Al Hermann died recently after a long career in business including helping build the current Alaska entrepreneurship ecosystem as a faculty member at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Al was a genuinely engaged and an enthusiastic part of the startup community; not because it was his job to include some community engagement as service obligation, but because being engaged in the community was the way he taught and advanced his work to support his students and entrepreneurs. When his position was not renewed at UAA and he returned to Georgia, a huge gap was created in our ecosystem that has yet to be filled.
A unique aspect of his work that I appreciated but found challenging was his unbiased support of the entrepreneurs and students he worked with regardless of the viability of their idea and execution. I saw that as just a choice to be supportive and encouraging, even if the business model had challenges. I struggled with that, and in that struggle, learned a lot working with him.
Here is the rest of the picture I provide that the obit picture was cropped from. That is his smile we all remember!
He’s riding one of the MacKinnon Marine Technologies Alumaski boats, a business he helped launch as part of the Alaska Accelerator Fund. The AAF was created by Al, working with Dr. Forrest Nabors from UAA and myself, while I was at Alaska Pacific University.
My own reflections hardly do justice to Al’s life. Read more in the valuable Alaska focused obituary that Forrest wrote for our community.