Brenda Akelkok named to head BBHA
PHOTO: Courtesy of BBHA
The Bristol Bay Housing Authority will have a new face at the helm this spring when Brenda Akelkok of Dillingham takes over the job of Executive Director. Named Executive Director Designee by BBHA’s commissioners Jan. 23, 2014, Akelkok will start on April 1st, replacing Dave McClure, who is retiring after 21 years in the position.
With deep family roots and a long history of administrative experience in Bristol Bay, Akelkok was selected from a field of more than 30 candidates.
“I’ve known Brenda for more than 20 years and I believe her experience will serve her well in leading BBHA into the new era of challenges all agencies will face with declining state and federal revenues, " said McClure.
“I’m very excited to have been chosen for this position,” said Akelkok, whose grandfather was from Port Heiden and whose mother had family ties in the Iliamna Lake region. “It’s an honor to be able to serve the region where I feel so deeply connected.”
A magna cum laude graduate of Eastern Illinois University, Akelkok worked as grant writer for the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation from 2005 to 2012, when her position was elevated to grant manager for the corporation. From 1994 to 2005 she worked as the Director of Planning and Program Development for the Bristol Bay Native Association.
Her parents met while her father was stationed at the King Salmon Air Force Base, and the family traveled following his career. Born at Otis Air Force Base in Massachusetts, Brenda spent summers in Bristol Bay helping the family put up fish, and where she met her future husband Elia while working at Peter Pan Seafoods. The couple have three children – Andrew, Holly and Audrey -- and will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary in July.