The National Center announces 2017 Native American “40 under 40” award recipients

Winners will be recognized at the Northwest Enterprise Development Conference at the Tulalip Resort Casino on Wednesday, September 6th

August 9, 2017

MESA, AZ – The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) is pleased to announce its 2017 class of “Native American 40 Under 40” award recipients. This prestigious award is bestowed upon individuals under the age of 40, nominated by members of their communities, who have demonstrated leadership, initiative, and dedication and made significant contributions in business and their community. Award winners will be honored during the inaugural Northwest Enterprise Development Conference at the Tulalip Resort Casino in Tulalip, WA on Wednesday, September 6th. The conference is the first regionally-focused event hosted by the National Center. 

“The 2017 40 Under 40 award recipients are comprised of a diverse group of young men and women cultivated from across American Indian and Alaska Native communities, each of whom have devoted their skills and resources to enhancing their communities,” said Chris James, President and CEO of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. “Whether it’s in business, tribal government, journalism, academia, or non-profits, 40 under 40 winners shining examples for all of us to follow. It is an honor to recognize these exceptional individuals and leaders who will continue to define success for the future of Native American Business.”

This year’s award winners are:

  • Rayn Aaberg,Dena’ina Athabascan and Yup’ik Eskimo; President and CEO of Pedro Bay Corporation – Anchorage, AK

  • Sarah Adams-Cornell, Choctaw Nation; Marketing and Office Manager at Red Land Sheet Metal – Oklahoma City, OK

  • Reanna Aguino, Ohkay Owingeh; President of Tsay Professional Services – Ohkay Owingeh, NM

  • Megan Alvanna-Stimpfle, Inupiaq, King Island Native Community, and Bering Straits Native Corporation; Principal at Arctic Geopolitical Consulting – Nome, AK

  • Lanisha Bell, Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians; Victim Assistance National Coordinator and Program Director at Department of Interior- Fairfax, VA

  • Colin Ben, Diné (Navajo Nation); Doctoral Research Fellow at Arizona State University – Tempe, AZ

  • Roy Boney, Cherokee Nation; Program Manager at the Cherokee Nation Language Program – Tahlequah, OK

  • Justin Boyd, Colville Confederated Tribes, Property Acquisition Manager at Colville Confederated Tribes (Bureau of Indian Affairs) – Coulee Dam, WA

  • Ruth Anna Buffalo, Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold Reservation; Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation; Self-Employed Consultant – Fargo, ND

  • Keith Charlie, Native Village of Minto; Tribal Administrator on the Minto Village Council – Minto, AK

  • Jonathan Clark, San Carlos Apache Tribe; IT Support Manager at Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort – Scottsdale, AZ

  • Kelly Concho-Hayes, Diné (Navajo Nation); Director of Organizational Development at the Boys & Girls Club of America Native Services – White Sands, NM

  • Rebecca Crooks-Stratton, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community; Program Director at the Native Governance Center – Prior Lake, MN

  • Darren Delaune, Muscogee (Creek) Nation; Journalist/columnist at Muscogee Nation News and Co-host at Muscogee Radio – Okmulgee, OK

  • Murri England, Chickasaw Nation; Senior Accounting Technician, Chloeta Fire, LLC – Midwest City, OK

  • Hope Huskey, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians; Associate Director, The Sequoyah Fund, Inc. – Cherokee, NC

  • Tyson Johnston, Quinault Indian Nation; Vice President of the Quinault Indian Nation – Taholah, WA

  • Adam Leggett, Native Village of Eklutna; Alaska Native Program Manager at Stantec – Anchorage, AK

  • Alyssa London, Tlingit; Founder and CEO of Alyssa London LLC and Culture Story LLC – Anchorage, AK

  • LeAnn Montes, Chippewa Cree Tribe; Attorney General for the Chippewa Cree Tribe – Havre, MT

  • Alray Nelson, Diné (Navajo Nation); Director of Community Partnerships at Teach for America – Gallup, NM

  • Brian OnTheHill, Muscogee (Creek) Nation; Proprietor/Art Director at Penderhill CO. – Beggs, OK

  • Deleana Other Bull, Crow Tribe and Northern Cheyenne Tribe; Executive Director for Coalition to Stop Violence Against  Native Women – Albuquerque, NM

  • Amber Penn-Roco, Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation; Associate Attorney at Galanda Broadman, PLLC – Seattle, WA

  • Lauren Randall, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, TANF Youth Program Coordinator for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation – Mounds, OK

  • Jacob Reed, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians; Economic Analyst for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Division of Commerce – Whittier, NC

  • Matthew Roberson, Wichita and Affiliated Tribes; Executive Director at the Department of Athletic Regulation for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe – Pine City MN

  • Laura Sawney, Cherokee Nation; Compliance and Performance Officer at Osage Nation Health and Wellness – Broken Arrow, OK

  • Tralynna Scott, Cherokee Nation; Attorney for Cherokee Nation Businesses- Broken Arrow, OK

  • Shaun Shepherd, Cherokee Nation; Board Member, CNB Board of Directors for Cherokee Nation Businesses – Catoosa, OK

  • William Shunkamolah, Osage Nation; Acting Clinical Director of Behavior Heath at Indian Health Services – Gallup, NM

  • Rudy Soto, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes; Legislative Assistant for Congresswoman Norma Torres (D-CA) and Sergeant at the Army National Guard – Washington DC

  • Glenna Stumblingbear Riddle, Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma; Licensed Health Service Psychologist Director of Behavioral Health/Outreach Program Coordinator at Citizen Potawatomi Nation – Norman, OK

  • Raina Thiele, Dena’ina Athabascan and Yup’ik Eskimo; Founder and President of Thiele Strategies, LLC – Washington, DC

  • Erica Tremblay, Seneca-Cayuga Nation; Director of Video at Bustle Magazine – New York , NY

  • Jessica Tyner Mehta, Cherokee Nation; self employed business owner, writer and teacher – Hillsboro, OR

  • Christian Weaver, Shinnecock Indian Nation; Director of Organizational Development at the Boys and Girls Club of America – Denver, CO

  • Wendi Wells, Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation; Self-Employed Community Developer – Mandan, ND

  • Wenona Wolf, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe; Communication and Development Manager at Kids Forward – Madison WI

  • Janene Yazzie, Diné (Navajo Nation), Senior Planner at Little Colorado River Watershed Chapters Association – Lupton, AZ

The Northwest Enterprise Development Conference will take place from September 5th – 7th at the Tulalip Resort Casino, just north of Seattle. The conference will feature deep dives on business basics, leadership and management, and economic development, with topics such as technology, innovation, marketing, business planning, customer service, and e-commerce. For job seekers, and particularly young adult job seekers, the conference will host sessions on human capital and career development and enhance your professional online presence. Conference sessions will focus on the regional economy and issues unique to the Pacific Northwest, including technology, fishing, the environment, agriculture, and others.

For more information about the Northwest Enterprise Development Conference and the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, please visit Press releases highlighting the individual accomplishments of these award winners will be distributed in the coming weeks. 

About The National Center: The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. With over 40 years of assisting American Indian Tribes and their enterprises with business and economic development – we have evolved into the largest national Indian specific business organization in the nation. Our motto is: “We Mean Business For Indian Country” as we are actively engaged in helping Tribal Nations and Native business people realize their business goals and are dedicated to putting the whole of Indian Country to work to better the lives of American Indian people- both now… and for generations to come.

CONTACT: Lewis Lowe, 202-333-2234

NCAIED Contact Information

The National Center Main Office

953 E. Juanita Avenue
Mesa, AZ  85204

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