Advisory Board Member Spotlight – Debby Retherford


Debby Retherford is a lifelong Alaskan raised in Palmer. Her roots spread from Minnesota to New York City, and the beautiful Copper River Valley, home of her Athabascan ancestors. Debby and her husband have owned a small business in Palmer for the past 20 years, the Fence Emporium. She is a mom to a teenage son, and finds joy in gardening, traveling and being involved in her community.

Debby has been an advocate for people since her early days in banking, where she helped many people face financial decisions. She has volunteered on numerous projects & boards around the Mat-Su Valley and served on the Mat-Su School Board from 2012-2018. Debby is one of the founding members of the Palmer Community Foundation and brings her experience from organizations such as the Alaska State Fair, the American Cancer Society, the Palmer Chamber of Commerce, Palmer Rotary, Butte Community PTA, and 20 years with the Special Santa program. She continues to be involved in various campaigns and initiatives for the causes and people that share her values of inclusiveness, equity, and respect.

Debby states that the community foundation model appealed to her because of its broad purpose. Being limited only by geography, PCF can help a wide range of organizations with projects that benefit the residents of the Greater Palmer area. Additionally, the support of the Alaska Community Foundation helps ensure PCF will be around to help future generations improve the quality of life in Palmer.