1. Please provide a brief description of yourself and your company.
I am the Owner & CEO of Tribal Tech LLC and Cowan & Associates Inc — government contracting businesses located in Northern Virginia. I graduated from California State University Fullerton and my role as CEO is not only to be the top executive in the company but to be the Chief Strategist as we continue to grow both companies.
As we always say, “Let’s continue to follow our guiding principles of People, Performance and Partnership.”
2. What led you to your profession?
Having worked for the Federal Government for most of my professional career, it was a natural step to start a government contracting business as I “retired” from the government.
3. Who is the most influential person you know? How do they inspire you?
My dad instilled in me the importance of an education which inspired me to do the work that I do today. His dedication towards education and the health & wellness of our native people continues to inspire me, especially while he served as Tribal Chairman — long before Tribal Gaming and Casinos were even thought of.
4. What advice do you have for women who want to grow/begin their career in the government contracting industry?
I can not stress it enough, if you have a passion – pursue it! And start your business sooner rather than later – one step at a time! Personally, I can say that I wish I would have started my government contracting business sooner.
5. Please describe your involvement in the community.
Between my two companies and the RMP Foundation — which my sister and I started several years ago — we support many local and national organizations, both monetarily and as volunteers. This includes providing resources for scholarships, events, awareness, and health & wellness. We even support an employee’s son’s go-cart racing and another employee’s youth basketball team.
6. What’s one childhood lesson that you still practice to this day?
7. What are you most proud of in your career?
I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve been able to provide jobs through my government contracting businesses for so many people, especially throughout American Indian Country.
8. You get to have dinner with one famous person. Who do you choose and what would you ask them?
Elena Delle Donne, MVP of the Washington Mystics, who lives right here in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. She’s someone I’d jump at the chance to go to dinner with. Not because she’s famous but more to see how we can get her involved with our native women basketball players who are bringing attention to a very serious issue throughout American Indian Country – missing and murdered indigenous women.
9. How do you support, honor and celebrate other women in the industry?
Being that there are very few American Indian, woman-owned small businesses, it’s my honor to always help with mentoring other women — especially the native women — who are looking to start their own small business. If I can do it, so can they!