Nonprofit Pros: Phoenix Indian Center Announces the Departure of CEO Patricia Hibbeler

Phoenix Indian Center’s board of directors announced that Patricia Hibbeler will leave her role as CEO, effective Nov. 3.

She will return to her tribal community in Montana, where she will serve as executive director for Tribal Member Services for the Confederate Salish and Kootenai Tribe of the Flathead Reservation. Hibbeler joined Phoenix Indian Center in October 2004 and has played a vital role in the Center’s growth.

“Phoenix Indian Center has thrived under Patti’s leadership over the past 17 years. She has been recognized as one of the top American Indian nonprofit leaders in the country, and she has grown our job readiness, prevention services, language/culture services and youth programs — as well as our staff by 25 percent, budget has tripled and we have gained investments through purchasing property — all during her tenure and leadership here,” said Traci Morris, Phoenix Indian Center board president. “Through her tireless efforts and passion for our community, we have reached more people and elevated our events to now be recognized among the best in the Valley.”

“Patti’s departure is certainly a loss for Phoenix Indian Center, but we are happy that she is able to take on a key leadership role with her home tribe. We wish her all of the best in her new pursuit,” Morris said. “Now, the board of directors will begin the work of finding a new CEO who will match her commitment to the mission of the organization.”

Phoenix Indian Center is the oldest nonprofit of its kind in the United States, formed in 1947 as American Indian people moved from rural reservation settings to the urban Phoenix area. Today, the Center serves more than 7,000 people each year through direct services and touches the lives of more than 20,000 people through related outreach, having assisted well over one million people during its existence. The Center is the largest of its kind in the country, serving the third-largest and fastest-growing American Indian population in the Phoenix-metro area with over 150,000 American Indians.

“I have thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed my time as CEO of Phoenix Indian Center, where we’ve worked to assist those in our community with employment, support, and language and culture revitalization,” said Hibbeler. “I have every confidence that this important work will maintain relevancy and continue at a high level, and that Phoenix Indian Center will remain committed to educating the larger community on the beauty of our cultures and traditions. I have the utmost reverence and respect for the community and the people I have had the pleasure to work with. Phoenix has been my home for 30 years and will always hold a special place in my heart.”

The Phoenix Indian Center board of directors has formed a dedicated executive leadership search team to streamline the process of recruitment. Details will be announced regarding the search for a new CEO. While Phoenix Indian Center searches for Hibbeler’s replacement, Joylana Begay-Kroupa — a member of the organization’s executive leadership team — will serve as acting CEO.


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