After two stints and a total of eight years as Executive Director of the Yukon Quest – Alaska, Marti Steury is ready for a change.
Steury is stepping down from her role with the organization, saying it’s time to inject new energy into the race and share what she calls a wonderful and unique experience.
“This past year was the best race in recent history. Everything is on an up, so what a great time to incorporate new energy. Now that our foundation is solid again, it’s time to expand and share this privilege with others,” said Steury. “The way the Yukon Quest continues to grow and get better is by adding new ideas, while at the same time recognizing our lessons learned. The future is so very bright for the organization and a perfect time for fresh, new leadership. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to share my energy with a new company, and have more time for my own dogs and family, as well as a new adventure.”
Steury began her first stint as Executive Director in 1983, and was in charge of four races before travelling the trail as a reporter in 1988. Since then, she’s been everything from checkpoint volunteer to race sponsor.
In August of 2009 Steury came back as the ED, and says she has no regrets. When asked what words she would use to describe her experience on the Yukon Quest, her love of the race is clear.
“Life-changing. Humbling. Privileged. We’re so lucky to be where we’re at, to be able to do the things we do. It’s such a gift. How extraordinary that in this day and age, we can still be involved with something this special and make a difference,” shared Steury. “There’s something quite remarkable about surrounding yourself with these incredible animals and the people who surround them.”
She says there was only one goal she never accomplished with the race – competing in it. That was her original intention, when she owned 23 sled dogs in the early 1980s. Instead, she ended up running the race for everyone else. Still, she knows not everybody gets the opportunities she has had.
After so many years being involved with the Yukon Quest, Steury knows taking a back seat won’t be easy. But she insists she won’t be quitting cold turkey. She’ll be following along as a fan, like millions of others across the globe.
“Fairbanks is my home and I don’t plan on going anywhere. This race is in my DNA. It will always be a part of me,” declared Steury.
Yukon Quest International, Ltd. will be accepting applications for the position of Executive Director - Alaska starting April 2nd.