Executive Staff Bios


Executive Director

Curtis Thayer serves as the Executive Director of the Alaska Energy Authority.

Curtis most recently served as President and CEO of the Alaska Chamber, the largest state trade associations. Previous to that position, he served as Commissioner for the Department of Administration and as a cabinet member for Governor Sean Parnell, with responsibility for 1,100 public employees and an annual budget of $350 million. Additionally, his public service includes time as the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development and working in Washington, D.C. with Congressman Don Young and Senators Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski. 

Prior to public service, Curtis worked on the management team of ENSTAR Natural Gas Company and for the Alaska Gas Producers Pipeline Team. 

Curtis has served on boards at Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, Alaska Retirement Management Board, Alaska Royalty Oil and Gas Development Advisory Board, U.S. Chambers’ Committee of 100 and currently chairs the Alaska Board of Marine Pilots.

A life-long Alaskan, Curtis is a graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and is married to Josie and they have one son.



Director, Engineering and Energy Development

Mr. Warren has been with the Authority since 2011 and has served in various management roles throughout his tenure.  In his current role, Mr. Warren is responsible for managerial oversite of AEA’s owned assets and works collaboratively with AEA’s executive director and Board of Director’s on energy policy and planning initiatives related to the railbelt region of the state.

Prior to his work at the Authority, Mr. Warren served as Engineering Manager at ENSTAR Natural Gas for 5 years.  He also has 12 years of state service at the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.  Mr. Warren has a long history of project management on large infrastructure projects spanning multiple sectors in Alaska ranging from highway, bridge, public facilities, energy and pipeline engineering, design and construction.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Alaska Anchorage and has been registered as a Professional Engineer in the state of Alaska since 2003.

Mr. Warren served 4 years in the U.S. Army as an Airborne Ranger.

In his personal life, he is an avid runner and enjoys golfing, hiking, and reading.



Director, Rural Programs

Mr. Sandstrom joined the Alaska Energy Authority in 2011 as an Assistant Project Manager.  In his current role as the Director of Rural Programs, Mr. Sandstrom provides managerial oversite for the Rural Power System Upgrade (RPSU), Bulk Fuel Upgrade (BFU), Circuit Rider, Emergency Response, and Training Programs.

As a member of the senior management team, he is responsible for implementation of Authority strategy and budget management for his programs.  With over 35-years in construction, project management, and engineering project management throughout Alaska, Mr. Sandstrom brings a broad range of private sector experience to his work.

Outside of work Mr. Sandstrom enjoys the Alaskan outdoors, photography, Jiu-Jitsu, and reading.



Director of Planning

Mr. Patch joined the Alaska Energy Authority in early 2020. In his role with the Authority he is responsible for administrative oversight of the Power Cost Equalization program and other AEA program planning and administration. He also assists with planning and research on special projects within the energy field.

Prior to joining the Authority, Mr. Patch served in the Judge Advocate Generals Corps of the United States Air Force as a member of the Air Force Region One Worldwide trial team and as the Assistant Staff Judge Advocate for the 42nd Bombardment Wing. He subsequently served in the same role for the 21st Composite Wing.

After separation from the Air Force he was an attorney with two prestigious law firms in Anchorage and was the principal in his own law firm. Since his admission to the Alaska Bar Association he has continuously served as a member of various committees. He is also admitted to the practice of law in Iowa. In addition to a general trial practice, Mr. Patch was admitted to National and Federal panels as an Arbitrator and Mediator. Prior service with the State of Alaska includes service as an Administrative Law Judge and as a Commissioner on the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.



Chief Financial Officer 

Brenda Applegate is the Chief Financial Officer for the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) and the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) as part of the shared services group. She joined the Authority in June 2000 as Controller for AIDEA. As Controller she supervised the accounting, financial and budgeting functions of AIDEA and also worked on projects owned by AEA. In March 2017 she was promoted to Chief Financial Officer. Mrs. Applegate is responsible for the financial functions of both Authority’s and the Information Technology department.

Prior to her work at AIDEA and AEA Mrs. Applegate was employed by the Municipality of Anchorage as an accountant for the Water and Wastewater Utility, Municipal Controllers office and an internal auditor in the Municipal Internal Audit department. Mrs. Applegate began her career as a tax accountant and auditor for a national public accounting firm.

Mrs. Applegate is a graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in accounting. She is a Certified Public Accountant and currently holds her license in an inactive status.















Controller/Assistant CFO

Amy is the Controller/Assistant CFO for the Alaska Energy Authority where she has been employed since August 2000.  Amy is responsible for all accounting and reporting functions for the Alaska Energy Authority and supervises staff in performance of those functions.  She is also part of the executive team and is responsible for maintaining and improving efficiencies in daily accounting and budgeting operations.  Previous to her employment at the Alaska Energy Authority, Amy worked as an internal auditor at the Municipality of Anchorage from February 1991 through August 2000.  

Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration degree with a major in Finance.



Chief Procurement Officer

Lex Sargento joined AIDEA/AEA in June of 2019, as a part of the shared services group.  Prior to AIDEA/AEA, Mr. Sargento held the Purchasing Manager position for Coastal Villages Region Fund and joins us with 15 years of procurement and project management experience.

Mr. Sargento holds an Executive Master of Business Administration in Strategic Leadership from Alaska Pacific University, a Master of Business Administration in Project Management from Ashford University as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Alaska Anchorage.



Human Resources Director

Linda Senn was appointed to this position May 2017. Prior to joining AIDEA and AEA, Ms. Senn’s previous experience includes 15 years with a local telecommunications company, serving as their Human Resources Director, and is a past President of the Society for Human Resource Management, Anchorage Chapter.

Ms. Senn holds a Ph.D. and a Master’s in Human and Organizational Development from Fielding University; a Master’s in Human Resource Management and Development from Chapman University; and Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Alaska, Anchorage.



IT Director

Terence Cato has over 20 years’ experience as a business and technology leader and manager with a diversified background in information technology and product development.

Prior to this appointment, Terence was the IT Manager for Early Childhood Development for EED where he provided strategic direction and oversight of statewide initiatives for EED. Earlier in his career, he successfully deployed and managed the statewide communication network. While serving as the data communications specialist, he developed the AJCN and HSS’s internet presence during the early years of the Worldwide Web’s emergence. At Alaska State Troopers, Terence was appointed Manager of the DivTel at Public Safety; which provides telecommunication services for state, local government and radio services to law enforcement. Terence also proudly served as a First Lieutenant in the National Guard Reserves. Terence volunteers for as a U16 soccer coach, and works with both Catholic Social Services and UAA Athletic Committees.

Terence received his BS in Computer Science from FSU, MBA, Ph.D. in Elementary Education, MCSE 2008r2 & CCNP