Mr. JR Lilly
Personal Assistant to Richard Twiss, Wiconi International
JR Lilly has come to Wiconi International to serve as the assistant to Richard Twiss and begin interning as an Business and Development Manager. He arrived in August this year and has already proven to be a great asset and contributor to better serve the vision of Wiconi.
JR Lilly was born in Fort Defiance, Arizona, as a member of the Dine (Navajo) Nation. He belongs to the Red Running Into Water People Clan and was born for the Cliff Dwelling People Clan. As a child, his family proudly practiced the Native Traditions of his people, as well as the traditions of the Native American Church. During his early teenage years, JR, now 24, became a follower of Jesus Christ, thus beginning a new spiritual journey. His participation in local leadership activities, both with his church and school, led him to attend Lee University, a faith-based liberal arts college in Cleveland, Tenn.
While completing his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, JR earned double minors in Anthropology and Biblical Studies. He also founded several student-led organizations on campus and was very involved in other aspects of his school and community, including Firebrand Youth Ministries, Bridge the Gap Mentoring Program, Service Learning and Benevolence Programs, and the Global Perspectives Program. His commitment and passion for serving others have always been connected to practical application.
JR was decorated for his involvement in the community, particularly for his leadership roles in the Diversity Council, a group of on-campus clubs that promoted and celebrated the cultural diversity of his classmates, and the Campus Kitchen at Lee University (CK-LEE), a feeding program that served the needs in the community. Moreover, he was awarded with the FTE Scholar Fellowship and the Navajo Nation Chief Manuelito Scholarship, as well receiving the Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award by the Tennessee State Government.
A passion for serving the Native American community is evident in many aspects of JR's life, most noticeably in his serving as a youth minister with Indian Ministries of North America, leading multiple service trips to his reservation, and guest lecturing in various classroom settings. He has also served different tribes in North Carolina, Alabama, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Virginia, New Mexico, and Arizona with several projects over the years.
JR writes, "As part of a new generation that straddles a cultural chasm, I want to help leads efforts to further the conversation around defining the role of our generation for both Native and Non-Native communities."