American Indian Chamber of Commmerce

tel (213) 440-3232

calendar of events

Update To Awesome April Meetings & More News

Annual SoCal/SD Joint Chapter Meeting Set for April 23. Northern Cal Meeting is Set for April 24. "Building Infrastructure" Event Room Reservation Hotline - See Below.

But First, AICEF-PTAC Program Manager, Venessa Gleich Named 2014 Minority Small Business Champion from the Arizona SBA Region

PHOENIX, AZ – In celebration of Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration is honoring Arizona entrepreneurs and small business champions for their contributions to the economy.   “Each year the SBA has the honor of spotlighting Arizona winners of our Small Business Week awards in a ceremony that recognizes and celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit and community activism that has long characterized the small business community of our great state,” said Robert J. Blaney, the District Director of the SBA in Arizona.  

Venessa, an enrolled member of the Ohkay Owingeh (formerly San Juan Pueblo) tribe, has been with our American Indian Chamber Education Fund Procurement Technical Assistance Center (AICEF-PTAC) since 2009.

There are 92 PTACs across the country but only six specialize in helping American Indian owned companies. The AICEF – PTAC serves the states of California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona and over 120 tribes in those states.

“Federal contracting requires companies to navigate a maze of processes and requirements. For small companies unfamiliar with steps, the challenges can seem overwhelming. A helping hand from one who knows the way can make all the difference. For many Native American companies, Vanessa is the go-to person,” states the SBA.

The awards will be presented during the Arizona Small Business Association’s (ASBA) annual awards luncheon on Wednesday, May 7 at the Scottsdale Princess Resort and Conference Center. Event information is available from ASBA at 602-306-4000 or

Meeting Information For April 23 & 24

Southern Cal & San Diego Joint Chapter Meeting
Hosted by SCE

Date: Wednesday, April 23

Time: 11:30 to 1:30

Location: El Adobe
31891 Camino Capistrano, CA

Special Presentation
Paul Delaney, SCE
“Innovation – New Technology In The Energy
Industry & Future Business”

Northern Cal Chapter

Date: Thursday, April 24

Time: 11:30 to 1:30

Location: the Fat Lady Restaurant
201 Washington Street
Jack London Square
Oakland, CA 94607

Discussion Leaders & Advisory Council Members
Attending include:

Beverly Johnson, East Bay Municipal Utility District
Timothy Evans, Comcast
& Possibly the Port of Oakland
Please RSVP for either meeting to Sophia at:

Room Reservation Hot- Line for
Building Infrastructure In Indian Country...”

Room reservation info for Thunder Valley Resort is as follows:

By telephone: call the resort directly 877-468-8777 and ask for Group Reservations Department


Using group code

Announcing Building Infrastructure In Indian Country – A Roundtable & Summit on Energy, Telco & Water Development

The Chamber is very thankful to the leadership and support of this new event to the Chamber year from CPUC Commissioner Catherine J.K. Sandoval and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

Building Infrastructure In Indian Country – A Roundtable & Summit on Energy, Telco & Water Development presented by the Chamber in partnership with Commissioner Sandoval, the CPUC, and supporting tribal organizations – the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, the California Association of Tribal Governments and more to come on board, is a special event developed in order to address the infrastructure needs on reservations and assist our American Indian/Alaska Native businesses in participating in the build-out process.

May 20 will start with an afternoon tribal leader consultation and listening session roundtable followed by a dinner reception. May 21 will feature a morning of plenary sessions on energy, telco and water development followed by a luncheon then an afternoon of connection meetings for tribes and one on one match-making for American Indian businesses and the utilities.

Planning is underway and there will be a very small table top trade show/demo area for businesses to exhibit and outreach on May 21.

The event is free of charge courtesy of sponsorships of Southern California Edison and AT&T thus far. 

However, to reserve a table top exhibit space, there will be a $100 charge. Space is limited.

Contact Sophia at or 213-448-2330 to register or go online by clicking here.

Honoring Natives In Entertainment Media - A Huge Success

What an evening – great presentations, fellowship and a salute to those who made Star Wars in a Navajo language version combined for a wonderful event to honor Natives making strides in the entertainment media.

Special kudos to event Producers - Native comedian Jim Ruel and David Morgan who also ended the evening by wrapping up and thanking the audience.

Special thanks goes to the event producers shown above, Jim Ruel, David Morgan and Kathy Peltier (not pictured) whose vision for developing this event is to honor those Natives in entertainment by providing substance in a discussion of the status of the industry for Natives and sharing stories of success from our people.

Also a thank you to the Autry Museum and Dianna Terrazas for hosting in their Wells Fargo Theatre.

Two other highlights of the evening included a presentation from the Navajo Nation of Sand Paintings to Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox and Deluxe among others for producing Star Wars in the Navajo language

Another highlight of the evening was Native actor Saginaw Grant’s presentation on his experiences as a major actor in Disney’s 2013 film the Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer

National Chamber Event A Success
Members Win In Vegas With Delicious Dinner & Personalized PTAC Procurement Meetings

Thank you to our fellow American Indian Chambers and Chamber members, Corporate and Government Partners for making this annual get together another great success.

Special thanks to Kenyatta Lewis of MGM Resorts for her hospitality and participation; Eric Fisher and Dennis Thurston of SCE; Regina Glover of Northrop Grumman; Caren Bowman of AT&T and several members from the Boeing Company including Jonathan Greyeyes, Crystal White, Elaine Clemens, new gal Valerie Johnson, and the new guy Dan Szczuka for their staffing of one on one tables.

After enjoying a delicious three course meal, state Chamber presidents provided an annual update of their state activities.

Then a discussion of our next National Chamber event which will be held this September in Washington, D.C. was held.  This event will be a combination roundtable strategic planning discussion, supplier diversity procurement event and national legislative day.  All will be welcome – stay tuned for the details.

Chamber President Tracy Stanhoff Attends National Congress of American Indians Winter Executive Session In Washington, DC.

Chamber President Tracy Stanhoff joined tribal leaders from around the Nation for the Annual Winter Executive Session for the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) held last week in Washington DC.

Attendees heard from White House staffers, numbers of members of Congress, government agency leads and tribal leaders on the latest legislative issues affecting Indian Country.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Tracy were able to talk about the needs of American Indian business during NCAI Reception at the National Museum of the American Indian.

Tracy also met with Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chair Senate Committee on Indian Affairs & Member Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship.

Top discussions included a presentation on the fix to Carcieri, updates from Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs, Kevin Washburn; Jodi Gillette, Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs, Domestic Policy Council, the White House; Chairman Tom Wheeler of the Federal Communications Commission; the US SBA and numbers of Obama Administration Cabinet Secretaries.

The Chamber has received many inquiries regarding the tragedy that unfolded last week at the Cedarville Rancheria reservation.
The good folks at the Cedarville Rancheria are not Chamber Tribal members. Nevertheless, the Chamber extends our heartfelt condolences for those lives lost-- and we express great sorrow over this act of violence in Indian Country.

We can all agree that violence is never an answer for disagreements and is happening way too frequently in today's society. Please join us in praying for the families of Cedarville Rancheria.

Chamber & AICEF PTAC To Exhibit At The SCMSDC's Minority Business Oppotunity Day - March 6

Thanks to the Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council for their support, as the Chamber will once again be exhibiting at the Minority Business Opportunity Day to be held on March 5 and 6 at the Universal Sheraton.

The great folks at the SCMSDC are also offering a discount registration for all Chamber MBE members. Go to and enter attendMBOD for the 20% discount.

Chamber Announces Dates For
EXPO '14 & Native American Heritage Month Luncheon

Please make sure to mark your calendars to join us at two of our most popular events - the EXPO and our Native American Heritage Month celebration.

EXPO '14 will be held July 20-22, 2014 at the lovely Agua Caliente Resort in Rancho Mirage, California.

Our Native American Heritage Month Luncheon will be on Thursday, November 20 at the Grand Californian Hotel at Disney Resort in Anaheim, California.

Stay tuned for more details and registrations for each of these great events.

Chamber Exhibit at the Western Indian Gaming Conference A Big Success

A big thank you goes out to Chamber Board Secretary, Sara Finseth for staffing the Chamber booth at the recent Western Indian Gaming Association conference.

The Chamber supports the efforts of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, the organization who conducts this conference.

Sara made some great new contacts for the Chamber adn conducted informational outreach promoting the use of Indian businesses and our meetings throughout the remainder of 2014.

Chamber Yearbook Directory Forms
Are In The Mail

If you do not receive a form in the next week and you are a member or want to be a member contact Lynda at 213-448-3232.

Keep an eye out for a letter from the Chamber with your directory update form.   The completed forms with and without any revisions are due back to our Los Angeles office on or before February 15.  Please get your forms back in asap!

SCE Celebrates Their EDGE Program 2013 Graduates

  Tim Messer               Allison Hicks

Two of our Chamber member businesses recently graduated from SCE’s EDGE Business Mentorship program.

Allison Hicks of New World Environmental, Inc. and Tim Messer of Tim Messer Construction completed this 18 month business capacity building program that assists minority businesses in developing and getting the EDGE needed to succeed in the utility industry and specifically at SCE. 

Chamber President, Tracy Stanhoff, also participated on the coaching team which was operated by Barbara Sullivan and Chuck Bray at Sullivan International.

For a look at 2013 archived news click here

Our 2013 Native American Heritage Month Luncheon Honored These
Warriors & Scholars!
14th Annual Presentations of the
Prestigious Warrior Awards congratulations to:

the Southern California Indian Center, Inc.

American Indian Tribal Leader
Richard Gomez, Vice Chair
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Tribe
With Former Warrior Awardees
Lynn Valbuena & Andrew Masiel, Sr.

Annual Student Scholarship Awardees

Please RSVP for all meetings to Sophia Gleich
at 213-448-2330 or




Saluting the Chamber's Top Level Turquoise Members

northrop grumman logo

American Indian Chamber of
Commerce of California

555 West Fifth Street
31st Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90013