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Board & Staff

Current Board Members

LUCAS PARKER

LUCAS PARKER

President, Mat-Su Ski Club Board

Lucas Parker is currently serving his third term for the MSSC. He is a born and raised Alaskan. He enjoys all of the outdoor recreational activities Alaska has to offer. He grew up on cross country skis, and has thoroughly enjoyed getting to help promote the sport for our next generations over the last several years. An active community member and father of 6, he also makes time for his other hobbies-Junior Nordics coach and Project Manager with a local construction firm.  He also serves on the board of directors of the Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce.

AILIS VANN

AILIS VANN

Vice President, Mat-Su Ski Club Board

Ailis is a lifelong Alaskan who has been on cross country skis since she was about 4 years old. She grew up skiing on the Tsalteshi trail system in Soldotna. She  skied for Skyview High School and through skiing she learned about hard work, dedication, and teamwork. She also learned how important a trail system is to a community and how much community a trail system builds. She moved to Palmer almost 12 years ago and was elated to see the trail system go in here at Government Peak and loves participating at the events held by MSSC. She is the owner of Midnight Sun Yoga Center in Palmer and is the Executive Director of the Greater Palmer chamber of commerce.

JERRY HUPP

JERRY HUPP

Treasurer, Mat-Su Ski Club Board

Jerry has served on the Board of the Mat-Su Ski Club since 2017 and has been Treasurer since 2018.  He has coached Junior Nordic in Anchorage and the Valley, and has coached skiing in rural Alaska with Skiku and NANANordic.  Jerry is a retired wildlife biologist and lives with his wife Gail on Lazy Mountain.  They both enjoy opportunities to volunteer in support of the skiing community.

Drew Holifield

Drew Holifield

Member, Mat-Su Ski Club Board

Drewcilla is an Alaskan transplant who can’t imagine living anywhere else. Although Drew is by no means an advanced skier, she does enjoy spending winter weekends skiing, biking, or Nordic ice skating. She is passionate about getting people outdoors, regardless if they are new to Alaska or have been here their whole lives. 

Drew works for Edward Jones Investments in downtown Palmer. She is also active in the Mat-Su Concert Band, serving as their Vice-President and principal clarinetist. 

KIM TAYLOR

KIM TAYLOR

Member, Mat-Su Ski Club Board

Kim Taylor has been a Valley resident for 25 years. In the past, she has worked with the Palmer Moose Nordic Ski Team booster club.  Kim is a Registered Nurse who enjoys skiing, hiking, and walking her dogs at GPRA. 

BEN RAEVSKY

BEN RAEVSKY

Member, Mat-Su Ski Club Board

Ben Raevsky moved to the Valley after retiring as a wild land firefighter.  He currently operates a vacation rental and works at the bike shop in town.  Ben has been skiing since he was young and has a love for the outdoor opportunities Alaska affords.

ED STRABEL

ED STRABEL

Member, Mat-Su Ski Club Board

Ed is a retired Army officer, teacher and ski coach. Currently, he is the co-owner of Mountain Streams B&B and a trail groomer.

MARK STRABEL

MARK STRABEL

Member, Mat-Su Ski Club Board

Mark and his wife (Stacy) have 2 daughters, Siri the oldest, 5 yrs old, is in Junior Nordics, and the youngest, Lena, is 2 and desperately wants to be in Junior Nordics. They own a home at the west end of the GPRA trails, next door to Mountain Streams Trails. He is a XC Skier at heart.  He grew up here in the Mat-Su Valley, started skiing on the hills of Crevasse, went to high school at Colony High School, and raced on the ski team there. After high school, he raced for UAA on the ski team. Mark has raced for Team Alaska at several Junior National Championships and at Arctic Winter Games. He was an exchange student to Norway during high school. Currently he is a Physical Education Teacher at Colony High School, and one of the Coaches for the XC Ski team.  He is the owner/ operator of Strabel Racing Services,  a race timing company, timing various races around the State of Alaska. Mark serves on the board of Cross Country Alaska (statewide xc ski organization), along with the Cross Country Alaska Competition Committee, representing the Mat-Su Ski Club. He is on ASAA (Alaska Schools Activities Association) XC Ski Board, representing Region 3. He has served on National Skiing Committees over the years. Mark is one of the groomers for the Mat-Su Ski Club, and has been grooming xc ski trails around the Mat-Su Valley since he was in high school (about 23 years). Starting with dragging around a piece of chain link fence with an underpowered snowmachine, to now with the Ski Club’s new Centaur groomer. He also has knowledge of new grooming equipment and machines. Mark has experience with heavy equipment, and this past summer has been the lead operator of constructing the new Phase II ski trails.

CHRIS GIERYMSKI

CHRIS GIERYMSKI

Member, Mat-Su Ski Club Board

Chris is a long-time Alaskan,  and has lived in the Mat-Su Valley since 1997. He is a mineral explorationist and an almost life-long skier, who is easily entertained by just about any kind of snow.

Cyndi Koop

Cyndi Koop

Member, Mat-Su Ski Club Board

Cyndi grew up in Colorado and started skiing at age 5.  She was introduced to Cross-country skiing in college. Little did she know then, that it would become her career for 34 years.   After her first trip to Alaska in 1990 she knew she wanted to move here. She finally managed to move up in May of 2021.  GPRA played a big part in making her first winter in Alaska  a wonderful experience. She has two sons, one lives in Eagle River and has three beautiful Corgi’s, affectionately known as grand-furries.  Her other son lives in Minnesota and has a four year old daughter and one year old twins.  She is excited to join the club and help to promote cross-country skiing.  

Steve Brown

Steve Brown

Member, Mat-Su Ski Club Board

Steve is an avid trail user who has worked with numerous nonprofit groups in the Mat-Su Valley. He understands the importance of maintaining healthy outdoor opportunities for our residents and visitors. In his opinion, the GPRA trail system brings together public and private interests in a unique fashion that exemplifies a true sense of community.

 

Staff Members

Marla Jakab

Marla Jakab

Administrator, Mat-Su Ski Club

Marla is Administrator for the ski club. She handles our membership roles, queries from members and the public, administration of sundry applications and permits, as well as composing our newsletters and handling our social media.

Ida Gullett

Ida Gullett

Race Director, Mat-Su Ski Club

Ida has been involved with xc skiing all her life. She skied for Homer High and then went on to ski in college at Western state in Gunnison, CO. She coached the Homer High ski team.  She is now teaching her two kids to love the sport and finding it’s a great way to spend family time together. 

Stephanie Larousse

Stephanie Larousse

Junior Nordics Manager, Mat-Su Ski Club

Stephanie, her husband and 5 children have called Palmer home for the past 15 years. She learned to ski with her children in the JrN program when they were young and hasn’t stopped. She admits her enthusiasm will always outweigh her skill. She has volunteered for the program in different capacities for almost a decade and served as head coach for the past four. She has a passion for outdoor education and adventure and you will usually find her outside, whether it’s skiing, hiking, paddle boarding, foraging or trying to grow the biggest carrot in Palmer. She is excited to continue working with the MSSC AMAZING Junior Nordics program. Let’s go ski!