LEADERSHIP BIOS

WHO WE ARE

Jeff Garness

Jeff Garness: SCI Alaska Chapter President

My family moved from Seattle, Washington to Anchorage, Alaska in 1969. Growing up in Alaska, I learned at a young age to hunt and fish from my father. Hunting and fishing were ore than just recreation for our family, but rather an essential means to put food on the table. I remember numerous hunts as a boy for Caribou and Moose, often braving miserable conditions in the pursuit of food and in some cases the bonus of a trophy set of antlers. Over the years, hunting became much more than just the harvesting of meat for the freezer, but also a cultural experience that has imbedded into me the importance of self-reliance, wildlife conservation, and respect for the environment. I attended the University of Alaska Anchorage earing a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering and an M.S. degree in Arctic Engineering. I am a licensed Civil and Environmental Engineer in the State of Alaska and own/operate Garness Engineering Group, Ltd with my adult children. Lisa, my wife of 40 years, and I have a son David Garness and two daughters, Rachel Saldana (former SCI-Alaska Chapter youth hunter of the year) and Sonja Blewett. I have 8 grandchildren that all live in Alaska. As a side note, I am also a proud member of the Samish Indian Nation.

I am a Life Member of SCI, SCI-AK, and RMEF. Over the years I have harvested most of Alaska’s big game species and have been fortunate enough to hunt in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and numerous areas in the lower-48 states. I have passed on my passion for hunting and the outdoors to my children and taught then the importance of standing-up for all our rights to participate in the hunting, fishing, and shooting sports. If elected to the SCI-AK Board of Directors, I am committed to making a contribution that will have a positive impact on the chapter as we (SCI) continue to serve as the leading Hunter and Wildlife advocacy organization in the world, being both “First for Wildlife” and “First for Hunters”.

Ruths Bio Picture

Ruth Cusack: SCI Alaska Chapter Vice President

Ruth Cusack’s passion is the outdoors, hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping. She loves the adventure of remote wilderness hunting and she is in her best element when floating a river well off the grid. That is why conservation and fighting for our rights as outdoorsmen and women are so important to her.

Ruth grew up in small town Iowa always exploring. Once she graduated high school, she joined the Army and was stationed in Texas and Germany before returning to Iowa. She had always enjoyed fishing with her father but didn’t start hunting until she was in her 20’s, successfully harvesting whitetail, geese, and waterfowl. She never dreamed she would ever hunt big game in Alaska.

In 2007 she met her husband Louis, moved to Alaska, and began sharing all that Alaska Outdoors and beyond has to offer. Together they have hunted across Alaska, many states in the lower 48 and followed their passion to the countries of South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Spain, and New Zealand. Building a lifestyle from their adventures and becoming a couple best known for remote wilderness big game hunting in Alaska with a special passion for hunting big bull moose in the rut.
Their hunts have been featured on Mossy Oak Hunting the Country, Cabela’s Ultimate Outdoor Adventures and Alaska Outdoors Television. In 2012 Ruth gained recognition for winning the Prois Extreme Huntress Award and in 2013 Ruth and Louis won the Cabela’s Ultimate Outdoor Team award which included an all-Inclusive hunt for Red Stag in New Zealand. And most recently, Ruth has won the SCI Alaska Chapter Diana Award.

Ruth has shared her passion with many through social media and by volunteering with various organizations. She has worked with several non-profits over the years including Alaska Healing Hearts, Safari Club International, and teaches classes every year for the Alaska Becoming an Outdoors Women Program.

Ruth hopes to inspire women to become more involved in the outdoors along with encouraging more young adults to get out and hunt.

Carri Ann

Carri Ann Mueller: SCI Alaska Chapter Secretary

Carri Ann Mueller is a lifelong Alaskan, Conservationist, Preservationist, and aviation enthusiast. She is an accomplished Alaskan outdoor woman. Her enthusiasm and passion for Alaskan outdoors started as a small child fishing on the Kenai river with her family.

Carri Ann has long supported conservation and preservation through event management and fund raising. As the marketing manager for Cabela’s, she worked tirelessly with numerous outdoor organizations and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in support of their mission to promote women and children in the outdoors, hunter education, hunting rights and membership drives. She has spent endless hours volunteering. She was instrumental as a volunteer in the Alaska Wood Bison Restoration Project.

Carri Ann has attended the SCI national convention in Reno as a member and in support of garnering new potential donors as well as thanking those that had previously donated to SCI – Alaska.

As a private pilot and professional in the aviation community, she understands the relationship between hunting, fishing, and the potential concerns for the access to our federal, state, and native land. The logistics of moving hunters, equipment, and their harvest can be just as challenging.

Carri Ann has previously sat on the Board of Directors for Alaska Bowhunters and the Iron Dog snowmachine race. She enjoys attending and volunteering with BOW (Becoming an Outdoor Woman) classes. Her fundraising success goes back over 20 years where she first started with the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society Team-In-Training marathon program and it lead her to volunteer for organized runs and biking events as well as the co-race director for the Eagle River Triathlon. She has been involved in community support & networking through Bean’s Café, the Covenant House, local food bank programs, Make-A-Wish Foundation & Habitat for Humanity.

Her list of previous affiliations includes the following Non-Profit Organizations:
SCI – Alaska, Kenai Chapter – SCI, Alaska Bowhunters, AK Wild Sheep Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk, Resident Hunters of Alaska, Alaska Professional Hunting Association, Women’s Fly Fishing, Kenai River Sport Fishing Association, Alaska Fly Fishing, Iditarod, Iron Dog, Alaska Trappers Association, Alaska Waterfowl Association, Ducks Unlimited, AK Wildlife Conservation Center

Carri Ann is dedicated to promoting hunting and fishing in the Alaskan outdoors and would be honored to serve SCI on behalf of Alaskans.

Bobby Childers

Bobby Childers: SCI Alaska Chapter Treasure

Bobbi Childers born and raised Alaskan. Originally from Soldotna in 1984(born) and currently living in Wasilla. Happily married to Krista-Lyrae Childers (2019 volunteer of the year SCI Alaska Chapter 😊). We have been together since 2007 and married in 2009, we have one child, our son Preston Childers age 4.

My passion for the outdoors started when I was 4 years old shooting my first spruce hen on the Swanson River trail system and catching my first King Salmon on the banks of the Ninilchik River with my dad. Since then, I have traveled all over the world perusing my passion for hunting, fishing and the outdoors. Examples:

  • Black bear hunting annually in Valdez
  • Mountain Goat hunting in Seward (Day Harbor) and Kodiak (Old Harbor) on a few occasions
  • Moose Hunting annually all over Alaska
  • Deer Hunting numerous times in Kodiak (Raspberry Island, Afognak Island, South end of Kodiak)
  • Caribou in Alaska (statewide)
  • Brown bear in Kodiak (Sturgeon River) and Valdez
  • Trapping in Alaska (statewide)
  • Whitetail deer and feral hogs in Northern Georgia (Comer County outside of Athens)
  • Turkey in South Dakota (Black Hills, Spearfish, Deadwood)
  • Fresh and saltwater fishing in Mexico (Cabo San Lucas), Jamaica (Negril and Montego Bay), Panama, Florida, Georgia, and Alaska.

Became an SCI Alaska Chapter Life Member in 2017, have been attending banquets and events since 2012. Aside from SCI, I have been a Life Member of the Alaska Trappers Association and the NRA since 2010 and a life member of the North American Hunting Club since 2003. Although not a member, I still annually attend functions, support and volunteer for the following organizations:

  • Ducks Unlimited
  • Wild Sheep Foundation
  • Alaska Moose Federation

Professionally I am currently the Electrical General Foreman for Houston Contracting Company (HCC) at the Valdez Marine Terminal (VMT). I have been a proud 18-year member of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Attended the University of Alaska Anchorage (Kenai Peninsula College) for Process Technology and Instrumentation.

Next year we have plans to attend the National SCI function as well as the first year it moves to Nashville. I look forward one day to hunting Red Stag and Tahr in New Zealand and numerous species in North and South Africa and Argentina.

David-Garganta

David Garganta: SCI Alaska Chapter Director

In 1970, at the age of 10, Dave Garganta moved to Alaska with his family from Florida. He graduated from Chugiak High School in 1979, joined the Alaska Air National Guard in August 1980 and spent the next 38 years in service to his country. He is an Alaska registered guide and outfitter of over 27 years and has hunted, fished and trapped all corners of Alaska from Southeast to the Arctic, the Alaska Peninsula to the Interior. When he is not hunting, guiding or fishing in Alaska, he enjoys traveling to hunt in other states and countries. His travels include Oregon, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Argentina and New Zealand. Dave is a lifetime member of SCI, SCI Alaska Chapter, NRA, Boone & Crockett and the Veterans of Foreign Wars association.
 
Dave’s passion for hunting, fishing, trapping and wildlife conservation is a great fit for our organization.

Joel Helgerson

Joel M. Helgerson: SCI Alaska Chapter Director

I was born and raised in Elkader, IA in July 1976. My earliest recollections are of my father teaching me to shoot a bow. As an avid outdoorsman, my father taught me how to hunt, fish and trap. After high school I attended the University of Northern Iowa where I received a BA in Elementary Education and was commissioned as an Infantry 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) in May 2000.

During the last 20 years, my career in the Army has taken me around the world through multiple assignments, both in the US and overseas. This has provided me the opportunity to hunt and fish in multiple states. I moved to Alaska in 2016 and became a legal resident. I am currently assigned to a unit in Saudi Arabia but will return to Alaska in August of this year where I again will be assigned to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) for another three-year tour then plan to retire.

The outdoors has had such a significant impact into my life. I can’t imagine a better place than being in the woods or on the water. As with everything else, people take for granted that the outdoors is a finite resource and one that needs to be managed. Organizations like SCI ensure that this resource will be enjoyed by future generations. I try to spend as much time as possible in the outdoors, and I want to do my small part as a member of SCI to give back for what I have enjoyed.

EDUCATION:
BA – Elementary Education (University of Northern Iowa, 2000)
MS – Adult & Continuing Education (Kansas State University, 2013)

MEMBERSHIPS:
Safari Club International (AK Chapter, 2016-Present)
Wild Sheep Foundation (AK Chapter, 2016-Present)
Iowa Bowhunters Association (1983-2016)
Clayton County (IA) Archers (1983-2016)

George Jacoby

George Jacoby: SCI Alaska Chapter Director

I grew up in the Spokane Valley and graduated from E.W.S.C with a biology degree. After graduating I moved to Anchorage and have never left.

As a kid I followed my dad around hunting and fishing all over Washington State. Now my son and oldest grandson follow me around caribou hunting and fishing on the Kenai River. 

After 40 years being self-employed, I finally retired and spent 5 years on the Anchorage Advisory Committee and now 6 years on the Board of SCI. I lead the taxidermy committee for our banquet display and am always looking for diversity and unusual mounts.

I do not want to look back and say “We should have done that (to save a species).”  Let us react now to save our hunting heritage.

Roger Jorgensen

Roger Jorgensen: SCI Alaska Chapter Director

Roger Jorgensen, 25, of Eagle River, Alaska is North American Representative of FN Hunting, HHK Safaris, & Chelet Safaris. Roger was active in the Hunter Education program with the Alaska DFG as well as Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson.
He also ran the Alaska Chapter SCI magazines for the military program. Roger formally was a youth director at Alaska Chapter SCI, and a graduate of AWLS. He received the “Youth Hunter of the Year” in 2005 and 2009, “Outstanding Youth of the Year” in 2007 and “President’s Award” in 2011.

Roger has hunted around the world, including Zimbabwe, Austria, Hungary, South Africa, Namibia, Hawaii, and Alaska, harvesting 20 trophy animals. Roger is returning to Alaska, after 6 years in the lower 48, and looks forward to joining the Alaska Chapter Safari Club again as a Director once more in order to further Wildlife Conservation, and Education in his home state of Alaska.

Terri

Terri Mayeur: SCI Alaska Chapter Director

Greetings! My name is Terri Mayeur. I have been a resident of Alaska since August 1992. I love the lifestyle we are afforded here in Alaska through hunting and fishing. I grew up in a very anti-hunting / anti-gun home. When I moved to Alaska I was introduced to fishing and a few years after that, to hunting. It was an interesting transition for me, but I quickly realized how important it was to eat wild, organic meat that was ethically harvested. I also learned what a valuable learning opportunity hunting and fishing was for a family. Our children understood where our food came from. Not from the sanitized meat counter at the grocery store, but from the wild and the circle of life.

I believe it is up to us, as stewards of this earth, to protect the population of animals. A well-managed population of animals keeps the animals healthy and available for generations to come.

Last year I decided I need to “put my money where my mouth is” with activities I support. I want to become more involved with the activities I support because I am afraid if we do not speak up and support, it will be gone.

Jene Mobley

Jene Mobley: SCI Alaska Chapter Director

Jene Mobley was born 1939 in Wendell, Idaho. He lived there until 1960 and then moved to Montana. After 3 years in Montana, he left for Alaska. He thought he’d better keep moving to stay ahead of the herd from California that wanted to change hunting.

Jene has hunted and fished his whole life. He has hunted in Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Montana and Alaska. Jene has also hunted the world including seven trips to South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.
Jene enjoys sharing his passion for the outdoors with his family. A few years ago, the Mobley family, including his son Rick, his wife, 3 grandsons and families took a trip to South Africa hunting in Limpopo, in the free state creating a lifetime memory that his whole family will all never forget. His passion for hunting and his willingness to share with his family has created a legacy and there are currently four generations of Mobley’s participating in the outdoors and sharing our outdoors lifestyle!

Over the years Jene has mentored many new SCI Board Members on the what the club is all about. Jene has an extensive Outfitter network, which has proven invaluable to our SCI Alaska Chapter’s live auction team. Each year Jene attends the SCI National Convention and spends his time introducing the Hunt Coordinator to potential donors and offering advice on hunt selection.

Jene has over 40 years of contracting experience and he lends his skill to many SCI Ak projects, such as the building of our mobile conservation trailer. Jene is currently assembling plans, which will create a new booth building for our Alaska State Fair booth.

Jene Life Member # 05819 has been an SCI and SCI Alaska Chapter Life member since 2003. He believes our job is to ensure the right to hunt and fish and to enjoy the great outdoors will never be taken away!!!

Mike Sewright

Mike Sewright: SCI Alaska Chapter Director

Michael W. Sewright has resided in Alaska and engaged in hunting, fishing, and similar outdoor activities here since childhood. He attended local public schools, graduating from West Anchorage High School in 1967. He became an Alaska lawyer in 1975, admitted to practice in state and federal courts including the U.S. Supreme Court. He served many years both in private practice and in the State of Alaska Attorney General’s Office representing the State in fish and game and natural resource matters, including public access, ANILCA, navigability, and subsistence issues. He represented the State of Alaska in many lawsuits, at both the trial and appellate levels. His cases included the Gulkana River and Matanuska River cases establishing navigability standards furthering state ownership and public access in Alaska. His interest in serving on the Board of the SCI Alaska Chapter is a natural extension of those interests. Mike is presently retired but remains admitted to practice law.

LEADERSHIP TEAM

PRESIDENT

Jeff Garness

2020-2022

VICE PRESIDENT

Ruth Cusack

2019-2021

SECRETARY

Carri Ann Mueller

2020-2022

TREASURER

Bobby Childers

2020-2022

DIRECTOR

Jene Mobley

2020-2022

DIRECTOR

Francis Gallela

2019-2021

DIRECTOR

Steve Colligan

2019-2021

DIRECTOR

Michael Sewright

2020-2022

DIRECTOR

David Garganta

2019-2021

DIRECTOR

Steve Gordon

2019-2021

DIRECTOR

George Jacoby

2020-2022

DIRECTOR

Chad Riedel

2020-2021

DIRECTOR

John Sturgeon

2019-2021

DIRECTOR

Terri Mayeur

2020-2022

DIRECTOR

Joel Helgerson

2020-2021

DIRECTOR

Roger Jorgensen

2020-2022

REGIONAL DIRECTOR

Gary Gearhart

YOUTH DIRECTOR

Johnathan Heitman

SCI VICE PRESIDENT

Mike Crawford