Melodi Serna Appointed as Interim-Executive Director of the American Indian Center of Chicago
Greetings to the Chicago Native Community and to all our members. Please accept this as formal notice that our Executive Director Heather Miller has resigned her position with AIC effective Friday, November 20, 2020. We truly thank Heather for her years of service to the Organization and wish her health and safety with all her future endeavors.
As your Board we want you to know that it is our priority to develop a transition and recruitment strategy to find the best Executive Director to serve our Native Community moving forward. As stated in our previous releases, we will continue to be as transparent as possible about this entire process.
The first critical step is for us to have an Interim-Executive Director. As a result, the Board has appointed AIC Board of Director Vice President Melodi Serna who has graciously accepted this Interim-Executive Director position effective immediately. It is because of Melodi’s background and dedication to our Organization that we believe she will be great value to this interim role. As a Native American Navy Veteran, she has leadership experience both in and out of her military service. She has various experience in the non-profit sector as well as education advocacy. She has led staff in various positions prior to this and we are confident she has the background to help us to the next stage. Please join us in wishing her the best during this time of service.
We are now working on how we appropriately move Melodi into this interim role and if/what impact this has on her Board position. Our target timeframe for this interim role is 4-6 months after which we hope to have completed our search for the new Executive Director. Further, until we complete a total financial review, Melodi has asked that she not be compensated for her work at this time, which the Board has accepted. This will be reassessed once the financial review is complete.
In terms of next steps, the Board of Directors has established an Exploratory Committee to help bridge this transition for our Community Center. We will continue to keep you apprised on any updates of this process. We thank you for your patience and understanding. We look forward to the future, while remembering our past to help make the American Indian Center of Chicago a destination for all Native Americans. We hope you stay safe and healthy this Holiday week.
The AIC Board of Directors
Chantay Moore, Navajo Nation Melodi Serna, Oneida/Turtle Mountain Chippewa
President Vice President/Interim-Executive Director
Les Begay, Diné Nation David Morales, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation
Treasurer Sergeant at Arms
Ben Krause-Decorah, Ho-Chunk Nation Mark Rund, Cherokee Nation
Secretary Board Member