“I want to empower our people to do things on their own, to be self-sufficient. If we have people standing on their own two feet … that is where our real wealth will come from.”
Anna Bean won election to Tribal Council in 2018 after two decades of human resources work for the Emerald Queen Casino. She first got a taste of HR work while in the Upward Bound pre-college program at The Evergreen State College in Olympia.
“I just realized human resources was the helping hand to an organization at all levels – employee relations, disciplinary – the nucleus of any organization. My love of people drew me to HR,” she said. Anna also developed a love of Shakespeare, comedians and the performing arts while in school – interests that carry over into her public speaking.
“I find something funny about almost everything. … I think life is so difficult sometimes. I haven’t had the easiest life. I’ve had plenty of trauma. But I just never let any of that hold me back.”
Anna grew up in the Tacoma and Puyallup area. After moving to Skokomish starting in kindergarten, she came back to the Tacoma area as a teenager and hasn’t left since.
A sign on her desk refers to a famous quote by American painter and pop icon Bob Ross: ‘We don’t make mistakes. Just happy little accidents.”
After high school graduation, Anna watched others run for Tribal Council and saw how they interacted with people. Years later, she decided to do the same.
“I wanted to be a part of the change that I’d been wanting,” she said. “My goal is to continuously be the tribal councilmember I always wanted … the adult that I had wished for when I was younger.” In Council Chambers, she can be all business. Fiscal issues, modernization and building on the Tribe’s growing prosperity to create a more sustainable future for the membership are constantly on the agenda.
Cultural activities and playing an active role in her kids’ lives take up much of her time outside the office.
Anna’s partner is Kirby D. Manzanares Jr. and her children are Kylah, Korde’, Khloe and Kirby III.
She said 2018’s Canoe Journey, when the Tribe hosted, was one of her favorite things she’s done on Council.
“That and strategic planning,” she said.