The “Native Business Top 50 Entrepreneurs” list serves to elevate awareness of the innovation, professionalism, competence and tenacity demonstrated by Native entrepreneurs across Indian Country. Native Business is rolling out profiles of these 50 Native entrepreneurs online, in no particular hierarchy, to document and memorialize their innovation and self-determination. The inaugural class of the Native Business Top 50 Entrepreneurs recognizes leaders across 13 business sectors, demonstrating the diversity of industries where Natives are making an impact. Among the entrepreneurs recognized in our Consulting sector is Jamie Fullmer, Founder of Blue Stone Strategy Group.
Jamie Fullmer was nine-years-old when his maternal grandfather, David Smith Sr., an Apache elder from Camp Verde, Arizona, took the bus all the way to Salt Lake City to visit his oldest daughter and his two grandchildren.
“He passed away shortly after he came to visit our family, but he made a point to come and see us and let us know that we were accepted,” says Fullmer, current Chairman/CEO of Blue Stone Strategy Group. “He looked into my eyes and said, ‘Grandson I want you to know that you are Apache and you belong to the Yavapai-Apache Tribe. One day, you will come there and help your people.’”
His grandfather’s words, says Fullmer, was the moment that set the course of his life’s calling.
“I was compelled by the vision of helping not only my Tribe,” says Fullmer, “but helping all Tribal communities, as well.”
Fulfilling his own vision and his grandfather’s prediction, Fullmer went on to become a two-term Chairman of the Yavapai-Apache Nation.
After his terms concluded, Fullmer took the lessons he learned as a Tribal leader and founded Blue Stone Strategy Group in 2007 to provide support in Tribal governance and economic development for Tribes across the United States. Today, Blue Stone has grown to a staff of 22 team members, including Tribal advisors, strategists and subject matter experts covering everything from housing, business development and infrastructure to government reorganization, Tribal leadership development and commercial land use planning. The company has worked with almost 200 Tribes across the country completing over 400 projects in the last 12 years.
“I am proud of the work that we do to support Tribes as they strive to build their futures for their people,” says Fullmer, “as well as the commitment they exercise in protecting their heritage and Tribal sovereignty.”