Cherokee Citizen Uses Business Success to Fund Nonprofit Dream

Andrea LesherPublished on August 7, 2015

TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA — Cherokee Nation citizen Andrea Lesher had a dream to start a nonprofit and used her multimillion-dollar business to make that dream a reality.

Lesher, a native of Nowata, Oklahoma, runs A-sa-ma-di Business Solutions in Denver, where she now lives.

Lesher’s daughter was born with a rare health anomaly and could have died if not for the specialized care she received in Denver. As a result, Lesher wanted to help other families by starting a nonprofit that helps provide families with lodging and meal expenses while their children with similar medical issues are getting treatment. Her nonprofit also provides scholarships and school supplies to young Natives. The organization has given at least $20,000 in scholarships.

“If we can help one family or one child not physically or emotionally experience the kind of pain my daughter went through and we have gone through as a family, that mission gives us a reason to keep trying,” Lesher said. “It’s worth everything, every hour of not sleeping, every second of worrying. I want to make sure she understands that everything she has gone through and will continue to go through is not for nothing, and that she knows what she went through is going to help other kids and their families.”

Lesher received her bachelor’s degree at Oklahoma State University and is a mother of two. She has already helped numerous people through the organization.

The organization is completely funded by her company, A-sa-ma-di, which is the Cherokee word for smart. The company is a consulting business that advises other companies on how to streamline their business processes in order to be more efficient and cost effective. It is projected to earn more than $5 million in revenue this year.

“As a small-business owner myself, I know the challenges and sacrifices it takes to be successful. That’s why Andrea’s story is so powerful and uplifting,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “Her business is thriving, and, more importantly, she is truly helping people when they need it the most through her nonprofit work. She is a wonderful representative of the Cherokee Nation and the values we hold so dearly.”

A-sa-ma-di Business Solutions is a Cherokee Nation TERO-certified company and has secured numerous government contracts as well as private sector clients like Dish Network.

The company contributed to the $1.5 billion economic impact of Native American-owned businesses in Colorado, according to a study published by the Colorado Commission on Indian Affairs, Denver American Indian Commission and Rocky Mountain Indian Chamber of Commerce.

“I am happy and extremely proud of Andrea and the work she has done as a business professional and on behalf of Natives in need. She serves as an inspiration to kids back home in Nowata and is proof that, if you dedicate yourself, you can make your dreams come true,” said Tribal Councilor Dick Lay. “I wish nothing but the best to her on both her business and charitable endeavors.”

For more information on Lesher’s business, A-sa-ma-di Business Solutions, visit www.asamadi.com.

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