Casey Lozar leads into the
Casey Lozar, director of corporate and tribal development for the
American Indian College Fund, was selected for one of twelve 2010
American Express N Gen Fellows to work with other selected leaders on a
nine-month project. The project is an effort to advance their
leadership skills and engage emerging nonprofit and philanthropic
leaders on sector-wide issues. (courtesy photo)
DENVER — Casey Lozar is one of the twelve
Independent Sector’s 2010 American Express NGen Fellows selected this
Independent Sector selects non-profit leaders
under the age of 40 who are moving and impacting leaders for a
nine-month project to help change communities through networking
organizations together across the U.S.
Lozar is the director of corporate and tribal
development for the American Indian College Fund. He was born and
raised on the Flathead Reservation and graduated from Polson High
School in 1999. He received a U.S. History bachelor’s degree from
Dartmouth University and a master’s in education from Harvard
The American Indian College Fund provides
approximately 6,000 scholarships for American Indian students. Lozar
leads a six-person team raising funding for the scholarships from
corporate sponsors. This past year Lozar’s team raised $3 million of
the $11 million total for the organization.
The NGen program is designed for accomplished
leaders to collaborate and interact with other leaders. The selected
fellows are leaders who already have made significant impacts in
addressing critical societal needs.
The selected leaders will be teamed with
established mentors over a nine-month course. The aim is to build young
professionals who will shape the future of the nonprofit community
across the U.S.
Lozar says staying connected with family as much
as possible and bouncing ideas off with his siblings helps keep him
growing professionally. Lozar is the middle child of five. His parents
are Steve and Keryl Lozar of Polson.
One of his goals for the project is to add a
native voice and perspective. Lozar feels the native angle is often
ignored in the national conversations and hopes to bring tribal needs
and ideas to the forefront.
This Independent Sectors program’s annual
conference in August in Washington D.C. will introduce the leaders to
in-person and online activities that will help hone fellows’ leadership
skills, strengthen their professional networks, and check out their
fellow cohort’s accomplishments on a national level.
According to the program, developing the next
generation of nonprofit leaders is critical to the ability of charities
and foundations to improve lives around the world.
“I know that I am representing my family, my
organization and CSKT in everything that I do and I take this
responsibility seriously. I try to lead in a way that will make them
proud and my ancestors proud,” Lozar said regarding his selection for
the project. Lozar said his leadership is guided by the tenets of
respect, humor, pride, responsibility and reasoning. Humor is key with
Lozar, “I try to lead with laughter. Having a sense of humor is
critical for gaining respect and leveling the playing field.”
Lozar’s dad, Steve, always taught him to strive to
maintain balance something he uses to anchor his roles as an education
advocate, supervisor, colleague, son, brother and husband, he said.
Structuring balance in life is a consientious effort of every day life
according to Lozar. Family, social and staying healthy are three areas
he says he tries to focus on a daily basis. “I try to maintain physical
fitness to be at the top of my game.”
“Our elders have incredible amounts of knowledge
that they have acquired over the years and that has been passed down
for hundreds of years. I try to learn from the elders and those with
rich experiences so that I do not have to reinvent the wheel, says
Lozar’s experience in Native American education
carries a variety of capacities: from schoolteacher and coach to tribal
culture camp leader and fundraiser. He currently directs a team that
develops partnerships with tribal governments and Fortune 500
corporations. He recently graduated from the Leadership Entrepreneur
Apprentice Development fellowship program for American Indian
The saying in Indian country that you have to live
in two worlds is not true with Lozar. He says the world is too complex
and too connected to live in only two worlds. “Indian leaders have to
live in many worlds; have to acknowledge many perspectives; have to
respect different types of people; and most importantly they have to
learn how to navigate these worlds in a good way.”
Lozar has had many positives influences in his
life, but the guys that he says impacted him the most are three Indian
men: Joe McDonald, former Salish Kootenai College President;
grandfather and former CSKT tribal judge, Bud Lozar and current boss
and American Indian College Fund President Rick Williams.
He hopes that the next generation of CSKT leaders
are multi-faceted, have a good sense of humor and are well-traveled.
Being a young national leader coming from the rez,
Lozar encourages young people to be eager to continue to make positive
experiences on the reservation and off, so that when their community
needs them they will be prepared.