Chairwomen Gwendena Lee-Gatewood White Mountain Apache Tribe
White Mountain Apache Tribal Chairwoman, Gwendena Lee-Gatewood, the first women elected as Chairwoman for her tribe, is of the Nilch'enti'n Clan and born for the Tse'kine Clan. Born in Whiteriver, Arizona and one of 11 children, Chairwoman Lee-Gatewood grew up with humble beginnings in Show Low, Arizona. Her mother's family is from Carrizo and Limestone, Arizona and her father's family is from Oak Creek, Cibecue and San Carlos. Chairwoman Lee-Gatewood is married to Marty Gatewood and together they have four children. Her husband has owned a hunting business, 9 Claws Outfitters for the past 17 years.
For the past 20 years Chairwoman Lee-Gatewood has had the honor of serving her tribe working in Tribal Government operations, which includes working for the past 12 years as Executive Assistant to the Office of the Tribal Chairman. Prior to her service to the Tribal Chairman, she served as Director for the WMAT's Human Resources department as well as serving as the Acting-Tribal Finance Committee. As the HR Director Chairwoman Lee-Gatewood helped develop the Public Safety Pension Plan and incorporated a self-funded Workers' Compensation Program that control costs.
She has also served and represented her community through the Marshall Memorial Scholarship, a leadership program that allowed Chairwoman Lee-Gatewood to travel to Europe representing the United States to help strengthen transatlantic ties on regional, national and global initiatives. She is the proud alumni of the German Marshall Fund of the United States that offers leaders opportunities to foster democratic initiatives, rules of the law and regional cooperation.
Chairwoman Lee-Gatewood is a graduate of the Show Low High School, as well a Northern Arizona University. Her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Human Resources Management has successful guided her through much of her career. Additionally, she was honored to receive the Public Health Certificate from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health through Native American Research Center for Health.
In service to community she today she serves on the School Board President of Theodore Roosevelt School; Vice-Chairwoman of the Pinetop-Lakeside Chamber of Commerce and has assisted in numerous weekly radio broadcast and produced many of the tribe's Public Service Announcements.
If you could ask Chairwoman Lee-Gatewood who she credits to her many worthy and honorable achievements, she's humbly tell you that is was her late parents who taught her that hard work and being resilient, despite hardship, would be her guide during good times and difficult times. It is through her heritage and culture for her Apache people she has learned to appreciate her values and principles instilled by her parents.
During Chairwoman Lee-Gatewood inauguration she shared, "While looking towards the future, we should not forget that our people have overcome great adversity, but we are strong as a culture. By working together, we recommit ourselves to the values our ancestors gave us to write a brighter chapter for our people."