Diné Development Corporation (DDC)
DDC is a holding company wholly-owned by the Navajo Nation government. DDC was established to facilitate the Nation’s opportunities to conduct business through the creation of subsidiary corporations, joint ventures, and partnerships. The DDC Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws were approved by more than a 2/3 majority vote of the Navajo Nation Council in September 2004. The company was formed to help create new jobs, revenue, and profit primarily through the participation in the United States Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development program. Over the past 14 years, DDC has successfully expanded its business portfolio through quality service delivery, client diversification, and new company creation.
To be the best tribal corporation in the world.
Create a family of companies that provide sustainable profits and jobs.
Heritage – Embrace our strong heritage, while boldly pursuing local and global business opportunities
Economic Viability – Strengthen and grow, Diné economic well-being and capability for future generations
Leadership – Develop the leaders necessary to realize business excellence
Performance – Capitalize and expand scalable systems and infrastructure for future companies
Respect – Respect the Navajo Nation, the environment, our diverse clients, employees, and their families
How Are We Governed?
- DDC is governed by an independent, seven-member Board of Directors appointed by the Shareholder Representatives of the Navajo Nation.
- DDC is governed by its articles of incorporation and by-laws which authorize DDC to operate as an independent business entity to enter into contracts, loans, joint ventures, partnerships, and other instruments to establish subsidiary companies.
- DDC operates under a corporate strategic plan and due diligence standards for approving new corporations.
What Is Our History?
- In 2004, NOVA Corporation established the foundation for the formation of DDC subsidiaries.
- DDC and NOVA Corporation were established in 2004 with initial capitalization from the Business and Industrial Development Fund of the Navajo Nation.
- DDC successfully obtained SBA 8(a) certification for its subsidiary companies.
- In 2011, DDC developed two additional subsidiaries: Diné Development Corporation Information Technology Services (DDC ITS) and Diné Development Corporation Construction Services (DDC CS).
- NOVA Corporation successfully graduated from the 8(a) Business Development Program in 2014.
- In 2016, DDC hired its first Navajo Chief Executive Officer, Austin Tsosie.
- In the fall of 2016, DDC capitalized the two subsidiaries, BRIC and Diné Source.
- In 2017 BRIC, Diné Source, DDC 4C and DDC ITS hired their first Navajo Protégés.
- In the fall of 2016, DDC 4C acquired AScIS business lines to strengthened its commitment to expand its federal services.
- DDC ITS and DDC 4C are scheduled to graduate from the 8(a) program in 2020. They may graduate earlier if either reaches the SBA revenue benchmark prior to their graduation date.
- In 2017, DDC gave a $200,000 dividend to the Navajo Nation
- DDC currently has five subsidiary companies and one joint venture.
- In May 2018, both Diné Source and BRIC are awarded SBA 8(a) certification.
- In June 2018, DDC hand delivers $300,000 dividend to the Navajo Nation.
Diné Development Corporation (DDC) has established five (5) separate subsidiaries to include NOVA Corporation, DDC IT Services, DDC 4C, Diné Source, and BRIC. DDC has one joint venture, Diné Venture.
Chief Executive Officer
As CEO of DDC, President of NOVA Corporation, and former President of DDC IT Services, Austin has been very successful in managing operations and fueling business development initiatives to position DDC subsidiaries as elite tribally-owned 8(a)/small businesses. Austin obtained a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Weber State University and Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Dallas. He began his career as a network engineer and software developer. After gaining a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, he served as a project manager and PM consultant, through which he enhanced programs, developed new business, and established processes and procedures for large companies such as Boeing, Disney, Epson, and AMEX across the U.S. Throughout his career, he has developed three program management offices and managed teams across the world. In 2011, Austin became the President of DDC IT Services, growing the company to $16M in 5 years. In 2016, he began his current role of DDC CEO.
Chief Financial Officer
Dawn is an experienced Certified Public Accountant and business owner with an extensive background in accounting, finance, project management, budgeting, cost/benefit analysis, forecasting, acquisitions, and cash management. Prior to joining DDC, she helped found and grow companies across diverse industries by improving operations and maximizing profits through productivity and efficiency enhancements, process improvements, internal controls and cost reductions. Dawn has been in senior leadership positions for more than 20 years in various organizations. She has often been recognized by executive management and peers as playing a key organizational role in consistently formulating and delivering innovative, cost-effective solutions to everyday business problems.
Chief Strategy Officer
As the President of the BRIC, Steve Sullivan arrived to Diné Development Corporation (DDC) with almost 20 years of experience as a recognized leader in providing science, environmental and technology consulting services to the federal government and commercial enterprises. As owner of Sullivan International Group (SIG), Steve was able to secure over $1.5B in government and commercial contracts while focusing on a broad base of construction, environmental restoration and ecosystem projects and programs. Mr. Sullivan was honorably discharged and is retired from the United States Navy. Steve is married and works primarily out of the Minneapolis, MN office. He also serves as DDC’s Chief Strategy Officer (CSO).
Board of Directors
Ron C. Wood
Chairman of the Board
Mr. Wood, a Dine’ tribal member, had a distinguished career as a federal and tribal employee and held several private sector jobs working with Native organizations and as a construction contractor. Mr. Wood currently does health administration consulting and is an aspiring writer who has written and published a book. Mr. Wood served as the Executive Officer for the Navajo Area IHS for 16 years. During this time, he also served one year as the acting Area Director for the IHS Tucson Area. Prior to this, he was a part owner and manager of a residential housing construction company for four years. He was also the Executive Director of the Navajo Nation Division of Health for four years. Prior to this he was the Executive Director of a Native urban Indian center located in Flagstaff, AZ. Mr. Wood is a US Army veteran and served 18 months in Vietnam as an Army communications Sergeant where he earned an Army Commendation Medal. He currently lives in Coalmine, NM which is near Window Rock, AZ on the Navajo reservation. He is married and has many grandchildren. Mr. Wood graduated from Arizona State University with a BS degree in Aeronautics (airport management) and from the University of California at Berkeley with an MPH degree in Behavioral Health and Administration. Mr. Wood has been on the Board of Directors of DDC since 2011.
Vice-Chairman of the Board
Mr. Richards, a Diné tribal member, was appointed in 2004 as one of the initial members of the DDC Board of Directors, and he served for many years as it’s Secretary/Treasurer. Mr. Richards has a long and distinguished career in tribal economic development, including 27 years in the forestry industry, working with Navajo Forest Products Industries, starting out as a Road Engineer and ultimately advancing to General Manager. Mr. Richards worked for six years as a Director for the Navajo Nation Small Business Development Department and three years as the Executive Director for the Division of Economic Development. Upon retirement, Mr. Richards starting a private consulting gaming firm and served on various successful Boards of Navajo Nation business entities. Mr. Richards is married with children, and divides his time between his homes in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Navajo Nation, Window Rock, Arizona. He holds a degree in Management from Northern Arizona University.
Secretary/Treasurer of the Board
Ms. McCullah, a Diné tribal member, has an extensive professional communications career in various mediums. She was recently appointed as the new General Manager for KSFR 101.1 FM, Santa Fe Public Radio. For the previous thirteen years, Ms. McCullah served as the Marketing/Advertising Director for Indian Pueblos Marketing, Inc./Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Inc. in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ms. McCullah was the General Manager for KTNN/KWRK Radio (commercial stations owned by the Navajo Nation), former Press Secretary for the Office of the President, Vice President of the Navajo Nation and was associate producer for an award-winning weekly news analysis program for KAET-TV in Tempe, Arizona. Ms. McCullah was also the managing partner of the TM Group, a land-use planning and architectural design company which produced designs used on the Navajo Nation for senior centers and a multi-purpose building. Ms. McCullah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of New Mexico. Ms. McCullah is a member of the NOVA Scholarship Committee, which she helped establish in 2010.
Member of the Board
Graduated from Northern Arizona University in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration (Accounting Major); Employed 4 years with the international accounting firm KPMG (Albuquerque, NM) as an accountant/auditor; Employed 29 years with the Navajo Nation (largest Indian Tribe in the United States-Window Rock, Arizona), last 18 years as the Controller; Employed 9 years with the Department of Interior (Gallup, NM) as a Management Analyst.
Served as Chairperson of the Committee that established the Navajo Nation Permanent Fund in 1985. The Permanent Fund that has grown to $2 Billion with average annual investment returns of $130 million for the past 6 years. The Permanent Fund ensures the Navajo Nation’s long-term fiscal solvency. Established a state-of-the-art Investment Program in 1989 that has resulted in accumulative investment returns generating at least $600 million more than previous investments. This Investment Program has resulted in the 2016 $3 billion Navajo Nation Investment Portfolio. Pertinent performed and documented fiscal activities as the Controller were instrumental in The Navajo Nation being awarded an historic $554 million judgement in 2014 against the Federal Government for Mismanagement of Navajo Nation Trust Resources. Provided primary technical expertise and leadership involving the development of budgeting and financial policies (aka “The Appropriations Act”) for the Navajo Nation. Retired in 2013 and currently resides in Gallup, NM. Married for 38 years. Have a son and daughter, both of whom are University of Arizona graduates.
Member of the Board
Lewis is a long-standing resident of the Shiprock, New Mexico area of the Navajo Nation and spouse of a Dine tribal member. He holds a BA from New Mexico State University and brings over 30 years’ experience in Information Technology Management and Software Development experience to the DDC board. This includes extensive Cyber Security knowledge and knowledge of industrial control systems. He is also a former employee of Microsoft Corporation, part of the team responsible for developing Windows for Workgroups (Windows 3.1), Windows 95 and Windows NT in the late 80’s and early 90’s at the Microsoft Corporate Campus in Redmond Washington. Lewis has served as Information Technology Director for SunRay Gaming LLC and SportsExpress.com and has held information technology positions for BHP Billiton and Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM). Lewis is also an experienced public speaker, author, trainer and businessman. He is a former bronze-level Toastmaster, has taught college level courses for San Juan College for 23 years, and is the founder and president of Cintigy Systems Inc., a Four Corners-based technology company.
Member of the Board
Frederick H. White is a Member and Owner of Building Nations LLC since 2014. The focus of BNLLC is in strategic planning, marketing and public relations and development especially with regards to Tribal communities. Mr. White has over 41 years of experience in Natural Resources, Tourism, Parks, Special Events, Economic Development and Public Relations.
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