February 4, 2014 – RAPID CITY, S.D. – Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board (GPTCHB) has a brand-new logo.
Following a month-long logo redesign contest, Whitney Rencountre II’s submission was selected to represent GPTCHB. The selection relied predominantly on input from tribal communities served by the health board. Secondary judging criteria developed by the health board included aesthetic value, cultural relevancy and overall representation of the organization.
“I’m very excited and very honored that my logo was selected,” Rencountre said.
The self-taught graphic artist tapped his experience in design to create a logo that is 21st-century modern and time-honored among Great Plains tribes at the same time, drawing initial inspiration “from our relatives, our families and our people, especially here in the Great Plains area.”
Rencountre, who is a member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, said he was also inspired by the people who work to better the lives of their fellow Natives. “So combining my interest and excitement for graphic arts and visualization, because our people are visual in a lot of aspects, combining that with wanting to see our relatives be healthier and find ways to move into the future to make our children’s lives easier and better – that was my inspiration,” he added.
Officially adopted on January 27, the refreshing, clean and stately logo is one part of the continued branding efforts of GPTCHB. The logo incorporates the organization’s newly-devised color scheme of deep red, blue, tan, white and black as well as elements of its core values, which are based in the historical values of tribes of the Great Plains: wisdom, humility, generosity, honesty and truth, caring and compassion, respect, and prayer. It replaces the health board’s regionally-recognized warrior shield logo, which will be respectfully retired after over two decades of visually representing the organization. 2
“The new logo is representative of a new era for the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board,” says Chief Executive Officer Jerilyn Church. “It symbolizes GPTCHB’s transformation, strengthening and commitment to integrity of service.”
A Rapid Citian, Rencountre has had his own graphic design business, WITTGRAPHICS, for over five years and has mentored Native students for Rural America Initiatives’ Ateyapi (the Lakota term for fatherhood) Program at Central High School for four and a half years. He currently serves as the program’s Tier 2 coordinator. Additionally, the married father of three young daughters was a health educator for GPTCHB’s former asthma prevention program from 2005 to 2006, when the agency was known as Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board.
“The logo holds importance visually for community and the organization and reaching goals in our communities of wellness and health and prevention,” said Rencountre, adding that “I’m just really glad that what I visualized and hoped to portray with the logo will now be brought to life in that sense with (Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board’s) work – so I’m really excited about that.” “I’m very honored and very humbled.”
Founded in 1986, Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board serves as an advocate and liaison to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services entities, including the Indian Health Service and state and local partners, on behalf of its 17 member tribes and one Indian Service Area in the Great Plains states of South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa. In addition, the nonprofit GPTCHB works with tribal communities through its multifaceted research, preventive, outreach, academic, recovery and epidemiologic programs to improve the health status of and eradicate health disparities among the region’s 170,000 tribal members.