Our Staff

The Cherokee Preservation Foundation’s reputation is built on the strength and quality of its staff. Meet the people who are contributing to the Foundation’s commitment to be a proactive agent of progress for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), its people, its land, and its culture – a catalyst for Western North Carolina partnerships, and a model for American service communities.

Staff Profiles

Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle

“I am proud to have a team of dedicated people helping to support the mission of the Foundation and look forward to creating more opportunities for our community to help improve the quality of life for all.”

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An enrolled member of the EBCI, Annette graduated from Yale University and the College of William and Mary. She produced a series of children’s books, has literary awards, and taught English and Cherokee Studies at Swain High School. Annette lives with her husband, Evan, and sons, Ross and Charlie.

Deborah Grant

“Working with the Foundation is always rewarding to me because I am surrounded by good people, doing good things for our community and this region.”

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Deborah joined the Foundation in 2002 after serving as Chief Financial Officer for the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and as an accountant at several other organizations. A Certified Public Accountant, she earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Western Carolina University and is a graduate of Leadership North Carolina.

Alicia Jacobs

“I am proud and honored to be a part of the leadership efforts at the Foundation. The work we do today will greatly impact the lives of this community for generations to come.”   

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An enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation, Alicia coordinates the Jones-Bowman Leadership Award Program. She is a full time student at Western Carolina University majoring in Sociology, a member of Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society, American Indian Science and Engineering Society, and WCU Deans List. Alicia is an accomplished runner and is married with two teenagers.

Daniel Martin
Senior Program Associate

“This is the greatest job I can imagine, to work within an indigenous culture and help sow the seeds of progress while preserving the essence of that culture.”

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Daniel is an enrolled member of the Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes of Poplar, MT and raised in the San Francisco area. He graduated Haskell Indian Nations University with a Business Administration degree and moved to North Carolina in 2009. Daniel earns an MBA from Western Carolina University in 2014.

Charlie Myers
Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives

“I especially enjoy knowing that parts of the Foundation’s work will positively impact our tribe for decades to come.”

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An enrolled member of the EBCI, Charlie is a graduate of Western Carolina University and has worked at the Foundation since 2010. His responsibilities range from strategic planning to helping understand the impact. He serves on many community boards and enjoys spending time with his family, running and traveling.

Deb Owle
Program Operations Manager

“Working with CPF has allowed me to give back to the community through the work I oversee with Cherokee Day of Caring.”

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Deb is an enrolled member of the EBCI and has worked with the Cherokee Preservation Foundation for 12 years. Prior to coming to the Foundation she worked for 17 years with the EBCI in the tourism field. Deb received her BA in Business from Montreat College and lives with her daughter on the Qualla Boundary.

Bobby Raines
Program Director

“This is the most satisfying place to be associated with. We are able to measure the success of the programs we support by seeing positive and inspiring change happen to the people we care so much about.”

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Bobby is an enrolled member of the EBCI and has a B.A. degree from Haskell Indian Nations University with a major in American Indian Studies and will earn an MBA from Western Carolina University in 2014. His special interest is cultural leadership development. Bobby is the grandson of the late Walker Calhoun and actively participates in Cherokee culture and traditions.

Jenea Taylor
Executive Assistant

“I love working at the Foundation because we do great work for Cherokee and surrounding counties.”

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Jenea is an enrolled member of the EBCI and lives in the Birdtown community with husband Tony and sons Colby and Carson. She has a degree in business administration from Montreat College and worked at Harrah’s Cherokee for over 14 years. Jenea is active with her children’s sports and is a sports fanatic.

Monaka Wachacha
Administrative Assistant

“I enjoy working at the Foundation because we are a close-knit family.”

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Monaka is an enrolled member of the EBCI and earned an AA degree in Business Administration from Tri-County Community College and an AA degree in Accounting from Southwestern Community College. She lives in Snowbird with her husband and two children. Her family is involved in sports and weekends are spent cheering on their many activities. Monaka loves to read in her spare time.

Sasha Watty
Program Associate

“As a programmer, I’m able to work closely with our community to plan and develop new projects. I find it very rewarding when all the work comes to fruition and is enjoyed by the entire community.”

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An enrolled member of the EBCI, Sasha graduated with a B.S. degree from Mars Hill College. She’s been with the Foundation since 2010, working with Cherokee language revitalization, workforce development projects, K-20 financial education, community clubs, and she oversees the Skill Builders program. Sasha lives in Birdtown with husband Stephan and daughters Suri and Sela.