Our Team Leaders
Claire Morton, President Emeritus, GWA
Claire was raised in a big family by a single mom. They depended on their farming neighbors for opportunities to work and contribute. She joined her first carnival when she was just 21, and has been in love with the business ever since!
She has served as President of The Northwest and Royal Hawaiian Showmen’s Club, Board of Directors of Outdoor Amusement Business Assoc. and as the First female President of the Showmen’s League Of America.
Claire has said that she “built this carnival on Cotton Candy” and we are certainly glad she did!
Joe and Jacqueline Leavitt, Owners
After several trips to the hospital, Jacqueline was born and brought home to live at the carnival. Her first baby bed was a makeshift cradle placed under the counter of the game where Claire worked. As a kid she learned to do all the “carney chores”: spin candy, pop popcorn, stamp targets, smash patties, shuck corn; wherever the opportunity to work and contribute to the business.
At age 16 Joe jumped on a carnival truck headed to Gordon, Nebraska. He was raised on a ranch in South Dakota and has gained all the skills and knowledge to run his own carnival.
Joe and Jacqueline met in 1993, both working for Claire at Fur Rendezvous. They married that fall and now have four children: Chase, Bailey, Hayden and Alexis.
Neal and Andrea Davis, Ride Manager and Mobile Office Manager
Perfect examples of the changing and complex nature of carnival business, Neal and Andrea bring to the company many skills from their past. Neal owned a construction business in Chugiak and Andrea was a teacher in Christian education for 10 years. Andrea began working for Golden Wheel in 2000 with Neal joining the team in 2008.
They were married in 1994 and have a son, Nathan.
Deena Maus, Home Office Manager
Deena has a background in banking and has been with the show at large events before transitioning to full time with the carnival in 2014. She takes care of our home base in Chugiak including accounting, payroll, logistics, and any other situation that needs support!
Chase and Chelsea Eckert, Safety Manager and Community Relations
Chase, Joe and Jacqueline’s oldest son, carries on the family legacy of working in the carnival business. He graduated from Westmont College with a Bachelor’s degree majoring in English and a minor in Biology. He met his wife, Chelsea at Westmont and they married in the fall of 2012. Chase and Chelsea have recently been touring Southeast Alaska making new friends and organizing our spring events.
Hayden and Alissa Leavitt, Games Manager and Face Painting
Hayden is a perfect fit for the Game department as he is a natural leader and enjoys all kinds of people. He studied Business and Communication at Azusa Pacific University. Alissa started in the carnival business at age 12 helping in an ice cream stand in the the lower 48. She has ben face painting for over a decade. Hayden and Alissa were married in 2015.
Jim Sander and Rosie Sander, Ride Manager and Food Manager
Jim and Rosie joined Golden Wheel during Fur Rondy of 2012. Jim has a degree in Turf Management from Rutgers University and holds a level II NAARSO certification. Rosie studied art at Grand Canyon. They began their career in the carnival business traveling for five years with Ray Cammack Shows. They are both ServSafe certified. They have been married since 1988 and have three children: Ramie, Alissa and Newton.