By Emily Foster
Editor, Talking Raven
The position of general manager for the Quileute Tribe has been accepted by Gerald Smith of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs; he accepted on May 5 and began working immediately on May 8.
Gerald brings years of experience to Quileute. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and personnel and industrial management and has an extensive history that spans decades working in Indian Country.
Most recently, Gerald served as the tribal administrator for the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony in Reno, Nev., which is comparable to the Quileute Tribe’s general manager position. Throughout his career, he has also been the chief operations officer for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, human resources business manager at Chemawa Indian High School, administrative officer at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Native American Program advisor with the Office of Personnel Management, as well as manager of the USA 1996 Olympic Boxing Team, to name a few.
The Quileute general manager position, which was previously known as the executive director, is directly responsible for the supervision and day-to-day operations of the tribe, working closely with the Quileute Tribal Council and department directors.
He stressed the importance of following policies and procedures; Gerald’s priorities include focusing on the basic administrative functions, such as chain of command, communications and updating job descriptions, as well as strengthening management and infrastructure.
“Whatever Tribal Council’s priority is — it’s a priority for me, for the safety and welfare of the community,” he explained.
His goals are to develop or enhance a solid administrative foundation to effectively meet the Quileute Tribe’s goals. He described, “My management style is like a coach. If there is a weakness, I will assist to develop or provide the tools to succeed.”
Gerald would like community members to know that he has an open door policy. If he is unable to meet with any tribal member due to scheduling conflicts, he plans to implement an administrative form that will provide members the opportunity to document their questions, complaints or feedback complete with contact information and he will follow up. “I work for the tribe and the tribal members,” he explained, “so I owe them an answer.”
He is excited to be working in La Push, with its rich culture, immense learning opportunities and beautiful landscape.
“I always want to learn. I look forward to learning about (Quileute) and being taught by the Quileute tribal members. With the benefits and blessings that I have been given through my work and life experience, and the knowledge that I have gained, I want to share those with others so they may have some positive work or personal experiences.”