The Alaska Oil and Gas Association (AOGA) is a professional trade association whose mission is to foster the long-term viability of the oil and gas industry for the benefit of all Alaskans. We represent the majority of companies that are exploring, developing, producing, transporting, refining, or marketing oil and gas on the North Slope, in the Cook Inlet, and in the offshore areas of Alaska.
Kara came to Alaska from her home state of South Dakota to teach elementary school in Atqasuk, an Inupiaq village in the North Slope Borough. After working in Washington, DC for then South Dakota Congressman, now U.S. Senator John Thune, she moved back to Alaska and lived in Fairbanks for seven years. She has served as legislative staff in Juneau to Senator Gary Wilken and was the President/CEO of the Fairbanks Chamber for four years. She joined the AOGA staff in April 2005 and been the head of the association since 2012. She is a member of the Athena Society, a recipient of Alaska’s Top 40 Under 40 Award and was the Honorary Iceman at Eielson Air Force Base. She is a member of the Lumen Christi School Board and the Downtown Rotary Club of Anchorage and serves on the Executive Committee of the Resource Development Council. In her spare time she can be found serving as a taxi driver for her three children, Joseph, Maggie and Garrett to their many church, school and sporting events. She and her husband Gerry, an Alaska Airlines pilot, also enjoy their personal plane and exploring Alaska with the kids.
External Affairs Manager
Rachel Bylsma is a born and raised Alaskan, graduate of Dimond High School, and was part of the
Japanese Immersion program. Before joining AOGA, Rachel most recently served as the Director of Constituent Services for U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan, a role she maintained since the senator was first elected. Prior to that, she served in a variety of capacities for Governor Sean Parnell, working her way up from an Executive Assistant to Senior Policy Advisor. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from George Fox
University and obtained her Master of Arts degree in public policy with an emphasis in public administration from Liberty University while working full-time for Senator Sullivan. As AOGA’s External Affairs Manager, Rachel is responsible for the organization’s public relations, government affairs, and event management.
Tamara moved to Alaska from Montana in 1972 with her family. Alaska has been her home ever since. Tamara attended West Anchorage High School, University of Alaska and Alaska Career College. She came to work at AOGA in December 1980, where she has held various administrative positions. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Alaska Division and Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA). She has volunteered her time to various organizations: American Diabetes Association-Alaska District, American Heart Association, Anchorage Chamber Citywide Cleanup, Anchorage Health Fair. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling with her husband Mike, gardening and the outdoors. She and her husband have a grown son who resides in Alaska.