Frank Neitz, President – Frank was born and raised in rural Montana. After graduating from Montana State University, Frank went on to a career flying both fixed and rotor winged aircraft, he flew rotor wing aircraft for six years in the south pacific before moving to Alaska in the mid 1980’s. In Alaska he started and operates two fixed wing Charter, Scheduled, Contract Airlines. He also has interests in real estate and mining. Frank is active in the community and serves as a Captain in the Civil Air Patrol, is a past chairman of the City of Bethel Public Works Committee, and President of Bethel Community Services Foundation. His hobbies are anything to do with the outdoors such as hunting, fishing, hiking, climbing, and boating.
Tom Hawkins, Vice-President – After graudating from high school in Richmond Virginia Tom spent one year at John Tyler Community College. In 1968, he was drafted into the US Army, trained in inventory control, and proceeded to spend one year in Korea with the US Army. After leaving the Army, Tom moved to Seattle and trained as a pilot before coming to Bethel Alaska in 1978 to work as an air taxi pilot. He worked for 8 years for Executive Charter service before buying a half interest in a small air taxi located in Mountain Village. Tom lived in Mountain Village for 4 years before moving back to Bethel where he and Mike Hageland built their air service into a regular scheduled airline with over 20 airplanes and 75 employees. Tom sold his interest in Hageland Aviation Services in 1995. Tom is now an avid real estate investor in Bethel and runs a small furnace repair business.
Patricia Smith, Secretary/Treasurer – Patricia Smith lives in Bethel and works for the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation.
Bob Hoffman, Board Member – Bob Hoffman has worked in aviation for over 20 years as manager of various airlines and partner in Hoffman Aircraft Services. He holds both his land and sea pilot license. Currently he works with the Alaska Corrections department as well as being a commercial fisherman. Bob is a member of VFW and served in Vietnam from 68-69. Bob has been an active Bethel Community member in recent years as he has held two terms with Bethel City Council, CEO of Bethel Native Corporation and is now an active member with Bethel Community Services Foundation. Bob is married to his wife of 34 years, Elizabeth Hoffman, and has two sons. Favorite past times include reading, flying, politics and camping.
Brandon Leary, Board Member – Brandon Leary was born in 1968 on Fort Wolters Army Helicopter Base, Mineral Wells, Texas. Brandon is almost a life long Bethel citizen, as he moved to Bethel at the age of three and has lived here off and on for the past forty years. He attended Anchorage Community College and Mesa State College in Grand Junction Colorado where he studied Auto and Diesel Technology and Aviation. Brandon currently operates the local Hovercraft, and is the former terminal manager for Crowley Petroleum Distribution. Brandon has been a commercial fisherman, tugboat deckhand, mate and captain since the age of 13; additionally he has been a airport supervisor, mechanic, equipment operator and truck driver, oil field maintenance specialist and crane operator. Brandon is on the City of Bethel Port Commission as Chairman as well as a Kusko 300 Sled Dog Race Board Member. Hobbies include flying (wheels, floats and skis).
Melody Hoffman – Melody was born and raised in Bethel, Alaska where she graduated from Bethel Regional High School in 2007. She worked for Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) for 6 years, spending most of that time in Village Operations in various positions, including Executive Assistant to the Vice-President of Village Health. Melody served as a member of the YKHC Alaska Native Workforce Development pillar committee. She paused working at YKHC to continue her education. She is currently a full-time nursing student with the University of Alaska Anchorage with the goal of becoming an RN. Melody is a passionate advocate for children (our future!) and community members who wouldn’t otherwise have a voice. Melody is a mother to two boys, Ronald and Christian. She enjoys fishing, berry picking, playing basketball, and spending time on the Kuskokwim River at fish camp with her family.