Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Meet the Team

a couple of people posing for a photoJim Leslie- Vice President

Jim grew up in Montesano, Washington.   He instructed white-water canoeing for many years before moving to Wrangell, Alaska and co-founded Alaska Waters, Inc.  He has over 25,000 hours of experience operating boats in local waters, including over 30 years navigating the Stikine River. Jim has served his community as a board member and President of the Wrangell Chamber of Commerce, as commissioner and chairman of the City of Wrangell Port Commission, as well as an Emergency Trauma Technician and a member of the Wrangell Volunteer Fire Department.


a couple of people posing for a photo

James Leslie II  – President,  CEO

James was born and raised in Wrangell, Alaska and follows his mother’s heritage of Haida & Tlingit descent, as is tradition. James holds a degree in Diesel Mechanics from Idaho State University and has worked for Alaska Waters as a deckhand, bear guide, Captain, mechanic, and now company President. His career started as he learned how to read water and control jet boats as a very young lad with his father’s guidance. Through a lifetime spent on the Stikine River he has gained a unique knowledge of local geology, glaciology, biology and botany and loves to share this with visitors from around the globe.


a couple of people posing for a photoBrooke Leslie- Consultant

Brooke is the first born of Jim & Wilma Leslie. She was born and raised in Wrangell, Alaska. She follows her mother’s heritage of Haida & Tlingit descent, as is tradition. She has worked for the family business since she was 12 years old.  Brooke has extensive knowledge on Southeast Alaska’s history, geology, glaciology, biology and botany. Although she is not a Licensed Captain, like her father and brother she is also an accomplished jet boat operator.



a person posing for the cameraGlen- Captain, Bear Guide

Glen has been operating boats in Alaska for over 20 years. He is an avid outdoorsman, subsistence hunter and fisherman and has extensive knowledge about wildlife and plants in Southeast Alaska. He worked for many years as a Wilderness Ranger for the United States Forest Service and works in the off-season as a certified arborist.

a person posing for the camera

Corey- Cultural Tour Guide

Corey was born and raised in Wrangell, spending his childhood exploring the Stikine river with friends and family before turning to commercial fishing in high school; both of which led to a deep love and respect for the outdoors. As a member of the Ta’alkweidí clan, Corey was brought up learning Tlingit cultural practices and was a member of the local dance group, attending Celebration in Juneau several times to showcase traditional songs, dances, and regalia. Corey is currently attending the University of Alaska Southeast pursuing degrees in Marine Biology and Alaska Native Studies.

a couple of people posing for a photo

Vydell Baker – Land Tours Manager

Vydell was raised in Soldotna, Alaska traveling to Wrangell in the summers to visit family. She graduated from Soldotna High School in 2020 and plans on working towards a degree in Social Work. During her years of high school she became the state secretary in a club, organizing events for over 500 students as well as being the lead captain for her wrestling team. She is always hard at work and strives to do more. Vydell has been a part of our team since June 2021.