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.
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.
Owen Doka - Vice-President & YIF Founder
Owen is a life-long resident of Fort McDowell and a member of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. Owen was the leading founder of the Yavapai Indian Foundation at its inception in 2008. Today he is the Assistant General Manager at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, the club is owned and operated by the Nation.
A certified pipe/plate welder by trade, Owen started his career in the early 1980s as a plant mechanic/ welder/loader operator.
Owen also has ten years of management experience within the Tribal Nation, displaying his leadership abilities at the federal and state level of government. He served as a tribal Council Member from 2004-2008, an achievement that Owen is very proud of.
After leaving office Owen attended the Golf Academy of America; he earned a degree in Complex Golf Course Management and uses those skills every day.
Owen has two beautiful children, a daughter and a son. “They are the most precious gift the creator has given me and the most important part of my life.”
Why is Owen involved with YIF?
“I’ve been involved with the Yavapai Indian Foundation since the start in 2008. Through the foundation we can help support, with monetary contributions, greatly needed mentoring programs and develop new infrastructures for our tribal youth and the Nation.” – Owen
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
Jim Pupillo - Board Member
Jim has been involved in the Investment Management Consulting Advisory business since 1987 and today is the Managing Director, Partner for HighTower |Scottsdale. Jim has had several articles published and contributed to several books on the subject of advanced portfolio construction and fiduciaries responsibility.
Jim graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management-Administration and Marketing from Indiana University-Bloomington. He also completed the American Indian Policy Institute Tribal Financial Management Certification program at Arizona State University.
As well as being a Director of YIF, Jim also serves on the Thunderbird Graduate School of Global Management’s Wealth Summit Advisory Board, the Help in Healing Foundation, and the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) Advisory Board.
Why is Jim involved with YIF?
“Since I moved to Arizona in 1987 I’ve been intrigued by Native American culture. I’ve served Native Nations as an Institutional Fiduciary Investment Advisor and have developed both an admiration for the culture and many valued friendships over the decades. My involvement with the Yavapai Indian Foundation is a way for me to express gratitude, continue to learn, maintain friendships and give back to the great people of these Nations.” – Jim
If you have any questions, or would like to get in touch with the Yavapai Indian Foundation, please contact us.