New employee, Mike Channell (pictured) was the first hire for the new PTAC Program. Serving as the PTAC Program Manager, Mike Channel details more about himself and of the program below. Since this interview with Channel, all 4 positions have been hired.
Be on the lookout for Employee Spotlights for Nettie Grant-Sikyta, Administrative Assistant, Debra Grant, Macy Counselor, and Derek LaPointe, Santee Counselor in the Spring 2021 Newsletter issue.

Tell us more about you, your background, and experience working with TCUs or tribal communities.
MC: I am Enrolled in The Oglala Lakota Nation. I am adopted and that is how I got the name Channell. Medford Salway is my Dad. I got married at 20. Was friends with my wife before we decided to go on a date. 6 weeks later we got married. We have 3 boys all grown with their own families now. I was a carpenter in Local 253, 400, and 444 for 18 years. I worked for several General Contractors that had 8a status through the SBA. I got an opportunity to go into business for myself in 1998 on the construction of the Conagra World Headquarters in Downtown Omaha NE. The company grew. Had 2 locations Omaha and Des Moines offices. At the height we had 99 employees and did $54,936,231 worth of contracts in 4 years. All that was made possible through the SBA’s subcontracting programs that are mandated @ the Federal Market level of Government. For the last 15 years I have been working as a Private Consultant. I have worked with several different Companies providing all different types of services. I have also worked with 9 Different Tribes.

How did you come to be with NICC and your current position?
MC: A Friend of mine called and said he was writing a Grant for Nebraska Indian Community College. He asked if I would be interested in helping him with budget numbers. If it was funded would I consider applying because of the experience I had gained over the years. I told him as well
as the people that I interviewed with for this position. My background is in a For Profit World. I have no Non Profit Experience.

Can you share more about your new role and what you'll be focusing on?
MC: I was given the opportunity to be Program Manager. I have hired 2 of 3 positions that I need for this Grant. I have gone with People who have the experience that I Lack and also very strong connections to the communities we will be serving. We will be focusing on Entrepreneurs from the
community. Businesses that want to come into the communities. I am also hoping to get some referrals to help other PTACS that might not have some of the experience needed so we can help. I have helped Tribes set up For Profit Entities and protect their Sovereign Immunity. On 2 occasions I
help Tribal For Profit groups Acquire already established Companies. This is not something a lot of PTACs experience even allows by the rules of the Defense Logistics Agency. They are the funders of this Grant.

What are you most excited about with your new position?
MC: I am always hopeful to take the mystery and enormity of the Federal Government market away. It is one of the easiest markets to survive in because it is totally transparent. I love being around entrepreneurs I have gone to so many of these PTAC events in my Life when you walk into a room full of business owners you can really tell who is scared and who isn’t there is a glow about the group. All at different levels of development. Getting my people comfortable and experienced in this process. Helping People develop their dreams and what to expect is extremely satisfying. Create Change in Indian Country.