Native Edge Institute Colorado

Denver, CO — The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (The National Center) will bring its premier business development training to Denver for Native Edge Institute (NEI) Colorado: Building and Sustaining your Business taking place Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 9:00AM-5:00PM MDT. 

In-person attendance limited to the first 50 registrants. A virtual version will be available at a later date.


April 19, 2022 Reception

  • Networking Reception: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM MDT No Registration required
  • Hosted by: Denver Indian Center 4407 Morrison Rd, Denver, CO 80219
  • Welcome: Rick Waters, Executive Director, Denver Indian Center
  • Reception Food by: TOCABE, An American Indian Eatery


April 20, 2022 Native Edge Institute

  •  9:00 AM – 5:00 PM MDT (lunch provided)
  • Where: Doubletree by Hilton Denver Tech Center, 7801 East Orchard Road, Greenwood Village, CO 80111


Register here


9:00 AM – 9:30 AM: Welcome Remarks

  • Chris James, President & CEO, NCAIED
  • Derrick Watchman, Chairman of the Board NCAIED; Native American Bank, Board of Directors
  • William (Mike) Lettig, National Executive, Native American Financial Services, Key Bank
  • Shane Seibel, Executive Director, Southern Ute Growth Fund
  • Rick Waters, Executive Director, Denver Indian Center
  • Don Kelin, Rocky Mountain Indian Chamber of Commerce


9:30 AM – 10:15 AM:  Economic Opportunities working with the Cities of Denver and Aurora


In this session we will learn about the various Economic Development Opportunities working with the City of Denver and Aurora and learn about bid opportunities, forecasts, and learn how to leverage your business to do business with the various departments and how they assist small businesses in their communities.

Moderator: Yvette Fielder, Program Director, NCAIED


  • Sol Ybarra, Business Outreach Coordinator, Department of General Services, Purchasing Division, City, and County of Denver
  • Gloria Owusu, Small Business Program Manager, Division of Small Business Opportunity, City and County of Denver


10:15 AM – 10:45 AM: Procurement Technical Assistance Centers: Program Services Overview-PTAC’s:


This session you will learn about how the PTACs provide local, in-person counseling and training services for you, the small business owner. They are designed to provide technical assistance to businesses that want to sell products and services to federal, state, and/or local governments, you will learn about various ways on how to best market yourself and how to get involved with Government Contracting for your small business, the various programs and services will be discussed.


Moderator: Yvette Fielder, Program Director, NCAIED


  • Stan Sams, Procurement Specialist, NCAIED PTAC
  • Carolyn Terrell, Sr. Counselor, Colorado State PTAC


10:45 AM – 12:00 PM:  Marketing your Small Business while Leveraging Business Certifications


Learn how certification programs under the SBA program can benefit your business to grow. This session will cover Small Business Contracting Programs to leverage your business to success. Certifications that will be discussed include the 8(a) Business Development, HUBZone, Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, Women Owned Small Business and Economically Disadvantaged Women Owned Small Business Programs.


Moderator: Erin Abrahamson, Chief of Staff, NCAIED


  • John Shoraka, GovContractPros


12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Lunch Panel Session


We will hear from local programs in the Denver metropolitan community and learn more about how to involve your business and learn about program services, benefits and how to support your business goals.


Moderator: Yvette Fielder, Program Director, NCAIED


  • Rick Waters, Denver Indian Center
  • Don Kelin, Rocky Mountain Indian Chamber of Commerce
  • Elena Vasconez, Business & Economic Development Supervisor, City of Aurora Associate Director, Aurora-South Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC)


1:00 PM – 1:45 PM: Export and Trade


The US Commercial Service and Small Business Administration Office of International Trade will discuss resources and support available to help your business expand globally.  Topics include, identifying global sales opportunities, developing an international business strategy, and financing international sales. In this session meet the team that works with you to navigate the export process, resources, and guidelines.


Moderator: Erin Abrahamson, Chief of Staff, NCAIED


  • Suzette Nickle, Director – U.S. Commercial Service Denver, U.S. Department of Commerce / International Trade Administration
  • Patty Brewer, Small Business Administration, Export Finance Manager






1:45 PM – 2:45 PM:  Overview of Small Business Federal Contracting, Set-aside Programs, Updates, New Rules & Regulations:


In this session learn how to leverage your certification with Joint Venters and more. We will review eligibility criteria, affiliation concerns, program benefits, and discussions on how to maintain eligibility. And review the New Rules and Regulations.


Moderator: Erin Abrahamson, Chief of Staff, NCAIED


  • John Shoraka, GovContractPros


2:45 PM – 3:30 PM: Introduction to a Strategic Management Tool: The Business Model Canvas


The Business Model Canvas is a strategy and management tool that allows you to describe, design, and correct your business model. It’s a powerful visual chart that clearly lays out the process for how you can make money and deliver products and services. It forces you to focus on strategic elements that matter most to your business and is easily adaptable, requires less time than a traditional business plan, and uses a universal template. Attendees will learn about the nine elements, how it works, and complete theibusiness model as each area is discussed.

Moderator: Yvette Fielder, Program Director, NCAIED


  • Laurie Womer, Sr. Business Consultant, Aurora-South Metro SBDC

3:30 PM – 4:15 PM: Access to Capital


Small Businesses are often in need of capital. The right capital can achieve growth, job creation and accomplished mission and vision while inadequate preparation can result in catastrophic losses.


Moderator: Erin Abrahamson, Chief of Staff, NCAIED


  • Joel Smith, Chief Credit Officer, Native American Bank
  • Krystal Langholz, COO, Exec Vice President of Strategy and Capitalization, Oweesta


4:15 PM – 4:45 PM: Agriculture Overview


Learn how the Indian Nations Conservation Alliance is assisting community -based and locally-led holistic conservation activities to protect tribal lands in partnership with the USDA to include identifying issues, watersheds, and the sustainable distribution resources within the tribal community.


Moderator: Amber Childs, Acting Program Manager, NCAIED


  • Delane Atcitty, Executive Director, Indian Nations Conservation Alliance


4:45 PM: Closing Remarks, Derrick Watchman, Chairman of the Board, NCAIED


5:00 PM: Survey, Yvette Fielder, Program Director, NCAIED