NIC Staff

Sherry Rupert


Sherry is the Executive Director of the State of Nevada Indian Commission, appointed by Governor Kenny Guinn September of 2005. On October 10, 2013, Sherry was sworn in by Governor Brian Sandoval as the first American Indian woman to be appointed a member of his cabinet.

Mrs. Rupert is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and is past President of the Native American Chapter of the University of Nevada, Reno Alumni Association.

Sherry is the Chairwoman of Nevada’s Indian Territory, a marketing arm of the Nevada Commission on Tourism, and was awarded the 2007 and 2008 Excellence in Tourism Award as well as the 2011 Statewide Excellence in Tourism Award from the Nevada Commission on Tourism for her success in promoting and advancing tourism in Indian Country. She was also awarded the 2009 Human and Civil Rights Award from the Nevada State Education Association for her work in the advancement of Indian education in the state.

Mrs. Rupert was elected President of the Board of Directors for the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA), January 2014. The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit association incorporated in 2002 to advance Indian Country tourism.

Mrs. Rupert was named to the prestigious U.S. Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (US TTAB) in June 2013. The Board, established in 2003, serves as the advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce and the White House on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry in the United States.

Sari Nichols was hired as the Program Officer 1 for the Nevada Indian Commission in August of 2017. Sari received her Bachelor’s in History Summa Cum Laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Master Degree in English Literature. She has been in state service since 2009, and brings her many skills and passion for all things Stewart related to the Commission.

Denise M. Becker was hired as the Administrative Assistant III for the Nevada Indian Commission on August 11, 2014. Denise’s first year at the Commission started off with a bang as she was involved in planning various events, such as the 2014 Sesquicentennial Honoring Reception for the Centennial Indian Princesses in October; the American Indian Achievement Awards Banquet and Silent Auction in November; the Tribal Legislative Forum in January 2015 and 2017; the Nevada Tribes Legislative Day in February 2015 and 2017; and she is also on the Stewart Father’s Day Powwow Committee every year. The Carson City Chamber of Commerce awarded the Stewart Father’s Day Powwow as the 2015 Event of the Year, and Denise was very honored and excited to have been a part of that event. Denise began State service with the Nevada Commission on Tourism in 2006 and now that she has joined the Nevada Indian Commission, she feels she has come full circle.


Bobbi  Rahder is a museum professional with 25 years of demonstrated experience in museum management. With a Masters Degree in Museum Studies, she has served as museum director, curator, and collections manager at several museums.  For 13 years she worked Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, KS  to help them create and operate the Haskell Cultural Center and Museum.  She has extensive grant writing and marketing skills, and has curated many exhibitions and educational programs from museum collections.





Chris Ann Gibbons began with the Nevada Indian Commission in 2005 and is currently the Curator for the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center.  She is also instrumental in promoting and marketing the Stewart Indian School which includes educational outreach, research, programming and she is part of the team responsible for its rehabilitation.  Chris is a graduate of Southern Oregon University with a degree in History and minors in both Native American Studies and Art History. Currently, Chris is working on obtaining a Master Degree in Museum Studies from the University of Oklahoma. Before coming to the Commission, she worked in educational outreach and programming for the Southern Oregon Historical Society.  Chris is the recipient of the 2008 and 2016 Excellence in Tourism Award from the Nevada Commission on Tourism for her success in promoting and advancing tourism in Indian Country.