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About the BDC

The Mesa Grande Business Development Corporation was created by the Mesa Grande General Council in 2016 to assume primary responsibility for the development and management of the Band's business enterprises,  and for leasing land and facilities on the historic Golden Eagle Farm, which the Band acquired in 2017.

​The mission of the Mesa Grande Business Development Corporation (BDC) is to promote the economic self-sufficiency of the Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians by building and managing a diverse portfolio of profitable, sustainable enterprises for the benefit of tribal members and the community. This mission informs our future vision of Mesa Grande as a culturally and economically strong community of self-governing, resilient people united by shared values, customs and traditions. The values that drive our work include integrity, transparency, accountability, responsible stewardship, respect, trust and innovation.

 

The members of the Board of Directors of the Mesa Grande Business Development Corporation (BDC) are appointed by the Mesa Grande General Council, the Band's governing authority. Board service is unpaid; all are volunteers.

Keely Linton

Keely Linton, President

Keely Linton is an Íipay and Cupeno Native enrolled in the Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians. Keely obtained her Bachelors in Science degree from California State University, San Marcos. She currently serves as Executive Director for the Strong Hearted Native Women’s Coalition, a not-for-profit organization devoted to reducing family violence. Her background includes 16 years building vital collaborations between law enforcement, state and regional agencies and tribal governments in the domestic violence and sexual assault field. Keely currently serves as Chairperson for the Judicial Council of the Inter-Tribal Court of Southern California. A devoted advocate for Native families, Keely also provides specialized training, including cultural competency courses, for professionals in the domestic violence field.

Essence Oyos

Essence Oyos, Secretary

Essence is an Iipay/Yoeme enrolled member of the Mesa Grande Band. She has more than twenty years of experience in  business and service in the holistic health and wellness field. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a Minor in Anthropology from CSU San Marcos; a Masters of Public Administration from National University, and an Associate of Arts degree in Kumeyaay Studies from Kumeyaay College. Essence currently represents the Mesa Grande Business Development Corporation on the regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Steering Committee, a local designation of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), designed to bring together central, south and east San Diego County public and private sectors, nonprofits, and individuals in the creation of an economic road map to diversify and strengthen regional economies.

 

Eva Trujillo
Kate Spiddle

Eva Trujillo, Board Member

Eva Trujillo is a Siny ‘Iipay (northern woman) from the Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians reservation. Eva’s devotion to the sustainability of Indigenous traditional knowledge, language and culture has always been a driving force. She obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology, with a concentration in Archaeology and a minor in Biology and Kumeyaay Studies from the University of California, San Diego. She has been employed at UCSD Medical Center for over 20 years as a Hospital Unit Coordinator. Eva is also employed at the San Diego Museum of Man as a Cultural Resources Manager, NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection Repatriation Act), where she partners with various Kumeyaay Nation consortia and other Indigenous communities across the U.S. Eva currently sits on the Board of Trustees for Kumeyaay Community College, and the Mesa Grande Education Committee.

Dr. Kate Spilde, Board Member

Dr. Spilde is a Professor in the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at San Diego State University (SDSU), where she serves as Endowed Chair of the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming. She holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology and an MBA in entrepreneurial management. She previously served as Executive Dirctor of the Center for California Native Nations at the University of California-Riverside (UCR). One of Dr. Spilde's continuing areas of focus is providing support for tribal governments in their efforts to engage in economic development and diversification as part of nation (re)building. She has presented her public policy and economic development research to industry, government and academic audiences in the U.S. and Canada, Europe and Asia, and has been asked to testify before Congress on varied issues such as tribal land claims, tribal development and federal recognition of tribal governments.

Kevin Allis

Kevin Allis, Board Member

As the former Chief Executive Officer of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), and the Executive Director of the Native American Contractors Association ("NACA"), Kevin was fortunate to lead an extremely talented team of government relations professionals that efficiently and effectively advocated issues significant to Indian Country. In addition, Allis had the opportunity to tour the country and meet Native leaders to discuss the issues that were important. As a tribal member of the Forest County Potawatomi Community ("FCPC"), and during his time serving as the Board Chairman of the Potawatomi Business Development Corporation, the FCPC's economic and business development arm, he became keenly aware of tribal needs and concerns, and how to build and then implement plans and structures to address such matters. Kevin Allis' Grandfather and Great-Grandfather served as Tribal Chairman of the Forest County Potawatomi Community. It's this lineage that runs through Kevin's blood, fueling his passion to work with Native Americans. The translation of this experience and passion is that Kevin fully understands tribal legal matters, tribal business/economic development, tribal government relations, and how they interact with each other.

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