Staff & Board

Foundation Staff

Aaron Hove, Esq., Executive Director
Aaron Hove is a three-time graduate of the University of Kansas, including a master’s degree in exercise physiology and a juris doctorate degree. During Aaron’s graduate work in exercise physiology at KU, Aaron was fortunate to spend time assisting Jerry Tuckwin’s cross-country and tack programs at Haskell. After teaching and coaching for two years at Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kansas, Mr. Hove returned to KU and obtained his law degree.

Prior to commencing his Foundation position in September, 2018, Aaron spent twenty-five years as in-house counsel at Payless ShoeSource in Topeka, Kansas, acting as lead counsel for real estate for the entire United States and eventually as Vice President of International, managing legal matters for business operations throughout Latin America and the franchising of the Payless brand in some 20 countries around the world. Aaron stays active with cooking, gardening, bicycling and golf; and enjoys the country life with his wife Gayleen in rural Douglas County, Kansas.

Foundation Board

Joseph W. Clote, President-Board of Directors
Joseph W. Clote is an enrolled member of the Osage Nation. He owns Publishing Concepts LLC, a communications and marketing firm in St. Louis, Mo. Clote is founder and group publisher of a family of trade magazines; Meet Kansas™, Meet Missouri™, Meet Ohio™, Meet Med™, and Missouri Meetings & Events™. He has extensive sales and marketing expertise in the travel and tourism, fine art, insurance, and software development industries. Clote has worked with convention and visitors bureaus, universities, attractions, retailers, and lodging organizations throughout the United States and Canada. In 2005, he launched a self-publishing and marketing division that has produced children’s books, textbooks, novels, poetry collections, self-help texts, workbooks, and manuals. Clote holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He is also a board member of the Saint Louis Area Hotel Association and serves as an advisory board member for the Saint Louis University School for Professional Studies. Clote enjoys volunteer work, fishing, and cultivating seeds from the Wah-Zha-Zhi seed bank in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.
Ruth Vega Harjo, Secretary-Board of Directors
Ruth Vega Harjo has spent 15 years working in the American Indian gaming industry. She currently serves as director of human resources for the Prairie Band Casino and Resort. During her time there, she has also worked as a career development manager, marketing manager, and planning and analysis manager.

Her tribal affiliation is Prairie Band Potawatomi and she served as the tribe’s gaming commissioner from 2000 to 2003. Harjo earned an associate’s degree in liberal arts from Haskell Indian Junior College and a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from Washburn University. She also holds a master’s degree in business administration from Baker University.

She has served on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Charitable Contributions Committee and the Prairie Band Casino and Resort Charitable Contributions Committee. Harjo is married and has three children.
Patricia Battese, Treasurer-Board of Directors
Patricia “Patty” Battese is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians and has spent a 20-year career in federal government service with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health, primarily in administrative and accounting roles.

Before joining the federal government, she spent more than 20 years as an administrative and office manager for firms such as Phillips Petroleum in Oklahoma, and Mize Houser Public Accounts in Kansas.

Battese studied at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and has served on the board of directors of the Lawrence Indian Center. She also served on Johnson O’Malley Parent Committees for school districts in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, Mitchell, South Dakota, and Salt Lake City, Utah. She spends some of her free time visiting Native American casinos, resorts, trading posts, and reservations.
Jerry Tuckwin, Executive-Board of Directors
Former long-time athletics coach at Haskell Indian Nations University, Jerry Tuckwin has been greatly involved in the Haskell Foundation. He initiated a major rejuvenation of the Foundation in the Fall of 2012. After his formal retirement in 2001, Tuckwin has been active with his tribal nation, the Prairie Band Potawatomi. He served the tribe as the Chairman of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Entertainment Corporation Board for six years. Jerry coordinated the Casino Management Program within the School of Business at Haskell in 2002 and served as an adjunct faculty member until 2016.

Jerry Tuckwin is a 1960 Haskell Institute graduate. He received a Track and Field Scholarship to Wichita State University and received his bachelor’s degree in May of 1964. He is a Vietnam veteran and received his master’s degree in Administration at the University of Arizona while stationed in Tucson in 1964.

Jerry had two children who graduated from Haskell Indian Junior College. His current grandchildren are the 5th generation of Tuckwin’s who have attended Haskell. Jerry’s grandfather was one of the first students on the campus in the Fall of 1884. Coach Tuckwin is very proud of his affiliation with his alma mater.
Lara Waits, Vice President-Board of Directors
Board member Lara Waits is a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and has a decade of experience in a variety of roles serving the casino industry. She has worked in a number of positions with the Prairie Band Casino and Resort operated in Mayetta, Kansas. Her roles there have included Players Club supervisor, lead front desk clerk, casino marketing administrator, human resources assistant in employee relations, and summer intern in marketing and human resources.She currently serves in the role of tribal development program coordinator at the casino and resort. Waits holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Haskell Indian Nations University. She is also enrolled in an MBA program at Friends University in Wichita.

Andrew Heinrich, Board of Directors

Andrew Heinrich learned of the Haskell Foundation through HINU students when he began working with young Native Americans as a professional philanthropic project.  He currently serves as the Founder and President of Project Rousseau and the Rousseau Foundation, a non-profit that helps young people from communities in the highest need reach their full potential and pursue higher education through education, social services, and other programming grants. Heinrich has previously served as a faculty member for the Yale School of Public Health where he taught, conducted research, and designed curriculum, and he received his education from Columbia University, Oxford University, and Harvard Law School.  Here, Heinrich earned his BA, MPhil, and JD and played as a Quarterback for Columbia Varsity Football.  Today, Heinrich has active involvement in HIAS, PARC Adventures Monaco, the Junior Board of City Harvest, and the Columbia College Fund Development Council of Columbia University, and he enjoys playing sports in his spare time.
Bo Schneider, Board Member
Bo Schneider is an enrolled member of the Assiniboine tribe and a recognized descendent of the Winnebago and Kickapoo tribes. He currently serves as Property Manager for Peak Campus Management dba CP Cincy Apartments. His ties to Haskell Indian Nations University are quite deep – his mother and father, as well as his uncle and aunt, attended HINU in the 70s and 80s. Both Schneider’s father and uncle played basketball HINU, during which it was a Junior College, and he followed in their footsteps by playing basketball for the HINU team from 2010-2014. Schneider earned his B.S. in Business Administration from HINU in May 2014 and his MBA in Business Management from Baker University in May 2019. In his free time, Schneider enjoys playing basketball, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and empowering new and returning HINU students and student athletes.
Billy Keene
Billy Keene, Board Member
Billy Keene is enrolled member and descendent of the Osage tribe; he currently serves the Osage Nation professionally.

Much of Keene’s career and involvement is closely tied to his heritage. Early in his career, he interned at Pipstem Law, collaborating with lawyers regarding land issues and writing briefs concerning Osage Tribal law matters. In addition, Keene has served as a Researcher at OU Medical Center, during which he collaborated with tribes to discover models for tribal wellness programs.

Keene earned his B.S. in Business Management from HINU in May 2011 and his Juris Doctorate from Oklahoma City School of Law in May 2017, making him an Indian law certificate holder. In his free time, Keene enjoys staying actively involved in the Osage and HINU community.