The National Reservation Economic Summit (RES) 2015
BUSINESS – The National Reservation Economic Summit (RES) 2015 ran from March 9 to 12 in Las Vegas, Nevada and Iksokapi Magazine was in attendance to cover this extremely popular four day event filled with the many movers and shakers of the growing Indigenous business community from Canada and the United States (US.)
2015 marked the 29th year for this National conference also referred to as RES which provided everything a premier conference offers and much more. In addition to a variety of presentations from businesses like Google and the National Indian Gaming Association, the agenda included forums and breakout sessions providing a wide range of information on how to start and manage a business. The event definitely lived up to its social media hashtag #RESmeansBIZ.
The conference also provided a place for all kinds of products and services to be showcased from various industries including the Launch of Native Edge, an new online one stop resource tool for Native American Businesses and the Chickasaw Nation who promoted their own sweet business venture (pun intended); Bedre Fine Chocolate. The samples of the product provided by the company were a personal favourite.
President and CEO Gary Davis and Chariman Derrick Watchman for the National Center For American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) welcomed 4000 plus conference delegates at the Opening General Session held March 10th at the luxurious Mandalay Bay Hotel and Conference Centre. Invocation done by Benny Tso, Chairman from the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe and a welcome address from Raina Thiele with The White House Office of Public Engagement were among a list of dignitaries who were also on hand to welcome guests and to participate in the grand procession that followed the general session and opened up the RES Tradeshow.
The two day RES Las Vegas Tradeshow showcased hundreds of Native American owned businesses from Canada and the United States including the Camanche Nation Tourism Center, Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours and the American Indian Cancer Foundation who hosted a benefit later that evening called; Music for Life, Love & Hope at the famous House of Blues featuring National Award Winning artist Kelly Jackson.
The tradeshow also included other businesses who were promoting their own products and services specifically to Native American clients like Wincon Cannaceuticals and Native American Cannabis, LLC – businesses created to work with Tribes on emerging opportunities for economic development in the field of Marijauana and Hemp in light of recent laws from the Department of Justice which has made it legal for Tribes in the US to grow and sell it.
A Business Expo and American Indian Artisan Market was also part of the conference package and featured a number of entrepreneurs like Carmen Davis, President of Litefoot Enterprises and Travis Komahcheet from Intertribal Visions Unlimited whose family business specializes in original and custom native multimedia design. Jewellery, clothing, arts and crafts were just some of the items for sale from a large selection of Native American owned businesses.
RES 2015 also recognized a few outstanding captains of industry including the American Indian Business of the Year which was awarded to Gila River Telecommunications and the Native Women Business Owner of the Year Award which went to Victoria Vasques, Owner and President of Tribal Tech, LLC – a business she created that provides technical assistance and consulting services to federal, state, tribal and corporate clients.
And if that was not enough, the full conference package included 4 days of catered meals & receptions, special room rates at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino as well as RES Procurement, RES Business Matchmaking, RES Business Boot Camp, Tribal Business Leaders Forum, and a variety of Networking Opportunities. For an additional cost, conference delegates could also take part in the RES 2015 golf tournament which took place at the beautiful Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. This fundraising event donated proceeds to fund scholarships for Native American business students at the RES Regional/INPRO event.
I definitely recommend the National Reservation Economic Summit to fellow entrepreneurs and I also have to thank conference organizers on a job well done, you sure know how to treat your guests. For more information on RES 2015 or to attend the next National RES 2016 check out NCAIED.org for more information.