Press Release: The American Indian Center Selects Permanent Executive Director

By August 5, 2021August 10th, 2021Latest News


Monday, July 12, 2021

American Indian Center Board selects Melodi Serna to serve as the permanent Executive Director of the American Indian Center of Chicago

CHICAGO, IL. – American Indian Center of Chicago’s Board President, Chantay Moore, announced today that Melodi Serna has been selected to serve as the permanent Executive Director at the American Indian Center of Chicago effective July 1, 2021. Ms. Serna was raised in the Native community in Chicago and continues a long-standing familial community service tradition.

“At the end of 2020, our organization underwent many drastic internal and administrative changes. At the same time, we were trying to keep our head above water while managing the many hardships the ongoing global pandemic brought to our organization and community. During this critical time of transition, Melodi stepped down as the Board’s Vice President, and took on the role of Interim Executive Director ”, said AIC Board President, Chantay Moore. “Over the past nine months, under Melodi’s leadership, the organization has now regained its financial stability, has hired professional consultants to guide AIC and its leadership towards a path of success and transparency, and has re-opened our facility bringing back much-needed community social and cultural gatherings. The weight of leadership in this role is immense and I am confident that Melodi will continue to lead our organization with professionalism and resiliency. I want to congratulate Melodi on this opportunity to serve our community and look forward to how she continues to revitalize AIC’s relationships and significance to the community members we serve and our many stakeholders.”

Ms. Serna is from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians and the Oneida Nation. She is a United States Navy Veteran and has had several managerial roles in various capacities. She is also a special needs and education advocate, and has previously developed and consulted other businesses and organizations in areas such as foundational structure, policy work, programming, and wrote and managed grants of various sizes. In addition to previously serving as the AIC’s Board Vice President, Melodi is the Chairwoman of the Citywide American Indian Education Council for Chicago Public Schools American Indian Education Program and continues her charitable work to minority communities locally and nationally.

“She is very passionate, a hard worker, and cares. That combo is hard to find. She is loyal and trustworthy and we are lucky to have her”, said Terry Cornell Jr., AIC Board Secretary.

About AIC: The American Indian Center of Chicago is the oldest urban Native American Indian community center in the nation and serves Chicago’s Native American community. Chicago is one of the primary population centers for Native Americans, representing the largest population in the Midwest, the second largest east of the Mississippi River and the ninth largest in the entire nation.

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