Directors

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Les Begay

President

Dine

 

 

 

 

Les, an enrolled member of the Dine Nation, has spent his 30+ year career in Sales Management and Operations in the Telecommunications sector.  His experience includes working with sales teams, OEM's, distributors and wireless operators both domestically and internationally.  He is currently  involved with Business Development as a consultant for wireless operators and Native Nations' wireless system upgrades.  He is a graduate of the University of Kansas.  

 

Adam A. Fahey

Vice President

Caddo/Delaware Nations of Oklahoma

 

 

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Melyssa Navis

Secretary 

Honorary

 

 

 

 

American Indian Center Board Secretary, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Native American/Alaska Native Special Emphasis Program Manager, Illinois Indian Child Welfare Act Council Secretary, and Native News Online Contributing Writer. Served 8 years for the U.S. Army Reserves and U.S. Army National Guard.

Over 25 years volunteering with child advocacy, animal welfare and environmental justice organizations.  Bachelors in Public Policy from De Paul University, Masters in Environmental and Urban Geography from University of Illinois at Chicago. With special interests in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), Indigenous Advocacy and performing as a violinist. Of Brazilian & German descent.

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Kelli Covey

Treasurer

Cherokee

 

 

 

 

Kelli Covey is a trainer, facilitator, mediator, coach and organizational development consultant with over 20 years’ experience working with both nonprofit organizations and corporations. She is the founder ofthe Covey Group, a small group of dedicated practitioners committed to reflection and dialogue as a means to build community and support equity and inclusion efforts.

Kelli is also a certified mediator through the Chicago-based Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR).  She mediates regularly in the Cook County court system and handles a variety of mediation cases, including victim-offender mediation and juvenile and family cases. She also leads conflict management workshops for a variety of organizations. She is also proud to serve as a board member and officer of the American Indian Center, one of the oldest urban-based Native community centers in the United States.

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Cynthia Soto

Board Member

Sicangu Lakota/Puerto Rican

 

 

 

Cindy was born and raised in Chicago. For over 25 years, she has worked with various community organizations supporting educational and culturally based programs. Currently, she is the Director of the Native American Support Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  As a single mom of a young daughter, it is important for her to give back to the community we love.  It is her passion to support, enhance, and contribute to building a healthy community for children, youth, and families.

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Forrest Bruce

Board Member

Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe

 

 

 

 

Forrest is a new Chicago resident and  a member of the Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe. He recently graduated from Northwestern with a degree in Education & Social Policy and a minor in Psychology. He currently works as the youth development specialist with the CPS American Indian Education Program. He is passionate about helping Native youth find their voice and plans to attend grad school so he can learn to develop curricula and spaces that center Indigenous knowledge and perspectives. He is involved in the Community as a singer with RedLine, a volunteer tutor with the Native Scholars program and as a board member for the First Nation Film and Video Festival. His hobbies include basketball, reading, chess and other board games. 

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Ashlee Pinto

Board Member

Tunica-Biloxi

 

 

 

Ashlee Pinto has been a member of the community since her employment at the Center as a Research Assistant in the Education Department. Currently, she is an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, practicing corporate law. Ashlee graduated from DePaul University, cum laude, with her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Relations. She then went on to law school at Stanford Law School and graduated with her Juris Doctorate in 2015. She has lived in the Bay Area, New York, Washington D.C. and has finally made her way home to Chicago.

 

Jack Campbell

Board Member

Menominee