Board Vice Chair Patricia Parker and Board Member Ernie Stevens, Jr. among honorees named by Indian Country Today

October 4, 2016
MESA, AZ –Two board members of the National Center of American Indian Enterprise Development were recently honored by Indian Country Today as part of its “50 Faces of Indian Country” publication. Patricia (Pat) Parker, who currently services as Vice Chair of the Board, and Ernie Stevens, Jr., who is also the long-serving Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), are among honorees spanning fields such as government, culture and entertainment, business, sports, education, tribal leadership and advocacy, and others. The purpose of the recognition, according to Indian Country Today publisher Ray Halbritter, is for Native young people to “learn about the individual and collective achievements of Natives presented in a visual, dramatic way.”

“Pat and Ernie are more than deserving ’50 Faces of Indian Country’ honorees, and we are thrilled their work is being recognized on a national level,” said National Center Board Chairman Derrick Watchman. “They have both served the National Center with distinction for many years, and put their expertise and passion to work for our organization, and more importantly, those who benefit from our programs and services. Pat and Ernie are shining examples of what it means to be a successful Native entrepreneur. We congratulate them for their achievements.”

Vice Chair Parker has served on the Board of the National Center since 2011, and took over as Vice Chair in June 2015. She founded Native American Management Services (NAMS) in 1992 along with her sister, Tonya Parker. NAMS provides grant lifecycle training and technical assistance, along with conference and media management, for tribal communities through federal contracts. She currently serves as CEO of NAMS. She is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr. has served on the Board of the National Center for over a decade. He is currently in his eighth two-year term as Chairman of NIGA. His work with NIGA and gaming in general earned him induction into the American Gaming Association’s Gaming Hall of Fame in 2014. He has also served as an elected councilman for the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin (where he is enrolled) from 1993-1999, and is the former First Vice-President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).
To view their profiles, please click here for the online version of the 50 Faces of Indian Country edition. Vice Chair Parker can be found on page 34, and Chairman Stevens can be found on page 32. Longer and individual profiles about their work will be posted online over the coming weeks at

About The National Center: The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. With over 40 years of assisting American Indian Tribes and their enterprises with business and economic development – we have evolved into the largest national Indian specific business organization in the nation. Our motto is: “We Mean Business For Indian Country” as we are actively engaged in helping Tribal Nations and Native business people realize their business goals and are dedicated to putting the whole of Indian Country to work to better the lives of American Indian people- both now… and for generations to come.

CONTACT: Lewis Lowe, 202-333-2234