Incoming Osage Nation Chief Geoffrey M. Standing Bear has announced the new executive staff of the Osage Nation Executive Branch.
“Assistant Chief-Elect Raymond Redcorn and I sought to create a staff with less people than before and with proven capabilities,” Standing Bear said. “The staff represents the diversity of the Osage people with women and men of different backgrounds. We thank each of them for accepting this challenging assignment. Our selections include several veterans of the United States Armed Services.”
Jason Zaun will be the Chief of Staff. Zaun has most recently been the Budget Analyst for the Osage Nation Congress. He is a member of the Osage Nation and an Osage headright shareholder.
Zaun is a United States Navy Veteran who achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer and spent 10 years stationed overseas in Okinawa, Japan. He also was the Leading Chief Petty Officer of the Religious Ministries Department on the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan for two years. This tour included a six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.
Zaun’s awards include three Navy Commendations Medals, seven Navy Achievement Medals, the Fleet Marine Force Enlisted Warfare Specialist Badge, Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist Badge and the Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist badge. He was also recognized as Sailor of the Year three times and Recruiter of the Year twice during his military career.
Zaun received his Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership (with a Business Focus) from Rogers State University and will begin his Masters of Arts in Administrative Leadership with the University of Oklahoma in the fall of 2014. He is married to Naoko Sakumoto and has three children.
Christian “Casey” Johnson has been chosen as Special Advisor to the Office of the Chiefs. He is a member of the Osage Nation from the Grayhorse District.
Johnson is a 23-year veteran of the United States Army Infantry having served in every Non-Commissioned Officer position from Fire Team Leader to Infantry Company First Sergeant. He performed combat operations during Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
His awards include the Combat Infantryman’s Badge (with Star), the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, 3 Meritorious Service Medals, 3 Army Commendation Medals, 9 Army Achievement Medals, the Parachutist’s Badge, the Air Assault Badge, and the Drill Sergeant’s Badge.
Johnson received two Associate Degrees in Business Administration and Arts and Sciences from Northern Oklahoma College and his Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Safety from the University of Central Oklahoma and will begin his Masters of Arts in Administrative Leadership with the University of Oklahoma in the fall of 2014. He is married to Johnna Johnson, of Fairfax, and has three adult children.
Debra Atterberry will serve as Executive Advisor. She has served the Osage Nation for the last nine years and is a member of the Osage Nation. In 2006, she was elected to the First Osage Nation Congress. Before her congressional term, Atterberry assisted Herman Lookout in the Osage Language Department in developing the Osage orthography and language curriculum.
Atterberry has spent 17 years in education as a public schoolteacher. She graduated from Northeastern Oklahoma State University with a dual major in Elementary and Secondary Education and a minor in Business. She is married to Duke Atterberry, has three children and four grandchildren.
John Williams has accepted the position of Government Affairs Advisor. For several years he was the Health Systems Administrator of the Pawhuska Indian Health Clinic. He had previously served as CEO of Winnebago Indian Hospital and a Contract Health Service Officer at the Aberdeen Area Office. He has also served as the EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) Officer for Aberdeen Indian Health Service. Williams is a trained Physician’s Assistant.
He is a Vietnam Veteran and served with the United States Army Special Forces where he specialized as a Combat Medic.
He is a former Director of Operations for the Osage Nation. Williams is an Advisor to the Grayhorse War Mother’s and to the Grayhorse Ilonshka Drumkeeper.
He is married to Francis Ann Williams, formerly West. He is a member of the Osage Nation, as is his wife, three children and many grandchildren.
Sheryl Decker will serve as Executive Assistant to the Chief and Assistant Chief. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Oklahoma and has been a legal assistant for over 18 years. She is a member of the Cherokee Nation and is eligible for membership in the Osage Nation.
Sheryl is active as a basketball coach for the Bartlesville YMCA Youth League and has been a church leader in the mentoring program for young women at Grace Community Church. She is married to Matt Decker and they have three children.
Rebecca Fuhrman will be the Legal/Legislative Analyst. She graduated from Northeastern State University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa College of Law with certificates in Public Policy and Comparative & International Law. While in law school she served as Senior Candidates Editor for the Tulsa Journal of Comparative & International Law.
She began her career with the Osage Nation in 2006 working with the First Osage Nation Congress. She has also worked in public policy as a consultant with several non-profit organizations. Her children are descendants of the Eastern Band of Cherokees and her grandchildren are members of the Cherokee Nation.
Standing Bear said that although this is a reduction in the number of staff persons from the previous administrations, he believes all are ready and able to take on the challenges ahead for the Osage Nation. Standing Bear announced that Danielle Cass and Jane Perrier Harris would assist the team with administrative support. Both are Members of the Osage Nation.