Help Pioneer Outfitters Alaska

by  Mike Henry  |  Light Your World

Amber-Lee Dibble (@AlaskaChickBlog) has been an Instigator in Lead Change Group for a while. She joined because she wanted to do something to promote leadership and leadership development. She didn’t want to do nothing.

Then, last year, there was a tragedy in her life that she’s going to discuss below. As a result, she and her organization, no, her family, have had to make some changes.  Would you check out this interview and act accordingly?

Lead Change Group:How did you get started writing and sharing about leadership?

Amber-Lee: I began writing in January of 2011, after recovering more than anyone could have hoped after my fourth stroke. I was given the task to bring Pioneer Outfitters online and to the world. As I learned how to do this and all of what it included, writing about leadership was only a natural progression as one of the categories I write about on Pioneer’s website is focused on our Alaska Survival and Guide Training Program.

One of the things I was taught (I learned everything as I began from HubSpot) was how important it was to foster, search, and create new relationships: meet people, talk to them, learn from them. I needed to find people speaking about the things I was learning about and instruction for the parts of my own life I wanted to be stronger. I was hoping to find that magic niche. But I am a daisy in a field of tulips; there is no niche for me. I am it. So I continued to learn, becoming even more intrigued as to how this could possibly make us better professional guides. And here I am.

LCG: Would you tell us about the fire last fall? What happened?

Amber-Lee: September 16, 2013. Terry had flow in from the camp he was leading and spent the night gathering supplies and checking in on the other camps that were out and away. Terry was getting ready to fly back to his camp with supplies and had already loaded his plane. He put the heater in it to warm up the engine. Terry was at the Lodge and I was in my bed at my house about 600 yards away – between the Lodge and our airstrip – when we heard gunshots and booms. I called the Lodge, ready to chew some butt; I was trying to sleep and they were playing with guns. Men! But one of the crew said the most horrid words I had ever heard: “Terry’s airplane just exploded!”

I honestly thought I would die right then. I was very sick and had actually forgotten for a moment that I had never heard the airplane take off. I thought Terry was in it. I ran, screaming his name to get to the airstrip just as I also heard Terry yelling my name and saw him running towards me. It was horrible and wonderful all at the same time. The airplane, Cubby, was our lifeline. But Cubby meant nothing compared to this man, the only father I have ever known, standing in front of me with tears running down his face.

But his poor airplane. It was an icon here in Alaska. People from all over the state new the black airplane as “The Man in Black” and what Terry and the plane could and would do for others. All we could figure out, once the fire was out and nothing was left, was that something had to have faltered in the heater, causing some sort of short. We don’t know. All we do know is that relying on others to haul freight and find our range horses is going to destroy this 90 year old business and ideal

LCG: What is the impact to the area?

Amber-Lee: Every single thing that comes into Chisana comes via the 40-Mile Air Company that is listed as “Essential Air Service.” That means fuel, food, supplies, and even the US Mail comes second to passengers, even people who only want to take a ride. And it costs forty cents/pound to have supplies delivered.

LCG: What can readers of this post do to help?

Amber-Lee: Please help us here at Pioneer Outfitters in Chisana by spreading the word. Yes, of course, please donate! But not everyone can and I know that. But what I have learned since coming online and delving deeper into what leadership truly is and show be is that we are all connected. With the power and magic of the world wide web and with our friendships, connections, and reach there isn’t a corner of the world we cannot touch now. Please help to spread my call for help. Please help me and stand with me as I, as we, stand for The Man in Black. We are not alone; that is the biggest lesson I have learned from social media. We are all in this together. Please help me stand for a community that has always, without fail, stood for others.

LCG: What happens after June 22?

Amber-Lee: I am still trying to figure that out- I think much of the decision will come from how the fundraiser does. There is no smudging to the numbers and money required to get him back in the air- so I will most likely renew it- it HAS to work! I feel good though. I really do. The absolute amazing kindness people have inside themselves has humbled and inspired me since I came online.

LCG:How can people connect with you?

Amber-Lee: You can find me almost anywhere:

Will you help?  Please tweet this or share it.  Let’s help any way we can. Thanks, Mike…

What’s Next? Please leave a comment below to join the conversation…

About The Author

Articles By mike-henry
Chief Instigator (Founder) of Lead Change Group and VP of IT for a mid sized technology company. Passionate about character-based leadership and making a positive difference.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Amber-Lee Dibble  |  24 May 2014  |  Reply

This is such an absolute blessing. Thank you, with all of the gratitude in our hearts here in Chisana for sharing Stand for the Man in Black with the world.

Leadership, as in everything in our lives and existence, begins within and grows from what is inside us as individuals. There is so much still in this great and wondrous world I have found through Social Media that I am still yet just a newborn with and in. However, one lesson that I have learned and has imprinted on my soul is the fact that none of us, not one single person in this great world ~ is alone.

Chisana, Alaska and this incredible wilderness that we live in is what I do know. The incredible history of the prospectors and frontiersmen and women who came to this unforgiving and wild land searching for something unseen and only felt to their very centers shaped Pioneer Outfitters and through them all, helped me to become a person that could not only dig and find that leadership inside myself to share with others but helped me to guide others along that path.

Stand for the Man in Black is our fundraiser to replace the airplane lost to fire. This is the total and completely transparent truth. But over the last 2 weeks, as we were searching for the range horses to bring them home, the spring wrangling stretched into days, wranglers were unaccounted for as they searched deep in the wilderness, channels of icy water flooding and eating away the bridges and earth brought home straight to the heart the fact that the #1 reason and need for this fundraiser is safety. Safety for the range horses, the people who live here and above all else, the people who come to this great Park to explore and discover. Safety.

If we could each reach out and touch those connected to us, to allow them to know who and what Pioneer Outfitters truly is and stands for, standing together to Stand for the Man in Black we can not only safely do what we were born to do and give back an incredibly generous man his heart but above all else, watch over and provide the comfort and security, the safety for any who wish to explore our greatest National Park.

melissa  |  24 May 2014  |  Reply

MIke, Thanks for helping The Man In Black fundraiser , it is so very important to their way of life to be able to get into the air for the safety of the people and family who live there, the clients who visit and of course the amazing range horses that live there , this is essential to their lively hood , nice article ,thanks for getting involved . I know that the general public does not understand how much this plan is necessary , maybe this will also bring some light to the fundraiser.

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