Company Directors

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Administrative Directors

Executive Director
Bess Clark

Bess has been a part of the Community Connections team as the Executive Director since 1999. Originally from Wisconsin, Bess has lived in Southeast Alaska since 1979 living on Prince of Wales Island and in Ketchikan. She came to Community Connections with a background in program development with the UAS Health and Human Program and worked for State of Alaska Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Services providing quality assurance sites. She received her MBA and is a certified Special Education Teacher. Bess believes in promoting healthy communities that all people may meet life goals for learning, earning, belonging and having valued roles. In her spare time she enjoys hiking and fishing with her family.

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Associate Director
Maxwell Mercer

Maxwell has a long history of providing strong leadership at Community Connections. He worked as the Developmental Disabilities Program Director for 11 years. During that time he was involved in the development of much of the framework and building blocks of the agency that still stand strong today, such as the core values, current mission, systems of billing, core trainings and assurance of quality services. He provided interim leadership to our Children’s Mental Health program during the 2013-2015 time frame, which allowed him to stay connected to the organization and observe its growth and adaption to the challenges it has and continues to face. In the last eight years Maxwell has provided professional consulting services to local non-profit organizations, tribes, municipalities, and others at the operational, executive, and board levels. He has a great track record as an effective grant writer. Max is committed to living in Ketchikan for many years to come.

Early Learning Program

Program Director
Brynn Bolling

Brynn Bolling was born and raised in Ketchikan, Alaska. She attended Gonzaga University and graduated with an undergraduate degree in Special Education.  Brynn taught 9 years for the Ketchikan School District, teaching in a resource room and then the special needs preschool.  After going to work for Community Connections in 2001 she earned her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Development Special Education.  Brynn lives on Prince of Wales Island (POW) and has served the Early Learning families on POW for the last 15 years.  She continues to serve families as a special educator and family service coordinator while also heading up the Early Learning Program for all of Community Connections; this includes Ketchikan, Prince of Wales and Metlakatla.  In her off-work hours Brynn enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and training for sprint triathlons.

Senior & Disabilities Services

Program Director
Shawn Shotwell

Before moving to Ketchikan Shawn’s focus was on building a successful business and he was completely committed to himself, his business, and his family.  Since coming to Ketchikan he has now dedicated himself to helping this community and the people that call it home.  He has been a counselor to victims of domestic violence, and a social worker for the state looking into allegation of child abuse, to now supporting our customers here at Community Connections.  His goals here are to serve the individuals that need the amazing services we offer, and to help Ketchikan to be an amazing home for his family and friends.  His customers may be disabled but each of them have helped him see the gift of service to others and the honor of caring for great people.

Children's Mental Health

Program Director
Bill Swift

Bill joined Community Connections in 2017. His lifelong commitment to Child and Family support has been demonstrated by more than 25 years of experience in outpatient and hospital settings providing counseling and direction in successful treatment programs. Bill earned his BA in Psychology from Duke University and his M.Ed., Guidance and Counseling from Florida Atlantic University. Bill is proud to direct our wrap-around, trauma-informed services in Ketchikan and on Prince of Wales that have become models for successful therapeutic care of children. Bill is a kayaking enthusiast and soccer fan.