Candidate Statement – W. Bruce Valdez

Run Off Candidate, W. Bruce Valdez
Photo Credit: McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum

Hello tribal members, my name is Bruce Valdez. I am 59 years old and the son of the late Sylvia T. Valdez and Shirley M. Esparza (Washington), as well as the father of two sons. I was born in Durango, Colo. and grew up on the Southern Ute Reservation. I grew up in a big family with many brothers and sisters. I come from a traditional family of Sundancers. I have danced 12 years for the people and my family.  

I graduated from Ignacio High School in 1981.  Immediately after graduation, I enlisted in the United States Army. During my time in the military, I learned numerous valuable skills about leadership, and working with people from various ethnic backgrounds while serving overseas in Germany. My enlistment ended in June of 1985 with an Honorable Discharge, at which time I returned to the Southern Ute Reservation.  Upon returning home, I worked in numerous jobs before starting my career in Oil and Gas development with Arco Oil and Gas. In 1987, I began working with Red Willow Production Co. where I worked my way from Senior Lease Operator to Vice President of Operations. During my time with Red Willow, I trained and supervised many employees which included Southern Ute tribal members as well as members of our community.  

After my years of employment with Red Willow, I was elected by Tribal Council to become the Executive Director of the Southern Ute Growth Fund. I held this position for just over 10 years, during which time I worked for the tribal membership as well as for Tribal Council. In this position, I was accountable and responsible for overseeing all the directors, companies and departments of the Southern Ute Growth Fund. I served as the Chairman of the Growth Fund Management Committee, Chairman of GFMC LLC and Chairman of Southern Ute Shared Services Committee. I retired from this position with 22 years of hands-on management and supervisory experience. I also have experience in personnel management, financial planning and implementation. I also served as the alternate voting member of the Council of Energy Resource Tribes. 

After retiring from the Southern Ute Growth Fund, I decided I would like to use my knowledge and experience to give back to the membership by running for Tribal Council. I am respectfully asking for your vote for another term. If elected, I will continue working with the Chairman and Tribal Council to continue moving our Tribe forward while serving the membership. 


W. Bruce Valdez

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