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Solano starts new position at EAO

Randee Solano stands outside of the Hollywood headquarters building May 18. (Damon Scott)

HOLLYWOOD – Tribal member Randee Solano started a new job May 1 as a technology project manager in the Seminole Tribe’s Executive Administrative Office (EAO). Solano was offered the position after she graduated from the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) – part of the Education Department’s Tribal Professional Development (TPD) arm.

ELP is a leadership development program for tribal members who are seeking full time employment with the tribe. An associate degree is required and participants typically enter the program after they’ve spent up to two years in TPD’s Work Experience Program (WEP).

Solano said she’d recommend ELP to other tribal members.

“Especially if you have an idea, or know of something you think the tribe needs, or if you see a gap somewhere,” she said. “I came in kind of knowing what I wanted to do and made my proposal.”

Solano said her idea was a position that functions as a liaison between the Information Technology Department (IT) and the programs that fall under EAO.

“I see myself as a giant buffer – I’m filling in the gap between the two departments,” she said. “I understand enough IT lingo to translate it to the departments in a way that’s understood, and I understand the best route for anything they want to get done.”

When a department needs new technology, or is working with existing technology, Solano is there to assist. For example, the Ahfachkee School recently implemented Google Chromebooks (computers) for students and staff to use, and Solano helps to smooth out any rough spots that might arise in using its various features. The Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School could end up doing the same, she said.

Solano has education-based tech projects on the horizon at the Boys and Girls Clubs and with the tribe’s Language Program, too. One of her most recent projects was assisting the Ahfachkee School with the music software Ableton Live that allows composing, recording, arranging and mixing audio.

Solano is available to work with EAO’s other programs including Traditional Preservation, Community Culture, Traditional History/Language, the Recreation Department and the tribe’s preschools.

“When Randee joined the Education team [in ELP], she brought with her a concise outline of the things she wished to implement for the betterment of the tribal community. Her focus was evident and the things she accomplished far exceeded the hefty plans she set forth for herself,” Michael Giacchino, the Education Department’s director, said in an email to the Tribune. “It is bittersweet that she is moving on; however, we know that our partnership shall continue as we all celebrate her new role. Randee will definitely play a role in the next generation of tribal leadership.”

Solano, 32, who grew up on the Big Cypress Reservation, has worked for the tribe at various times since she was 18. She said her first job was doing beadwork at the Okalee Village when it was located on the Hard Rock Hollywood grounds. She previously worked at the Ahfachkee School for three years as a K-12 special education teacher, and has worked at the Children’s Center for Diagnostics & Therapy at the Center for Behavioral Health. She also worked for a brief time in the President’s office.

Solano has a degree in special education from Florida Gulf Coast University. The mother of four (three toddlers and a 16-year-old stepdaughter) is in the process of earning a master’s degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University. Her husband is Bello Solano, who is an IT education systems administrator for the tribe.

Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at