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Tracy Vanairsdale shows CBSM students and dean a model of the Troth Yeddha' Indigenous Studies Center
Tracy Vanairsdale, third from left, shows Dean Cameron Carlson, right, and students, from the left, Adeline Berry, Ivana Brito, Aila Berrigan and Pearson Clark a model of the Troth Yeddha' Indigenous Studies Center.
Tracy Vanairsdale, president of Bettisworth North Architects and Planners Inc. is the 2024 Business Leader of the Year!

The Business Leader of the Year award recognizes leadership, business acumen, community involvement and educational support, including K-12 and higher education.

Vanairsdale received numerous letters of support from employees, colleagues, volunteer partners and past award recipients. She was selected by a panel of students, alumni, faculty and staff, the CBSM advisory council and previous awardees. 

“What I admire the most about Tracy is her humble attitude and willingness to help this community in so many ways,” wrote Jyotsna “Jo” Heckman, a 2008 award recipient, in her support letter. “Her sense of community brings connections and thoughtful considerations to her work. She feels strongly about integration with people, culture and needs of the public, all of which play an important role in any project.”

Bettisworth North is designing the Troth Yeddha’ Indigenous Studies Center and has worked on multiple other UAF projects, including the Student Success Center in Rasmuson Library and the Moore and Bartlett residence hall renovations. The firm is also a substantial UAF supporter.

In addition to her professional career, Vanairsdale serves on the board of community organizations such as the UAF Chancellor’s Board of Advisors, Rotary Club of Fairbanks and the Alaska chapters for the Association for Learning Environments and the American Institute of Architects.

She and her husband, Dave, were both born and raised in Fairbanks; Dave is a UAF alumnus who captained the university’s ski team. Vanairsdale attended her first year at UAF before entering the Western Undergraduate Exchange program to study architecture and art at the University of Idaho. They enjoy annual ski trips and spending time with their dog, Copper. 

Vanairsdale will be honored at an event Nov. 16 at the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel. Tickets for the event will go on sale in August. To reserve tickets in advance, contact Mary Poe at or 907-474-6518.

To view photos and media from the 2023 event, honoring Tom Bartels of North Pole Coffee Roasting Co., click the links below:

 Over 300 Alaska community leaders, faculty, and students came together to support CBSM students at the sold-out event. Thanks to the generous commitment of businesses, individuals and our sponsors, we raised more than $100,000 in support of CBSM student organizations, development and scholarships.

Relive the event through videos

For questions or more information contact Morrow Duszynski at or (907) 474-5942.

For sponsorship information, contact Tammy Tragis-McCook at or (907) 474-7042.