Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation named Project Team of the Year

During our 19th Annual Travois Indian Country Affordable Housing & Economic Development Conference in Miami, FL, we honored professionals in five categories at our Superhero Awards ceremony. This was our fifth year honoring industry professionals doing amazing work in their communities and it’s become one of our favorite activities during our annual conference.

Our final Superhero Award highlight is the 2019 Project Team of the Year, Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation.  

I was honored to present this award to the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation team. It has been one of the privileges of my life to play a small part in the Tolowa Dee-ni Nation’s multi-year effort to execute on a long and thoughtful planning process to bring quality, affordable housing to their community where wait lists are long and housing supply is extremely limited. 

The team was unable to attend the awards ceremony in Miami but graciously accepted the award in the opposite corner of the U.S. map!

“We would not be here but for all of the hard work, talent and expertise of everyone at Travois,” said Don Daines, Housing Director of Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation. “Our success is a Tribal success involving contributions of effort from everyone.”

1st ROW (L to R): Cari Nelson, Council Member; Jeri Lynn Thompson, Council Vice Chairwoman;   Kara Brundin-Miller, Council Member, ; Denise Padgette, Council Chairwoman; Leann McCallum, Council Secretary ; 2nd ROW: (L to R): Virginia Young, Planning Coordinator; Briannon Fraley, Self-Governance Director; Donald James, Public Works & Facilities Manager; Tim Hoone, Planning Director: Bobby Bergman, Project Manager; Hank Shields, Chief Financial Officer; Zackary Chapman, TERO Director; Don Daines, Housing Director; Allen Bommelyn, Construction Foreman; and Jene’ Abad, Housing Office Clerk. Not in Picture: Dr. Joseph Giovannetti, Council Treasurer and Marvin Richards Sr., Council Member.

While these characteristics are not uncommon in Indian Country, the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation’s efforts are complicated by the extremely high costs of construction in their area, the very most north-western corner of California. 

The Tolowa Dee-ni Nation, including the tribal council, planning department, housing department, construction team, and TERO office, alongside their investor partner Hunt Capital, have worked diligently from the first discussions to develop a sustainable project that celebrates and preserves the culture of the Nation and creates a homeownership opportunity for tribal members that would not otherwise be possible without the work of this amazing team. 

The Dat-naa-svt development will provide ocean front views from every home once complete. The process to develop and build on this property so close the coast came with its own set of unique and highly complex challenges. The Nation worked through these challenges diligently to ensure that the end goal of quality housing could become a reality for their community. 

Don added, “We know for whom we are doing everything and that serves as a powerful motivation for everyone.”

Because of their perseverance, determination, and true representation of what it means to work as a team in the interest of the community, we are honored and grateful for the opportunity to recognize the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation as this year’s recipient of the Project Team of the year.  

Congratulations to the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation!