Kenai Community Advisory Panel

Kenai Community Advisory Panel

Kenai Refinery Community Advisory Panel (CAP)

Tesoro’s Kenai Refinery formed its Community Advisory Panel, or CAP, in 2013. The CAP is an independent group comprised of Central Peninsula residents who serve as an interface between the management of the Kenai Refinery and the residents of the Central Kenai Peninsula. Tesoro meets and works with the CAP to help further educate the community about refinery operations and plans, while the CAP helps Tesoro better understand and address community questions and concerns.

Tesoro is committed to doing business in a way that involves considering and working with the community to create value for us all. While the CAP will not be asked to approve or reject any actions taken by Tesoro, the CAP is an important advisory group and Tesoro actively responds to their recommendations.

If you are interested in learning more about Tesoro’s CAP in Alaska, please contact us.


Joe Arness
Joe Arness is a lifelong resident of the Nikiski, Alaska area. He received his bachelor’s degree from Boise State University and has been actively involved in the local community through real estate development, residential contracting, commercial fishing and hotel and restaurant operations. He is a licensed real estate broker and currently owns and operates a full service brokerage company. During the summer, he operates a commercial setnet fishing operation on the shores of Cook Inlet. He has children in both the Nikiski and Portland, Oregon areas. Joe is a former member of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly and a current member of the Borough Board of Education.

James Baisden
Nikiski Fire Chief James Baisden has called Nikiski his home since 2007. He arrived in Alaska in 1989 where he served in the US Air Force and with the Alaska Air National Guard. He started his fire service career in 1982 as a volunteer firefighter in Logan, WV. After working in Anchorage as an Alaska Deputy Fire Marshal, he then moved to Kenai in 1998 to be the Fire Marshal for the City of Kenai and in 2005 was promoted to the Assistant Chief. In 2007 he was hired as the Fire Chief for the Nikiski Fire Service Area where he is currently employed.

Chief Baisden is the President of the Alaska Fire Chiefs Association; a member of the Kenai Peninsula Fire Chiefs, Local Emergency Planning Committee, 911 Advisory Board, has a Degree in Fire Science, and is a graduate of the National Fire Academy, Executive Fire Officer Program. James and his wife Rhonda have three children.

Frank Kassik
Frank Kassik and his wife Debara are the co-owners of Kassik’s Brewery. Originally from Northern California, they have lived in the North Kenai, Nikiski area for the past twenty years. Frank worked for several oil support companies on the Kenai Peninsula and North Slope until being hired by Agrium in 1999. When Agrium began the first of downsizing in 2004 Frank and his wife began the venture of building and opening a brewery early 2006. Frank left Agrium in 2007, a year before they closed completely to run the brewery full time. He enjoys many of the outdoor activities that Alaska has to offer.

Vern Kornstad
Vern Kornstad is a teacher and coach at Nikiski Middle/Sr. High School. He teaches a variety of classes including: Digital Photography, Video Productions, Introductory CADCAM, and Credit Recovery. He coaches middle school and junior varsity basketball. He has been at Nikiski Middle/Sr. High School since 1994 and with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District since 1980. In 1978 Vern, his wife Jan, and their three children moved to Nikiski from Idaho. He graduated from Northwest Nazarene College. It was commercial fishing that originally brought Vern to Nikiski in 1972 and their family continues to enjoy working together on the fish site.

Carrol Martin
Carrol Martin earned his AA in business, has a BA in Business education and MA in education & economics. This Colorado born rancher moved to Kenai 40 years ago with his livestock and started the Diamond M Ranch on K-Beach road which today is a tourist destination and RV Park. He has worked on off shore platforms and in the oil & gas industry in the Kenai Gas fields. He is one of four Alaskans inducted as a member of the 4-H National Hall of Fame in Chevy Chase, Maryland and has won the First Lady Volunteer Award for Alaska and the Don Gilman Volunteer service award. He also has experience as a commercial purse seine fisherman.

Meg Mueller
Meg Mueller is a conservationist for the US Department of Agriculture. She has lived in Kenai with her Husband Marcus and two children since 2003. Prior to living in Alaska Meg lived in the middle of Iowa where she completed a master’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Iowa State University and then worked in USDA field offices in north central Iowa. A native Minnesotan, Meg completed her undergraduate degrees at Bemidji State University. Meg and her family enjoy hiking, fishing, running (mostly), and many other outdoor activities in Alaska.