Photo Credit: Christopher Griggs

Danielle Gaines – President & Director

Danielle Gaines serves as President and Treasurer for Reconnecting The Circle. Danielle manages the annual Reconnecting The Circle National High School Essay Contest where 10 students (5 Native American and 5 non-Native) are awarded $2,500 each.

Concurrently, Danielle serves in the role of Senior Business Analyst within Information Services for a financial institution. She is a veteran of innovative Internet companies Netscape Communications and Commerce One. She has presented on the topic of using technology for economic and cultural sustainability. She is involved with Washington, D.C.’s technology community and participates regularly in forums and conferences that bring together community, the non-profit sector, and social media.

Danielle has a background in art and design, including fashion design, and has contributed a chapter to the book, Fractal Horizons, edited by Dr. Clifford Pickover.

Danielle holds a Bachelors of Art Degree in Studio Art from Drew University and an Associates Degree in Design from FIT.

Susan White, Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin — Vice President & DirectorSusan White serves as Vice President and Secretary for Reconnecting The Circle. Susan is an enrolled member of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin and is the Director of the Oneida Trust Committee.

Susanserves as the Chairperson for the Indigenous Peoples Rights Task Force formed by the Social Investment Forum. She serves as a Director on the boards for the Oneida Standing Stone Fund, Advisory Committee for the NASD Investor Education Project – Building Native Communities, and The Womenís Fund of Greater Green Bay. She is currently participating in Leadership Green Bay, Action Team for Partnerships in the Oneida Nation School System.

Susan is active within the Oneida community serving on the boards for Oneida Family Literacy Council, Oneida Nation School System Action Team for Partnerships, and the Cemetery Committee at Holy Apostleís Episcopal Church in Oneida.

Susan holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Education, Old Dominion University; and an American Institute of Banking Diploma, Norfolk, VA. She is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Business, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Honorary Advisory Board

Chairman W. Ron Allen, Jamestown S’KlallamRon has served as the Tribal Council Chairman of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe since 1977 and as Chief Executive Officer since 1982. He is a member of the JKT Art Board, Hunting/Fishing Committee (Ad Hoc member), Tribal Gaming Commission, and U.S. Canada/Pacific Salmon Commission. He served four years as President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), two years as NCAI First Vice President, and ten years as NCAI Treasurer. Ron is currently President of the Washington Indian Gaming Association.

Robert Cook, Oglala Lakota Robert Cook is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe (Oglala Lakota).

Robert’s commitment to community service is shown with membership on several national and local organizations that include: Teach For America, President of the National Indian Education Association, minority at large board of director South Dakota Education Association, board of director South Dakota Indian Education Association, member of the Technical Review Panel of the National Indian Education Study, member of the South Dakota Indian Education Advisory Council, Rapid City School District Title VII PAC, South Dakota Charter School Advocacy Group, Stern Foundation Board of Directors, Kiwanis/KEY Club advisor and Little League Baseball and elementary basketball coach.

Robert has been the recipient of many education awards and honors that include: Little Wound School Educator of the Year in 1998 and 1999; Lower Brule Teacher of the Year 2000-2001, South Dakota’s 2005 Milken National Educator, Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation American Indian 2006 Teacher of the Year and National Indian Education Association’s 2006 Teacher of the Year and in 2008 was named one of Black Hills State University’s 125 Most Accomplished Alumni.

Robert Cook