Introducing Our Board of Directors
The Yavapai Indian Foundation provides direction, planning, and funding to assist the Yavapai Nation. Our Board, a vibrant mix of community and business leaders, provides our Foundation with the necessary experience, leadership, and drive to tackle our tribe’s issues and support its causes. We invite you to meet the Yavapai Indian Foundation Board of Directors.
We are currently looking for new Directors to join our Board. If you are interested, please send an email to email@example.com.
Raphael Bear - President
Just a few years removed from the wikiups, his childhood home, made of redwood planks leftover from the City of Phoenix waterline, had dirt floors, no water, electricity or plumbing. But it was just a stone’s throw from the Verde River and the vast Sonoran desert.
He began working for his community in 1974 when he was chosen as one of three community planners for the Tribal Nation. He oversaw and managed major infrastructure planning projects, design coordination and implementation on the reservation. Through that experience he has learned the importance of hard work through dedications and the teachings of his Grandparents and Great Grandparents. He also learned to always be ready for situations that he may be called upon. Raphael served in the United States Marine Corps for six years, with an honorable discharge.
He served as the Tribal General Manager for the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation for three years and was Tribal President from 2004-2008. Raphael is also involved with Arizona American Indian Tourism Association. His service also includes serving as the Chairman of the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona and member of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association.
Why is Raphael involved with YIF?
Raphael’s goal for serving on the Yavapai Indian Foundation is to have a supporting influence on the Yavapai Nation, through positive goal development and helping our young adults.
Calvin R. Pilcher Sr. - Treasurer
“Roddy” is a member of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, and works as the Community Services Division Director for the Tribal government. The Community Services Division is responsible for Parks & Recreation, the Elderly Center, Veteran’s Affairs, and Legal Aid.
Roddy is married and is blessed with beautiful children and grandchildren. An enthusiastic drummer/percussionist, Roddy also loves to fish and is a keen sports fan, both professional and otherwise.
Why is Roddy involved with YIF?
“I’ve been involved with the Yavapai Indian Foundation since its inception. I would like Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation to succeed as a Nation. But equally important to me is helping other Indian Nations, cultures, and people enjoy similar success.” – Roddy
Craig Benell - Board Member
Craig is currently Acting General Manager at Wekopa Resort and Conference Center, formerly Radisson Fort McDowell. He has a passion for the hospitality industry and has been with the hotel since 2007.
Craig has an extensive background in sales and revenue management, and operations. He believes that sales and operations are one focus to drive revenues, increase guest & associate satisfaction, and keep profits flowing to the bottom line. Craig is affiliated with Marriott and has acted as a COO, and Vice President of Operations for several hotel companies.
Craig also serves as General Manager for Fort McDowell Adventures and is the Chairman of the Fort McDowell Destination Committee. He was also a Director of a Convention and Visitors Bureau and is active with the Old West Trail Foundation.
Craig is also involved with AIANTA (American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association) and the American Indian Chamber of Commerce.
Why is Craig involved with YIF?
“I have been with Fort McDowell since 2007. My participation with the Yavapai Indian Foundation is my way of giving back to the Yavapai People. I am so proud of this community and Nation, and I hope I can contribute to help make things better for those who need it. I would like our organization to help the elderly, motivate and sponsor the youth by providing funds to participate in events, and tournaments.” – Craig
Misti Porter - Board Member
Misti is an Independent Consultant on Drug Courts/Healing to Wellness and Spirituality and Healing. She has been a Senior Consultant for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals – National Drug Court Institute, Consultant and facilitator for Tribal Law and Policy Institute, SAMHSA – Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, as well as Native specific organizations on Spirituality and Healing to Wellness/Drug Courts for over 12 years.
Misti served as a School Teacher, Police Officer, and a Supervisor for Six Nations Probation and Parole and Brant Counties Bail Verification Programs. Prior to consulting, Misti was employed with Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation from 2000-2011, holding positions as their Wellness Court Coordinator and Probation Officer.
In addition, she is a Master Teacher in Usui & Tera Mia Reike, Master Teacher and practitioner of Shamanic Touch, Third Level Master Energy Healer, a practitioner of Theta Healing and Focus Intention Technique – FIT.
Misti also has years of learning in Native traditional medicines and healing techniques from Native Elders/Healers throughout the United States and Canada.
Why is Misti involved with YIF?
“As a Native woman, it is my responsibility to assist and empower our people to reach their highest potential and live their greatest lives. I have spent the majority my life working with and for the betterment of Native American communities. The Yavapai Indian Foundation is a way of fulfilling that responsibility.” – Misti
If you have any questions, or would like to get in touch with the Yavapai Indian Foundation, please contact us.