Congratulations to Brian Mathers on his recent retirement from HoChunk Community Development Corporation (HCCDC)!
A gathering was held in his honor recently at the Ho-Chunk Village Farmers Market. Quince Bass emceed the event and offered a prayer and Cedar Ceremony.
Brian’s love of his job and care for those around him was evident as several community members spoke highly of his devotion to Winnebago despite being non-Native.
“He’s set the standard for who we want coming into our community,” said Sarah Snake, HCCDC Board Chair.
HCCDC’s mission is to enhance economic, educational, and social opportunities for tribal members in Thurston County. The non-profit administers the housing Down Payment Assistance Program, the Community Development Fund, and supports food sovereignty initiatives. HCCDC also connects community partners with funding opportunities such as grants, Ho-Chunk, Inc. funding, and other sources.
“We’ve been reflecting on what we will miss about Brian, and it’s a long list,” said Lance Morgan, Ho-Chunk, Inc. CEO. “I’ve never had to worry about HCCDC, and that’s a testament to how great of a manager he was.”
Brian began working in Winnebago in March 2012 as a grant writer for the Tribe’s grants office then as a program manager for the Tribe’s Education Department and Human Services Department, splitting time between the two departments.
He started with HCCDC in 2014. His eight-year tenure was filled with accomplishments that directly led to community progress, including:
- Construction/launch of Educare Winnebago
- Working with the Tribe and other community partners to develop Food Sovereignty strategy
- Launching Bago Grows home gardening program and the Winnebago Farmers’ Market
- Participating in the community-wide effort in response to the COVID-19 pandemic including the Farm-to-Family Food distribution initiative
“It has been so gratifying to see new homes built, families thriving, entrepreneurs succeeding, partnerships strengthening, and programs evolving and growing,” said Brian. “I can’t imagine a more rewarding end to my career. Thank you all for the experiences you’ve allowed me to have here. I feel honored to have been part of this community.”