During Chairman Berrey's tenure on the Quapaw business committee and as tribal chairman, the Quapaw Tribe experienced exponential growth in its enterprises and services.

NEW ORLEANS, LA. – The Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA) hosted its 11th Annual Leadership Awards Luncheon during its 36th Annual Conference at the Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans. In front of a record-breaking audience, NAFOA honored the accomplishments of a tribal leader, tribal executive, financial deal advancing tribal economies and an education program positively impacting Native Americans.

John L. Berrey, Chairman of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma is the distinguished recipient of NAFOA Tribal Leader of the Year Award. Shane Jett, CEO of the Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation was honored as the Executive of the Year, St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin were the recognized with the Deal of the Year Award, and Education Program of the Year was awarded to the Pechanga Financial Education Online Course for Youth.

“This year’s honorees include extraordinary people, a cutting-edge education program, and an innovative financial deal nominated by the NAFOA community for their outstanding accomplishments and contributions to Indian Country. The NAFOA Board is humbled and honored to recognize and celebrate them on behalf of the NAFOA community,” remarked NAFOA’s 1st Vice President, VaRene Martin.

Tribal Leader of the Year

NAFOA honored John L. Berrey, Chairman of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, with its prestigious 2018 Tribal Leader of the Year Award. Barry Switzer, former head football coach of the Dallas Cowboys, provided introductory remarks. Switzer expressed that his friend Chairman Berrey has a “great mind, business acumen, and a big heart.”

During Chairman Berrey’s tenure on the Quapaw business committee and as tribal chairman, the Quapaw Tribe experienced exponential growth in its enterprises and services. Most recently Chairman Berrey has become nationally recognized for his leadership and vision in tribal agricultural production that promotes food sovereignty and environmental stewardship. In addition to the successful Downstream Casino, the Quapaw Tribe also operates the Quapaw Cattle Company, Quapaw Processing Plant, Quapaw Honey, O-Gah-Pah Coffee, and O-Gah-Pah Bison. The Quapaw’s agricultural businesses and programs represent innovation and creativity that enables farm-to-table supply services for their casino, provides quality local jobs and offers more nutritional food options to their local community.

Chairman Berrey is a member of both the Quapaw Tribe and Osage Nation and was born in Denver, Colorado. He credits his grandmother for ensuring he had a strong foundation rooted in his Native culture and religion. Chairman Berrey graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism in 1991. He is a fourth-generation rancher and father of two children.

NAFOA is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen tribal economies by promoting excellence in financial management, advocating sound economic and fiscal policy, developing innovative education initiatives, and providing essential information, resources, and support to meet the challenges of economic growth and change. NAFOA will be holding its 2018 Fall Finance and Tribal Economies Conference at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico on October 1-2, 2018.