Our team has years of experience and problem solving expertise.

Iris Matthews, President

Iris founded The Stellar Group in 2010 to focus on providing data driven research and planning to Alaska’s non-profits, Tribes, advocacy organizations and government agencies. Prior to the Stellar Group, she spent several years as a Senior Program Officer at the Alaska Community Foundation helping non-profits, Tribes, local governments and advocacy groups throughout Alaska develop programs and initiatives, providing technical assistance and strategic planning to help them strengthen their programs and secure funding. 

Since 2005, Iris has helped organizations with research, analysis and planning activities including analyzing gaps in services, assessing capacity, engaging stakeholders, evaluating program effectiveness, and developing strategies to improve services. She has deep relationships with elected officials and public health professionals across Alaska, and is familiar with the frameworks, such as strengthening families, that many organizations have adopted in their work. She is also a skilled researcher, and is equally adept at accessing and analyzing data from existing sources and creating new methods of collecting data as projects require it. She enjoys working with community leaders to find solutions to complex social issues.

She believes in working with agencies to help them create sound and valuable programs and is committed to continually growing and refining her skillset. In addition to attending the American Evaluation Association conference each year, she has attended workshops on Effective Data    Visualization, Results Based Accountability, Foundations for Culturally Responsive Evaluation in Tribal Communities and Community Participatory Group Facilitation.  

Iris is a member of the Hawai’i-Pacific Evaluation Network, Alaska Evaluation Network, and American Evaluation Association. She currently serves on the national Help Me Grow Evaluation Advisory Committee and served on the Western Region SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework Review Committee for the USDA.

Iris has a Master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis in program evaluation and policy analysis and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.


Patricia Atkinson, Senior Consultant

Patricia Atkinson began working with the Stellar Group in 2013, bringing extensive experience in Tribal health services, community health centers, health care planning, social services, and policy analysis. In addition to her work with the Stellar Group, Patricia also currently works with the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association as the Director of Quality and Performance Improvement.

She  conducts market studies and financial feasibility analyses for senior housing and assisted living projects and has written policy briefs on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), telemedicine, and other Alaskan health care topics. Patricia enjoys conducting research, focus groups, and key informant interviews. For nine years she worked for the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium to develop innovative, evidence-based health services in frontier areas. Prior to that she helped launch the successful Denali KidCare initiative for the State of Alaska, developed school-based services for pregnant and parenting teens, and directed education programs to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Patricia has a long history of successful program development and management in health and human services. She enjoys analyzing and improving systems and services for vulnerable populations, and brings a scientific, creative, and caring approach to the development of needed services in Alaska. 

Patricia has a Master of Arts in Teaching with a focus on Human Resource Development, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology.