Intern-to-Intern: A Conversation with Lisa Williams, Pegasus Aviation Intern

This is part of a series of interviews with interns, by Kally Siñiqsraq Greene-Gudmundson, NANA Development Corporation Communications & Marketing Intern.

NANA internships give students the opportunity to both gain valuable applied experience and promote personal and professional development.


Lisa Williams is an accounting major at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She completed her first internship with NANA during the 2016 season.


 What is your Iñupiaq name and who were you named after?

Napaaqtuk. It means spruce tree. I was named after my dad’s mother, Edna Williams.

Where are you from?

I’m from the coastal northwest and the village of Noatak.

What are your family ties to NANA?

Back in the day, my family lived in Kotzebue. My younger siblings and I got registered to the village corporation in Kotzebue. My grandparents, on my mother’s side, and grandpa, from my dad’s side, are originally from the NANA region, but my dad’s mother is from Wales, Alaska.

Who inspires you most? What is your favorite memory of that person?

Sam Hill (a NANA Shareholder, currently serving as the workforce development director with the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation). It’s so inspiring to listen to the stories he told during our career panel, how he bounced back after a hard time, just his sheer will to keep going even though he was in a hard place.

What are you studying (and why)?

I am going for an associate’s degree in accounting. I’m seeking a degree in this field because it is interesting for me to balance spreadsheets and income statements on paper. One thing I noticed is numbers, unlike life, aren’t very complicated. I sort of like things simple. I’m boring—I enjoy accounting.

What are your job responsibilities this summer? What do you hope to learn/accomplish?

I am doing recruitment, accounting, and a bunch of filing for Pegasus Aviation, a subsidiary of AKIMA. In summer, Pegasus adds a hundred seasonal employees.

I’m also making sure we have all the correct data on file. I would like to dip my toes a little more into accounting, and explore other areas of the field.  

What do our Iñupiaq values mean to you? How do you feel we incorporate them within NANA?

Our values push me to be a better person by becoming self-sufficient and helpful, while also providing for myself, my daughters, and others.

Of our values, which means the most to you and why? How do you practice them or see them in practice?

Subsistence, self-sufficiency and spirituality. I think the key to survival is helping each other in life. We all go through times where we cannot get our needs met in one way or another. By sharing our time, effort, resources, and advice, we can get someone through a hard time. Not only is this great for survival, but it helps people gain a sense of belonging and value.