Dr. Joe Hobot, president & CEO
Dr. Hobot is a descendant of the Hunkpapa Band of the Lakota Nation from the Standing Rock Indian Reservation – where his grandfather and mother are both enrolled members. He was born and raised in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Minnesota, a Master’s Degree from the University of St. Thomas, and a Doctorate of Education from Hamline University.
Dr. Hobot has worked at American Indian OIC since 2006. Prior to being named president and chief executive officer, he held the positions of lead teacher and director of education. In those roles, he was responsible for the oversight and progress of the agency’s alternative high school, its Adult Basic Education/GED program, and its accredited career college. Additionally, Dr. Hobot serves as an adjunct faculty member of the Falmouth Institute – providing national onsite trainings throughout Indian Country for tribal leadership and tribal administrators. Dr. Hobot also serves in an ongoing capacity as a consultant with the National Urban Indian Family Coalition (NUIFC) based in Seattle, Washington, where in the fall of 2017 he published a report commissioned by the NUIFC entitled Resurgence: Restructuring Urban American Indian Education.
In 2017, Dr. Hobot was appointed by Governor Mark Dayton to serve on the Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership’s Board of Directors. In 2019, US Secretary of Labor, Eugene Scalia, appointed Dr. Hobot to the Native American Employment and Training Council. He also serves as a director on the boards of the Native American Community Clinic and Ain Dah Yung Center, and chairs the Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors’ group.
In 2015, Dr. Hobot was the recipient of the Minnesota American Indian Chamber of Commerce’s Bear Award for service to the American Indian community of Minnesota. In 2016, he was selected as a 40 Under 40 honoree by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal and was selected as a fellow at the Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. In 2018, Dr. Hobot was selected by the Aspen Institute for an Ascend Fellowship and in 2019 he was named a 100 People to Know in 2020 by Twin Cities Business magazine. In 2020, the Citizens League recognized him as a #MNCivicLeader.
Christy Irragang, director of Takoda Prep
Annessia Swann, director of Adult Basic Education & GED
I’m currently Director of the GED program however; I was once a young single mom looking for a training that led me to a career. I found AIOIC and attended one year of training in 1994 while my child attended childcare onsite. Employment services helped introduce me to employers once I earned my certificate. I left for employment and returned to AIOIC years later when a layoff occurred. My experience at AIOIC made me want to give back to others in the same way. I have been employed at AIOIC since 1999 in a various number of roles including payroll and benefits, employing youth in a summer program, empowering ex-offender women to heal their families and maintain sobriety while building careers, registrar of Takoda Institute, and since then my current role as GED Director. Since attending school at AIOIC, I have studied at the University of Phoenix in pursuit of a BA in criminal justice, completed human resources courses at the Carlson School of Business, and completed a year of training at the University of St. Thomas for executive leadership. I believe that education is one of the keys to breaking the cycle of poverty and Takoda is a great starting point to do that.
Kimberly Ben-Haim, director of Takoda Institute
I began working at American Indian OIC in June of 2017 as the director of Takoda Institute. I have worked in higher education for over 11 years and love the challenges and opportunities that AIOIC presents. I am proud to help students achieve their goal of a post-secondary degree and am always keeping tabs on my own perennial education.
I currently volunteer as a doula with the Twin Cities Doula Project and I believe that every women has the right to a supported, informed birth, accomplished through pre- and postnatal education and services.
Barb Hydeen, director of Takoda Works
Barb joined the agency in December of 2010 and currently serves as the Director of Takoda Works overseeing the agency employment programs and staff.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and has advanced education in childhood and adult disorders including special focus on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). For the past 10 years she has held a National Certification as a Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF). She earned her Six Sigma Yellow Belt from the University of St. Thomas and plans to obtain her Green belt. She feels the Six Sigma methodology can be applied in her current job while she strives to create efficient processes and become a more effective and strategic leader.
With over 20 years of providing coaching and employment services she has become a true believer of this quote written by Robert Ingersoll, “we rise by lifting others” Barb loves spending time with her family and puts endless hours into her gardening and volunteering in her community.
Neng Yang, IT director