WPMA Board Members
Chuck Wilson, President
Chuck assumed the position of President upon Dan Yesberger's Passing. Chuck joined WPMA in December of 2011 and is an avid Prospector
Jim Franklin, Vice President
Jim is an avid prospector having joined the association in March of 2003
Nancy Brown, Recording Secretary
Nancy is an avid prospector and miner.
Jack Gibson, Treasurer
Jack was the claims officer at one time.
Bruce Pedlar, Claims Officer
Bruce is an avid prospector who bring fresh perspective to the position.
Bill Thomas, Immediate Past President
Bill was born and raised in California. After High School, Bill joined the U.S. Navy and retired after 21 years. It was during those last years at Bangor Submarine Base that he became interested in prospecting and
mining when he found out how many of my shipmates were doing this. In 1996 he joined the GPAA after watching a few episodes of "Buzzard" on my 10' Satelite Dish.
Bill Baker, North Cascades Chapter Chairperson
Bill has been the North Cascades Chapter chair for many years now.
Dan Johnson, Claims Historian
Previous Board Members
Dan Yesberger, Past-President
Dan has gone prospecting in the great gold fields in Heaven. Being one of the original WPMA founders, Dan dedicated much of his life prospecting, mining and the WPMA.
David Hoff, Past-President
David was born in the Phillipines and grew up in Germany, Greece and Thailand while his father served with the U.S. State Department. He finally settled down in the Seattle area after attending college in
Massachusetts. David first became interested in gold prospecting as a child while in Greece (1967) after watching a movie about Jason and the Argonaunts. Since then he has hunted for the elusive yellow metal while
in Massachusetts, Alaska, California, Oregon and Washington. David joined the WPMA in February of 1993 and started helping out by finding guest speakers for the monthly meetings. He was then elected as WPMA
President in 1995 and has served in that position ever since. Some of David's prosepcting toys include a four inch Pro-Mac dredge, a Gold Screw trommel, Gold Bug metal detector, and an assortment of sluice
boxes and other hand operated prospecting gadgets. After 14 years as President, David decided to not run for re-election in 2009.
Randy Ruotsala, Past Treasurer
Randy is an avid prospector and rockhound with an extensive knowledge with metal detectors.
Dave Eason, Previous Claims Officer
Dave was raised in Alderwood Manor and Everett. He then moved to Marysville in 1972 where he lives today. He was in construction for many years, then went to work for Bayliner and has been there for almost 15 years. From the time Dave was a child he has enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating and archery. He got interested in prospecting in 1994, and that same year he became a member of the WPMA. In 1995, he became a life member, and was appointed to the board of directors as claims manager.
Keith Hovland, Previous Treasurer
Chuck Cox, Previous Recording Secretary and Newsletter Editor
Chuck has gone prospecting in a better place. Chuck was born and raised in Seattle, and joined Washington Prospectors in 1984. He became newsletter editor in 1989. Chuck assisted with the Association's incorporation as a non-profit organization in 1994, and was elected recording secretary that year. He has continually served as recording secretary and newsletter editor ever since. Chuck started prospecting in 1982 with a pan, shovel and bucket, sampling the gravel around mile marker 8 on the Index-Galena Road along the North Fork of the Skykomish River. Upon finding that proverbial speck of gold, he then purchased a sluice box, followed by several motorized suction dredges. Chuck used to prospect and dredge in Oregon and northern California, preferring to visit sites in states that recognize the value of adhering to common-sense rules and regulations governing mineral prospecting. Needless to say, he didn't do a lot of prospecting in Washington State. Chuck operated a 4" Keene dredge powered by a 5.5 hp Honda engine, with sluice box modifications of his own design. Finding enough gold to pay for the gas to drive home makes for a successful prospecting trip, according to Chuck.
A.J. Barkis, Previous Legal Council
A.J. was raised in New Jersey, and joined the US Navy when he was 17. While
in the service he acquired his GED and two years of college credit. He
returned from Southeast Asia in 1972, and was based in Washington
State. He became interested in mining and prospecting when the U.S.
legalized private possession of gold. He retired from the Navy in 1981
and continued his education, eventually obtaining his juris doctorate
from the University of Puget Sound in 1986 and he was admitted to the
Washington State Bar Association in 1987. His interest in gold
prospecting heightened in 1997 and he now lives in Cle Elum, practicing
law in Kittitas County. He assists the WPMA in matters requiring legal
analysis and also works with various federal agencies on behalf of the
Clark Chase, Previous Claims/Research
Greg Christensen, Previous Legislative Representative
Greg has been prospecting for many years. His dredge of choice is a 5" Dahlke, with a 4" reducer for Washington.
He has a 'hillbilly' adapter for it to when using a 4" hose and nozzle in Oregon. Of course, he runs it wide open in
California. Underwater dredging is certainly a passion for him. Greg was born in Sunnyside Washington and attended high school
in North Bend Washington. Greg and his wife, Candy have lived in Bellingham for the last 40 plus years. He retired several
years ago from [US West] Qwest Telephone Co. Greg and Candy go everywhere together; they're a good team. They normally spend
winters in Arizona looking for gold [and meteorites] in the desert. Quartzsite is the destination of choice. His children are
grown and both enjoy prospecting. Otherwise, Greg volunteers at the local Food Bank, was elected as a Commissioner of
Water District and is deeply involved in the WRIA (Water Resource Inventory Area) issue as a caucus member. Greg became
concerned with the regulations for prospectors with the issuance of the 1999 Gold and Fish pamphlet. "It removed my
ability to take a gold pan to the South Fork of the Nooksack when I wanted." Since then, Greg has been working diligently
with the WDFW and the legislature to make changes to benefit all miners and was instrumental in the current 2009 Gold and Fish
Jim Miller, Previous Geologist
Jim Miller has been a practicing geologist for more than 30 years. His gold prospecting hobby has taken him to streams and placer deposits in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Alaska. Jim is experienced with panning, sluicing, dredging and metal detecting. As the official WPMA geologist, he helped evaluate our claims and assess likely spots for prospecting. He also helps Association members identify minerals and ore samples, as well as swap tales about prospecting adventures.
Dick Thomsen, Previous Claims/Research
Dick Thomsen grew up in Snohomish County, Washington where he enjoyed many outdoor activities including hunting, fishing and Ham radio. The Ham
radio hobby lead him into the military and the space program and then a career at Boeing from which he retired in 1996. Dick contracted gold
fever in 1991 after many years of reading about the history of the Gold Rush and with the introduction of the Outdoor Channel on television.
Dick joined the WPMA in 1993 and became a life member and board member in 1995. He appreciates all the valuable prospecting tips and tricks he
has received with his membership in the club. These days he enjoys spending his spare time designing and building various prospecting
tools and equipment which he proudly displays at the club's annual gold show. He also enjoys taking first-time prospectors out to the club's
area claims and seeing their faces light up at the first glimmer of gold. Happy Prospecting!
Lyle Vogelpohl, Previous Gold Show Operations
Lyle Is an avid rockhound and prospector.
Jason DeCelle, Previous WPMA Product sales
All about Jason
Debbie Lueder, Previous Recording Secretary
Debbie was raised in Ithaca, New York. I spent 13 years owning a campground with my parents. I went to college for parks and recreation administration and accounting. In 1976 I joined the US Air Force which allowed me to travel around the US. When my family and I settled in Prescott AZ we started Gold panning in the Bradshaw Mts. About 30 years ago. I have been here in Washington for about 20 years ago. I joined Washington Prospectors about 2 ½ years ago. This past spring I volunteered to be the secretary.
Jack Gibson, Previous Claims Officer
Kelly Reid, Previous Field Trip Coordinator