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Chief Michell Hicks to address August graduates

Michell Hicks, Principal Chief of The Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, will deliver the commencement address before approximately 440 graduates of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Sunday, August 7, at 2 p.m. in McKenzie Arena.

Michell Hicks

Hicks recently addressed a Chattanooga crowd at the waterfront development commemoration of The Passage, the new pedestrian link between downtown and the river.The dramatic underground passageway to the river marks the beginning of the Trail of Tears and celebrates Native American culture.

A 1982 graduate of Cherokee High School, Hicks received an AAS Degree in Accounting from Southwestern Community College in 1990, and a B.S. in Business Management in 1987 from Western Carolina University. In 1994, Hicks became a Certified Public Accountant.

Hicks has held various positions with the Tribe dating back to 1987 when he served as the Assistant Business Manager for the Eastern Band until 1990. In 1990, Chief Hicks became the Finance Officer with Qualla Housing Authority. From 1990-1996, Chief Hicks served as a Certified Public Accountant with Mahoney, Cohen and Co—in both their New York and Cherokee offices. In 1996, he returned to Tribal service as the Executive Director of Budget and Finance—until his election to the Office of Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in 2003 .

Hicks is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and also a member of the North Carolina Certified Public Accountants. Hicks is a member of the Government Finance Officers Association. Hicks serves on the board of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and the Cherokee Preservation Foundation. He is also a member of the Cherokee Historical Association and the North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry.

Along with his wife and Marsha and their four children, Hicks resides in the Painttown Community of the Qualla Boundary.

July 29, 2005

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