Glenna J. Wallace was first elected Chief of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe in 2006. She was born in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, and has lived within 15 miles of her birthplace her entire life except for three years when at a young age, she and her family were migrant workers on the west coast, moving from town to town, field to field, patch to patch, school to school. These formative years impacted her greatly, teaching her to set goals, develop a work ethic, accept accountability, be optimistic, and treat each person with dignity. For 38 ½ years, she served as an instructor, department chair, division chair, director of travel, and interim academic dean at Crowder College, Neosho, Missouri, where she estimates she taught about 25,000 students. A dedicated community servant, she has served on countless committees and boards and has been honored with numerous awards.
In 2006 she was elected chief of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe, an honored and elected position she continues to hold. During this time, thanks to dedicated business committee members and committed employees, the tribe has seen the addition of nine duplexes for elders, the completion of eleven new tribal buildings or additions, two casinos, road construction, a host of grants funded, new programs initiated including a Shawnee language program, and land holdings growing from approximately 400 acres to more than 2500. Progress has also been evident in the homelands of Ohio. Federally recognized tribes are consulted regularly, with Wallace participating in seeking World Heritage nomination for mounds in Ohio, obtaining a cemetery there for the burial of human remains, and modernization of Ohio burial laws. In addition, Wallace serves on numerous boards in multiple states, including Indiana, all to serve her people. Everyone working together in a team approach and shared vision has enabled this progress.