Curtis DeCora named to NCAIED
40 Under 40 Class of 2020
Curtis DeCora named to NCAIED 2020 40 Under 40 Class
The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development recognizes 40 emerging American Indian and Alaska Native leaders each year under the age of 40 from across Indian Country. Nominated by their peers, the recipients have exemplified leadership, initiative, and, especially during COVID-19, resiliency and dedication towards their communities and businesses, according to a news release. The fields of academia, the medical field, government, non-profit organizations, legal and more are represented in this year’s class.
“The Native American 40 Under 40 awards recognize the hard work, dedication, and perseverance of our best and brightest,” said National Center President and CEO Chris James in a news release. “Every year I am impressed by the wide range of accomplishments of our 40 Under 40 winners. The 2020 class shows us what young Native American and Alaska Native leaders are capable of – and what they are already accomplishing. Just as the 40 Under 40 honorees continually inspire all of us here at the National Center, we hope the award continues to inspire generations of Indian Country leaders who will one day be a part of this esteemed group.”
The recipients will be announced virtually in the coming weeks on the National Center’s social media pages. Award recipients will also be honored at RES 2021 which will be held March 15-18, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 2020 class joins over 400 previous winners that have been honored over the last decade.
DeCora founded the Tribal Business League along with tribal members from Lac du Flambeau and Red Cliff. Today, the Tribal Business League is made up of 7 tribes; Lac Courte Oreilles, Red Cliff, Bad River, St. Croix, Hannahville Indian Community, and Lac Vieux Desert. The Tribal Business League produces $35M per year in C-Store purchases, giving them the best prices in the upper Midwest.
Outside of forming the Tribal Business League, DeCora owns and operates Superior Marketing, a Native American owned and operated digital marketing firm with clients in all 50 U.S. states, and 4 foreign countries. Superior Marketing has been the contractor for various projects, including the LCO Child Support digital media grant, making them the first tribe in the U.S. Office of Child Support history to win a grant. In 2020, DeCora created Three Bears Lawn Care as a project with his children.
Three Bears Lawn Care is a full-service lawn care company operating in Hayward Wisconsin, and went from zero to full-time in just 21 days and becoming the highest rated lawn care service in Hayward Wisconsin by HomeAdvisor and Google, DeCora's children hold 1/3 ownership shares in the company and are publishing a book based on their experiences.
As pet projects, DeCora also created Boozhoo Coffee Company, which sells nearly 300 lbs of coffee each month directly through e-commerce sales. All orders are roasted and shipped overnight to the customers doorstep. Covid-19 made companies rethink their model for distribution, and Boozhoo Coffee Company has been doing this for 2-years, giving it a leg up on the competition with distribution and fulfillment.
A final pet project includes Big Bang Fireworks. DeCora and his children also operate a fireworks business on the Lac Courte Oreilles reservation from June to July 4th.
We spoke with Curtis DeCora to collect some comments and get some feedback on the award. When asked what his plans were for 2021 and beyond, he states, "I would really love to work directly with tribes and help economic development efforts. One of the main reasons I started the Tribal Business League was because tribes, alone, weren't thinking big enough when it came to development efforts. In 2021, I would love to recruit more tribes to join the Tribal Business League, the smaller the tribes the more powerful the impact of membership."
To learn more about Mr. DeCora and any future developments, he created a website that highlights projects, past and present, as well as any new initiatives.
For more information on the NCAIED Native American 40 Under 40 award recipients, visit https://www.ncaied.org/
Tribal Business League
LCO BOX 1711
Hayward Wisconsin 54843