Southern Ute Growth Fund Names Tribal Member VP of Human Resources

The Southern Ute Growth Fund has appointed Maria Baker as the Vice President of Human Resources. A Southern Ute Tribal Member, she assumed her new role on January 6. 

The Growth Fund drives the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s multi-billion economy, overseeing businesses and business investments in energy, real estate, construction and private equity. Operations and assets are spread across at least 14 states and the Gulf of Mexico.

Maria Baker

“I am excited for this opportunity. I appreciate the support I have received from the Directors and Tribal Council. I am going to build on the foundation I received while working for Cathy Otten, learning from her expertise for the past 14 years,” stated Baker. 

Baker’s appointment follows Shane Seibel taking on the executive director position of the Growth Fund in July. 

The Growth Fund’s Operations include Red Willow Production Company, its oil and natural gas company formed in 1992; Red Cedar Gathering Company, a natural gas gathering and treating company headquartered in Durango, Colorado; Aka Energy Group, an off-reservation natural gas gathering and treating company across six states; GF Properties Group, which manages the Tribe’s real estate portfolio; and GF Private Equity Group, which invests in private equity; and others.

Baker started her professional career with the Southern Ute Department of Education in 2001, training under Mr. Lee Briggs, and taking over responsibility as the Distance Learning Coordinator helping to bring degreed programs to the Southern Ute Tribal Members on the reservation. After working in education for four years, Baker received an unpassable opportunity within the Southern Ute Growth Fund, Human Resources as the Tribal Members Employment Coordinator. Her background with education proved to be helpful in transitioning Tribal Members into positions within the Southern Ute Growth Fund. She has spent 18 years with the Tribe and most recently as the HR Training Coordinator and Assistant HR Manager. 

Baker received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Fort Lewis College in 2000. 

As an avid outdoorswoman, she currently sits on the Southern Ute Wildlife – Wildlife Advisory Board and in her downtime enjoys hunting and fishing. She also has sat on the KSUT Board of Directors, Del Alma Board of Directors, and the Durango Adult Education Board of Directors. Baker also enjoys spending time with family.

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