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In advance of our virtual Native Edge Institute (NEI) Connecticut, we reached out to local Native-owned businesses to learn more about their story and operations. We asked one of those – Sun Turtle Office Furniture, based in New London, CT – to answer a few questions about their operations. Learn more about Sun Turtle and managing member Raymond Geer. And make sure to register for our virtual NEI Connecticut, taking place on July 9!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in what is still my hometown, North Stonington, Connecticut, and have lived on the Eastern Pequot Reservation since 1983. I have a BS in Data Systems Management. I am the former President of the CT River Powwow Society, Former Tribal Chairman of the Paucatuck Eastern Pequots, and the appointed Medicine Man of Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation. I have also served on CT’s Legislative Task Force on Indian Affairs and participated in the 2002 and 2006 Indigenous Games in the Rifle Shoot competition. Prior to Sun Turtle Office Furniture, I was the Director of Information Services for a large moving and storage company.

2. Tell us a little bit about Sun Turtle Office Furniture.

We sell office furniture primarily to government and tribal interests. We have been in operation since 1999. You can learn more about us at www.sunturtleofficefurniture.com.

3. How has the National Center helped you in your business journey?

The National Center has provided leads, procurement education, and emotional support. The support has been particularly helpful in helping us navigate the federal buying process, which as many of you know can be quite complex. Though the NEI will be taking place virtually, I’m excited that the National Center is coming to the Northeast and focusing on Northeastern tribes. I look forward to hearing what the speakers have to say and present at the upcoming NEI.

4. What advice would you give to aspiring Native American or Alaska Native entrepreneurs?

Who besides ourselves has an interest in seeing our success and prosperity as a people? I think that’s something we all need to keep in mind when it comes to working together and what we focus on as businesses. I would also tell people to keep their customers happy and appreciative! And finally, make sure you are passionate about your business. If not, try doing something else.

5. Anything else you’d like to add?

Most of the furniture we sell is manufactured by The HON Company, and can be found on their website www.HON.com Call or email us, tell us about your needs and we will provide you with recommendations, exceptional pricing, and great customer service.