Bonnie’s primary goal as outside general counsel or City Attorney to her clients is to provide timely, practical, and cost-effective advice and strategic solutions, with a focus on effective enterprise risk management. Her practice includes complex commercial, M&A, board governance, corporate compliance, municipal, finance, and other transactional matters within a variety of industries, including telecom, banking and finance, among others. She has significant experience working with Alaska Native Corporations and Municipalities, and currently serves as Co-chair of Dorsey’s firm-wide Indian & Alaska Native Law Practice Group.
Prior to joining Dorsey in 2018, Bonnie was general counsel for Anchorage-based Calista Corporation, an Alaska Native Corporation representing over 24,000 shareholders that serves as parent to dozens of subsidiaries engaged in a wide range of industries, including government contracting, construction, real estate, telecommunications, environmental and natural resource development, and oil field services.
Bonnie also previously served as the chief legal officer for The Alaska Wireless Network, a startup wholesale wireless telecommunications company, and as corporate counsel for General Communication, Inc., the largest telecommunications and technology company in Alaska. Prior to her in-house roles, Bonnie spent 14 years in private practice at Hartig, Rhodes, Norman, Mahoney & Edwards, P.C.
Two of Bonnie’s ground-breaking advocacy accomplishments include initiating the Alaska Model Entities Transaction Act, and co-initiating SB24, the bill to allow virtual and hybrid corporate shareholder and non-profit member meetings, both of which have been enacted into Alaska Statute for increased business and non-profit flexibility, moving Alaska law into the 21st Century.
Bonnie currently serves as Dorsey’s Anchorage Office Head and is the Diversity Partner for the Anchorage office.
- Lead and local, outside then in-house counsel for multiple large, international participation loans, including $425,000,000, $250,000,000, $230,000,000, $70,000,000 senior credit facilities issuances and refinancings for GCI, with as many as 17 participants.
- City Attorney for multiple municipalities.
- Service as Inspector of Elections and Parliamentarian.
- Create election rules and director candidate application packages in compliance with the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.
- Draft annual proxy packages, including shareholder approval of ANCSA settlement trusts, Descendant enrollment, and Elder stock issuances.
- Extensive commercial loan and special credits work for Wells Fargo (and previously for National Bank of Alaska), Key Bank and Northrim.
- Extensive secured and unsecured creditor bankruptcy and reorganization work for private entities such as Travelers, as well as Wells Fargo (and previously for National Bank of Alaska), Key Bank and Northrim.
- Led strategic business and legal initiatives.
- Drafted, benchmarked and implemented corporate policies, procures, and programs for wide-range of legal matters.
- Created and managed Legal work and budget, internal and external counsel and paralegals. Saved over $700K in annual outside counsel fees by evaluating then settling unproductive disputes and active cost and fee structure management. Saved nearly $600K in annual insurance premiums.
- Close collaboration with IT Department on governance practices and policies, and DFAR compliance.
- Oversaw closure and liquidation of unprofitable entities.
- Deployed Enterprise Risk Management survey of all entities. Co-created “traffic light” corporate goals and metrics matrix for Board of Directors.
- Created/presented Code of Conduct, officer/director fiduciary duties, preserving the corporate veil, Robert’s Rules of Order, preventing harassment and discrimination, and social media training to corporate boards and officers, including to Alaska Native Corporations.
- Issued wide variety of guidance memos, including proxy rule compliance, characterization as independent contractor v. employee risk, lobbying compliance, attorney-client privilege in in-house context, creation of minutes in compliance with Robert’s Rules and the Alaska Supreme Court Pederson v. ASRC decision.
- Co-Created/co-presented SBA 8(a) regulation changes, government contracting and Truth in Negotiations Act training.
- Facilitated Donlin Gold Project information development gathering session; obtained dozens of Project support letters from directors, employees, and 3rd parties for the U.S. Army Corps Environmental Impact Statement. Co-authored “duty to consult” letters to U.S. EPA.
- Investigated and resolved of Code of Conduct complaints and breaches of confidentiality, with unanimous Board approval of results.
- Conducted substantial benchmarking of best practices and legal research on ANCSA matters, culminating in new forms, practices and procedures.
News & Resources
News & Press Mentions
Events & Speaking Engagements
- Co-panelist, Dorsey's Glass Smasher's Lab, Through the Ceiling and Behind the Doors; Navigating the Board Room
- Co-presenter, Alaska Municipal Attorneys Association Annual Conference – Interesting Alaska Municipal Law Decisions
- Co-presenter, Insurance Requirements, Additional Insureds, Waivers of Subrogation, Oh My . . . What Does It All Mean for Agreements with Providers and Vendors?
- Co-presenter, Force Majeure Clauses (in a post-COVID litigation world)
- Co-presenter, Alaska Bar Association CLE – The Accidental Lawyer: Terms of Engagement How to Stay Out of Trouble When You Are Out of the Office
- Numerous presentations on Officer and Director Fiduciary Duties for various private employers
- Presenter, City Council Workshop on Effective Governance – Roles & Responsibilities of Public Officials; Robert’s Rules and Professionalism; Open Meetings Act; Ethics and Conflicts of Interest; Municipal Governments & Religion
- Presenter, Committee Chair Orientation: Chairs’ Roles & Responsibilities
- Presenter, Employment Preferences – Alaska Native Corporations’ Limited Exception from the Civil Rights Act Title VII
- Presenter, Federal Bar Association Minnesota & New Mexico Chapters Indian Law Seminar – Yellen v. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation: Alaska Native Corporations’ Access to CARES Act Funding
- Presenter, The Aleutian Marketplace – Legal Aspects of Starting a Business
- Presenter, Anchorage Association of Women Lawyers – Practical Tips for Negotiating Salaries, Benefits, and Perks
- Presenter, Cyber Threats: Scoping the Project, Contract Provisions, and Responses, Alaska State Bar Association CLE
- Presenter, First National Bank of Alaska Annual Lenders’ Conference- The Hidden Costs of Sexual Harassment
- Presenter, Alaska Bar Association CLE – The Hidden Costs Of Sexual Harassment
- Moderator, Alaska Bar Association CLE – The Many Hats Of In-House Counsel - Understanding & Safeguarding the Attorney-Client Privilege
- Presenter, National Bank of Alaska to Commercial Lending Officers – Creation and Perfection of Liens on Collateral
- Presenter, National Business Institute – Liens and Credit Issues Affecting Real Estate – Advanced Real Estate Law in Alaska
- Presenter, Alaska Natives: From Settlers Across the Bering Strait to Global Economic Powerhouses
Industries & Practices
- Banking & Financial Institutions
- Corporate Governance & Compliance
- Cybersecurity, Privacy & Social Media
- Development & Infrastructure
- Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG)
- Government Contracts Counseling & Litigation
- Indian & Alaska Native
- Lending Transactions
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Public Finance
Professional & Civic
- Co-Chair, Alaska State Bar, Corporate Counsel Section.
- Director, Girl Scouts of Alaska Board.
- Chair of the Board Development Committee, Girl Scouts of Alaska.
- Initiated Alaska Model Entities Transaction Act – Enacted into Alaska Statutes.
- Co-initiated, drafted, testified, and lobbied for unanimous passage of the Virtual and Hybrid meeting provisions – Enacted into Alaska Statutes for for-profit, non-profit and Alaska Native Corporations.
- President, Turnagain Elementary PTA & Chair, Turnagain Legislative Advocacy Committee – raised $220,000 in State Appropriations, transformed school into robust wireless environment, deployed computers in classes and interactive white boards in all classes; survived two Governor’s vetoes with extensive lobbying efforts.
- Co-Chair, Read-a-Thon, Turnagain Elementary PTA – students read over 300,000 pages annually in 30 days; significant funding source, encouraging student literacy.
- Member, UAA Truman Scholarship Nominee Panel (annually for over 20 years).
- Director, Secretary, Treasurer – The Aleut Foundation.
- Contributed more than 50 Challenge pro bono hours, 2021.
- Dorsey & Whitney – Scales of Justice Team Award (Alaska Virtual Meeting Law), 2021.
- Harry S. Truman Scholar For Alaska – National Competition; $20,000 Scholarship for Academic Excellence and Service.
- GCI/UUI Terra South West Award – “In recognition of your outstanding project leadership and contributions.”
- GCI Terra Northwest Award – “In recognition of your contributions and to honor the tremendous accomplishments of all involved with the historic completion of Phase 1 of Terra Northwest.”
- Kodiak Kenai Cable Co. Recognition – For support of the Kodiak Kenai Fiber Link Project.
- Miss Manners Award – From “The Staff” at Hartig, Rhodes, Norman, Mahoney & Edwards, PC.