Hart replaces Hannah as CNB board chairman
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation Businesses’ board of directors held a Feb. 24 special meeting by telephone conference, replacing Jay Hannah as chairman of the board.
In a vote of 5-4, newly seated board member Harold Ray Hart defeated fellow board member Mick Webber to become the new chairman. Hart and Webber abstained from voting, as well as board member Tommye Wright and Hannah.
Thirteen members of the board were in attendance – Hannah, Hart, Webber, Wright, Mitch Adwon, Lloyd W. Armstrong, David Ballew, Dennis Dowell, B.J. Dumond, Rex Earl Starr, Michael Watkins, Gary Cooper and Jerry Holderby.
Before the meeting, Hannah confirmed the clearance status of all board members due to the results of the Rules Committee and Tribal Council meetings the night before.
After calling the meeting to order, Hannah addressed the actions of the Tribal Council that allowed six board members to be officially seated and therefore allowing them full privileges of the board.
“The chair is very pleased that the Tribal Council prudently acted via their legislative amendment to take this course which will allow our new directors to be seated today,” Hannah said.
Hannah also presented the resignation letters of former board members Adolph Lechtenberger and Brad Carson. Lechtenberger was asked by Hannah several days prior to the meeting to retire from the board in order that the remaining seated directors achieve proper clearance.
Hannah then presumed a vacancy of the chair, and moved to take nominations for a new chair. Hart and Webber were the only nominations.
Once a new chair was selected, Hannah announced the retirement of Mitch Adwon from the board.
“My thanks and appreciation, and my congratulations to the new board members and wish them the very, very best in leading CNB,” Adwon said. “I think we’ve left you, especially Jay (Hannah), a very healthy company with Dave Stewart at the helm, and I really am excited for what you all can do for the future.”
Hannah directed the board’s secretary to obtain the gaming commission badges of all retiring board directors and present them to the CN Gaming Commission, to notify the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission of the directors retiring their licenses and to notify the U.S. Department of Defense and the Small Business Administration of the board’s actions.
Hannah then asked for unanimous consent to accept his letter of resignation and retirement status.
“As I would traditionally do this, I would thank you all very much for the opportunity to serve the Cherokee people,” Hannah said. “I return today to holding what I believe to be the most lauded position in tribal government …I am a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.”
As his last official action as a member of the board, Hannah passed the gavel to Hart.
“I would like for this board to thank you and all of the board members, for their time and the job they have done for the Cherokee people,” Hart said. “And of course a very special thank you, Mr. Hannah, to you for the great job you have done as chairman of the board.”
As his first official act as chairman, Hart announced new committee chairs and members.
For the Audit Committee, Hart named himself chairman and Watkins, Holderby and Wright as members. For the Compensation Committee, he named Watkins chairman and Wright, Cooper and Webber as members. For Executive Committee, he named Holderby chairman and himself, Watkins and Starr members. For Governance and Nominating Committee, he named Starr chairman and Cooper, Ballew and himself members. For the Cherokee Nation Entertainment Real Estate Industry Committee, he named Wright chairman, Holderby, himself and Starr as members. And for the CNB Diversified Businesses Committee, he named Watkins chairman and Wright and Cooper as members.