Mary Jo Pratt has been appointed to the place of vice chairman of finance and chief monetary officer of Bacone School.
Pratt’s appointment means the chief crew at Bacone School is 85 p.c Native American as she hails from Osage, Blackfeet, Shawnee, Delaware, Peoria, Chippewa-Cree and Cherokee bloodlines.
She has ample expertise working in extremely regulated industries, public and tribal pursuits, and tribally-owned small companies which have collectively created an financial affect of over $2 billion in Oklahoma. Pratt has served in company accounting, finance, and growth, and stated she has devoted time to creating income streams whereas making a constructive footprint locally.
“I’m honored to hitch Bacone School throughout such a pivotal second in its 140-year historical past. Bacone is a widely known identify throughout Indian Nation,” Pratt stated. “I’m a first-generation faculty graduate. My aim was to not solely get my schooling however to contribute to the betterment of my folks and my communities.”
Bacone School President Dr. Ferlin Clark stated Pratt is believed to be Bacone’s first feminine CFO and that her intensive expertise with enterprise finance will complement and construct upon the constructive monetary success her predecessor, Jerome Steele, has achieved over his two years with the faculty.
“A lot of our current success is as a result of management and experience of Mr. Steele, particularly the main enchancment of our monetary backside line. He’s a buddy, mentor, prayer warrior, and chief to all of us on campus. We are going to miss him as a part of our crew, and we want him all one of the best as he continues his journey in life,” Clark stated. “We’re additionally excited that Ms. Pratt has joined our crew as we proceed on our mission to coach Native American college students. She brings a gentle and knowledgeable talent set to enhance Bacone School’s monetary standing as we rework right into a tribal faculty.”
Pratt stated she isn’t solely captivated with enterprise and finance, but additionally about Native American tradition, historical past, and spirituality. She feels a calling to help Bacone School by means of the following chapter in its lengthy and storied historical past.
“Accounting and finance are the guts of a corporation, and I really feel a particular connection to Bacone School. And now to search out out just lately that I’m associated to one of many males who helped discovered this establishment, I additionally really feel a robust calling to be right here,” Pratt stated. “My bloodline in a way has discovered its means again right here with the identical goal of teaching our folks, and I really feel referred to as to assist us understand a brilliant future for Bacone School.”
Pratts private philosophy contains honoring the previous and searching towards a brighter future.
“My grandparents at an early age taught me artwork, language, beliefs, conventional ceremonies, costume, and music, and I’m blessed for his or her efforts. My household and I are privileged to have the ability to share that data. They’re my position fashions, and I aspire to be like them,” she stated. “I imagine we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors, and in addition paying respect to the previous, current, and future, that what we do immediately won’t solely have an effect on our youngsters and grandchildren however will depart a long-lasting affect that will probably be felt for generations to come back.”