The Phoenix Indian Center’s board of directors has announced that Patricia Hibbeler will leave her role as CEO, effective Nov. 3 to return to her tribal community in Montana.
She will serve as executive director for Tribal Member Services for the Confederate Salish and Kootenai Tribe of the Flathead Reservation, according to a press release.
“I have thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed my time as CEO of Phoenix Indian Center, where we’ve worked to assist those in our community with employment, support, and language and culture revitalization,” said Hibbeler in a prepared statement.
She has confidence that the work will maintain relevancy and continue at a high level, and that Phoenix Indian Center will remain committed to educating the community on the culture's beauty and traditions, she added.
"I have the utmost reverence and respect for the community and the people I have had the pleasure to work with. Phoenix has been my home for 30 years and will always hold a special place in my heart,” said Hibbeler, who joined Phoenix Indian Center in October of 2004 and has “played a vital role” in the center’s growth.
“Phoenix Indian Center has thrived under Patti’s leadership over the past 17 years. She ha been recognized as one of the top American Indian nonprofit leaders in the country, and she has grown our job readiness, prevention services, language/culture services and youth programs – as well as our staff by 25%, budget has tripled and we have gained investments through purchasing property – all during her tenure and leadership here,” said Traci Morris, Phoenix Indian Center board president, in the release.
“Through her tireless efforts and passion for our community, we have reached more people and elevated our events to now be recognized among the best in the Valley.”
Morris called Hibbeler’s departure a loss for Phoenix Indian Center as embarks on a key leadership role with her home tribe. She added the Board of Directors will begin working on finding a new CEO, said, the release, noting Joylana Begay-Kroupa — a member of the organization’s executive leadership team — will serve as acting CEO in the interim.
Phoenix Indian Center is said to be the oldest non-profit of its kind in the U.S., formed in 1947 as American Indian people moved from rural reservation settings to the urban Phoenix area.
The center annually services more than 7,000 people through direct services and touches the lives of more than 20,000 people through related outreach; having assisted well over one million people during its existence.
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