BHSU Alum Whitney Rencountre appointed CEO for Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation

Black Hills State University alum Whitney A. Rencountre II was recently named Chief Executive Officer for Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation by their board of directors. Rencountre will be stepping into this role officially on September 15. 
“The Board conducted an extensive search for a new CEO and found Whitney’s leadership experience in operations, program management and development best suited to carry forward the mission of the Foundation -- to protect and preserve the culture, tradition and living heritage of North American Indians,” commented Foundation Board Chair, Steve Helmers. “Whitney often speaks of the importance of ‘building bridges’ and is widely known for his ability to establish strong relationships, forge alliances, and connect with advocates, supporters, and volunteers. Further, Whitney honors his heritage as a member of the Crow Creek Hunkpati Dakota Nation through his commitment to family, and to work that promotes respect and healing among people of diverse cultures.” 
Rencountre has served as Associate Director of the Indian University of North America at the Crazy Horse Memorial since January 2021, and over the past five years has been associated with the Foundation in various roles relating to education and cultural programming. He has held several leadership roles within the Rapid City community and is currently a Commissioner on the Rapid City Human Relations Commission. 
“At all times I am mindful of Henry Standing Bear and his fellow chiefs and elders, who asked Korczak Ziolkowski to establish a place where people from around the world could learn about the culture and traditions of Native American people, and to preserve the history and heritage for future generations. I am honored to now step in and take the lead in advancing this vision,” Rencountre said. “It’s truly an honor and privilege to work with the Board and our group of dedicated workers to continue the mission of the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation into the future.” 
Rencountre attended BHSU in the late 90s and early 2000s. He returned to school and completed his degree in 2018. During his time at Black Hills State, he served as President of Lakota Omniciye. Rencountre remains active in the BHSU community serving as the announcer for the annual Lakota Omniciye Wacipi and facilitating the Feathering Ceremony for Spring Graduation. He has also been featured several times as a guest speaker during American Indian Awareness Week on campus. 
Rencountre lives in Rapid City with his wife, accomplished author Jessie Taken Alive-Rencountre, who graduated from BHSU in 2004. 


Image courtesy of Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation.