FRANK TEASLEY — 2019 EXECUTIVE RACE DIRECTOR
Frank Teasley was struck with the idea for a stage stop race in Wyoming more than 24 years ago. “This race promotes good health for all of us, and we also have lot of fun doing it!” he says. The format gives people access to the sport, all its athletes, and its excitement. Frank has had a distinguished career as a professional dog musher, and is an Iditarod veteran. His best Iditarod finish in 1991 was sixth place out of a field of 74 teams, and he won the Sterling Silver Award for the most improved team the same year. In 1989, Frank received the prestigious Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award for best-cared-for team. He learned his craft from veteran musher and ‘Father of the Iditarod’ Joe Redington, Sr. Frank’s extensive racing credits also include multiple wins in the John Beargrease, The UP 200, and Race to the Sky. He’s also raced with successes in Russia, France, Argentina, Canada, Italy, and Switzerland. When he co-founded his Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours Company, Frank saw it as a “pension-plan” for his experienced racing dogs and a “high school” for the younger, less experienced ones. Frank breeds, raises and trains Alaskan huskies as well. “I love the sport of mushing and have always been dedicated to the well-being and health of these great animals,” Frank states with some authority. Be sure to check out the Wyoming Tourism page and video of Frank at https://www.travelwyoming.com/frank-teasley-dogsled-expert
DAN CARTER — 2019 RACE DIRECTOR
“Dan has that rare combination that spells success — the mind of a businessman, the drive of a competitive athlete, and the soul of a true dog musher,” states Race Co-Founder and Executive Director Frank Teasley. Dan’s first connection with the Pedigree Stage Stop Race was in 1997 when he helped train a team. After completing the race six times, he took over as Chief Timer, and for two years, good friend and then Race Director Frank Teasley “kept trying to hand me the Director’s notebook.” He accepted in 2015, and hasn’t looked back. Dan has completed many races including the Iditarod, the Grand Portage Passage Sled Dog Race (which he won in 2003) in addition to six-time finisher in the Pedigree Stage Stop Race. His sporting career is by no means limited to dog related adventures. In 2004, he paddled a canoe for 1,400 miles from Lake Superior to Hudson Bay. That’s right — 1,400 miles, not kilometers! A few years later he navigated the Colorado River 225 miles through the Grand Canyon in a cat-a-raft he built himself. Who knows how a B.S. in management from Purdue University led to many years as a river and back country guide and operations manager? His diverse work background — guiding wilderness trips from Arizona to Montana, Texas oil fields wrangler, and television production in Los Angeles — means he’s well equipped to handle anything. Which is useful because the unexpected always happens in this race! Dan lives with his partner Lisa, their dog Milo and cat Buck Rogers in Indianapolis. If this isn’t enough to keep him busy, Dan started Brighten Exterior Cleaning Services two years ago and, in his spare time if you can imagine he has spare time, Dan says he wants to play golf.
Dan enjoys being Race Director which lets him stay involved in a sport that he loves while maintaining friendships with mushers, sponsors, and fellow race crew members. “Pedigree has been with the race for 19 years now! We couldn’t ask for a better sponsor, and we are proud to have Pedigree in our name.”
DIANNA LEHN — 2019 ASST. RACE DIRECTOR & SECRETARY
SEAN McNELIS — 2019 OFFICIAL TIMER
After travelling with the Pedigree® Stage Stop Race as Stage Coordinator for the last ten years, Sean McNelis returns in 2018 as the Official Race Timer. “I enjoy any sport that has to do with being on a trail,” he says. Sean met Frank Teasley “over 100 years ago” and their friendship bonded when they began travelling to dog races starting about 15 years ago.
He was raised in New England and moved to Colorado after high school. Then back east for college (B.S. from Western Connecticut State University) and westward ho! again to Wyoming. When not on the race circuit, Sean makes his living building homes in Jackson, Wyoming.
MATT REDWINE — 2019 TRAIL BOSS
Matt Redwine has lived in NW Wyoming for 20 yrs. He has guided snowmobile & fishing in Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks. Matt is currently self-employed and is a Captain for the Town of Jackson Fire/EMS. He was 1st introduced to sled dogs while working at Frank Teasley’s kennel in the late 1900’s. He has volunteered with the race since the very 1st year working in staging and on the trail crew. 2014 is Matt’s 5th year as Trail Boss. Matt says he learned his love for mushing from John Welch!
CODY GRUBBS — 2019 TRAIL CREW
“Redwine and Grubbs” might not have the same initial appeal as Bert and Ernie or Shake and Bake, but they are the Lennon and McCartney of the sled dog world. Cody Owen Grubbs has been a vital member of the Pedigree® Stage Stop Race Trail Crew for “probably eight years” — he says that he’s enjoyed it so much he’s lost track of time. Cody is Trail Boss Matt Redwine’s right hand man. In fact, Cody, wife and young son join in the fun of the Stage Stop Race every year, hosting a sled dog team, and participating in the festivities. Cody loves the beautiful Wyoming back country, making friends of the race crew and mushers who’ve become part of his extended family, and, of course, the dogs. He’s always loved dogs. Currently, Cody lives in Alpine, Wyoming, where he owns and operates Grubbs Painting with clients from Jackson to Star Valley. He loves to hunt, fly fish with his family, and be outside as much as possible. He’s a hard worker who puts his family first but don’t worry, they wouldn’t miss the race for darned near anything.
CHRIS HAVENER — 2019 RACE PHOTOGRAPHER
For over 12 years, Chris Havener has captured and shared with the public his vibrant photographs of the Pedigree® Stage Stop Sled Dog Race. Chris states (quoting Frank Teasley), “It’s too late to scratch!” which translates “I’m looking forward to seeing ya out on the 2019 Stage Stop trail.” 2019 marks Chris Havener’s 31st year of wildland fire management. His expertise is aviation — more specifically helicopters — not flying them but almost everything else. As Chris explains, “my job in multi-faceted, simultaneously managing heli-bases with up to 15 helicopters and 150 personnel to doing reconnaissance, mapping” . . . you name it, Chris probably does it. Chris has called Jackson, Wyoming his “base of operation” for the last 26+ years and has fought fires in more than a dozen states as well as Canada. He’s always a welcome face (and beard) to his colleagues from around the country when he arrives on the fire line. Chris describes his off-time activities as being “a skier — well, a beginner really — and a wanna-be fly fisherman who likes to harvest the mighty Wapiti, and the fast and ferocious Wyoming Speed Goat.” You’ll have to ask him about the details.
And if you like Chris’ photography, post it here.
NOAH WALDRON — 2019 RACE SOUND ENGINEER
GEORGES DURAND — 2019 RACE STAGING ASSISTANT
Georges lives outside Saint Rambert, France which he says is “about the size of Jackson.” He commutes one-hour each way to Lyon where he works as a firefighter, which he’s been doing for over 30 years. “I met Frank (Teasley, Co-Founder of the Wyoming Stage Stop Race) in France during the 2005 La Grande Odyssée race in the French Alps which runs from Portes du Soleil to Haute-Maurienne. He asked me to come to Wyoming and, with the exception of last year, I’ve been coming every year since. I’m really excited to get back to Wyoming and see my old friends — maybe meet some new ones, too” he says in his usual affable manner.
BOB HATTON — 2019 RACE MECHANIC
A familiar and welcome face returns to the Stage Stop with Bob Hatton as the official 2019 Pedigree® Stage Stop Race Mechanic. As Bob tells it, he was lured by Frank Teasley’s invitation to become the mechanic and travel with the Stage Stop Race. “Bring your wife,” Frank said, “it might be like a vacation for the two of you!” “I said, sure, sounds like fun!” Sure. This is how Bob describes that first outing as Race Mechanic: “It was all I could do to keep up with the tail lights that didn’t work, a generator that worked but lacked any voltage to run the race motor home or the random flat tire on support vehicles . . . and then, there were the race’s trail sleds. Well, that’s a story in itself, but you get the idea.” Bob has since learned that the Stage Stop is most certainly not a leisurely trip to the mountains. “Joanna and I go on more traditional vacations now, but I still participate as the Official Mechanic. It’s my sixth year, and I enjoy it more than ever. Yes, I still stay pretty busy. If it can break, it will break. And I’ll be ready when it does.”
ROGER CARPENTER — 2019 MEDIA DIRECTOR
Roger Carpenter started his professional life as paste-up guy at Rolling Stone magazine in its earlier days in San Francisco. From there he moved to designing at Francis Coppola’s CITY Magazine, Columbia Records, Art Director for OUI Magazine, Paper Moon Graphics, and Foote Cone Belding/Honig on the Levi Straus account. He built his own design agency in Los Angeles and is responsible for the look of many films including Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as well as many classic video titles including To Kill a Mockingbird, Citizen Kane, the Bette Davis collection for MGM, the Classic Monsters collection for Universal Studios, and the Shirley Temple, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Marilyn Monroe and Planet of the Apes collections for Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
You’d be forgiven for wondering how a fancy pants Hollywood art director/graphics designer ended up thigh deep in snow, chasing a bunch of mushers around Wyoming. Actually, the explanation is as simple as an ex-wife who fell in love with sled dog racing in California and eventually another sled dog racer in Montana. Hang on because a happy ending is not far away.
In 2003 at a small race in Glenwood Springs CO, Roger met Ray Gordon (the guy who encouraged Frank Teasley to pursue a stage stop format race in Wyoming). Ray was a seasoned veteran of stage and long distance racing having completed the Iditarod twice and, at the time, still turning in first place wins. Gordon asked Roger to handle for him at a few races that year and afterwards declared Roger ‘the best damn handler I’ve had in 40 years.’ Roger also assisted Gordon who was Race Judge of the IPSSSDR that year, and met the Stage Stop family including many who he’s working alongside this year.
Now happily remarried, Roger lives mostly in Laramie WY and Walden CO where he continues his work as a marketing and design consultant. Last year, he designed the book “Atlantic City, Wyoming • Voices from a Powerful Place” which was awarded the Wyoming State Historical Society’s first place. He and his wife trekked the Mustang district of Nepal in May.
Roger has been the Media Director the past five years, so say hello when you see him buzzing around doing whatever. He says that he looks forward to making 2019 the best Stage Stop ever.
JERRY BATH — 2019 RACE COMMENTATOR
Returning for his second year as 2019 Race Commentator, Jerry Bath has been with the Stage Stop since its beginning — first as a spectator helping the Lander trail crew for the very first Stage Stop 24 years ago; then, after acquiring a few dogs and some training, he entered the IPSSSDR in 2009 and raced it every year through 2017; and as a Lander Chairperson with his wife Sandy for the past 19 years. In 2018, things changed when Jerry’s doc ordered NO RACING for the season and we were fortunate to get Jerry to write top-notch commentaries and first-hand accounts and interviews. He’s run every mile of every stage with almost every competitor in the Stage Stop — always finishing in the top ten, and five times was in a respectable fifth place. “Last year I learned what it’s like on the other side of the race and enjoyed it,” Jerry stated recently. “I had full intentions of returning to compete in the 2019 Stage Stop, but this summer decided to hang it up. I’ll still be part of the Stage Stop family as an analyst/commentator and as a mentor to other up-and-coming mushers. During the year, I’ll be traveling to seminars and speaking engagements for mushing groups. My Stage Stop experiences have been some of the best rewarding race experiences I’ve had. The level of professionalism and sportsmanship is second to none,” he says. “It truly is the Super Bowl of mushing.” Follow Jerry’s ongoing commentaries here and at https://www.wyomingstagestop.org
SARAH LEDERLE — 2019 MEDIA ASSISTANT
Sarah says that she’s seen a number of interesting things in her life but this will be her first dogsled race. She earned a degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas, later deciding she would rather work with plants because they don’t talk very much. She then spent a year studying horticulture on New Zealand’s South Island. Nowadays she primarily spends her time exploring the western United States, poking around ghost towns and scratching national parks off her bucket list. Sarah’s motto is “We were not put on this planet to jump through hoops” and her favorite author is Ed Abbey.
KATIE WILLIAMS — 2019 LEAD TEACHER
“I’m thrilled to be Lead Teacher with the Pedigree® Stage Stop Dog Sled Race again this year!” says an enthusiastic Katie Williams. “Teaching is my passion, and I am excited to get young people involved in the amazing sport dog sled racing through education and hands on experiences. I am anxious to start scheduling field trips, and publishing educational materials.” 2019 will be Katie’s third year as Lead Teacher. “My job is to help teachers incorporate the race into their curriculum, get mushers into classrooms, and students out to the races. Last year mushers visited more than 700 students. Teachers can bring students to the race to meet mushers, tour the trucks, visit handlers and dogs, meet race staff, and then watch the teams rush out of the chute. It’s a day packed with lots of activity, and a great opportunity to get students into an important part of Wyoming’s culture. Katie has been a teacher for eleven years — first in Swan Valley, Idaho teaching 1st and 2nd grades for seven years before taking a position in Pinedale where she now teaches fourth grade. Katie says that the most rewarding part of her work is spending nine months a year teaching and helping students become the best little people they can possibly be, and then the chance to watch as they continue their school career and become bigger humans. Katie and husband Randy both grew up in Lander and have lived in Pinedale for five years. She’s mother to two of last year’s Junior Mushers — Hayden (six years) and Maggie (eight years). After watching the Junior Mushers race during Katie’s first year as Lead Teacher, her kids decided they were interested, too. Jeff Conn was Hayden’s musher, and Alix Crittenden was Maggie’s. “They loved seeing their mushers each morning, and sitting with them at the banquets. The have all become life-long friends!” Email Katie directly at email@example.com. For more information about the programs available to teachers and students, visit http:// www.stagestopeducation.org
BILL HASTINGS — 2019 WEB & IT SUPPORT
Bill Hastings came from a background in Wildlife Biology, log furniture building and a dream to be a full-time musician. He began his IT career ages ago (in computer years) when dial-up was the norm in Wyoming. A five minute lecture in 1999 on how web servers work was all it took to see the creativity and beauty in website coding and design. Starting in Wyoming as a website developer and systems administrator working for an ISP, another sysadmin role at the National Outdoor Leadership School, IT has taken him to far flung places like Kansas and Ireland for year long stints with a software development company and back to Lander Wyoming to continue learning about all things IT with an accounting company. He founded his own IT shop in 2006 and formed a website hosting company WindHosting in 2009, a full service hosting, site design, development and graphics company that he runs with his wife/business partner. They both administer a 3000+ member Lander community email list and website. He took ownership of another website design and hosting company, Cheyenne Technology in 2017 and has been busy ever since. Toss in Crossfit sessions and a continued passion for guitars and you have a busy Bill. This is his first year working with the Stage Stop website and he has enjoyed learning the site and is looking forward to making the site the best it can be.