First Nations Development Institute & First Nations Oweesta Corporation board member Shyla Sheppard named to 2011 Native American 40 Under 40

LONGMONT, Colorado (September 2, 2011) – First Nations Development Institute and its wholly-held subsidiary, First Nations Oweesta Corporation, are proud to announce that board member Shyla Sheppard (Three Affiliated Tribes) has been named to the “Native American 40 Under 40″ by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED). NCAIED’s “Native American 40 Under 40″ recognizes existing and emerging American Indian leaders under 40 years of age who have demonstrated exceptional achievements in their industry and community.

“First Nations and Oweesta are delighted that one of our esteemed board members, Shyla Sheppard, has received this tremendous recognition from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development,” shared Michael E. Roberts, president of First Nations Development Institute. Roberts also stated, “Shyla is committed to helping American Indian communities, and we are thankful for her hard work. She has provided invaluable services as a board member, and we know she will continue to support Native economic development efforts.”

Sheppard shared the following about the NCAIED recognition, “I am honored and humbled to be among the 2011 Native American 40 Under 40 recipients.” She also discussed the importance of Native cultural values, “From my perspective, this prestigious award celebrates two themes. First, it recognizes the effort and work that is borne of the support of many, including our families, friends, colleagues, and mentors, as well as those that have come before us. Second, the award uniquely acknowledges the alignment of work and values. As Native American professionals, we have been challenged to adapt to a rapidly changing world while staying true to our core tenets. While our approaches and professional disciplines may vary, I am confident that our shared commitment to Indian Country will result in broad-ranging improvements to the quality of life in our communities and the strengthening of our cultures and values.”

Sheppard is currently Fund Associate and Director of the Tribal Business Initiative at New Mexico Community Capital (NMCC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. NMCC is a venture capital fund and Sheppard has played a vital and active role on the investment team since 2005. She focuses on early and expansion-stage investment opportunities across a broad range of industries. Sheppard assists the managing director in all aspects of the investment organization. She attained her economics degree from Stanford University, and was raised on the Fort Berthold Indian reservation in North Dakota.