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Press Release

Release Date: June 23, 2015

Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

Developments made possible through New Markets Tax Credit Program

ADA, OKLA. - Chickasaw Nation officials announced today a $20 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation to the Chickasaw Nation Community Development Endeavor, LLC (CNCDE).  This allocation will enable the Chickasaw Nation to extend community revitalization efforts across Indian Country with an emphasis on job creation.

The CNCDE is considering more than 20 projects ranging from healthcare infrastructure, information technology and education.

“This program offers another avenue for collaboration on projects which may very well benefit local economies for generations to come,” said Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby. “We believe this program will have an immediate positive impact on local economies which will help create a firm financial foundation for long-term growth and economic development.”

The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund awarded 76 of 260 applicants this year through its NMTC Program.

Gov. Anoatubby praised the CNCDE advisory board members for their efforts in securing the NMTC allocation and for their continued support of the Chickasaw Nation and the CNCDE.

“The focus and follow-through of the CNCDE advisory board was instrumental in helping obtain Community Development Entity (CDE) status and in receiving this award,” said Governor Anoatubby. “Their efforts will allow us to create jobs, build and improve infrastructure and enhance the quality of life of Native Americans across Indian Country.”

New Markets Tax Credit allocations enable entities such as CNCDE to fill critical financing gaps between mainstream and economically disadvantaged communities. The allocations fund projects which allow communities in Indian Country to fuel local economic growth through job creation.

The CNCDE advisory board comprises the following members: Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle; Chickasaw Nation Ambassador Neal McCaleb; Chickasaw Nation Secretary of Treasury Holly Easterling; Chickasaw Nation Secretary of Commerce Bill Lance; former executive at Aetna Andrew Lee; Professor emeritus and co-director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development Joe Kalt; Co-Founder of Nike’s N7 Fund Sam McCracken; and President and Chief Executive Officer of Prairie Band, LLC Burton Warrington.

The CNCDE advisory board is to demonstrate accountability to residents of low-income communities in its service area. This is an important part of CNCDE’s ongoing responsibility to meet accountability requirements under the NMTC Program.

About the NMTC Program

The NMTC Program was created in December 2000 and is administered through the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The NMTC Program serves as a catalyst to encourage investment of private equity capital into low-income communities and allows investors, such as U.S. Bank, to receive a credit against federal income taxes for making equity investments in designated CDEs. The credit provided to the investor totals 39 percent of the cost of the investment and is claimed over a seven-year credit allowance period. The CDE receives a qualified equity investment and deploys a qualified low income community investment under favorable terms, such as a below-market interest rate and a longer-than-standard period of interest-only payments, to the qualified active low-income community business.

About Chickasaw Nation

With more than 55,000 citizens, the Chickasaw Nation is the 12th largest federally-recognized Indian tribe in the United States. The Chickasaw Nation had an economic impact of more than $2.4 billion in Oklahoma in 2011. The tribe is the seventh largest employer in Oklahoma, with more than 13,000 employees. A democratic republic with executive, legislative and judicial departments, the tribe's jurisdictional territory includes all or part of 13 counties in south central Oklahoma.

Media Contacts

Tony Choate | (580) 559-0921 |
Kym Koch Thompson | (405) 831-8668 |

Advisory Board Biographies

Neal McCaleb
McCaleb was named Chickasaw Ambassador at Large in early 2013 and was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2014. Prior to 2014 McCaleb was appointed by President George W. Bush as Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs. His public service includes 10 years as Secretary of Transportation for the State of Oklahoma and eight years in the State House of Representatives.  McCaleb is a 1957 graduate of Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He was in private practice as an engineering consultant and real estate developer for 26 years. He continues his service to the Chickasaw Nation and the State being actively involved in economic development and transportation issues.

Bill Lance
Lance is the Secretary of Commerce for the Chickasaw Nation and is responsible for the management of all commercial business enterprises of the Chickasaw Nation. The Chickasaw Nation Department of Commerce has more than 6,500 employees and is comprised of more than 60 gaming, hospitality, retail, media, manufacturing, and tourism related businesses. Prior to his current role, Lance served as Administrator of the Chickasaw Nation Health System, where he oversaw the historic construction of the 370,000-square-foot Chickasaw Nation Medical Center located in Ada, Oklahoma. Lance received a Master’s of Public Health degree from the University of Oklahoma, College of Public Health; a Bachelor’s of Science degree from East Central University (ECU) and most recently became a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).

Holly Easterling
Easterling serves the Chickasaw Nation as Secretary of Treasury. As a board member, she will be a resource to CNCDE and will provide guidance as we take on new assets and manage the associated risks. Holly’s professional qualifications include a certified public accountant with a degree from Oklahoma State University. Easterling has played several roles for the Nation over the years including serving as a legislator and planning director before becoming Secretary of Treasury. As the most senior official in the Treasury Department, Easterling is directly responsible for the financial performance and accounting compliance of the Nation’s assets. These assets cover a wide range of financial and corporate investments including manufacturing businesses, technology firms, housing development, health care, infrastructure, and other assets classes.

Joseph Kalt
Professor Kalt is an emeritus professor and co-director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. Kalt’s research focuses on exploring the economic implications and political origins of the government regulation of markets. His leadership of the Harvard Project has provided thought leadership and strategic direction to many successful economic development initiatives. Kalt has published widely in the area of natural resources economics and policy. He is the author of The Economics and Politics of Oil Price Regulation; Federal Policy in the Post-Embargo Era, Drawing the Line on Natural Gas Regulation (with F.C. Schuller);What Can Tribes Do? Strategies and Institutions in American Indian Economic Development (with Steven Cornell); and The State of the Native Nations (with the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development). Kalt earned his Bachelors of Arts from Stanford University and his Masters of Arts and PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Tom Daschle
Senator Daschle has participated in the development and debate of almost every major public policy issue of the last three decades. In 1978, he was elected to the US House of Representatives, where he served for eight years. In 1986, he was elected to the US Senate and was chosen as Senate Democratic Leader in 1994. Senator Daschle is one of the longest serving Senate Democratic leaders in history and the only one to serve twice as both Majority and Minority Leader. During his tenure, Senator Daschle navigated the Senate through some of its most historic economic and national security challenges. Since leaving the Senate, Senator Daschle has emerged as a leading thinker on climate change, food security and renewable energy policy.

Burton Warrington
Burton W. Warrington, Menominee, Prairie Band Potawatomi and Ho-Chunk, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Prairie Band, LLC, the economic diversification holding company owned by the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. Warrington’s career has involved a unique blend of legal, policy and business experience. Prior to his current position he served as Counselor to the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs at the United States Department of Interior. Warrington also previously practiced law and served the Prairie Band Potawatomi Entertainment Corporation which includes the Prairie Band Casino and Resort. Warrington holds a Law Degree from the University of Kansas School of Law and a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from Haskell Indian Nations University.

Sam McCracken
Cracken had the original vision and has led the implementation of Nike’s N7 athletic shoe and N7 Fund. As a member of the Fort Peck Tribes, McCracken understands the connection between athletics, health and economic development in Indian Country. In addition to his leadership at Nike, McCracken has also been called upon to serve Indian Country as a member of the National Advisory Council on Indian Education where he has provided advice on how to best serve American Indian students in schools across the country. This unique blend of public sector and private sector experience will help CNCDE create economic opportunity throughout our service area.

Andrew J. Lee (Seneca)
A business and nonprofit executive, Lee has held leadership positions in the fields of philanthropy, academia, American Indian affairs, health care, and organizational strategy.  Currently on sabbatical, Lee was most recently a vice president at Aetna, a Fortune 100 health care company.  Lee is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a trustee of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and a board member for numerous businesses and national nonprofits.  Lee holds an A.B. from Hamilton College and an M.P.P. from Harvard University.