The phrase “tradition meets modern”, means many things to many people. Mabel Tsosie is a member of the Navajo Nation. She is also President and Founder of Spottedhorse Infosystems LLC. To Mabel, tradition meets modern means respecting tradition while making the most of what modern tools and technologies have to offer the small businesses she serves. “…Spottedhorse Infosystems offers technology, management, and procurement services…Indigenous Procurement Specialists assisting Indigenous business owners, provides them with a feeling of inclusivity” explains Mabel. She continues, “…successful consultations result in the increased number of Indigenous businesses participating in the federal marketplace, which positively impacts our diverse community.”
Founded in 2012, Spottedhorse Infosystems LLC is owned and fully operated by Mabel Tsosie, who earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Arizona State University. Among her many business successes, what Mabel celebrates most is her nine years in business. After spending many years as “a W-2 Employee” Mabel says starting her own business provided her with the opportunity to give back to her community, “… I enjoy indigenous business owners empowering one another.”
With more than 20 years of experience working with tribes, the federal government, and the private sector, Mabel is experienced in tribal business development, technology, and management. She says that when Spottedhorse Infosystems was started, it was to “infuse” digital solutions into Tribal lands. Mabel saw a need for services that were unique to indigenous organizations, and an opportunity to design services and products to fit the needs of indigenous people.
In March of 2015, Mabel Tsosie was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award during the National Reservation Economic Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mabel’s hard work and dedication were highlighted in an article for the Navajo Times, dated March 19th of the same year. “After winning the award, Spottedhorse Infosystems, was the preferred vendor for the event. For 4 years Spottedhorse Infosystems was tasked with administering the event’s online registration system and onsite registration support services. For both the annual RES event in Las Vegas as well as smaller Regional RES events throughout the Nation.”
To this day Mabel is dedicated to assisting the minority owned businesses she serves, “Minority owned businesses are small in numbers, especially on the Indian reservations… they are underserved and underrepresented… I think that’s what motivates me most.”
The Navajo Indian Reservation is the largest in the United States, spanning approximately 17 million acres. Members of the Navajo Nation refer to themselves as Diné, meaning “The People”. For Mabel Tsosie, it was indeed the people of the Navajo Nation that motivated her to start her own business. Originally from Cowsprings, Navajo Nation, Arizona, Mabel’s maternal clan is of the Ta’ba’haa (Edgewater people) and her paternal clan is of the T’sa’chiini’ (Red Running into the Water people). She says, “…the ultimate goal was to return services to our tribesman. To create and provide solutions tailored to indigenous needs.”