Annette Hamilton enjoys the variety of industries her company, Ho-Chunk Inc., manages. More importantly, she enjoys the opportunity of giving back to her community.
“Since we are owned by the Winnebago tribe and operate as a for-profit with a social edge, we get the opportunity to give back on a daily basis through our work while staying connected to our culture,” she said.
“It is really what we work for: to help combat historical poverty and dysfunction with a business approach and lift up the tribe to a thriving economy and a prosperous people.”
Hamilton is chief operating officer at Ho-Chunk, which is based in Winnebago, Neb. She oversees and develops strategies for the conglomerate’s five divisions and 34 subsidiaries, and mentors executives on business strategies and economic conditions.
She also advocates for the company’s endeavors, whether on fair governmental policies or better business conditions, in order to fulfill Ho-Chunk’s mission to use the Winnebago tribe’s economic and legal status to develop and operate successful business enterprises and provide job opportunities for tribal members. In the long-term, these goals will enable the tribe to reach economic self-sufficiency.
As a director on the Kansas City Fed’s Omaha Branch Board, she shares her perspective on local business and the economy and how those assumptions fit into the larger economic picture.
“This type of thought process is exactly our passion at Ho-Chunk Inc., and I definitely wanted to participate,” she said.
Her perspective also includes the struggles of creating a successful business environment so businesses such as Ho-Chunk can create a better life for communities in northeast Nebraska.
But her reasons for serving as a board director go beyond economic perspectives. Her uncle used to work for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
“As a child, I remember visiting my uncle and overhearing discussions on economic conditions and the role of the central bank with reverence and awe,” she said. “It seemed to me this was the place where the problems were discussed and solved, and it was a place I aspired to be.”
With her life’s work centering on elevating a community from poverty to prosperity through business, she said it is a great honor to serve as a director and remember those times with her uncle.