Cherokee Nation treasurer named Executive of the Year


Native American Finance Officers Association President Bill Lomax, Cherokee Nation Treasurer Lacey Horn, NAFOA 1st Vice President VaRene Martin and Cherokee Nation Government Relations Executive Director Courtney Ruark-Thompson.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation Treasurer Lacey Horn has been named “Executive of the Year” by the Native American Finance Officers Association.

Horn, of Vian, received the award for using innovative planning and forecasting for Cherokee Nation finances.

“This is a well-deserved honor for our tribal treasurer, who is a vital part of this administration,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “During her tenure we have received clean audits, earned national financial awards and had our credit rating upgraded. Treasurer Horn has done all of this invaluable work for the Cherokee people during an exceptionally challenging time for tribes with the federal sequestration. Lacey is not only an asset to the Cherokee tribal government, but she is also a role model for all Cherokee women who have a passion for public service.”

She accepted the award earlier this month at a luncheon in New Orleans.

“I’m thankful for this award from the Native American Finance Officers Association because it reaffirms that I’m doing what I set out to do,” Horn said. “My goals have been to make more money and save money so that there is more funding for services to the Cherokee people. I have also worked diligently to protect our federal funding and the trust responsibility owed to the Cherokee Nation and to all tribes.”

The NAFOA commended Horn’s efforts for a program that will save more than $7 million on the tribe’s self-insured health plan. Horn’s team, comprised of the tribe’s finance, human resources and contract health services departments, transitioned the tribe into a Medicare-like rate program, according to a statement from NAFOA.

Horn was sworn into office in December 2011. Since then, the tribe’s comprehensive budget has increased from $687.6 million to $696.3 million. Through initiatives such as the Medicare-like rate program, moving the tribe’s unemployment insurance from the state to Cherokee Nation and negotiating bank pricing on prepaid debit cards, Horn has helped save the tribe millions of dollars.

“I was raised in the servitude of the Cherokee people by my mother, who has been a nurse practitioner serving the Cherokee Nation since before I was born,” Horn said. “I always knew someday I would have an opportunity to serve my people, too. I intend to use what time I have in this role to do good and effect lasting, positive change.”

As treasurer, Horn oversees the finances for the tribe, which employs 3,500 people in 22 departments and across 14 counties, and which includes the largest tribally managed health care system.

The Native American Finance Officers Association is a nonprofit organization housed in Washington, D.C. The association seeks to strengthen tribal economies through policy work and education initiatives. During its spring and fall conferences, the association recognizes tribal leaders and financial professionals who have positively impacted tribal economies.

For more information on NAFOA and other award winners, visit

For more information on Cherokee Nation Finance, click here.

Cherokee Nation News Release
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