Mr. Baker demonstrates how perseverance, commitment to a goal, and a team approach can provide great rewards. During his 20-year history competing in the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, John has focused on turning his lessons learned into positive messages for youth. Working with his sponsors (ASRC, Teck/Red Dog Mine, and Northern Air Cargo) Baker has been providing presentations to local schools for more than a dozen years.
His “Dream, Try, Win” message encourages Alaska youth to set goals and work hard toward achieving their goals. Baker’s identity is linked to the people who reside in rural Alaska who he says have given him so much support. He is purposeful about giving back to the people and is always eager to share his life experiences – especially with the youth. When Baker visits with young people he emphasizes the importance of having a dream; setting goals to pursue what is desired; and taking action to make the dream a reality. John Baker’s story is about one who has faced a variety of challenges while staying focused and he encourages young people to believe in themselves and to “never, never give up”. More information at www.dreamtrywin.com.
Alaska Governor Bill Walker was born in Fairbanks and raised in Delta Junction and Valdez. His parents, Ed and Francis Walker, were Alaskan pioneers. Ed Walker was an Alaskan Scout with Castner's Cutthroats in the Aleutians in WWII, and his mother worked on the Alcan Highway project. As a family, the Walkers celebrated Alaska Statehood in 1959, survived the 1964 Earthquake, and worked together in the family construction and hotel businesses.
Bill also worked as a carpenter, teamster and laborer on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline construction to pay for his education. He earned his BS degree in Business Management from Lewis and Clark College and his JD from the University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University). Prior to taking office, Bill and his wife, Donna, owned a law firm that focused on municipal and oil and gas law.
Married 38 years, the Walkers have four children, and four grandchildren. Bill is an avid downhill skier and enjoys fishing, boating, snow-machining, campfires with the family at the lake, and taking the grandkids ice skating.
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