Growing Professionally with Alaska Housing

Sarah Terwilliger 2

Sarah Terwilliger has been a calming presence in Alaska Housing Finance Corporation’s Call Center for the past eight months. As a Rent Relief call agent, she manages multiple challenging calls daily with compassion and humanity. 

Prior to joining AHFC, Terwilliger held various administrative positions in Ireland and Alaska. The diverse assignments, which included extensive customer service training, sharpened her problem-solving skills and prepared her well for addressing often stressful circumstances in the Call Center.

Finding Rewards in Helping Others

She has a unique ability to de-escalate tense situations and respectfully tackle the individual needs of applicants seeking rent and housing relief.

“While some days are especially difficult, I have found it very rewarding to be able to provide clear and compassionate care to my neighbors – fellow Alaskans, who are struggling,” says Terwilliger. 

In particular, Terwilliger finds it extremely gratifying to hear people’s stories and know she is directly helping to keep someone in their home, or that she has helped a landlord and their tenants through a crisis.

A New Path

One of the things Terwilliger has found most inspiring during her time at AHFC are her fellow employees who collectively share their knowledge for the betterment of others.

“There is a very open, encouraging environment at AHFC to learn and grow. Brandon Kalilikane, Mike O’Hare, and Sharon Lewis are exceptional supervisors and they have provided me with several opportunities to take on new roles.”

Access to other program directors and projects allowed Terwilliger to observe and contribute to the significant collaboration efforts between departments related to Alaska Housing Rent Relief and Alaska Housing Homeowner Assistance. Particularly intriguing was experiencing first-hand the intricate communication efforts surrounding these programs. When an opportunity surfaced to join AHFC’s Government Relations team, Terwilliger jumped at the chance to apply. She is excited this month to begin a new journey as a public affairs specialist.

A 'Commitment to Advancing AHFC's Mission'

"To meet the needs of struggling renters and homeowners across the state, AHFC brought in dozens of temporary employees to immediately respond to a barrage of calls, emails and comments in social media,” says Stacy Barnes, director, Governmental Relations and Public Affairs, AHFC.

“Many of these individuals stood out for their commitment to advancing AHFC's mission of providing Alaskans access to safe, quality, affordable housing, and they demonstrated allegiance to our values. It's fitting that Sarah is among those who is finding a longer term home with us and helping us to deliver on our promise to Alaskans,” says Barnes.

For Terwilliger’s part she is ready for her new adventure with AHFC to begin, “I can’t wait to help tell the AHFC story!”