NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. received the Leadership Award for Public Service from the International Economic Development Council.
The honor was presented at a recognition dinner, Monday, October 4, during the IEDC Annual Conference, which was held October 3-6, in Nashville.
“On behalf of the IEDC board of directors and Honorary Awards Committee, congratulations to Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.,” said 2021 IEDC Board Chair and President and CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara, Tom Kucharski. “His outstanding achievements, hard work and dedicated service to the profession goes above and beyond to improve the quality of life for others.”
The Leadership for Public Service Award recognizes an elected official who has served as a committed advocate for economic development for at least 10 years in the public sector.
“An award like this means that I have had the good fortune of working with the best in economic development,” Chief Hoskin said in accepting the award. “From our team at Cherokee Nation to great partners like the Tulsa Regional Chamber, opportunities to increase the economic vitality of the region abound, and we are always poised to seize these opportunities.”
Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. started his 15 years of public service as a member of the Council of the Cherokee Nation. Prior to his election as Principal Chief, he served as Secretary of State under Principal Chief Bill John Baker where he worked with Chief Baker to secure funding for better health care for all Cherokees and advocate for sovereignty protection, increase the minimum wage and preserve the Cherokee language and culture.
Chief Hoskin has been instrumental in many economic development projects that have benefitted the Cherokee Nation and northeast Oklahoma through a partnership with Tulsa’s Future, the 20-county collaborative regional economic development partnership spearheaded by the Tulsa Regional Chamber. The partnership has benefitted tribal citizens and provided more economic opportunities and increased capital investment within the nation’s reservation.
“Chief Hoskin exemplifies the very best in economic development,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber, which nominated Chief Hoskin for the honor. “He works collaboratively with communities and industry leaders. He ensures the success of transformational projects. And he represents his constituents as a leader and advocate. He is amply deserving of IEDC’s Leadership Award for Public Service.”
In 2015, while serving as Secretary of State under then Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Chief Hoskin worked on a team with Tulsa’s Future to attract an $180 million Macy’s fulfillment center to the region. Seeing an opportunity to create jobs for tribal citizens, Chief Hoskin and Cherokee Nation leaders worked with project partners to provide assistance and cash incentives to secure the fulfillment center. This successful project created 5,800 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs and was the first of its kind to directly involve a tribe and created a blueprint for future assistance in development projects.
In 2019, Chief Hoskin was elected to serve as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, the largest tribe in the country with more than 400,000 citizens. Since 2019, Principal Chief Hoskin has increased the minimum wage in the Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Businesses and worked to improve housing for elders, repair and expand community buildings, expand job training programs and save the Cherokee language through various multi-million dollar initiatives.
A collaboration with the Tulsa Regional Chamber and Cherokee Nation Businesses brought Milo’s Tea to the area in 2019. Chief Hoskin was credited as the driving force behind Milo's Tea's decision to locate in the region. The production and distribution center now resides in the Cherokee Extension Industrial Park, creating 60 new jobs in the first phase of hiring with plans to add more than 100 jobs over the next year.
Most recently, Tulsa was in the running for a new Tesla manufacturing facility and although Tulsa did not win the project, they received publicity that caught interest from Canoo, an American manufacturer of electric vehicles. Canoo is building a $400 million factory to create 2,000 jobs in the heart of the Cherokee Nation at the MidAmerica Industrial Park in Pryor. Chief Hoskin has played an integral role in strengthening the relationship with Canoo leadership. The Cherokee Nation is partnering with Canoo and MidAmerica Industrial Park on workforce development and training.
“In recognition of the Cherokee Nation’s loyal partnership, the Tulsa Regional Chamber named the nation its ‘Regional Partner of the Year’ at our 2020 Annual Meeting,” said Arthur Jackson, senior vice president of economic development for the Chamber. “In addition to his leadership within Tulsa’s Future, Chief Hoskin serves on the Chamber’s board of directors, which will continue to provide consistent opportunities for dialogue and collaboration between the nation and Chamber leadership in the months and years ahead.”
Chief Hoskin is known as a strong business partner, leader, collaborator, and advocate for economic development in the Tulsa region. Because of his dedication to supporting workforce development and economic growth, the International Economic Development Council is honored to present the 2021 Leadership for Public Service Award to Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.