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Chickasaw professionals named to Chickasaw Nation posts

Connerville, Ada and Bowlegs residents named to leadership positions

ADA- Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby recently appointed three Chickasaw citizens to leadership positions within the Chickasaw Nation Department of Treasury.

Dakota Cole, Connerville, was named undersecretary of Treasury. Adam Stafford, Bowlegs, was appointed executive officer Business Analytics. Mendy Watkins, Ada, was named executive officer Budgeting and Support.

“Mr. Stafford, Mr. Cole and Mrs. Watkins bring critical skills, knowledge, enthusiasm and initiative to their respective positions,” said Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby. “These individuals have demonstrated they understand the importance good stewardship as we strive to continue expanding services and offering more opportunities to Chickasaw citizens.”

The Chickasaw Nation Department of Treasury provides pertinent and vital information to managers and leaders to assist in key financial decisions, long-term strategic planning and management of assets and investments across the Chickasaw Nation. Ms. Holly Easterling serves as secretary of Treasury.

As undersecretary of Treasury, Mr. Cole’s responsibilities include overseeing payroll and accounting for the commerce department, housing, headquarters and health finance.

Mr. Cole began working for the Chickasaw Nation as a management accountant in 2010. He was appointed to director of management reporting in the division of planning and organizational development in 2011.

He received an associate degree from Murray State College, a bachelor’s degree in business administration and master’s degree in accounting from East Central University. He is a certified public accountant and member of the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants. He was awarded the OSCPA “Trailblazer” award in 2012.

Mr. Cole is also a graduate of Oklahoma Community Institute's Citizens Academy and recently passed the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level I exam and is a candidate for the Level II exam.

Mr. Cole is mindful of Chickasaw citizens in every step of his duties. “Everything I do is rooted in giving back to the Chickasaw Nation. Each day, I think ‘how can we be more efficient.”’

The mission of the Chickasaw Nation hits close to home for Mr. Cole because he is a beneficiary of Chickasaw programs and services.

Beginning with receiving school supplies in the third grade, Mr. Cole has benefited from a number of Chickasaw Nation education services and other programs.

“I wouldn’t have a college education without the Chickasaw Nation. I owe a ton. It’s my honor and privilege to give back.”

Mr. Cole and his wife, Jamie, have one daughter, Conner. His parents are Ronald Cole and Rosanna Easterling.

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time on the family ranch, and with his family and team roping.

Mendy Watkins, executive officer Budgeting and Support, has worked for the Chickasaw Nation 15 years. She previously served as the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and director of Finance for the Chickasaw Nation Health System.

In her new position, Mrs. Watkins will focus on federal and consolidated governmental budgeting, as well as the coordination of the indirect cost negotiation agreement.

“I am privileged to work in a great organization like the Chickasaw Nation where I get to serve my Chickasaw people. I love helping manage our resources to maximize funds available to fund programs for the Chickasaw people,” she said.

A Chickasaw citizen, Mrs. Watkins earned a Bachelor of Business Administration-Accounting degree from the University of Oklahoma and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Accounting from East Central University.

She is also a graduate of Leadership Ada and Leadership YOUniversity.

Mrs. Watkins is the daughter of Doyle and Marilyn Morgan. She and her husband, Chris, have two children, Cayman and Kai. In her spare time, she enjoys attending her children’s sporting activities.

Adam Stafford, executive officer Business Analytics, has worked at the Chickasaw Nation for nine years in various positions within finance and compliance.

“Our office is tasked with providing accurate financial information to managers, so they can better carry out their duties,” Mr. Stafford said.

“I strive every day to be a good steward of tribal resources.”

Mr. Stafford, a Chickasaw citizen, has also worked in public accounting specializing in governmental auditing. He is a certified internal auditor and certified fraud examiner and is a 2004 graduate of East Central University where he studied accounting.

He also serves on the Chickasaw Historical Society board of directors and is a volunteer tax preparer with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which provides free tax preparation to Chickasaw citizens and employees.

The son of Jean Williams and David Stafford, Mr. Stafford resides in Bowlegs. In his spare time, he likes to fish and watch sports.

 

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