Help Pioneer Outfitters Alaska

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...

Twitter feed is not available at the moment.