UNITY Staff members perform a number of duties that include planning, organizing and carrying out the National UNITY Conference, the Midyear Conference, and all other programs and projects that further the organization’s mission. Additionally, the staff works closely with a group of trainers/associates who play an important role in UNITY’s efforts.



Executive Director

Mary Kim Titla, San Carlos Apache, has served as a Native American youth advocate for more than 30 years. She’s served as UNITY’s Executive Director since 2013 and prior to that served as a Trustee. A former TV News broadcaster, she spent most of her career working for NBC affiliate stations in Arizona. She estimates telling as many as 5,000 stories during her career receiving awards from the Associated Press, Arizona Press Club and the Native American Journalists Association. After leaving TV News, she spent nearly five years working as a Communications Officer and Administrator for the San Carlos Unified School District in the community where she was born and raised. Mary Kim has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and two Masters degrees, one in Mass Communications and another for Education Leadership and Supervision, from Arizona State University. mk.titla@unityinc.org


Project Manager – OJJDP Program

LorenAshley Buford, Yamassee descendant, is the Project Manager for the Tribal Youth Development Initiative. Buford continues to be active in her  home community while working abroad. Recently, LorenAshley has worked with the PBS “Secrets of Spanish Florida” documentary on Yamassee history, and collaborated with University of North Florida  for The Yamasee Indians: From Florida to South Carolina book. She studied American Indian Studies at Arizona State University with an emphasis in Federal Indian policy, decolonization and historical trauma. She has been a passionate advocate for prison ministries and cultural prevention LorenAshley’s former years as a Prevention Specialist, GONA facilitator, ASIST trainer and grassroots organizer, have helped mobilize communities to address indigenous health disparities, the awareness of HIV/AIDs, substance abuse and suicide prevention. Prior to being named to her new position, Buford was the a UNITY youth leader advisor and Project Manager for the UNITY Wellness Warrior Project funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. la.buford@unityinc.org


Office Manager

Tami Patterson is UNITY’s office Manager. Patterson grew up in Arizona, while her father worked for two Arizona tribes in community development and services, CRIT and YAN. She is a proud parent of children and grandchildren enrolled members of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians (Sault Tribe) and worked for their tribe as a J.O.M. Youth Services Coordinator.  Tami was introduced to UNITY in 1998  chaperoning the Sault Tribe Bahweting Anishinaabe Tribal Youth Council (TYC) at the national conference. Inspired by UNITY and serving as an advisor, she helped to establish the Sault Tribe Waaniniigaanzijig TYC. Patterson’s consulting business, Worthwhile Effects, involved working on various UNITY projects, one serving as project coordinator for two ANA grants, called ‘Preparing Native Youth for Life’s Journey’.  Most recently Tami served as UNITY’s bookkeeper and she’s assisted with special projects, including UNITY’s Earth Ambassadors.  t.patterson@unityinc.org

Program Coordinator

Joshua Tso, Navajo, was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona. Currently works as UNITY’s (United National Indian Tribal Youth) Wellness Warrior Program Coordinator. Through UNITY’s Wellness Warriors program and Joshua contributed to the development of a health and fitness mobile application for Indian Country to use and share traditional foods. As a staff member to UNITY he is able reach out to many youth groups throughout the country in UNITY’s network, providing leadership development, youth training and health and fitness information. Joshua is an avid runner, who also enjoys the outdoors and golf. He once competed as a middle distance and cross-country runner for Mesa Community College before eventually graduating from Arizona State University in the Exercise Science and Wellness program.  j.tso@unityinc.org

Media Specialist &
Program Assistant
Jared Ivins-Massey, White Mountain Apache/Navajo, is UNITY’s Social Media Specialist and Program Assistant. Jared is currently in a Tribal Management with an emphasis in Public Policy program at the University of Alaska- Fairbanks. Nationally, Jared has served in various capacities in his efforts to bring awareness to Indigenous issues across the United States. Nationally, Jared served as Co-President of the National UNITY Council for United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) organization, the nation’s largest network of Native American youth,  and two terms as the Male Co-President on the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Youth Commission. Jared has also served on various committees including former President Barrack Obama’s White House Tribal Youth Gathering Steering Committee, where he’s met with the First Family on several occasions, as well as the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Native American Advisory Council.  j.massey@unityinc.org