Five Cherokee Nation citizens made the “Native American 40 Under 40” list by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED), including one from Vian – Lacey Horn.
The award recognizes 40 emerging American Indian leaders from across Indian Country who demonstrate leadership, initiative and dedication, making significant contributions to their tribe.
“The NCAIED’s 40 under 40 award is one of the most prestigious honors in Indian Country and something these Cherokee Nation citizens rightly earned through their work and commitment to our tribe and the issues facing Native people nationwide,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr., a 2014 Native American 40 Under 40 honoree. “Each and every one of these individuals is passionate and motivated to make real improvements in the lives of tribal citizens.”
Cherokee awardees include Horn, treasurer for the Cherokee Nation; Chrissi Ross-Nimmo, senior assistant attorney general for the Cherokee Nation; Travis Noland, communications director for Cherokee Nation Businesses; Jennifer Bell, director of public information for Citizen Potawatomi Nation; and Andrea Lesher, president and owner of A-sa-ma-di Business Solutions.
“I am thrilled and honored to be recognized among young Natives who are committed to promoting tribal success,” Horn said. “When tribes thrive, the people in our regional economies also prosper, regardless of tribal affiliation. I'm grateful to be a part of our bright future.”
Horn, of Vian, has served as treasurer since 2011. While in office, Horn has helped upgrade the tribe’s bond rating, promoted financial disclosure and transparency, and received numerous “Excellence in Financial Reporting” awards from the Government Finance Officers Association. Horn was also named to Oklahoma Magazine’s “40 under 40” list in 2012 and “Executive of the Year” by the Native American Finance Officers Association in 2014.
Nimmo, of Tahlequah, has represented the tribe in more than 300 Indian Child Welfare Act adoption cases. Nimmo practices law before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Northern Districts of Oklahoma, the Supreme Courts of the State of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation, and the Cherokee Nation District Court.
Noland, of Pryor, has spent nearly 10 years at both Cherokee Nation Businesses and the Cherokee Nation building a media image of the tribe and its businesses. Through his efforts and management of the communications team, Cherokee Nation and CNB have been recognized nationally by PR Daily, Public Relations Society of America and Ragan Communications for social media efforts, the quarterly Anadisgoi magazine, an online newsroom and the quarterly publication Where the Casino Money Goes.
Bell, of Midwest City, is responsible for publishing a monthly tribal newspaper, developing public relations and marketing campaigns for tribal enterprises, and government relations as the director of public information for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Prior to joining Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Bell worked as communications manager for Cherokee Nation Businesses, where she oversaw public relations for Cherokee Nation’s gaming and tourism endeavors.
Lesher, of Denver, has built A-sa-ma-di Business Solutions into a multimillion-dollar consulting business. The business advises other companies on how to streamline their business processes in order to be more efficient and cost effective. Lesher also established a nonprofit that helps provide families with lodging and meal expenses while their children are getting medical treatment.
The 2015 Native American 40 Under 40 Awards will be presented on Nov. 18 at NCAIED’s 40th Annual Indian Progress in Business Awards Gala at the Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino in Santa Fe, N.M.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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