An Update from ONABEN!

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Hello, friends! It’s a great day at ONABEN. We are so excited at all that is before us. Let me begin today’s blog by saying how much we appreciate the partnerships we have forged, the entrepreneurs that we encounter, the communities that we visit, and the work that we do. What a rewarding job we have! There is nothing that we like more than advocating for Native-owned businesses and supporting the resources designed to grow private sector enterprises in Native communities throughout Indian Country.

So, what’s new at ONABEN? Well, remember that amazing visit to North Carolina and the talented Cherokee artists that we work with? Yes, that’s right, the event in Asheville that we held back in July in partnership with Sequoyah Fund and the Asheville Chamber of Commerce. We have video of our work there! YAY!!!

For someone who comes from a background in Communications, I can’t tell you what this video means to me. ONABEN has come such a long way in a short amount of time in regard to marketing and communications. And, this video is just another avenue for us to tell the story of our incredible journey. Special thanks to the Administration for Native Americans for funding our work in Cherokee.

Whole Foods (Whole Foods, Asheville)

I am so proud of the motivation of our group of artists in Cherokee! They are on a roll and are serious about expanding their audience. In fact, there is a Cherokee Women Artist display at Whole Foods in Asheville! And, a few of our artists have been invited to participate in the Cool Craft Holiday Market, on December 12-14, an event sponsored by Handmade in America! Great work!

All of us at ONABEN are busy working on our individual projects, and as always, working together to build a stronger team. I hope all of you are as content in your jobs as I am in mine. Everyday is an adventure, no two days are alike. I am inspired to be better and try harder, and have learned that every effort, when motivated by the right reasons, no matter how small, can make a difference.

Where will our travels take us next? Well, it looks Lynn, our Contracts and Services Manager, will be conducting a training with the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma with our friends at RedWind Consulting in the coming weeks. I will be attending a grant kick-off meeting in DC…I am preparing for this event, knowing that I will leave inspired. The chances are high that I will run into a couple of old friends and meet some amazing new ones! Then, I’m off to Portland for ONABEN’s annual board retreat and some team building! Nothing like celebrating our successes over the past year!

Talk Soon, V. PS Congrats to all of our friends who received funding from NACA! Way to Go!

Michael Bridges

Michael Bridges

Michael is a proud U.S. Army Veteran and a member of the Cherokee Nation. With 10 years of service as an Infantryman, Michael implements the core values of integrity, honor, and selfless service into his leadership of the company. With over 20 years of experience, Michael began working with building websites and graphic design in 1998. A family-oriented man, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife Kristina and their three children. He is a proud and active member of Jenks Lodge #497 A.F. & A.M. and an advisor for the Order of DeMolay.