John V. Meyers - Managing Member

John V. Meyers was appointed by the Santa Rosa Cahuilla Indian Tribal Council to serve as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Santa Rosa Cahuilla Corporation (SRCC). Additionally, he will serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation. Mr. Meyers will also serve as the Managing Member of IVA’AL Solutions, LLC, a subsidiary of the Corporation.  John has served the Tribe as a member of the Tribal Council for a number of terms prior to his current roll with the corporation. Since his appointment to the Tribe’s business development initiative, John elected not to run for reelection in order to focus on the development of the Tribe’s Corporation.

In 1997, Mr. Meyers created Native American Industrial Distributors (NAID), a multi-disciplined federal contracting firm.  John built NAID into a multi-million dollar company which was sold in 2011.  He started the firm in his home office, and over the years grew the firm employing over eighty (80) employees with annual gross revenues in excess of $12 million dollars with consistent net earnings in excess of twelve percent (12%).  NAID was awarded the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) certification in late 1997 and remained qualified until graduated from the program in 2006.  From the beginning, NAID under Mr. Meyers’ leadership and management remained debt free during its entire history until its sale in 2011.  Over the years the Maryland State Legislature and Maryland’s Governor officially recognized Mr. Meyers’ job creation and economic development contributions to the State. In March 2006, John was featured in Money magazine as the fourth of five finalists in the National Small Business Administration’s (NSBA) Small Business Advocate of The Year 2006 awards.  Mr. Meyers also served on the Board of Directors, National Indian Business Association.

John brings to the Tribe’s economic development effort a unique combination of leadership, management skills, energy and experience acquired over the past fifty years.  John graduated from San Jacinto High School in 1959.  He continued his education under the GI Bill at Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1975.  Mr. Meyers also earned a Master of Science Degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College in Washington, D.C. in 1994. Mr. Meyers’ distinguished military and Federal public service careers have spanned over thirty years. 

Born and raised on the Santa Rosa Indian Reservation, John is the elder-living member of the Tribe. In 1966, John was drafted into the U.S. Army.  Rising from Private to Colonel, he served with distinction during two combat tours in Vietnam and a combat tour in Desert Storm. Colonel Meyers is one of the country’s most highly decorated American Indians. His personal awards and decorations include: Legion of Merit w/2 Oak Leaf Clusters; Distinguished Flying Cross w/5 OLC; Bronze Star Medal w/2 OLC; Meritorious Service Medal w/1 OLC; Air Medal 30 Awards; Army Commendation Medal w/5 OLC; Army Achievement Medal; Senior Aviators Badge; Parachutist Badge; Pathfinder Badge; Air Assault Badge; and the Special Forces Tab.  He is the recipient of numerous service, campaign and foreign awards and decorations.  In 2009, Colonel Meyers was inducted into the Field Artillery Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame.

Colonel Meyers completed a 31-year military career in the Army Reserves and active component, having commanded at every level, including Battery, Battalion and Brigade.  He has also served in a variety of responsible staff positions at the highest levels of the Army, as Assistant Director for Legislative Liaison, U.S. Special Operations Command, and as Assistant Director for the Plans, Programs & Policy Directorate, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Research, Development & Acquisition in the Pentagon. 

Although he retired from active service in June 1997, Colonel Meyers was meritoriously appointed by the Chief Army Reserve to the position of Army Reserve Ambassador for the State of Maryland, during which time he held the equivalent Rank of Major General. Ambassador Meyers was awarded Emeritus status in 2008. Mr. Meyers also served as a Member of the Board of Directors for the U.S. Army Historical Foundation until 2011.

Mr. Meyers’ public service career included a variety of Federal Civil Service and appointed positions. Beginning with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1975, John’s service spanned four Presidential Administrations.  The more important Senior Executive Service appointments were in the Department of Defense as the Director, Equal Opportunity (Military); Department of Housing & Urban Development as the Director of the Office of Indian Housing, and in his last position as the Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Veterans Employment and Training at the Department of Labor. In each of these positions, Mr. Meyers’ responsibilities included the development and implementation of National Policy and the development and management of program budgets approaching three quarters of a billion dollars.  He retired from the Department of Labor in 1992. John’s accomplishments in these positions have received laudatory recognition from the President’s Committee on Management Improvement and throughout Indian country.  

Neil J. Ruther - General Counsel/Director

Neil Ruther has been a practicing attorney in the State and Federal Courts of Maryland for 38 years. His practice has focused on business law, real estate development and contracting. His representation of Native American Industrial Distributors for nearly 15 years gave him important experience in federal contracting matters. After graduating from the American University School of Government and Public Administration in 1973 and the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1976 he served as a prosecutor in the State’s Attorney’s Office of Baltimore City where he headed a prosecution group focusing on high impact violent crime. Following that experience Mr. Ruther was a partner at several large Baltimore law firms practicing transactional law and commercial litigation. He headed a legal team which successfully pursued one of the largest low income housing tax exempt financings in the history of the State. More recently he was part of a development team which set up the largest tax incentive real estate financing in the history of Baltimore City. During the early 1990’s Mr. Ruther helped develop a large specialized waste incineration facility in Baltimore and became President of the National Medical Waste Institute , a division of the then National Waste Management Association in Washington DC. In that position he had significant responsibility for the development of new federal regulations in the waste industry with the Environmental Protection Agency.

For six years Mr. Ruther was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Baltimore School of Law and a lecturer for a national bar review course in eight states in the Mid Atlantic region. He is still a frequent lecturer at the law school where his son now also serves as an adjunct faculty member.  He is the co author of the book Solomon’s Sword, a scholarly work presenting an alternative to child custody litigation, published by Jossy Bass. Mr. Ruther also holds an airline transport pilot’s license and is type rated to fly the Gulfstream III, Citation 500 and 560 business jets, the King Air 300/350 turbo prop and the new Learjet 75 corporate business jet. 

Joe Cosentini - Operations Director

Joe Cosentini started his career in 1982 with the public accounting firm of Price Waterhouse in Cleveland, Ohio, after graduation from Kent State University with a degree in Accounting.  He soon accepted an auditor role with the diversified oil, gas, coal and chemical manufacturing firm of Diamond Shamrock. During his tenure with Diamond Shamrock, he served in the Internal Audit department in Cleveland, Ohio, and as a Divisional Accounting Coordinator in Lexington, Kentucky, for three operating coal mines.

In the fall 1986, he accepted a contractual role in Baltimore with an investment banking firm to oversee the financial planning functions for the Baltimore based Arcata Graphics Company, a 12,000 person book manufacturing firm with nine operating plants dispersed across the US.

In June of 1989, he started a 19-year career with the Baltimore investment management firm of T. Rowe Price. During his tenure, he served in a number of different leadership roles in financial planning and analysis, call center management, 401K operations, and lastly as the site manager in Owings Mills, Maryland, responsible for a staff of over 600 associates.

In 2009, he joined the rapidly growing consumer rights law firm of Persels and Associates where he was responsible for the finance, human resources and operations groups until the firm was dissolved in early 2016. 

Mayme Modesto - Member of the Board of Directors

Mayme Modesto has served on Tribal Council for several years but has become very active during the past four years. She said her beginning years were spent watching and learning based on her mother’s influence.

Her father, who is from Santa Rosa, and her mother, from Cahuilla, served on Tribal Council for their own tribes but her mother was extremely active in tribal politics and issues.

Ms. Modesto was also encouraged to get involved by some of the elders within Santa Rosa for they knew the importance of stability and continued growth of the tribe. She feels that it is a priority for the reservation to obtain economic development that will offset the needs of tribal members.

Raised at Santa Rosa, she completed her high school education at Hemet Adult School and continued her studies at the Loma Linda School of Allied Health. Ms. Modesto received an Associate of Science degree in Radiologic Technology, which led to a successful career as a Radiologist Technologist.

Ms. Modesto dedicates her time to helping tribal members become resourceful and self-sufficient through education and work. She knows it is important for each generation to know and carry on the customs and traditions to ensure the continued existence of the Cahuilla people who were strong and resourceful people that worked hard at being self sufficient. She said it is everyone’s responsibility to continue to do the same in this day and age.

She is confident that Santa Rosa’s future will see more tribal members receiving higher education and being in a position to give back to the community, within the tribe and beyond.