Patricia Relay, Executive DirectorExecutive Director

Patricia Relay

has a lifelong love of museums and cultural organization.  She believes that museums and galleries are much more than places to store relics and artifacts.  Museums serve as vital community resources that provide gathering places where thoughtful exhibits and educational opportunities co-exist, bringing communities together to learn, to play, and to delight in.  In 2010 Mrs. Relay and her family moved to Valdez, Alaska from Bellingham, Washington, where she was not only a museum professional but a business owner, an educator, a volunteer, a wife and mother.  Mrs. Relay has 22 years of experience working in Museums and is excited to be the Executive Director at the Valdez Museum & Historical Archive. She encourages all to stop by the Museum and step back in time to learn more about our community’s rich history.

To contact Mrs. Relay email:


Curator of Collections & Exhibitions

Caren Oberg, Ph.D.

was one of the thousands of summer tourists who stepped into Valdez in 1999, and she has been trying to get back ever since. In the intervening years, she developed a museum career, including curatorial work, exhibition development, visitor studies, grant development, and educational programming. Oberg has always been interested in how memory, objects, archives, and people intersect to form meaningful community history and mutual understanding. She is thrilled to be able to support the people of Valdez as they explore their long ago and recent pasts. Oberg, her spouse, and their dog are packing up in St. Paul, MN, and will arrive in Valdez in mid-September 2022. 

To contact Dr. Oberg email:


faithCurator of Education & Public Programs

Faith Revell

is an award-winning exhibit designer, hands-on educator and practicing artist with more than 20 years in the museum field. In August 2011 she arrived in Valdez from Indianapolis, IN, with her camera, paints and car in tow excited about the prospects of living in Alaska and the snowy winter ahead. At the museum Revell has created a dynamic environment with a balanced mix of active and passive learning experiences. She often teaches using collections to provoke curiosity about the past and prompt learners to hone their critical thinking and observation skills. Many lessons are infused with art-making and storytelling, all with laughter. Revell delights in new opportunities to immerse herself in Alaska’s remarkable geography, breathtaking landscape, history, culture, and Native traditions.

To contact Ms. Revell email:


AndreaMuseum Services Manager

Andrea Searles

moved to Valdez in the summer of 1975, when pipeline construction was fully underway and the prospect of employment brought her along with her family to town. She has always been inspired by the community and fascinated with its people. She worked for 34 years at the Valdez Post Office and retired in 2009. Continuing to maintain an interest in the town and community involvement, she was excited to join the staff at the Valdez Museum in 2011. Ms. Searles believes the town holds both intrigue and unimaginable determination and is proud to represent it.

To contact Ms. Searles email:


Administrative Marketing Coordinator

Danny Tapp

Danny Tapp was born and raised in Valdez Alaska and has pursued an interest in art. She has an Associates of Arts from PWSC. Danny has always taken an interest in Alaska and its many natural beauty’s. She often will use one of Valdez’ rare sunny days to go kayaking.

She is happy to be joining the Valdez Museum as the new Administrative Marketing Coordinator. She has been working seasonally as an attendant since 2017. She says ” – working with the cruise ships this year has been a wonderful experience everyone was so nice”. She is excited to be more involved with the Valdez Museum and its many friendly staff.

To contact Ms. Tapp email: 


Lead Museum Attendant

Devon lujan

has returned to Valdez where she was born and raised after a few years of study and travel abroad. Coming home with her 12 year old corgi Esmé in tow, she has found her place to share stories here at the museum. She is ecstatic to get share the history of Valdez with people from around the world as she had done while overseas.

Devon recently left working as a CNA and Medical Assistant in the medical community to chase her passion for history and art. During her days off she spends time with her “little old lady” corgi and studies historical fashion so she can make recreations for her and her friends. She is excited to be a part of the community again and encourages everyone to come stop in to the museum!

To contact Ms. Lujan email:

Curatorial Assistant

Emma Villareal

Was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. She has an Associates of Arts from North Seattle College and is pursuing a bachelor’s in environmental management as preservation of the environment is important to her.

Emma moved to Valdez with her partner and daughter after falling in love with Alaska and its immense beauty. She has a particular interest in Valdez and its history because her Alaskan Grandad regaling her with many stories of old Valdez and the people he knew. She wishes to retrace his footsteps.

She is excited to be able to help continue preservation of Valdez history with the museum staff and community.

To contact Ms. Villareal email: