Cynthia R Berns is the Vice President of Community and External Affairs for Old Harbor Native Corporation. Ms. Berns joined the Old Harbor Native Corporation (OHNC) family companies in 2006, when she was hired as Project Lead with Barling Bay, LLC a wholly owned subsidiary of OHNC. While at Barling Bay, Ms. Berns was responsible for the overall management of a forms conversion project. She was also tasked with the management of the security department and was responsible for the oversight of the security program for Three Saints Bay, LLC and subsidiary companies.
In 2007, Cynthia was appointed as Director of Community Affairs for Old Harbor Native Corporation. In this position, she works closely with the City of Old Harbor and the Old Harbor Tribal Council on community strategic planning and various economic development efforts. She works as the fiscal and project manager for several community projects including the small boat harbor replacement project, city dock replacement project, hydroelectric project, and airport expansion project. In addition, she has established and manages the Old Harbor Imagination Library and also provides support to the Old Harbor Scholarship Foundation in fundraising and student development.
Cynthia was promoted as Vice-President of Corporate Affairs in 2010, Vice President of Administration & External in 2014, and Vice President of Community and External Affairs in 2017 where she continues her efforts in economic development for the community of Old Harbor while also working closely with management of OHNC in corporate affairs, government and shareholder relations. She is a strong advocate for the shareholders of OHNC and Alaska Natives.
Cynthia was raised in Old Harbor, Alaska and worked as a deck hand on her father's fishing vessel during the summer seasons of 1995 through 2000. In 2002, she started work as a Respite Care provider at the Arc of Anchorage and an Association Manager for Condominium and Homeowner Associations. Later, she worked as a real estate agent at Ben Marsh & Associates until transitioning to the OHNC Family Companies. She serves as a Board Member for the Old Harbor Alliance, Salvation Army Alaska Division, Native American Contractors Association, Alaska Marine Highway Operations Board and the Alaska Native Heritage Center.
Cynthia graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a BA Psychology in 2003, University of Alaska Fairbanks with a Masters in Rural Development in 2011 and Alaska Pacific University's Alaska Native Executive Leadership Program in 2017. Cynthia is a recipient of the Alaska ‘Top 40 Under 40’ award, which recognizes the state’s top young professionals who have demonstrated professional excellence and a commitment to their community. Cynthia lives in Anchorage and Old Harbor with her spouse Nikkia and their two sons.