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Eleanor Andrews

Civic Entrepreneur

Eleanor Andrews (b. 1944) is a civic entrepreneur—a person who inspires institutions, businesses, and individuals to excel in their work while also investing in their communities.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Eleanor moved to Fairbanks in March 1965 with her young family to spend time with her father, who had moved there. She waited until March to move because she thought it would be springtime. She was dismayed to find that her faux vinyl coat and patent leather go-go boots were not adequate for the winter weather she encountered.

A successful businesswoman with a record of service throughout the state, Eleanor credits Alaska with providing a setting for women and anyone with curiosity to succeed. “There were so many people needed to do things early on,” she says, “It fit my personality…I’m never afraid to try anything.”

In addition to working for the State of Alaska, Municipality of Anchorage, the Alaska Public Employees Association, and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Eleanor also established her own business, The Andrews Group, a services contracting firm principally engaged in managing federal projects such as military base operations. Although Eleanor retired in 2007, she continues to be actively involved in her community and to give back to Alaska. She is recognized as a gifted and fair public servant, a volunteer, a philanthropist, a mentor, a board member, a loyal friend, and most importantly, a loving mother and grandmother.

To read more about Eleanor’s accomplishments and accolades, look for her biography on the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame and The HistoryMakers websites.

We’d love to know more about the powerful women in your life. Share your images and stories with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging us (@anchoragemuseum and #ExtraToughWomenAK) and we’ll add them to our ongoing digital curation project. Stay tuned for more information about the exhibition and be sure to check back for new #ExtraToughWomenAK posts.

Special thanks to Eleanor for taking the time to share her story and her photographs with us.

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