WHO WE ARE

 

Roanhorse Consulting (RCLLC) is an indigenous women-led think tank. RCLLC works with unheralded communities, businesses, organizations, and individuals to achieve and aspire their self-determination through forging communities of practice, strengthening indigenous evaluation methods, creating equity through entrepreneurship, and encouraging economic empowerment from within. RCLLC co-designs wealth and power building efforts that directly invest in our leaders, support meaningful data collection informed by indigenous research approaches, and helps build thoughtful community-led projects that enforce values that put people at the center.

 

 

Vanessa Roanhorse, CEO and Portfolio Lead, provides leadership and oversight over the entire portfolio of work as well as leads key strategies focused on ecosystem building, access to capital and community-led economic development activities. Vanessa got her management chops working for 7 years at a Chicago-based nonprofit, the Delta Institute, focused throughout the Great Lakes region to build a resilient environment and economy through creative, sustainable, market-driven solutions. Vanessa oversaw many of Delta’s on-the-ground energy efficiency, green infrastructure, community engagement programs, and workforce development training. Vanessa is a 2021 PayPal Maggie Lena Walker’s Emerging Leader Awardee and a 2020 Conscious Company Media’s World Changing Woman in Sustainable Business Awardee. She is a 2021 Purpose Fund Building fellow and a 2020 Boston Impact Initiative Fund-Building fellow. She is a founding member of the Zebras Unite Co-op and an advisor to Angels of Impact Fund.  She sits on the boards of Groundworks NM, Delta Institute, Zebras Unite and is an advisor to Decolonizing Wealth, Angels of Impact Fund, GenderSmart’s JEDI Working Group, and Social Venture Circle’s Restorative Investing Taskforce. She is one of 8 co-founders of Native Women Lead, an organization dedicated to growing Native women into positions of leadership and business. Vanessa is Diné (Navajo) citizen and resides on Tiwa Territory (Albuquerque, NM) with her partner and their son.
Olivia Roanhorse, MPH, COO and Portfolio Lead, provides leadership and oversight of key policy, research and evaluation projects. Prior to joining RCLLC, Olivia was the Vice President of Programs for Notah Begay III Foundation where she oversaw the strategic and operational responsibilities for all program areas. Before returning to New Mexico in 2012, Olivia held several health program and policy positions in Chicago. She was a Policy Associate at the Ounce of Prevention Fund; a Project Coordinator for RWJF National Project: Finding Answers Program: Disparities Research for Change; and a Clinic Manager for Community Health, the largest free health clinic in Illinois. Olivia has a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Illinois in Chicago and an undergraduate degree from Colorado College. Olivia attended Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health from 2018 to 2021 working on her Doctorate of Public Health. Recognizing that the institution did not value health equity and social justice, she withdrew and decided to instead focus on her lived experiences and the opportunity to co-design meaningful solutions with communities. Olivia is a board member with the Health Equity Council in NM, and a Peer Review Committee Advisor with Black Brain Trust. Olivia is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and lives in Albuquerque, NM with her daughter.

 

Casey LongCasey Kee Long, MPH, Research and Evaluation Manager, leads and supports projects with data-informed strategic planning and decision making. Prior to joining RCLLC, Casey was working with the National Indian Health Board on their oral health and tobacco cessation initiatives. Casey also worked to expand youth programming in various communities on the Navajo Nation with Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment and Wings of America. Casey has a Master’s degree in Public Health from Grand Canyon University and an undergraduate degree from Fort Lewis College. Casey is Diné from the Navajo Nation and resides in Gallup, NM.

 

 

abdiel j. lópez, Capital Strategies Manager, is a thought partner to the CEO and oversees all projects related to Indigenous wealth-building, community economic development, and investor relationships. Before joining RCLLC, abdiel was a program officer at the Center for Cultural Innovation, where they managed the national investment portfolio, AmbitioUS. abdiel also worked as the program manager at the Purpose Foundation to launch its inaugural Purpose Futures Fellowship. Their passion for working with grassroots organizations and community leaders stems from their work as a community-based participatory researcher for a University of Southern California professor as a high school student, which they started in 2012. abdiel also has extensive experience working with cultural institutions and artists in Mexico City and Los Angeles as a curator, gallery manager, exhibition catalogue writer, and production manager, and is an alumnus of the premier Getty Marrow Undergraduate Internship program. abdiel earned a BA in sociology and studied art history at Grinnell College, where they were a Posse Foundation Scholar and Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. abdiel is Kitsé Chat’nio from the coastal region of Oaxaca and currently lives on Tongva/Chumash territory (Los Angeles, CA) with their pomeranian dog-child, Horchata. 

Melissa Colbert-Taylor, Operations Specialist, provides executive leadership support, operations design and team management. Prior to joining Roanhorse Consulting,  Melissa worked with small businesses and nonprofits with a focus on revenue growth and development. She is also a musician and spent many years performing in various rock and experimental bands in Chicago IL and Athens GA. She is looking forward to bringing her professional as well as lived experience as a Black woman into how we can restructure the way businesses and organizations operate with a focus on anti-racism, anti-colonialism, and complete liberation for the new majority

 

Justine Correa, Sr. Capital Strategies Associate, supports the RCLLC team in building and defining processes that center people, relationships, and emergent thinking to help create new ideas for capital design and deployment. Justine previously worked at a not-for-profit Native Community Development Institution that focused on mortgage lending in New Mexico and Arizona tribal communities as the Operations Manager for three years and an additional three years assisting with financial education and Loan Officer duties. She has over ten years of experience working with tribal communities’ programs and efforts and continues to be involved in any way she can. Justine’s true passion is to empower tribal people and people of color and their communities by utilizing her cultural knowledge and professional experience. She is currently pursuing her degree at The University of New Mexico in Community Health Education with a minor in Psychology. Justine currently resides in the Laguna Pueblo with her two children. She has Acoma Pueblo, and Hopi roots and is also of Hispanic descent.

Elyse V. Dempsey, Capital Strategies Associate, supports the management and strategic planning of key portfolios, focusing on the growth of a community-led economy that centers self-determination, capital building, and creative resourcing. With a background in social justice design and training development, Elyse has worked in Indian Country for over 10 years in educational, non-profit, and government sectors seeking to build avenues for access that would ultimately improve the quality of life for individuals, communities, and nations. She earned her B.A. cum laude in American Studies from Macalester College. Elyse is Diné and resides on the lands of the Salt River Pima (Scottsdale, Arizona).

 

 

Matthew Frank, LMSW, MPH, Health and Wealth Intern, is assisting on health and economic research-focused projects that center on community voice and knowledge. Matthew has more than 10 years of experience in research translation for population health improvement and program development, implementation, and evaluation. Most of his work has been with American Indian/Alaska Native and Indigenous communities, and with LGBTQ+/two-spirit people. His areas of focus include community-based participatory research, community engagement and outreach, evaluation of programs and services, project management, mixed methodologies, grant development and administration, and organizational social work practice. He received an M.S.W. and M.P.H. at Washington University in St. Louis, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Social Welfare at the University of Washington. Matthew is Diné from the Navajo Nation and resides in Seattle, WA.