LITTLE BOSTON — As chief executive officer for the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, Doug Quade will have the chance to make a big difference in propelling the community forward — namely in education, youth and elder support, sustainable economic growth and preservation of the tribe’s culture.
After starting last week, he has been prioritizing goals and preparing plans in an effort to improve the tribe’s quality of life.
“He’s got a good background, he owned his own business before,” said Tribal Chairman Ron Charles. “We hope as the tribe progresses, we will become more active in the business community. Doug will definitely be a great help in that respect.”
Quade, husband of Poulsbo Mayor Kathryn Quade, is no stranger to helping accomplish the goals he has set, especially after his work with the Blackfeet Nation in Montana, where he worked as a consultant.
“I think in terms of objectives, my priority here is education and youth development,” he said. “For a lot of historical reasons, tribes have received the short end of the stick. Children are really the most important asset for the tribe and its neighbors.”
The chief executive officer position was created in 2005 to help the tribe tackle the increasing challenges of running a growing community. One other individual held the position before Quade, though that person did not stay long, Charles said.
“I actually saw an ad in the paper, and inquired about the position,” Quade said. “I heard nothing further for a while, but I was quite interested in the tribe. I’m always interested in what’s going on in our own backyard.”
Quade met with Charles a short time later. Charles said he liked what Quade had to say, and offered him the job just before Christmas.
“What we’ve found is things have gotten a little more complicated after years of growing,” Charles said. “There are more issues the tribe is dealing with. This position was created to coordinate activities with other major entities.”
Though he just started, Quade already has specific goals and is working on programs to attain them, he said. Nothing concrete has been discussed, but in the next couple of weeks, more ideas and plans will be formulated.
“It’s really a little bit too early to say,” Quade said of his ideas. “We are looking at partnerships with outside businesses, we’re looking at expanding the (Point No Point) Casino and businesses ventures to support local residents.”