Social Entrepreneur and Community Finance Law Recognized at 12th AFOA National Conference

SASKATOON, Feb. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - The Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada is pleased to announce the 2012 recipients of the AFOA/Xerox Excellence in Aboriginal Leadership Awards at the 12th Annual AFOA National Conference at the TCU Place.

The recipients for the 9th year of the award are Mr. Kelly J. Lendsay, CAFM, President and Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal Human Resource Council located in Saskatoon and Mrs. Marion Brass-Yellowfly, CAFM, Chief Financial Officer, Siksika Nation, Alberta.

Marion Brass-Yellowfly receives the AFOA/Xerox Excellence in Aboriginal Leadership Award -community/regional category - for her many years of dedication and leadership in finance.

As the most senior financial officer, Marion's contribution to Siksika Nation includes centralization of finance and accounting functions for a multi-million dollar budget across 20 departments, creation of Siksika Treasury Board to provide oversight for financial governance and most recently, the creation of Siksika Nation Financial Law - Marion`s vision for comprehensive and accountable structure to protect the Nations financial assets.

Throughout the years, Marion has provided leadership and inspiration to staff and encouraged them to pursue training and formal accounting designations. Marion began her career at Siksika Nation career in 1981 as a secretary and after years of continuous career development including numerous training and education programs she earned the role of Senior Manager of Corporate Services in 2003. Marion is now involved with several professional development associations including AFOA Alberta, Payroll Association of Canada, Government Finance Officers Association (USA) and Treasury Management Association of Canada.

The national category award is presented to Kelly J. Lendsay for his commitment to management leadership and creating social and economic benefits to Canadian labour and industry through Aboriginal inclusion for more than two decades.

Kelly is recognized as one of Canada`s important innovators of Aboriginal inclusion and diversity. His determination and energy combined with his business acumen are key qualities that have helped in transforming the Council from a government funded agency to an independent social enterprise - maintaining its original mandate to meet the needs of Corporate Canada, Aboriginal talent and the emerging employment needs of all Canada. Under Kelly`s leadership the Council also became ISO certified and successfully completed their first audit in 2011.

A Métis from Saskatchewan, Kelly earned an MBA from the University of Saskatchewan in 1993 where he was also received the All-Around Outstanding MBA Graduate award presented by the Canadian Institute of Management. Most recently, and in celebration of the 100th anniversary, the University of Saskatchewan honoured Kelly as one of the University`s 100 Alumni of Influence - a designation given to exceptional graduates whose accomplishments have influenced the growth and development of the University, the province, and the world during the last century. Kelly is a social entrepreneur who is making a difference across Canada by creating social and economic inclusion.

"Presented in partnership with one of Canada's leading technology companies, Xerox Canada, these annual awards help us to recognize and celebrate leadership in Aboriginal finance and management." states Mr. Terry Goodtrack, AFOA President and Chief Executive Officer. "Without these awards many accomplishments would go unnoticed".

Xerox Canada and AFOA have partnered on the award for the past 9 years to raise awareness and to recognize the often "over-looked" side of a very vibrant, dedicated and emerging professional community.

About the Award

The Aboriginal Financial Officers Association (AFOA) of Canada and Xerox Canada are dedicated to helping Aboriginal professionals reach the highest standard of excellence in finance and management.

The Excellence in Leadership Award was created in 2004. It is designed to recognize and celebrate Inuit, Métis and First Nation achievement in financial management. All previous award recipients have supported a vision for excellence and innovation, and demonstrated advanced expertise, outstanding professionalism and leadership. Their contributions have led to the betterment of Canadian Aboriginal communities and people.

There are two categories for nominations for the AFOA-Xerox Excellence in Leadership Award. The National category recognizes individuals who have contributed to the Aboriginal finance and management profession on a national or institutional level. The Regional category recognizes those individuals who have made their contributions at the regional, local or community level.

SOURCE Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada

For further information:

AFOA Canada - Darcy McKenzie
306-229-4216
tacc@shaw.ca

Xerox Canada - Thomas R. Maracle
Tom.maracle@xerox.com
613-783-5913

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Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada

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