calendar of events

We Are Going To North, Northern California – Chamber & Our AICEF-PTAC To Hold Special Event @ Elk Valley Rancheria with Pacific Power

As an action-task from last year’s California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Annual EnBanc on Supplier Diversity, our American Indian Chamber of Commerce and Pacific Power Corporation are holding a special Northern California meeting event in Crescent City, California on Friday, March 27 from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm at the Elk Valley Rancheria – 2332 Howland Hill Road, Crescent City, CA 95531.

The agenda for the day is as follows:

9:30 a.m.
Registration & Continental Breakfast
9:45 a.m.
Call to Order
10:00 a.m.
American Indian Chamber Education Fund – Procurement Technical Assistance Center (AICEF-PTAC) Workshop  “CPUC Supplier Clearinghouse Verification & Other Certifications – Business Structures For Certification Success for Both
11:45 a.m.
Working Luncheon – Pacific Power Corp.  “Accessing Opportunities With Pacific
Power Corp.”
1:00 p.m.
Match-making Consultations with Pacific Power Corporation representatives   
3:00 p.m.

We look forward to assisting our businesses with accessing opportunities with our new partners from Pacific Power Corp.  There is no charge to attend this event, supported in part, by the Chamber and Pacific Power Corp.  Everyone is welcome to attend. 

If you wish to spend the night, the suggested hotel is the Best Western Plus Northwoods Inn – call (707) 464-9771 to make reservations.  We do not have a room block, but the rates are very affordable.

To RSVP, please contact our events gal, Sophia at 213-448-2330 or
See you there!

WOW!  Thank You San Manuel Band Of
Mission Indians & All Who Attended The Chamber’s 20th Anniversary Kick-Off
& PTAC Training


What an event, what a training workshop and what a meal!  Those of us who attended the Chamber’s 20th Anniversary Kick-Off training workshop and reception dinner were treated to the “best of the best” from our hosts, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and participants last Saturday, February 28.

An over-flow crowd of members and tribal enterprise representatives joined in the first part of the day – a training workshop presented by the American Indian Chamber Education Fund – Procurement Technical Assistance Center  (AICEF-PTAC) on “How to Start & Conduct A Successful Business“ with the main presenter being our Program Director, Venessa Gleich (left).  Also, participating in the presentations were Chamber President Tracy Stanhoff and our Corporate Advisory Council co-Chair from Southern California Edison (SCE), Dennis Thurston.

This training was followed by a lovely dinner reception attended by Chamber members and supporters that was in a private dining room in the Pines Steakhouse.  The dinner buffet food was delicious and plentiful as we all enjoyed sushi, salads and entrees of steak, salmon and chicken.


We were welcomed to San Manuel from their Tribal Chairwoman, Lynn Valbuena, pictured left and center above surrounded by four members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.  Joining the Chairwoman to enjoy the event with us from San Manuel, were former San Manuel Tribal Treasurer and Chamber Warrior Award winner, Audrey Martinez; the Chairwoman’s husband – Coach Steve Valbuena and their great outreach representative Roy Martinez, who worked diligently to organize the entire day for us.


Our Chamber Advisory Council was well-represented by SCE’s Dennis Thurston, Cora Gaane of Wells Fargo, and Diana Terrazas of the Autry National Center. Additionally, numbers of our Chamber business owners were there to engage, learn, network and celebrate 20 years of the Chamber’s existence.

We have heard that many enjoyed the casino night that followed dinner with Chamber members and supporters being seen all over the San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino – dancing, gaming, visiting and enjoying a beverage or two in the lounges.

Thank you San Manuel, thank you AICEF-PTAC and thank you to the numbers of Chamber members who enrich our organization in many ways.  We look forward to 20 more years of providing the Chamber as a vehicle to advocate, mentor and support the business development in Indian Country.

Chamber President Attends National Congress of American Indians In Washington, D.C. Part 2


Chamber President Tracy Stanhoff was in Washington, D.C. this past week for the annual National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Executive Winter Session.

As noted in our Chamber e-news last week, Tracy met with numbers of influential folks while back in our nation’s capitol.

Tracy continued the week with brief discussions with California Congressman Mike Honda, pictured above. Congressman Honda represents the Silicon Valley.


After the conclusion of the formal meetings of the NCAI Winter Session, Tribal Consultations were conducted by several agencies including the US Small Business Administration; who asked for comments on proposed revisions to the 8(a) program.   Tracy was able to present the Chamber’s and our AICEF-PTAC comments to the participants from the SBA including our friend, from the Office of Native American Affairs, Chris James (far right).

Chamber President Attends National Congress of American Indians In Washington, D.C.

Nancy Pelosi

Chamber President Tracy Stanhoff is in Washington, D.C. this week for the annual National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Executive Winter Session.

This NCAI session provides a venue for discussion of the legislative efforts in Indian Country including economic, infrastructure and workforce development.

Tracy had brief discussions with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (pictured above left), Senator Maria Cantwell (pictured below right) and US SBA Administrator Maria Contreras Sweet on the needs for both reservation and urban-based economic development programs in Indian Country.

Sen Cantwell

After the day’s formal sessions, Tracy will be “walking the halls of Congress” meeting with legislators to discuss economic development needs for our people.

She will also attend an SBA consultation on the 8(a) Program on Thursday before returning back to California to join in the Chamber’s 20th Anniversary celebration at San Manuel.

Chamber President Meets New President of CPUC - Michael Picker

The Chamber has enjoyed a great relationship with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).  Together, we have been increasing opportunities for many Indian Country businesses by including our tribal enterprises and American Indian/Alaska Native businesses in the supply chain of the state’s utilities, telcos, and water companies.

After many great years of leadership from Michael Peevey, the CPUC has a new president, Michael Picker.

In a recent meeting with the California Utilities Diversity Council (CUDC), of which Chamber President Tracy Stanhoff President is a member, President Picker spoke of his priorities at the CPUC and his commitment to keeping the GO-156 supplier diversity effort momentum going forward. 

To achieve his goal of maintaining momentum, he has tasked us with identifying ways that his time could be best used to continue to pursue opportunities and business success for everyone.


American Indian Businesses Shine
on SCE Bridge Project


The Chamber wants to take a moment to acknowledge a historic “win” for our Chamber members and one of our utility member partners.

Recently, Southern California Edison (SCE) contracted for a new pedestrian bridge at their headquarters in Rosemead.

Chamber member Blair, Church & Flynn Consulting Engineers designed the bridge, Chamber member Hal Hays Construction constructed the bridge – their team pictured above – and there was even a banner produced by Chamber member AD PRO which hung from the bridge.

This project is indicative of the capacity and strength of our Chamber business members – and the commitment of our partners at SCE to use American Indian owned businesses.

Thank you SCE, Dennis Thurston, Eric Fisher for their Supplier Diversity efforts.

Chamber Participated In A Superb WIGC/CNIGA Event At The Lovely
Rincon Resort


The Chamber sends much appreciation to the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) for their partnership with our Chamber, which was evident during this past week’s Western Indian Gaming Conference (WIGC) held this past week at the Harrah’s Rincon Resort in Valley Center, California.

Pictured in the photo above are three of our Chamber board members –Secretary Sara Finseth, President Tracy Stanhoff and Treasurer Matt Kennedy surrounding CNIGA Executive Director Lee Acebedo and his wife Karen.

Tracy also moderated a session on “Doing Business with Tribal Casinos” that featured panelists from accounting firm Moss Adams, Kitchell Construction and fellow Chamber member Colin Cloud Hampson, Attorney at Law.

Sara and Matt staffed the Chamber’s outreach booth, shown below.


Also Chamber board member Cheri Myron also joined in the outreach effort on behalf of our tribal enterprises and American Indian/Alaska Native owned businesses.

Special Thanks to SCE’s Dennis Thurston for joining in on the annual CNIGA golf tourney, golfing with Tracy, other Tribal leaders and CNIGA supporters during WIGC.

EXPO 15 logo
EXPO’15 Date & Location Set

The Chamber and our American Indian Chamber Education Fund Procurement Technical Assistance Center are pleased to announce that EXPO’15 will be back at the beautiful Agua Caliente Resort on July 19-21, 2015.

We will also host our famous Youth EXPO once again concurrently with the EXPO on Tuesday, July 21, 2015.

Chamber Board Appoints Matthew Kennedy To Fill Vacant Northern Cal Chapter Position

Matthew Kennedy, Owner of Costello/Kennedy Landscape Architects, a member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska has been appointed by the board of directors of the Chamber to fill the Board Treasurer/Northern California Chapter Coordinator position, that was left vacant due to Randy Twist’s passing.

Matthew has been a longtime member of the Chamber and an active supporter of our Scholarship Fund.

“It was an extremely hard decision for the Board to make since we have so many great business owner members in the Chapter, we know Matthew will be a tremendous asset to the Northern Cal Chapter and the Chamber’s leadership team.  Please join us in welcoming Matthew to the board," said Chamber President Tracy Stanhoff.

Chamber President Tracy Stanhoff Receives Northrop Grumman
World Class Team Award


December, 2014 --Chamber president Tracy Stanhoff traveled to just outside of Washington, DC to receive an honor from the great folks at Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Pictured above (l to r) Vicky Harper-Hall, Tizoc Loza, both of Northrop Grumman, Tracy, and Northrop’s Gloria Pualani smile for the camera after the awards luncheon presentation.

The Northrop Grumman awards luncheon celebrates the great small business procurement results that Northrop Grumman achieves annually.


Congratulations To Our
Super Chamber Intern, Sophia Gleich On Her Graduation from
Arizona State University. 

Sophia graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Business.  She finished her degree in three and one-half years and will be pursuing an advanced degree in the near future. Great Going Sophia!

Thank You To All Who Attended The Last Chamber Meeting For 2014 – SoCal/SD Joint Holiday Celebration!


It was a great end to the Chamber’s meeting schedule at last Tuesday’s Joint SoCal/SD Chapter Holiday meeting hosted by and at Chapman University in the City of Orange.

We thanked Chamber Academic Advisory Council member, Dr. Victoria Morris (above left) for hosting the membership and our Advisory Council retreat meeting.

Everyone enjoyed a great meal  - exhibited above by Golden State Water’s Emma Maxey.

Our program featured an end of year review and a group planning discussion focused on strategies for a great 2015 for our work to build Native American businesses. 

We also donated toys for deserving Native American children to the Southern California Indian Center Toy’s Drive (group photo above).

Thank You Dry Creek Band Of Pomo Indians - Northern California Holiday Meeting Success!

Our American Indian Chamber thanks the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians for their kind hosting of the Chamber’s annual Northern Cal Chapter Holiday event.

The meeting started at 9:00 and included a discussion on the Chamber’s annual events, mixed in with a PTAC Procurement training.

Our Advisory Council members who attended added to the discussion and we all had time to learn, discuss and enjoy the meeting.

Thank you once again to the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians for their support of the Chamber by hosting this event.

Pictured above is Tieraney Giron, a longtime friend of the Chamber, receiving a thank you gift from Chamber President Tracy Stanhoff. 

Tieraney was elected to the Dry Creek Rancheria Tribal Council recently. Tieraney arranged for the Chamber’s day and provided great food and beverages.

We are proud of our partnership with the Dry Creek Tribe.  Our longtime friend Reg Elgin also attended – introducing the Chamber once again to Tieraney, now a tribal leader.  Great to see you Reg and thank you Tieraney!!

American Indian National Chamber of Commerce To Hold Washington DC Meeting December 9&10

Chamber members please confirm with Sophia if you are able to join us in the Nation’s Capitol representing California at the National Chamber meeting.

This meeting will be held on December 9 and 10 at the Holiday Inn Capitol that is located near the National Museum of the American Indian and the US Capitol building.

A group hotel rate of $199 per night is offered by calling 877-572-6951 and using the group code C7C.

Chamber & Our AICEF PTAC Attend National Congress of American Indians Annual Conference in Atlanta


Our American Indian Chamber and our Procurement Technical Assistance Center was well represented this past few days in Atlanta at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Annual Conference.

NCAI is the oldest and largest annual gathering of the tribes in the United States.

Highlights of the event included a presentation by the Secretary of the Department of the Interior Sally Jewel.
Pictured in the photo above are Chamber board member and San Diego Chapter leader, Cheri Myron and our PTAC Program Manager Venessa Gleich.

We met with several tribal leaders and their staffers in attendance form California and our additional service territory of our PTAC of Nevada, Utah and Arizona.

Chamber president Tracy Stanhoff also attended and joined in the dialog during the Economic Development and Employment Committee meetings.

One of the topics that resonated during that discussion was the Chamber’s work in promoting infrastructure development on tribal lands.

We also supported for consideration a funding resolution providing for job training program focused on developing Native Americans for the energy industry workforce.

The American Indian/Alaska Native Tourism Association also put forth a resolution supporting their great work in Indian Country.

Northern California Chapter Meeting Is A Giant Homerun

Thank you to PG&E’s Jerilyn Gleaves for her setting up of a wonderful Northern California Chapter meeting held earlier this week.

Jerilyn and her team from PG&E including purchasing department agent Rudy Promani (pictured above) provided a great presentation on responding to PG&E’s inquiries and bids – let’s just say we got the real story with some great tips for success.

As shown above, the meeting was set up in a roundtable format where everyone who attended had access to the PG&E team.

Another really great partner who presented and attended this meeting was Douglas Phason of the California Public Utilities Commission Supplier Diversity department.

Douglas had completed much homework on the Native American spend within GO-156 and provided us with great ideas of how our businesses can achieve more of the opportunities.

Chamber Corporate Advisory Council member, Charmaine Jackson (above), chair of the California Water Association Supplier Diversity team and of San Jose Water also attended our meeting and provided her input during the dialog.
Thanks also to all of the Chamber members who attended!

SDG&E Hosts An Awesome
San Diego Chapter Meeting

Thank you to SDG&E’s Jaymee Lomax for setting up a wonderful San Diego Chapter meeting held last Friday at the SDG&E Energy Innovation Center (EIC) in San Diego.

As shown above, Chamber meeting attendees were taken on a tour of the EIC and were led on this tour by Cece Cazares of SDG&E.   The photo above shows the Chamber group listening to Cece discuss water-wise plantings to help out during our drought.

Many of you may remember Cece from her tenure as past SDG&E Supplier Diversity Director Frank Urtasun’s administrative assistant.  Now Cece serves as one of the EIC’s tour leaders.

After showing the Chamber members the latest and greatest in energy efficiency for home and business, Cece returned control of the meeting back to Jaymee Lomax.

Jaymee then provided an overview of the next few months of SDG&E’s procurement contracting opportunities.

Lunch, networking and Chamber updates were next on the agenda.   The meeting wrapped up with future meeting dates and other announcements. 

Thanks to all who attended and learned of the special codes to put in your email subject line to garner expedited attention from Jaymee.

Remember when you attend these Chapter meetings, you receive extra special tips and access to those who can help your business grow quicker!

CPUC EnBanc A Success For Chamber Members Last Week

This year’s California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) annual EnBanc regarding the GO-156 implementation was a very successful one in the Chamber’s quest for greater recognition of our American Indian/Alaska Native owned businesses.

For the first time, our lack of numbers in procurement from many of the GO-156 regulated companies was addressed in the annual report from the CPUC. 

We remain ever vigilant and hopeful that our low procurement numbers will keep increasing as many of our businesses are obtaining contracts through the hard work of everyone involved in the Chamber.

Chamber President Tracy Stanhoff, pictured above left with CPUC President Michael Peevey and Chamber member Allison Hicks, presented on “payment terms” during the Community Based organization/ Business Association panel.

We have great partners within the GO-156 regulated companies and at the CPUC and we will all continue to work to make contracts a reality.

We will bid a sad farewell to outgoing President Peevey who is coming to the end of his second term as CPUC President and will retire from the post at the end of this term. 

President Peevey has been an unparalleled diversity advocate, transforming the state of California’s regulated utilities, telcos, water and cable companies processes of inclusion in their procurement and supply chains.  THANK YOU MICHAEL PEEVEY!

A Belated, But Heartfelt Welcome To New SoCalGasCo President Dennis Arriola

Last week, we welcomed the new president of SCE, and this week we extend a belated but heartfelt welcome to new SoCalGasCo president Dennis Arriola- photo center – enjoying the post CPUC EnBanc reception with Chamber member Allison Hicks and Chamber President Tracy Stanhoff.

Pictured center above Dennis has taken over the reigns of our good partners at the Gas Company and is a stalwart advocate for diversity. Welcome Dennis!

AICEF PTAC Conducts Marketing &
FY 2015 Procurement Forecast Training @SoCal Chapter Meeting

Chamber members are shown in the photo above enjoying a delicious dinner by Mimi’s Café and training conducted by AICEF PTAC Program Manager Venessa Gleich. 

Venessa informed attendees of the some of the latest options for marketing and finding opportunities for our businesses while providing an overview of the fiscal year (FY) 2015 opportunities being announced on several websites.

Thanks to all who attended and joined in this lively discussion on positioning your company for continued success in 2015, by avoiding “pretenders” and “presume-rs” while, finding how to work with “negotiators” and connecting with “the deciders.”

Chamber President Meets With New
SCE President

SCE new president

Chamber president Tracy Stanhoff (2nd right) met with new SCE president Pedro Pizarro (far right) at a recent dinner.

Pedro was most recently the president of Edison Mission Energy and has served as SCE’s vice president of Strategy and Business Development among other leadership positions within SCE and its parent company Edison International.

Also pictured is SCE vice president of Local Affairs, Veronica Gutierrez (2nd left) and SCE Supplier Diversity Senior Manager Eric Fisher (farleft).

In this meeting, SCE’s new president reinforced the company’s commitment to supplier diversity.

Congratulations to the Chamber Advisory Council Members Honored At Last Week’s SCMSDC Gala

SCE’s Joe Alderete, SCMSDC Lifetime Achievement Honoree, with Gaddi Vasquez, SCE Sr. Vice President

SCMSDC Corporation of the Year, Southern California Gas Company

Monica Heredia of Verizon, SCMSDC Ambassador of the Year

Northrop Grumman, SCMSDC Innovation Awardee

Congratulations To All!

24th Administrator of the US SBA & President Obama Cabinet Member Maria Contreras Sweet Visits AD PRO To Hold Roundtable with Chamber Business Members

Chamber President Tracy Stanhoff hosted the leadership of the US SBA to her offices at AD PRO and to a Roundtable discussion with American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) businesses from the Chamber.

It was an awesome event moderated by the Assistant Administrator, Office of Native American Affairs, Christopher James, linking our AI/AN businesses with the topmost leadership of the US SBA. Special thank you to Chris for selecting our Chamber for this event!

Administrator Contreras Sweet toured the AD PRO facility then joined a number of great Chamber member businesses for a discussion on Indian Country economic development and the US SBA services.

EXPO ’14 Wrap Up –
Thank You To All

11th Annual EXPO Linked Indian Country
Tribal Enterprises & American Indian Businesses With Opportunities, Capacity Building Activities & Networking For Success






Creating Opportunities For Growth, Capacity
& Sustainability

Over 400 Adults and Youth attended the 11th convening of our annual conference and trade fair – EXPO ’14.

First, thank you to all of the great volunteers, Chamber Staff and AICEF PTAC staff for their work and energy in making the EXPO a success.

Many thanks also to our Chamber Corporate, Tribal and Academic Advisory Councils for their great work in planning and actively participating in the EXPO.

And many, many thanks to all of our sponsors and opportunity drawing donors who provided the resources and vital funding for the EXPO and our scholarship fund.



Monday’s American Indian Chamber Golf Championships

Were won by an awesome team from the MWD – congrats to you all (John Arena & Company) – you earned the bragging rights for the year.

Tribal Leader Roundtable – Thank you to Pechanga Tribal Councilman Andrew Masiel, Sr, Brian McDonald, Reg Elgin and all who provided great insight to the session, which was led by our CPUC Commissioner Catherine Sandoval.

Monday Night Leadership Dinner Keynote From Doug Bauder, Vice President SCE

Chamber Lifetime Achievement Presentation to Joe Alderete of SCE
It was hard for us all to not shed a tear in thanking Sheriff Joe for the great 20 years of support for the Chamber.

Tuesday Was Focused On Procurement & Featured Targeted Plenary Sessions & One on One Meetings
Thank you to all of our afternoon breakout session speakers. Also, the Tuesday morning General Plenary Session also provided unbelievably great information for our businesses and tribal enterprises.

Our luncheon speakers --our friendly Professional Engineer and SoCalGasCo Vice President Doug Schneider and our great CPUC advocate Commissioner Catherine J.K. Sandoval provided high level keynote presentations to our adult and Jr. American Indian Chamber attendees.

Sunday Entrepreneurial Excellence Sessions at EXPO’14

A big thanks to our Chamber Advisory Council members and Karen Blackwell from Nestle who sponsored and created much of the content for the very popular session.

Chamber businesses have an excellent opportunity to personally shine in front of many major corporations, utilities and government agencies seeking to do business with Indian Country.


LA Sparks American Indian
Appreciation Night
See Native American Rookie Sensation Shoni Schimmel In Her Only Trip to Staples Center This Season

ATTENTION – All Chamber members and supporters – Join in the party on Friday night, August 8th for our own Los Angeles Sparks versus Shoni’s Atlanta Dream 7:30 pm Staples Center.
Shoni, hot off of her WBNA All Star Game Most Valuable Player award comes into town to take on Candace Parker and the rest of the Sparks.

Great seats available at good rates to allow you to take the whole family and a ton of your best friends.
Contact Romela Kurdoglanyan at 844.GO.SPARKS or email Romela at

Special group pricing tickets may also be purchased at  Promotion code Shoni14

Tracy says we hope to see you all there – and our good friend with the Sparks, Christine Simmons asks that everyone get into your seats early to enjoy Native American dancers in honor of American Indian Appreciation Day!


But You Can Still Register On-Site &
Attend EXPO '14 Which Is Arguably
The Most Important
Indian Country Economic Development
Conference You Can Attend Anywhere

The Agenda Is Packed Full of Opportunity, Information and
Actions to Grow Your Tribal Enterprise or Native Business

Who Should Attend?
Tribal Leaders, Tribal Enterprises, ANCs, Native Businesses
American Indian Community Members & Non-Profits

Who Is Coming To Meet You?
Corporate America, Federal & State Government Entities
Other Tribes & Those Seeking To Do Business With You

open until Friday, July 18 noon


ask for American Indian Chamber EXPO rates

11th Annual EXPO: July 20, 21 & 22, 2014
Creating Opportunities For Growth, Capacity & Sustainability
Agua Caliente Resort -- Rancho Mirage, CA

Presented By Eagle Sponsors

Raven Sponsors
Wells Fargo -- The Walt Disney Company  -- Verizon
SDG&E, a Sempra Energy utility
Thunderbird Sponsors
Southwest Gas
EXPO Sponsors
Blair, Church & Flynn Consulting Engineers -- Toyota
East Bay Municipal Utility District
Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians
Nestle - Pala Band of Mission Indians

American Indian Chamber Events Hotline

Thank you to the Autry National Center & Southwest Museum

LOS ANGELES, CA– The June Luncheon was wonderful and flavorful once again.

Thank you to Rick West, Stacy Lieberman (pictured in a selfie above with Chamber President Tracy Stanhoff), Diana Terrazas and the staff at the Autry National Center of the American West for hosting us to our 18th June Recognition Luncheon in partnership with the Autry and Southwest Museum

The day started with a wonderful AICEF PTAC training (pictured above) with the Boeing Company, Nestle and Toyota participating. 

We then adjourned to Maurice Begay and company’s luncheon feast of Indian Tacos, Frybread and stew. Thank you Maurice, American Indian community members and Southern California Indian Center staffers for assisting us with this luncheon.

Thanks to all who donated prizes and purchased tickets for our Scholarship fundraising opportunity drawing.

Finally, thanks to our Chamber staffer, Sophia Gleich; PTAC Staffers Kent Muller and Annette Wakolee; and our Procurement Technical Assistance Center Manager Venessa Gleich for being their usual best.

Chamber and AICEF PTAC Attend National Congress of American Indians in Anchorage, Alaska

Chamber President Tracy Stanhoff, AICEF PTAC Program Manager Venessa Gleich and several Chamber Tribal Advisory Council members attended the Mid Year convening of the National Congress of American Indians.

This three and one-half day event was held this week in Anchorage, Alaska and featured discussions and presentations affecting Tribes and Indian Country from healthcare, education, legislation, governance, economic development and more

Chamber President Tracy Stanhoff, and Chamber Advisory Council Member VaRene Martin of NAFOA flank NCAI President and Swinomish Chairman Brian Cladoosby in front of Chamber/AICEF PTAC outreach exhibit.

“Building Infrastructure In Indian Country Summit” An Awesome Event – Thank You CPUC Commissioner Sandoval, Our Sponsors & Participants!

LINCOLN, CA– This was a historic convening of many tribal leaders, staffers, our Chamber business members and the industry members who build infrastructure in California.

There will be a more formal report of this event out soon and we have many folks to thanks and recognize for helping put this program together. However, first and foremost thanks to California Public Utilities Commissioner Catherine Sandoval for inspiring this great gathering.

Above, Chamber board member Cheri Myron (left) and Chamber President Tracy Stanhoff (right), honor Commissioner Sandoval (center) with a shawl to formally end the roundtable.

Thank you again to the Thunder Valley Resort and the United Auburn Indian Community including Tribal Secretary Danny Rey for their hospitality and to our sponsors, Southern California Edison and AT&T.

We had tribal leaders attend from tribes statewide including Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians Chairman Bo Mazzetti who spoke elegantly on the water needs of many tribes in San Diego County.

The Morongo Band Of Mission Indians supported the event by sending their tribal CEO Roger Meyer to speak on their ground-breaking partnership with Southern California Edison on their right of way agreement.

And, from the utilities we had some “heavy hitters” including:

  • Les Starck, Sr. VP, SCE
  • Doug Schneider, VP SoCalGasCo, Sempra Energy
  • Becky Johnson, PG&E
  • Todd Voorhees, SDG&E
  • Jack Hawks, CWA

From the state of California, we had Cynthia Gomez, Tribal Liaison from the Governor’s Office and Anecita Agustinez from the State of California Water Department and we thank both of them very much for their time and expertise.

Thanks to our numbers of Chamber member businesses and especially the volunteers including:

  • Linda Miller, ioSafe
  • Neda Najibi, Osceola Consulting
  • Shannon Marquez, Blair, Church & Flynn Consulting Engineers
  • Jacque Thompson, Burleson Consulting

And many thanks to Stephanie Green, Ditas Katague, Ann Christina Rothchild of the CPUC.

Finally, thanks to our great Chamber staffer, Sophia Gleich and our Procurement Technical Assistance Center Manager Venessa Gleich for being their usual best.

Chamber Member Teehee Engineering
Awarded San Diego Region US SBA
Minority Owned Small Business Of the Year

The Chamber sends out a whole-hearted congratulations to member Deborah Hamilton, President of Teehee Engineering for her selection as the 2014 Minority Owned Small Business of the Year as presented by the US SBA San Diego office.

Debbie will receive her award on June 11 during the 2014 Small Business Week Awards breakfast at the Town and Country Resort and Conference Center in Mission Valley.

Congrats again to Teehee! Event photo will be shown in a follow up edition to the Chamber e-News.

Chamber Milestone

We are saddened to announce the passing of long time Chamber member and Accountant Francis Billedeaux.

Francis passed a couple of weeks back after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Francis operated his business with zest and integrity and the Chamber thanks him for his many years of tax assistance. He will be missed.

11th Annual EXPO:
July 20-22, 2014
Agua Caliente Resort • Rancho Mirage, CA

Creating Opportunities
For Growth, Capacity &

It is that time again, EXPO in “Caliente” July.We are lining up the opportunities and contacts for tribes, tribal enterprises and Indian owned businesses to GROW!


Sign Up Today for AICEF PTAC Supported Event at Yuma Proving Grounds

Our AICEF-PTAC is working to support the Yuma Proving Grounds Acquisition Forecast on June 10 and June 11. There is a limited number of seats and you can only attend one day or the other, so sign up fast by selecting the link below:

SAVE THE DATE To Join In The Annual June Recognition Luncheon To Be Held
Thursday, June 5 @ The Autry Museum, Griffith Park

Hosted by 
The Autry National Center & Southwest Museum

The June Luncheon is an annual favorite for all Chamber members and supporters.

This is the luncheon where we share our culture, food, salute those who supported our first half of the year activities, and preview the remaining year’s events.
Also, as we have started in the past few years, we will have a training workshop presented by our AICEF – PTAC with presenters from our corporate partners.

Time –
10:30 am to 11:30 am
AICEF PTAC Excellence Workshop

11:30 am to 1:30 pm Luncheon & Program

Cost –
No charge – Sponsorship Pending

PLEASE RSVP TO Sophia Gleich at 213-448-2330

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

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

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American Indian Chamber of
Commerce of California

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