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Tribe hires fiscal officer

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HOGANSBURG — The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe has hired a new chief financial officer.

Barbara Montour is now responsible for handling all matters related to the financial affairs of all tribal entities and preparing financial analyses of overall operations.

She will be responsible for the organization’s financial plans and policies, its accounting practices and the conduct of its relationships with banking institutions, according to a tribe news release. She would not comment on her salary, citing a law which she did not specify that allows her to withhold that information.

She said one of her first orders of business will be to oversee the financial affairs of the expansion at the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino, for which the tribe borrowed almost $75 million. The finished project will expand gaming and hotel space.

The release says another of her duties will be to watch over the more than 200 federal and state programs the tribe administers for its members. They include family support services, heating fuel assistance and the Akwesasne revolving loan fund. “The staff here has a very good handle on” the programs, she said.

Ms. Montour said although she has been on the job for a week, it has given her an optimistic view of the future.

“I’m enjoying it. The people are great,” she said. “The organization is huge.”

Ms. Montour has been a certified public accountant since 2006, according to the release. She said she started Akwesasne’s first certified public accounting firm, Barbara Montour CPA, which operated from 2005 until 2010. She credits Gary Benware of Dragon, Benware & Crowley CPAs, Malone, with giving her the work experience to get where she is today.

A graduate of Massena High School, she earned an associate degree in business administration from then-Canton ATC in 1983 and a bachelor of science in accounting degree from SUNY Plattsburgh in 1991.

She said she decided to get into her chosen field because an aptitude test she took in high school pointed her toward business management and/or accounting. She said a guidance counselor in the Upward Bound program pushed her to go in that direction.

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