The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce's 2014 Gold Pan Awards will kick off at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, at the Dena'ina Center. The Gold Pan Awards, now in its 57th year, are given to individuals, organizations and businesses for their commitment to community service, as well as those who have shown business and entrepreneurial excellence.

The 16 finalists in four categories are listed below. A short biography of each finalist can be found soon at http://www.anchoragechamber.org.

Distinguished Community Service by an Individual, Organization or Small Business: Leverette Hoover (Siemens Industry); Midnight Sun Home Care; Dustin Morris; Randy Purham.

Distinguished Community Service by a Large Business or Organization: Klebs Mechanical; Orthopedic Physicians Anchorage; Providence Health & Services Alaska; Nine Stare Education & Employment Services

Business Excellence: Coastal Television Broadcasting Company; Midnight Sun Home Care; The Wilson Agency; Builders Choice, Inc.

Entrepreneurial Excellence: Michael Buzinski (BuzzBizz Studios); Naomi Louvier (Jack White Real Estate); Frank Flavin (Flavin Photography); Brian Franklin (Frontier Tutoring)

Volunteer of the Year Award — To be announced at this year's Gold Pan Awards

Tickets for this event are now on sale. Cost is $75 per member, $95 for non-members. Member tables of 10 for $750. Deadline to RSVP is by 5 p.m. Sept. 15. Make your reservation at Anchoragechamber.org.

For more details, e-mail events@anchoragechamber.org , or call 272-2401.

Mayor Dan Sullivan recently announced that the director of Health and Human Services, Janet Vietmeier, has announced her retirement, effective Aug. 22. The mayor has appointed Melinda Freemon, the division manager of Public Health Initiatives and Partnerships, as the new director. Freemon has been in the health field for more than 30 years. She has a master's degree in counseling psychology and is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Clinical Supervisor. Freemon has served on numerous local and statewide councils and commissions related to behavioral health during her 32 years in Alaska.

Luke Hoffmann has joined URS Corp. as a staff geologist. Hoffmann recently graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a Bachelor of Science in geology. For the last 14 years, he has held various positions in Alaska, all pertaining to remote field work. Hoffmann's areas of expertise include environmental geology and mineral exploration.

Calista Corp. welcomes shareholders George Owletuck and Kirsten Kinegak-Friday to its team of employees. Owletuck is the government relations liaison and is responsible for coordinating, developing and conducting activities relating to federal, state and local government relations. He brings leadership experience and several years of working in government relations. He is a former University of Alaska Fairbanks professor and has held numerous leadership positions in the areas of fisheries, the environment and natural resources. Kinegak-Friday is associate general counsel at Calista. She is a graduate of Stanford University and University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. Her main legal focus has been on Alaska Native corporations and Alaska Native issues. She is a former Calista intern and Calista Heritage Foundation scholarship recipient.