Roy M. Huhndorf, Yup'ik Eskimo, is a prominent leader locally, statewide
and nationally for his efforts to ensure that Alaska's Eskimos, Indians
and Aleuts are empowered economically and socially in the quest for
an improved standard of life. Mr. Huhndorf's family moved to Anchorage
from the Alaska Interior village of Nulato, Alaska, where he was born
and raised, so that the Huhndorf children could attend high school and
receive the best education possible. Mr. Huhndorf has dedicated himself
to the importance of education and an improved quality of life for Natives.
This commitment has been reflected in his career with Cook Inlet Region,
Inc. and service through the years on the boards of many corporations,
foundations and public organizations.
Between 1959 and 1975, Mr. Huhndorf served in the United States military,
was a job-training specialist with the Alaska Federation of Natives
and served as Director of the Community Health Aide Program of the Indian
Health Service in Anchorage.
Mr. Huhndorf was elected to serve on the initial board of incorporators
of Cook Inlet Region, Inc. in 1972 and was continuously re-elected to
the CIRI Board through June of 1998. CIRI is a for-profit corporation
established by Congress under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act
(ANCSA) in 1971 and has 6500 Native Shareholders. He was elected by
the Board as president and CEO of CIRI in 1975 and served in that position
for 21 years, through 1995. He served as Chairman of the CIRI Board
from 1996 to 1998, when he was named Chairman Emeritus.
Under Mr. Huhndorf's leadership, CIRI's assets grew from $32 million
to $600 million, making CIRI one of Alaska's largest companies. CIRI
has investments throughout the United States in real estate, tourism
and telecommunications. These investments have provided quarterly dividends
to CIRI shareholders since 1980, as well as employment opportunities,
scholarships and other social enhancement benefits. Educational services
to shareholders were enhanced through the establishment of the CIRI
Foundation in 1982, which now has an endowment of $15 million.
Mr. Huhndorf established R. M. Huhndorf & Company in 1998. The firm
primarily provides management consulting and government relations services.
Over the years, Mr. Huhndorf has served on boards of many foundations
and public organizations in his efforts to expand opportunities for
all Americans, Native Americans in particular, in all aspects of life
including health, education, economics, social services, heritage preservation
and public broadcasting.
In 1999, Mr. Huhndorf was elected Co-Chairman of the Alaska Federation
of Natives, one of Alaska's most prominent not-for-profit organizations.
In 1993, Mr. Huhndorf was appointed by the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian
Institution as a member of the Commission of the Future and served as
an active member of that Commission until completion of its work in
May of 1995. At the behest of Alaska's Congressional delegation, he
was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Institute of American
Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, by President Regan, a position
he held for six years.
He has also been elected to serve as a board member of several national
corporations such as LIN Television, Pacific Telecom, Inc. and the National
Bank of Alaska. He has been instrumental in the establishment of new
Native institutions such as the Alaska Native Heritage Center, Inc.,
a statewide cultural center located in Anchorage; Alaska Native Justice
Center, which advocates for fair treatment and justice for Natives;
and Koahnic Broadcast Corporation, which operates the nation's only
Native-owned Native national production unit, training center and urban
Currently, Mr. Huhndorf serves on the boards of the Anchorage Museum
Foundation, Construction Machinery, Inc., National Bank of Alaska, Alaska
Heritage Tours, Alaska Federation of Natives, Koahnic Broadcast Corporation,
Alaska Native Heritage Center, Inc., Alaska's People and Alaska Native
Mr. Huhndorf was recognized in a cover story in 1989 by Minority Business
Entrepreneur magazine, and Forbes magazine in 1990 for his leadership
in achieving economic empowerment for his corporation's more than 6,500
Alaska Native shareholders. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in business
administration from the University of Alaska, Anchorage in 1984, and
seven years later was conferred with the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree
from the University of Alaska. The Alaska Journal of Commerce selected
him as one of the top 25 Most Powerful Alaskans for 1996 and 1997. The
Elaine B. Mitchell Award was presented to Mr. Huhndorf in 1994 by the
Alaska Public Radio Network to honor his work which has fostered the
growth of public radio in Alaska through service on the APRN Board and
assisted in securing contributions to the APRN network. In 1995 the
Roy M. Huhndorf Scholarship was created through an endowment by Southcentral
Foundation to aid students seeking careers in health professions. In
1998 the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce named him "Alaskan of
the Year". In 1999 the Alaska Federation of Natives named him "Citizen
of the Year".
Mr. Huhndorf was appointed by Governor Bill Sheffield to an eight-year
term on the University of Alaska Board of Regents, serving as President
from 1985 to 1987.