Thomas M. Zajicek - Board Member and Current President
Tom Zajicek and Tom Cook became close friends during the planning of the first festival in 2015. Since then, the two of them, along with Christine, TC, and Melissa have provided Native American education to literally thousands. Tom has kind of been the spokes person of the organization and is not stranger to the microphone or being in front of a crowd. It was Tom's dream of continuing the festival after the Corning sponsored festivals in 2015 and 2016. With Ivan's help, they set up the Seven Generations of Stewards 501(c)(3) to continue the outstanding offering to the community, and the rest is history.
Christine Zajicek - Board Member and Current Vice President
Christine has been involved with the festival since it's inception in 2015. She is a teacher at a local Montessori school and so this transfers very well to an educational event. Tom and Christine have provided educational opportunities to many schools, YMCA, Veterans Administration, and more. She is planning a mini-pow wow for her school in 2022 where the upper elementary students will research subject matter and present what they have learned to the entire school and their families during the mini-pow wow. Christine has overseen the educational arm of SGS. Her idea of a children's shoe path from the festival gates to the sacred fire area was well received by guests in 2021.
Thomas Cook - Board Member and Current Treasurer
Tom Cook was the President of Corning Incorporated's Native American Council that started the festival in 2015. He was a driving force behind the success of that first festival so when the Corning NAC decided not to continue the festival in 2017, and after Ivan created SGS, Tom quickly became Treasurer and continues in that role to this day. Tom's project management and budgeting experience from his days at Corning make him well suited for the task. Tom is Mohawk and so, brings that perspective and teachings of which he has shared many times since. Even though Tom is now living in the south, he ventures to Western NY for the festival every year to help put on an amazing event.
Melissa Zajicek - Board Member and Current Secretary
Melissa has been the Secretary of SGS since it's inception in 2018. She is well versed in Native American culture. She is a barred lawyer but most importantly, the mother of our newest member Sterling. She and Ivan provide the business guidance needed to run the corporation. She has attended many of the educational offerings of the organization. She is shown defending the rights of the Abenaki people of Vermont while attending law school. Her knowledge of herbal medicine is outstanding.
Johannes Moll - Board Member
Although not Native, Johannes contributes to the board with his business and project management experience. Johannes has been involved with every festival since 2015. He not only provides his sound equipment but, with Billy Wilson, they manage the sound quality for the entire festival. He has a desire to learn about the Native American population and their customs. He participates in many of the educational events that SGS offers.
Jeff Weirback - Board Member
Even though Jeff is a newly elected board member (2022), he has been involved with the festival since it's inception in 2015. As a matter of fact, it was Jeff idea that spawned what is now the Native Nations Festival. Having a background in meteorology and weather, Jeff actually picked the date of the festival (3rd weekend of September) and we have had outstanding weather for each of the years since then and we hope it continues. Jeff is full of ideas and has the drive to see them through. You can generally find Jeff manning the SGS booth at the festival, or helping vendors and guests alike.
Ivan Zajicek - Board Member and Elder
In late 2017, Ivan could see that Tom Zajicek really wanted to continue the Falling Leaves Festival that Corning Incorporated's Native American Council had started in 2015 and continued in 2016 but then decided to stop in 2017. So, he created the Seven Generations of Stewards, Inc. 501(c)(3) opening the opportunity to host the Native Nations Festival and to continue to provide educational opportunities to the community. Ivan is reason that the NNF came to fruition in 2018, 2019, and 2021.
Wayne Boka - Web Master
Wayne is a web developer in the Twin Tiers area. He has built many websites as well as many web applications. View Wayne's portfolio