As the youngest member of the Ho-Chunk Nation’s leadership team, Collin Price hopes that what he does will serve as an inspiration for the next generation.
“It provides a role model,” Price said of work in the Ho-Chunk Nation’s public relations office. “Somebody can do it.”
Growing up in Tomah, Price said he learned a deep respect for his elders, which included his mother, who worked for the Ho-Chunk Nation for more than 20 years. And, while it may bring some challenges, working with your family also affords a lot of cooperation and hope.
“The tribe has many unique challenges that require creative solutions and meaningful relationships to achieve our goals,” he said.
Those include community outreach, specifically through burgeoning social media, which Price uses frequently, and which goes hand-in-hand with inter-governmental work.
“That’s the boring side,” he said with a laugh.
As a tribe member himself, Price said he wants to have a huge impact on those closest to him. He’s motivated by the desire and excitement to grow his own role in the Nation, thus allowing other young professionals to creatively solve problems and get the same sense of accomplishment he feels on a daily basis.
“I’m most proud of being in a position that allows me to give back to my tribe and its members,” he said. “The Ho-Chunk Nation gave me an opportunity that has allowed me to return the favor. The work is extremely rewarding when I’m able to help mend relationships and strengthen those ties which in turn benefit entire communities.”
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Chris Hardie, executive director of the Black River Area Chamber of Commerce, nominated Price for Rising Stars Under 40, and he praised the young man’s drive to soar above the norm, welcoming any challenge as an opportunity to prove success is attainable if you’re willing to work for it.
“Despite his humble beginnings,” Hardie said, “and having statistical odds against him, Collin Price earned his baccalaureate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2006. Following college, he took an oath to protect and serve as a Wisconsin state trooper. In January of 2012, he became the Ho-Chunk Nation’s public relations officer. He enthusiastically joined the administration, challenging himself each day to excel in research, both public and internal communications and messaging, technology and a number of skills necessary to ensure clear information flowed to the stockholders.”
Price is also the owner of Indigecomms, a strategic communication company helping many other companies and brands work effectively with the Ho-Chunk.
“Collin has an entrepreneurial spirit,” Hardie said, “and wants to help people start their own business.”
Price said he tries to help his community by being an active member within it by mentoring other young leaders, volunteering and helping local businesses with in-kind professional services.
His advice to other young leaders is simple, but profound.
“Don’t be afraid to try for something you really believe in, even if it’s different,” Price said. “People will really catch your vision.”