NADC’s 9th Annual Economic Development and Procurement Conference: Taking Back Our Communities Through Economic Change

On August 1-3, 2017, the Native American Development Corporation (NADC) held it’s 9th annual Economic Development and Procurement Conference titled Taking Back our Communities Through Economic Change.  A hub for American Indian businesses, NADC provides technical assistance, financial lending opportunities, and champions small businesses and tribes in order to empower Indian communities toward economic and social stability. The conference mirrored the mission statement of the NADC, featuring nationally and internationally recognized speakers. Staff from KFGM Missoula Community Radio were there to record many of the conference presentations and interview conference presenters and attendees.  KFGM staff were able to attend due to support provided by The Greater Montana Foundation and The High Stakes Foundation.

Twelve one-hour radio programs were produced from the recordings.

Please click on the following links to hear or download the programs.  Please feel free to re-broadcast these programs!  If you use the programs, please email us at: and let us know!  That way we can keep track of where the shows go.

Program 1: Interview and Presentation with Leonard Smith.

In the first program in the series, host Ann Szalda-Petree interviews Leonard Smith, executive director of the Native American Development Corporation about his hopes for the conference.  Leonard talks about the conference focus on sustainability and ways sustainability can bring independence, better programs, and larger contributions to Native American development. In the second half of the hour, we hear Leonard’s keynote presentation on the first day of the conference.

Program 2:  Interview and Presentation with Eric Sherman.

In Program 2, Ann Szalda-Petree interviews Eric Sherman of the Native American Contractors Association about Historically Underutilized Business Zones (also called HUBZones) and 8A Businesses.  We learn how to access information about how to use HUBZones to get contracts for businesses, how to become an 8a business and then get contracts, and how to keep talented people in Indian Country.

Program 3:  Interview and Presentation with Jaynie Parrish. 

In Program 3, Justice Ender interviews Jaynie Parish, owner of social media marketing company Parrish Digital, and professor in the American Indian Studies department at University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND.  The discussion centers around how to start and market a business through Facebook, the usefulness of planning to market to smart phones, and common mistakes people make when using social media.  Following the interview, we hear portions of Jaynie Parrish’s presentation at the conference.

Program 4:  Interview and Presentation with Josh Flute and Frederick Smith. 

In the first half of Program 4, Ann Szalda-Petree interviews Josh Flute, member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation.  Josh specializes in enterprise management for non-gaming corporations. The focus of the interview is his commitment to leveling the playing field for his reservation by bringing in a locally owned grocery store as well as locally produced items such as apples, honey, and organic compostable grocery bags.  Since this interview, the Dakota Crossing store has opened and is in full operation.  In the second half of the program, we present a discussion led by Frederick Smith who works for the Montana and Idaho Community Development Corporation, a non-profit financing agency. The presentation centers around how non-profit organizations can get loans.

Program 5:  Presentation about Native American Community Food Production with Mitzi Racine, Pati Martinson, and Mercedes Rodriquez.

In this program, we will hear a presentation hosted by three different people from the conference’s Community Development Breakout session.  The first presenter, Mitzi Racine, is the Project Director for the Healthy Foods Finance Initiative, a grant funded project of the Native American Development Corporation in Billings, MT.  The second presenter is Pati Martinson, co-founder of the Taos County Economic Development Corporation in Taos, New Mexico. Mercedes Rodriquez, the third presenter, is the Taos County Economic Development Corporation’s program manager.

Program 6:  Interview and Presentation with Russ Seagle.

In this program we will first hear a presentation by Russ Seagle, Executive Director of Sequoia fund in Cherokee North Carolina. The Sequoyah Fund, Inc. is a certified Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) serving the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.  In the first half hour of this program, Russ presents about the ways the Sequoyah fund came back from the brink of disaster due to embezzlement of funds by a trusted employee.  He explains the steps they took to re-establish trust with the community, and how they continue to do the work of educating and providing resources to people with good ideas.   This segment starts off with a prayer by Ben Nuvamsa, asking the creator to take care of all parts of the conference. In the second half of our presentation, Russ Seagle is interviewed about the educational products used by the Sequoia fund to teach people about entrepreneurship and how to be an entrepreneur.  He also talks about their program that targets people emerging from incarceration in order to teach them to change their appetite for criminal risk to entrepreneurial risk.  .

Program 7:  Presentation by the 4-Directions Program hosted by Robbie Dietrich

In this program we listen in on a breakout session from the conference called Preparing Community Leaders through the 4-directions Program. This session was hosted by Robbie Dietrich, CEO of the Partnership with Native Americans or PWNA. Robbie has 30 years of experience in building positive awareness of organizations and presenting their causes and capabilities to a wide spectrum of public officials, community and business leaders, contributors and the media.

Program 8:  Presentation by Liz Walker, Interview with Sarah Hudson and Tom White.

In Program 8, we first hear a keynote presentation at the conference by Elizabeth T. Walker, an experienced attorney in the federal regulatory and congressional legislative process and owner of Walker Law LLC.  She distinguishes what is happening at the federal governmental level with what we hear in the news, highlighting the bigger debates in Indian Country.  She explains why it is best to be non-partisan when understanding how to impact the Indian Country Agenda.  The presentation is followed by an interview with Sarah Hudson, the director of the Region 8 Veterans Business Outreach Center in Billings, Montana and Tom White, a lender relations specialist with the US Small Business Administration in Helena, Montana. During this interview we learn that Montana has the highest concentration of veterans in the US, the highest concentrations of Veterans in Montana are on our reservations, and that Native Veteran Small business owners are very successful.  The interview concludes with information about the many resources for native veteran-owned small businesses in Montana, and for all small businesses in general.

Program 9: Presentation and Interview with Guy Timberlake

Guy Timberlake is Chief Visionary Officer and Chief Executive Officer of the American Small Business Coalition. He makes presentations and provides expertise for companies seeking to secure government contracts, and gives his clients the background information that allows small businesses in isolated markets to break into federal contracting territory.

Program 10: Presentation and Interview with Clarence O’Berry

Clarence O’Berry is President / CEO of Mandaree Enterprises LLC, based in Minot, ND. He discusses how he helped build a reservation-based company with a handful of workers into a family of companies handling government contracts and developing private sector clout around the world.

Program 11: Presentation and Interview with Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson is Executive Director for Native American Contractors Association, a trade association that advocates for protecting the ability of tribes and America’s indigenous people to create economic development opportunities and programs through federal government contracting. He guides businesses through the government procurement system and highlights the advantages and challenges of HUBZone programs.

Program 12: Presentation and Interview with Chris James

Chris James is President and CEO of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. He describes his shift from working for the Small Business Administration to “coming home” and helping tribal-owned businesses and communities by providing the technical support that gets projects “shovel-ready.”

Funding for this project provided by The High Stakes Foundation and The Greater Montana Foundation. The Greater Montana Foundation benefits the people of Montana by encouraging communication, with an emphasis on electronic media, on issues, trends, and values of importance to present and future generations of Montanans.