Yukon Quest Welcomes Parris as New Executive Director for Yukon

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race has a new Executive Director - Yukon.

Laurie Parris takes over from Marie Belanger, who gave her notice last fall to pursue new adventures.

Parris joins the Yukon Quest after living and working in Cambodia as an advisor to the Provincial Fisheries Administration, providing institutional and community development and capacity building. Her career in executive management has seen her travel and work all across Canada, United States and Eastern Africa, and includes industries such as professional apparel manufacturing, agricultural skills, education, retail and fisheries.

“The Yukon Board of Directors is thrilled to welcome Laurie Parris as our new Executive Director,” said President of the Yukon Board, Joost van der Putten. “We are very pleased to have found someone like Laurie, who brings such a wealth of experience and skills to the table. The Yukon Quest is a challenging race and event, but the board is convinced that she will be up to speed as quickly as possible.”

Parris said she loves opportunities that allow her to interact with diverse groups of people and offer the chance to raise public awareness, support community and champion for community industry with a wide variety of stakeholders on issues of importance. She’s joined by her retired Barbadian husband Larsen, and they are both delighted to be setting down strong roots in Whitehorse.

 “My love of the Canadian north, winter, snow and especially dogs makes me excited to be the new and enthusiastic Executive Director of the Yukon Quest. I really look forward to meeting all the people involved – particularly the athletes!"

Van der Putten says Parris will be supported by Belanger in the transition.

“Marie will be missed dearly, and the board would like to thank Marie wholeheartedly for many years of commitment. We wish both Laurie and Marie all the best in their new endeavours.”

The 2015 Yukon Quest will start Saturday, February 7th in Whitehorse. 

Official Release: