9th Annual Native American Economic Summit o Take Place May 11-13
SBA Region IV Administrator, NM Indian Affairs Secretary Among Keynotes Speakers
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The 9th Annual Native American Economic Summit is scheduled to take place in Albuquerque from May 11-13. The summit, sponsored by the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico (AICCNM), showcases economic development and successful Native American and non-Native American entrepreneurs. Topics include government contracting opportunities, tribal asset planning, Native American tourism, housing, financing and the state Tribal Infrastructure Fund.
This year, Yolanda Garcia-Olivarez, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Region IV Administrator, and new state Indian Affairs Secretary Kelly Zunie are among the keynote speakers. The summit will feature a new panel this year, female Native American politicians and leaders, a discussion with Debra Haanland (Laguna Pueblo), San Felipe Pueblo tribal administrator and state Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial candidate; Clara Pratte (Navajo), senior vice president of the NOVA Corp., and former national director of the SBA’s Office of Native American Affairs; and Charlotte Garcia (Jemez Pueblo), owner of Shipping, Receiving Fulfillment Services.
Recognizing the importance of developing and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit, the chamber will also host its second Youth ‘Impact’ Summit, which is held in collaboration with the event to bring youth and professionals together to provide mentorship, learning and networking opportunities.
This year’s youth summit will include sessions on financial literacy, leadership, the arts and professional development. More than two dozen Native American high school and college students will also compete in the second annual Shark Tank Challenge, a business/service plan competition modeled after the popular TV show Shark Tank where entrepreneurs make pitches to self-made billionaires to gain investment dollars for expansion. Youth teams can take home prizes between $500 and $1,000 to further develop their business ideas.
The AICCNM and the New Mexico Small Business Development Center (NMSBDC) will also join the New Mexico SBA in recognizing the state’s business owners and key executives for outstanding achievements and contributions during the New Mexico Small Business Week Awards Luncheon May 12. The luncheon will be held during the AICCNM’s Economic Summit at the Hotel Albuquerque in Old Town.
The summit will kick off with a fundraising golf tournament at the Pueblo de Cochiti Golf Course. All proceeds from the tournament will go for American Indian Business Association scholarships at the University of New Mexico.
Registration for small businesses, tribal governments or corporations is between $250 and $325. Day passes, tickets for the New Mexico Small Business Week Awards luncheon and trade booth space are also available. Special hotel rates at the Hotel Albuquerque have been extended to April 30. To register, or for more information about the Native American Economic Summit or the Small Business Week Awards Luncheon, go to www.nmnaec.com.
About the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico
The AICCNM is nonprofit made up of more than 425 professionals, tribal entities, governments, small businesses, organizations, artisans and individuals. The chamber continually works to promote the development of a healthy, self-sufficient American Indian economy, both on and off the reservation. AICCNM’s mission is to help Native and minority people achieve successful economic development initiatives while incorporating, strengthening and building upon tribal and community values. For more information about the AICCNM, go to www.aiccnm.com.