Term Began April 15, 2014
Lynn “Nay” Valbuena Elected Chairwoman
SAN MANUEL INDIAN RESERVATION – The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians announced Tuesday that Lynn “Nay” Valbuena was elected the tribe’s chairwoman, a post she previously served two decades ago.
Valbuena served as chairwoman of San Manuel from 1994 to 1996. From 2008 to 2012, she served as vice chairwoman.
Valbuena has been active in state and national American Indian affairs throughout her public service career that began in 1974 with her first role as San Manuel’s housing commissioner providing oversight for the housing program on the reservation. For the past 19 years, she has served as chairwoman of the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations (TASIN), a regional tribal organization in Southern California whose purpose is to advance tribal government issues with local, state and federal governments.
“I am humbled by this election to lead the people of San Manuel,” said Chairwoman Valbuena. “The future of our tribe requires that we continue the work initiated by our ancestors generations ago to ensure not only our survival, but also to maintain our cultural strengths as well as a commitment to progress in an increasingly complex world. I am firmly committed to these principles.”
In addition to her work to benefit American Indians, Valbuena served the nearby city of San Bernardino through a 16-year career with the San Bernardino Police Department, where she utilized her many skills as a stenographer and court officer. She later successfully completed the basic training and self-defense programs necessary to work as a police assistant. After receiving additional training in public speaking and communications, she became the department’s public information officer.
Among her current affiliations, she serves on the Board of Trustees for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, as Trustee for the Autry National Center based in Los Angeles, is serving in her 23rd year as delegate to the National Congress of American Indians, and has been a member of the Advisory Council for the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of California for 15 years.
Locally, Valbuena has served as a board member with the San Bernardino Valley Lighthouse for the Blind, Riverside-San Bernardino County Indian Health, the Native American Advisory Committee – UC Riverside, and YMCA of San Bernardino.
She has received numerous distinctions throughout her career, including the San Bernardino County Safety Employee’s Benefit Association Distinguished Benefactor Honoree in 2011, California Assemblyman Bill Emmerson’s California Woman of Distinction in 2010, Women Empowering Women for Indian Nations (WEWIN) Honoree and the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) Chairman’s Leadership Award.
Today, Valbuena shares her experiences through speaking engagements with numerous groups and organizations throughout California and the United States, including Chambers of Commerce, intergovernmental organizations, and other tribal governments.
Valubena is married to Stephen Valbuena and is the proud mother of Rich and Sabrina and grandmother of Cody, Chloe and Leilani.