Education, completion keys in new Crazy Horse Memorial CEO’s vision

Completion of the Crazy Horse Memorial and education for the public are the top goals for Whitney Rencountre, the new CEO of the memorial.

CUSTER, S.D. — The Crazy Horse Memorial has welcomed a new Chief Executive Officer to lead the way.

The Crazy Horse Memorial Board of Directors appointed Whitney Rencountre as its new CEO on Tuesday. He’ll assume the duties of CEO in September.

But his service for the memorial began much earlier.

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As the face for the World’s Largest Mountain Carving in progress, Rencountre and his family have been heavily involved with the Crazy Horse Memorial Family since 2017.

“We’ve grown to appreciate not only, you know the mountain and the university as well as the museum, but the community that’s out here,” Rencountre said. “The dedicated group of workers that are here that are really dedicated to the dream and the vision of the memorial.”

As for Rencountre’s vision for the memorial, it begins with finishing the mountain.

He says that it’s part of the goal of the memorial to use only the funding they receive from private donations and admission sales.

“That in itself is a good challenge to have because we really appreciate that we’re able to form relationships, that we’re able to teach, you know, folks around the world about not only the vision here, but about Native American culture and traditions, and something that really isn’t taught in schools,” Rencountre said.

After that, the vision turns to educating the public and using the memorial, museum and teachings in things like its Indian University of North America’s goal that will create a better understanding of Crazy Horse’s story and much more.

The work on the mountain will be completed in stages, with work on Crazy Horse’s hand, elbow, shoulder and arm being completed in the next four to nine years.

But that work signifies so much more to Rencountre and the memorial’s board.

He says it creates a teaching in Native American culture and a special message to those willing to learn.

 “I believe the sky is the limit for what can be accomplished here,” Rencountre said.

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