ER’s Novak wins statewide award


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Eagle River’s Suelleyn Wright Novak, a longtime advocate for veterans issues who currently serves as executive director of the Alaska Veterans Museum, receives the Governor’s Veterans Advocacy Award from Maj. Gen. Thomas Katkus, Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, during a ceremony on Veterans Day.

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Eagle River’s Suellyn Wright Novak, a longtime advocate for veterans issues who currently serves as executive director of the Alaska Veterans Museum, was awarded the Governor’s Veterans Advocacy Award during a ceremony on Veterans Day.

Rep. Anna Fairclough, of Eagle River, nominated Novak for the award. In her nomination letter, Fairclough cited Novak’s years of service to the Veterans community.

Novak’s accomplishments include serving as an active member of VFW Post 9785, coordinating “Fan Mail for Troops,” assembling care packages for soldiers, planting flowers at the 11th Air Force Memorial and flipping burgers at the Anchorage Military Appreciation picnic. Novak serves as Vice President for Programs and the Army Ball for the Last Frontier Chapter of the Association of the United States Army. She is also the Program and Projects Coodinator for the Edward J. Monaghan Chapter of the Air Force Association and was recently elected Vice President of the Museum Fund, Inc.

In 2009, Novak was appointed to the Alaska Veterans Advisory Council, on which she continues to serve.

“Statewide, Suellyn is probably best known for taking the fledgling Alaska Veterans Museum and bringing it to an ‘open for business’ museum,” Fairclough wrote. “…Her duties have expanded to include historian, public information officer, display designer, researcher, fundraising chair, grant writer and membership chair.”

Fairclough went on to praise Novak’s work at the museum, including the installation of the formerly “homeless” Alaska Territorial Guard statue, the redesign of the museum’s interior and the completion of a bronze memorial to Attu residents taken prisoner by the Japanese during World War II.

“Suellyn embodies service to all veterans and is richly deserving of this award,” Fairclough wrote.

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