 years in the Tribal Services department before first becoming Executive Director in 2001. He is also a shareholder of Cook Inlet Region, Inc. and Ninilchik Native Association, Inc.

Ivan was born in Soldotna, Alaska and is a father of three. While growing up in Ninilchik he attended Ninilchik School where he graduated as valedictorian in 1995. He has also studied at the College of Engineering and Technology at Northern Arizona University and business administration and law and Alaska Native studies at Kenai Peninsula College. Ivan has also earned certificates in numerous vocational trainings for tribal governance, business, and human resources. Additionally to seasonally being a local commercial fisherman throughout his life he has been employed by production companies Peak Oilfield Service and Halliburton.

Being experienced in Alaska Native governance, Ivan is a current board member as the Ninilchik representative to the regional non-profit Cook Inlet Tribal Council and a board member of the Alaska Native Justice Center. He has also previously been on the NTC Board of Directors, and has served on the board of directors for the Alaska Federation of Natives, the Alaska Native Health Board, the Cook Inlet Treaty Tribes, and the Alaska Native Tribal Judicial Council.

The main issues Ivan works in support of are enforcing the Ninilchik tribe’s subsistence rights and empowering tribal values and community health by supporting efforts to combat addiction and provide access to mental health care. He strives to encourage younger tribal members to maintain an active role in tribal activities and affairs on any level they are able to perform in order to ensure the tribe’s strength in the future. Ivan fosters leadership and looks forward to seeing the next generation continue to give the tribe a renewed sense of identity and permanence.

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Board of Directors

R. Greg Encelewski

President

Current Ninilchik Traditional Council President Greg Encelewski is a Ninilchik elder and has been active in tribal governance and issues for more than 40 years. He is also a commercial fisherman and has an over 25 year long career with Conoco Phillips. In addition to his work with the Ninilchik Tribe he also serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Ninilchik Natives Association, Inc., and is a member of the South-central Regional Advisory Council of the Federal Subsistence Board. Greg is also a retired veteran from the Navy where he served in the US Navy Construction Battalion. Among his goals and visions for the tribe are protecting indigenous rights for all Native people, creating a tribal land base for cultural development, and attaining greater economic independence. Having four sons, seven grandchildren, and a great grandchild he is dedicated to working for subsistence rights for future generations to be able to use the resources of their land.

W. Dean Kvasnikoff

Vice President

Dean Kvasnikoff is a Ninilchik-born tribal elder who is a strong advocate for subsistence rights in Ninilchik. In addition to being active in traditional activities he has had a long career in construction and industrial projects including 13 years with the Alaska Railroad. He has also received licensing from the US Coast Guard. Currently he owns and operates private contractor Alaska Native Resource Consulting on the Kenai Peninsula for Cook Inlet Region, Inc. projects. Dean has two children, five grandchildren, and six great grandchildren, and hopes to preserve and revitalize traditional ways of life for generations to come.

Kenny Odman

Director

Tribal elder, Kenny Odman was born in Anchorage, Alaska and is a dedicated community volunteer, as well as an experienced painter and roofer with a career of over 30 years in construction. He has previouslyserved as Vice Commander of the Sons of the American Legion Post 18 in Ninilchik and been a volunteer for Ninilchik Emergency Services and the Kenai Peninsula Fair. Kenny is also a past NTC employee as a maintenance laborer. With six children and 11 grandchildren Kenny keeps future generations in mind and his goal is to maintain NTC services and programs as well as create more, “so the tribe will benefit and continue to strive for more.”

Jamie Leman

Director

Tribal elder, Jamie Leman was born in Fairbanks and taught school in Fairbanks, Anchor Point, and Ninilchik for over 30 years and was a KPBSD Teacher of Excellence in 2008/2009. Jamie has a Masters Degree in Secondary Education, a Bachelors Degree in Regular and Special Education and has served on the NTC Board in the past. Jamie has three daughters, four granddaughters and one grandson and will work hard to maintain a high level of excellence in the Tribal Government and to ensure its continued success for future generations of the tribe. It is important to know where we came from, who we are, and to ensure continued education and opportunities looking forward.

Whitney Schollenberg

Secretary & Treasure

Whitney Schollenberg was born in Homer, Alaska and holds a Bachelor of Science in Media Arts degree from Eastern Oregon University. She grew up in Ninilchik where she worked on her family’s set net fishery and graduated from Ninilchik High School. Whitney currently lives in Ninilchik and is now a stay-at-home mother of one, and she also operates her own professional photography business. With her experience as program assistant at the CIRI Foundation, Whitney has witnessed what tribal and native organizations can accomplish and she encourages the involvement of young people in tribal activities and governance. She would like to work on emphasizing the role of education for not only tribal members but the local community as a whole.

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Elections: Self-Governance by the People

Who do we elect?

The Ninilchik Traditional Council carries out elections for:

  • The NTC Council (Board of Directors)
  • Tribal court judges (currently inactive)
  • and any resolutions, initiatives, or amendments requiring a vote of the tribal membership

The Role of a Voting Tribal Member

The definition of a voting tribal member is defined in Article VII of the Ninilchik Tribal Constitution as follows:
“Tribal members must be registered to vote in order to participate in any election of the Ninilchik Tribe. Only enrolled, full members who are direct, lineal descendants of families with ancestral ties to the village of Ninilchik, who are eighteen years of age or older and who reside within the State of Alaska shall be eligible to register to vote pursuant to provisions of the election ordinance. Other enrolled, full tribal members who do not have ancestral ties to the village of Ninilchik but who are registered to vote on August 17, 2004 shall be eligible to vote in all future tribal elections in accordance with provisions of the election ordinance. Tribal members who no longer reside in the State of Alaska shall lose their status as registered voters and are not eligible to vote.”

When and How to Vote

NTC Elections are held once a year prior to the Annual Meeting of the Tribal Membership and are conducted by mail-in ballot with a deadline of the second Monday of November. Results are posted by the Election Committee and are made official if uncontested after the deadline to contest.
All voting tribal members are encouraged to routinely maintain their contact information with the Tribal Services department in order to promptly receive important election material including notices and ballots.

Council Election Cycle

Council seat terms are three years and staggered over three cycles, which means there is at least one council seat up for election each year.

Current Election Cycle:

2017-2020: R. Greg Encelewski, W. Dean Kvasnikoff
2018-2021: Jamie Leman
2019-2022: Whitney Schollenberg, Kenny Odman

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Admin & Maintenance Department

Shelley Self

Deputy CEO
sself@ninilchiktribe-nsn.gov

Maintenance Staff

Eric Hanson
Facilities Manager
Dave Nordeen
Maintenance Laborer
Nancy Pulliam
Maintenance Laborer
Michael Pinnow
Maintenance Laborer
Cindy Schnabl
Maintenance Laborer

Finance Department

Maria Goins, B.Ed

Chief Finance Officer
mgoins@ninilchiktribe-nsn.gov

Finance Department Staff

Darla Bradley
Administrative Assistant
Diane Reynolds
Procurement/Contracting Officer
Stormy Walkoff
Admin Secretary-Receptionist

Tribal Services Department

Christina Pinnow

Tribal Services Director
cpinnow@ninilchiktribe-nsn.gov

Tribal Services Staff

Alicia Morris
Social Services Assistant
Bettyann Steciw
ICWA & Social Services Specialist
Jamie Oskolkoff
Tribal Services Assistant

Housing Department

Bob Crosby has been directing the Ninilchik Tribe’s housing programs for over 18 years and is experienced with housing policies as they are shaped by demographics, economics, and the health of the environment. He has seen numerous new homes and housing projects through the stages of needs outreach to concept, construction, and completion. As an advocate for those with housing needs, Bob works to give people a sense of ownership and responsibility that leads to personal and family fulfillment, which in turn benefits our communities’ health as a whole.

Resource & Environment Department

Darrel Williams

Resource & Environment Director
darrel@ninilchiktribe-nsn.gov

Health & Community Department

Janet Mullen

Tribal Health Director (RN, BSN)
jmullen@ninilchiktribe-nsn.gov

Janet obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 1995 at American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts. She started in pediatric home health, working with high risk newborns and children who needed 24-7 in-home care.

Janet moved to Bethel, Alaska in 1997 and worked for the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation as Home Care Director, traveling to over 20 villages in the YK Delta until 2002. She moved to Anchor Point in 2002 and worked for South Peninsula Hospital as their Home Health Director until 2011, when she was hired as the Tribal Health Director for Ninilchik Traditional Council.

Janet enjoys golf and numerous other outdoor activities with her German Shepherd in her leisure time.

Community Clinic Medical Staff

Carrie Warren
Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
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Carrie is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner and has been working at the Ninilchik Community Clinic since November of 2010. She has been a Registered Nurse since 1991. Her clinical background was primarily in pediatrics and she was a pediatric emergency room supervisor in Phoenix, Arizona before relocating to Alaska in 2008. She obtained her Family Nurse Practitioner from The University of Phoenix, graduating in 2009.
 
Carrie provides holistic care to all ages within the clinic. In 2016, she became interested in promoting weight management and wellness to the community. She became certified in Obesity Management and created the WRAP (Weight Reduction Assistance Program) with the help of her colleagues. She tries to prevent adverse health out comes before they start and by promoting health and wellness, she feels she is supporting the overall health of the community.
 
Carrie loves fishing, hiking, gardening, and raising her two sons, German Shepherds, and cat with her husband in Homer.

Denise Brock
Case Manager & Registered Nurse (RN)
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Denise obtained an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree from Montcalm Community College of Sidney, MI in 1994 and received her BSN from Wesleyan University in 2014. Denise has extensive experience in nursing including long term care, medical surgical nursing, and obstetrics. She spent many years as a board-certified emergency nurse as well as nursing management prior to working at NTC.
As Case Manager for the clinic, she oversees coordination of the referral processes and participates in all aspects of patient care. Denise is a certified health coach and provides personalized guidance for participants in the WRAP program. She is also certified by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium to offer education in diabetes prevention.
Denise enjoys outdoor activities such as gardening in her spare time, as well as fishing, fishing, and more fishing.

Dirk Tanner
Physician Assistant (PA)
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Dirk completed his PA training at Midwestern University in 2007 and spent the past 12 years working in emergency medicine and urgent care as a remote village provider in Alaska. He has lived in Alaska since 2009 and is very happy to be part of the team at the Ninilchik Community Clinic.
 
In addition to family practice, he is serving as a certified health coach in the WRAP program, is a certified Kinesio Taping Professional, and offers cold laser therapy.  
 
Dirk is an avid farmer who raises a variety of livestock.

Dr. Sarah Spencer
Doctor of Osteopathy (DO)
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Dr. Spencer is board-certified physician in both family and addiction medicine. She runs the Medication assisted treatment (MAT) program for patients with opioid and alcohol use disorders. This program utilizes medication along with social support to help patients reduce the harmful use of alcohol and drugs. Telemedicine services are available to help patients in remote areas access needed care.
 
Dr. Spencer volunteers with the Southern Kenai Peninsula Opioid Task Force, the Homer Exchange syringe access program, and provides naloxone (Narcan) overdose training through the State of Alaska’s Project HOPE. In addition, she works as a treatment consultant and physician trainer with the State of Alaska to improve access to opioid addiction treatment across the state.
 
She lives in Anchor Point with her family and enjoys gardening, berry picking, cooking, and baking in her spare time.

Irene Nelson
Medical Assistant
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Irene has an Associate Degree in Paramedical Technology and has worked as a Community Health Aide. In the early 2000’s, Irene volunteered with Ninilchik Emergency Services. Her hobbies include painting, teaching art classes, fostering animals, and traveling.

Maricel Folkert
Community Health Aide (CHA/MA/PBT)
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Maricel has been a Medical Assistant and Phlebotomist since 2008 and been involved the medical field for 11 years, most recently achieving Community Health Aide certification in 2018. Maricel received training from the University of Alaska Anchorage and the Alaska Native Medical Center (ANTHC).
 
Maricel dotes upon her pets and garden which keep her leisure moments extremely busy.

Community Outreach Staff

Christine Prokop
Licensed Professional Counselor
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Christine is a Licensed Professional Counselor and earned her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Capella University, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  She grew up in Minnesota, but now considers Alaska her home.  Prior to working for NTC, Christine was a clinician at the King Cove Community Health Clinic.
 
Christine has worked in the behavioral health field for the past 18 years.  Her professional experience includes working with individuals experiencing anxiety, depression, mental illness, co-occurring disorders, substance abuse issues, and trauma.  She is passionate about working with those experiencing body image issues and eating disorders.  Christine provides treatment to adults and children in the Ninilchik Tribal area as well as maintaining and implementing the Behavioral Health Services Program.
 
Christine enjoys traveling and spending time with her two cats and yellow lab.

Katie Matthews
Youth Outreach Program Coordinator
Laura Ullmann
Patient Advocate Case Manager
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Laura obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of Northern Colorado in 1996 and has been involved in supporting individuals in accessing healthcare and community resources for over 15 years. She joined the NTC Behavioral Health team in December of 2017.
Laura provides patient advocacy for those seeking behavioral health services, including overseeing the referral process. She also provides case management support for the Behavioral Health Licensed Professional Counselors.

Maria Calhoun
Licensed Professional Counselor
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Maria has held various roles in the mental health field for over 16 years and has been a Licensed Professional Counselor since 2010. She has worked primarily with adolescents and adults, providing assessment and psychotherapy in university, clinic, and private practice settings.
 
Maria is committed to providing confidential, compassionate, and change-oriented counseling while recognizing diverse backgrounds and perspectives. She values the privilege of journeying alongside those who seek to live into a more enlivened, enriched way of being. Using a variety of therapeutic approaches, Maria works from a relational style of therapy, drawing upon cognitive behavioral, mindfulness-based, and trauma-informed methodologies. Maria is also trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy.
 
A Homer resident, Maria enjoys fly-fishing, hiking, and subsistence activities like berry picking, canning, and hunting.

Tiffany Stonecipher
Elders Outreach Program Coordinator

Clinic & Outreach Administration

Anna Sutton
Clinic Information Coordinator
Jennifer Day
Clinic Administration & Patient Accounts Specialist
Jennifer Miller
Medical Biller
Kim Steik
Receptionist Fill-In
Leslie McCombs
Receptionist

Medication Assisted Treatment Program

Annette Hubbard
MAT Case Manager & Behavioral Health Aide
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Annette facilitates intakes into the MAT program and helps connect people with resources both within the program and the community. She has 9 years of sobriety, and she became sober in a MAT program through Southcentral Foundation when it started approximately 12 years ago.
 
She will graduate in 2019 from University of Alaska- Fairbanks with her certificate in Rural Human Services and continue with her degree in Human Services. As an NTC tribal member, Annette both participates in and creates community activities.
 
She lives and works within the community with her dog. You can find her walking the beach, at the gym doing yoga or cycling.

Bob Stark
Peer Support Specialist
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Bob is a lifelong Alaskan. After graduating high school in Seward, he served in the Army as an Airborne Infantryman between 2002-2006, doing two tours in Iraq. He used his Montgomery GI Bill for EMT school, trade school, and college, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.
 
As a Peer Support Specialist, Bob draws upon his own experiences to offer guidance in struggles as well as helping to celebrate the victories.
 
Whether working on his farm, being with friends and family, or going on adventures with his dogs, Bob revels in living life.

Kathleen Totemoff
MAT Project Director
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Kathleen has worked in behavioral health for 20 years and possesses a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She worked as the Community Development Director under an Administration for Native Americans grant, served on the Ouzinkie City Council, the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference (SWAMC) Board of Directors, and the Ouzinkie Community Holding Company (OCHC) Board of Directors – helping to bring the Community Quota Entity program to local families.
 
Her experience includes in-home and school-based behavioral intervention, residential treatment, and Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy. Since 2010, she has also provided distance education as an Adjunct Faculty member of Kodiak College’s Business Department.
 
Kathleen, as a mother of two, is passionate about improving access to education and behavioral health services, as well as partnering with individuals and organizations to increase opportunities for rural and Native communities.

Lukas Ficklin
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
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Lukas is independently licensed with the Alaska State Board of Professional Counselors as well as the New Mexico Therapy and Practice Board to provide therapeutic interventions for clients seeking a safe and confidential place to improve upon their mental health.
 
Actively counseling since March 2009, Lukas dedicated his educational training and experiential practice to addressing issues that provoke low self-esteem, low self-worth, anxiety, identity issues, trauma, self-doubt, substance abuse, and emotional impulses; like anger. His experience includes extensive time and training with individuals ages 13 and up. Lukas enjoys teaching communication skills like positive self-talk, conflict resolution, and assertiveness training that allows an individual to express themselves and be heard.
 
The clinical approach Lukas adopted is a mixture of Cognitive Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral techniques, and Reality Therapy. Person-Centered Approach and Motivational Interviewing are also used to build good rapport through communication and respect for where an individual would like to make changes.

Savanna Brinker
Peer Support Specialist
Zoë Dixon
Peer Support Specialist
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Zoë Dixon first began working with Ninilchik Traditional Council fulfilling the Resilient Alaska Youth Leader role in 2015 and has since gained additional experience within their Clinical and Administration offices fulfilling temporary coverage for short time periods. Zoë is pleased to have found a permanent position as a Peer Recovery Support Specialist within the MAT program, and the knowledge she gained at Central Washington University in Communication and Psychology will be extremely beneficial to this position. For the better part of a decade, Zoë worked in Redmond, WA, where she supervised a department handling audio engineering, voiceovers, messaging, media and marketing for globally-known brands until she moved permanently to Alaska to be with her spouse. In her free time, Zoë loves singing, crafting, fishing, hunting, painting, music, audio engineering, dancing and being outdoors. Zoë is passionate about helping others succeed without judgement, making positive differences in our community and eradicating negative stigmas surrounding those who are severely misunderstood.

Health & Wellness Club Staff

Brie Wallace
Manager
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Brie is an 8th generation Ninilchik native, born and raised. She has worked for 10 years at the Ninilchik Health and Wellness Club (9 years as the Club Manager) and loves working in such a health-oriented place. Aside from day-to-day operations, she also enjoys using her skills learned from earning degrees in art and design to create unique and original club apparel.
 
Brie enjoys spending her free time with her husband and two daughters, training for half-marathons, chasing the northern lights with her camera, and working on different personal art projects.

Catherine West
Doctor of Chiropractic & Certified ART Provider (DC, ART)
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Catherine is a licensed chiropractor in both Alaska and California and a certified Active Release Techniques (ART) provider. While working in San Francisco and Fresno, California, she volunteered at numerous athletic events, including the San Francisco Marathon, AIDS Lifecycle, and the Kona Ironman. Using diverse chiropractic techniques allows her to modify treatment to suit specific issues or limitations. Catherine also practiced martial arts for several years and enjoyed teaching children and adults.
 
She lives in Happy Valley with her husband, Allan. Catherine enjoys working at the Ninilchik Health and Wellness Club, helping the community get fit and stay active.

Elise Spofford
Certified Yoga Instructor
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Elise completed her yoga certification with the SchoolYoga Institute in 2009 and is currently pursuing an advanced teacher training qualification with San Francisco-based teacher, Jason Crandall. She instructs a variety of weekly yoga classes at the Ninilchik Health & Wellness Club and has led guest classes and workshops for studios in Alaska and Minnesota.​

In 2013, Elise completed her studies in massage therapy at the Institute of Therapeutic Massage of Western Colorado. She is licensed in the state of Alaska and is an active member of the Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals. Elise has continued her massage therapy education with training in precision neuromuscular therapy, myofascial techniques, and reiki.

Elizabeth Wedner
HWC Fill-In
Kayci Hanson
Certified Yoga Instructor
Tammy Zweiacher
Personal Trainer
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Tammy received her bachelor’s degree in health and physical education K-12 with a minor in science. She worked as a recreation supervisor for the City of Ponca in Oklahoma and managed city league athletics for adults as well as teaching elementary school physical education.
 
Tammy has been an NAFC Certified Personal Trainer and boasts 30+ years of experience in the gym. She is an expert in fitness and loves sharing her extensive knowledge and experience with clients.

Terri Leman
HWC Attendant
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Terri has lived in Ninilchik for 36 years. In 1989, she began working for NTC in what was called the Rural Alcohol Services, which developed into the adult and youth outreach programs that still thrive today. Terri started the Ninilchik Health and Wellness Club through a diabetes prevention grant and the Club has since continued to flourish. After managing the Club for 6 years, she returned to run the front desk.
 
Terri spends her off-time renovating her new home and chasing her grandchildren around.

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Interested in joining our team?

Here are the positions we’re looking to fill!

Resource Technician
To provide support in the Ninilchik Traditional Council Resource Department in the development, operation,
maintenance, and management of current and future Resource programs that are technically sound,
scientifically based, and in conformance with policies of NTC. This position is designed to provide support to
the Ninilchik Subsistence Fisheries and Resource/Environmental Programs.
Download Position Details

Adult/Child Psychiatrist
The Adult/Child Psychiatrist helps Ninilchik Traditional Council (NTC) Community Clinic patients by evaluating medical and psychosocial conditions, developing and implementing treatment plans, including prescription of psychotropic medications, and monitoring and evaluating treatment results.
Download Position Details

Volunteering

Tribal cultural and outreach events and services require a great team to put them on, and often these teams require the time and skills of dedicated volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering please check this page for upcoming NTC volunteer opportunities. All volunteers will receive a certificate of acknowledgement to thank them for their service.

Please note that volunteers are must follow applicable protocol and rules described in the NTC Policies & Procedures as outlined by their event or service director. Volunteers may also be required to submit to a background check or provide other documentation if the event or service requires.

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