Lyndon Ibele and Janyce Harpel
Call it kismet. Whatever force it was that brought Lyndon Ibele and Janyce Harpel together in 2006, destiny-and DU-surely had a hand in it.
Ducks Unlimited events aren't typically matchmaking affairs, though they do bring together hundreds of folks who share an affinity for wetlands and waterfowl conservation. Attendees often share other interests as well, and sometimes the connections run deep enough to form lasting bonds.
Such is the case with Lyndon and Janyce. Unbeknownst to each other, they both worked in the same building in downtown Anchorage, Alaska. They had a number of friends in common. And in that great big region, they happened to live only a mile apart. They didn't know any of this at the time. He was a longtime DU volunteer and she worked for an environmental consulting firm. Fate intervened, however, when Janyce's company bought a table at a local DU dinner and Lyndon delivered the tickets.
That was 10 years ago. The couple has been inseparable ever since, working together as a team for Ducks Unlimited's conservation efforts in the Land of the Midnight Sun. "The best thing about being part of Ducks Unlimited is that it's a good cause," says Lyndon, a retired petroleum engineer who now works as an energy consultant. "Above and beyond that, the people make it all worthwhile. Janyce and I have fun with the entire DU community. We've been to 10 national conventions in a row, and we always look forward to seeing our friends from around the country."
Lyndon, who grew up in Ohio, moved to Alaska in 1991 and began volunteering for DU shortly thereafter. Over the years, he served as Alaska's state treasurer, state chairman, and as a member of DU's national board of directors. He is currently an emeritus trustee.
Although Janyce was initially attracted to DU by Lyndon's zeal for the ducks, she was soon hooked by the people and mission. "We are a team, and together we support all DU functions, no matter where they may be," she says. "We do it all together and complement each other. Lyndon is so knowledgeable; he's the source of information for many DU volunteers. And I'm the go-to person if somebody needs something done. We have so much fun, but we're also very proud of the work that DU does all over the United States, Canada, and Mexico. I especially love giving back and sharing our passion with first-time attendees."