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.


Hanna Menefee, Project Assistant

Hanna began working with the Stellar Group in 2018, bringing experience working as a research assistant on food security and other community-based projects, including work with a local food policy council. A researcher at heart, Hanna has trained in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, and can collect, analyze, and interpret information in a clear and concise manner. She is passionate about providing clients with the information they need, in a way they can best understand it and uses infographics, as well as text and graphs, to convey data.

While Hanna is new to Alaska, she is an enthusiastic, quick learner, who is excited to have the opportunity to work on projects that are vitally important to the people and communities of Alaska.  Hanna is continuing to build her skill set as a member of the American Evaluation Association and the Alaska Evaluation Network.

Hanna has a Master of Sociology and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.