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News Release

The National Center

The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (The National Center) announced the 2022 class of Native American 40 Under 40 award recipients. The Native American 40 Under 40 awards represent the best and brightest emerging Indian Country leaders. Every year, 40 American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian leaders under the age of 40 are inducted in recognition of their leadership, initiative, and dedication, and for making significant contributions in their business and/or in their community. Award winners include leaders working in numerous fields including academia, government, non-profits, tourism, nature conservation, technology, and more.

This year, The National Center will resume the tradition of honoring Native American 40 Under 40 awardees during an in-person reception on Wednesday, May 25, 6:30 p.m. — 8:30 p.m. PST, in Drai’s at The Cromwell Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. To learn more about attending the 2022 Native American 40 Under 40 reception, click here. Similar to the 2021 class, the 2022 class of Native American 40 Under 40 recipients have displayed resiliency and dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Center looks forward to celebrating the 2022 class. 

View a list of the 2022 Native American 40 Under 40 class below.

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“Inductees into the 2022 Native American 40 Under 40 Awards showcase the hard work, perseverance, and dedication that have come to define this prestigious award,” said Chris James, President and CEO of the National Center. “The Native American 40 Under 40 represent leaders in tribal government, medicine, law, politics, activism, agriculture, Native cuisine, economic development, media, and many other areas. They are a reminder that Native American leaders are making a difference in every aspect of American life. I can’t wait to welcome the Class of 2022 40 Under 40 Award Winners to the Reservation Economic Summit 2022, and I hope you’ll join us to celebrate their achievements.”

2022 Native American 40 Under 40 Award Recipients (Alphabetical order by last name):

  • Stephanie Allison, Navajo Nation, Owner/CEO, DreamCatcher Financial Strategies, LLC
  • Peggy Barlett, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Senior Counsel Husch Blackwell LLP
  • Pamela Boivin, Menominee, Executive Director, NiiJii Capital Partners, Inc.
  • Jackson Brossy, Navajo Nation, Assistant Administrator, Small Business Administration Office of Native American Affairs
  • Savannah Burwell, Chickasaw Nation, Content Manager, The Chickasaw Nation
  • Jeanie Campbell, Aleut, CEO / Owner, Grid Electric Corporation
  • Rachel Crawford, Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, CEO/President, Quivera Enterprises LLC
  • Emily Edenshaw, Yup'ik/Inupiaq, President & CEO, Alaska Native Heritage Center
  • Chelsea Fish, Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, Federal Project Officer, US Department of Labor
  • Kathryn Gardner-Vandy, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University
  • Jessi Goldner, Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi/Waseybek, Development Corporation, Director of Compliance, Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi/ Waseybek Development Corporation
  • Carly Griffith Hotvedt, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Associate Director, Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative
  • Andrea Gusty, Yupik, Athabascan, Village of Aniak, President & CEO, The Kuskokwim Corporation
  • Eva Harvey, Native Village of Kiana, Alaska, Co-Founder, First Alaskans First
  • Kirby Hays, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, President & CEO, Hal Hays Constructions, Inc.
  • Tim Hicks, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Chief Operating Officer - Hospital Services, Muscogee Nation
  • Kandace Howell-Keahbone, Caddo, Tribal Government Relations Coordinator, Oklahoma Health Care Authority
  • Thomas Ice, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Small Business Banking Relationship Management Manager (LO), Wells Fargo and Company
  • Sasanehsaeh Jennings, Menominee, Tribal Liaison, University of Wisconsin System
  • Billye Jimerson, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Public Health Administrator, Cherokee Nation Public Health
  • Kelbie Kennedy, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Policy Manager and Policy Lead - National Security and Community Safety, National Congress of American Indians
  • Allison Lampo, Seneca Nation of Indians, Founder & Director of Projects, AMJ Concepts
  • Renee Linton, Organized Village of Grayling, Program Manager, Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation
  • Johnathon Lopez, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, Atlanta Project Manager, Red Alligator LLC
  • Wendy Merrill, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Assistant General Manager, Grand Casino Mille Lacs
  • Cody Minyard, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Attorney at Law/CEO, Cody Minyard, Attorney at Law, PLLC
  • Francine Moreno, Village of Alakanuk, Manager of Utility Operations, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
  • Mary Kathryn Nagle, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Partner, Pipestem Law P. C.
  • Melissa Peterson, Navajo, Director Tribal Relations, University of Kansas
  • Bryan Polite, Shinnecock Nation, Chairman, Council of Trustees Shinnecock Indian Nation
  • Joannie Suina Romero, Pueblo of Cochiti, Executive Director, Laguna Community Foundation, Inc.
  • Brandi Ross, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Director of Business Development, The Akana Group, Inc.
  • Tessa Sayers, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Director of Marketing, American Indigenous Business Leaders; Owner/Designer/Artist, Soul Curiosity
  • Corey Still, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, Director of Student Programming and Research, American Indian Graduate Center
  • Marley Tanner, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe, Clinical Pharmacist, Indian Health Service, Crow/Northern Cheyenne Hospital
  • Concetta Tsosie de Haro, Navajo Nation, Democratic Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
  • Shea Vassar Gomez, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Journalist/Critic/Filmmaker, Freelance
  • Brian Weeden, Mashpee Wampanoag, Chairman/President, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe
  • Alex Wesaw, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians , Tribal Council Member At-Large & Director, American Indian Relations Division, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians & Ohio History Connection
  • Carrie Whitlow, Cheyenne & Arapaho/Kiowa/Creek, Executive Director, Cheyenne & Arapaho Department of Education, Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribe

About the National Center

The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. With over 50 years of assisting American Indian Tribes and their enterprises with business and economic development, the National Center has evolved into the largest national Indian specific business organization in the nation serving over 500 clients and providing over $4 billion in contracts to its clients. The National Center has nine offices throughout the nation with its home office located in Mesa, Arizona. The National Center is 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. 

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