Metrolina Native American Association is governed by a seven (7) member Board of Directors compromised of at least six Native Americans and one non Native American living in the MNAA service area. Board members serve a 3 year volunteer term. Read below to learn more about our current Directors who volunteer their time to improve and grow MNAA.
Rebecca Jones LaClaire, Chairperson
Rebecca is a member of the Lumbee Tribe and grew up in Hoke County, NC. She is a 2002 graduate from UNC-Pembroke with a major in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. Rebecca has been advocate for Native American affairs since her youth by serving as Chairperson of NCNAYO and NCNACOHE. She currently represents MNAA on the Charlotte Business Advisory Committee, United Tribes and NC Indian Housing Authority. Rebecca has been a resident of Mecklenburg County since 2010 and was the Executive Director of MNAA until 2011. Rebecca has an extensive background working with Native Americans in her career including as an Executive Director for the Catawba Indian Nation. Rebecca brings knowledge of Native American affairs to the board of MNAA and her goal is to increase the awareness of Native Americans in the MNAA service area which will soon one day include a Museum in Charlotte. Rebecca is married to Scott LaClaire and they have 2 children Nicholas and Molly.
AJ Babson, Vice Chairperson
AJ is a member of the Lumbee Tribe and a senior at UNC Charlotte that is majoring in Finance. He expects to graduate in May of 2019. He is involved in multiple organizations on campus, including the Native American Student Association, where he currently serves as Treasurer, and the UNC Charlotte Investment Club, where he holds an Officer position. AJ has been involved with the Metrolina community since childhood. He is the oldest grandson of Bobby Berry, one of the founding fathers of the Metrolina Native American Association. He hopes to make a positive impact on the Native American community in Charlotte and the surrounding areas.
Walter David Baucom 3rd(WD) is a Charlotte native and has been an active member of MNAA since the 1980's. He has served as a board member for the North Carolina Indian Economic Development Initiative(NCIEDI), a committee member of the Charlotte Business Advisory committee and currently serves as a Commissioner on the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs, as well as a committee member of the Charlotte Business Inclusion committee. Walter developed a passion for helping the Native American population in Charlotte and its surrounding counties at a young age. His desire to help those in need goes beyond his profession. Walter is the Senior Vice President for MAL Entertainment, President, and CEO of Baucom Group & Associates(An unlimited license General Contracting firm), Co-Owner of A-1 glass and C0-Owner of Tobacco Tags a firm that owns several rental properties both residential and commercial. He is an active member and volunteer of Mint Hill Athletic Association(MHAA) where both his daughters play sports. Walter was a head coach for an Adult softball team that played in the Charlotte Park and Rec league for over 18 years. He is an avid motorcycle rider that has carried him on trips from coast to coast and border to border. He looks forward to serving as the Vice Chair of Metrolina Native American Association and hopes the Coalition’s efforts will make a permanent and positive impact on the lives of the Native American people in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties.