The National Center Announces 2018 Native American “40 Under 40” Award Recipients

Published September 14, 2018

Winners will be recognized at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma on October 29-30

MESA, Ariz. – The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (The National Center) is pleased to announced its 2018 class of “Native American 40 Under 40” award recipients. Nominated by members of their communities, this prestigious award is bestowed to individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership, initiative, and dedication and have made significant contributions in business and their community. The National Center is celebrating the 10th anniversary of these awards.

Award winners will be honored at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma on October 29-30. The event – “Impacting Generations: Honoring a Decade of Exceptional Service and Leadership” – will be held in conjunction with the National Center’s next Native Edge Institute (NEI), a one-day training session focused specifically on procurement. Past and present 40 under 40 awardees will have the opportunity to participate in programming with the goal of providing additional professional development, networking, leadership, and mentorship opportunities.

“The 2018 40 Under 40 award recipients are made up of a diverse group of young women and men cultivated from across American Indian and Alaska Native communities,” said Chris James, President and CEO of the National Center. “Each of these individuals has devoted their skills and resources to enhancing their communities. From business, academia, healthcare, tribal government, politics, non-profits, journalism, the law, finance, and marketing, 40 under 40 winners are shining examples for all of us to follow. For the 10th year in a row, it is an honor to recognize these individuals and leaders who will continue to define success for the future of Native American business.”

This year’s award winners are:

  • Sarah Aarons, Inupiaq Eskimo, Native Village of Unalakleet; Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago-Chicago, IL
  • Jordan Barlow, Cherokee Nation; Population Health Coordinator at INTEGRIS Miami Hospital- Miami, OK
  • Adrienne Benjamin, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe; Assistant to the District 2 Representative- Isle, MN
  • Peter Boskofsky, Chignik Lake Village Council; General Council at Koniag, Inc.- Anchorage, AK
  • Dakota Cole, Chickasaw; Deputy Secretary of Commerce for the Chickasaw Nation- Ada, OK
  • Jordan Marie Daniel, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe ; Founder and Organizer of the Rising Hearts Coalition- Los Angeles, CA
  • Sharice Davids, Ho-Chunk Nation; Candidate for Democratic Nomination for Congressional Seat representing 4th district of Kansas- Shawnee, KS
  • Sarah Dybdahl, Tlingit; Cultural Heritage and Education Manager at the Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska- Juneau, AK
  • Ron Ekdahl, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan; Tribal Chief of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe-Mount Pleasant, MI
  • Robyn Elliott, Chickasaw Nation; Secretary of the Department of Communications and Community Development for the Chickasaw Nation- Ada, OK
  • DeLesslin George-Warren, Catawba Indian Nation, Tribal Consultant for the Catawba Cultural Preservation Project- Rock Hill, SC
  • Mary Charlotte Grayson, Cherokee Nation; Tradeshow Coordinator at the National Indian Gaming Association- Washington, DC
  • Natasha Hale, Navajo; Native American Program Director at the Grand Canyon Trust- Flagstaff, AZ
  • Carly Dawn Hare, Pawnee; National Director and Coalition Catalyst at the Change Philanthropy Joint Affinity Groups- Westminster, CO
  • Electa Hare-Red Corn, Pawnee,Yankton Sioux;  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar at the University of Arkansas – Pawhuska, OK
  • Candida Hunter, Hualapai; Senior Director of Tribal Affairs at First Things First- Kingman, AZ
  • Lauren King, Muscogee (Creek) Nation; Attorney and Partner at Foster Pepper PLLC- Seattle, WA
  • Victoria Kitcheyan, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska; Tribal Councilmember at the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska- Winnebago, NE
  • Samuel Kohn, Crow Tribe; Associate at Dentons LLP- San Francisco, CA
  • Rebecca Landsberry, Muscogee (Creek) Nation; Executive Director of the Native American Journalists Association- Los Angeles, CA
  • Victor Lopez-Carmen, Crow Creek Sioux/Pascua Yaqui Tribe; Fulbright Scholar at the Australian American Fullbright Commission- Tucson, AZ
  • Elsa Lowe, Muscogee (Creek) Nation; Project Coordinator at the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Native Youth Community Project- Okmulgee, OK
  • Dr. Amber Mathern, Turtle Mountain Chippewa; Assistant Professor of Marketing at Northern State University- Aberdeen, SD
  • Belinda McLaughlin, Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma; Safety Sales Professional at Safety Products Inc.- Auburndale, FL
  • Lakota Mowrer-Vogel, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe; Executive Director of Four Bands Community Fund- Eagle Butte, SD
  • Howard Paden, Cherokee Nation;  Program Manager of the Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program- Rose, OK
  • Dave Panana, Jemez and Zia Pueblo;  Chief Clinical Operations Officer at the Kewa Pueblo Health Corporation- Bernalillo, NM
  • Ashley M. Sarracino, Pueblo of Laguna; Principal Owner of Native Ascension Community Development LLC- Casa Blanca, NM
  • Rebekka Schlicthing, Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska; Assistant Director at Vision Maker Media- Lincoln, NE
  • Sydney Smith, Cherokee Nation; Founder and CEO of RISE Center for Recovery- Las Vegas, NV
  • Allard Teeple, Jr., Bay Mills Indian Community; VP Portfolio Manager at Key Bank Native American Financial Services- Norman, OK
  • Dustin Thomas, Mohawk/Oneida; Director of Compliance at the National Indian Gaming Commission- Harwood, MD
  • Tiffany Tutiakoff, Cook Inlet Regional Inc.; President and CEO of Northwest Strategies Inc.- Anchorage, AK
  • Mekko Tyner, Muscogee (Creek) Nation; Registrar at the College of the Muscogee Nation- Kiefer, OK
  • Jacob Wamego, Prairie Brand Potawatomi Nation; President and CEO of Prairie Band, LLC- Mayetta, KS
  • Dirk Whitebreast, Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa; General Manager of the Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel- Tama, IA
  • Nathan Wilson, Muscogee (Creek) Nation; Citizenship Director of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation- Okmulgee, OK
  • Hallie Winters, Osage; Curator at Osage Nation- Pawhuska, OK
  • Ralph Wolfe, Tlingit & Haida; Transportation Director and Community Catalyst for the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe – Yakutat, AK
  • Jeremy Zahn, Tunica-Biloxi; Council Member of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Council- Marksville, LA
September 13, 2018
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