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NAIHC elects new chairperson

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WASHINGTON – The National American Indian Housing Council, the only national Indian organization advocating solely on behalf of tribal housing programs, concluded its 36th Annual Convention and Trade Show in Minneapolis May 28 with the election of a new chairperson. Cheryl Causley is the newly elected NAIHC chairwoman. Causley is the executive director of the Bay Mills Indian Community Housing Authority and the former NAIHC vice chair.

“I am thankful to the NAIHC membership, Board of Directors and the outgoing Chairman Marty Shuravloff for having faith in my abilities as a leader for this organization,” Causley said. “I promise to serve as the voice for all those that NAIHC represents and those that do not have the opportunity to share their stories. I will strive for fairness in every situation that arises and will make decisions that are in the best interest of all our people and the membership.”

Causley possesses an extensive background in tribal housing spanning nearly 20 years. She has served on the Great Lakes Indian Housing Association as chairperson and vice chairperson. As NAIHC vice chairperson, Causley has testified before the House of Representatives’ Natural Resources Committee on the “Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act (HEARTH) of 2009” and participated in numerous meetings with Congress, the White House and federal agencies regarding increased funding and expansion of Indian housing programs.

“I am honored to hand over the reins as chairperson to Cheryl. Over the years she has proven her dedication, passion and commitment to the betterment of tribal housing programs and our tribal communities,” Shuravloff said. “I am anxious to witness the positive changes Cheryl will make with the organization, and I look forward to working closely with NAIHC in future projects.”

The election took place during the NAIHC annual meeting of members. The Minnesota League of Women Voters conducted the election process and tallied the votes. Other candidates included Sharol L. McDade, executive director of the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Housing Authority; Raymond Gonzales, Washoe Housing Authority executive director; and Jason Dollarhide, deputy executive director of the Peoria Tribe Housing Authority. Causley directed the remainder of the members’ meeting as chairperson.

NAIHC concluded its 36th Annual Convention and Trade Show passing three resolutions: 1) Requesting Indian preference requirement in employment within the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Native American Programs; 2) Acknowledging outgoing Chairman Marty Shuravloff’s hard work, dedication and professionalism that he displayed in his leadership of NAIHC; and 3) Support for funding Native American housing programs.

NAIHC also appointed executive officers to the new positions: Floyd Tortalita, executive director of the Pueblo of Acoma Housing Authority, is vice chair; Donna Sue Hay, Chippewa Cree Housing Authority executive director, is the secretary; and Russell Sossamon, Choctaw Nation Housing Authority executive director, is the treasurer.

The National American Indian Housing Council will hold its Legal Symposium in early December in Las Vegas, its 2011 Legislative Conference in February in Washington, D.C. and its 37th Annual Convention and Trade Show in May in Phoenix.