Josi Leideritz, the new executive director for the Yukon Quest International Association (Canada), poses for a photo in Whitehorse on Oct. 1. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Yukon Quest hires new Yukon executive director

The Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race announced the hiring of a new executive director for its Yukon office in a press release on Sept. 29.

Josi Leideritz started in the role on Sept. 16, according to the release, just under two weeks after plans for a Canadian race this winter were officially scrapped.

Former executive director Shayna Hammer stepped down at the end of August.

Despite 16 months until the next Yukon Quest race on Canadian soil, Leideritz told the News there is plenty to do in the meantime.

“First of all, there is lots to learn here — lots to catch up on — and (to) just see how things have been done in the past,” Leideritz said. “In general for this year, our goal is to find ways to stay in touch with our fans, to enhance our engagement with our communities, with our mushers, and we have fans worldwide, so we’re really going to be looking at how we can make things a little more accessible virtually for them.”

The Quest also recently put out a request for proposals in search of a public relations and media consultant firm to “develop an annual marketing plan, maintain social media systems, provide support and correspondence for all external stakeholders and act as primary contact for all media inquiries” according to the posting.

Earlier this summer, Pixie Ingram Consulting announced it would no longer represent the Yukon Quest.

The idea, Leideritz said, is to not allow people to forget about the Quest, despite no race plans for this winter.

“We still want to not fall off the face of the earth,” Leideritz said. “We will need somebody to help us create a marketing plan to make sure we are staying relevant in this time.”

While plans move ahead for the newly-named Summit Quest on the Alaskan side, Leideritz said the Yukon team won’t sit on their hands all winter in any case.

“I would definitely say keep an eye open, but as of right now we’re still in the planning stages of what we’re going to do,” Leideritz said. “So I can’t really give details, but definitely keep an eye open. We’re definitely going to be doing something, but we can’t quite yet share what that will be.”

This winter will mark the first time since the race’s first iteration in 1984 that a 1,000-mile (1,600-kilometre) race was not attempted.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at

Yukon Quest

Just Posted

Whether the dust jacket of this historical novel is the Canadian version (left) or the American (right), the readable content within is the same. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: New novel a gripping account of the gold rush

Stampede: Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike is an ‘enjoyable and readable’ account of history

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your furnace and your truck need to go

Perhaps the biggest commitment in the NDP deal with the Liberals was boosting the Yukon’s climate target

Awaken Festival organizers Meredith Pritchard, Colin Wolf, Martin Nishikawa inside the Old Firehall in Whitehorse on May 11. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Performing arts fest plans to awaken artistic talent in Whitehorse and the rural North

‘A value of ours is to make theatre as accessible as possible.’

April Mikkelsen tosses a disc during a ladies only disc golf tournament at Solstice DiscGolfPark on May 8. John Tonin/Yukon News
Yukon sees its first-ever women’s disc golf tournament

The Professional Disc Golf Assocation had a global women’s event last weekend. In the Yukon, a women’s only tournament was held for the first time ever.

Dave Blottner, executive director at the Whitehorse Food Bank, said the food bank upped its services because of the pandemic. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Food Bank sees Yukoners’ generosity firsthand

“Businesses didn’t know if they could stay open but they were calling us to make sure we were able to stay open.”

A prescribed burn is seen from the lookout at Range Road and Whistle Bend Way in Whitehorse May 12. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Editorial: Are you ready for a forest fire?

Citizens for a Firesmart Whitehorse have listed some steps for Yukoners to boost safety and awareness

Caribou pass through the Dempster Highway area in their annual migration. A recent decision by the privacy commissioner has recommended the release of some caribou collar re-location data. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News)
Privacy commissioner recommends release of caribou location data

Department of Environment says consultation with its partners needed before it will consider release

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Family pleased youth will be able to get Pfizer vaccine

Angela Drainville, mother of two, is anxious for a rollout plan to come forward

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. Third reading will come forward later in May. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Whitehorse council pursuing restaurant patio possibilities

Council passes first two readings for new patio bylaw

Most Read