Billy Brown began serving his first term as a Principal Chief appointment to the TERO Commission in August 2017 and was re-appointed to a second term in January 2020. Mr. Brown has owned and operated of Lynn’s Restaurant for 20 years in Robbinsville, North Carolina. From 1995- 1997, he represented the Snowbird/Cherokee County communities on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Council. Billy began his career as a boilermaker in 1973 and was a journeyman union boilermaker for 29 years. Mr. Brown resides in the Snowbird community with his wife of 40 years. Billy has seven children, fourteen grandchildren and four great grandchildren with whom he enjoys spending his time.
Lavita Hill began serving her first term as a Tribal Council appointed commissioner in August 2020. Ms. Hill has a bachelor’s degree from Western Carolina University in Accounting and Finance and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in accounting. She has more than 20 years of work experience in accounting and finance. Lavita is proud to be a TERO Commissioner because she strongly supports the overall goals of the TERO program, including promoting Indian owned business, Indian preference rights, and the work of the Mother Town Healing Program. Ms. Hill resides in the Big Cove Community with her husband, youngest son, dog, and four cats. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, spending time with her granddaughter and she is an avid Marvel fan.
Tony Cabe is currently serving in his first term as a Council appointed commissioner in July 2020. Mr. Cabe comes to us with over 19 years of experience as an Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) Counselor and a EEOC certified mediator in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Tony has the distinct honor of being appointed by Former Chief Joyce Dugan as commissioner on the inaugural TERO commission 25 years ago. Mr. Cabe is retired from the Bureau of Indian Affairs with 27 years of service and is also a U.S. Navy Veteran. In his free time, Tony enjoys yardwork, gardening, foraging for all the delicious edibles given to us by the creator, camping and fishing. Tony resides in the Wolftown community with his wife Marisa “Sis” Cabe. He has two sons, Randall and Ethan Crowe, and two grandsons with whom he enjoys spending his time.
Yona Wade began serving his first term as a Principal Chief appointed commissioner in February 2022. Yona has been with the Cherokee Central Schools since 2009 as the Director of Community Affairs where he oversees the Chief Joyce Dugan Cultural Arts Center, Public Relations, Development and Campus Security. Previously with Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc., he has knowledge of the Arts and Crafts of the Cherokee, as well as coming from a long line of basket makers. Yona served as chairman of the Sequoyah Fund, Inc., a local CDFI, and is a gubernatorial appointee to the Governor's Western Residence Board. In addition to the appointed positions, he also serves on various community boards and committees. Mr. Wade is a William C. Friday Fellow for Human Relations, a Salzburg Fellow of the Salzburg Seminar, and the recipient of the first American Indian Science and Engineering Societies Indigenous Excellence Award. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Music from the School of Music and Master of Fine Arts in Performing Arts Management, from the school of Design and Production. Yona resides In the Paint Town community in Western North Carolina.
Trista Welch joined TERO in January 2017 as a Planning Board appointed commissioner. Ms. Welch is employed by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians as a Magistrate in the Cherokee Tribal Court. Trista serves as a Mentor for the Jones Bowman Leadership Award Program and is a Right Path Adult Leadership Program graduate. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and a Master of Business Administration degree from Florida State University. Trista lives in the Paint Town Community with her daughter Macie. She enjoys sewing, canning, spending time on the lake or in the mountains and traveling.
Mrs. Dezrae Francisco serves TERO as an Administrative Assistant/Office Coordinator. Dezrae brings extensive experience as an administrative assistant in various types of office settings.
She enjoys reading and attending sports events that her family are involved in. Mrs. Francisco moved to Cherokee from Colorado in 2016 with her husband, Mr. Robert Palomo, and their three children. Dezrae currently resides in the Wolftown Community.