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Coquille Indian Tribe names new executive director

Mark Johnston, Coquille Indian Tribe executive director (photo courtesy Coquille Indian Tribe)

NORTH BEND, Ore. – Born in Coos Bay and raised in Bandon, the Coquille Indian Tribe’s new executive director has 22 years of experience in tribal operations, the tribe said in a news release.

The Coquille Tribal Council last week announced that Mark Johnston will head the tribal government administration, a job he has held on an interim basis for the past year.

Tribal Chair Brenda Meade said Johnston “offers a broad background to lead us into the future.”

Johnston, 50, graduated from Texas Wesleyan University with a business administration degree. He began his career in 1995 as the Coquille Tribe’s assistant health and human services administrator. From 2001 to 2007, he was health and human services director for the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians. That job was followed by a seven-year stint with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, where he advanced to general manager.

He returned to the Coquille Tribe in 2014 as deputy executive director. He was named interim executive director in September 2016, after George Smith retired from the job.

“I’m honored to have this opportunity to lead such a healthy and progressive tribal organization,” Johnston said. “The Coquille Indian Tribe has always stood for a commitment to excellence while exhibiting a caring and compassionate nature to all people.”

Johnston and his wife of 31 years, Trina, raise grass-fed beef on their Bandon-area ranch. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.

The Coquille Tribe, headquartered in North Bend, operates The Mill Casino-Hotel & RV Park, along with several other businesses. It is the Coos Bay area’s second-largest employer and a leading supporter of non-profit organizations, according to the tribe's news release.

The tribe serves its approximately 1,070 members with programs in housing, health care, education and elder care. It manages more than 10,000 acres of forest, commercial, agricultural, residential and industrial property.

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