About Richard Hotes
Alaska Structures Inc. founder Richard W. Hotes grew up in Anchorage, a place where he learned the value of hard work. As a youth, Richard hauled water, buried sewage and hunted for food for his five siblings and parents. Although he did not realize it at the time, Richard’s willingness to get his hands dirty to make life better for others would become one of the central foundations of his life.
Richard left Alaska as a young man to attend the University of Oregon, but the lessons he learned at home about the value of hard work did not leave him. After graduating, Richard spent his early twenties pursuing a career as a poet. The life of an artist had its challenges, and Richard spent some time living in his car while he wrote.
Richard found his professional calling in 1975, when he started Alaska Structures. Under his guidance, Alaska Structures became one of the most trusted and successful fabric structures businesses in the world. Richard’s achievements are a true American success story, and they have given him an opportunity to dedicate his life to helping those in need.
In 1984, Richard embarked on his first aid mission, serving famine sufferers in Ethiopia. He spent the next 15 years traveling to developing countries and failed states to personally deliver aid to the world’s poorest of the poor. Richard found that regions suffering under the yoke of extreme poverty often lacked the aid they needed and the leadership necessary to make positive changes, and he decided to roll up his sleeves and get to work.
The Hotes Foundation has undertaken more than over 70 missions to poverty-stricken countries around the world and disaster areas at home. Richard led the Hotes Foundation’s first major international relief effort in 2005 after an earthquake devastated Azad Kashmir in Pakistan. He was also one of the first people to respond after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001, and in Mississippi and New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005.
Richard Hotes has created a new model for philanthropy that encourages volunteerism, or “going,” over donations, or “giving.
“We want to solve poverty. So if you ever see me in Haiti or Bangladesh or the Philippines, I’ll be covered in dirt and sweat. And I’m proud to be covered in it because I want to be physically bringing this change.” — Richard Hotes, August 4, 2014