Submitted by EBCI Treasury Dept.
CHEROKEE, N.C. – Cory Blankenship, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and current Secretary of the Treasury, will exit his appointed position to join Dogwood Health Trust as the Community Investment Officer in April 2023.
“After a decade of dedicated service to my tribe and community, I am excited to join the Community Investment team at Dogwood Health Trust. This is an opportunity for me to explore a new industry, improving my personal and professional skills to better enable me to serve my tribe, community, and Western North Carolina.” Blankenship said.
Dogwood Health Trust exists to dramatically improve the health and well-being of all people and communities in the 18 counties and Qualla Boundary of western North Carolina. Working with communities, grantees, partners, researchers, and scholars, they collaborate to create a western North Carolina where every generation can live, learn, earn, and thrive, with dignity and opportunity for all – no exceptions.
“Cory’s deep knowledge of economic needs and possibilities in the region – and particularly on the Qualla Boundary and in our far western counties – will be a great asset to our Economic Opportunity Team,” said Dr. Susan Mims, Dogwood chief executive officer. “We are delighted to welcome him.”
Western North Carolina has remarkable assets that are economic cornerstones for community prosperity. Dogwood’s challenge is to address barriers to economic sustainability – improving connectivity across the region, increasing access to capital, and building a workforce that is ready to engage in jobs that offer both fulfillment and financial security to help individuals and families build wealth.
“Cory’s professional background, his calm, steady leadership style, and his sincere desire to be of service to the people of Western North Carolina make him an excellent addition to the Economic Opportunity team at Dogwood Health Trust,” said Sarah Thompson, vice president of economic opportunity at Dogwood. “I am thrilled to have him join the team.”
Dogwood’s Economic Opportunity focus areas and activities include:
- Increase WNC’s current and future workforce by collaborating with continuing technical education programs while also addressing workforce recruitment and retention strategies in industries and sectors related to Dogwood’s other Strategic Priority areas. Emphasizing strategies rooted in communities of color and/or rural communities.
- Build the connectivity and capacity of entrepreneurial networks that push forward collaborative sector development strategies and bolster rural communities and or communities of color.
- Support strategies centered on high-leverage opportunities which result in quality job creation and retention as well as business creation and expansion within communities of color and/or rural communities.
- Increase broadband access and/or adoption through high-leverage opportunities, while ensuring communities have strong digital inclusion practices.
“Despite my departure from my current position as Secretary of Treasury, I am confident that my work will continue to have a lasting impact on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. It is both an honor and a privilege to serve my tribe and community. Dogwood Health Trust will allow me to continue to do so in new and exciting ways.” Blankenship commented.