The Midnight Sun Council, BSA salutes,


Jo and Steve Heckman

Banqet collage 1


The Council held its 36th Annual Distinguished Citizen Banquet on December 12, celebrating the accomplishments of Steve and Jo Heckman.

Each year the past honorees are invited to choose a new recipient. Although they don't need to be involved in our Scouting Community, they often are. Jo and Steve are involved in our Scouting Community and it showed throughout the dinner.

They chose Camp Scholarships as their special project and raised over $28,000. Jo and Steve are hoping their project will assist getting Scouts to camp for many years to come.  

Jo Heckman came to Alaska as a 17-year-old in 1975. Jo is a proud alumna of University of Alaska Fairbanks. She obtained her BBA degree in 1979 and her MBA in 1985. She started her banking career immediately after graduating from UAF in 1979. In 1986, she and a small group helped start the locally owned community bank, Denali State Bank, where she spent the next 26 years. Jo was the first female bank president in the state of Alaska. She guided her team for eight years as its CEO and President, from 2003 to 2011, retiring in December 2011. Jo currently is President of her own consulting company, DAS & Associates and serves as a regent on the UA Board of Regents.

Steve was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1947. He grew up in Kearney, Nebraska, spending time in local scouting programs. He came to Fairbanks in 1968 to attend the University of Alaska and graduated with an undergraduate degree in education in 1971. Upon graduation, he served in the U.S. Army for two years and came back to teach in Anderson. Steve joined the Alaska State Troopers in 1974, and served for 25 years. Upon retirement, he went back to teaching. He taught for a total of 17 years, beginning at Old Main Junior High in Fairbanks. Later, he taught at Anderson Village State Operated School and finally, at Monroe Catholic Jr/Sr High. He also taught as an adjunct for the University of Alaska. Since retiring in 2012, Steve has been busy as a volunteer on various non-profit boards. In his spare time, he performs musically with a number of small local groups: Dry Cabin String Band, The Warblers, and North Star Strings. In May of this year, Steve was recognized by the Office of the Mayor of the North Star Borough as "Outstanding Senior Volunteer".

Jo and Steve first met while both were on the job, Jyotsna working in a bank and Steve visiting the bank on official Trooper business. A year later in 1983 they married. Their personal and professional lives have allowed time for them to raise two boys, Daniel and Andrew, both of whom were involved in Scouting programs in Fairbanks. Daniel continues to serve on the Executive Board for the Midnight Sun Council. Steve was an Assistant Scoutmaster during the years that Andrew was a Boy Scout.

Thank you to everyone who donated to Jo and Steve's Camp Scholarship Fund project.

Here are the Businesses and Individuals whom donated to the Camp Scholarship Fund at the $1,000 level.

We are still accepting donations to this project.

Cold Spot Feed, Inc.
Fuller and Christmas Cowell
Jim and Mary Waymiller
Dan Gavora
Keith and Kjersten Bartusch
Fairbanks Cancer Care Physicians, P.C.
Jim and Mary Johnson
Tom and Janet Bartels
Dr. Greg and Sue Johnson
Tim Jones
Bert and Becky Bell
Bob and Barbara Schuhmann
Bernie Karl and Connie Parks-Karl



A big Thank you to our Sponsors!!


 Alaska Airlines   

 Bell Development   

 Ben Lomond, Inc. 

Bennett Engineering 

Bettisworth North

Brice, Inc.

Cook & Haugeberg, LLC

CSG, Inc.

Denali State Bank

Doyon Utilities

Everts Air Cargo

First National Bank

of Alaska


Gray Television

The Hulbert Family

Jim Lund

Mt. McKinley Bank

 Northern Star

Resources Limited


of Alaska System

Wells Fargo Bank

Wilson and Wilson

Riverboat Discovery

& Gold Dredge #8

Click  here to download the sponsorship letter 

Click here to download the sponsorship response card



 Past Recipients:

Earl A. Cook, 1983

Mary Jane Fate, 1996

Jim Lund, 2009

V. Paul Gavora, 1984

V. Paul Gavora, 1997

Michael K. Powers, 2010

Leo Schlotfedlt, 1985

Michael T. Cook, 1998

Dermot Cole, 2011

Grace Berg Schaible, 1986

Paul & Jane Massey, 1999

Terrance Cole, 2011

Earl Hoover Beistline, 1987

Harry "Red" Porter, 2000

Nancy Hanson, 2012

Joseph Emil Usibelli, 1988

William G. Stroecker, 2001

Robert B. Groseclose, 2013

Jeffrey J. Cook, 1989

Betty L. Everts, 2002

Barbara L. Schuhmann, 2013

Jo Ryman Scott, 1990

Skip Cook, 2003

Mike & Peggy Pollen, 2014

Arthur Stephen Buswell, 1991

Mary E. Binkley, 2004

Bert & Becky Bell, 2015

William Ransom Wood, 1992

Glen Hackney, 2005

 C.B. Bettisworth, 2016

Richard A. Wien, 1993

Richard & Anna Frank, 2006

 Karen Perdue, 2016

Frank X. Chapados, 1994

Dennis & Mary Wise, 2007 

 Mike & Peggy Ferguson, 2017

Francis W. McGuigan, S.J., 1995

Chuck & Carolyne Wallace, 2008

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