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American Indian Business Leaders announce new director

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MISSOULA, Mont. – The executive board of the American Indian Business Leaders recently announced the appointment of its new executive director, Maurice “Mo” Smith, following an extensive and thorough search process with a pool of highly qualified candidates.

Smith, 47, Navajo, originally from Denver, replaces Tina Begay, who served as the executive director since 1998 and recently accepted a position as a business instructor at the Salish Kootenai College, a tribal college, in Pablo, Mont.

AIBL, whose mission is to support and promote the education and development of future American Indian business leaders, by creating opportunities in business education, leadership development, professional internships and scholarships for students in all realms of education.

“AIBL is fortunate to have a person of Mo’s enthusiasm and abilities to move this organization forward,” said Dave Archambault, chairman of the AIBL board said about the appointment. “As a nationwide student led national nonprofit organization, providing business leadership opportunities, AIBL sought a combination of vision, compassion and management expertise in its leader. Mo has the right combination of commitment to AIBL’s values and founding principles. We are confident he will be an excellent leader and mentor to help lead AIBL into a bright new future.”

“I am excited to have the honor to lead this organization and build upon the tremendous foundation and good work accomplished over the past 15 years, promoting the education and development of the future American Indian business leaders,” Smith said. “I have always been inspired by students with a true willingness to build their skills and cultivate their passion to become successful American Indian leaders within a tribal community or mainstream society.”

Smith holds a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Regis University in Denver and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo.

Before accepting the position, Smith had provided services in a variety of nonprofit, student-oriented and business settings including being the executive director of the Native American Sports Council, a member organization of the U.S. Olympics Committee and leadership in hosting and organizing the 2006 North American Indigenous Games, also known as the “Indian Olympics,” in Denver.