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The CEO of a 100-percent tribally owned insurance company is back after a one-year leave of absence to serve as appointed spiritual leader for the Pueblo of Acoma.

Santa Ana Pueblo, N.M.-based AMERIND, a provider of insurance and employee benefits solutions to tribes and Native-owned businesses, announced last week that Chief Executive Officer Derek Valdo has returned to his position after the year-long spiritual sabbatical. 

Prior to his leave, Valdo appointed Amerind’s Chief Operating Officer Robert Dahl as acting CEO.

“Our greatest asset at AMERIND is our people,” Valdo said. “With such a talented team in place under Robert’s thoughtful leadership, I was able to step away knowing our tribes would continue to receive the care and attention they’ve come to know from AMERIND.”

Valdo says he is grateful for the experience this past year as it added valuable teachings and understanding on the spiritual side.  

He has served as councilman for the Pueblo of Acoma since 2005. Valdo serves on the Acoma Business Enterprises board of directors, National Indian Child Welfare Association board of trustees, the Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation board of directors, and Oweesta board of directors.

Coupled with his business acumen and tribal council experience, he returns refreshed, recharged and eager to carry on AMERIND’ s important vision of Tribes Protecting Tribes, according to a statement released by AMERIND.

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