Simpson selected to head Yukon Quest’s Fairbanks office

Original article was printed in the June 30 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. View original article here: http://newsminer.com/2007/06/30/7705Tania Simpson enjoyed the 2007 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race so much as a consultant that she decided to throw her hat in the ring for a full-time position.She was rewarded Friday when the Quest announced she had been hired as managing director for the Quest’s Fairbanks office, replacing Julie Estey, who has taken a position with the Museum of the North on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus.“I am honored to have been selected to work with an organization that has such an engaging mission and community support as the Yukon Quest,” Simpson said in a press release from the Quest, which will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 1,000-mile race between Fairbanks and Whitehorse, Yukon, in February.“This organization has a tremendous amount of momentum and I look forward to building on that excitement as we move forward toward the start of the 25th running of the race,” Simpson said.Donna Olesen, the new president of the Quest’s Alaska board of directors, is delighted that someone of Simpson’s caliber was available to take over for Estey.“We could not have asked for a more ideal candidate to take the Yukon Quest forward,” Olesen said in the press release. “Tania has the skills, experience and personality to accelerate the growth and progress we have made over the past few years.“We are delighted to have her as part of the Yukon Quest team,” she added.Simpson, 34, was hired as a consultant during last year’s race to observe the event and offer her expertise on ways to make the 2008 Yukon Quest a special event.“I had the opportunity to go along the trail and see how everything works and meet all the wonderful people who are involved in the race from the mushers to volunteers, veterinarians, race officials and all of those who support the event,” Simpson said. “I’m an event planner at heart and this is a unique opportunity for me to continue my field of work.”Simpson, from Vancouver, British Columbia, has a background in marketing and promotions. She worked to help attract the 2010 Winter Olympics to Vancouver and has spent time working in Japan with the British-based Hospitality Group, which Simpson said is one of the largest sports event coordination and promotions corporations in the world.“In working for the Quest, I will have the opportunity to use my expertise to focus on one event,” Simpson. “We want to make the 25th running of the Quest the best race we’ve ever had.”Simpson said she was in Fairbanks during a two-week cold snap in late February and that’s when she decided she wanted to be more than just a consultant for the race.“During the cold snap, I fell in love with the Yukon Quest and Fairbanks,” Simpson said. “It was a lot better than being in the cold rain all the time.“Fairbanks is a great place, the community is wonderful and this is a fabulous opportunity for me,” she added. “I look forward to being part of the community.”Simpson said she will head back to Vancouver this weekend and plans to be back in Fairbanks on a permanent basis starting July 16.The 25th running of the Yukon Quest is scheduled to begin on Feb. 9, 2008, on the Chena River in downtown Fairbanks. It should take about 10 days for the winner to reach the finish line in Whitehorse, Yukon.

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