About: Deidra Mitchell serves as President & CEO of Waséyabek Development Company, LLC (WDC), a 100% Tribally-owned economic development entity of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP).
Since joining WDC in April 2016 and opening the Grand Rapids, Michigan office, Deidra has aligned resources, gained consensus from stakeholders, orchestrated the acquisition of five income properties and multiple commercial businesses, and grown the Federal Division to execute on over $165MM of Federal contracts currently. Her efforts have resulted in a more robust internal and external business infrastructure, increased revenue, WDC brand recognition, tribal member career development opportunities, and an increase in assets under management.
Deidra, a Kent State University graduate, built an early name for herself in environmental remediation project and program management. She went on to start ten businesses and successfully hold executive-level positions in Indian Country, including Executive Vice President of Business Development, and CEO. Private owners, corporations, Native American companies, and Alaska Native Corporations have benefited by gaining new business ventures that were researched, formed, and launched under her direction.
WDC and its subsidiaries have grown dramatically in the last 36 months under Deidra’s leadership. WDC has gone from three employees to 329; three subsidiaries to 15; and from one location in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to include locations in Washington, DC, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Oregon, South Carolina, and Georgia. WDC alone has deployed over $50 million of capital towards economic development and will continue to deploy additional capital over the next five years. Additionally, five subsidiaries have been formed in Waséyabek’s Federal Division, three of which are certified 8(a) by the Small Business Administration.
Deidra has become a recognized leader in Indian Country, developing and implementing tribal economic diversification stratagems utilizing best practice in strategic planning, due diligence, and operational controls that work within the unique governance structures of tribes. She has served as a panelist and speaker at numerous local and national conferences and co-hosts Tribal Talks; a monthly podcast focused on tribal economic development. Deidra recently organized nine of the 12 Federally-recognized Tribes in Michigan to complete a study on tribal non-gaming economic impacts in the state.
Hobbies: Life outside of work includes nature, hiking, mosaic art, traveling, pets, fishing, writing, reading, and spending time with family and friends.