Cook-Searson will be awarded the 1st ever Community Leader of the Year Award from Sask. Chamber of Commerce
By Creeden Martell, CBC News
Tammy Cook-Searson is being recognized as an individual leader but she credits her staff, community and family with the success which has resulted in her receiving the first ever community leader of the year award from the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to being Chief of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band — the largest band in the province — Cook-Searson also serves as the president of the Kitsaki group of companies.
“I was really honoured because I know it’s an important recognition and it was a great feeling,” Cook-Searson said.
Kitsaki first opened its doors for business in December 1981 and since then it has grew to an employer of nearly 1,000 people in the province, with a diverse portfolio which includes insurance, gravel crushing, catering and consultation.
Whoever is elected chief of the band is also named president.
“The goal of chief and band councillors at that time was to provide some economic opportunities and hopefully give some money back to the community,” she said.
“Over the years, we’ve built up Kitsaki to what it is today, through hard work.”
The award is given to people who have “made a positive contribution to the community through volunteerism and philanthropy, the individual will have taken a lead role in developing solutions to social challenges in Saskatchewan,” the Chamber of Commerce said in a news release.
Cook-Searson said being chief and president has left her feeling grateful for the community and co-workers.
“It’s a team effort. It’s not somebody by themselves,” she said.
“There’s no way I could do this alone, without the support of the community, our staff and also my family supporting me in doing my work.”