Our Staff

Carrie Skinner

General Manager

Carrie came to Alaska for the first time in 1999 for a summer job.  She had a wonderful summer full of adventure, and traveled back to her home state, Michigan, once the season was over, where she continued working as an accountant.  Carrie found herself returning to Alaska for several summers thereafter, working for a photography company, and later Husky Homestead.  Carrie made the move to Alaska permanent in 2006 and has been at Husky Homestead ever since.  She, her husband, Dave, and their five dogs live in Denali year-round and are both heavily involved in the community.  In addition to working for Husky Homestead, Carrie is the President of the Denali Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is the Treasurer for the McKinley Volunteer Fire Department.  Carrie enjoys reading, doing jigsaw puzzles, and after 12 years of living here she’s finally learning how to use a pair of skinny ski’s in the bright, sunny days of Alaska’s spring beauty.

Alex Buetow

Long Distance Musher, Dog Yard Manager, and Maintenance Technician

Alex was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska.  He was born into a mushing family and is no stranger to the back of a sled.  His parents met through dogs and ran races for years.  His father is a veteran of both the 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and the 1,000-mile International Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race.  Alex is certainly following in his father’s footsteps as he completed the famed Iditarod Sled Dog Race in 2014 and completed his Rookie Yukon Quest Race this year – finishing with a great 8th place finish  After high school, Alex spent a number of years studying Environmental Sciences at Montana State University and spent his summers in Minnesota working as a Camp Counselor.  Alex grew up with the knowledge and familiarity of dogs and returned to working with dogs in 2012.  Several dog teams and a few good breaks later, Alex has found a way to work with dogs year-round here at Husky Homestead.  Alex is a year-round Dog Yard Manager and works as a Presenter/Maintenance Technician during the summer.  He spends his winters continuing to train dogs and getting them ready for racing season.  Alex enjoys hiking, canoeing, camping, hunting, and searching for antler sheds in the spring.

Maren Johnson

Photographer / Yard Staff / Winter Handler

Maren grew up in Utah and used to train basic obedience skills to puppies but wanted to learn more about working and sport dogs. Maren decided to start with sled dogs. She did some research and found a job working on a glacier leading sled dog tours out of Juneau. Maren has previously spent two winters and one summer at Husky Homestead and is now into her second summer with us! Since moving to Alaska and learning about sled dogs, she has been very involved in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race – specifically volunteering for various positions in the Iditarod race. Most recently, she was the coordinator/manager/supervisor for the dropped dog program at the McGrath checkpoint. Maren is also a Veterinary Assistant and loves working with animals. One goal Maren wants to accomplish soon is to finish a 200+ mile sled dog race. Maren enjoys playing soccer, exploring, and spending time with her family and friends. Her personal motto is “It’ll all work out in the end. Mush On!”

Nathan Krzynski

Driver / Guide / Winter Handler

Hailing from the Midwestern state of Wisconsin, Nathan holds a degree in civil engineering and is a fluent speaker of German.  He said that adventure, sled dogs, beautiful scenery and fresh air brought him north to Alaska – and we think he nailed all of that by coming here!  He’s also an avid rugby player, enjoys running (now often taking a dog or puppies with him) and listening to music when he’s not working, and says that a personal goal that he has for the next year would be to read more often.  Asked what he wants to make sure he does before he dies, Nathan said he’d like to go to the moon. His personal motto is “improvise, adapt, overcome” – which sounds like a pretty good motto for a dog musher, or someone heading to the moon.

 

Catherine Javid 

Reservations Agent

Catherine is from Kentucky and graduated with a degree in History. She decided to come to Alaska after reading Jack London’s White Fang in the third grade. Catherine is happiest doing yoga, puzzles, bouldering indoors, hiking, hanging out with her cat and reading. This is her second summer working for Husky Homestead.

Christopher Janes

Driver / Guide

Chris first came to Alaska to attend a 24-day outdoor leadership program in Haines, Alaska.  Here, he learned about mountaineering, sea kayaking, and wilderness medicine. After completing this outdoor school, he was not ready to leave Alaska, so he found his first winter dog handler job in Healy, Alaska in 2014.  Chris later found different ways to travel and work as a seasonal employee in Colorado and Wyoming. This summer marks Chris’ fourth summer season at Husky Homestead.  Chris graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta (AiA) with a video production degree.  From there, he was a production assistant at The Weather Channel and later a city photographer for the city of College Park, Georgia.  Chris says, “As a previous suburbanite of 30-years living in Georgia and Florida I now feel more confident driving a team of sled dogs in negative temperatures than driving a car in Atlanta’s rush hour.”  Chris is passionate about conservation for the environment and wildlife.  He strives to share what will soon be forgotten – whether it is through personal interactions, photos, videos, or all three.  Chris can be found outside most of the time.  His German Shorthair Pointer, Yeska, is never far behind and is a master at bikejoring! 

Holly Keith

Photographer / Yard Staff

A southerner from Alabama, Holly came to Alaska out of curiosity. She has always been interested in dogs and dog mushing, so she decided to experience the sport for herself. Her own dog, Canyon, travelled here with her.  When they aren’t traveling across the country, Canyon and Holly spend their time hiking or playing with ponies. She is also an avid horse lover who has been riding since she was 7. Her personal motto is, “it’s never too late to do what you haven’t done.”

Jeanie Neal

Reservations Agent

Jeanie visited Alaska in 2017 and discovered the sport of dog mushing.  Immediately an avid fan, this cat owner spent two years following the sport via Facebook, twitter, live feeds, and the trackers. Now she has found a way to combine her interest in the sport and her desire for a little adventure. She took a break from her Nebraska-based swimming and water safety business, packed the cats in her van, and joined the team here at Husky Homestead.

Johnna Bierman 

Photographer / Yard Staff

Johnna is from Nebraska and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education.  She worked as a librarian for three years and when she isn’t reading or working with books, you can find her bowling or riding her motorcycle.  This is Johnna’s second summer working for Husky Homestead. She brings a cheery attitude and great customer service.  As she likes to say, “Customer service goes the extra mile with a smile.”  Johnna is passionate about working to reduce human impact on the earth and loving all dogs equally.  Her own dogs, Amber and Jade, travelled to Alaska with her and both are very excited about a summer number two in Denali. 

May Huntley

Driver / Guide

May has a contagious enthusiasm for life and is a believer in the power of positivity.  May grew up at the base of the Windriver Mountains, near Pinedale, Wyoming.  She attended the University of Montana, where she earned a degree in Communications and Non-Profit Administration.  May thrives in a community of vision and purpose, so naturally she gravitated to student groups and workplaces with a mission of service.  She has worked with Bike & Build several different times, which allowed her to bike across the United States while working to make a difference in various communities throughout each trek.  May was first introduced to sled dogs and the sport of mushing through working for Alaska Icefield Expeditions on the Mendenhall Glacier, near Juneau, Alaska.  She spent three seasons working on the Mendenhall and has also mushed dogs near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This is May’s second summer driving for Husky Homestead, she is a Yoga instructor and enjoys teaching and sharing her passion with others.

Nicole MacMaster

Reservations Agent

Nicole’s family moved to Alaska when she was seven years old.  It had been her parents dream to live in Alaska and she fell in love with the Denali area thanks to them.  She loves traveling and has been to Spain, Italy, Costa Rica, Mexico and many of the lower 48 states. This is Nicole’s third summer at Husky Homestead.  She is a part of the office staff and brings great knowledge of Denali, communication skills and a passion for dogs.  Nicole spends her free time with her family, reading, or watching a movie.

Sean Underwood

Driver / Guide

Sean was born and raised in Atlanta, GA and graduated from Georgia Southern University. The year after he finished college, he spent most of his time in Central and South America achieving fluency in Spanish through cultural immersion and getting to know his relatives throughout Chile. Sean came up to Alaska in 2015 to stay with his Aunt, Uncle and cousin and commercial fish for sockeye salmon on Kodiak Island with them. After spending two consecutive summers living off the grid and eating delicious fish in beautiful country, he was interested in trying out a winter in Alaska, his Uncle and Aunt put him in touch with their good friend Jeff King and Sean was hired to be part of his crew. Almost four years later he has finished multiple sled dog races including the Tustamena 200 and the Copper Basin 300 with Jeff’s dogs. He hopes to run the Iditarod one day soon.

Trenton Yates

CDL Instructor / Driver / Guide

Trenton is a long-time Alaskan and is joining us for his ninth summer season here at Husky Homestead.  He has worked as a professional driver for over twenty years.  Trenton has attended the start of nearly every Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race for the last twenty years and has known a thing or two about sled dogs—he used to mush dogs, too!  Trenton spends his winters in the southern portion of the state, near the coast.  In his free time, he can be found seeking out and attending live music shows.  He enjoys spending time with friends and family whenever he can. 

Sara Ross

Photographer / Yard Staff

Sara is from Massachusetts and on Sara’s bucket list was visiting Alaska. When a few friends approached her and asked if she’d like to caravan up, her and her husband said, “Yes!”. She loves to travel and wants to visit every state as well as many countries as possible. Sara’s free time is spent outside photographing all the beautiful places she’s been and dancing the night away.

Lauren Smith

Photographer / Yard Staff

Lauren hails from Denver originally, and has been moving around the US for a couple years with her pup. She was traveling with the Broadway production, Hamilton, before deciding to look for new adventures outside of the major cities and near the National Parks. A love of the outdoors and dogs made coming to Husky Homestead a no-brainer! In her free time, she enjoys learning how to make and fix things… recent projects included a DIY Yeti cooler, a down sleeping bag, and building a solar power generator with her old car battery. Not all of her projects work out, but the finished product is rarely the best part!

Cody Waterbury

Driver / Guide

 

Daniel Hangman

Photographer / Yard Staff

Daniel originally from Nebraska took a chance on coming out to Denali, Alaska in search of adventure and trying something new. Daniel has always had a passion for sports or physical activities, he has participated in basketball, baseball, football, and soccer but bowling out shined them all.  He has been competitive bowling for 8 years, completed multiple Perfect Games, and on his free time you’ll still find him at a lane having fun with his family and friends. Once Daniel has finished his summer at Husky Homestead, he plans to go back home a pursue an education in culinary arts. Daniel has a contagious, optimistic spirit and you can count on him to get any job done with a smile.