From the Publisher | New leadership for the changing Times
The Navajo Times Publishing Company is making some monumental changes in its leadership and they are significant, positive achievements for our readers, customers and employees.
I am proud to announce that Ms. Olivia Benally has been selected to serve as the new chief executive officer of NTPC Inc. and publisher of the Navajo Times newspaper.
What is so significant about this announcement is that Olivia will be the first Diné woman to serve as the leader of the Navajo Times. Since the Navajo Times first started as a newsletter back in 1959, a Navajo man or a non-Navajo male has always been the leader of the newspaper.
That will change starting May 9 when Olivia officially begins her role as the CEO/publisher of the largest Native American owned and operated newspaper publishing company in the world.
Olivia has been working for the Navajo Times for about 20 years now and I have watched her grow from starting out as our senior accountant and rising to her current role as the finance director of our company. I have witnessed her professional growth over time and today she is a caring leader of our employees, a skillful administrator, and an honorable representative of the Navajo Times.
Please read the article written by assistant editor Krista Allen in today’s issue for more detail. Krista did a wonderful interview with Olivia and produced a fine story.
Another positive achievement for the Navajo Times company is the recent selection of Kimberly Baca, Navajo/Santa Clara, as the newest member of the NTPC Inc. Board of Directors.
Kim will take over the position of Paul DeMain, who will not be renewing his three-year term on the board in 2022. Paul has been the chairman of the board and is an original board member since we began operation as the Navajo Times Publishing Company Inc. on Jan. 1, 2004.
Paul, Ojibwa/Chippewa from Wisconsin, is the owner of Indian Country Communications Inc. and is the former publisher of News From Indian Country. He has a long award-winning career in Native American journalism and media. Paul has been a strong leader on our board and his professional contributions and personal wit will be missed.
Kim is the owner, president and CEO of her own marketing communications company, KB Consulting, based in Albuquerque. She has family ties in the Houck, Arizona, area where her mother is from and in Santa Clara Pueblo where her father lives.
Kim is an experienced reporter and earned her journalism degree from the University of New Mexico. She is the former executive director of the Native American Journalists Association.
Paul will chair his last board meeting on May 5 when we host our annual NTPC board meeting and shareholder representatives meeting. At the conclusion of the meeting, Paul will formally step down from the board and Kim will take over his position.
The Navajo Times has a five-member board of directors and, in addition to Paul DeMain, the other board members are Tazbah McCullah of Albuquerque, Martin Ashley of Window Rock, Rhonda Ray of Gallup, and Steven Begay of St. Michaels, Arizona. All of our local board members are Diné and are professional leaders in various media and business organizations and they provide strong leadership and guidance for our company.
As the new CEO/publisher, I am confident that Olivia will lead the Navajo Times company in a positive, responsible and profitable manner. She is well educated and experienced in finance and business, and she also will continue to learn and prosper with each day’s news and adventures in Native journalism and general media from across the land.
I made a small announcement back in late January about my plan to retire from the Navajo Times. My last official day on the job will be May 13. Thereafter I will take some quality time to relax, and take care of family and myself. I will write one last column in the May 12 issue where I will share some professional and personal acknowledgements and appreciation.
Congratulations and the best of luck and warm wishes to Olivia Benally as she takes on her historic leadership role. I also give a big happy welcome and congratulations to Kim Baca as she joins our proud established board of directors.
Finally, I offer a sincere thank you – Ahxéhee’ – to Paul DeMain for his many years of service, sound leadership, and friendship to the Navajo Times and the Navajo people.
The times are changing all over the world and on the Navajo Nation, that’s for sure. I can assure you that the Navajo Times will be right here with you for many more years to come as an award-winning print newspaper and an online publication.
As the Newspaper of the Navajo People, we are not only recording history, but making history, too!