PANELISTS

 
 

Alicia Rojo Tsosie

Native America Program Coordinator | Grand Canyon Trust

Alicia is of Mexican and Navajo descent, grew up on the Navajo reservation in Tuba City, AZ., and has worked in many areas to serve her community. She's served two service years with FoodCorps, an Americorps program that connects kids to healthy food through gardening, cooking, and nutrition. Alicia is revitalizing the farming in Kerley Valley through a community farming efforts that allows families to learn how to plant in an arid climate, utilizing low water farming techniques, and heirloom seeds.

Baya Meehan

Owner | Shush Dine Eco-Retreat

Baya and her husband, Paul, own a working sheep camp hosting visitors from all over the world. The motivation for the business, was to enjoy the beauty and solitude of self-sufficiency, off the grid living. Baya,Paul, and their two children operate the bed and breakfast and the ranch, raising sheep that they sometimes sell to locals who want to butcher a sheep for a special occasion or just to have a good source of meat. Their commitment to traditional ways of living, including engaging in commerce in livestock, is rooted in their belief that they are stewards of the land, there to make good use of the resources that it provides.

Douglas Miles

Artist and Founder | Apache Skateboards

A member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, Douglas has an extensive body of work in murals and has recently collaborated on a graphic novel “Indeh” with actor/ author Ethan Hawke and graphic artist Greg Ruth. His company provides an Apache perspective on pop culture to inspire youth to be proud of being Apache. As an activist he has been described as the pursuit of “artists empowering themselves and their communities by asserting control of the medium and the message, and the market as much as possible” (Indian Country, 2016). Apache Chronicles: The Art of Douglas Miles was recently on display at Columbia University in NYC. 

 

JT Willie

Artist | JT Willie Designs

JT is Navajo from Twin Lakes, NM, and the former marketing director at the Navajo Arts and Crafts Enterprise. As an artist, his work uniquely combines silver and beadwork to produce wearable works of art, known for their bright and striking designs. He is also a seamstress, most recently producing Native fashion designs for men. The production of silver naja incorporates a piece of old style traditionalism with the brightness and precision of colorful beadwork. Willie is not confined by any traditional mediums and his products stretch the imagination of contemporary Southwestern art consumers.

Roberto Nutlouis

Green Economy Coordinator and Founder | Black Mesa Water Coalition

Roberto has worked to promote activities that create a sustainable local economy based on Dine values. Projects in the Green Economy Program include Navajo Wool Market, Food Security, and Climate Justice Solutions, promoting activities that are restorative to the culture as well as the people and the land. He works with youth to build infrastructure that supports watershed restoration and traditional farming for food production, working to reverse the trend of youth leaving the community. The Navajo Wool Market project ensures fair prices for Navajo wool and is working to restore the market for Navajo Churro wool.

Shonto Begay

Artist

Shonto was born in a hogan in Shonto, Arizona. He has been a professional artist for over 30 years and is an outspoken proponent of environmental issues. He is a celebrated painter, drawing on his own experiences depicting the beauty of life on the reservation but not forgetting the harsh reality with which Native people encounter in modern times. Begay has shown in more than 50 shows and speaks to audiences of all ages about his art, his experience, and teaching art to youth. His message is simple, “build bridges through the arts and stories of your culture, validate and share these visions and voices, celebrate your personal identity through the arts”.

 

WORKSHOP LEADERS

 
 
Colleen Cooley
 

Adrian Naakai'Dine'e

Executive Director | Yahuaca Knowledge Distribution

Adrian was born and raised in the Western Agency of the Navajo Nation, in Tuba City, AZ. She has built a strong network in the past five years, working for Eagle Energy, Native American Business Incubator Network, Navajo Women's Energy Project, and Rezilience Indigenous Arts Experience. Her goals center around cultural revitalization, indigenous environmental feminism, and grassroots community organization/ empowerment.

CoLleen Cooley

Advocate for Sustainable Practices on the Nation

Colleen Cooley is Diné, originally from Shonto, Arizona. She is Kinyaa’áanii, (Towering House), born for Lók’aa’ Diné’é (Reed People). Her paternal grandfather’s clan is Tó’aheedlíinii (Water Flows Together) and her paternal grandfather’s clan is Tł’ízíłání (Manygoats). For the past two years, Coleen has been working toward implementing sustainable initiatives on the Navajo Nation from her hometown, Shonto. As a strong advocate for recycling and renewable energy, Colleen blendstraditional and western sustainable practices.

Cameron Jarman

School Teacher and Founder, Arizona Hikers Guide and Keep it Wild Co.

Cameron is a school teacher turned entrepreneur. As such he has founded two companies, Arizona Hikers Guide and Keep it Wild Co. Cameron is passionate about picking up trash, leaving places better than before, and making a positive impact where possible. He lives by the mantra: give, give, give, ask.

 
 
 
Crystal Cree
Daniel Vandever
David Lehr

Crystal Cree

Coordinator | Northern Arizona University Center for American Indian Economic Development (CAIED)

Crystal is a citizen of the Navajo Nation from To Naneesdizi, AZ. She is an Alum of Northern Arizona University (NAU). In addition to the being a full-time employee, Crystal is also a graduate student of Indigenous and Tribal Nation-Building, Leadership, Management, and Administration. She hopes to continue her work with Native American youth and provide training in the basic life skills of money management. She enjoys her work at CAIED and strongly supports NAU's commitment to Native American students.

Daniel Vandever

Communications Director | Navajo Technical University

At NTU Daniel heads the strategic communication efforts in marketing, advertising, and public relations. Previously he served as public information officer for the Navajo Nation and as copywriter for an advertising agency, where he received the ADDY award. Daniel obtained his master’s in Community and Regional Planning from the University of NM. He volunteers for the Navajo Weavers Association Crownpoint, providing his marketing expertise to the Rug Auction of Crownpoint. Daniel will realease his first children’s book this year. Daniel is from Haystack, NM, and his clans are Irish born for Towering House (Kinyaa’áanii). His maternal grandfather was Irish and his paternal grandfather is Red Running into the Water (Táchii’nii).

David Lehr

Consultant and Adjunct Professor

David’s career has spanned the public and private sectors focused on the intersection of business, tech, job creation, and poverty alleviation. Most recently he was the Senior Director, Strategy and Impact at TechSoup Global, responsible for managing the team that develops and grows their corporate partnerships. In his consulting practice, David focuses on leveraging market-based approaches to addressing poverty and has worked for clients large and small including impact investors, nonprofit capacity-builders, multinational corporations, development banks and social enterprises. He also teaches and writes on social innovation in developing economies, entrepreneurship, and market-based approaches to addressing poverty.

 
 
 

Denise Gershbein

Social Impact Design Leader, Speaker, and Consultant

In Denise's two decades of experience, she has created products, services and design systems, led clients through transformational innovation processes, and developed and facilitated capacity building approaches for spreading design and innovation to organizations large and small. Denise was the lead in creating the Collective Action Toolkit – an open source toolkit for change makers in communities everywhere. It was published by frog design, where she was the Executive Director for Social Impact Design. As a consultant, today Denise works with clients in the social impact sector including UNICEF and Point B, an NGO in Myanmar.

Jessica Stago

Jessica Stago

Program Manager | NABIN, Grand Canyon Trust

At NABIN, Jessica supports the growth of native-owned businesses. Jessica hopes to use her bachelor's degree from Arizona State University and MBA from the University of Phoenix to build an ecosystem for entrepreneurship in Native communities. She grew up traveling between Teesto, AZ, her home community on the Navajo reservation, and the small town of Winslow, AZ, where she still lives today. Her teenage son Josiah plays sports year-round, so when she is not working, she spends her time watching football, basketball, or baseball.

Michael Lerma

Michael Lerma

Professor | Northern Arizona University

Michael (P'urhépecha) authored Guided by the Mountains: Navajo Political Philosophy of Governance and Indigenous Sovereignty in the 21st Century. His recent research explored the efficacy of traditional Diné (Navajo) institutions of governance. Michael also contributes to research conducted by Diné Policy Institute. He teaches courses on International Relations, Tribal Government, Native American Politics, and Research Methods. Michael advocates for future Native Nation building via consolidation of Indigenous interests and expansion of Native control of norms within the global political economy.

 
 
 
Peter Durand

Nadine Foik

Designer | Catapult Design 

Nadine wears many hats at any given time. She loves creating systems and services that facilitate social innovation and provide a structure for growth. As a multi-cultural designer with a background in the social sciences, she is driven by the power of design to address global challenges in areas such as healthcare and education.
Prior to Catapult Design, she played an integral part in shaping the mission, culture, and operations of the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator, transforming it from an idea to a powerhouse for ethical fashion and design.

Noel Wilson

Creative Director | Catapult Design

Noel is a multi-skilled designer with a passion for creating quality communications, illustrations, systems, and products. Noel spends the majority of his time wandering the globe immersed in projects, host communities, and multi-disciplinary teams addressing a broad range of design challenges. He has lived and worked in Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America and continues to love experiencing and exploring humanity and its diversity. Noel is fueled by the belief that all demographics deserve access to innovation and iteration tools, and has dedicated his design career to social empowerment. With his downtime he makes toys, good food, and bad jokes. 

Peter Durand

Artist, Entrepreneur, and Educator

Peter believes that working and learning should be experiential, relevant, and highly visual. He has experienced the joys and challenges of being a small business owner. In 1998, he founded Alphachimp Studio Inc. as a graphic facilitation company and in 2012 created Alphachimp Learning Systems LLC to produce explainer videos and deliver onsite/ online training in visual communication and design thinking skills. Peter has run workshops on graphic facilitation and visual communication for NIKE, Deloitte, T. Rowe Price, Cap Gemini, MICA, PopTech Social Innovation Fellows Program, the International Forum of Visual Practitioners, TEDMED, and the World Economic Forum. He has participated in Change Labs since 2014.

 
Sean Huntington_Headshot_square.jpg

Sean Huntington

Commercial Photographer and Cinematographer

Sean has a wide range of experience across multiple industries, which gives him the ability to innovate by applying solutions he has seen from one industry to another seemingly-unrelated industry. He is passionate about merging technology and design to solve important problems, improve people's lives, and change the world for the better.

Vanessa Roanhorse

Travis Tutt

Founder and Artist | Travis Tutt Jewelry

Travis was born and raised in Shiprock, NM. He started making jewelry in 2009 and has recently gone full time in the craft. Travis uses his grandfather's tools to create contemporary and geometric design jewelry. Along with his art, Travis' wife, Jerilynn, and four kids have been a driving force in everything he does. Travis strives to be an example that hard work does pay off. All of Travis' jewelry is made out of his studio in Flagstaff, AZ.

Vanessa Roanhorse

Founder | Roanhorse Consulting, LLC

Vanessa's Native and women-owned consulting firm addresses complex climate change challenges for tribal nations across the country by employing market-driven solutions that are native-led, culturally appropriate, and deeply committed to place-based capacity building. She has extensive experience in the private and public sector, having overseen large properties with CB Richard Ellis and developed equitable energy efficiency programs for low-income communities in Chicago with Delta Institute. She raised millions of dollars via sponsorships, grants, and creative financing. Vanessa's academic education is in film but her professional education is from hands-on experience leading local, regional and national initiatives.