What is Your Sundog Story?
Founded Sundog Media Nov 1996 – Joe and I met at University of Idaho and dreamed one day we’d own a business where I was the accounting right hand gal and he was the artist dreamer/director. In 1996, we moved to Alaska and Joe started our graphic design business in Anchorage. By day, I worked in my degreed profession as a full time auditor for Mikunda, Cottrell and Co. CPAs. By night, when I was not out of town auditing some business in a remote Alaskan village, I was working beside Joe, supporting his talents with mine. I learned the basics in design, typesetting, and whatever else was necessary to build the business. In 1998, we added website design, development, domain management and hosting to our services and I started working full time at Sundog. Filling in wherever needed my role has varied greatly over the years. Next, in 2008, we purchased another Alaskan web company, Web Weavers of Fairbanks, AK almost doubling our team. Now I concentrate on mostly accounting with a little of this or that when our team needs someone to step in and assist. I feel blessed we’ve had the opportunity to put together a talented, technical, detail oriented team and can provide such specialized service to our clients. I’m also happy I don’t have to keep up with all the technology myself!
What is Your Alaska Story?
After 6 years of marriage and Idaho living, Joe and I realized we needed a life change. We were stagnating spiritually and not doing so well with financial decisions either. So, we sold most our belongings, vehicles and our newly built home and purchased a truck, travel trailer and tons of cold weather gear. I quit my job with the Washington State Auditor’s Office and we headed north; with a quick stop at Mt. Rainier to do a winter climbing weekend on the way just for kicks. We were on the adventure of a lifetime, or so it felt. 😉
It took a short 5 days to arrive in Tok, Alaska where my adventure loving husband deserted me! I couldn’t believe he’d bring me all the way to Alaska and then desert me! Didn’t he know that in Alaska, the men outnumber the women by far and he would have a hard time getting another one to come up here?! He sent me into the store to purchase some food and supplies while he ‘pumped gas’ into our F250. When I came out, Joe and our 52+ foot long truck and trailer were nowhere to be seen. Honestly! He had disappeared! I couldn’t believe it. I was wandering around looking so lost that a police man kindly asked me if he could help. Still in shock, I explained Joe had disappeared while I shopped. I know I love shopping but I hadn’t been gone that long! How could he make such a large vehicle disappear? ….In Tok?!! You do know there is only 1 street in Tok, right?! Ok maybe not. 🙂 After a very long search, during which the station cashier verified 3 times that Joe truly had paid and driven off without me, we discovered he’d driven around behind the gas station to fill up propane… Yep, that’s life with my husband…. full of excitement.
We had resolved not to look in Alaskan newspapers so we could avoid the feeling we needed to find a job right away. That plan lasted until a small cafe in Palmer where Joe sat down with his first cup of coffee. He couldn’t resist and within a week he was riding in a 2 person helicopter to the Talaheim River where he was to be a Fishing Guide on a remote Alaskan river and I was to be a cook and house cleaner for the summer… The story continues with just as many unanticipated adventures which are detailed in photos we love to share. Basically, it’s my pleasure to be an Alaskan and raise our children here. I love how nothing is predictable except people, and even they aren’t when they’re Alaskans.
What Do You Do For Fun?
I play racquetball! When I’m not playing racquetball you can probably find me boating or beach combing in Prince William Sound. I love Prince William Sound, shrimping, catching big fish, building camp fires on shore, ‘treasure’ hunting, skipping rocks, and seeing sea and animal life from our boat and the shore but I like them even more so in my freezer! Having been raised on a small farm, I love harvesting, whatever it may be: berries, apples, fruit, fish, big game. Baking and canning things that we’ve harvested gives me great pleasure, but not cooking on the stove. Stove top cooking requires more multi-tasking and constant attention than I have patience for. Just ask Joe, one of our 5 boys or practically anyone that has been to our home! 😉
For more fun, I research and mix up home remedies with my Doterra Essential Oils to help build our immune systems or relieve physical ailments. I love to spend time with my boys, talk with friends and read scripture. I spend a lot of time in prayer and I enjoy talking about our family, church, and business as well as sharing photos of our family on Facebook. Although, social media can be quite time consuming, much to Joe’s chagrin.
How Did You Get Into This Gig?
My father always said I’d be a good accountant because I was good with numbers. So, I attended University of Idaho, graduated with a BS in Business, Accounting Major. After college, I worked for a school district, several dentist offices, the Washington State Auditors, Alaska’s Talaheim Lodge, Mikunda, Cottrell & Co. CPAs and, of course for most of my working career, I have joined forces with Joe building Sundog Media LLC and our family.
Where Do You Get Your Inspiration?
I am inspired by God’s creation, my husband and his love of change, adventure and perfection, my late father’s Biblical knowledge, my mother’s love for people, Bible and homeschool conference speakers, my children’s energy and my friends.