Secretary, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Gena Timberman is a member of the Choctaw Nation. Since 1999, Timberman has committed her professional career to the pursuit of making the dream to build an American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma a reality. She has been mentored by some of the state’s top leaders; and, she has worked closely with city, state, county, federal and tribal governments in varied matters of site and project development. As the leader of a state agency, the Native American Cultural and Educational Authority, and Director of the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, Gena lead the development of a nearly 300-acre site on the Oklahoma River envisioned to be the future home of a world-class cultural destination, a landscaped and programmed park and trails system, commercial development and visitor welcome center. She understands the issues in advancing project vision while managing the operational, institutional, and legal issues of challenging and complex projects.

In 1996, Gena graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.A. in English. She received the Outstanding Contribution to the Native American Community award and is the founding President of the Oklahoma State University American Indian Alumni Association. She was a member of Golden Key National Honor Society and Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society. In addition, she facilitated programs for United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) Native Youth Leadership Development Initiative and Wings of America, a program sponsored by Nike to promote national health and wellness in Indian Country. 

In 1999, Timberman graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. While in law school, she was an intern in the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., Office of Tribal Justice and the Environment & Natural Resources Division, Indian Law Section. In addition, she attended the Oxford Summer Law Seminar at The Queen’s College, Oxford, England. Timberman served as Special Features Editor of the American Indian Law Review and was the President of the Native American Law Student Association. She was honored as a Sequoyah Scholar, the Joseph F. Rarick Indian Scholar, and a Mueller Law Scholar. In addition, she was a member of the National Native American Law Student Association Moot Court Team.

In 1996, Timberman began her legal internship with Holloway, Dobson, Hudson, Bachman, Alden and Jennings in Oklahoma City where she subsequently became an associate attorney. Her practice focused primarily on insurance defense, product liability, commercial law, federal Indian law, and tribal economic development. Timberman currently serves Of Counsel at the law firm, Odom, Sparks & Jones, PLLC, a business boutique firm in Norman, Ok where she focuses her practice on Indian Country business development and legal issues in cultural projects and museum administration. 

Over the years, Timberman has provided a multitude of local, statewide, national and international public keynote speeches, presentations and lectures on project development and management, as well as Oklahoma tribal cultures, cultural tourism, and economic development in Indian Country.

Her notable awards include: Journal Record’s OKC Business 40 Under 40, Oklahoma Magazine 40 Under 40, Native American 40 Under 40 presented by National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development and The National Indian Gaming Association, Native American Woman of the Year, State of Oklahoma Native American Service Award, and selection as a Native Daughter by University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

In addition to serving as Secretary for OKCIC Board of Directors, Timberman currently serves as a member of the YMCA of Greater OKC Board of Directors, MAPS Citizens Advisory Committee/River Subcommittee, Oklahoma City Rotary Club 29, Oklahoma Health Center Foundation Board of Trustees, Cultural Development Corporation of Central Ok Board, Creative Oklahoma Board of Directors; and, she is the immediate past President of the Oklahoma Museums Association. 

Timberman grew up in Mustang and now lives in Oklahoma City. In 2013, Timberman formed Luksi Group, LLC, a consulting business that provides cultural direction for creative design. From cultural destinations to events, Timberman draws from her talents and experience to plan successful and sustainable projects in Indian Country…projects that uplift relationships and reflect the diverse and beautiful values of our Native cultures.