March 9, 2017
MESA, AZ – Janie Simms Hipp will be honored as the 2017 “Tim Wapato Public Advocate of the Year” as a part of this year’s National Reservation Economic Summit (National RES), hosted by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. The National Center will recognize several Native American business leaders and those who have made significant contributions to advancing economic development in Indian Country during this year’s National RES. The award winners span businesses large and small, and award categories include tribal leadership, gaming, women-owned business, volunteers, and public advocacy. Janie Simms Hipp is a member of the Chickasaw Nation and currently the Director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative for the University of Arkansas School of Law.

The awards are part of the 31st Annual National RES, taking place at the Mirage in Las Vegas, Nevada from March 13-16. National RES is the largest economic development gathering in Indian Country, bringing together over 4,000 Native American leaders, businesses and business owners, subject-matter experts, government officials, and others.

The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative’s mission is to increase student enrollment in land grant universities, create a new academic and executive education program in food and agriculture, directly support Indian country by providing strategic planning and technical assistance, provide financial markets and asset management, and to create health and nutrition policy for tribal community wellness.

Previously, Ms. Hipp was a senior adviser to former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, during which time she founded the USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations. Ms. Hipp was recently honored by former President Barack Obama with the Volunteer Service Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award, from the Corporation for National and Community Service, is for individuals who contribute more than 4,000 hours of service in their lifetime.

“Janie Simms Hipp is not only helping our tribal communities, but shaping the next generation of policy and education leaders,” said Chris James, the National Center’s President and CEO. “She shares the National Center’s commitment to improving communities from the bottom up. We are pleased to be able to honor her years of dedication and service to Indian Country.”
For more information about National RES and the National Center, please visit http://res.ncaied.org.

About The National Center: The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. With over 40 years of assisting American Indian Tribes and their enterprises with business and economic development – we have evolved into the largest national Indian specific business organization in the nation. Our motto is: “We Mean Business For Indian Country” as we are actively engaged in helping Tribal Nations and Native business people realize their business goals and are dedicated to putting the whole of Indian Country to work to better the lives of American Indian people- both now… and for generations to come.

CONTACT: Lewis Lowe, 202-333-2234
lewisl@strategies360.com

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