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Cherokee Nation Career Services Manager Receives Rising Star Award From National Organizations

Hunter Palmer, a Cherokee Nation citizen who serves as the Cherokee Nation Career Services Economic Development Manager, has been honored as a 40 Under 40 Rising Star award winner from two national organizations: Development Counsellors International (DCI) and Jorgenson Consulting.

An independent, five-member selection committee chose the winners from a pool of more than 170 qualified candidates based on their accomplishments and contributions to the economic development industry. DCI—a New York-based firm that specializes in economic development marketing—and Jorgenson Consulting—a national executive search firm that serves organizations in economic and community development industries—bestow the only award of its kind recognizing young talent in the economic development industry.

“Hunter has always had a passion for helping individuals in and around his community,” said Diane Kelley, executive director of Cherokee Nation Career Services. “He has been a part of the Economic Development team at the Cherokee Nation that has helped bring in over 9,000 jobs to northeast Oklahoma. He’s also had a huge role in helping existing businesses to prosper and grow. For those reasons and many more, I’m proud of Hunter’s accomplishments and the experience he brings to the tribe and our communities.”

Palmer, of Tahlequah, is a 2012 graduate of Northeastern State University and a 2018 graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institution. In 2016, Palmer was awarded the NextGen Under 30 award. While working with Cherokee Nation Career Services, he has served as the tribe’s job fair coordinator for more than three years and has assisted thousands in finding employment.

“I’m very honored to be selected as a 40 Under 40 Rising Star award winner,” Palmer said. “This is a very prestigious award, and I’m humbled to have been nominated. I look forward to continuing my work in making a positive impact on the communities of Cherokee Nation and northeastern Oklahoma.”

DCI and Jorgenson announced the winners of the 40 Under 40 awards during the International Economic Development Council Leadership Summit in Fort Lauderdale.

“The 40 Under 40 Award is designed to identify the economic development profession’s rising stars. These young economic development professionals represent the future of our industry,” said Julie Curtin, president of DCI’s economic development practice. “The selection committee had a challenge selecting only 40 winners, but we are delighted by the smarts, initiative and game-changing mindset represented in these finalists. Economic development is in good hands with these young leaders, and Hunter is certainly no exception.”

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