Danny Simpson could serve 3-year term if confirmed

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FARMINGTON — Legislation introduced this week to the Navajo Nation Council seeks the confirmation of a former council delegate to the board of directors for Navajo Agricultural Products Industry.

The Resources and Development Committee is being asked to consider the appointment of Danny Simpson to represent District 19 on the five-member board.

District 19 is comprised of the Huerfano and Nageezi chapters.

Simpson submitted a letter of interest and résumé on April 26 after the seat opened when Veronica D. Tso's term expired on Oct. 28, 2017, according to the legislation.

The bill states tribal President Russell Begaye did not submit the name of a candidate to the Resources and Development Committee, which serves as the oversight committee for NAPI, within the 30-day requirement.

If committee members confirm Simpson, he will serve a three-year term.

While on the tribal council, Simpson represented the Huerfano Chapter for two terms under the 88-member council and one term representing eight chapters under the 24-member council.

He has been the chapter coordinator for the Nageezi Chapter since October 2015 and served in the Army from 1985 to 1988, according to his résumé.

The board of directors for NAPI consists of members who represent the Eastern, Chinle and Western agencies, as well as District 13 and District 19.

At least three members must have experience in successful agribusiness commercial farming, provided the experience was not gained through employment with NAPI, the bill states.

Except for the District 13 and 19 representatives, board members must at least have a bachelor's degree.

Simpson's appointment and confirmation received support from the Huerfano and Nageezi chapters, as both issued resolutions that expressed confidence in his selection.

The bill will be eligible for action after Tuesday and was assigned to the Resources and Development Committee, where final authority rests. It is available for public comment on the council's website, navajonationcouncil.org.

Meanwhile, NAPI continues its process of searching for a new CEO. The top spot for the tribal enterprise became vacant in April when Wilton Charley resigned.

Rae DeGroat, spokeswoman for NAPI, said the position was advertised, and the application process ended on May 25. The applications are under review by board members and the human resources department, DeGroat said.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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