On January 7, 2010, the Tribal Council petitioned the Secretary of Interior to issue a federal charter of incorporation to the Tribe. They sought to establish Coyote Economic Development Corporation, a business corporation as authorized by Section 17 of the Indian Reorganization Act. The Coyote Valley Tribal Council found that the formation of a federal charter of incorporation would serve in the best interests of the Tribe, its members, and its enterprises and would protect the political integrity, economic security and health and welfare of the Tribe and its members by, among other things. A corporate charter creates a legal structure which provides for the segregation of Tribal governmental assets and liabilities from Tribal business assets, liabilities, and creates a legal structure which provides for the segregation of discrete corporation assets and liabilities into separate corporation subdivisions, without divesting either the corporation or the Tribe of the privileges and immunity arising pursuant to their legal status under federal and Tribal law.
On April 4, 2011 the federal charter of incorporation was approved by the Department of Interior.
Board of Directors
Executive Chair Hunter
Michael Hunter brings unique work experiences to the Coyote Valley Tribe. He previously served as a Tribal Council member and as the General Manager of two nearby casinos. These experiences provided Mr. Hunter with valuable insight into the common operational deficiencies affecting Tribal governments and businesses, as well as the practical skills to implement remedies for the benefit of his Tribe.
His Administration created a General Welfare Program that provides financial assistance to Tribal members for basic living expenses. He also created the Tribe’s first Student Recognition Award Program and Tribal Higher Education Program. These two education programs work conjunctively to encourage and acknowledge scholastic accomplishments from elementary to postgraduate levels.
One of the most important accomplishments achieved by Mr. Hunter’s Administration is the recent award of a $1.9 million USDA Water Well Grant. This grant furthers the Tribe’s self-sufficiency and may eventually help the Tribe gain its independence from the diminishing County Water District supply. Once the Tribe’s new water source is paired with a new wastewater treatment system (currently under development), the Tribe will eventually be able to support additional housing for members and further new economic opportunities.
The CEDCO Board of Directors has spearheaded many initiatives that have financially benefited the Tribe. For instance, over the last two years CEDCO successfully renegotiated, reduced and paid off over $18 million in debt; and with organizational chart restructuring and with efficient budgeting, the Coyote Valley Casino increased its annual profit by over $2 million dollars.
As the Executive Director of CVRE, Mr. Hunter lead the Tribe’s successful effort to secure a BIA guarantee for a loan of up to $6 million. These funds have been allotted to build a convenience store and gas station. In addition CVRE will oversee construction of the Tribe’s second gaming facility, to be located adjacent to the convenience store. The Tribe anticipates funding the new gaming facility with existing casino revenue.
As Tribal Chairman, Mr. Hunter is committed to the Tribe’s cultural, social and economic growth.
Vice Chair Naredo
Patrick Naredo is the Vice Chairman of the Tribe, sits on the Coyote Valley Retail Enterprises (CVRE) as the Treasurer and is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Coyote Valley Economic Development Corporation (CEDCO). As part of the leadership team of the Tribe, Mr. Naredo has played a pivotal role in the recent initiatives of the Tribe to increase productivity. Mr. Naredo has served on the Tribal Council for approximately nine years and brings a heightened level of stability and institutional knowledge to the leadership team.
Executive Secretary Gonzalez
Candace Gonzalez is currently serving her third term as the Tribal Council Secretary. She started her lifelong passion working for and with her Tribe at the young age of 12 years old. By attending and participating in annual United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) conferences held around the Country, she was exposed to many avenues of opportunity in obtaining education and leadership. These opportunities propelled her passion to make Native Youth a priority and to help all Native’s people as well as her own at home.
Executive Treasurer Jaynes
Kelli Jaynes currently serves as Execute Treasurer for the CEDCO Board of Directors. She has been actively involved in the development, inception and daily business of the Tribe’s Section 17 Corporation (CEDCO) and is at the forefront of the Tribe’s economic development efforts. As the Executive Treasurer for CEDCO she has played a vital role in stabilizing the gaming enterprise by setting benchmarks and goals, which ultimately changed the face of the enterprise.
Kelli moved to Redwood Valley from Riverside, California in 1983. She graduated from Ukiah High School in 1990 where she began her interest in small business management and advertising as a member of the Distribution Education Clubs of America (DECA) and the Regional Occupation Programs (ROP). She studied at Mendocino College in Ukiah, California and Mira Costa College in Oceanside, California and plans on resuming her education to pursue her degree in Public Administration and Accounting. Her most recent educational accomplishment was being one of many Native leaders to graduate from the California Tribal College’s Tribal Leadership and Governance Certificate Program.
For 29 years Kelli has worked in many capacities for the Tribe, starting as a summer youth worker answering phones. She has worked in the Tribe’s education department as a tutor, in the Tribal administration office as an assistant bookkeeper and an administrative assistant to the late Doris Renick, who was then the Chairwoman of the Tribe. Kelli also spent four years working as the Vault and Cage Department Manager at Coyote Valley Casino where she won the Manager of the Year award.
Kelli has culminated and honed a variety of skills by working in the broader Native and local community. She spent 2 years working in the California Indian Manpower Consortium offices and 4 years at Consolidated Tribal Health Project Inc. as a Certified Perinatal Health Specialist and Community Health Representative. She has also worked for the Mendocino County Mental Health Department, Juvenile Probation and Department of Child Support Services. While employed with the county, Kelli received a glowing commendation from then Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, Kristi Furman.
Eddie F Knight is Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians current elected Tribal Historian. In 1957 the United States Congress terminated the Old Coyote Valley Rancheria. February 20, 1976 Eddie F Knight use the federal courts to win a Final Declaratory Judgement and Permanent Injunction issued in two actions of Eddie F Knight, et al versus Thomas S. Kleppe, et al, by Judge W.T. Sweigrt, United States District Court, Northern District of California.
Melinda Hunter was born in Ukiah, California on December 8, 1968 to Priscilla and Michael Hunter Sr. She has lived in the Ukiah/Redwood Valley area for most of her life. She moved onto the Coyote Valley Reservation in 1987.
One of her lifelong interests has always been her Pomo Culture. She participates in many cultural events by singing and dancing in the tradition of her ancestors.
Beginning with small jobs with the Tribe’s Summer Youth Program in the early ’80s, Melinda has worked for the Tribe in various capacities, having experience as a Cultural Coordinator, Grant Manager and Chairperson on the Coyote Valley Gaming Commission. Melinda currently holds the position of Health and Human Services Director for the Coyote Valley Health Department.
In 2007 she was elected to the Tribal Council as Member At Large, and within the same year, received her Associates of Science degree in Business Management from Mendocino College.
Aside from her full-time job, Council, and cultural interests, she is also a full-time mother. Melinda is proud to serve as Member-at-Large on the Coyote Valley Tribal Council and hopes to pass on a proud legacy to her daughter.
As a member of the Coyote Economic Development Corporation, Director Feliz serves the board to enhance the economic self-sufficiency of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians. He has over 15 years of experience working within the Tribal Community. Prior to taking on leadership functions with the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians, Mr. Feliz worked for Louisiana Pacific Corporation for 17 years.
Mr. Feliz believes in high-performing organizations, open communication and structured engagement. While he is a team player and works collectively to promote the mission of the CEDCO Board, he is capable of making independent judgments and bringing perspectives on both short-term and long-term strategic issues, to contribute to the long-term success of CEDCO.
A strong supporter of social responsibility, Feliz is an active member of the community, by participating in several community events, volunteering at various functions that benefit the community. As a member of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians, he enjoys attending cultural celebrations.
CEDCO Member Feliz grew up in Mendocino County his entire life. He currently resides on the Coyote Valley Reservation, where he enjoys helping members of the Community. He has two children and five grandchildren.