CAIED Hosts First Speed Networking Event

Posted: Tuesday, October 18th 2016 at 9:55 AM

On September 30, 2016 the Center for American Indian Economic Development (CAIED) hosted its first Speed Networking Forum at NAU’s North Valley Campus. Speed networking is a meeting format designed to accelerate business contacts through a series of brief interactions. For this event, speed networking was used to facilitate productive consultations and promote collaborative projects between tribal leaders and Arizona-based architecture and engineering (A&E) firms. 

The day-long event was attended by seven Arizona tribes including, Ak-Chin Indian Community, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Yavapai Apache Nation, Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe, Hopi Tribe, and White Mountain Apache Tribe. During the event, each tribe had nine minutes to introduce themselves, pitch their Request for Proposal (RFP), and provide information about current projects to the A&Es.  

In addition to promoting networking opportunities between the two entities, CAIED’s event also served as a fundraiser for the Johnson Scholarship Foundation, which provides scholarships for future tribal business leaders. To raise money for the foundation, architecture and engineering firms in attendance were charged a $500 event admission fee. In addition, the event featured a silent auction.

Overall, Levi Esquerra, director of CAIED, noted both entities were thrilled with the outcome of the event.

“The Tribal Speed Networking Forum was a great event and proved very successful,” Esquerra explained. “Based upon feedback from the tribes and service providers, we are planning the second Networking Forum,” he said.

Tom Gettings of Wood/Patel was very positive about the experience. "Even though Wood/Patel has worked with Native American Communities since 1992 and we have working relationships with half of the Arizona Tribes, the speed networking event provided opportunities to connect with new Tribal Entities, deepen our relationships with current clients, and better understand Tribal needs and how we can assist," he said.

Gwendolyn Cody, program coordinator of CAIED, explained additional A&Es have already expressed interest in attending the next forum, tentatively planned for February 2017 in Phoenix. CAIED hopes the next event will give even more tribes and service providers the opportunity to build effective and lasting working relationships.

Learn more about CAIED’s past events HERE.

Categories: speed networking forum caied 2016 fall 2016 center for american indian economic development ak-chin indian community fort mcdowell yavapai nation yavapai apache nation yavapai prescott indian tribe hopi tribe white mountain apache tribe