There are few institutions as venerable and recognizable in the Keweenaw as the BHK Child Development Board. Yet, as deeply as the agency is embedded in our collective identity, in many ways it feels to us like BHK is in a second childhood of sorts.
One only has to look back over the past year or so to see how far the agency had fallen and how strongly it has come back in a relatively short period of time.
In the fall of 2012 it was reported BHK had deficits exceeding a million dollars under former executive director Mike Poma.
With guidance from retired school superintendents Pat Rozich, hired as executive director and William Polkinghorn as assistant executive director both on a temporary basis, the agency began making some difficult decisions.
Yes, jobs were lost, always a difficult pill to swallow, especially in an area with traditionally high unemployment to begin with. Assets were liquidated and some programs cut.
None of this came easy and not one move was made without some pain or difficulty somewhere down the line.
And as difficult as many of those decisions happened to be, they were the right ones.
A year later, BHK is healthy. Chip Law, hired as permanent executive director last summer, announced BHK is no longer in deficit.
While it may take some time for BHK to regain the position and reputation it once enjoyed, it's not that far off.
And certainly, thanks to the new leadership team, the agency is in a much better place than it was just 365 days ago.
Congratulations and a hearty "Thank You" to all concerned.