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Our Team

Our Team

Andy Cole

Andy Cole

General Manager

Andy Cole has more than 20 years of experience in permitting, building and operating major gold mines in North America. He came to Donlin Gold from Barrick Gold Corporation, where he was most recently Executive Director, U.S.A., responsible for permitting, energy, communications, community relations and corporate social responsibility. Prior to that position, he served in a variety of senior operating roles, including General Manager of both the Goldstrike mine, one of Barrick’s largest operations, and the Ruby Hill mine, both located in Nevada.

Andy is well-known for his active involvement in mining-education programs and serves on the advisory boards of a number of university engineering and mining programs. He has an engineering degree and a Master of Business Administration. As General Manager of Donlin Gold, he reports directly to the Board of Donlin Gold LLC, equally represented by the owners, Barrick and NOVAGOLD.

“Advancing through permitting and preparing for the development of a unique asset like Donlin Gold is a rare opportunity and I’m excited to take on this role,” Andy says. “The project has a track record of engineering excellence and a strong culture of safety, environmental stewardship and community engagement, all values that will remain constant. We believe Donlin Gold can be a model of responsible mine development with the potential to generate meaningful benefits for our Native corporation partners, Calista Corporation and The Kuskokwim Corporation, and communities throughout Alaska for many decades to come.”

Kristina Woolston

Kristina Woolston

External Affairs Manager

Kristina is the daughter of Dan and Sharon O’Hara and granddaughter of Thomas O’Hara and Aggie Simeon from Old Iliamna. Born and raised in Naknek, Kristina is a tribal member of the Naknek Native Village Council and a shareholder with Bristol Bay Native Corporation and Paug-Vik Inc. Ltd. Prior to joining the Donlin Gold team, Kristina spent 10 years as part of the Chenega Corporation management team, one of Alaska’s largest Alaska Native village corporations. Kristina previously served as Board Chair of the Native American Contractors Association, representing Tribes, Alaska Native corporations and Native Hawaiian organizations in federal-contracting opportunities. Kristina spent three years with Quintillion, an Alaska communications company that built the first fiber-optic network to northern coastal Alaska villages. Kristina earned a degree in government relations from Dartmouth College. Kristina and her husband, Tim, have four children and live in Anchorage.

Vernon Chimegalrea and Colleen Laraux

Vernon Chimegalrea

Community Development and Sustainability Coordinator

Vernon Chimegalrea joined the Donlin Gold team in 2011. Vernon was raised in the communities of Napakiak and Bethel and currently resides in Anchorage. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics with an emphasis in Eskimo languages. He has worked extensively in the language field as well as in realty, arts administration, and development.

Colleen Laraux

Community Relations Coordinator

Colleen joined the Donlin Gold team in 2011. She was born in Bethel and raised in Bethel and Kongiganak. Colleen graduated from Bethel Regional High School and attended Alaska Pacific University and the University of Alaska Anchorage. She has held various positions in Bethel and Anchorage in the healthcare industry and legal field. Colleen is proud to be able to read, write and speak her Native Yup’ik language. Her parents are Martha and Walter Larson Sr., from Bethel. Colleen and her husband, Kris Manke, live in Bethel and together have six children and nine grandchildren.  

Lloyd Daniel Adams Twitchell (Dan)

Community Relations and Environmental Field Coordinator

Dan Twitchell joined the Donlin Gold Community Relations team in 2016. He was born in Anchorage and raised in Bethel. His parents are Betty Twitchell, originally from Colorado, who moved to Bethel and worked at the Native hospital as a Registered Nurse, his father, Peter Twitchell, was born and raised in Bethel and worked at KYUK and at YKHC correctional facility as a counselor. Dan graduated from Bethel Regional High School and attended Fergus Falls Community College and Northern Arizona University, where he studied environmental sciences, and the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP).

Dan worked as an Environmental Coordinator for his home tribe of Orutsaramiut Native Council (ONC) and for the Native Village of Napaimute. Danny joined Donlin Gold as an Environmental Specialist. He remained with Donlin Gold for eight years before moving to Barrick’s Turquoise Ridge mine in northern Nevada as an Environmental Specialist II. In 2016, Dan returned to his home state of Alaska to again work for Donlin Gold as a Community Relations Coordinator and Environmental Field Coordinator. 

Dan is married to Isha Twitchell, also from Bethel, and they live in the Anchorage area with their three children, Bessie, Betty and Daniel.

Dan Graham

Dan Graham

Permitting Manager

Dan Graham, PE, currently manages the Permitting and Environmental department at Donlin Gold LLC.  This is a position he has held since early April of 2017. Mr. Graham originally came to Alaska in September of 1983 to pursue a degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, which he received with honors in May of 1988. His working career in Alaska began operating equipment in placer mines north of Fairbanks for Polar Mining, Inc. in 1984 and 1985. He was hired as a mining engineering intern in 1986 by Usibelli Coal Mine and worked for the company until 2001, working in numerous capacities including exploration engineer, production engineer, mine surveying and planning, production foreman and permitting, ending his career with Usibelli as their Senior Mine Engineer.  After leaving Usibelli, Mr. Graham opened his own engineering consulting business until January 2009 when he was offered the position as Project Manager for the Chuitna Coal Project where he worked until the end of March 2017 when he transitioned to his current position at Donlin Gold.

Mr. Graham married a third generation Alaska miner, Kim (Renshaw), in 1989 and they raised two beautiful daughters in this great state we call home. He also spends time at night and on weekends with his two dogs – Kilo and Milli. He is a board member of the Council of Alaska Producers, Alaska Sealife Center, and the Tyonek Tribal Conservation District and past board member of the Alaska State Hockey Association, Alaska Miners Association and the Resource Development Council.

Meg Day Smith

Human Resources Manager

The Human Resources Manager for Donlin Gold, Meg is passionate in her role to develop a local workforce in Alaska and to support youth and adults in their path to be career-ready. Meg has over 30 years of human resources experience in the mining industry, largely in Alaska. Meg worked for Greens Creek Mine, Kensington Gold Mine, Usibelli Coal Mine, Teck Resources in Washington, Kennecott Utah Copper in Salt Lake City and Echo Bay Minerals. 

Meg has many years of experience in local hiring initiatives, training, workforce development and human resources management.  She is participating on several statewide workforce development boards/committees and has identified opportunities to leverage regional training and workforce planning initiatives to meet Donlin Gold’s future workforce and statewide needs for the mining industry.

Over her career, Meg has been involved with many organizations in many roles such as EXCEL Alaska, Iditarod School District Career and Technical Education Advisory Committee, Prince William Sound Community College Millwright Advisory Committee, Chairman of Alaska Miners Association WFD and HR Committee, Alaska Career and Technical Education Board, Job Corp Business Advisory Committee, Alaska Community Foundation’s natural resources training grant review committee, Business Education Compact Advisory Committee and is a past University of Alaska Southeast Advisory Board Member.