President, Neil Strandberg
Vice President, Stephanie Masters Johnson
Stephanie Masters Johnson owns a small kennel in Nome. She has lived here for 15 years, and has been mushing dogs recreationally for about 12 years. In the 2018 NC 200, she placed 2nd and received the Red Lantern (only 2 finishers). Stephanie grew up on a farm (beef cattle, sheep, pigs and horses) in West Virginia. People often ask her why she has dogs when it’s so much work. She replies, “I love every minute of it and I made a commitment to my dogs to keep them fed, exercised, healthy, warm and loved.”
She is married to Lance Johnson, and both have dedicated the past 15 years to serving and learning from the wonderful people of western Alaska. She worked for 10 years at the Nome Youth Facility as a Mental Health Clinician with adolescents from both the Nome and Kotzebue regions. Currently, she is a contracted Clinician for the State of Alaska serving the Anvil Mountain Correctional Center and Nome Adult Probation clients. She holds a Master’s in Counseling from West Virginia University (1993) and a Bachelor’s from Davis and Elkins College (1988). She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Alaska and a National Board Certified Counselor.
In addition to the NKC, Stephanie serves on the Board of the Iditarod Historic Trail Alliance. Her kennel name is Almost Heaven Huskies which derives from Almost Heaven West Virginia (John Denver) and her “home” State.
Secretary, Diana Haecker
Diana Haecker was born and raised in Germany, and relocated first to Hawaii in 1996 and then to Alaska in 2002. She has a Masters degree in Japanology, Politics and American History and has been a reporter for 30 years. She is the editor of Alaska's oldest newspaper, The Nugget Newspaper, and she is also the owner of Mushing Magazine.
Diana lives outside of Nome with her husband, Nils, and their teenage daughter, Lizzy. They own and operate an active sled dog kennel. Nils came to the Great Land for the sole purpose of mushing and has finished the Iditarod four times, ran the Kuskokwim 300, Kobuk 440, Arctic Circle Championships, Fur Rondy and many other races in the state.
Treasurer, Frank Carruthers
Frank Carruthers is a commercial and subsistence fisherman who has fished on the Yukon River and now focuses on Norton Sound. At one time, he ran a trapline with a dog team as his only transportation. The highlight of his winters was taking trips with the dogs after trapping season, sometimes with other dog teams but often times solo. Since moving to Nome, his winter travels have been by snow machine.
Director, Sarah Richards
Sarah Richards grew up in Pennsylvania and always dreamed of running dogs in Alaska. She started out with a team of border collies as a teenager, and now has a small kennel of Alaskan huskies just a few miles outside of Nome.
She met her now-husband through a serendipitous article in Mushing Magazine, and moved to Alaska for college in 2008. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Masters of Science in Experiential Education.
Before moving to Nome in the summer of 2019, she worked for the ACHILL program as a dog mushing instructor in interior Alaska. She has previously served on the Tok Dog Mushers Association, and is proud to be the newest board member of the Nome Kennel Club.
Her husband, Keane, grew up on a tributary of the Yukon River, on a small homestead. His family’s dog team was their only mode of ground transportation during the winter for over 30 years.
Keane and Sarah have two daughters who are 9 and 7 years old, and they are thankful to pass on the tradition to their kids. They like to say their dogs are part-time sled dogs and full-time pets, as they enjoy adventure year-round, regardless of the season.