ILA Expresses Gratitude For Fall 2023 Cohort

Kristen Talbert ILA Program Manager

Kristen Talbert

Indigenous Leadership Academy Program Manager

We have successfully completed the Fall 2023 cohort of the Indigenous Leadership Academy (ILA)! The application for the Spring 2024 cohort will open on November 17, 2023, and close on December 15, 2023. Follow along with AIPI for upcoming blogs, posts, and everything else ILA.  

These experts in their respective fields imparted their knowledge, shared their insights, and gave their time to the ILA. You can read more about each of the talented guest speakers below. 

Module 6: Communicating Your Story and Exhibiting Professional Etiquette

Shareé Hurts is Strategic Partnerships Program Manager for APS working with community partners to create, innovate, and implement programs that benefit Arizonans. Prior to APS, Shareé spent ten years in the healthcare industry, primarily focused on Medicaid specializing in project management, organizational governance, and proposal development. In addition to her career in the corporate sector, Shareé has continued her passion for serving in the community. This includes her passion project of serving through teaching, an adjunct faculty member at South Mountain Community College currently teaching within the Storytelling Institute. Shareé has a bachelor’s degree in political science from ASU West and a master’s degree in law from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, ASU.

Module 7: Building Relationships and Growing Your Network;

Laurie Battaglia is CEO of Aligned at Work® in Scottsdale, AZ. Laurie is on a personal mission to wake up the leaders of organizations who think that they can delay inevitable change. She is a futurist and strategizer, a connector of people and resources. She believes in balancing people and profit in business for a sustainable future. Laurie is a strategic advisor, executive coach, and inclusive leadership consultant. She is an expert facilitator and brings groups together to achieve great things. Her superpower is building trust quickly with clients, team members, and diverse communities. Aligned at Work® is a leadership consulting firm with an emphasis on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Their Aligned Leader Model for Inclusive and Aligned Leadership is part of their signature program designed to build inclusion into organizational cultures through everyday actions.

Module 8: Bridging Differences and Fostering Consensus

Maria Dadgar is an enrolled member of the Piscataway (Pi-Scat-Away) Tribe of Accokeek (Ack-Ko-Keek), Maryland. Maria has worked in the fields of Higher Education, Non-Profit Executive Management, and Tribal Economic Development for more than 20 years. Throughout her career, Maria has been involved in advocating for public policies and legislation on behalf of Tribal nations regarding Economic Development, Education, Health Equity, Social Justice, and Environmental Quality. Currently, Maria serves as the Executive Director of the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA) which is one of the oldest and largest Tribal consortiums in the United States. Under Maria’s leadership, ITCA has grown in the number of federal grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, and job creation. ITCA has 71 subject matter experts on staff and has an annual operating budget of approximately $26.5 million. Maria reports directly to 21 Tribal Leaders which serve as the governing board for the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona and are the highest elected officials for 21 of the 22 Tribes in Arizona.

Module 9: Community-Centered Management Practices

Nonie Black Elk (Ft. Peck Assiniboine & Sioux, Navajo) has been with Arizona Public Service since 2010 in roles with Human Resources, renewable energy, customer technology, and her current position as Energy Innovation Analyst for the Customer to Grid Solutions team. While supporting the Solar Communities program team, Nonie was responsible for recruiting tribal customers on the Navajo and Hopi reservations. She coordinated alternative customer engagement by hosting Lunch & Learns to educate interested customers through a Hopi translator. Ms. Black Elk’s proudest moment as an APS employee was leading the internal team to weatherize the home of a Navajo Code talker in her home community Tuba City. 

Module 10: Developing Leadership Capacity and Looking to the Future;

Arlando S. Teller’s Navajo clans are Naasht'ézhi-Táchii'nii (Zuni clan adopted into Red-Streaked Forehead clan) born for Tó'aheedlíinii (The Water Flows Together clan). My maternal grandfathers are Tódich'ii'nii (Bitter Water clan) and my paternal grandfathers are 'Áshįįhi (Salt clan). Arlando Teller was sworn in as the first USDOT Assistant Secretary for Tribal Government Affairs on May 8, 2023. This position was enacted through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, focusing on improving programs to address critical infrastructure impacts on tribal communities within Indian Country. Prior to joining USDOT, Teller served as State Representative for District 7 in the Arizona House of Representatives. Arlando entered the aviation industry as the first Native American graduate from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Teller worked on multimodal transportation projects for the California Department of Transportation and returned home to the Navajo Nation, where he served in multiple capacities, including Deputy Division Director for the Navajo Nation’s Division of Transportation.

We are filled with gratitude to each of the guest speakers! The open and honest discussions we had during the cohort were motivating and insightful. We cannot be more grateful for the wisdom the guest speakers have given and are excited to see how our leaders put it to use.