Governor Bill Anoatubby has appointed Chickasaw citizen Kara Berst Under Secretary of the Outreach and Services Division in the Chickasaw Nation Department of Commerce.
“Kara Berst has demonstrated strong leadership skills and commitment to our mission throughout her career,” Gov. Anoatubby said. “Her education, skills and commitment to serving the Chickasaw Nation make her well suited to this position.”
Mrs. Berst has worked for the Chickasaw Nation for 16 years. She began work with the tribe as a youth worker. After earning a bachelor’s degree in biology, Mrs. Berst applied for every open position with the Chickasaw Nation in hopes of getting an opportunity to work for her tribe.
“It is an honor to serve the Chickasaw Nation and Governor Anoatubby in this capacity,” Mrs. Berst said. “I am Chickasaw, and I feel it is my responsibility to help my tribe continually achieve success. The best part of my work is knowing what I contribute now will help future generations of Chickasaws.”
After serving as an environmental specialist, Mrs. Berst went on to serve as an environmental health and safety manager, chief officer and executive officer.
“Every position along the way has taught me something I can use to be better,” Mrs. Berst said.
She went on to earn a master’s degree in business administration, which she said had helped her expand into other areas and allowed her to take on new projects and roles within the Department of Commerce.
Mrs. Berst will oversee Environmental Health and Safety, the natural resources office, the business center for creative collaboration as well as the Department of Commerce legal and risk management, and insurance.
A common thread among each of these groups, she said, involved ensuring the tribe was sustainable and in compliance while remaining a good steward.
“Together we can make positive impacts on the world around us,” Mrs. Berst said. “Big actions and little actions alike create improvements, especially when multiplied by thousands.”
Mrs. Berst’s Chickasaw grandmother and grandfather were big influences in her life from a young age. They were strong people who loved their heritage, she said, and shared it with the family.
“Being a proud Chickasaw gives me strong and deep roots,” she said. “Knowing that I come from such brave and courageous people allows me to mirror those values and draw from their strength.
“I believe we shape the world by instilling values in our children and creating strong families. I have three children who are involved in every sport and activity imaginable. My husband, Justin, and I love cheering them on. I have a wonderful supportive family who are as good as gold.”