I was born in Istanbul, Turkey and moved to the U.S. in 1975 to pursue my Bachelor of Art (BA) Degree in Chemistry from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I am currently a consultant in the quality assurance management and environmental engineering fields with over 38 years of experience. I have lived in Nevada, Southern California, and North Carolina. We recently relocated to northern Virginia to live closer to our daughter Semrin. Since 2000, I have been an active member of the various Turkish-American organizations serving on the Boards of the Association of Turkish Americans of Southern California (ATASC), Orange County Turkish American Association (OCTAA), Orange County Turkish School (OCTS), American Turkish Association of Carolina, Charlotte Chapter (ATA-NC Charlotte), and Bridge to Turkiye Fund (BTF). In 2004, I led the establishment of OCTAA as the regional chapter of ATASC as well as the Turkish School in Orange County in 2006, which is continuing to operate to date. I have served these organizations in various capacities including President, Executive Secretary, Membership Chair, and Board Member and organized many educational and social events showcasing Turkish culture at international festivals. My involvement with BTF began during my term as the OCTAA President when I coordinated several joint philanthropic projects in Turkey. Because I believed in the mission of BTF, in 2010, I decided to lead the establishment of the grassroots initiative Medine Memi Memorial Scholarships Program, which later was rebranded as the Empowerment Scholarships Program for BTF. I was instrumental in developing and growing the Empowerment Scholarships Program from 6 students to nearly 1200 students and managed day-to-day coordinations with 10 CYDD branches. In addition, I have established the Orange County (California) and Charlotte (North Carolina) Circles and helped expand BTF’s network of sponsors and support base in these areas. I am continuing my efforts to represent BTF and expand the support base in my new hometown in the DC Metro area. I have served on the Board of Directors for the past 10 years and performed Executive Secretary duties for 2 years. In addition to my passion for promoting Trükiye and Turkish culture to the greater communities, I am an advocate for girls’ education in Türkiye. I am married to Keith Aleckson and have two daughters, Michelle Deniz and Semrin, and two young granddaughters Ava Elâ and Lana Serâ. As a family, each year, we have been providing scholarships to numerous university students and have been making financial contributions to various BTF projects.
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