Spotlight on Tribal Economic Development

Wehay QuisQuis and the San Pasqual Economic Development Corporation.

In our latest spotlight on Native businesses and economic development entities, we sat down with Wehay QuisQuis, the President and CEO of the San Pasqual Economic Development Corporation, located in San Diego County, California. Mr. QuisQuis attended our recent “N2N: Building the Native-to-Native Economy” event in San Diego, which we hosted in partnership with the National Indian Gaming Association. We hope you enjoy learning about Mr. QuisQuis and his work with SPEDC.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and the San Pasqual Economic Development Corporation?

Our mission, at the San Pasqual Economic Development Corporation, is to create a strong foundation based on a cornerstone of truth, integrity, and dedication. Our vision at SPEDC reflects the wisdom that has been passed down from generation to generation to preserve and safeguard our culture and traditions, by creating a long term economic development structure ensuring the prosperity of the next seven generations of the IPAI People.

As President and CEO, my primary vision is to create a successful and sustainable economic foundation for the IPAI people. The word IPAI in my language means the people and throughout generations it has been passed down that everything we do is always for the people and with this vision, I have been able to create and build a successful and dedicated team to preserve and safeguard our culture and traditions for the next seven generations.

How long have you been involved?

I have been directly involved with San Pasqual Economic Development Corporation for six years. However, my commitment with the tribe has spanned my entire life.

Tell us a bit about the relationship between NCAIED and SPEDC.

The relationship between NCAIED and SPEDC is a powerful blend between two leading entities establishing unprecedented collaborations to expand economic development unification between Indian Country.

How was your experience at Native-to-Native in San Diego?

As a first time attendee at Native 2 Native, I found the experience to be very informative an innovative. The event was the first of its kind and instrumental in bridging Indian Country and Native Businesses on an economic development level.

What aspect of SPEDC gives you the most pride?

As President and CEO of SPEDC, it prides me most to represent not only the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians, but all of the IPAI Nation throughout Indian Country and internationally.

Do you have advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

My advice for aspiring entrepreneurs would be to always focus on your people. Never give up and never get comfortable being comfortable. Have a clear vision in mind and be relentless in the pursuit of your goals.

Anything else you want to add or share?

If I could leave anybody with a final thought it would be this: In the words of my friend Henry Cagey, Councilman at Lummi Nation “Never underestimate the power of networking and make sure that you always stay hungry.” To elaborate on a personal story of his: Whenever his people would head out fishing, they would always head out hungry. This way, they would never return to shore without a catch.

Remember, everything you do is for the betterment of your people and the generations to come…So, stay hungry!  

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